I'm assigned to handle HUM 3 (Humanities 3) this mid-year term (16 June to 24 July 2015). This is one of the seven General Education courses that our department offers (the other six includes: COMM 1 Dimensions of Identity: Understanding Ourselves through Reading and Writing, COMM 2 Exploring Ideas through Academic Writing, COMM 3 Effective Speech Communication, HUM 1 Adventures in Fiction, Poetry and Drama, HUM 2 Art and Society, and VISCOM 1 Visual Communication and Society).
The course was originally designed by Timothy Montes, who entitled it as "Significant Themes in Literature and Film." Tim's proposal provided the following rationale:
most literature courses are appreciation or introductory courses that introduce students to the different literary genres. This course, aside from introducing students to the beauty of fiction, poetry, drama and film, emphasizes the relevant themes in the content of these works. By making students apply aesthetic and philosophical concepts in the analysis of literature and film, they will learn to see how literature expresses the spirit of the age as well as the moral, social, and spiritual questions they address.
It was eventually approved and given the course code HUM 3, but with the title changed to “Search for Meaning: Philosophical Themes through Literature and Film.” HUM 3 is a three-unit course, with no prerequisites, and is usually offered every term.
HUM 3 fulfills the general and specific objectives of the Revitalized General Education program, namely (as quoted from the approved proposal):
By the end of the semester, HUM 3 students are expected:
To help students accomplish these objectives, they may refer to the numerous books on literature and film in the CHSS Library or access online sources through the Internet.
While the course is a lecture class, and while there will be short lectures on scheduled topics, students will devote most of their class time in generating ideas for further exploration in their required papers and other output. Class sessions will usually begin with a discussion of (or perhaps a short quiz on) the assigned readings or film screenings, to be followed by writing exercises and/or other class activities. After a series of class sessions, students will have conceptualized and produced the required output for grading.
I've redesigned the suggested 11 thematic groupings into three major units ("Fate, Faith, Freedom," "Passions Fleshed," and "Inferno/Paradiso"), bookended with introductory units and a concluding integration unit. At least one meeting per unit is devoted to a lecture on certain literary and cinematic elements or concepts. Succeeding meetings for each unit will involve students in discussions and individual/collaborative activities based on the selections listed below (titles are subject to change, depending on the availability of materials and equipment):
Orientation to the Course
The Search for Meaning, the Search for Truth
Making Meanings: Reading Literature and Film
Unit One: Fate, Faith, Freedom
Unit Two: Passions Fleshed
Unit Three: Inferno/Paradiso
Since HUM 3 involves a lot of reading and writing, as well as watching movies, students should come to class prepared for the scheduled discussion and/or activity. Students must also refrain from missing classes and scheduled exercises. They may refer to the university’s Student Handbook regarding policies on absences and their corresponding penalties.
Students will submit three individual papers corresponding to the units. They will also have regular exercises and the occasional short quiz based on the reading assignments and/or movie screenings.
Grades of papers submitted beyond the deadline may be deducted points for each calendar day the paper is late. There will be no make-up test for short quizzes since topics covered will be discussed during class sessions.
Students commit plagiarism when they present as their own someone else’s work or ideas. Output suspected of plagiarism will be returned to students for revision. Repeated offenses will result in, depending on the gravity of the offense, (1) a failing mark for the particular activity or (2) for the course, or (3) possible expulsion from the University (refer to the university’s Student Handbook regarding policies on academic dishonesty and its corresponding penalties). The rule for late submission will apply for plagiarized output returned for revision. Other forms of intellectual dishonesty like cheating during examinations will not be tolerated.
A student’s rating for every activity/output will be computed according to its corresponding percentage of the final grade: participation in class discussion (30%); individual/collaborative activities (30%); and the individual unit papers (40%).
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