Dr. Robert Sutton

Office: S511-B

HUM 220 Fall 2014

Phone: 362-7133


Office Hours: MWF 9:00-10:00, TTH 11-12:00, by appointment.

Home Page:

Mail S202


COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course presents some major dimensions of human experience as reflected in art, music, literature, philosophy, and history. Topics include the search for identity, the quest for knowledge, the need for love, the individual and society, and the meaning of life. Upon completion, students should be able to recognize interdisciplinary connections and distinguish between open and closed questions and between narrative and scientific models of understanding.  This course has been approved to satisfy the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement general education core requirement in humanities/fine arts.
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, a student should be able:

  1. To understand yourself as a person who is coming of age in the context of late twentieth and early twenty-first century cultural developments.
  2. Understand some of the intellectual and political forces in modern Western Culture that have created the current environment in which you must now seek meaning and define your values.
  3. To have a more expansive identity, one not limited to a single person's lifetime but inclusive of an entire age.
  4. To develop resources for answering questions about human values and meaning.
  5. To learn to read complex and difficult material.
  6. To recognize the value of critical thinking and the precise use of language in order to develop habits of thinking, speaking, and writing with logical rigor and clarity.  

To meet these objectives, this course will raise these questions in reference to literature, film, art, philosophy, and popular culture:


Written Communication

Understanding Social Structure

Oral Communication

Problem Solving

Critical Thinking

Understanding Scientific Concepts & Application




Camus, Albert. The Stranger, Vintage Press, 1988 edition.

Watson, Peter. The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century, Perennial, 2002.

Wiesel, Elie. Night, Hill and Wang, 2006.


Condorcet.  The Future Progress of the Human Mind

Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

Kant, Immanuel.  What is Enlightenment?

Kreis, Steven, The History Guide's Lectures on Modern European Intellectual History

Lecture 9: Écrasez l'infâme!: The Triumph of Science and the Heavenly City of the 18th Century Philosophe

Lecture 10: The Vision of Human Progress: Vico, Gibbon and Condorcet"

Mill, John Stuart.  On Liberty (1859)

Sartre, Jean-Paul, Existentialism is a Humanism


REQUIREMENTS: This course is divided into three sections:

  1. The Enlightenment: Laying the Foundations   (6 weeks)
  2. The 20th Century: Destroying the Foundations  (9 weeks)
  3. Postmodernity and After: What's Next   (1 week)

After each reading a 1-2 page paper will be due. These papers combined will count as 1/3 of the course grade. In addition, a 4 page paper will be required after sections 1 and 3. Detailed instructions for these assignments will be given as their due dates approach. Each paper will count 1/3 of your final grade. There will be no late papers accepted.

The class format will be lecture-discussion.

 ATTENDANCE POLICY: There is a direct correlation between attendance and academic success.   Absences seriously disrupt your progress in a course and diminish the quality of the educational experience and group interaction. Consequently, you are ex­pected to punctually attend all class sessions in this course. A failure to do so will likely result in low performance measures, including failing the course but, attendance will not be used in any calculation of your course grade.

GRADING: School wide grade scale is as follows:

           A=100-92(4), B=91-84(3), C=83-76(2), D=75-68(1), F=67(0), WP, WF, I.

No withdrawals will be granted without a face to face consultation with the instructors and it is CFCC policy that, “No withdrawals may be requested after the 80 percent point of a class. Students who wish to appeal should secure an Instructional Appeal Form from the Office of the Vice President for Instruction. Permission will be granted for extenuating circumstances only. Documentation will be required. The Vice President for Instruction’s decision is final.”


PLAGIARISM STATEMENT: Plagiarism is using as your own the words or ideas of another, whether written or oral. When you use material from a source, you must quote or paraphrase accurately and properly cite the information. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism. Examples of plagiarism include word-for-word copying without correctly indicating that you are quoting, inaccurate quoting and paraphrasing and incomplete or missing documentation. Purchasing a paper or copying someone else's work and submitting it as your own are also plagiarism. Any misrepresentation of the source in your writing or speaking would constitute a form of plagiarism. Whether intentional or unintentional, plagiarism is not acceptable. The Humanities and Fine Arts Department adheres to the CFCC policy on cheating as stated in the Catalog and Student Handbook. In the unlikely event of an act of plagiarism, I will give the student a failing grade for the course.


CONTINGENCY PLAN: If there is an emergency and the instructor or an appropriate substitute does not meet with the class, wait fifteen minutes. If no instructor shows, the class should sign a roll sheet and designate someone to take it to the Humanities/Fine Arts Department Secretary or Chair. In the event of faculty absences, unless an assignment is given, it is expected that students will use the time studying in the library.


ACCOMMODATION OF SPECIAL NEEDS: Any student who requests classroom accommodations because of a disability must present documentation to verify his/her disability. This documentation must be furnished to the Disabilities Service Coordinator. On a confidential basis, the student, disabilities services and the instructor will determine the appropriate accommodations following documentation. These accommodations will be provided in a manner that is consistent with the objectives, outcomes, and academic standards of the course. Absences must not exceed class attendance policy.


CELL PHONES: Please make sure that your cell phone is off before entering the classroom. There is no reason to ever have your cell phone out during class time, thus there is no need to ever see a cell phone in the classroom.


STUDENT ACCOUNTS: Your myCFCC account is a single username and password for all of your CFCC network accounts: email, WebAdvisor, Blackboard, campus computer access, and more. The email account provided to you ( is used for all official communication with CFCC instructors and staff. Some information will ONLY be sent by email and not by postal mail, so it is very important that you check this account. This account may also be used for personal mail, but is subject to the CFCC Acceptable Use Policy. Be sure to logout of your account in each service you may have opened (email, Blackboard, etc) when you leave a shared computer, otherwise it is possible for the next user of the computer to access your information.


TOBACCO USE: Tobacco use is prohibited on all CFCC property. The first offense is a warning and the second offense may result in disciplinary action.


Disclaimer on First-Day Handouts: The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of Cape Fear Community College, to make changes in course content or instructional techniques without notice or obligations.




Semester Hours Credit: 3
Course hours per week: 3
Prerequisites: ENG 111.
Corequisites: None:


Updated 05/06/2014