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Butler Community College
Don Koke
Fine Arts/Humanities Department
Fall 1997
Humanities Through the Arts
Course Outline

HU110. The humanities are approached through a study of seven major arts: film, drama, music, literature, painting, sculpture, and architecture. Each of these arts is considered from the perspectives of historical development, the elements used in creating works of art, meaning and form expressed, and criticism or critical evaluation. The course is designed to help students raise and answer questions about their individual and societal expressions of values.

Martin, F. David, and Lee A. Jacobus. The Humanities Through The Arts. Fifth edition. McGraw-Hill, 1997.

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the historical influences of political, cultural, and scientific values upon art;
  2. Describe the basic elements and tools an artist uses to create a work of art;
  3. Differentiate the ways of "seeing" and interpreting a work of art;
  4. Explain the impact of the arts on society and self.
  Lesson 1: The Quest for Self
  The student will be able to:
  1. Select the appropriate definition of artistic form.
  2. State a relationship between the arts and values.
  3. State a relationship between concrete images and abstract ideas.
  4. Appreciate the importance of one's participation in a work of art.
  5. List four essential characteristics of a work of art and suggest some relationships among them.
Unit One: Film
  Lesson 2: Twentieth Century Legacy
  The student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of film as a unique art form by listing three techniques used by D.W. Griffith in producing his motion pictures.
  2. Name at least two significant directors in addition to Griffith and explain their contributions to film.
  3. Contrast the subject matter and techniques of the earliest motion pictures with later ones.
  4. List two reasons film is accused of being a business rather than an art.
  5. Understand social and economic conditions prevailing in America that influenced the development of film in the 1900s.
  6. Appreciate the impact upon sicial belief and custom that is possible through film.
Lesson 3: The Dynamic Illusion
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Describe how photography, lighting, and editing contribute to the illusions presented by film.
  2. Determine whether or not frame composition is crucial to artistic success of a film.
  3. Describe various aspects of a subject's or object's motion.
  4. Identify various types of camera motion.
  5. Appreciate how each type of motion may elicit responses from the participant.
  6. Consider the point at which technique may interfere with the overall effect of film.
  7. Analyze the viewer response to visual and sound elements of film.
Lesson 4: Not Just the Great Escape
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Describe the "escape" reaction as a response to the motion picture and identify a possible contrasting reaction.
  2. Understand why film exerts such powerful influence over potential responses.
  3. Discuss two problems that make it difficult to explore form and meaning to the motion picture.
  4. Name at least six qualities or elements that give structure and meaning to the motion picture and briefly explain their contribution to meaning.
  5. Explain film's unique capabiliity to portray space and time relationships, according to Erwin Panofsky.
  6. Give examples of the sound-visual "principle of coexpressibility" stated by Panofsky.
  7. State an essential difference between a stage drama and a film.
Lesson 5: Seeing All There Is
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Appreciate the importance of change and growth in one's critical skills.
  2. Identify three types of criticism.
  3. List several aspects of film content that may be described in addition to the narrative story or dialogue.
  4. Perform a simple critical description for one film.
  5. Identify a significant difference between the arts of film and literature.
  6. State one way in which increased critical skills may add to enjoyment of art.
Unit Two: Drama
  Lesson 6: An Imitation of Life
  The student will be able to :
  1. Identify one characteristic of comedy and two characteristics of tragedy.
  2. Name two outstanding ages of drama and a representative artist and play from each period.
  3. Briefly summarize the plots of three plays studied in this lesson.
  4. Appreciate the type of realism that is developed within a drama and suggest the limitations within which this realism must be presented.
  5. Define an archetype and recognize an example of an archetypal pattern.
Lesson 7: Nucleus of a Story
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Name the elements of tragedy as identified by Aristotle.
  2. Appreciate the importance of belief in fate, or an organized cosmic order, to classical tragedy.
  3. List the three critical moments of "tragic rhythm" as described in the textbook.
  4. Give contemporary (modern) examples that parallel Old Comedy and New Comedy.
  5. Distinguish between tragedy, comedy, and tragicomedy.
  6. Define "type character."
  7. Describe the differences among the Greek, Elizabethan, and modern theaters.
Lesson 8: Meaning for Every Age
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Describe the general structure and arrangement of the Elizabethan Theatre and give examples of how various structures of the Theatre were used in a drama.
  2. Define the terms "aside" and "soliloquy," explaining what each represents in a drama.
  3. Explain the frequent use of the "chorus" and the "epilogue" in Elizabethan drama.
  4. Identify elements of modern tragicomedy in Trifles
  5. Explain how tragicomic ending differ from comic or tragic endings.
