Northern Arizona University
College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Humanities, Arts, & Religion


Hum. 355 Section 01 - Sequence No. 29095
FALL 1999

Please read the updated Journal Requirements

Contemporary Arts and Culture is a web-enhanced course
"Web-Enhanced course: Web access and NAU DANA account required. Meeting times and building/room locations will be specified." (Northern Arizona University Fall 1999 Directory of Classes, p. 54).

If you have any questions, please discuss them with me immediately!

The URL for this course's Home Page is:
that is front.htm not html

    The catalog description of this course is: "An examination of artistic and literary developments since WWII for their humanistic meanings and implications ." This course is designed to provide an introduction to and to promote a better understanding of the relationships between the arts and contemporary technological culture. It will examine late modern and postmodern concerns.

      You will be expected to:
    1. Identify and discuss major theories, belief systems, and social roles of contemporary humanities
    2. Identify and discuss specific important styles, artists, art works and ideas relevant to the last half of the Twentieth Century
    3. Explain new ideas and criteria for defining the humanities in a postmodern era
    4. Develop a personal Web page
    5. Develop and apply criteria for critical evaluations of validity in a technological age
  • Humanities 355 is an upper-division course with an important technological (computer/internet) component.
    This is a course that requires you to attend class, pay attention, read, listen, think, be open-minded, question assumptions, express your own views, and strive to understand and to be considerate of the views of others. No matter how strongly we might disagree with another point of view, it is imperative that the dialogue be civil and controlled. Any exceptions to this will warrant an immediate conference with both the instructor and the chair of the department.
    Academic Credit. Chapter II-Page 37 of the Board Policy, 2-206
    Definition of a Unit of Credit
    An hour of work is equivalent of 50 minutes of classtime (often called a "contact hour") . . . . A minimum of 45 hours of work by each student is required for each unit of credit. Ordinarily, a course must cover a one-week period for every unit of credit given.
    At least 15 contact hours of recitation, lecture, discussion, testing or evaluation, seminar, or colloquium, as well as a minimum of 30 hours of student homework is required for each unit of credit.

    This course has 3 units of credit. There is a total of 45 contact hours scheduled for us to meet. On top of that, it is expected that you will have 90 hours of assigned homework - 6 hours each week. This is the requirement to pass a course. If you are complying with the Board of Regents requirements and are still not passing (C is a passing grade), please talk with me.
    Please refer to the most current Undergraduate Catalog for the university's policy on attendance.
    Unless there is an Institutional Excuse or a signed medical excuse, there will be no make-up examinations given or late assignments accepted. In extraordinary situations, an agreement must be reached before the scheduled date or the evaluation will receive a grade of 0 points.
    No extra credit work will be approved. Each individual is expected to keep track of her/his progress during the semester and the final grade will reflect the entire semester span.
    The Department of Humanities, Art and Religion considers cheating a serious issue and deals with it severely. Any student found cheating on an assignment will receive a zero on that assignment.
    1. Construction of individual Web Home Page = 20% of grade
    2. Journal documenting and reflecting Web page work = 11% of grade
    3. 6 Focus papers = 8% of grade
    4. 3 Examinations = 61% of grade

    Focus Papers
    Number of focus papers accepted:
    There are eight focus papers listed on the class schedule. You are responsible for any six. You decide which ones you will hand in and which ones you will not. There is no need to advise me concerning this. Please remember, only six focus papers will be accepted. These are the first six which you hand in.
    Please do not request any of the following:
    1. To turn in your paper before or after the date due. Focus papers will not be accepted early or late unless you have an institutional excuse and we have discussed the situation - the focus paper must address the subject assigned for that date
    2. To have a friend turn in your paper or to turn in your paper and leave before or during class. You must be in attendance during the full class period for the focus paper to be accepted. If you cannot be in class you cannot hand in a focus paper
    3. To have a paper already turned in not count - once they are in my possession, that is one of your focus papers
    4. To turn in more then six - don't ask to turn in more for extra credit. Please recall the extra credit policy as outlined on the syllabus.

