HUM 260 Online: Contemporary Humanities, 3 credits


Michele A. Marits, Assistant Professor of English/Humanities,, 757.822.7050

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Course Title: HUM 260 - Contemporary Humanities

Course Description

Examines selected values and expressions of ideas of western and non-western cultures throughout the twentieth century and beyond, integrating the visual arts, literature, performing arts, religion, and philosophy within the context of history.  The assignments in this course require college-level reading, analysis of scholarly studies, and coherent communication through properly cited and formatted written reports. Lecture 3 hours.  Total 3 hours per week. 3 credits

General Course Purpose

HUM 260 will broaden understanding and awareness of people and cultures specifically within the cultural and historical contexts of social groups throughout the world which may draw upon such fields as art, literature, religion, philosophy, social sciences, and music.

Course Prerequisites/Corequisites

Course Objectives

Upon completing the course, the student will be able to:

Communication: Formulate through written, visual and/or oral presentations, responses to themes from the twentieth century in western and non-western cultures.

Critical Thinking: Analyze, discuss, and research topics in western and non-western cultures linking overarching questions through examining the humanities.

Cultural and Social Understanding : Demonstrate understanding of cultural encounters, interactions, and negotiations between different societies.

Visual Arts: Identify and classify various art forms and their stylistic relationships to the cultures from which they come, as well as their development throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with an emphasis on architecture, sculpture, painting, photography and the decorative arts.

Literature: Recognize and critique key works of literature and their cultural importance, both to their original time and to their historical influence.

Religion and Philosophy: Summarize and explain the central beliefs, positions, and practices of the most prominent religious and philosophical systems and their impact and development with their respective originating cultures and the world at large in the twentieth century.

Performing Arts: Identify and classify the various forms of music, theater, cinema, and dance of the twentieth century and their stylistic relationships to the cultures from which they originated.

History: Discuss and describe the ways in which historical events of the twentieth and twenty-first century shaped the cultural developments of the period.

Major Topics to be Included

Visual Arts
Religion and Philosophy
Performing Arts

This course is an online, asynchronous course; students may access the course from any location (including home) where Internet access is available. Therefore, reliable Internet/computer access is a requirement of this course. All official correspondence will be conducted using TCC Gmail email accounts. Students are required to adhere to posted due dates.


No Required Text: Open Educational Resources (OER) are used in this course.

No prerequisites are required for this course.

Description of Assignments/Grading

  • Introduction Letter with two comments = 5%
  • The Visual Arts Assignments and three quizzes (9 points total) = 35%
  • The Performing Arts Assignments = 30%
  • Literature Assignments= 30%
  • Extra Credit = 3% for completing one of the Extra Credit Assignments  

    Total: 100%

    Grading Scale: 90-100 points = A; 80-89 points = B; 70-79 points = C; 60-69 points = D, 59 and below = F Please note: For an "A" final course grade, students must complete the Golden Record Assignment.

Disclaimer: Points are different from percentage points since assignments are weighted. Canvas computes the percentage totals and the designated letter grade throughout the duration of the course and the cumulative percentage total and letter grade at the end of the course. For example, 91.67% cumulative total might still be a “B” final course grade.

Late Work Policy
It is important to submit assignments and complete activities by the due dates, especially because you are working with a group.

Late assignments are accepted with a penalty. For each day beyond the due date, Canvas will apply a late penalty of 10% to your graded score. The minimum score for any assignment is 0 points.

**Because grades are weighted differently, 92.9 points might be a “B” grade. Canvas automatically calculates the letter grades.

Grading Policy & Grading Rubrics: Please refer to the grading policies and grading rubrics posted in Canvas.

Late assignments are accepted with a penalty. For each day beyond the due date, Canvas will apply a late penalty of 10% to your graded score. The minimum score for any assignment is 0 points.



Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional use of another personís ideas without proper documentation. Plagiarized assignments may result in a studentís failure. Documentation is required on papers turned in that are not original. MLA or APA Documentation Styles is acceptable. The Golden Record Assignment will be uploaded to Turnitin, a plagiarism checker. This feature of Canvas will be used mainly as a learning tool.

Educational Accessibility

Students who have documented, diagnosed disabilities, and who need special accommodations for tests, etc., are advised to see the Educational Accessibility Disabilities Services staff in Student Services so that the instructor may be notified of what accommodations are appropriate in each case.

Educational Accessibility:


Attendance/Participation Policy


This course will require active participation in the form of posting reactions and discussion of readings in the appropriate forums in Canvas. By actively posting entries and responding to peers, students will gain valuable insight and perspectives about the people, events, and movements that shaped the 20th Century.