  6. Understand the power of dramatic irony in tragicomedy.
Lesson 9: Great Age Ahead?
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Select the appropriate definitions for descriptive criticism and interpretive criticism.
  2. Suggest why interpretive criticism requires more knowledge than descriptive criticism.
  3. Define "detail relationship" and "structural relationship."
  4. Anticipate varying interpretations from different critics.
  5. Recognize an example of interpretive criticism.
  6. Suggest a reason for the treatment of social problems in drama.
  7. Apply descriptive or interpretive criticism to a play of your choice.
Unit Three: Music
  Lesson 10: Age-old Search for Meaning
  The student will be able to:
  1. Identify the years and some composers associated with several music periods.
  2. Describe the various approaches to harmony and consonance typical of different eras of music.
  3. Identify some developments in musical form and technique associated with the Baroque period.
  4. Appreciate the scope of musical history and the wealth of listening experiences availabe from all periods of Western music.
  5. Appreciate the lasting popularity of the opera form.
Lesson 11: Emotion and Feeling in Sound
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Define the following terms: tone, consonance, dissonance, rhythm, tempo, melody, harmony, and dynamics.
  2. Describe several significant features of musical forms that treat tonality in different ways.
  3. List alternative subject matter that has been suggested for music.
  4. Appreciate the interplay of elements that, together, create a meaningful musical work
Lesson 12: Meaning through Structure
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Select the correct description of these musical forms: theme and variations, rondo, fugue, sonata, fantasia, and symphony.
  2. Identify the correct meaning of basic tempo markings.
  3. Identify the historical period of musical development in which Bach lived and worked.
  4. Enjoy a better appreciation of the perfection and potential for meaning in Bach's works.
Lesson 13: Listening for the Unexpected
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Briefly describe Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, in Eb major, the Eroica
  2. Identify the form of criticism applied in the textbook to Beethoven's Eroica.
  3. Apply some of the skills that may be employed to listen creatively to music.
  4. State a definition of "modern music."
  5. Identify at least one reason new music often is unpopular.
  6. Appreciate the need of each age for music that expresses the uniqueness of the age.
Unit Four: Literature
  Lesson 14: From Words, Truth
  The student will be able to:
  1. Understand the origins of literature from spoken language.
  2. Identify at least three distinctive qualities of literature that are more evident when read aloud than when read silently.
  3. Recognize five historical literary periods and associate an author or work with each period.
  4. Identify an attitude or value important to each of four ofthe literary periods discussed in this lesson.
  5. Appreciate the role of literature in questioning or clarifying the values held by a society.
Lesson 15: The Synthesis of Poetry
  The student will be able to:  
  1. List three characteristics of poetry.
  2. Identify three elements used in most poetry.
  3. Define the term "lyric poem."
  4. Appreciate the aspect of feelings and emotions present in a lyric poem.
  5. Relate several significant aspects of Frost's thought and life.
Lesson 16: The Story Beyond
  The student will be able to:  
  1. State a simple definition of "literature."
  2. Define the "point of view" and identify an example of each basic type.
  3. List four basic techniques of characterization.
  4. Define atmosphere, tone, and style.
  5. Describe narrative forms of literature.
  6. Define symbolism and be sensitive to the tentative quality of literary symbols.
  7. Appreciate and be more sensitve tot he complexity that may be found within even a straightforward, short work of fiction.
Lesson 17: Behind the Words
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Differentiate the subject matter and content of three poems.
  2. Identify examples of imagery, symbolism, and other poetic elements in the poems and describe how their uses support the poet's meaning.
  3. Demonstrate participation in a poem and identify the emotional content theme of the work.
  4. Appreciate more fully an author's intent in a given piece of literature.
Unit Five: Painting
  Lesson 18: Visions through the Ages
  The student will be able to:
  1. Appreciate the value of applying visual skills to enjoyment of an object in and of itself.
  2. State the purpose of painted frescoes in Egyptian tombs.
  3. Identify some characteristics of Greek and Roman painting.
  4. Contrast the subject matter and treatment of painters of the early Christian church with those of the Renaissance.
  5. Recall names of some significant painters from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern periods.
  6. Appreciate more fully the realities that painters of each age have attempted to reveal.
Lesson 19: Creating a Point of View
  The student will be able to:  
  1. Name three primary elements of the art of painting.
  2. Understand to what extent an artist's point of view is a decisive factor in the use of elements to create art.
  3. State two means by which the artist may modify color.
  4. Name two artists whose use of the line element differ markedly.
  5. Identify what is meant by "space" in painting.
  6. Appreciate the principle that painting is never solely representational.
  7. Recognize the differences and similarities between abstract and representational painting.
Lesson 20: Rousseau--The Lovely Dream
  The student will be able to:  

