HUMN303N Week 8: Course Project - Final Paper

HUMN 303N Week 8 Discussion, Looking Ahead

Imagine a world without the internet, a world without Facebook, Google and Instagram. How different would our lives be and what are the very basic things that we would miss. My proposal on this project would focus on how technology has transformed our lives and how different our world would be without it. Over the past years, technology has each time changed all aspects of our lives ranging from hoe we communicate with one another to how nowadays we depend on the same technology for survival. Technology did not just change how we socialize with one another but has affected economics globally. The technological transformation begun in the 1800’s when the first telegraph was built. Much later came the invention of telephones, the greatest and most popular form of communication ever was invented by Alexander Graham Bell. The birth of the internet, which I think is the greatest invention yet, impacted the human lives like nothing before.
In the year 1991, the world wide web was introduced. However, in 1991 the Internet changed again. That year, a computer programmer in Switzerland named Tim Berners-Lee introduced the World Wide Web: This was the internet of not only sending files between people but was a web of information. It contained information that anyone could retrieve at any time. Berners-Lee was the creator of the internet as we have come to know it today. The internet has therefore evolved so much since its birth and is still growing to date. The web has become even more popular because of its various capabilities (Latour, 1990). It allows people to view text and images in their screen while allows them to add or save document online. It has also provided the opportunity for the people to communicate, share and trade at ease. The internet changed our everyday in many ways including communication, travel, shopping and more research. Written letter was the primary method of communicating important, lengthy or formal information; this is very similar to the usage of email today, except the delay was longer. This compared to today, we can send any sort of message instantly and it would reach the person instantly. On the other hand, transportation has also been made easier with technology. Back in the days, to travel long distances, a boat proved to be the best and meaningful way to reach such a destination. However, today, transportation has been made so much easier and cheaper with new inventions coming up every day (Castells, 1985). We can reach our destination in a quarter of the time with much more security. Technology has also impacted the art world. With the invention of cameras, artists are now able to express their art in many different forms. This came with pictures that can be stored digitally for security. It ultimately changed the art world forever. Technology is redefining art in beautiful, new ways. You can use the internet to create anything you can imagine and call it art. The ease of access to almost anything online changed art. Hopefully in my research I can see and show how technology has impacted the human population in every aspect of our lives.

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Latour, B. (1990). Technology is society made durable. The Sociological Review, 38(1_suppl), 103-131.
Castells, M. (1985). High technology, space, and society (Vol. 28). SAGE Publications, Incorporated.

HUMN303N Week 7 Discussion


Although controversial art is not a topic exclusive to the 20th century, the distribution of information regarding controversial art has increased with the proliferation of media. Please discuss an example of a 20th century controversial work of art from any discipline of the humanities (music, literature, sculpture, film, etc.) and an accompanying statement from the artist(s). Based on your example, to what extent does controversial art make a social contribution? Are governments ever justified in censoring art?
Class, this could be a very exciting thread, considering that it covers controversial art and artists. I think that we are all very familiar with these situations--think of the movies that have been controversial, the once "banned books" that kids are now required to read in school, etc.
  • Controversy and censorship in arts is not new. Freedom of expression be it in speech, art has always bumped against subjective norms of decency and good taste. Throughout history art works have been altered, silence and erased due to unacceptable content. The motives for such censorship can be religious, political, social. One must also admit that artist have pushed the boundary of their imagination from presenting cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed as a terrorist {Charlie Hebdo] and portrait of vulva. Of the latter one can ask is it art or pornography. The Sistine Chapel painting by Michelangelo depicting unclothed human souls rising or falling to their fate was thought of as immoral. A student of Michelangelo later added loin cloth on the nude figures, after Pietro Aretino wrote this of Michelangelo’s art work: “is it possible that you, so divine that you do not deign to consort with men, have done such a thing in the highest temple of God? Above the first altar of Jesus? Not even in the brothel are there such scene as yours…”

    In 1866 Gustave Courbet painted The Origin of the World, below is a link please be advised [WARNING] it is very graphic depiction of female sexuality do not click if you are not comfortable: to an external site.

    Of Courbet’s one can honestly ask is it art or pornography. It is no wonder that the piece although in 1866 did show publicly until 1995; before then its whereabouts was reported shrouded in secrecy.

    Another controversial art work is the “Piss Christ” by Andres Serrano dipping a plastic crucifix in a cup of his own urine.

    There are pieces that are revolting and in this modern era anything can be called art.


    1. A Brief History Of Art Censorship retrieved from to an external site./artcensorship
    2. Sayre, H. (2013) Discovering the Humanities 2nd Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson


      I enjoyed reading your post. I think that many times art can push the limits as to what is acceptable keeping in mind that this definition varies from individual to individual. People deserve the choice and freedom to decide on their own what they view in the way of art. Government should not have this power. In some cases government funds art. If they are the ones providing the funding then I guess that gives them the power to chose what is acceptable to them and what is not. 



      Follow the prompt and discuss an example of a 20th century, controversial work of art from any discipline of the humanities.

      If you already have one in mind, go ahead and use it! If not, browse through your textbook; a great deal of 20th century art was controversial when it was created.

      Also give a statement from the artist, if possible. How did he/she/they justify the work? What was the purpose of the piece, according to the creator?

      One note of caution: art is often controversial because it challenges our most cherished beliefs and values. As a result, it is easy to be personally offended by them. Let’s, if possible, keep our own feelings about the works out of this discussion and focus on tackling these questions from a detached, academic point of view.

      Thanks and have a great week!

      Professor and Class,

       When I think of controversial work in music, I automatically think of the one and only Madonna. She aims to entertain and also shock as well. She has done that many times before but this one is the one that stands out for me. The video for the highly controversial music of “Like a Prayer.” When this song came out, I was a young girl but still remember how much commotion surrounded this video. This song came out in 1989 with a video that caused a stir. In the video, the character that Madonna plays witnesses a crime not involving an African American man but one is shown to have been arrested for the crime. She then escapes to a church after that where there is an African American figure that seems to be either Jesus or a saint who comes to life and kisses her on the cheeks and walks away. There is also a moment where she picks up a knife, and then they show marks on her hands similar to a crucifixion marks. At some point, she started to dance and sing in front of a burning cross. In the end, they showed that she identified those responsible for the crime because they showed the innocent man go free. Needless to say, Religious groups, family sponsored groups, and the Vatican condemned the video.

      At the time, Madonna was interviewed by the New York Times where she stated that this “is the song of a passionate young girl so in love with God that it is almost as though he were the male figure in her life." She also believed that “Art should be controversial, and that's all there is to it," She makes no apologies for her art or how she chooses to express it.

       I believe that art imitates life. What better way to address a situation and have people discussing it in such a constructive manner. Madonna is an artist that has been ahead of her time. Here in this video, she brings up an issue that today is still being dealt with such as injustice. Most artist whether they paint or sing is looking to connect with their audience. Their art is their way to communicate with their audience. According to Sayre (2013) a painter by the name of Mark Rothko stated that “I am interested only in expressing the basic human emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on—and the fact that lots of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I communicate with those basic human emotions” (p.469).

      Regarding the government censoring art, I think that question can be tricky. We have a lot of information out there that I think may be hard to track. Some art such music literature and movies or sculpture are essential and necessary, and others have no value. How and who gets to decide that for us is the problem. Our leaders sometimes do not focus on doing what is right for society but what is popular.


      Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


      Hi Barbara,

      I must say that this week has been one of the most enjoyable journeys till date. The controversies that we are reading about in this week's posts are opening up newer perspectives on art and artists. The best part is that we are having an in depth idea of what disastrous allegations these artists had to go through in order to make these immortal pieces of art possible. Great work, Barbara.

