Humanities: 20th & 21st century

Please send me a message if you need to address any personal issues or concerns, preferred names, or accommodations.

Click here or the picture for the class Google Drive storage folder. The folder contains all the lectures, handouts, and slides used throughout all Valencia Humanities taught by Professor Perez.

What is 20th & 21st Century Humanities?

In short: Exploring the last hundred years that lead to the current "situation" we are in...

Math examines logical reasoning and problem-solving via numbers.

History investigations cause and effect via events.

But, Humanities studies how people evolve, emote, and experience life. 

An integrated examination of dominant Western culture ideas expressed in art, literature, music, philosophy, and religion. It covers a period from the turn of the century to the present. Focuses on creative forces that have shaped contemporary consciousness from the pioneering work of Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, and Wright, through the dominance of objective consciousness to today's newly emerging guiding myths.

Humanities focus on central concepts, historical development, and the fundamental nature of philosophy, architecture, music, religion, and art. Concepts from such disciplines integrated with contemporary American culture. Keep in mind the following: Who am I, and what am I going to do with this information? This course is a beginning to answering some of the most important questions in your life!

No doubt, students are feeling overwhelmed. The material is quite heavy, not to mention the obligations in other courses. But, let me reassure students that they won't make a mistake enrolling in the class. Nobody is going to fail... and nobody will leave my class with anything lower than a "B" -- if they reach out to me. Your communication with me makes or breaks you in this class. Some instructors are very hands-off, but I assure you, I'm in your business as much as you allow me.


  • While the assigned book for this class is a wealth of information, the course is equipped with lectures, video, articles, and slides are provided for all assignments. 
  • No need for the book at this time. 

Course Calendar

Spring 2023 (link contains all courses)

  • HUM2250 (Jan - May, all courses are in-person on West Campus)
  • HUM2250 ONLINE 


Spring 2023 Courses

Class Related Videos

As time permits, I will post topical videos for students on our Class Video Channel

Recent Blog Posts

Click here for a complete listing of blogs.

The most recent blogs are displayed below.

The Age of Romanticism sounds like flowers and wine, lofty ideals, and fluttering hearts -- well, in part, that is true. Romanticism was a return to simpler times when nature reigns supreme, the goodness of humanity was the goal, and the community was the heart and soul of a village. Sensations transcend economics with an assault against...

Show me the class

We utilize the Canvas LMS with tabbed content. Students will see objectives, Why it Matters, Free Materials, Instructions, Misc, and Rubrics with Examples. Student Feedback indicated the course was overwhelming, cluttered, and it was often hard to understand 'what was' the assignment. Therefore, the course has a Bottom Line and Estimated Time Completion before each task, and redesigned layout.

Example Content of a typical assignment

2.1 Assignment: The Modern Self Profile

ETC: (1) one solid day of researching, reading and writing

Bottom Line: Students will read about a person's struggle to find their identity. Then, in 2 - 3 paragraphs, discuss their struggles as compared to Modernity.


  • Analyze critical characteristics of the early 1900s Modernity Movement.

  • Identify and explain the emancipation of the individual from oppressive authority figures.

  • Discuss the different mentalities streaming from all persons about the ​​Conditions of the Modern Self.

Why it Matters:

This lesson explores the social, political, and economic changes as they moved away from the traditional ethical and political systems of the 1800s. Additionally, students will be asked to think about their own experiences of exponential movements and answer how we behave when we are thrust into an unfamiliar world that they may not perceive as safe as our home or community. One of the things you need to do as a student in a 1900s Humanities class is articulate what are the characteristics of Modernism and how they relate to forms of expression. This assignment will dive into many different aspects of communication, namely the novel Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. You will discuss this aspect of Modernity on the quiz.
Key Concepts: The New Woman, The New Negro, Emancipation of the races, sexes and individual from national identities, The Global Community, Identity and Gender Norms, Existential Angst

Materials (linked in the class)

This is a suggested list of materials to assist with the completion of the assignment. Students are free to use module slides, lectures, or any other source information.


  • Lecture: Analyzing Primary Sources


  • HISTORY OF IDEAS - Modernity (video 11 mins)

Text / Websites

  • Daughters of decadence: the New Woman in the Victorian fin de siècle (website)

  • The Invisible Man (Entire Novel) Wonderful book from the first person account of a Black man invisible to the world because he is black.

  • Freud's Model of the Human Mind (website) Details Freud's influential account of the human mind allowing individuals to seek mental help when it was frowned upon.

  • Characteristics of Modernity (website) This website explains the basics of Modernity, the autonomous self, and Modernity as hope as well as doom.


