Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Identify the major writers, thinkers and artists in at least three
distinct geographical/cultural areas, (two of which must be non-
Western eg. Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, Europe),
and contextualize within their various cultural milieu.
2. Analyze representative works of visual arts, drama, music, literature
or philosophy/religion within those specific cultural contexts.
Recognize and discuss knowledgeably the cultural values that these
3. Evaluate the contributions of women in the shaping of those cultures.
4. Compare their own views with ideas, values, and beliefs covered in
5. Explain, in writing, the humanistic values of selected Western and
non-Western civilizations as revealed through the artistic and
1. The course will focus on the arts, ideas, and values of at least
three distinct cultural areas (Africa, Asia, Latin America, North
America, Europe), two of which must be non-Western.
2. The course will use representative primary texts, including primary
non-Western artforms. Examples from literature and poetry: China
Wang Wei, Li Bai. Japan: Basho, Tale of Genji. Africa: Emperor
Shaka the Great: A Zulu Epic, Leopold Senghor, Wole Soyinka, Bessie
Head. Latin America: Gabriela Mistral, Gabriel Garcia Marquez,
Isabella Allende, Eduardo Galeano, Pablo Neruda, Mario Vargas Llosa.
Middle East: Edward Said, Nawal El Sa'adawi, Amer Hussein.
India: VS Naipaul, RK Narayan.
Examples within visual arts: African Benin bronzes, the architecture
of Zimbabue city, Japanese gardens, the concept of shunyata, Hindu
temple architecture and sculpture, Yucatan peninsula architecture and
sculpture, Chac Mool, Palenque city, Inca architecture/gold images,
Examples within music: Gagaku Court Music, Indian sitar music,
traditional Songs of Africa, Gamelan Music.
Examples within primary philosophical/religious texts: Theravada
Buddhist texts, The Bhagavad-Gita, Confucius: The Analects, Hebrew
Bible, New Testament, The Q'uran, Popol Vuh, The Egyptian Book of the
3. The course may focus on works of contemporary and/or
historical significance within areas of the humanities (such as
lilterature, philosophy, visual arts, film, music) in order to
compare/contrast cultural contributions within specific geographical
locations such as Africa, Asia, the Indian subcontinent, Latin
America, the Middle East, Europe.
4. The course may proceed chronologically and cross-culturally within a
specific historical period (such as the Renaissance or the 19th
century) or thematically e.g. (tracing the development of the figure
in painting, genre scenes in printmaking, contemporary music, children's
poetry or individuality vs society in literature).
5. The course will evaluate the nature of Western Colonialism and its
effect on non-Western cultural production.
Assignments typically will include:
1. Careful reading and analysis of assigned texts.
2. Reading assignments to establish cultural context.
3. Examinations, including quizzes, mid-term, final, and/or take-home
4. Written essays requiring students to analyze representative works of
literature, art, music, and philosophical/religious thought or
requiring students to compare and contrast, integrate ideas, or
examine ideas, values and beliefs.
5. Participation in cultural activities, and response papers or reviews
(including field trip option).
Palmira Brummett et al., CIVILIZATION PAST AND PRESENT Single Volume
(10th Edition, August 5, 2002), Longman Press
Eduardo Galeano, MEMORY OF FIRE: GENESIS, (June 1998), W. W. Norton &
Company; FACES AND MASKS, (June 1998), W. W. Norton & Company; CENTURY
OF THE WIND, (June 1998), W. W. Norton & Company
Geraldine Nagle, THE ARTS; WORLD THEMES, (June 1997), McGraw Hill
Philip Lee Ralph (Editor), et al, WORLD CIVILIZATIONS, THEIR HISTORY AND
CULTURE, (August 1997), W. W. Norton & Company