Course: ENGL 2150Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: Intellectual Traditions I
Semester Approved: Summer 2021
Five-Year Review Semester: Spring 2026
End Semester: Spring 2027
Catalog Description: This course is an integrative exploration of the intellectual traditions of the ancient and medieval eras. The emphasis of the course is on reading seminal literary works, but introduces other interdisciplinary approaches such as art, architecture, philosophy, religion, and mathematics. It fulfills a HU general education requirement. This class is open to all students and fills an honors program requirement.
General Education Requirements: Humanities (HU)
Semesters Offered: Fall
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Justification: Students in this class will learn about the advancements of intellectual thought in antiquity through the medieval periods (about 1500 CE). This course is designed for students in letters and sciences who intend to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a BA or BS degree. This course is similar to HONOR 2101 at the University of Utah and HNRS 2110 at Weber State University. Although not a majors class, the class prepares students for BA and BS degrees as well as for honors programs in Utah's four-year universities. The Humanities are a group of academic disciplines that study the many ways by which humans have attempted to understand themselves and their world. At Snow College, the Humanities focus on cultural traditions that are expressed largely through text or which have a strong textual component; languages, literature, and philosophy. The method by which the Humanities study culture are at once analytical and interpretive, objective and subjective, historical and aesthetic.
General Education Outcomes:
1: A student who completes the GE curriculum has a fundamental knowledge of human cultures and the natural world. Students will be able to address key intellectual traditions from the ancient to medieval eras from a variety of perspectives. While students will access these movements primarily through representative texts, students will also examine art, philosophy, economics, and science in order to achieve a fuller understanding of each period and their associated movements. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these concepts through class discussion, written responses, exams, and presentations.
2: A student who completes the GE curriculum can read and research effectively within disciplines. Students will be able to craft an original arguments centered on an idea presented through a class text and then conduct quality, academically rigorous research in order to support their claim. Students will demonstrate their ability to respond critically to a text with an original claim through the completion of at least one academic essay that is analytical, interpretive, and argumentative in nature. Students will also have opportunities for critical thinking and information delivery through written responses such as journaling, short essays, and essay questions on exams.
3: A student who completes the GE curriculum can draw from multiple disciplines to address complex problems. Students will examine complex themes and ideas from the ancient through medieval eras through texts from a variety of disciplines, including art, philosophy, economics, science, and literature. Students will demonstrate their ability to think critically about complex ideas from multiple disciplines through such assignments as in-class discussions, journaling, short essays, and exams.
4: A student who completes the GE curriculum can reason analytically, critically, and creatively. Students will critically evaluate the presence of key ideas and philosophies from representative texts, placing these ideas and philosophies in the context of the time period(s) and key movement(s) in order to better understand the connection between movements, time periods, and the related field. Students will examine the various ways these ideas and philosophies are presented in the text, better understanding literary craft. Students will demonstrate their ability to make these cross-discipline connections through close-text reading and analysis, class discussions, written responses, and exams.
5: A student who completes the GE curriculum can communicate effectively through writing and speaking. Students will be able to contribute to the overall understanding of the intellectual traditions by participating in class discussion and a variety of written responses. Students will have the opportunity for instructor feedback to written responses. Students will demonstrate their ability to communicate through oral class discussions, presentations, and written assignments.
General Education Knowledge Area Outcomes:
1: Through the interdisciplinary examination of key intellectual traditions from ancient/classical times through the medieval period (about 1500 CE), students will engage in big-picture questions concerning issues like culture, social reform, class, race, and gender. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these key movements and their effects on the human experience through class discussions, written responses, and exams. Through the interdisciplinary examination of key intellectual traditions from ancient/classical times through the medieval period (about 1500 CE), students will engage in big-picture questions concerning issues like culture, social reform, class, race, and gender. Students will demonstrate their understanding of these key movements and their effects on the human experience through class discussions, written responses, and exams.
2: Understand how knowledge is created through the study of language systems, literature, and/or philosophy. Through close-text reading of representative texts, as well as various interdisciplinary representations, students will understand how knowledge is created, as well as the ways in which knowledge is accepted, challenged, and altered. Students will articulate their understanding of the production and progression of knowledge in the ancient and medieval eras through class discussions, written responses, and exams. They will also articulate their understanding and address questions via opportunities for peer-to-peer discussion in small groups.
3: Understand cultural traditions within an historical context and make connections with the present. Students will understand cultural traditions from around the world within historical contexts, as presented through representative texts and a variety of other fields such as philosophy, art, and economics. Students will demonstrate their ability to identify and critically analyze these cultural traditions through class discussions, written responses, presentations, and exams.
4: Critically read and respond to primary texts (original, uninterpreted) from a Humanities’ perspective. Representative texts will provide the foundation for understanding the historical periods considered in the class. Students will read and critically analyze primary texts representative of each period from a variety of world cultures, and will demonstrate this ability via a variety of written responses, class discussion, and exams.
5: Write effectively within the Humanities discipline to analyze and form critical and aesthetic judgments. Students will be able to read, interpret, and analyze representative texts in order to articulate the nuances of the various periods. Students will demonstrate their ability to analyze and form critical aesthetic judgments through a variety of written assignments, including at least one formal academic essay that incorporates interpretation, analysis, and argument. Students will be taught the writing process and will demonstrate their proficiency through planning, drafting, and revising their writing.
While precise content in ENGL 2150 may vary based on the texts adopted and the individual preferences of the instructor, the course will include entire seminal works created from the ancient/classical period through medieval period (roughly 1500 CE). Instructors may choose texts from a variety of cultures and traditions around the world, and texts that represent a variety of disciplines and disciplinary approaches. Course content will represent diverse cultures and ideas throughout these historical periods. Through lecture- and discussion-based formats, students may examine such themes as homecoming stories, descents into the underworld from various world mythologies, epic and lyric art from Europe and Africa, beauty, and religious and philosophical ideas from western and eastern thought, and they may read literature or other texts in the context of these themes. The course will emphasize close reading, historical influences, and contextual and textual analysis, synthesis, interpretation, critical thinking, and application.
Key Performance Indicators:
Informal writing, such as in-class responses, journaling, and short essays 20 to 30%
Examinations 10 to 20%
Formal writing assignments 30 to 40%
Presentations 10 to 20%
Class/group discussion 20 to 30%
Representative Text and/or Supplies:
Precise content may vary based on the texts adopted and the individual preferences of the instructor but should include entire seminal works from around the world created between the ancient and medieval (about 1500 CE) periods. Instructors may also choose to select a group of texts representative of the key movements or use an appropriate anthology. The following are examples of representative works:
Homer, The Illiad
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Dante, The Divine Comedy
Milton, Paradise Lost
Shikibu, Tale of Genji
Cervantes, Don Quixote
Old and New Testaments
Plato, The Republic
Course content will be taught according to the strengths and preferences of individual instructors and may include the following: class discussions, student-led discussion and presentations, interactive experiences, project-based learning, and service learning. This course seeks to promote inclusivity through content (including diverse and interdisciplinary texts and themes from around the world) and through active instruction methods such as intellectual engagement with texts, freewriting and pairing, group discussion, class discussion, scaffolded assignments, etc. These methods are intended to include students from a variety of educational, racial, gender, sexual orientation, etc., backgrounds, to help students learn through their own strengths as individuals.
Maximum Class Size: 20
Optimum Class Size: 15