      Hello Professor and Class,

    Art becomes controversial when it goes Against the accepted norms. Art allows us to give form and meaning to emotions and allows us to focus on certain issues of a social or political bearing. A controversial image is a piece of Artwork, which is emotionally stimulating and contradicts traditional methods of interpretation; it allows the views of the audience to be challenged by the notions of shock or surprise. Often it is difficult to determine what relevance controversial Art has to Society due to the compelling nature of the work. Artists throughout History have produced controversial Artworks, which have tested limitations and the audiences’ thought processes.

    My bed (1998) by Tracey Emin

    Tracey Emin constructed “My Bed” in 1998, this was a graphic representation of conception, sex, loss, illness, and death – The piece was installed at The Saatchi Collection, London, UK. This piece caused a storm of interest due to the controversial content. The Bed was unmade and appeared to be used as the sheets looked stained and crumpled, the bed was surrounded by dirty underwear, condoms, and cigarette packets. Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” was described as “Representing vulgarity and lack of skill of contemporary artists”.

    Dadaist, Duchamp’s work belongs in that crazy genre of stuff that looks like other stuff but actually is an art. His most iconic piece, 1917’s Fountain, which features a urinal turned upside down, turned heads as one of the first instances of “found art.”

    Marcel Duchamp

    When it comes to censorship, it assumes a different dimension altogether. There should be a balance between what we can allow in the name of art and self-expression so that it has no harmful effects on the overall mental health of the society and what we should not allow. Once we talk about censorship, the government or the powers to be and its involvement comes into the picture. Most of the times censorship is used to suppress voices against the functioning of the government. If censorship is done with the right perception in deciding what is harmful to the society there should not be a problem. But unfortunately, censorship is used as a tool to suppress criticism.


    Tracey Emin – My Bed and J.M.W. Turner @ Turner Contemporary image retrieved from to an external site. to an external site.

    Marcel Duchamp image retrieved from


    Very interesting post. Prior to reading it I would have never pictured Madonna to be in this subject but after your reasoning I have to agree. Madonna has always been a risk taker I feel and because of that many new artists have been discovered based on her. One artist in particular is Lady Gaga, she has been getting a lot of back lash for her costumes etc. I do agree with you in this situation where they are using art as a form of expressing themselves. Madonna is a very powerful figure and I feel her intentions are good even they are not always addressed in the right way.

     Hi Jean Latouche,

    Well written post. I enjoyed reading it. Rothko's painting style changed due to the influences of WWII. Specifically, his painting style went from smaller images to large bold colors without any clear definitions.  The reasoning behind the change was that painting smaller images didn’t allow you to be part of the painting; painting with a couple colors and no figures or forms allow you to be part of the picture.  He went on to say that his primary interest was in human emotions and that when someone viewed his painting and he was convinced they experienced the same thing he felt when painting the picture. According to Sayre, (2013) Rothko’s paintings continue to get darker throughout the 1960’s and in his studio, he took his own life in 1970. What a terrible loss?

    Thank you,



    Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


     I completely agree that Madonna was a topic of controversy in the music arena. She was powerful, influential, and created music outside of social norms. The Son “Like A Prayer” combined spirituality and eroticism where she was highly criticized. I agree that the release of this song caused a stir even with the Pope. I believed he banned her from entering the Vatican because of the spiritual and sexual overtones. Great post!


    Hi Jean,

    I am glad that you have brought up the issue of Madonna in your discussion. She has been a heartthrob and at the same time a bold ideal for a generation altogether. Her activities have attracted controversy but at the same time her personality has been creating edgy instances in Hollywood time and again. She is actually an ideal for every feminist today.  

     Hi Jean,

    I remember that video so vividly. My family are devout catholics and I remember my mom being so angry at that video. Keep in mind that I am from a foreign country and my mom did not even speak English at the time so she had no idea what the song was about. All she knew was that the video was blasphemous and forbid me to ever watch it again.

     Hi Jean-

    I agree that art imitates life and do believe that Madonna was ahead of her time as an artist. Her provocative music and imagery in her videos were a true expression of herself and she has continued to push the envelope throughout her career. 

     You have an interesting point in that our leaders do sometimes side with popular opinion versus what is right for society. What is "right" is relative, however, and is difficult to measure. I have found that based on individual experiences, demographics and exposure, varied viewpoints are to be expected on government censoring. All things considered, I stand by my belief that certain sanctions should be set to protect sensitive material from children and adolescents but I do not believe that the government should be able to censor adults. 

    Thank you,


    Hello Barbara, I enjoyed reading about what you wrote, and what you chose as controversial art. It is very interesting, that many people have different views on what is considered art or pornography. In my own opinion, art should not be excluded as a freedom of speech. Yes things are controversial, but so are things out side of art, that get published every day, and take no type of heat for it. I think some people take art too literal, and become offended by what they see, because they were taught to see it as obscene. Art is just a way to express ones self, and at times I do not agree with certain types of art, because they can be shown as disrespectful; but I do not believe that nude arts, such as the one you referenced "The Origin of The World" should be censored. I think it takes certain minds to understand what the artist was going for. It just happened to be a nude woman as his center piece. How do you feel about "The Origin of The World"? Do you find it obscene, or something that goes into a deeper meaning? Again great post.

    I agree that controversy and censoring art in all forms is not new, and will continue to be a constant battle.  Ever since the Enlightenment, artists portrayed their new ideas via artwork and I feel that this has carried through to modern day society.  But who is to determine which pieces of art require censoring?  The government, society, or someone else?  I feel this matter is very subjective, which is how art becomes controversial. 

    -Megan Lesniak

     Hello Jayanthi,

    Great post. When art goes against acceptable norms of society it can garner more attention. Things that are controversial or have shock value get people talking. This can be good and bad for an artist. The art work that you shared by Marcel Duchamp "Fountain" from 1917, pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable at the time and was rejected for exhibition by the Society of Independent Artists due to it's indecency. By today's standards I don't think anyone would find this "indecent". Because of it's shock value I think that this is why this piece is talked about today. Otherwise I think that people would have forgotten about this piece long ago.

    The White Cube Diaries. (2013). Shock factor: Controversial art throughout history. Retrieved from to an external site. 


HUMN303N week 6 course project paper


It is no secret that today we depend on technology on almost every aspect of our lives. Since the first telegraph was invented and that one successful message was sent, we have been on the verge of technological development as we strive to advance our technological understanding to further better our future. Today, technology is found everywhere since the introduction of the world wide web. All through the paper we would discuss how technology has affected how we communicate, present our messages through art and how art is perceived in the world today. In doing so, we will look at the different aspects of technology both in our lives and the surrounding environment. when it comes to communication, technology is a major power player. That is to say, we have experienced a tremendous increase in technological change when it comes to communication. Before the advancement in technology, messages would be relayed through the use of letters, personal delivery or even through carriages. This was very disadvantageous as it would take a very long time for the letters to reach the destinations. This was also coupled by a variety of challenges such as weather, mood and route to be followed. However, since the invention of technology, there has been various medium to deliver information conveniently and at lightning speed. This has completely given us control of how we communicate and drawn us close to one another.
On the other hand, technology has also affected how art is delivered and the various meaning behind each presentation. Before the advancement in technology, the artists had to use special canvas when drawing their paintings and a very defined and concrete type of paint was required in order to deliver quality work. This was very beneficial as it saw the presentation of some of the world’s best paintings to date. These paintings were that famous as they were painted using quality and durable materials which were had to find. However, since the introduction of technology into the art industry, artists can now use various platforms to paint and deliver their presentations. These can either be digitally or through art rooms and shows. The paper would then look at the advantages and disadvantages of technological involvement in communication and the art industry. Art is a form of expression where the artist tells a story using paintings. This has given the artists a very broad aspect to work with since technology has been introduced into the art industry.

