Kingsborough Community College
The City University of New York



: Modern Humanities: Arts & Ideas - 3 credits, 3 hours

Course Coordinator: Professor Turnbull Co-Coordinator: Professor Ricciardi

Course Description: Through the exploration of modern century literature, drama, art, film, poetry and music, this course places developments in the Humanities into historical context and illustrates the continuity of culture.

College Now Description: This course introduces students to outstanding literature, art, film and music from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. By exploring the way these subjects are related, students develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of modern American culture and the individuals who influenced the humanities.

Explanation: The Humanities give students a chance to find a cultural identity. The study of art, music, literature, theater, dance, film and other creative cultural endeavors in an interrelated historical context can lead to the discovery of meaning in life beyond the day-to-day reality of breadwinning needs-fulfillment.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will have:

1.  Increased knowledge and appreciation of the Humanities as a consequence of having read books and poetry, listened to music and viewed videos and art works from the 20th century.

2.  Enhanced appreciation of the creative process as it relates to the Humanities in the 20th century and beyond.

Topical Course Outline:

 A.  Introduction
         1. The nature of the Humanities.
         2. Why study the Humanities?
         3. An overview of images from the 20th century to the present.
         4. The creative process.

B.  Images of Culture in the 20th Century to the Present
         1. Freedom.
         2. Control.
         3. Technology.
         4. Materialism.
         5. Depictions of the Modern Hero and the Anti-Hereo.

C.   Humanities in the 21st Century
         1. To illustrate the images of the 20th and 21st century, each instructor will select materials from literature, music, film and visual arts, using an approved listing which will be updated as needed.

Methods of Teaching: The instructor is expected to use a variety of approaches.

Classroom Lectures.

Seminar-type discussions about objects presented by instructor.

Showing art slides and videos.

Listening to Jazz and avant-garde music in class and at home, using CDs.

Reading poetry, plays, etc. in class as a group and at home.

Visiting museums and/or attending cultural events, such as concerts, plays and dance performances.

Assignments: The instructor is expected to use a variety of assignments.

Listening to music.

Viewing art slides, videos, and live performances at concerts, plays and dance presentations.

Reading about the Humanities in course textbooks.

Writing several short papers about 20th century cultural objects.

Method of Evaluation: The instructor is required to use a variety of means for evaluating students' knowledge and appreciation of the Humanities and the creative process, such as:

Short answer and essay-based mid-term.

Short answer essay-based final exam.

Several short papers about modern cultural objects

Suggested Textbook: Gloria K. Fiero: The Humanistic Tradition, 6th Ed., McGraw-Hill, 2011. ISBN: 978-0-07-734625-6

Required Reading/Viewing/Listening: The instructor is required to choose one or more materials from each of the following categories:

 A. Reading
          1. Fiction/Other 
               a. Baldwin, To Be an American.
               b. Bradbury, The Veldt.
               c. Camus, The Stranger.
               d. DiNato, Christ in Concrete.
               e. Ethnic Writers in American Selections from the Harlem Renaissance.
               f.  Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.
               g. Fitzgerald, A Diamond as Big as The Ritz.
               h. Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises.
               i.  Hemingway, In Another Country.
               j.  Huxley, Brave New World
               k. Kafka, The Trial.
               l.  Kafka, Metamorphosis.
              m. Wiesel, Night.
               n. DeLillo, White Noise.
               o. Cooper, Briar Rose.
               p. Morrison, The Bluest Eve.
               q. Smiley, A Thousand Acres.
               r . Patchett, Bel Canto.
               s. Moore, Birds of America.
               t.  Erdich, Tracks.
               u. Banks, The Bone.
               v. Kerouac, On the Road.
               w. Lawrence, The Fox.

          2. Theater
               a. Albee, The American Dream.
               b. Albee, The Zoo Story.
               c. Ionesco, Rhinoceros.
               d. Miller, Death of a Saleman.
               e. Shephard, True West.             
               f . Parks, Top Dog, Underdog.
               g. Russell/Simmons, Def Poetry Jam.               

          3. Poetry
               a. The College Now Poetry Anthology which includes works by Auden, Benn, Cummings, Eliot, Owens, Rimbaud, Sasson, Stein, Stevens, and Yeats.

