Prerequisites:     ENGL 110



Dr. Jason K. Swedene
Office location and phone number: Arts Center 223 (phone: 635-2122)

student hotline for school/ class cancellation: 635-2858









by appointment see website for the latest information



Required Texts:          

1)        Fleming, William, Arts & Ideas, 10th ed.(Wadsworth: Australia, 2005).   ISBN: 0-534-61371-3.
NOTE: Past editions are acceptable; however, the student is responsible for the material and pictures presented in the newest edition. 


Recommended Text(s): 

2)        Swedene, Jason K., Staying Alive: The Varieties of Immortality (Lantham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., 2009). ISBN: 0-7618-4758-8


3)    Matthews, Roy T., and F. DeWitt Platt, Readings in the Western Humanities Volume I, 5th ed. (Mayfield: Mountain View, 2004).  Acceptable editions of this text are also on reserve at the circulation desk in the KJS library.

Course Description

The humanities in the life of mankind from prehistory to the Medieval epoch. Emphasizes significant values evolved in the Hebrew, Greek, Roman and early Christian cultures. Includes consideration of the arts, language, religion, mythology, philosophy and ancient Chinese and Indian systems of religious thought.



General Education Objectives

In a diverse and changing world, college graduates must be prepared for a lifetime of learning in a variety of fields.  In order to meet this challenge, general education requirements foster the development of general skills and knowledge that are further developed throughout the curriculum.


This course fulfills a portion of LSSU’s General Education requirement. 


At the conclusion of HUMN251 students will:


Grading Scale and Policies:

Your final grade is weighted as follows:

Each test is worth one hundred points. There are 6 tests. If you take all 6 tests and pass the final, your best 5 tests will be counted.


Each blackboard quiz is worth ten points. The lowest quiz is not dropped.

Final grades are determined by the simple calculating of your points from counted tests and counted quizzes (+ any extra credit earned) over the number of possible points.

Truancy, tardiness, and leaving class early each will be counted against regular attendance. Beware of this policy so that you arrange other engagements such as work, dinner parties, vacations, child care, hunting excursions, etc. accordingly.

Policy on Blackboard Quizzes:

Your score on these quizzes makes up a significant part of your final grade. Blackboard quizzes are designed to be taken before lectures on a given topic. Once a Blackboard quiz has expired, there will be no opportunity to make it up: no exceptions.  It is the student’s responsibility to ascertain when quizzes are due. If you experience computer problems, I cannot help you. Contact the IT Help Desk.


Final grades are converted to letter grades using the scale (below).         

97-100 (A+)

93-97 (A)

90-93 (A -)

87-90 (B +)

83-87 (B)

80-83 (B-)

77-80 (C+)

73-77 (C)

70-73 (C -)


63-67 (D)

60-63 (D -)

0-60 (F)


Ground Rules:


1) You must attend class regularly and participate in all class activities. You may lose considerable grade points of up to 3 percentage points per class for excessive unexcused absences above beyond two. Please let me know via e-mail if you plan to miss a class.  

2) All assignments for a given day must be done before class.

3) There will be six one-hour tests. The final test, test six, is a non-cumulative exam to be held during finals week. Make-up tests are given only as warranted by circumstance (e.g., documented illness or documented family emergency) and as granted by instructor. The testing center in the basement of the library provides a monitored environment.  Bring a picture ID.  You will not be issued a test without these items. The number to make appointments is 635-2027.

4) Students are responsible for the assignments outlined on this syllabus and the course website. Absence at a previous class is not an acceptable excuse for not completing assignments on time.  

5) An important note about extra credit: students may add up to 20 points (or about 3.5 %) to their final grade by doing extra credit work.

The first 10 points may be earned by completing a chapter summary of a book, pre-approved by the instructor. The due date for that extra credit opportunity is the first class day of the 3rd last week of classes (by 2 p.m.). Click here for the proper form to fill out.

The next 10 points may be earned by attending a cultural event and submitting a two-page journal entry on the experience. In this exercise, you are to describe the event.  Then analyze, evaluate and explain its relevance to human aesthetics and its historical development. The due date for all cultural event journal submissions is the first class day of the 2nd last week of classes (by 2 p.m.). No late extra-credit submissions will be accepted.

