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HUMN541 - Enlightenment and the Modern World

Course Details

Course Code: HUMN541 Course ID: 3510 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course provides philosophical and literary views of the human condition as it is explored during the Age of Enlightenment in Europe and in America. Loosely organized around Locke’s assertion that the freedom to pursue truth is a key tenet of the Enlightenment, we will explore how various authors balance tradition with new ideas on government, religion, human rights, reason, education, and social hierarchies. Readings for this course include: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice; Ekaterina Dashkova's Memoirs; Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; Thomas Paine's Common Sense and other Political Writings; Rousseau's Confessions; and Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
06/24/19 - 11/29/19 12/02/19 - 01/26/20 Fall 2019 Session D 8 Week session
08/26/19 - 01/31/20 02/03/20 - 03/29/20 Winter 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Objectives: By the end of the term you should demonstrate an ability to do the following tasks:

Academic Skill Critically analyze literary works representing various genres of Enlightenment writing (autobiography, novel, pamphlet, and journal) for their contribution to the body of human knowledge.

Communication Articulate written and oral positions on ideas that stem from some of the great works of the Enlightenment. Conduct a detailed and sophisticated analysis of a piece of writing, and write an extended argument/discussion of your analysis.

Critical Thinking Apply classical logic to Enlightenment Era issues of human behavior, society, and civilization including themes of freedom, truth, government, human rights, reason, education, religion, and tradition.

Information Literacy Examine the human experience from multidimensional perspectives from leading authors of the Enlightenment including Dashkova, Rousseau, Austen, Paine, and Lewis & Clark.

Lifelong Learning Use advanced social science knowledge, critical thinking skills, and research methodologies that will promote lifelong problem-solving skills, a spirit of inquiry, and professional approach to projects. Build relationships with your colleagues and instructor in this class to make the course more fun and to build useful professional networks.

NameGrade %
Forums 30.00 %
Week 1 Forum 3.75 %
Week 2 Forum 3.75 %
Week 3 Forum 3.75 %
Week 4 Forum 3.75 %
Week 5 Forum 3.75 %
Week 6 Forum 3.75 %
Week 7 Forum 3.75 %
Week 8 Forum 3.75 %
Short Analytical Essays 45.00 %
Week 2: Dashkova Short Analytical Essay 15.00 %
Week 4: Austen Short Analytical Essay 15.00 %
Week 6: Rousseau Short Analytical Essay 15.00 %
Critical Essay 25.00 %
Week 8: Critical Essay 25.00 %

I’ve provided links to some good electronic editions of our course texts:

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. 60a7de1facf2%40sessionmgr10&vid=1&hid=12&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d# db=nlebk&AN=149202

Dashkova, Ekaterina. The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova. Ed. Jehanne M. Gheith.

Durham: Duke University P, 1995.


Lewis, Meriwether. Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

Paine, Thomas. Political Writings.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Confessions.

If you prefer a hard copy, the following print editions are recommended:

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Ed. Donald Gray. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2001. Dashkova, Ekaterina. The Memoirs of Princess Dashkova. Ed. Jehanne M. Gheith.

Durham: Duke University P, 1995.

Lewis, Meriwether and William Clark. The Journals of Lewis and Clark. Ed. Frank Bergon.

New York: Penguin, 1989.

Paine, Thomas. Political Writings. Ed. Bruce Kuklick. Revised Student Edition.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. Confessions. Trans. Angela Scholar. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000.

Book Title:Memoirs of Princess Dashkova (reading available online at-
Author:Dashkova, Ekaterina R.
Unit Cost:$29.35

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.