Latour, B. (1990). Technology is society made durable. The Sociological Review, 38(1_suppl), 103-131.
Castells, M. (1985). High technology, space, and society (Vol. 28). SAGE Publications, Incorporated.

HUMN303N Discussion Post



 This week, we looked at several examples of early modernist art such as Cubism, Fauvism, futurism, and expressionism. Let's discuss the relationships between these aesthetic categories and the sociopolitical climate of the period.

How did the sociopolitical climate of the time period, including the two world wars, influence artists?Ferris Bueller said, "A person should not believe in an "ism", he should believe in himself." Well, artists of the first half of the 20th Century would have disagreed.

This week we are taking a look at some of the --Isms that shaped the art world during the teens, 20s, and 30s. When discussing a particular --ism, it's okay to use source material, but I'd like to read your interpretation as well. These movements definitely reflect the vast socio-political changes occurring during this volatile time period. Let's bring history into the conversation.

Please provide links or images when referencing an artistic work AND comment on the painter's life and times. Historical criticism is important; we can find meaning in studying the era in which the art was produced. It also helps to read the lecture before posting. 

Hi Geraldine Cadet, 

    • You are right. The artist expressed their thoughts in different ways and also to experiment new techniques in their painting. 

      Thank you.

       In addition to your point on futurism, it was originated in Italy in the early 20th century focusing on the fascination of advanced technology and modern urbanization. It began at the brink of World War 1.  They were fascinated with the new advancements in technology. The style of futurism emphasized speed and movement of machines and technology and tried to convey the sensation of noise, heat, and the feeling of the metropolis. This was a time when technology was beginning to make a big impact of people’s lives. People were striving to build bigger and faster machines.

       Gang Zhang

       This was a wonderful post. I liked reading your post since you had well articulated points. The manner in which you have explicated the different modernist art has not only made the post scholalry but also it was very informative. I completely agree with your claims about the different categories of cubism that are analytical and synthetic. Art has developed over time and has evolved from the use of pencils, paints , colours and curent there are very effective drawing technologies. Thank you
      The idea of modernism art is about letting go of the style of the past and creating new art styles that reflect new modern designs. With this approach came the forms of Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, and expressionism. These types are different unique and complement the tempo of that time. The first is Cubism which is an art style developed from the joint effort of George Braque and Pablo Picasso.

      The work of art appears to have a flat look and a cube-like shape. It features geometric angles, lines and shapes and a neutral color palette. As the movement progressed so has the scheme of this art style where the artist added cues so the viewer would be able to identify the object. The best example of cubism is Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles. The painting featured five female prostitutes from a brothel. Three of the females had traditional faces were typically constructed, but the other two were said to be an Africa mask. Many scholars believed that “Les Demoiselles, then, was an act of liberation, an exorcism of traditions, perhaps even of painting itself. It would allow Picasso to move forward into a kind of painting that was new” (Sayre, 2013, p.447). “Picasso scholar Patricia Leighten has argued convincingly that the African masks in Les Demoiselles are designed not only to challenge and mock Western artistic traditions but also to evoke and critique the deplorable exploitation by Europeans of black Africans, particularly in the Congo” (Sayre, 2013, p.447).

      The next one is Fauvism which is a 20th-century style of painting that was developed by a group of artist known as the Fauvre where their leader is Henri Matisse. The technique is known for the utilization of bold color to incite a reaction from its audience. There is also Futurism which calls for the development of new ideas of art and the repudiation of the traditional and political forms of art that reflects a modern urban life (Sayre, 2013). The last one is Expressionism this type of art idea is the first world war, and its quest is to elicit an emotional response that it is trying to extract from viewers. Most artists found it difficult to understand the conflict and looked for a way to express those feelings. Their focus was to end it. As mentioned by Sayre 2013 “Some writers and artists—Picasso, for instance—simply waited out the war. Many others openly opposed it and vigorously protested the social order that had brought about what seemed to them nothing short of mass genocide, and some of these soon formed the movement that named itself Dada” (p.454). As stated by Sayre (2013) “Dada was an international signifier of negation. It did not mean anything, just as, in the face of war, life itself had come to seem meaningless” (p.454).


      Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the Humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

        I wanted to add to your discussion about Dada. The Romanian poet Tristan Tzarar claimed Dada was his invention. The movement called Dada protested social order and seemed to promote anti-war interventions. Tzara summed up the meaning of Dada. He stated “DADA DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING…We read in the papers that the Negroes of the Kroo race all the tail of a sacred cow:dada. A cube, and a mother, in certain regions of Italy, are called: dada. The word for hobbyhorse, a children’s nurse, a double affirmative in Russian and Romanian, is also: DADA” (Sayre, 2015. P. 454). I thought that the naming aspect of Dada was interesting. 

      Hello Professor and Class,

                Until the first decade of the 20th century, art, whether drawing, painting, or sculpture, was always essentially pictorial, and was based on themes and compositions representing real-world ideas. With the emergence of a new ‘Modernist’ thinking and with an ever-increasing use of machines in industry and daily life, artists sought new ways to interpret the dynamic changes taking place around them. Modernist art imagery first developed in Europe between 1905 and 1920 on several fronts under a number of names such as Fauvism, Cubism, German Expressionism, Constructivism, de Stijl, Dadaism, and Surrealism. American artists studied these new styles and ‘isms’ in Europe and brought them back to the United States. Simultaneously, European artists immigrated to the United States bringing Modernist concepts with them. As an art historical term, modern refers to a period dating from roughly the 1860s through the 1970s and is used to describe the style as well as the ideology of art produced during that era. Beginning in the 1860s, many artists cast aside the traditional limitations of art and began to depict contemporary life through experimental forms and new mediums. These new attitudes were reinforced by scientific discoveries of the time that seemed to question the solidity of the ‘real’ world and the reliability of perception. The term modernism is used to refer to the art of this ‘modern period’. More specifically, modernism can be thought of as referring to the ‘philosophy’ of ‘modern art’. After the war, people fell on hard times. The middle class was virtually gone. Technology had improved and new inventions were popping up. This time period allowed artists to express emotions. They were many emotions regarding the sociopolitical climate, anxiety, fear, rage and even ecstasy. Artists were able to use their creativity to visually show these emotions through their artwork. According to Sayre (2013), “News of the experimental fervor of Picasso and Braque spread quickly through avant-garde circles across Europe, and other artists sought to match their endeavors in independent but related ways”. Artists continued to get more creative while experimenting with new techniques creating fauvism, futurism, and expressionism. 

      Thank you



      Askart, Modernism(2018). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

      Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.


      Very interesting post! After reading your post I was unaware with the whole role technology had during this era. You mentioned how during this era many artists began to experiment more with their creations. I noticed while doing my discussion bright colors were very popular along with having the paintings resemble more events that were occurring during that era. It seems like even with present day fashion and art it all still comes from Europe. I find that to be very interesting and just curious if there is a reason for this. Great job!


        Hi Jayanthi,

      That was a great post. I would've never thought that technology played a role that far back. I believe that this era was the birth of expressive art that we all know today. Art is supposed to be a way that people express what they feel like such as anger, pain, pleasure ect...I think that era allowed artist to be expressive. 

       Hey Jayanthi,Democracy and capitalism were firmly anchored in western Europe and the United States in the early twentieth century. Colonialism led to competition among European countries and created instability in Europe and eventually leading to war.

      “Modernism in culture and art connotes a rejection of conventions and a commitment to radical innovation. Artists liked to engage in the process of experimentation and discovery, seeking to explore new possibilities of creativity and expression in a rapidly changing world in order to define art. Each modern “ism” had its own manifesto (unique philosophy)[1]”.

