Age of Revolution to Present Syllabus

Age of Revolution to Present Syllabus

Humanities III: Age of Revolution to Present Syllabus


Jesse G. Swan, Ph. D., Professor of English

Dr. Swan has published widely in humanities topics. His Ph.D. is in English Renaissance and early modern literature, with an especial concentration on textual studies and postmodernity. Dr. Swan’s research has taken him to many of the most important libraries in the US and Great Britain, including the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, and the University of Cambridge Library. For more information on Dr. Swan, visit his UNI web site at

Contact Information: Office: BAR 1008 Tel.: 319-273-2089 Email: (The best way to communicate with me is by email)


Humanities III reviews, in broad terms, the major ways of being human realized in Western Europe and the United States from the Revolutionary period through High Modernity to postmodernity and globalization.  The epoch covered by Humanities III can be thought to cover the 18th century to the present, with the ways of being human realized during the time being variously characterized as Romantic, Realist, Modern, Postmodern, and Global.  To recreate the ways of being, students engage various forms of human expression in the manners implied by those expressions.  Most significantly, the history and literature of the epoch are explored in terms considered fundamentally “human.” Similarly, an exploration of musical and artistic expression is to reveal humane experiences.  Throughout the course, then, each student ideally advances his or her appreciation of the major Romantic, Realist, Modern, Postmodern, and Global ways of being and ways of knowing, which are ways of knowing that constitute what we mean by “the modern and contemporary west.”

Required Texts:

The following book is required for the course. Books may be purchased, either from the publishers or from a bookstore such as University Book and Supply, 1009 West 23rd Street, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Fiero, Gloria K. The Humanistic Tradition, Book 5 (Romanticism, Realism, and the Nineteenth-Century World) and Book 6 (Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Global Perspective), 7th edition. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2015.

Select Required Texts (depending upon individual student selection; see Assignments 3, 6, and 9 for further information).

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