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HON 172 - The Human Event

Pamela Stewart

Spring 2003

Phone: (480) 727-6720 Office Hours: Irish 213

Email: W 1:00 - 3:00p, F 1:00-2:00p

and by appointment

**Please put HON172 in the subject area on all email**

Required Texts

Voltaire, Candide (NY: Bantam, 1981).

Hunt, Lynn, The French Revolution and Human Rights: A Reader (Bedford, 1996).

Shelley, Mary, Frankenstein (NY: Bantam, 1984).

Lenin, Vladmir, Imperialism (NY: International, 1993).

Chekhov, Anton Pavlovich, Three Sisters in Chekov: The Major Plays (Signet, 2001).

Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed (Harper, 1993).

Carles, Emilie, A Life of Her Own (NY: Penguin, 1992). This memoir is occasionally available under the title, A Wild Herb Soup.

Larson, Rent (Dreamworks, 1996). This is a CD with the lyrics included. As with all sources for this class, you may certainly use your own copies of of this CD; however, the lyrics must be included for the purposes of this class.

Other required on-line sources/readings are listed under the assignment due date in the syllabus.

This is the second semester of a two-semester, interdisciplinary course, designed as an introduction to honors studies at ASU. Texts produced by humans from the 16th century to the present provide the focus of this semester’s course. Approximately 80% of in-class time will consist of student discussions of these texts. Students are expected to have previously read and evaluated the assigned texts for each class. These texts include examples of writings and art, representing a range of human experience, ideas, practices, and beliefs, which have affected historical change and at times, present-day experience. Historical texts will be the basis from which students will gain experience in analyzing written, visual, and verbal communication. Students’ grades will be based on essays, in-class verbal analysis and participation, participation in the web board, and short in-class assignments.


One of the challenges faced by people today is how to accommodate pluralism while simultaneously maintaining societal order. Few texts evaluated will literally represent that particular problem. However, by critically analyzing these texts students can view how humans in a variety of times and places have wrestled with what societal order might be, whom it might benefit, how the present implementation of order might be challenged, and whether humans are truly individuals or members of societal orders or castes. Understanding human experience beyond one’s own, increases students’ cultural background and reveals the complexities of otherwise ‘simple’ problems and solutions. Additionally, by evaluating historical texts in verbal and written form, students improve skills in critical thinking, expression of ideas, and application of those skills in developing opinions in wide-ranging areas.


The total number of points possible for the semester is 200, with possible consideration for improvement. The points/% are distributed in the following manner.

Essay #1 40 points (20%)

“ #2 40 “ (20%)

“ #3 50 “ (25%)

Text Responses/quizzes/web board 30 “ (15%)

Prepared in-class participation 40 “ (20%)

TOTAL 200 points (100%)

All essays and a high percentage of relevant written work and class participation must be completed in order to earn credit for this class. Incompletes will not be given except under the most extreme and unanticipated circumstances. The cumulative nature of the points in this class can not be stressed enough. In-class participation includes mental and physical attendance and relevant, prepared discussion participation. Bringing relevant books and materials to class is mandatory. I strongly urge students to contact me as soon as they realize they are having any particular difficulties so that problems can be addressed and resolved early. I structure this course so that one poor grade or a slow start does not necessarily and directly result in a poor grade in the class. However, it is the student’s responsibility to contact me when problems arise. Learning how (not what) to think, write, and otherwise communicate effectively are skills, not simply gifts one is either born with or not. Improvement is not only considered, but anticipated. Students should be familiar with the Student Academic Grievance Procedure, available in MSWord format at or if preferred, from the webpage


Attendance is expected and required. More than three absences results in the loss of 25% of a student’s participation grade. More than 4 absences results in the reduction of a student’s participation grade by 5% for each additional absence. More than 7 absences results in an E in the course. Tardies will be considered when determining a student’s final participation grade. Consistent tardies will be counted towards absences. Should a student encounter a significant problem that will affect attendance, please contact me as soon as possible. Do not miss class because an assignment is due and/or you are unprepared. If you miss class, the assignment is still late and you have missed participation and attendance points. However, any more than rare unpreparedness for class will result in significantly lower grades, with the possibility of an E if the problem is not immediately corrected.