      Fauvism: is the first artistic style of the modern era. It is characterized by the illustration of explosive colors to make realistic interpretations. Fauvism was of short duration. The leading artist of Fauvism were Henri Matisse and Andre Derain.

      Cubism: is divided into two branches, analytical and synthetic. Analytical cubism uses geometric forms like cylinders, spheres, cones. Color is almost nonexistent except for shades of grey, blue and ocher. Synthetic cubism introduces collage to the art form. The leading cubists were Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris. Below is Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon.

       Futurism: Rejects everything dull, old and feminine to promote exhilaration, masculinity, reckless speed.

      Impressionism: is an art form characterized by small, thin, yet visible brush strokes with emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities, it includes of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles.

      Below is Claude Monet’s impression of the rising sun:


      1. (Links to an external site.).
      2. Sayre, H. (2013) Discovering the Humanities 2nd Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson

        Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the Humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

         Hi Jean,

    Thanks for such an interesting post. Technology really does play an important role. In this era like you mentioned, artists explored with their creations as they tried to depict what was happening in their lives at the moment. This saw the use of bright colors in drawing everyday items. Creativity begun to shape the art industry

    Hello Professor and Class,

         When it comes to early modernist art, there were many influences within the sociopolitical climate and its impact on the outcome of an artist’s work. Each style of art during this time was different and unique and had its own way of speaking to the viewer. I know this type of art was not mentioned above, but I really did enjoy some of its pieces. The Post-Impressionists paintings were ones that I enjoyed because I could compare it to the Impressionists paintings and truly see the difference. When it came to Impressionists, I know it was more about the brushstrokes, use of light, and separation of color. To me, the Impressionist’s paintings were beautiful, but sometimes confusing as it looked like the colors and figures in the paintings ran together at times. I believe when it comes to the Post-Impressionists paintings, they obtained more structure and form. The color and use of light are still amazing just as with the Impressionists paintings, but they appear to be “better put together” in my opinion. In my mind, the Post-Impressionists paintings could a mixture of or lie in between the Impressionism and Realism category.

         When it comes to Cubism, it was a form of art created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque that was known for the, “geometry of its forms, its fragmentation of the object, and its increasing abstraction.” (Sayre 2013, p. 466). Picasso and Braque spent much time together creating paintings that were an inspiration to many. They really enjoyed using their imagination to create unique, abstract art to portray reality through their work. They liked to experiment with each piece, adding new things here and there by adding dimension, eventually words, and more quality to increase the value of their work. Georges Braque’s painting, Houses at l’Estaque, featured below is an example of Cubism. It is interesting in its own way as it has a lot of repetition of vertical lines that create “cubes” or houses that lack in-depth detail. The houses are not very detailed and do not have windows, doors, etc. The use of a little shading, such as that appearing to be trees in between the houses and shading around the houses themselves, does give it dimension. There is also no use of a horizon, which Sayre (2013) states, but it actually looks like the houses are tumbling forward at the viewer because of this reason. The style of Cubism became so popular, it gave life to what was called Futurism that was invented by Filippo Marinetti, Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrá, Luigi Russolo, and Gino Severini. Their goal was to create art of movement and change to develop characteristics of modern urban life, which they believed was speed. As stated in Sayre (2013) Boccioni once stated, “What we want to do, is show the living object in its dynamic growth” (p. 449).

         The work of art known as Fauvism was very unique, as it was known mostly for its random, whimsical use of bizarre colors that lacked rhyme or reason. The artwork shown for Cubism lacked bold colors and portrayed more “laid back” and “relaxed” tones such as light hues of gray, blue, brown, tan, pink, and white. As Futurism included more sculptures rather than paintings it seems, they too lacked color and were created of a bronze/gold. Unlike the work of Cubism and Futurism, Fauvism used dark, bold colors such as hues of greens, reds, and blues. Some artists of this time were considered Expressionists and included Henri Matisse, Franz Marc, and Wassily Kandinsky. Expressionism originated in Germany and was the movement of artwork where the artist/writer attempted to portray and express their emotions and feeling through their work. The artists of this time used the style of Fauvism to express themselves by the use bold and random colors. A painting by Kandinsky, Composition No. 7, is an example of Fauvism art and is featured below. Kandinsky was an artist that was obsessed with color and mainly enjoyed painting about the biblical Apocalypse. He once stated, “Red rings inwardly with a determined and powerful intensity,” while green “represents the social middle class, self-satisfied, immovable, narrow,” and blue is, “the typical heavenly color” (Sayre 2013, p. 450). This painting is abstract at its finest and really speaks more through the colors, rather than pictures as they are extremely hard to interpret. It uses colors such as dark greens, reds, oranges, and blues that really stand out to make a statement, which is stated above in the interpretation of colors by Kandinsky.

         The sociopolitical climate and two wars that took place during these times of art really had an impact on the work and the artists. For example, with any picture that portrays humans, it seems as if the people are sad, depressed, and emotionless. Many people seem to be staring off into the distance and have a very somber look with a flat affect. The times of war were very difficult on people and art work and painting is a way to express yourself freely, without judgement. Many paintings, other than those during the Fauvism phase, were very flat and subtle with lighter hues of colors that were very “soft spoken” to the viewer. During the Cubism phase, art was fairly plan with some dimension and little details such as Georges Braque’s Houses at l’Estaque. As times changed and when referring to Kandinsky’s painting of Composition No. 7, Sayre (2013) stated, “The title in fact refers to music—the biblical themes of war and resurrection, deluge and apocalypse, with each painting becoming more and more abstract” (p. 451). Looking at the painting below, it is very chaotic and unorganized, just like the wars would be. Some writers and artists, one of them including Picasso, waited patiently for the war to come to an end. “Others openly opposed it and vigorously protested the social order that had brought about what seemed to them nothing short of mass genocide, and some of these soon formed the movement that named itself Dada” (Sayre 2013, p. 454). Dada was the art movement during the 20th century that started during World War I in Switzerland, as a negative reaction to the horrors and devastations of this time. The intentions of this work were to shock the viewer or cause a commotion or outrage and make a bold statement. Sayre (2013) also stated, “It did not mean anything, just as, in the face of war, life itself had come to seem meaningless” (p. 454). Although to me, as the wars and turmoil continued, politics changed, and newer phases of art were created, the details and works of art changed as well. For example, more and more details were added, more color were incorporated into paintings, and paintings seemed to portray more emotions than they had before as the artists seemed to become more outspoken. A great representation of art that depicted the war was Picasso’s Guernica, pictured below. This is a black and white photo containing very somber, depressing colors, that is very abstract and chaotic. It was said, “The work portrays a scene of violence and helpless suffering,” (Sayre 2013, p. 467) and this is expressed perfectly in this painting. Sayre (2013) also concluded, “Guernica would become the international symbol of the horrors of war and the fight against totalitarianism” (p. 467). The people and their heads are leaning backwards, looking towards the sky and their mouths are open as if they are screaming loudly or as if they are in pain. The faces of the animals in this painting also appear worrisome and scared. This painting is a picture of true turmoil and is a great representation of times during the war. The wars and political stance during this time clearly affected many artists, as it was commonly demonstrated in their work.

