Humanities (Faculty Reviewed)
Course materials in this collection have been mapped to VCCS Humanities Transfer Courses and reviewed by Virginia faculty. Filter by Course Alignments to find OER specific to your course.
This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Sumerian, Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian / Ur III, Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian art.
This is an introductory textbook in logic and critical thinking. The goal of the textbook is to provide the reader with a set of tools and skills that will enable them to identify and evaluate arguments. The book is intended for an introductory course that covers both formal and informal logic. As such, it is not a formal logic textbook, but is closer to what one would find marketed as a critical thinking textbook. Downloadable as a pdf file.
This course provides an introduction to critical thinking, informal logic, and a small amount of formal logic; its purpose is to provide students with the basic tools of analytical reasoning. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: Understand what critical thinking is and why it is valuable; Distinguish between good and bad definitions, Recognize the differences between explicit and implicit meaning, and remove ambiguities of meaning from unclearly worded statements; Recognize arguments in writing, pick out good and bad arguments by their form, and construct sound arguments of their own; Diagnose the most common reasoning errors and fallacies, as well as identify ways of improving them; Understand the basics of sentential and predicate logic and gain practice manipulating meaning symbolically; Understand the rudiments of scientific methodology and reasoning; Evaluate arguments that rely on specific types of visual representation; Understand the basics of strategic reasoning and problem solving; Understand the particular challenges involved in reasoning about values and morality; Diagnose fallacies and evaluate arguments about values and morality. (Philosophy 102)
This is a textbook (or better, a workbook) in modern philosophy. It combines readings from primary sources with two pedagogical tools. Paragraphs in italics introduce figures and texts. Numbered study questions (also in italics) ask students to reconstruct an argument or position from the text, or draw connections among the readings. And I have added an introductory chapter (Chapter 0 – Minilogic and Glossary), designed to present the basic tools of philosophy and sketch some principles and positions. The immediate goal is to encourage students to grapple with the ideas rather than passing their eyes over the texts. This makes for a better classroom experience and permits higher-level discussions. Another goal is to encourage collaboration among instructors, as they revise and post their own versions of the book.
This text is designed to introduce students to works representative of a variety of music traditions including the repertoires of Western Europe from the Middle Ages through the present; of the United States, including art music, jazz, folk, rock, musical theater; and from at least two non-Western world areas (Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Indian subcontinent). A primary goal is to enable students to speak and write about the features of the music, employing vocabulary and concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony, texture, timbre,and form used by musicians. The texts explores the historic, social, and cultural contexts and the role of class, ethnicity, and gender in the creation and performance of music, including practices of improvisation and the implications of oral and notated transmission. Similarly, the text aims to acquaint students with the sources of musical sounds—instruments and voices from different cultures, found sounds, electronically generated sounds; basic principles that determine pitch and timbre. Lastly, the text aims to examine students to the influence of technology, mass media, globalization, and transnational currents on the music of today.
This online textbook contains short articles on each major deity, hero, monster, etc., in Greek mythology. The text is supplemented with color photographs and maps to enhance the learning experience.
This is the second edition of the open access textbook that arose out of a course at the University of California, San Diego, called HILD 10: East Asia: The Great Tradition. The course covers what have become two Chinas, Japan, and two Koreas from roughly 1200 BC to about AD 1200. As we say every Fall in HILD 10: “2400 years, three countries, ten weeks, no problem.” The book does not stand alone: the teacher should assign primary and secondary sources, study questions, dates to be memorized, etc. The maps mostly use the same template to enable students to compare them one to the next.
From Catullus to Horace, the tradition of Latin erotic poetry produced works of literature which are still read throughout the world. Ovid’s Amores, written in the first century BC, is arguably the best-known and most popular collection in this tradition.
Born in 43 BC, Ovid was educated in Rome in preparation for a career in public services before finding his calling as a poet. He may have begun writing his Amores as early as 25 BC. Although influenced by poets such as Catullus, Ovid demonstrates a much greater awareness of the funny side of love than any of his predecessors. The Amores is a collection of romantic poems centered on the poet’s own complicated love life: he is involved with a woman, Corinna, who is sometimes unobtainable, sometimes compliant, and often difficult and domineering. Whether as a literary trope, or perhaps merely as a human response to the problems of love in the real world, the principal focus of these poems is the poet himself, and his failures, foolishness, and delusions.