When given, quizzes will be at the beginning of classes and when assigned, text responses will be due at the beginning of class. If a student misses all of a quiz, an absence is recorded, even if the student arrives later. Any evidence of ‘helping’ other students or receiving ‘help’ from others in my sections of HON 172 during quizzes or other written work will result in a zero for that assignment. If it occurs again, the student will receive an EX - failure due to academic dishonesty - for the class. No make-up quizzes are allowed.

Essays provide 65% of a student’s grade in this class. No outside works are allowed as essays are not research assignments and information presented in essays, including thesis, evidence, and written communication, is expected to represent a student’s evaluation of the texts, not the work of professional scholars or other secondary sources. More information will be provided later, but the basis of all three, 1500-1800-word essay grades will be the degree of success a students exhibits in

1) arriving at a reasonable thesis/argument, which answers a how or why question

2) using evidence from the texts examined, supporting the thesis

3) communicating that information in written form in a manner that clearly and coherently analyzes the material and indicates appropriate English grammar usage

As most, if not all, students will have previously taken HON 171, writing quality should demonstrate ongoing improvement over the semester. If your essay grades from last semester did not indicate improved mastery of writing skills, please consult the Human Event Writing Center long before the first paper is due.

The Human Event Writing Center will offer small-group workshops and individual tutoring on writing academic essays for HON 171/172 courses. The goal is to help you improve your life-long writing and critical thinking skills. Tutors will be available in Best-C 114B for 25 minute appointments. Evening appointments in the Honors College Computing Lab will be available by appointment only. Check the website at for updated tutoring and workshop schedules, appointment and staff information, and relevant links.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to be familiar with the ASU’s policies related to academic dishonesty. All students are responsible for their own integrity in the college classroom. Students are prohibited from cheating, lying, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, modifying any academic work for the purpose of obtaining additional credit after such work has been submitted to a supervising faculty member except as approved, and attempting to commit any of these or similar acts. If a student is unclear about the meaning of any of these or other prohibitions, ask me. You are ultimately responsible for your own actions and there may be other actions, not specifically mentioned in this paragraph that are nonetheless covered as aspects of academic dishonesty. For purposes of this class, plagiarism is defined as any attempt to represent the work of others as one’s own. It is not limited to quotes, and can apply to summaries and ideas - especially those presented to me in written form with incorrect or no citation.

Assignments are considered on-time if turned in to my mailbox at the BHC reception area before class, or in class on the due date. Under exceptional and pre-arranged circumstances, a student may be allowed to fax their assignment to me on or before its due date. Allow time for computer and printing problems. If an unforeseen problem develops, disallowing a hard copy of the assignment to be turned in on time, I will accept an emailed attachment prior to class as a place-holder only. I will not grade attachments; their purpose is to verify their timely completion only. I must have a hard-copy in my possession for grading. Any hard copies of emailed attachments received after 5PM on their due date are considered late. Anyone who turns in a hard copy of their assignment after class but before 5PM on the due date will receive a 2-point deduction of the assignment’s grade. Late assignments will receive a 5% deduction for each day overdue. No assignment will be accepted 7 or more days after its due date.

Discussions will provide opportunities for students to be verbally challenging and challenged, thoughtful, analytical, and to develop skills necessary in 1) arriving at a thesis; 2) development of evidence in support of a thesis; and 3) written and verbal communication. Much of discussions will center around issues and ideas that are not essentially issues of right/wrong or good/bad. Students should expect their ideas and words to be respectfully challenged. Challenges and responses to them should incorporate evidence from the texts and their historical contexts, further supporting one’s argument. Personal attacks of any kind will not be tolerated. The classroom will be a safe place and students may need to re-consider, even re-learn former biases and the way they display them. If a student exhibits severely troublesome behavior, s/he will be verbally warned. If the behavior continues, s/he will be told to leave. If the behavior is ongoing, the college administration will be notified and an immediate grade of E in the class is possible.

