Topics in Humanities

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HUM 290

       Course Name: Topics in Humanities

       Credits: 1-4 (0-4 lecture; 0-8 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Varies depending on specific topic

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course explores selected topics in music, film, art history, architecture, or any other humanities discipline. Course content varies. May focus on a single artist or composer, group of artists or composers, stylistic period, or particular trends during one such period. Representative course titles might include: Mozart’s Late Opera, Contemporary American Film, or Chicago Architecture. Course can be repeated on different topics up to three times.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will be able to analyze and critically evaluate the cultural works studied.  They will be able to convey their understanding through oral and written expression.

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

Examples of possible topics for this course are as follows:

Film:  “The Horror Film”
The horror film is one of the oldest genres in film history and also one of the most popular, but there is more to a scary movie than a good scream.  Rich with meaning and history, the horror films reveal much about our culture and society.  The genre is also one of the most visually driven, making the horror film a fascinating study in lighting, set design, and costuming.  This course will explore the visual conventions and styles of the horror film plus relate the genre to the preoccupations, fears and desires of our culture.

This class will explore the evolution of opera from its roots in Greek Tragedy and the Western Theater tradition to its most mature form in the works of the modern masters.  The history of opera and the development of composition form and performance practice will be studied in depth.  Biographical information on the great composers, singers, writers and impresarios will also be reviewed. Examples of operas from every pre-20th century period and the artistry of the greatest performers will be presented in recordings and videos.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Methods of instruction may include lecture, class discussion, small group discussion, student presentations, and films.  Field trips may be required.  The specific methods will be noted on the syllabus.

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

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students must be required to read college level works of cultural analysis and must be required to write at least 15 typed pages of material. This writing may take the form of a long term paper or several shorter critical papers.  Students may be required to defend their views in class discussion and in formal presentations. There may be several in-class essay exams.

IX.   Instructional Materials

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

Materials will be assigned according to the specific course focus.  Normally, students will be reading substantial works of cultural analysis rather than introductory anthologies or texts.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Exams, quizzes, papers, journals, oral presentations, group work, and class participation may all be used to evaluate student learning.  (The weight of each assignment or exam in calculating the final grade must be specified in the syllabus.)

XI.   Other Course Information

Instructor information
Office and office hours:
Email and website

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.