Valencia College

Click here on Student Resources to view Powerpoint slides, lectures, and examples of assignments. 

Introduction to Western Humanities
20th Century Western Humanities

The overall objective of the course:

Students will learn how to examine individual works of the humanities that have been shaped by their historical and cultural events, and in reverse, how historical and cultural events shaped the humanities. Students will analyze how the values, beliefs, institutions, and actions influence the structure of mankind as seen in the humanities.

Getting started on the course and where the first session will be held.

Each course at Valencia is a hybrid course, that is, typically we meet face-to-face in the classroom but there are times when we do not meet in class but online. Handed out on the first day of class, emailed to student's official school email, and posted under the tab Course Schedule is a schedule to help keep students organized.

Major Learning Outcomes

Basic introduction to humanities focuses on central concepts, historical development and 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? What am I going to do with this information? You can make it in the world and here's how. This course is a beginning to answering some of the most important questions in your life; yes, the Humanities, yes you!

  • CULTURAL & HISTORICAL UNDERSTANDING: Demonstrate an understanding of the diverse traditions of the world, and an individual's place in it.
  • ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY: Demonstrate awareness of personal responsibility in one's civic, social, and academic life.
  • CRITICAL THINKING: Effectively analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and apply information and ideas from diverse sources and disciplines.

You can buy a hard copy from the school bookstore or purchase an eBook online:

Landmarks in Humanities

Note* You do not need the most current edition. If you purchase a previous edition, it is the student's responsibility to line up the current edition pages/topics with their previous edition. Please let the instructor know if you purchase an older edition. If the students elect not to purchase their book, it is their responsibility to research all the topics on their own. The quiz questions do not come directly from the textbook readings but are related to the topics from the book.

Course Schedule:

The 16-week course moves at a slower pace usually spending several weeks on one module whereas the 8-week course covers one module in its entirety per week. 

Module One: Orientation

Introduces students to the Humanities Department, discusses their learning styles, and how to read and analyze a Primary Source. 

Module Two: Ancient Civilizations. 

African Empires: Africa opens with a look at how they formed all of humanity. Students examine the ancient Antiquities civilizations through the art, policies, and social structure that characterized their cultural.

Greek and Roman cultures. The Greeks and the Romans open with a look at how they formed their society and see if we can learn about their culture via their successes and failures. 

Abrahamic Religion. Students spent the first few weeks reading through the basics of the Ancient world and its impact on humanity. Now, students will survey humanities religious history and evaluate the impact it had on modern-day civilizations. Students will research specific religious question which they will turn in at the end of the week online. During our second session of the class, students will conduct an exploration interview on a student. 

Module Three: Middle Ages

The Middle Ages. Understanding why religion plays a central role in our lives is the focus of this week's reading. Atheist, Agnostic, or believer, we are all affected by the spiritual side of nature. It is our task this week to uncover the role of religion within society and how we connect to it. Further, how did Christianity race to the front of the line and dominate the world for thousands of years?

The Renaissance and Baroque reaction. The gentlemen, and rarely mentioned women, of the Renaissance, were historically curious about the world them. They worked tirelessly to restore ancient manuscripts, often, "devoting their entire lives to the recovery, copying, and editing of Latin & Greek manuscripts (pg.183 Course Textbook)" to preserve and restore them to their former glory. Scholars credit Persian Philosopher Avicenna with the sole preservation of over half of Aristotle's manuscripts on medicine, science, biology, logic, and rhetoric. The Renaissance was a wild exploration outside the gripes of Catholicism and into the world of nature and the human experience. This week involves a journey through the unrestrained and unhedged nature of humanity. 

The Rise of Reason. This week students explored the critical thinking skill of Persuasive Expression, which is one of the hardest skills of critical thinking - express yourself intelligently but forcefully! This week students will design an oral presentation in the manner of Science & Reason over that of emotions & passions. Along with the oral presentation, students will submit a written version of their speech. The Age of Enlightenment is an exciting time when humanity refused to live on Blind Faith alone and questioned EVERYTHING!

Module Four: Modernity and Postmodernism

Age of Romanticism. The Age of Romanticism reflected on history when a few key moments completely changed the face of human history. For example, the acceptance of Christianity as the dominant religion changed the face of Rome and Western Civilization. Then, the emergence of Reason completely destroyed the authority of Christianity. Now, we've come to the final age that transformed the world as we know it, and you, yourself, are a direct product of that Age of Romanticism.


Fin De Siecle. The Renaissance brought us rebirth and progress but with that progress comes deep reflection, sorrow, and confusion. As we survey that last few decades of our history, in terms of the human experience, we begin our look at the Age of Materialism and Modernism and all the sorrow that it brings human reflection.


Metanoia Era. If the late 1800s/early 1900s were a person, they'd be a rebellious teenager! The ideas and events coming out of the Age of Modernism have been deemed an all-out assault on all conservative and traditional values, norms, and beliefs. This week you will read about the start of your modern history and the bricks that laid the foundation for your thought formation. As we survey that last few decades of our history, in terms of the human experience, we begin our look at the Age of Materialism and Modernism and all the sorrow that it brings human reflection.