By the time he was in his forties, Ovid was Rome’s most important living poet; his Metamorphoses, a kaleidoscopic epic poem about love and hatred among the gods and mortals, is one of the most admired and influential books of all time. In AD 8, Ovid was exiled by Augustus to Romania, for reasons that remain obscure. He died there in AD 17.
The Amores were originally published in five books, but reissued around 1 AD in their current three-book form. This edition of the first book of the collection contains the complete Latin text of Book 1, along with commentary, notes and full vocabulary. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, this book will provide an invaluable aid to students of Latin and general readers alike.
This book contains embedded audio files of the original text read aloud by Aleksandra Szypowska.
This extract from Ovid's 'Theban History' recounts the confrontation of Pentheus, king of Thebes, with his divine cousin, Bacchus, the god of wine. Notwithstanding the warnings of the seer Tiresias and the cautionary tale of a character Acoetes (perhaps Bacchus in disguise), who tells of how the god once transformed a group of blasphemous sailors into dolphins, Pentheus refuses to acknowledge the divinity of Bacchus or allow his worship at Thebes. Enraged, yet curious to witness the orgiastic rites of the nascent cult, Pentheus conceals himself in a grove on Mt. Cithaeron near the locus of the ceremonies. But in the course of the rites he is spotted by the female participants who rush upon him in a delusional frenzy, his mother and sisters in the vanguard, and tear him limb from limb.
The episode abounds in themes of abiding interest, not least the clash between the authoritarian personality of Pentheus, who embodies 'law and order', masculine prowess, and the martial ethos of his city, and Bacchus, a somewhat effeminate god of orgiastic excess, who revels in the delusional and the deceptive, the transgression of boundaries, and the blurring of gender distinctions.
This course book offers a wide-ranging introduction, the original Latin text, study aids with vocabulary, and an extensive commentary. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, Gildenhard and Zissos's incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at AS and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis to encourage critical engagement with Ovid's poetry and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought.
Numerous academics have researched Japan’s dehumanizing comfort women system that, for decades, forced innocents into sexual slavery. Since 2010 a campaign has been in place to proliferate comfort women memorials in the United States. These memorials now span from New York to California and from Texas to Michigan. They recount only the Korean version of this history, which this text finds incomplete. They do not mention that, immediately following World War II, American soldiers also frequented Japan’s comfort women stations. They say nothing of how, to the present day, GIs continue to patronize Asian women and girls organized in brothels near their barracks. The Korean narrative also ignores the significant role that Koreans played in recruiting women and girls into the system. Intentionally or not, comfort women memorials in the United States promote a political agenda rather than transparency, accountability and reconciliation. This book explains, critiques, and expands on the competing state and civil society narratives regarding the dozen memorials erected in the United States since 2010 to honor female victims of the comfort women system established and maintained by the Japanese military from 1937 to 1945.
Welcome to Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context! Although this book is intended primarily for use in the college music appreciation classroom, it was designed with consideration for independent learners, advanced high school students, and experienced musicians. That is to say, it includes enough detail that expert guidance is not required and is written using broadly-accessible language. At the same time, it addresses advanced topics and positions music as a serious object of study
Slavery to Liberation: The African American Experience gives instructors, students, and general readers a comprehensive and up-to-date account of African Americans’ cultural and political history, economic development, artistic expressiveness, and religious and philosophical worldviews in a critical framework. It offers sound interdisciplinary analysis of selected historical and contemporary issues surrounding the origins and manifestations of White supremacy in the United States. By placing race at the center of the work, the book offers significant lessons for understanding the institutional marginalization of Blacks in contemporary America and their historical resistance and perseverance.
The purpose of Speaking of Culture is to define culture and many other concepts associated with it. My hope is that the readings in this book will help you to better understand the breadth of the concept of culture and provide you with a vocabulary for discussing it more articulately.