  B. Music
          1. Custom CD to Accompany Fiero Book
               a. Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
               b. Ravel: Bolero
               c. Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht
               d. Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
               e. Stravinsky: Petroushka
               f.  Bartok: Music for Springs, Percussion and Celeste
               g. Ives: Variations on America
               h. Copland: Simple Gifts Variations
               i.  Webern: 5 pieces for Orchestra No. 3
               j . Berg: Wozzeck, Act III, 4 and 5
               k. Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky
               l.  Shostakovich: Symphony No. V, II
               m.Cage: Sonatas and Interludes
               n. Ligeti: Disorder from the Etudes for Piano, Bk. 1
               o. Tower: Snow Dreams for Flute and Guitar
               p. Glass: Company
               q. Part: PASSIO (first movement)
               r.  Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
               s. Bernstein: Symphonic Dances
               t. Joplin: Easy Winners by ragtime quintet
               u. "The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz"

          2. Instructor (CD) Library (on loan to instructor from KCC)
               a. Wagner, "Overtures".
               b. Debussy, "The Afternoon of a Faun".
               c. Stravinsky, "Le Sacre du Printermps" and "Petrushka".
              d. Shoenberg, "Pierrot Lunaire" and "The Book of the Hanging Gardens".

          3. Student Listening Cassettes (on loan to student from KCC)
               a. "Jazz". (Two versions of this tape are available, instructor must select one).
               b. "Blues People". (An out of print book accompanies this tape Blues People by Jones.)
               c. "John Cage and Friends". (This tape is accompanied by a 33-page student Music Supplement.)

          4. The College Now Music Supplement for use by students.

 C. Visual Arts
          1. College Now Slide Library of approximately 150 slides (on loan to instructor from KCC).
          2. Lynton, The Story of Modern Art, including works by Arp, Boccioni, Braque, Dali, Degas, de Chirico, Duchamp, Ernest, Gaudier-Breska, Grosz, Leger, Macke, Manet, Marc, Matisse, Miro, Monet, Oldenberg, Picasso, Rauschenberg, Renoir, Schwitters, Warhol. OR
          3. Hughes, The Shock of the New.

 D. Film
          1. College Now Film Library
               a. Avante Garde and Experimental Films.
               b. Balanchine Ballets.
               c. Batman.
               d. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bunuel).
               e. If.
               f. Mary Hartman, Vols. 1 and 2.
               g. Frieda
               h. The Godfather (Coppola)
               i   Modern Times (Chaplin)
               j.  2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubriek)
               k. Koyanisqaatsi (Reggio)
               l.  Ordinary People (Redford)
              m. Spellbound (Hitchcock)

          2. Other
               a. Cabaret (Fosse).
               b. Citizen Kane (Welles).
               c. The Godfather (Coppola).
               d. Midnight Cowboy (Schlessinger).
               e. On the Waterfront (Kazan).              
               f . Pollock (Harris).
               g. Frieda
               h. The Godfather (Coppola).
               i. Modern Times (Chaplin).
               j. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubriek).
               k. Koyanisqaatsi (Reggio).
               l. Ordinary People (Redford).
              m. Spellbound (Hitchcock).
               n . Terminator 1 (Cameron)


Abramson, Doris, E. Negro Playwrights in the American Theatre. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969).

Anders, Gunther. Franz Kafka. (London: Bowes & Bowes, 1970).

Arnason, H.H. History of Modern Art. (London/New York, 1969).

Arnheim, Rudolf. Guernica: The Genesis of a Painting. (Berkeley, University of California Press).

Babcock, Gregory, ed. Minimal Art, A Critical Anthology. (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1968).

Balliet, Whitney. Jelly Roll, Jabbo and Fats. (New York, Oxford U. Press, 1983).

Belz, Carl. The Story of Rock (2nd Ed). (New York, Oxford U. Press, 1972).

Bloomfield, Stanley and Levitsky, Jeffrey, Ed. The College Now Poetry Anthology. (Brooklyn, N.Y. Unpublished ms., 1989).

Bochner, Jay. "New York Secession." Modernism: Challenges and Perspectives. Ed. Monique Chefdor, and Ricardo Quinones. (Urbana, Illinois: U. of Illinois Press, 1986).

Bois, Yves-Alain. "Painting, the Task of Mourning." Painting as Model. (Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 1990).

Boroff, Edith. A History of Music in Western Europe and the United States. (New York, Little Brown, 1972).

Boulez, Pierre. "Alia," Notes of an Apprenticeship. (1957).

Brustein, Robert. Revolution as Theatre: Notes on the New Radical Style.

Cage, John. Silence. (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan U. Press, 1961).