HUMN303N Week 5: Realism and Impressionism


 For this week's discussion, choose realism or impressionism as a basis for your posts and discuss how your choice is manifested in any area of the humanities (i.e., painting, sculpture, literature, music, etc.), and give an example from any discipline in the humanities to illustrate how realism or impressionism influenced the work of art. Please be sure to give an analysis of how the work of art was influenced by the movement
Thank you, Melissa Gilliland
I found your post to be very educational and good at explaining what realism is. I find it interesting how it was utilized for all areas of humanities. Realism in art and literature refers to the attempt to represent familiar and everyday people and situations in an accurate, non idealized manner. More specifically, the term "realism" refers to a literary and artistic movement of the late 1800's and early 1900's. This movement was a reaction against romanticism. Romanticism was an earlier movement that presented the world in much more idealized terms. I have heard of the Book Uncle Tom's Cabin but have not taken the time to read. There are other realist writers whom I have taken the time to read. Henry James "The Portrait of a Lady" and Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace", both were great reads places a strong emphasis on the truthful representation of the actual in fiction. Great post! I will find time to read Uncle Tom's Cabin.
        • Hey Dana,

          Thanks for such a wonderful post concerning realism and in explaining what it is exactly. This is so familiar in our cases as realism in a concept used in art to represent the everyday people and lives. The writers as an example help present the concept of reality in different dimensions. This is useful as it help the society keep track of the changes of the surrounding.

           Class, we are getting closer and closer to our own century--we have covered a lot of material in the last 4 weeks!

          In a thread concerning Realism and Impressionism, I think that it is important for us to begin by giving an overview of each style.

          Choose one of these styles and discuss the common characteristics associated with it. Or (if you are feeling ambitious!) discuss both of these styles and explain how they are different.

           Hi Professor and class,

          Realism in literature is a cultural and literary movement of the xix century in the novel has the primary focus of expressing with as much fidelity as possible reality without idealism. True stories are preferred, characters are credible and the environment is recreated with objectivity. The characteristics of literatures of that epoch are: analysis of social problems to understand human behavior depicting reality as it exists.  The description of the writer paints an informative value allowing us to comprehend the psychology of the characters. The realist authors do not exclude any topics included the daily living of the popular masses. Sayre described how Honore de Balzac “wrote of those he encountered in Paris streets” and how Charles Baudelaire made bourgeois hypocrisy his target.

          Literary impressionism is a style of writing that associates symbolism with contemplation of nature to express an inner feeling. But it was mostly in the arts that impressionism made its mark with artist like Monet, Renoir and Degas among other.



           According to Visions of America, the new realism was a result of industrialization. Factories replaced skilled workers, woman worked in factories for lower wages then men. Some woman turned to prostitution as a mean of income. The beginning of modern art started with Realism. Art described life’s unpleasant moments socially, economically and politically. Some of the important artist known for artist of realism is, Honore Daumier known for his painting Rue Transonain, Gustave Courbet known for A burial at Ornans, and my two favorite The Stone Breakers by Gustave Courbet and The Gleaners by Jean-Francois Millet. In the Gleaners, woman was allowed to comb the fields after the harvest. Hours of hard work, bending over for a small meal to take home to their families. The Stone Breakers shows two men, one old and one younger, working one of the hardest back breaking jobs known, collecting gravel for a stone road. Their clothes are dirty and hands are “working mans hands” callused and weathered. It hurts my heart to think of people starving and upper class “allows” them to earn the bare minim, just enough to stay alive.


          Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

           In French art, the realist movement gained momentum from 1840 and the latter part of the 19th century. The idea of Realism is about portraying the reality of the modern world through artistic expression. The movement wanted to describe contemporary life as honest and impartial as possible. As mentioned by Finocchio (2004) “French society fought for democratic reform, the Realists democratized art by depicting modern subjects drawn from the everyday lives of the working class” (para 1).

          They no longer chose to accept the typical art (idealized classicism) portrayed during that time and their outlandish ideas depicted in (romanticism) (para 3). In the idealized classicism “Neoclassical style arose from such first-hand observation and reproduction of antique works and came to dominate European architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts” (Finocchio, 2004, para 3).  The other type of art mentioned was the Romanticism of art which involves your emotion and imagination. As mentioned by Finocchio (2004) “Realism was based on direct observation of the modern world (para 4). The leading supporter of the movement is Gustave Courbet. The artist felt that “painting is an essentially concrete art and can only consist in the representation of real and existing things” (Finocchio, 2004, para 4). In keeping with that tradition, the realist often displayed an unidealistic version of the people of that time (para 4). As noted by Finocchio (2004) “The groundbreaking works that Courbet exhibited at the Paris Salons of 1849 and 1850–51—notably A Burial at Ornans (Musée d’Orsay, Paris) and The Stonebreakers (destroyed) (para 3). They "portrayed ordinary people from the artist’s native region on the monumental scale formerly reserved for the elevating themes of history painting” (Finocchio, 2004, para 3).


          Finocchio, R. (2004). “Nineteenth-Century French Realism.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

           Good Evening Professor and Class,

          The Realism movement started in the mid-late 19th century.  During this time period, artists were starting to depict paintings that reflected "real-life" events of daily living.  Artists started to move away from embellishing or romanticizing events to creating pieces of art that were realistic in nature.  Robert Koehler painted "The Strike" at a time when there was great political unrest in the United States.  Across the country, the unemployment rate was greater than 25 percent and widespread corruption contributed to the impoverished working class.  The average working class citizen had to endure long hours with little compensation. 

           In the painting, workers are shown demanding a decent salary for their work.  In the painting, you can see the anger on the faces of the workers.  Also, you can see the worried look on the man standing behind the owner.  In the bottom left side of the painting, a poor woman standing with her children with a concerned look on her face.  In the center of the painting, there is a middle-classed woman trying to reason with one of the workers.  According to Sayre (2012) "Koehler's realism is evident in the diversity of his figures, each possessing an individual identity" (p. 428).


          Sayre, H. M. (08/2012). Discovering the Humanities, 2/e VitalSource for DeVry University. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from Links to an external site.

          Image retrieved from to an external site.

           Thank you


          Professor & Class,

          The drastic social changes resulting from the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution opened the door to a more modern art form known as realism. This concept of realism began to be reflected in all areas of the humanities such as paintings, sculptures, literature, music, and photography. Our text defines literary realism as “the depiction of contemporary life emphasizing fidelity to everyday experience and the facts and conditions of life” (Sayre, 2012, p. 437).  In other words, these art forms portrayed the social, financial, political, and cultural aspects of real life events with no filters which was not always a pretty site. Realist writers were known for describing life meticulously and methodically in a way that was unbiased and straight forward. An example of literature that illustrated how realism influenced the work of art was the novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. This book explicates the divergent destinies of three slaves known as Tom, Eliza, and George. It was considered the most influential abolitionist tract of the day and sold 300,000 copies within the first year of its publication (Sayre, 2012). According to Sayre (2012), “Stowe’s depiction of the plight of slaves like Tom roused anti-slavery sentiment worldwide and eventually became the best-selling novel of the nineteenth century” (p. 413). The abolitionist movement largely inspired the American realist writers who were already troubled by the problem of slavery (Sayre, 2012).



          Sayre, H. M. (08/2012). Discovering the Humanities, 2nd Edition. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from to an external site.Hello Barbara,

        Great post! I enjoyed your explanation of realism. I really enjoyed reading about the realists and their work, as it is full of detail and really brought their work to life to make it feel as though I was experiencing what they did. Balzac also wrote, "I could espouse their lives. I felt their rags on my back. I walked with my feet in their tattered shoes; their desires, their wants—everything passed into my soul” (Sayre 2013, p. 412). I also like how his work was created through direct observation. I do like to use my imagination at times when it comes to artwork and reading stories, but I also thoroughly enjoy stories based on real life events. I think this is why I was drawn more to the realists point of views, even thought the impressionists created some beautiful works of art as well. Thank you again for your post.

        Tiffany Mathews


        Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

        Hi Barbara,

         What a great post. You have some excellent point here. The way you have introduced an economic concept in this discussion about realism is splendid. Realism is such a practical form of art that few of the archives that I went through to study realism look no more like art but like photographs. It is actually in stark contrast to Romaticism. 