Culture is one of those broad concepts that is used widely, although somewhat imprecisely, in everyday English. It also cuts across many academic disciplines, and this book draws on many of them. It touches, for instance, on anthropology, biology, history, mythology, political science, psychology, and sociology.
The emperor Nero is etched into the Western imagination as one of ancient Rome’s most infamous villains, and Tacitus’ Annals have played a central role in shaping the mainstream historiographical understanding of this flamboyant autocrat.
This section of the text plunges us straight into the moral cesspool that Rome had apparently become in the later years of Nero’s reign, chronicling the emperor’s fledgling stage career including his plans for a grand tour of Greece; his participation in a city-wide orgy climaxing in his publicly consummated ‘marriage’ to his toy boy Pythagoras; the great fire of AD 64, during which large parts of central Rome went up in flames; and the rising of Nero’s ‘grotesque’ new palace, the so-called ‘Golden House’, from the ashes of the city. This building project stoked the rumours that the emperor himself was behind the conflagration, and Tacitus goes on to present us with Nero’s gruesome efforts to quell these mutterings by scapegoating and executing members of an unpopular new cult then starting to spread through the Roman empire: Christianity.
All this contrasts starkly with four chapters focusing on one of Nero’s most principled opponents, the Stoic senator Thrasea Paetus, an audacious figure of moral fibre, who courageously refuses to bend to the forces of imperial corruption and hypocrisy.
This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study aids with vocabulary, and a commentary. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, Owen’s and Gildenhard’s incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at both A2 and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis and historical background to encourage critical engagement with Tacitus’ prose and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought.
Love and tragedy dominate book four of Virgil's most powerful work, building on the violent emotions invoked by the storms, battles, warring gods, and monster-plagued wanderings of the epic's opening.
Destined to be the founder of Roman culture, Aeneas, nudged by the gods, decides to leave his beloved Dido, causing her suicide in pursuit of his historical destiny. A dark plot, in which erotic passion culminates in sex, and sex leads to tragedy and death in the human realm, unfolds within the larger horizon of a supernatural sphere, dominated by power-conscious divinities. Dido is Aeneas' most significant other, and in their encounter Virgil explores timeless themes of love and loyalty, fate and fortune, the justice of the gods, imperial ambition and its victims, and ethnic differences.
This course book offers a portion of the original Latin text, study questions, a commentary, and interpretative essays. Designed to stretch and stimulate readers, Ingo Gildenhard's incisive commentary will be of particular interest to students of Latin at both A2 and undergraduate level. It extends beyond detailed linguistic analysis to encourage critical engagement with Virgil's poetry and discussion of the most recent scholarly thought.
The heritage of women represents one-half of the history of the United States; for that reason alone it is worthy of closer scrutiny than it has received in standard history courses. The movement of women for social, political, and economic equality represents the longest and most far-reaching civil rights movement in U.S. history, yet it is a movement that has received minimal space and attention in standard history courses. This class is an attempt to bring to the foreground a history that we all share but perhaps have until now lacked the opportunity or information to focus on. It is a history that I find both maddening and inspiring, and one whose study is challenging, difficult, and ultimately so rewarding that it is worth every bit of effort, and then some.
World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500 offers a comprehensive introduction to the history of humankind from prehistory to 1500. Authored by six USG faculty members with advance degrees in History, this textbook offers up-to-date original scholarship. It covers such cultures, states, and societies as Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Israel, Dynastic Egypt, India’s Classical Age, the Dynasties of China, Archaic Greece, the Roman Empire, Islam, Medieval Africa, the Americas, and the Khanates of Central Asia.
It includes 350 high-quality images and maps, chronologies, and learning questions to help guide student learning. Its digital nature allows students to follow links to applicable sources and videos, expanding their educational experience beyond the textbook. It provides a new and free alternative to traditional textbooks, making World History an invaluable resource in our modern age of technology and advancement.
A deep exploration of the fundamental symbols, ceremonies, rituals, and transformative narratives of the world's great wisdom traditions and mythological systems. With special attention paid to their relevance to the modern world. Written for Community College and undergraduate level courses through an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens. Western myths are included but not centered.