Asian Humanities

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HUM 220

       Course Name: Asian Humanities

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course offers an interdisciplinary and comparative survey of the intellectual and artistic achievements of several Asian cultures. Content includes examination of literature, philosophy, visual art, music, and other performing arts.  IAI HF 904N

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students who have completed the course will be able to:

  1. Provide a basic historical and cultural overview of the societies covered, for example by identifying key periods and figures, languages spoken and important texts or practices.
  2. Identify and critically evaluate representative historical and contemporary works of art (painting, sculpture, architecture, music, etc.) with reference to relevant cultural, social, historical and economic contexts.
  3. Explain relations of mutual influence between different forms of art within a single culture and across different cultures.
  4. Give an account of the cultural significance of works studied in the class within the context of a global civilization, identifying important ethical, historical and aesthetic themes.
  5. Develop and employ a critical vocabulary relevant to various forms of art, and apply it in the appreciation of a particular work.
  6. Identify ways in which the study of works of the humanities in Asian culture has had an impact on their own ethical and aesthetic judgments.
  7. Exhibit values related to teamwork and collaboration, fostered by the pedagogy of shared-inquiry and critical dialogue appropriate to the humanities and philosophy.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

(This is a sample outline of topics. In your outline of topics please specify the dates on which you will cover specific topics as well as other important dates, such as exams and paper deadlines.)

  1. Historical Overview
  2. Religion and Philosophy
    1. Significance of mythology
    2. Intertwining of religion and philosophy
    3. Historical development of religions
    4. Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy
  3. Social Organization
    1. Economic foundations
    2. Family
    3. Role of women
    4. Local communities
    5. Role of the state
  4. Art
    1. Three-dimensional media
    2. Painting
    3. Woodblock prints
    4. Architecture
    5. Garden design
  5. Literature
    1. Oral traditions
    2. Epics
    3. Poetry
    4. Drama
    5. The novel
  6. Music
    1. Cultural significance of music
    2. Musical instruments
    3. Performance
  7. Encounter with the West
    1. Early contacts
    2. Colonization and conflict
    3. Legacy of Western imperialism
    4. Globalization
  8. Contemporary Culture
    1. Tradition and Modernity
    2. Art, music, and literature
    3. Film
    4. Cultural identity

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lectures and discussion
  2. Small group work
  3. Films
  4. Field trips to places such as the Art Institute and the Field Museum
  5. Guest speakers

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

(Please include information here about all expectations you have for your students regarding behavior, work, etc. The following are sample topics you may wish to cover. Please be aware that you must require students in this course to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester. These may be assigned in a variety of ways including journals, response papers, field trip projects, etc.)

  1. Attendance
  2. Standards for written work
  3. Quizzes/Exams
  4. Participation
  5. Essays
  6. Final Projects
  7. Special policies about make-up exams, late papers, or other matters of concern

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Texts such as the following will be used.

Literatures of Asia, Africa and Latin America edited by Willis Barnstone and Tony Barnstone
Non-Western Art: A Brief Guide by Lynn MacKenzie
Awakening: An Introduction to the History of Eastern Thought by Patrick Bresnan
Excursions in World Music (with accompanying compact discs) by Bruno Nettl

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

(In this section, please present the percentages or point breakdown of their final grade. The writing assignments should count for at least 40% of the final grade. An example follows.)

  1. Quizzes/Exams……40 points
  2. Essays……40 points
  3. Final project with oral presentation……10 points
  4. Attendance and participation………10 points
  5. Grading scale: 90-100, A…….80-89, B………70-79, C……….60-69……..D

XI.   Other Course Information

Instructor Contact Information

    Office Phone Number:
    Fax Number:

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.