Humanities 210 MIC/WIC- Cora Agatucci
Cultures & Literatures of Asia

HUM 210 MIC/WIC Syllabus - Winter 2001
Instructor: Dr.
Cora Agatucci
Office: Deschutes 14; Office Hours: See Current Schedule; also by appointment
Office Phone & Messages: (541) 383-7522;
Mailbox: Deschutes 12, Humanities Department Office
E-mail: via First Class (address to Cora Agatucci) or
Via internet: address to
Hum 210 Home Page:

Required Texts (to be purchased in COCC Bookstore)
1. Ishiguro, Kazuo. A Pale View of Hills. 1982. New York: Vintage International-Random House, 1990.
2. Sidhwa, Bapsi. Cracking India. Milkweed-Heinemann, 1991. [Originally publ. as Ice Candy Man, 1988.]
3. Mo Yan.  Red Sorghum.  Trans. Howard Goldblatt.  Penguin-Viking, 1994.
4. Hum 210 MIC/WIC Course Pack.  Ed.  Cora Agatucci (Supplemental materials on India, China, and Japan).
5. Handout Readings as assigned.

Required Films (Videos will be shown in class - see NOTE* below) :
1. The Mahabharata ["mini" version].  France-India-U.K. production, 1989. Dir. Peter Brooks.
2. Red Sorghum [Hong gao liang]. Xi'an Film Studio-New Yorker Films, 1987.  Dir. Zhang Yimou.
3. Rhapsody in August [Hachigatsu no kyoshikyoku]. Japan-Orion, 1991.  Dir. Akira Kurosawa & Ishiro Honda.

*NOTE: Three Wednesday class meetings will be extended to 4 p.m.
to accommodate in-class film viewings
(see Hum 210 Course Plan for dates).
HUM 210 students who miss all or part of in-class video-film viewings, or
who wish to re-view the videotapes, have these make-up options:

Videotapes will be placed on COCC Library reserve for in-library viewing after they are shown in class.
Red Sorghum, To Live, and Rhapsody in August may be rented for a small fee at local video rental stores (check the foreign film section) for at-home viewing on the student’s own time.

Course Prerequisites  

Hum 210 is an introductory course in the humanities, and students with college-entry level thinking, reading, writing, viewing, and oral communication skills should be well prepared to succeed in this course. No previous coursework in humanities, literature, film, Asian, or comparative culture studies is required, although such background is, of course, valuable.

Course Grading  

1. Preparation & Participation (e.g. Dialogues, Film viewings, Seminars, In-Class Writings) - credit / no credit or points.  Late, Make-Up informal work may be accepted with instructor's permission. 40% of course grade
2. Midterm Critical Review - letter graded
Late Critical Reviews will be penalized 1/2 letter grade.
20% of course grade
3. Final Discussion Paper - letter graded
Late Discussion Papers will not be accepted.
30% of course grade
4. Final Dialogue: Course Reflections & Self-Evaluation
Late Final Dialogues will not be accepted.
10% of course grade

Directions and evaluation criteria for all graded assignments will be discussed further in class.  See Hum 210 Course Plan for deadlines.

Welcome to Hum 210 MIC/WIC*!
Course Description & Learning Outcomes  

In Hum 210, we will study significant works selected from the language arts of India, China, and Japan.  We approach these works as creative expressions of their historical and cultural contexts, drawing upon relevant cross-cultural, literary-critical and interdisciplinary perspectives.  This one-quarter introductory course will build a better informed understanding and appreciation of the rich cultural traditions and creative achievements of India, China, and Japan; and lay groundwork for further study of Asian cultures, literatures, and film.

Course Learning Outcomes, or Competencies:  More specifically, Hum 210 has been designed to help students achieve core competencies established for courses in the Non-European Culture & Literature sequence.  Introduction to significant works of Asian language arts (orature, literature, and film), representing a diversity of peoples and cultures from key historical periods, will enable the Hum 210 student to: 

A. Build knowledge of language arts and cultures different from one’s own:

1. Identify distinctive characteristics, genres, and periods of traditional and modern Asian orature, literature, and film (e.g., Indian epic conventions and themes drawn from Sanskrit and folk performance traditions; poetry in translation selected from key Chinese, Japanese, and Indian periods and genres; the emergence and influence of popular theater and prose fiction traditions; cross-cultural and post-colonial historical fiction and film of the twentieth century). 

2. Situate individual Asian texts in their specific cultural contexts, and analyze significant ways that these texts reflect or represent those contexts (e.g. cultural values and beliefs, intellectual and creative traditions, historical and biographical backgrounds, social and political realities).