6) It is worth noting that each individual test will be curved upwards if the class average for that test is below a C.  It is also worth noting that final averages will not be curved upwards.   

7) Use of headphones, cell phones and hats during exams is prohibited.

8) Cell phones must be turned off for all class and lab sessions. If the cell phone is on and rings, the student will be asked to leave the class for the day and this will count as an absence.



University Policies and Statements:


The Americans with Disabilities Act & Accommodations

In compliance with Lake Superior State University policies and equal access laws, disability-related accommodations or services are available to students with documented disabilities.


If you are a student with a disability and you think you may require accommodations you must register with Disability Services (DS), which is located in the KJS Library, Room 130, (906) 635-2355 or x2355 on campus.  DS will provide you with a letter of confirmation of your verified disability and authorize recommended accommodations.  This authorization must be presented to your instructor before any accommodations can be made.


Students who desire such services should meet with instructors in a timely manner, preferably during the first week of class, to discuss individual disability related needs. Any student who feels that an accommodation is needed – based on the impact of a disability – should meet with instructors privately to discuss specific needs.


IPASS (Individual Plan for Academic Student Success)

If at mid-term your grades reflect that you are at risk for failing some or all of your classes, you will be contacted by a representative of IPASS. The IPASS program is designed to help you gain control over your learning through pro-active communication and goal-setting, the development of intentional learning skills and study habits, and personal accountability. You may contact 635-2887 or email if you would like to sign up early in the semester or if you have any questions or concerns.


Tentative Course Outline

Here is the agenda.  Test dates will be announced 5-7 days before a test.

A: Course Intro and Ch. 1 ; overview; Hume "Of the Standard of Taste";
B: Fleming Ch. 1; Matthews and Platt (Selections from Code of Hammurabi and the goddess's advance and the Flood Story Epic of Gilgamesh)
C Fleming Ch. 1; Matthews and Platt (Selections from Dispute of a Man
with His Soul
, Great Hymn to the Aten, Selections from the Iliad); Recommended: Ch. 1 of Staying Alive: The Varieties of Immortality
D: Fleming Ch. 2; Matthews and Platt (Pericles's Funeral Oration from History of
the Peloponnesian War and Bush’s 9.20.01 address on website); Matthews and Platt (Oedipus the King)
  Intro to Socrates-------Matthews and Platt or (Selections from Plato’s Republic: Rep. Book 5 and Rep. Book 7)
E: Fleming Ch. 2;   

G: Fleming Ch. 3
H: Fleming Ch. 3; Matthews and Platt on Epicurus or ('Principal Sayings' of Epicurus);

I:; Fleming Ch. 4; Matthews and Platt (Selections from the Aeneid);
J: Fleming Ch. 4 ; Recommended: Chs. 2 and 3 of Staying Alive: The Varieties of Immortality
TEST TWO;      Fleming Ch. 5

L: Fleming Ch. 5; ; Matthews and Platt (Selections from Scivias and the Koran);  Matthews and Platt (Judaism and the Rise of Christianity)
M: Fleming Ch. 5;
N: Fleming Ch. 6; Matthews and Platt (Selections from Song of Roland)
O: Fleming Ch. 6

Fleming Ch. 7; Matthews and Platt (Chaucer: "Wife of Bath's Tale from Canterbury Tales); Matthews and Platt (Canto 34 from Dante’s Inferno)
R: Fleming Ch. 7, Fleming Ch. 8;  Matthews and Platt (Selections from Machiavelli’s The Prince)
S: Fleming Ch. 8;
T : Fleming Ch. 8; Recommended: Chs. 4 and 5 of Staying Alive: The Varieties of Immortality

V: Fleming Ch. 9
W: Fleming Ch. 10
X: Fleming Ch. 10 ; Recommended: Ch. 6 of Staying Alive: The Varieties of Immortality  

Z: Fleming Ch. 11,
AA: Fleming Ch. 12
BB: Fleming Ch. 12; Recommended: Ch. 7 of Staying Alive: The Varieties of Immortality