         Hello Barbara, 

        I enjoyed your post. I think that true stories are preferred. "An autobiography is the author's own account of details of his or her life". Stories reflecting one's life or now days documentaries.  "Readers tend to be more interested in autobiographical works that tell them something about the writer that they would not learn from any other source"(CU 2018). Realism is a movement in art whose purpose was to end the romanticism used in literary works. Novels were once only filled with fiction and imagination. Truthful publications were introduced during the era of realism.   


        Chamberlain University. (2018.) HUMN 303. Week 5 lesson. Tinley Park, IL: Online Publication

         Hey Barbara,

        I enjoyed your post. I think most of us chose to talk about paintings but looking at realism and impressionism in writing is very interesting. Realistic writers really wants us to experience what they are writing. They want us not only to imagine what they are saying but they want us to feel it. Although I love reading fiction novels, I also enjoy reading true stories. I love feeling like I experienced what the author is trying to portray.

         Sayre, H. (2013) Discovering the Humanities 2nd Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson

        Realism influenced many aspects of the arts, for example there are many paintings of realism which take the aspects of life and put them into a painting. Mainly the common man was the aspect of the paintings, showing what life was really like, They weren't glorified or represented as a hero, they were shown with emotion realistic representation. For example a realism painting could show a person working in the mills or fields, just a plain painting showing them working, nothing else to glorify the painting to make it pop.


        Wow your most was so informative! I never thought to look at the new realism as a result of the industrialization. But you make some really good points.  With the industrialization it did bring the economy to a whole new level. As you stated, women were put in new roles where they actually had responsibilities outside of being a housewife. The painting you described "The Stone Breakers", sounds like the perfect description of how people were living in that time.  I couldn't imagine being a person in the upper class living in a very spoiled environment knowing that so many people were working so hard just trying to make ends meet.  I find that many paintings during this era did a really good job describing the harsh environments and times some people were going through.  Very nice post.


         Hi Charlotte Francis,

        You are right. Art described life’s unpleasant moments socially, economically and politically.     Realism is what we see, Impressionism is how we see. To compare some of the artwork between the movements, Realism had the gritty artwork, showing this rough style of life, while Impression had a calmer side to it. Realism included detail upon every character, landscape, object, etc. The Impression had a little detailed involved with some of the things involved in the image, it was more interested in using colors to show the mechanical side of the human eye and the way it sees. The differences can be seen in some of the works like Courbet’s stone breakers compared to Monet’s Haystacks. Great post. Thank you for sharing.



        Courbet, The Stonebreakers (2018). Retrieved from to an external site.

        Haystacks (Effect of Snow and Sun),2018, Retrieved on 2/3/2018 from to an external site.


        I really enjoyed reading your post! Very informative and interesting points that you make. I guess I never really thought about how modern art started, but as I think of realism art most of it does represent a lot of unpleasant moments. I assume this was their only way of expression toward what was taking place. It is very unfortunate though that these things as you mentioned in your post were taking place as a result of industrialization.

         Hi Jean,

        This is a beautiful post. Realism is indeed a rejection of romanticism with its “emotion and imagination”. Realism depicts reality as observed. The realist movement is expressed in arts and literature.



        Your post was so interesting. I learned so much from this discussion. I found it very interesting that this actual painting was created during the period in which the US was falling into some hard times. I have to say after researching this era of paintings I feel that I enjoy it more and am more able to relate to it. This particular painting specifically I feel portrays real life American life for some on a daily basis. Koehler did a great job creating this painting and making it appear very realistic. I personally, feel this is one painting that I can fully relate to. Great job!

        Hello Jayanthi, 

      Great post. You did an excellent job describing this painting. Robert Koehler's painting, titled The Strike, depicts the working class demanding a decent salary very well. I agree that the painting does reflect the anger and concerns of the people. He did an excellent job painting the expressions on their faces. Thank you for your post. It was very informational. 

      Melissa Gilliland Great post Jayanthi! You included a wonderful work of art that depicted realism very clearly. I personally enjoy realism over fiction. Realism represents history in a greater form, entailing accuracy. The child's face in the painting tells a story itself. I am glad Robert Koehler painted that little girl because during a strike and unemployment periods it is not only the workers that are affected. Koehler also included the business owners which is important as well. 

     Realism portrays the working class and other people in ordinary, everyday life. The realists did not agree with Romanticism. They did not want to glorify the paintings or writings. They wanted to depict what was happening at the time. Impressionism with art was painted with no direct lines or curves. The art was painted with brush strokes and colors that were mixed. The colors simulated reflected light. Monet is an example of an artist who used impressionism. In literature, reality was clouded. It is left to ones’ perception. I chose realism. As a result of industrialization, people were unskilled and had to work for less pay in factories. They were unable to be self-employed. Some women were exploited by their supervisors and some even turned to prostitution. They worked for little pay. Writers began writing about working class. Eugene Delacroix, painted scenes from the Massacres at Chios. Gustave Courbet was one of the artists who painted what he witnessed in everyday life. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres painted La Grande Odalisque, which was a painting of a woman that was very realistic. Charles Dickens wrote novels that revealed the inequalities of the English lower class. He was sympathetic in his writing. Fredrick Douglass, who was a slave, wrote about the abuse that slaves endured, which he witnessed first-hand. I find reading and viewing paintings that portrayed real life interesting. It represents the time period realistic and does not cloud the truth.

    Melissa Gilliland

    Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the Humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. to an external site. to an external site.*mid_4B7A1C4C0871A0D5571818533D68FE1D507E5F97*simid_608003359230791364*thid_OIP.gfrFqXW2U6hbnrL9xVKnQQHaFK&iss=VSI

    Melissa, I enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for including the photographs as well. The difference between realism and impressionism is great. I feel like even the brush strokes of realism are more crisp and true. I do enjoy impressionism for possible home decor. It is whimsical and light at heart. I am however glad that there is realism present in art because it is necessary for history to be displayed as real as possible. 

     Hello Professor Ford and Class,
    Professor and Class,

    Impressionism was a depiction of modern life. This type of art looked as if it was unfinished and sketch like to some. Claude Monet's Sunrise used short brush strokes that were broken, not finishing forms with the use of colors that were blended. The light was also emphasized, such as the use of shadows and highlights of colors. This gave a look of spontaneity or an effortless look. Use of colors such as bright colors of green, blue or yellows was used. Suburban and rural landscapes were popular especially that of Paris with the modernization including the paintings of factories and railroads(Samu,2000). In Claude Monet's Sunrise, it represented a snapshot in time or in the present. His use of colors such as that of orange swirling on the water to represent the reflection of the rising sun. He used dark blue to represent boat forms and light blue to represent trees in the distance. It appears to be very simplistic with not a lot of detail as if he was in a hurry to finish it. This may have been done to keep up with the ever-changing scene. Haziness in the background and the feeling of the boats being moved in the water was represented by the colors that were used (Sayre,2013 pg.423).

     Jill Robbins

     Samu, Margaret. “Impressionism: Art and Modernity.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2004)

    1. Sayre, H. (2013) Discovering the Humanities 2nd Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson


HUMN303N Week 4: Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution




Given the information from this week's reading on the Enlightenment, the New Rationalism, and the Scientific Revolution, how did advancements in science and reasoning change the lives of people at this time? In addition, what effects did the Industrial Revolution have on the world. 

The Enlightenment is a philosophical and literary movement in Europe during the 18th century. The philosophers of the time argued against prejudice, intolerance and promoted reason to make mankind progress towards happiness, liberty and knowledge.

