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HUM 317 Global Modernisms

Around the world, at different moments in history, artists have questioned older social, philosophical and artistic forms and sought to create radically new, "modern" forms. To understand these developments and how they have influenced the contemporary world, this course examines several influential modern(ist) texts in a global frame, in connection with developments in modern art, music, politics and thought. Selections will vary but will draw from modernisms around the world, including cultural Africa, East Asia, Europe, the Americas, and South and Southeast Asia. All texts read in English or English translation.


4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 14, 2023 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze the influence of Modernisms on contemporary global culture at a level consistent with the analytical and expressive complexity and sophistication that are distinctly characteristic of upper-division courses at comprehensive universities.
  • Apply Modern philosophies to an analysis of global modernisms.
  • Distinguish among important Modernist artistic and literary genres.
  • Distinguish among traditional periods and global geographies of Modernist cultural histories.
  • Distinguish important themes and aesthetic characteristics in Modernist literatures and art.
  • Know characteristic institutions and achievements of Modernisms.
  • Recognize, appreciate, and explain allusions to Modern attitudes and conventions.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.