If at any time a student believes I have been inconsiderate or worse, I would encourage you to email me. If you are aware of inappropriate behavior in our class that I do not seem to be taking into account, again, please let me know. Be assured these conversations have no effect on a student’s grade.

Web board participation will be regularly assessed. Web site: A Howto site will be established at howto.html Students should focus comments and analysis on the texts assigned, although certainly the relevance of historical issues in our present world are appropriate. However, base your comments in the texts. All students are required to keep their comments focused on the issues and texts under discussion. All above requirements for classroom discussion behavoir apply to Web Board discussions. Therefore, I reserve the right to edit and delete posts, as well as end discussion threads, should they become inappropriate. This will affect students’ grades, should irresponsible or inflammatory posts continue after a warning.

Reading Assignments

All readings must be completed by the listed date. Students must come to class prepared to discuss the readings. Generally, students should have some reading notes from which they can form questions and opinions as class proceeds. These previously-prepared notes and those taken in class also serve as reference points when writing essays. Do not overlook this process. Occasionally, I will present some brief historical context and other relevant material during class. However, students must come prepared to begin a discussion without more explanation of the material. The assignments indicate the date that daily material will be under discussion. However, I strongly suggest students look well ahead in the syllabus so they can allow adequate time for reading preparation.


W 22 Introduction; Syllabus overview.
F 24 Dutch “Golden Age” - 1581 Dutch Declaration of Independence
M 27 English Constitutionalism and Regicide - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathon, ch 13, 14 (1651) - “Women’s Petition” (1649)
W 29 The Concept of Rights - Margaret Fell’s, “Women Speaking” (1666 or 1667)- Quaker perspective - England: Extracts of “Declaration of Right,” 1689

F 31 “One King, One Law, One Faith”: French Absolutism - Bossuet, Extracts from “On Kingship” - Louis XIV, “Revocation of the Edict of Nantes” (1685). - Duc de St Simon, “The Court of Louis XIV”

M 3 What is Order? Absolutisms and Resistance - Index of Prohibited Books: 1557-1966

Candide, pgs 17-65.
W 5 Scientific Revolution: Finding Order in the Universe

http://www.hanover.history/texts/Bacon/novpref.html – Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Preface to “Novum Organum” - René Descartes, “Discourse on Method” (1637).

Candide, pgs 66-107.
F 7 Natural Laws/Natural Rights

Candide, 107-120.

Hunt, pg 35-37 – Diderot’s “Natural Law” (1755), Voltaire, “Treatise on Toleration” (1763).

M 10 Enlightenment: Liberty, Equality, Order - Handout for Essay #1.

Hunt, p. 1-32

W 12 “Enlightened” Slavery ; if page does not display: go to http://digilib/ ; hit on link for “Digital Schomberg African American Women Writers of the 19th Century;” scroll down to Prince, Mary - The History of Mary Prince, A West Indian Slave. Hitting on this link should take you to the page, where you can read and print the source.
F 14 Unrestricted withdrawal deadline. Enlightenment for Whom?

Last day included in Essay #1, due: Monday February 24

Hunt, pg 51-59

Complete The History of Mary Prince
M 17 England’s Revolutions: Industrial and Colonial

Beginning of material for Essay #2. – Adam Smith, “Wealth of Nations” excerpts (1776). - U.S. Declaration of Independence (1776)
W 19 French Revolution, Political Liberalism

Hunt, pgs 63-70 – Abbe Sieyes, “What Is the Third Estate? (1/1789), pgs 77-79 – “Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen” (1789), pgs 124-129 – Olympe de Gouges, “The Declaration of the Rights of Woman (1791). - U.S. Bill of Rights (1789).
F 21 Saint Domingue

Hunt, pgs 101-118 – Students must read Kersaint, “Discussion of Troubles in the Colonies” (1792) and “Decree of the National Convention of February 4, 1794, Abolishing Slavery in All the Colonies.” Students should then prepare 2 other sources from pgs 101-118 for discussion.