The major themes of the Enlightenment were:


  • There certainly are parallels between the original Industrial Revolution and the present time; in particular, our desire to find the fastest, least expensive and overall best way to create and accomplish things. According to Kuruczleki, Pelle, Laczi and Fekete (2016), many economists believe that the fourth Industrial Revolution will soon be upon us. They explain that the fourth Industrial revolution is characterized by: Internet access that is widespread and broadly accessible; artificial intelligence; cheaper, more powerful sensors, and machine learning. Although such technologies did not exist during the first industrial revolution, the underlying reasons for making progress in industry remain the same.


    Kuruczleki, E., Pelle, A., Laczi, R., & Fekete, B. (2016). The readiness of the European Union to embrace the fourth industrial revolution. Management (18544223), 11(4), 327-347.

    Hello Jayanthi,

    Great post The enlightenment period was a time of change to independent thinking and following reason. I think that this would be an interesting time to live. I would think that it would be similar to modern times. Our text states Enlightenment period in England and France thought of themselves as the guiding lights of a new era of change that would leave behind the irrationality, superstition and tyranny that had defined Western culture (Sayre, 2013).

    Thanks for sharing!


    Sayre, H. M. (2013). Discovering the humanities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

     Hello Joyanthi,

    Very good post! The enlightenment stage was a major changing point of the society and the nations at that moment in time.  As you have stated, the enlightenment period brought about inventions and discoveries that were meant to increase human life. it is interesting to note that the enlightenment period laid the foundation for major scientific breakthroughs and also played a very significant role in the emergence of the industrial revolution and the scientific period that gave rise to many scientific inventions. This period has played a very significant role in the way that people live and interact with technology. However, this period gave rise to the best minds of science such Galileo Galilei.

    • Social and political contestation – Eighteen century monarch had absolute power which also was hereditary. After the death of Louis xiv, philosopher began to question political authority denounce social inequality.
    • Battle against injustice and ignorance – Writers and philosophers urged individual and collective liberty specially freedom of expression.
    • Hostility to slavery – The Enlightenment philosopher rejected the idea that man enslave their fellow man.
    • Denunciation of religious fanaticism – Some writers denounce obscurantism and clergy privileges.
    • Some of the major philosophers of the Enlightenment were: Beaumarchais, D’Alembert, Diderot, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Voltaire. 


    2. Sayre, H. (2013) Discovering the Humanities 2nd Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson



    Thank you, Barbara for your thoughtful and insightful take on the major themes of the Enlightenment.

    I agree that many themes and ideals instituted during the Enlightenment period are still prevalent and continue to be challenged in our current political climate. We owe the great philosophers of that time for creating a platform to initiate change. Change is perpetual and our society has adjusted accordingly to accommodate new innovations and oppositions.

     Professor and Class, 

    In this time ‘enlightenment’ was meaning to creating change. After the great fire the need for restructuring became imminent, and although architect Christopher wren’s proposal was impractical and not carried out changes did emerge, such as wood construction being banned and the use of brick and stone for building was made a requirement. The enlightenment changed the approach to scientific inquiry, instead of repeating what was the norm they used the knowledge to go through and create their own discovery. The advancements in science and reasoning did not immediately affect the common people at this time however it did create universities and paved the way for later changes and improved life of the villagers.  The Scientific revolution created the industrial revolution which then completely changed the structure of life. Villages turned into cities, farmers moved into industrial work and modern child labor was initiated. Things we take for granted today as simple everyday necessities were invented such as buckles and forks. It truly was a massive shift and change in production and consumption of common goods.

    Katie Lowran

    Sayre, H. M. (08/2012). Discovering the Humanities, 2/e VitalSource for DeVry University. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from

     Hi Katie,

    Great post and realistic interpretation of the that time period. The long 18th century as it became to be known as a part of a movement known to by its members as a time of reason. It was a time where there is a reorientation of people to politics, philosophy, and science (History, 2009). This movement allowed individuals from across Europe to question how things are as opposed to following and along. It allowed them to understand that some issues that affect humans could improve through real change. As mentioned by History (2009) “The Enlightenment produced numerous books, essays, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars, and revolutions.” (para 1).

    Reference (2009). Enlightenment. A&E Networks. Retrieved from


    I really enjoyed your post. I found it to be quite educational. After the great fire in England there was a need to rebuild. They made the right choice to ban wood and use brick and stone. This rebuilding also affected slavery in the united states because the rebuilding created jobs for the people of England which led to less indentured servants going to the United States. I agree that the effects from advancements in science did not happen right away. The start of universities helped to change and improve everyday lives. The industrial revolution made some of the richest people the world has ever seen. This time in history really changed the way people lived. You are right when you say we take things for granted. You mention simple things like forks and buckles, I am thinking of indoor plumbing and transportation. Great post!


    Hi Katie,

    That was a great post. I think you captured exactly what those philosophers had in mind. They wanted to create change and bring about new and innovate ways of doing things and they succeeded. Because of that time period, we are able to do what we are doing at this very moment. They wanted us to open our minds to new possibilities and new beginnings.

     Hello Katie,

    Enlightenment indeed is the initiator of the change that took the world by a storm. It made people lot more independent in terms of thinking, studying and believing. The Rationalism taught people to take knowledge by empirical methods and thus eliminating all the scope of speculation and blind following. The Scientific movement brought in plenty of discoveries and inventions that further gave rise to the industrial revolution. The Industrial Revolution saw a massive change in the socio-economic structure of the world. Apart from the accessible goods and employment it also gave rise to social vices like child labour.

      Hello Lowran,

    Nice post! I concur with you that living in this time were very interesting if not overwhelming. This period of time opened up new psychological boundaries and pushed the boundaries of imagination due to the numerous inventions that challenged the status quo. Many of the beliefs that people had were changed during this time and it impacted the lives of almost everyone especially due to the scientific inventions that was achieved and the industrial revolution that followed. There was too much knowledge at this moment in time and this knowledge revolutionized the world and how people were doing things. The enlightenment period is the foundation of modern day industry and civilization.


    Thank you for your response, I like the way you reference that this time was used as a reorientation, and how it allowed individuals to question things and re look at them. We see this often throughout time and continue on still today. Many will say you need to learn from history as to not repeat it, so looking back even at yesterday as a form of history, lets reflect on what worked and did not and move forward with changes. I feel this is a very open minded and optimistic way of life and love that even so long ago they were able to be rebels in a sense and reflect on how changes could better them as a culture. 


    Tom and Katie,

    It also is evident that "revolutionary" events, like the Industrial Revolution, are influenced still by the creator's heart and soul. Knowledge is powerful, science is as well, but there seem to be personal touches to things. A personal touch; the meaningful spiritual part of us (whether we acknowledge that or not) comes through in some way or another. I believe to be created in the image of God (this is Biblical). I believe He is why we feel the need to create because He is the greatest creator, thus instilling in us the need to create or in other words "revolutionalize" the world we live in.

    Thank you, class mates,


     Good Evening Professor and Class,

              The Enlightenment period in history is a very important time when there was an extensive intellectual, philosophical, cultural, and social movement that spread through England, France, Germany, and other parts of Europe during the 1700s. The Scientific Revolution, which was stated as in 1500 opened a way for independent thought, mathematics, astronomy, physics, politics, economics, philosophy, and medicine fields were under constant change.

               The period of enlightenment prompted a beginning of the Industrial Revolution which has resulted in the migration of people from villages to cities. New job opportunities. Political, social, arts, music and philosophical changes were taken place. Self-aware society started to form. Europeans started to blame that the enlightenment breaking the tradition and social norms.  According to Sayre, H.M. 2012,  “the industrial revolution is the term used to describe the radical changes in production and consumption that had transformed the world”. (p. 351). They found new and quicker ways of making things. They were continually looking for ways to make more at a quicker pace and with less work. This is the same as we do now, always trying to improve the way we are currently doing something. 


