Spring 2020 - HUM 101W D900

Introduction to the Humanities (3)

Class Number: 5393

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    SRYC 5140, Surrey

  • Prerequisites:




An introduction to issues and concepts central to the study of the Humanities. Through exposure to primary materials drawn from different periods and disciplines, students will become acquainted with a range of topics and ideas relating to the study of human values and human experience. Equivalent Courses: HUM101 Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


We will look at primary texts dispersed in historical time, exploring different ways in which historical context and contemporary problems disclose themes and concerns emblematic of the Humanities. Nevertheless, there is a common theme uniting the texts chosen for this course. Each book presents an individual or character at odds with both the conventional wisdom and the arrangements of power of his or her day. Plato questions the nature of love and its relation to truth, Job challenges God’s justice, La Boétie challenges the justice of tyrants in the name of virtue, while Hölderlin’s novel of revolution and love explores the virtue of action. A century later, Woolf confronts the opposition of male and female with a vision of transcendence and struggle, while Césaire gives us one of the great epic poems of the impact of colonialism and the birth of revolt. Students will write two essays comparing and contrasting these texts and two exams.


  • Essay X 2 60%
  • Exams X 2 30%
  • Participation 10%



Plato, Symposium
ISBN: 9780143037538

The Book of Job
ISBN: 9780060969592

Étienne de La Boétie, Discourse on Voluntary Servitude
ISBN: 9781603848398

Friedrich Hölderlin, Hyperion
ISBN: 9780979333026

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
ISBN: 9780141018980

Aimé Césaire, Return to my Native Land
ISBN: 9781935744948

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html