Pick a person from the list (or if you have an idea for someone else, message me)

Then, in 2 - 3 paragraphs, describe their upbringing, their lives, and conclude with the main features of their life that involve suppression, i.e how they felt trapped in the traditional views of the past. Then , describe the aspects of their lives that align with ideas of Modernity i.e their struggle to live their lives as they push forward as authentic selves despite the norm rejecting them. Finally, your personal comments on the situation as a whole as it connects to our present environment.

People of interest:

  • Kate Chopin (American)
  • Olive Schreiner (Euro-South American)
  • Mary Church Terrell (African American)
  • Zora Neale Hurston (African American)
  • Audre Lorde (A self-described black, lesbian, mother)
  • Dr. Carole Boyce Davies (Caribbean-American)
  • Bell Hooks (African American)
  • Mary Shelley (English)
  • Grace Kyungwon Hong (Asian American)
  • Alice Walker (African American)
  • Sui Sin Far (Chinese American)
  • Gabriela Mistral (Chilean)
  • Ryka Aoki (transwoman, Hawaiian- American)
  • Rafaela Chacón Nardi (Cuban)
  • Jhumpa Lahiri (American Indian-British)
  • Maxine Hong Kingston (Chinese American)
  • Porochista Khakpour (Iranian American)
  • Celeste Ng (Hongkongese American)
  • Esmé Weijun Wang (Taiwanese-American)
  • Nazanine Hozar (Iranian Canadian)
  • Anita Desai (Indian)
  • Shokoofeh Azar (Iranian-Australian)
  • Arundhati Roy (Indian)

  • Hieu Minh Nguyen (Vietnamese-American)
  • Alain Locke (African American)
  • Countee Cullen (African American)
  • Alexander Chee (South Korean)
  • Justin Chin (Malaysian-American)
  • Langston Hughes (African American)
  • Claude McKay (African American)
  • Jean Toomer (African American)
  • Eric Walrond (Afro-Caribbean)
  • Yanyi (Asian American)
  • Eduardo Porter (Latino American)
  • Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (Mexican American)
  • Roberto Lovato (Latino American)
  • Aravind Adiga (Indian)
  • Vikram Seth (Indian)

Required elements to include in your summary: (Please retain heading structure, removing the italicized explanation. Aim for a minimum of two sentences per sub-bullet required because this will help you talk it out. Then the last section is yours to express yourself.)

  1. Who did you pick and Why? (in as close to one sentence as possible, explain who you picked and why?)

  2. What was their upbringing? (describe their life, how society expected them to act.)

  3. What was their struggle? What does the person claim were the traditional views they were trying to break away from and why? Were they impacted by the continuing ideas of Modernity or a new form of Modernity?

  4. Quote (properly attributed and cited): use the person's own words to illustrate their struggle. Then, In as close to one sentence as possible, explain the quotes significance (how does it convey the person's struggle

  5. How did they break away from Tradition? (in as close to a few precise sentences as possible, explain where they are now and how they have grown into their new self.)

  6. What are your thoughts about them? observations, informed reflections, connections between this reading and their own life?

Explaining the Rubrics:

By thoroughly analyzing bullets 1 - 5, we will hit the GenEd-HUM1020-CH-V1 requirement. 'Thoroughly' means by reading your statement it was clear the dialectical method discussed in the Analyzing Primary Sources lecture was used. We made sure to accurately reiterate the content and made sure our sentences were well-rounded and didn't leave anything up for questioning. (Basically you could get up and teach it to the class now).

By inserting the Personal Commentary portion you will fulfill the "connect personal perspectives to the broader themes of the course' of the rubrics. This is your chance to offer your s l o w e d d o w n thoughts on paper. Remember you are not in a conversion, you need to express yourself in a way I would not question you later. Read it to a friend and see if they come at you for any reason.

  • (4) 95 - 100%: Dialectical Method achieved: Student completed the required length of response at a college level. Students thoroughly analyzed an individual, an event or a work of art or literature in his or her or its historical, geographical and/or cultural context. In addition, analyze a work of art or artistic expression and connect personal perspectives to the broader themes of the course. (what does that mean?)

  • (3) 89 - 94%: Dialectical Method achieved but some of the required ideas needed more explanation and detail, but the main ideas were present. Points may have been deducted for spelling and grammar. The assignment is eligible for a redo.

  • (2) 79%: More of a Socratic conversion with the post leaning heavily on opinion with no sources and little effort displayed past a sentence or two for each header. Students are advised to review the objectives and feedback from the professor. The assignment is eligible for a redo.