3. Evaluate the limitations and benefits of studying Asian works in cross-cultural translation (i.e. across different languages, writing systems, cultures and creative media).

B. Apply this knowledge to cross-cultural comparative analysis:

4. Identify and analyze significant cross cultural differences and similarities--among different Asian texts and their cultures; between Asian language arts/cultures and one's own; and/or between Asian language arts/cultures and those of other non-Western groups.

5. Examine the effects of individual and culturally-determined factors (such as race, gender, class, nation, biases of information sources, prior cross-cultural experiences) in one’s own and others’ responses to Asian texts and cultures.

6. Identify topics of personal interest, unanswered questions, controversial claims and alternative viewpoints arising from one’s comparative study for further research and investigation.

C. Construct and communicate persuasive cross-cultural interpretations:

7. Formulate responses and interpretations using varied strategies and resources (e.g., active reading/viewing skills; self-reflection, critical and empathetic thinking, oral discussion and writing, multiple perspectives, comparative analysis, interdisciplinary knowledge).

8. Create a persuasive cross-cultural interpretation of an Asian text that integrates ethnorelative perspectives and analytical criteria appropriate to Asian language arts and their cultural contexts.

9. Communicate one’s interpretations in informal and formal writing, using relevant, well-selected evidence from Asian texts and their cultural contexts to support one’s points.

--Cora Agatucci, Rev. July 1999

Transfer Credits

  1. A or B List Humanities Credit: Hum 210 may be taken as part of an A-list Humanities sequence for an associate’s degree. A Humanities sequence in Non-European Culture/Literature and American Multiculturalism may be fulfilled by successfully completing any three of the following courses: Hum 210, Hum 211, Hum 212, Hum 213, Hum 230, Hum 240, Hum 256 (formerly Hum 151). Each of these courses is fully transferable and may also be applied toward fulfillment of the B-list Humanities requirement for an associate’s degree.
  2. WIC (Writing in Context of another discipline) Credit: Hum 210 has been approved and is formally transcripted as a "W" or "WIC" course, indicating that students will use both informal and formal writing assignments as a major method of learning, self-expression, and communication in the field of humanities.  Many four-year colleges and universities now require such lower-division "W" or "WIC" coursework for degrees, and successful completion of HUM 210 "W" will satisfy such transfer requirements.
  3. MIC (Multiculturally-Infused Course) Credit: Hum 210 has also been approved and is formally transcripted as a "MIC" or "M" course, indicating that a significant percentage (actually 100%) of course content and learning methods are devoted to cross-cultural and international study. Many four-year colleges and universities now have cultural diversity course requirements (e.g. race/ethnicity, gender, non-Western), which successful completion of Hum 210 "M" will fulfill.

Statement on Plagiarism

Proper citations and documentation of any sources that you quote, paraphrase, and/or summarize in your writing are required whenever you borrow the words, facts, and/or ideas of others. Note well that even putting others’ ideas into your own words still means you are borrowing, and you need to give credit where credit is due. To avoid plagiarism source(s) must be cited and documented, both . . .

(a) at the point in your papers where the borrowing occurs (using parenthetical citations for most documentation styles), and
in a list of all sources cited given at the end of your papers.

Plagiarism—intended or not—is considered a serious academic violation of intellectual property rights, and may earn your written assignment an automatic "F" or worse. Quick and acceptable ways of citing your sources in Humanities 210 assignments will be discussed further in class.

Need Help with Writing Assignments?  
Hum 210 students are encouraged to start promptly on course writing assignments, 
to ask Cora questions when they need clarification and direction, and
to seek help when needed from these and other resources:
COCC LINKS: COCC Online Resources for Student Writers & Researchers

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychological, vision, hearing) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must inform the College as soon as possible.
If you require any assistance related to disability,
contact the Disability Services Office located in Boyle Education Center,
call (541) 383-7580, or send e-mail to Steve O'Brien:

If a serious problem is interfering with your success in the course
or threatens to prevent you from completing the course at any point this term, 
please see Cora as soon as possible to discuss, or E-Mail me now:
We may be able to work out a solution.  I look forward to working with you this term!

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URL of this webpage:
Online HUM 210 Course Resources:
HUM 210 Syllabus Course Plan Assignments Student Writing 
Asian Film Asian Links: India China Japan
Asian Timelines: India China Japan
Epic Genre & Mahabharata  Red Sorghum Study Guide

Cora's Home Page | Site Map | Current  Schedule | Cora's Classes
Student Writing | COCC Links  

If you're interested in other world literatures and cultures, visit these course websites:
Hum 211 - Culture and Literature of Africa 
Eng 109 - Western World Literatures (late 18th-late 20th centuries)