Video clip: Ridicule


M 24 First Essay due in class. Napoleon

Play Risk

W 26 1815: “We Won’t Be Fooled Again”?

Shelley, Frankenstein, pgs 3-79 (Letters, Chapters I-VII).

F 28 Conservatism, Romanticism

Shelley, pgs. 80-132 (Chapters VIII-XIV).

Video Clip: Frankenstein

M 3 Nationalism

Shelley, pgs. 133-186 (Chapters XV-XX).

Review Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations from 2/17.
W 5 Frankenstein in Historical Context

Shelley, pgs. 187-242 (Chapters XXI-XXIV).

F 7 Socialisms – England, Women Miners in the English Coalpits (1842)

Video Clip: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

M 10 1848 – Karl Marx, Communist Manifesto, Section.1 “Bourgeois and Proletarians” (1848). See , which is the parent site for the previous one, for the complete text, if you’re interested.
W 12 Workingmen’s Nationalism - Joseph Mazzini, “The Duties of Man Addressed to Workingmen” (1844)
F 14 “The Women Question” – John Stuart Mill, “The Subjection of Women” – Chapter 1. – Sojourner Truth, “A’nt I a Woman” (1851).

“Women Only When Dead” of the 1871 Paris Commune. Read the photographs as texts. - “Catherine Olivier” (1871). - Hortense David (1871). - Christine d’Argent (1871). is the home page for the Northwestern Siege and Commune Collection, should you have difficulty accessing any of the photographs directly.
March 15-23 - Spring Break

M 24 Industrialization and Colonization - Handout for Essay #2.

Lenin, Imperialism pgs. 16-46 (Chapters I-II). - Charles Darwin, “On the Origin of Species” Excerpts (1859).
W 26 The “Second” Industrial Revolution: Breeding ‘Blood and Iron”

Lenin, pgs 47-87 (Chapters III-VI). - Herbert Spencer, “Progress: Its Law and Cause,” (1857).


F 28 Last day of material for Essay #2, due Monday April 7. Imperialism

Lenin, pgs 88-128 (Chapters VII-X). - Rudyard Kipling, “White Man’s Burden” 1899.

Video Clip: Gandhi

M 31 Beginning of material for Final Essay. World War I

Chekov, Three Sisters


W 2 World War I

Chekov – Emmiline Pankhurst, “My Own Story” (1914).
F 4 Revolution


Video Clip: PBS Documentary: The Great War
M 7 Essay #2 Due. Total War

Video Clips: All Quiet on the Western Front

W 9 Global Depression

Carles, A Life of Her Own, pgs 1-57.

F 11 Fascism

Handout: 1789 image

Carles - Read!

Video Clip: Triumph of the Will (1933).


Carles, through page 142 (Part I).

W 16 Holocaust - Hitler’s Antisemetic Writings (1919). Hoess, “Testimony” (1946).

Carles, pgs 145-219.

F 18 Holocaust

html:// – Himmler, Hoess, Diels quotes (1928-1940s).

Carles, pgs 221-264. (ie: Have book completed by this date.)

M 21 An Atomic World - Handout for Final Paper. - Ho Chi Minh Writings (1921-1925). – Ho Chi Minh, (1930).

Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed (This is an easy read; read it all at once or over the weekend/week, but have read it by Friday April 25th.

Video Clip: Atomic Café

W 23 Classes of Race - Martin Luther King, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (1962). - Black Panthers, “10-point Plan”


Video Clip: Ella Baker Speech in South Africa


F 25 Classes of Sex - Simone de Beauvoir, “Introduction,” The Second Sex (1949, France).

Handout: Monique Wittig, “The Straight Mind.”

M 28 Your Lifetime

Rent – Students should have listened to the recording while reading the text by this date. The CD is the text.
W 30 Globalization or Polarization?

Rent – Students should have listened to the recording at least twice by now.

Reading Response: News as Text


F 2 “No Day But Today”?

Rent – Students should have listened to the recording at least 3 times by the time you turn in your Final Paper.

Video Clip: La Haine (Hate)

M 5 - Final Paper Due. Attendance Mandatory.

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