    The following information should be placed at the top of the first page of each focus paper:
    1. your name
    2. your email address
    3. the date
    4. the number of focus papers (including the current) which you have turned in

    The paper should be:
    1. one to two pages in length, double spaced, inch margins, readable average-sized font
    2. it is not necessary to write in paragraphs or sentences. However, it must be clearly organized and understandable.

    Make certain that you address the requirements for each paper. Usually the paper is assigned at the beginning of a section (to begin an intelligent discussion of the subject) or at the end of a section (to synthesize the material). These papers are not your personal feelings and/or reactions, but should be regarded as study guides for reading the texts and preparing for the examinations. Because they may be used as effective study guides, I recommend you have two copies of each focus paper - one to turn in, the other to add information as the topic is discussed in class.

    1. Each focus paper is worth 5 points.
    2. The total number of points possible for six focus papers is 30 points.
    Because of unforeseen health problems, it has been impossible to evaluate, comment, and return your journals in a timely manner. Therefore, in order to treat each of you fairly, the following changes are being implemented:
    • The journals' format have been changed. The journal will be a two to three page summary of your reflections on doing the webpage requirement. It must include the following:
      1. How the subject of the webpage complements the course content
      2. Why you designed the webpage[s] in its completed form
        1. Did you use graphics? Why?
        2. Did you use multiple pages? Why?
        3. Is most of the information visual or textural? Why?
      3. How the webpage assignment differs from a term paper assignment
        1. Were there differences in researching the content?
        2. What role does aesthetics play in your design of a term paper, of a webpage?
        3. Are there differences in how content is communicated between the two media? If so, what are they and why?
    • Your must attached a self-evaluation of your webpage project to the end of the journal. See me for a fill-in-the-blank evaluation matrix if you do not have one.
    • Your journal should be typed with one inch margins and normal size font.
    • The journal is due on the day of the final examination, Thursday, December 16 at 10:00 am
    Due Dates:
    Your journal is to be handed in for evaluation at the Final Examination meeting on Dec. 16.

    The journal has a value of 30 points.

    There are three scheduled examinations - Oct. 7 - Nov. 4 - Dec. 16. The examinations will be reflective of the texts, focus papers, and class discussions. They will vary from objective evaluations to essays.

    Each examination is worth 75 points. This includes the non-comprehensive final.

    Web Pages
    Each student is expected to construct a Web page. The content, evaluation criteria, and other specifics have been decided upon by the class
    • Ideas and Content - Weight=5
      1. Presents a critical and comprehensive analysis based on research
      2. Provides clear, concise, and relevant examples for assertions and comments
      3. Provides evidence of an active integration and analysis of issues
      4. Communicates ideas in clear, structured, accessible language
      5. Correct spelling, grammar, and usage of English
    • Organization - Weight=4
      1. Inviting opening page which draws visitor inside
      2. Details are logical and effective
      3. Layout of pages provides good direction
      4. Each page begins and ends with a clear transition
      5. Easy to navigate through the pages
    • Presentation - Weight=3
      1. Class webpage clearly identified and easy to find
      2. Backgrounds and text work well together
      3. Graphical elements are consistent
      4. Visual add to the core ideas
      5. Links are appropriate and defined
      6. Your name and last update of pages visiable
    • Technical - Weight=2
      1. Links and images work properly
      2. Linked sites are active
      3. Works on all browsers
      4. Does not require extra plug-ins to communicate

    Web page construction has the possibility of 75 points.

    Your final grade is based on the percentage earned and grades are assigned accordingly.
    We are starting on a trip. The destination has been defined by the catalog description of the course. This syllabus and semester schedule are the itinerary for that trip. A great deal of thought has been given as to how to reach our destination. However, as with any trip worth taking, let's hope that we will encounter exciting side trips and unexpected detours. Let's not be blinded tourists adhereing without thought or interest to the guidebook. If the opportunity arises for exciting and enriching side-excursions, let's be flexible enough to realize that any syllabus is negotiable!

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    Send questions or comments toJohn S. Acker (
    Last update: 8/11/99