HUMANITIES I: What Does it Mean to be Human?
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Humanities I is a course which explores six of the fundamental characteristics of human beings. We all know that human beings are complex and multi-faceted creatures, but there are some attributes that seem common to all humans even while we see that each of these qualities has a multitude of different expressions. For example, we organize ourselves into families, but our definition of "family" can vary considerably, and we certainly evaluate situations and make ethical decisions, but our view of what is ethical also can vary considerably. This course seeks to examine six of our most basic components as people and to discover how these elements is our lives help to make us human in the general as well as the individual sense of the word.
Humanities I is a team-taught, cross-discipline course with the instructors coming from different academic areas, so you will get six different perspectives on what it means to be human. Although a final definition of "human" will most likely elude us this semester, we will certainly have many ideas for a continuing search for that definition.
GRADES: Your final grade will be based on a mid-term exam (100 points), a final in-class exam (50 points), a term paper (150 points), and six unit projects (130 points). The exam will be primarily based on class lectures and discussion but will also incorporate the assigned reading materials as given by each instructor. (There is no one text for course; each instructor will provide his/her own reading materials.) Each unit will have its own "project," generally a paper but perhaps something else designed by the instructor. Each of the projects will be scored from 1-50 points. Each instructor will explain his/her project as it comes along and score it him/herself.
Please be sure to keep all of your scored projects, exams, and term paper so that if there is any question about the grade that you receive at the end of the semester, your will have all of your work.
For the term paper, you may select one of the areas of discussion in the course for further investigation and study. A complete description of this assignment and suggestions for paper topics will be given after the first three units of the class so that you may be thinking about your topic during most of the semester! The paper will be due on Monday, May 6, 2002. NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED.
ATTENDANCE: Attendance in this course is essential. Since each unit is self-contained and taught by a different instructor, material is covered quickly and without repetition; classes missed simple cannot be "made—up.
If you decide that you cannot complete this course, it is your responsibility to drop the course officially.
Be sure that all cell phones and pagers are turned OFF BEFORE you come to class; you are NOT to interrupt class discussion with personal business for any reason.
Term Paper Instructions and Suggested Topics
Humans as Social Beings