Spring 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Mortensen, Joan
Discipline and Number
HUMA 1301 Section 008
MWF Time 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Course Title
Exploration of the Humanities

Description of Course:

Dragons, Cowboys and Samurai

This class explores the cross cultural connections between America, China and Japan by studying the historical origins and significance of cowboys, dragons and samurai as cultural icons. Students will compare and contrast three genres of film and literature: the western, the martial arts tale and the samurai story. Students will investigate in what ways the cowboy, martial arts master and samurai have come to be “heroes” embodying a particular national essence.

Required Texts:


1)John Allyn, The Story of the 47 Ronin- Tuttle Publishing
2)Bruce Thomas, Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit-Blue Snake Books
3)Jack Shaefer, Shane-Bantam Books
4)William B. Cody: An Autobiograpy of Buffalo Bill Cody
5) Benjamin Hoff: The Tao of Pooh

Electronic Reserve:

Eiji Yoshikawa, Musashi (Hardcopy also on reserve; book also available for purchase)

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

Three In-Class tests are required for the class. Four In-class tests (including the final) are given. If you take all four tests, I will drop the lowest grade. No makeups will be given.
An analytic paper is required for the class. All required elements must be completed by student in order to pass the class.
Most weeks you must submit a short journal entry on Elearning. These journal entries must be submitted by 9:45 AM on Friday. No late entries will be accepted.

10 percentage points are awarded for class participation (attendance, in class worksheets, quizzes, online free discussion board etc.) Attendance will be taken each class. You must be present when role is taken.

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