    Sayre, H. M. (08/2012). Discovering the Humanities, 2/e VitalSource for DeVry University. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

     Khanacademy retrieved from

     Jayanthi, I enjoyed reading your post. I too agree that the Enlightenment period is similar to our present day structure. It seems as if we strive to make everything better in life. I feel there are healthy ways we are doing this, like exercising and choosing healthier food. Technology is constantly changing today as well. There is always a new phone coming out or a medical study being done to gain better information. 

Professor and class,

The English Enlightnment came about after the great fire of london on September 2, 1666 where “about 100,000 Londoners were left homeless. Eighty-seven churches had burned. Businesses, particularly along the busy wharves on the north side of the Thames, were bankrupted. Further taking into account the Great Plague that had killed some 70,000 Londoners just the year before, John Evelyn, one of the other great chroniclers of the age, summed up the situation in what amounts to typical British understatement: “London was, but is no more.”  This brought way for the enlightenment which started with new improvements being made for the rebuilding of the city. “Wood construction was largely banned; brick and stone were required. New sewage systems were introduced, and streets had to be at least 14 feet wide. Just a year after the fire, in a poem celebrating the devastation and reconstruction, “Annus Mirabilis” (“year of wonders”), the poet John Dryden (1631–1700) would equate London to the mythological Phoenix rising from its own ashes, reborn: “a wonder to all years and Ages . . . a Phoenix in her ashes.” Moved by the speed of the city’s rebuilding, Dryden is sublimely confident in London’s future. Under the rule of Charles II, the city would become even greater than before.” Intellectuals began to advocate rational thinking as the means to achieving a comprehensive system of ethics, aesthetics, and knowledge. The rationalist approach owed much to scientist Isaac Newton (1642–1727), who in 1687 demonstrated to the satisfaction of just about everyone that the universe was an intelligible system, well-ordered in its operations and guiding principles. The workings of human society—the production and consumption of manufactured goods, the social organization of families and towns, the functions of national governments, even the arts—were believed to be governed by analogous universal laws. The intellectuals of Enlightenment England and France thought of themselves as the guiding lights of a new era of progress that would leave behind, once and for all, the irrationality, superstition, and tyranny that had defined Western culture, particularly before the Renaissance. Still, recognizing that society was deeply flawed, they also satirized it, attacking especially an aristocracy whose taste for elaborate ornamentation and the seemingly frivolous pursuit of pleasure seemed to many not just decadent but depraved. At the same time, an expanding publishing industry and an increasingly literate public offered Enlightenment writers the opportunity to instruct their readers in moral behavior, even as they described vice in often prurient detail. And in music, the intricate and sometimes confusing compositions of the Baroque gave way to a more rational, and classical, form and structure.

 Sayre, H. M. (08/2012). Discovering the Humanities, 2/e VitalSource for DeVry University. [Bookshelf Online]. Retrieved from

 The Enlightenment was a range of ideas and known as the Age of Reasoning. The thinkers in France, Britain and Europe believed humanity could be improved through rational change. They questioned traditional authority. During this time an abundant of books, essays, inventions and scientific discoveries were developed.

Isaac Newton was the son of farmer. The falling of an apple encouraged his work on gravity and in 1668 developed a telescope. He focused his studies on theories on light and color, calculus and celestial mechanics. He received his Masters of Arts degree and became Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge.

John Locke was trained in medicine and wrote an essay, “Essay Concerning Human Understanding.” His idea was to protect, “life, liberty and estate” and influenced the U. S’s founding documents. His essays on religion separated church and state.

Galileo Galilei work was in physics, natural philosophy, astronomy and methodology of science. He played a key role in the history of science. He was also a mathematician. He is known for many things but discovered massive moons of Jupiter and is now known as the Galilean moons.

Johannes Kepler was a mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. He made discoveries by abandoning principles that had been in place for millennia. He discovered the three laws of planetary motion and was a key development in scientific revolution.

“The Enlightenment has also been accused of being the exclusive concern of a small coterie of intellectuals scattered across Europe.” (The Enlightenment: And Why it still Matters, p. 119)

“But all history, if it is to be anything more than mere archaeology, must be a reflection of what the present owes to the past.” (The Enlightenment: And Why it still Matters, p.158)



 Hello Professor and Class,
  • The Enlightenment recognized the concerns of the working class. There was a shift in power to the middle class. Artists and philosophers embraced this shift. Prior to this shift art focused on the wealthy. It focused on palaces and powers created by wealth. The Age of Enlightenment came after the Great Fire in London. Everything was destroyed. Londoners without homes and businesses were bankrupt. John Evelyn Stated, “London was, but no more” (Sayre, 2013). The city was rebuilt but not the same as before. Isaac Newton was credited for much of the new approach. The houses were smaller and the church towers were the tallest structures. A group was developed due to the observations of Bacon and still exists today. The group was called The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. Today it is known as The Royal Society. During the Age of Enlightenment the telescope was improved, mathematics were developed with algebra, geometry and calculus. These developments are credited to Descartes. Rational empirical thinking dominated the Western area and it was not linked to religion.

    The Industrial Revolution create an increase in wealth for people. Factories and machines were being built. This allowed for mass production of goods that were in demand. Textiles were in high demand. Many advances were made in the textile manufacturing industry. The industrial Revolution was a period in which many inventions were developed and created.

    The painting that I posted below is by Joseph Wright of Derby’s. It is titled A Philosopher Giving A Lecture At The Orrery (17

HUMN303N Week 3: The Tempest - Viewing and Reflection

The Tempest: Play Review

For this discussion, my choice of performance is the play, `The Tempest Written by William Shakespeare between the year 1610 – and 1611 (Hulme et al, 2000). The play is set on a remote island where the main character a sorcerer called Prospero, uses various manipulation and illusions to try and reinstate his Miranda in to a position.
Relationship of the Staging, lighting, costume and performance to the play
The play had such a wonderful staging that sucked the audience into the play even before it begun. The play resembles a tragic romantic comedy where there is a promise of a wedding in the end. On the other hand, both lighting and costumes are very useful in selling the illusion of magic, symbolism and the transformation in character. Lighting and sounds also help bring about the concept of a magic island and adding to the atmosphere of other key scène in the play.
The Mood and tone of the play.
The play contains an emotional mood and tone from the start to finish. This is due to the effort, passion and enthusiasm employed by Prospero in putting his daughter to the top. The romance in the play also sets in building the emotion of the play. The writer used at least three different techniques in establishing the mood of the play. The first technique is the externalization of themes and emotions. The second technique is the use of lights, music, costume and various special effects in setting the mood of the play.
Simplest part to understand
The simplest part to understand in the play would be the scene of the chess game. This can be understood as the common objective of chess is to capture the King by using various manoeuvres and moves (Graff et al, 2009). Just like in the game, Prospero uses various tricks such as magic and various illusions in order to capture and imprison the king. His power play has seen him reprimand the King for his transgressions and treachery. The final move is to marry the daughter to the King’s son without the consent of the King. With this, he is set to drive the daughter to royalty. This is what sparks the play in the first place.
Impact of The Tempest and role in theatre culture
The performance of the play “Tempest” brings out the richness and the resourcefulness’ of the theatre to the development to contemporary culture. This brings in art through various adaptations such as music, drama and film (Dymkowski et al, 2005). The Tempest has made the literally world to rethink the use of special effects in plays which has grown to become a major component of plays and movies in the world today.

Hulme, P., & Sherman, W. H. (Eds.). (2000). " The tempest" and its travels. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Graff, G., & Phelan, J. (Eds.). (2009). William Shakespeare, The tempest: a case study in critical controversy. Bedford/St. Martin's.
Dymkowski, C., & Shakespeare, W. (2005). The Tempest. Cambridge University Press.


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