Humanities (HUMN) 202

Western Thought and Culture II: Since the Reformation (Revision 3)

HUMN 202 course cover

Revision 3 is closed for registrations, see current version

Delivery Mode: Individualized study with video component*.
*Overseas students, please contact the University Library before registering in a course that has an audio/visual component.

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. HUMN 201 or HIST 201 is strongly recommended. This course is intended as a foundation course for Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies students, and is designed for learners with little or no previous university experience. It provides a good starting place for new students intending to study history, literature, philosophy, or other aspects of the humanities.

Precluded Course: HUMN 202 is a cross-listed course—a course listed under 2 different disciplines—with HIST 202. HUMN 202 may not be taken for credit by students who have obtained credit for HIST 202.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Humanities Home Page

HUMN 202 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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How did the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution change the intellectual and cultural climate of Europe? In what ways was Baroque Classicism a cultural expression of the political Age of Absolutism? What were the principal qualities and achievements of the Enlightenment? Was there a causal relationship between the American and French Revolutions and the Romantic Movement? What new forms of middle class and working-class culture resulted from the growth of industrial society in the nineteenth century? Which leading artists and intellectuals made fundamental attacks on the values and cultural forms of industrial society, and what were their most valuable contributions? How did Western cultural and intellectual life change as a result of the two world wars? What have been the most important artistic and scientific developments in the post-industrial age?

These are some of the questions examined in HUMN 202. It is the second of two, three-credit courses that together survey the development of Western civilization from its origins in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the complicated and sophisticated world of the post-industrial era. Although the course employs a historical framework, its overall approach is interdisciplinary, drawing upon the insights of artists, musicians, theologians, philosophers, and literary critics as well as social and political historians.


Western Culture II: Since the Reformation is divided into eight units:

  • Unit 1: The Reformation and Mannerism, 1500-1603
  • Unit 2: The Baroque Era and the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1730
  • Unit 3: The Enlightenment, 1700-1789
  • Unit 4: Revolutions and Romanticism, 1760-1830
  • Unit 5: Romanticism, Nationalism and Realism, 1830-1870
  • Unit 6: Early Modernism, 1871-1914
  • Unit 7: Modernism and the Era of Discontent, 1905-1945
  • Unit 8: Late Modernism and Post-Modernism, 1945 to the Present


The final grade in Humanities 202: Western Culture II: Since the Reformation is based on the grades achieved on two essay assignments and on the final examination. The final examination is closed book and invigilated. A score of at least 50 percent must be obtained on this examination in order to pass the course. Students who do not achieve a minimum passing grade of 50 percent on the final examination will be allowed to write a supplemental final examination. A final (composite) grade of “D”(50 percent) or better must also be achieved for credit to be awarded for the course. The following summarizes the weighting of the assignments:

Activity Weighting
Essay 1 25%
Essay 2 35%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Matthews, Roy T., F. DeWitt Platt, and Thomas F. X. Noble. The Western Humanities, Volume II: The Renaissance to the Present. 7th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Other Materials

The course materials include a student manual and study guide. Students must borrow videotapes from Athabasca University Library.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HUMN 202 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the entire challenge examination.

Activity Weighting
Part I: Exam 50%
Part II: Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, January 13, 2012

View previous syllabus