Identify the productive years of Rousseau an an artist.
Name and describe some of his more notable paintings.
Select from a list significant influences upon Rousseau's subject matter.
Appreciate better the style and content of Rousseau's later works.
Appreciate the influence of Rousseau upon later surrealist and modern painters.

  Lesson 21: "...Things We Have Passed..."
  The student will be able to:

  1. Identify distinctive features of three Medieval-Renaissance paintings, indicating features that show increased attention to human values.
  2. State a criterion for differentiating between representational and nonrepresentational art.
  3. Identify simple descriptions of several modern style of painting, such as Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Constructivism, and Abstract Expressionism.
  4. Appreciate how small details may significantly reveal content of a painting.
  5. Respond to significant style characteristics of a modern painting with increased understanding of the artist's purpose.
Unit Six: Sculpture

Lesson 22: Mirror of Man's Being
The student will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the importance of the tactile sense in the perception of sculpture.
  2. Compare the different experiences involved with perceiving -- or participating with"--a sculpture and perceiving a painting.
  3. Contrast the subject matter of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculpture.
  4. Identify a significant difference in the subject matter of sculpture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
  5. Suggest two reasons for the sculptor's preference for the human body as a subject.
  6. List at least four modern innovations or experimental directions taken in the art of sculpture.
  7. Name one important sculptor from the Renaissance, Baroque, nineteenth century, and modern periods, and identify at least one work by each sculptor.
Lesson 23: Elements of Dimension
The student will be able to:
  1. Recognize and describe the following types of sculpture: sunken (incised) relief, surface (flat) relief, low (bas) relief, high relief, sculpture in the round (monolithic or free-standing sculpture).
  2. Identify a basic point of separation between the arts of sculpture, painting, and architecture.
  3. Appreciate, as a participant, the importance of "sculptural consciousness" in the creation of sculpture in the round.
  4. Identify a limitation of materials used by sculptors and identify at least one method by which the limitation can be overcome.
  5. Identify several examples of sculpture with their creators.
  6. Appreciate the fact that meaning may be derived from abstractions of representation or figurative subjects.
Lesson 24: Meaning through the Body's Form.
The student will be able to:
  1. Describe the emotional background and content of The Burghers of Calais.
  2. Relate examples of critical rejection of Rodin during his career, suggesting some of the features that made his contemporaries uncomfortable with his sculpture.
  3. Briefly describe the plan for The Gates of Hell and one or more of the figures designed for this work.
  4. Name at least two major emotions Rodin portrayed in his works.
  5. Cite examples of subject matter Rodin employed to express his concepts of beauty.
  6. Appreciate some of the qualities of Rodin's works that were considered excesses by his contemporary critics.
  7. Describe two sculpting techniques.
Lesson 25: Most Difficult of Arts
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify the two sources of shapes listed by Moore.
  2. List two possible functions of holes in sculpture.
  3. Differentiate between the terms "size" and "scale" as used by Moore.
  4. Appreciate the significance of shapes in abstract or surrealist sculpture.
  5. Relate characteristics of a work to styles that exemplify truth to materials or protest against technology.
  6. Feel greater sensitivity to the purpose of the modern sculptor, particularly in abstract work.
VIII. Unit Seven: Architecture

Lesson 26: The Evolving Skyline
The student will be able to:

  1. Identify examples of architecture representative of other cultures.
  2. Identify examples of architecture representative of the artistic styles of other times.
  3. List several features of modern skyscraper construction.
  4. Define the concepts "centered space" and "configurational center."
  5. Appreciate the importance of a structure that reveals something about the space it contains and the activities within and about it.
Lesson 27: From Earth to Sky
The student will be able to:
  1. Define earth-rooted architecture, and explain how site, gravity, and centrality are essential elements of earth-rooted architecture.
  2. List the characteristics of sky-oriented architecture.
  3. Define earth-resting architecture.
  4. Appreciate the integrating possibilities of architecture, particularly for the area beyond the building itself.
  5. Make a preliminary evaluation of a building to determine if its elements combine to reveal its contents or purpose.
Lesson 28: Meaning in a Poet's Vision
The student will be able to:
  1. Describe the architect's relationship to society and its values, according to the statements made in the text by Abell and Panofsky.
  2. List the four "necessities" textbook authors Martin and Jacobus claim architecture must meet if it is to be artistically meaningful.
  3. Understand the functional aspects of architecture.
  4. Appreciate the ways in which architecture can be revelatory of the past.
  5. Name some of the most notable works of Antonio Gaudi.
  6. List three important influences upon his life that can be seen in Gaudi's work.
  7. Identify unique characteristics of two of Gaudi's works.
Lesson 29: The Shepherd of Space
The student will be able to:
  1. List some of the basic artistic insights (or "geneses") of the architect.
  2. Identify which of the insights are unique to architecture as opposed to other arts.
  3. Compare Ponti's "genesis of architecture" with the elements of architecture discuss in Lesson 27.
  4. Identify some of the problems encountered in city planning.
  5. Speculate on an architect's consideration of psychological and emotional values while participating in architecture as art.
IX. Epilogue

Lesson 30: Continuing the Quest for Self.
The last lesson has neither specific textbook assignments nor learning objectives.

Methods of Instruction
The following teaching/learning activities will assist students to achieve course objectives: lecture, instructor-led class discussion, field trips, demonstration, audio-visual presentations, and textbook reading assignments.

Methods of Evaluation
Methods of evaluation may include the following: tests, both essay and objective, daily work, written composition, and class participation.


  1. Telecourse Text:  Study Guide - Humanities Through the Arts, Humanities Through the Arts
  2. Methods of Instruction:  Independent study of audio/visual materials augmented by text and study guide; collaboration and participation with class members and faculty via available means. Faculty role is facilitator of learning experience.
Students with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills are encouraged and have the responsibility to contact their instructor, in a timely fashion, regarding reasonable accommodation needs.