Camus, Albert. "Hope and Absurdity," The Kafka Problem. ed. Angel Flores. (New York: Gordian Press, 1975).

Carr, Ian. Miles Davis. (New York, William Morrow, 1982).

DeFleur, Dennis, Understanding Mass Communication. (New York: Houghton Mifflin).

DeNitto, Herman. Film and the Critical Eye. (New York: MacMillian).

Dijkstra, Bram. "Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams: Poetry, Painting, and the Function of Reality." Encounters: Essays on Literature and the Visual Arts. Ed. John Dixon Hunt. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1971).

Dixon, Hunt. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1971)

Eble, Kenneth. F. Scott Fitzgerald. (New York: Twayne, 1963).

Esslin, Martin. The Theatre of the Absurd. Rev. Ed. (Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1969).

Gassner, John. The Theatre in Our Times: A Survey of the Men, Materials and Movements in the Modern Theatre. (New York: Crown Publishers, 1954).

Gray, Christopher. Cubist Aesthetic Theories. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1967).

Gray, Ronald. ed. Kafka. Collected Critical Essays. (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1962).

Greenberg, Clement. Art and Culture, Critical Essays. (Boston, Beacon Press, 1965).

Griffiths, Paul. Modern Music: The Avant-Garde Since 1945. (New York: George Brazilier, 1981).

Grossvogel, David. The Blasphemers: The Theatre of Brecht, Ionesco, Beckett, Genet. (Cornell U. Press, 1965).

Hal-koch, Jelena, ed. Arnold Schoenberg, Wassily Kandinsky Letters, Pictures and Documents. Translated by K.C. Crawford. (London: Faber and Faber, 1984).

Hardison, O.B. Jr. Disappearing through the Skylight: Culture and Technology in the Twentieth Century. (New York: Viking Press, 1989).

Haskell, Barbara. Blam! The Explosion of Pop, Minimalism, and Performance, 1958-1964. (New York: W.W. Norton, 1984).

Hauser, Arnold. A Social History of Art, Vol. 4: Naturalism, Impressionism, the Film Age. (New York: Vintage).

Heighton/Cunningham. Advertising in the Broadcast and Cable Media. (New York: Wadsworth).

Heller, Erich. Franz Kafka. (New York: Viking, 1974).

Herrigel, Eugen. Zen and the Art of Archery. (New York: Vintage Books, 1971).

Holiday, Billy. Lady Sings the Blues. (New York: Lancer Books, 1956).

Jinks, William. The Celluloid Literature. (New York: Glencoe Press).

Jones, LeRoi. Black Music. (New York: Apollo Books, 1968).

Jones, LeRoi. Blues People. (New York: William Morrow).

Kazin, Alfred. Ed. F Scott Fitzgerald, The Man and his Work. (New York: Collier, 1966).

Kelly, John. "The Trial and the Theology of Crisis." The Kafka Problem. Angel Flores, Ed. (New York: Gordian Press, 1975).

Kuna, Franz. Ed. On Kafka: Semi-Centenary Perspectives. (Harper Row, 1976).

Lamont, Rosette. Ionesco. (New York: Prentice Hall, 1973).

Lippard, Lucy and others. Pop Art. (London/New York, 1966).

McLuhan, Marshall. The Medium is the Message. (New York: Bantam Books, 1967).

Morgan, Robert. "Secret Languages: The Roots of Musical Modernism." Modernism: Challenges and Perspectives, ed. Monique Cheflor, and Ricardo Quinones. (Urbana, Illinois: U. of Illinois Press, 1986).

Richter, Hans. DADA: Art and Anti-Art. (New York: Oxford U. Press, 1978).

Rosenberg, Harold. The Tradition of the New. (New York, Horizon, 1959).

Schoenberg, Arnold. Style and Idea. (New York, Philosophical Library, 1950).

Shattuck, Roger. The Banquet Years. (New York: Anchor Books, 1961).

Spanini, Alberto. "The Trial." The Kafka Problem. Ed. Angel Flores. (New York: Gordian Press, 1975).

Stravinsky, Igor. The Poetics of Music. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard U. Press, 1942).

Suchlov, Boris. "Franz Kafka." An Anthology of Marxist Criticism ed. and Trans. Kenneth Hughes. (Hanover, New Hampshire: U. Press of New England, 1981).

Tirro, Frank. Jazz, A History. (New York, W.W. Norton, 1977).

Tomkins, Calvin. The Bride and the Bachelors. (New York: Viking Press, 1962).