Humanities

After reviewing the course description for the humanities, I decided to apply for the position. It is actually very similar to a course that I am presently putting together with Dr. Kagle and Dr. Stiles. So…

student-listening-to-musicA music humanities syllabus divides the history of music into five eras (including 20th century) and gives major composers/works from each.

For example:

Medieval and Renaissance Music
Composers and works include:

Gregorian chant
Hildegard of Bingen
Josquin des Prez
The madrigal

The Global Humanities syllabus is focused on international humanities, particularly from non-European backgrounds. It has excellent ideas for projects, including

For a subject, you should take a contemporary work of art or architecture, short story, poem, piece of music, film, or other work created within the last century (roughly 1920 to the present) that comes from one of the cultures that we have been studying—or take one of these cultural products from the colonial or pre-colonial past. (You may build on a topic that you have used for your Cultural Resource report.) Your purpose in this project will be one of these two:

o Explain how a contemporary artist (whether painter, architect, writer, musician or other) creates works that draw on or comment on the culture and traditions of his/her society’s past.
o Explain how a work (narrative, poem, song, sculpture, building, etc.) from a society’s past can give a new understanding of what it is like to live in a particular culture or society to an outsider.

In addition, your purpose is to demonstrate how this particular cultural work explores the “human condition” within the context of its society. What questions about human life does this work attempt to deal with? What answers, if any, does it provide? How does it try to engage the senses and experience of its audience (viewer, reader, listener)?

Stanford’s Humanities Lab Lecture Series

This syllabus is primarily reading. I can totally see doing literature (obviously), but I would want some music and art. This is also very Euro-centric. While it is excellent as a literary introduction to European thought, I don’t think that is what the focus of the course would be about…. Although it might.

I think this syllabus is more along the lines of what I was thinking about originally.

Course Description and Objectives: In this basic interdisciplinary humanities course the student learns how to examine, compare, analyze, evaluate, interpret and discuss creative works within their cultural contexts. Examples for study will be selected from the world’s great works of literature, drama, painting, sculpture, architecture, music . . .
Students take from the course the ability to identify major categories of artistic forms; compare and contrast stylistic characteristics of selected works; assess the artistic merit of representative creative works; employ the language, concepts and methods of interpretive criticism as it applies to the arts; and find ways to continue participating in artistic experiences.

Course Plan: Lectures, class discussions, cultural experiences and directed observation form the basis of course activities. Examples of human creativity will be presented in videos, recordings, photographs, art objects, performances, PowerPoint, etc. Reading, personal observation and listening assignments aid in class participation and increase understanding of topics covered in lecture and discussion. Exams and reports are used to evaluate the understanding of materials from class activities, reading, and observation assignments completed outside the classroom.

I do like the idea that others have suggested of having events to attend, like the plays in the park, art museums, etc. If there were a list of twenty or so, with varying price ranges, the students could choose two or three to attend.

donatello-david-butt-naked-aictThat same syllabus gave this as the requirements for after the events:

Fine Arts Reports: Choose events wisely! Formal reports must be 600 to 1000 words and follow a logical and organized course; thoroughly cover the topic while avoiding exceeding the 1000 typed, double-spaced word limit. Introductions include when and where; titles and names of the event/activity/works of art; creator of that art; performers; historical significance; and points of interest. The main body discusses individual works including technical aspects; comparisons and contrasts within the framework of the event; and observations. Conclusions bring all to a close with logical arguments and personal impressions; it is an excellent time to state likes and dislikes. Criteria considered in evaluating papers includes relevance of the event to the course, use of background material and course terminology, presentation, expression of opinion and personal involvement, and creativity. It is traditional to validate the report by attaching programs, museum brochures and/or tickets or receipts.

Columbia’s History of Western Art: Humanities offers some interesting suggestions too. Primarily, obviously, with art. That one source that I used with the students, though, would be great. Could I fit that in my cover letter?

I went to the internet and I looked up “why study art.”

Most of the time, the sites were all about studying art for a degree. But then I found an incredible website. It offers reasons for studying Western Art History.

It is amazingly well done. I wish I could buy a copy of it and keep it on my computer so that if it ever goes away I could still have it.

dali-roseWhy Study Art? Enjoy the website. The pictures are incredible and it will make you think about why you like art.

There are also quiz questions and help thinking about writing about art. They are at the original website that showed me the site above.

I followed that page home and found What is Art? Amazing pictures. Simple discussion. As in our book’s essay “Ways of Seeing,” this examines beauty and truth…

Tools of the Artist begins here and discusses the art in terms of composition, line, color, space, shape, detail…

from Davis English

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