Project #160953 - Humanity

General Tutors

Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/16/2016 10:00 am

Research paper (or essay) 5 pages minimum   All final drafts must include a Bibliography (Works cited/consulted) and citations.




The purpose of this paper is to extend your knowledge beyond what we have read and discussed in class and to connect our subject (Humanism and Mysticism) to your academic concentration and/or your interests.  Select a topic within your major field or interests which connects with humanism and/or mysticism

The paper must reflect the approach we have in Humanities, that is the integration of one or more of the disciplines of philosophy, literature, history and/or the arts.  Your paper should reflect that integration.  This paper can be a reworking of a paper from another course but should shift the focus to a consideration of humanism or mysticism.  Below I have listed additional possible topics, but you are not limited to those.


Paper Choice:  Submit a written prospectus of your topic choice and preliminary ideas. It should include a written statement indicating the essential question that will guide your research, a working thesis, and at least three sources.  If you are reworking a previous paper, you need to indicate how you are intending to rework your previous thinking and writing. This must be typed and submitted by Monday, November 29.




Final Paper: Remember paper should be a minimum of 5 pages (maximum 10 pages).  Make sure your topic is narrow enough, and make sure your assertions/information are grounded in your research and specifics (quotations).  Paper must include internal citations and a Bibliography/Works Cited with at least 3 sources cited in the paper.  Two sources must be in addition to the required texts used in class.  Wikipedia may not be used as a cited source.  

Paper should include a thesis statement, development and conclusion.  It also should include either a one paragraph Preface or Afterword where you explain how the topic connects to or fits in the scope of humanism or mysticism, that is, if this is not integral in the development of the paper.





POSSIBILITIES for research


  1. Write about a contemporary humanist and his/jher accomplishments. 
  2. Investigate a modern psychologist.  How he/she has integrated ideas of mysticism from Eastern cultures.
  3. Explore the biological research of the mystical experience in sports or physical activities.  (ie. Steven Kolter writes about surfing in West of Jesus.)
  4. Read and analyze a novel that incorporates humanism and/or mysticism.
  5. Analyze a film that seems to focus on mystical or humanistic ideas.  Read critical analysis and reviews of it.
  6. Research and write about the connection between quantum physics and mysticism.
  7. After your museum visit, extend your research into one of the objects/paintings and research it more fully connecting to humanism/mysticism.
  8. Select a modern artist or photographer whose art may be considered mystical or humanistic. (Ask me for ideas.)
  9. Read more of Tagore’s poetry (ie. From The Lover of God)  and his essay, “The Vision” from The Religion of Man.  How do the poetry and the essay express his view of mysticism and humanism?  (Ask me for a copy of the essay.)
  10. Select another Christian or a Sufi mystic.
  11. Investigate more fully Hindu mysticism, Taoism or Sufism.
  12. Select one of the eras in history (500-300 B.C. or 1000-1400 A.D.) in which there was a burst of religious, philosophical and artistic creativity.


Consider what truly interests you.   I know that I have barely scratched the surface of possibilities.  (ie. I haven’t included anything in music .)  What I suggest you avoid is writing a simple research paper like on that merely presents a biography of a mystic – writing that requires no real thinking on your part. 


Examples from previous years:

Balinese puppetry. Ayn  Rand’s Objectivism. Native Californians Tie to Land. Bees: Their Humanistic Connection. Ganga in Sculpture.  Tikkum Olam.  Indigenous Religions & the Environment.  Cyberpunk Religion. Cormac McCarthy’s Post Apocalyptic Vision.  Dr. Who and Mysticism.  Giotto and his Humanism.  Jonathan Edwards:  Puritan Mystic. Muhammed Ynua: Microfinance and World Poverty.  Born in Brothels (Academy Award film/Photography in Calcutta).  Charles Darwin: Religion & Science.  Mysticism in the Paintings of Georgia O’Keefe.  Southland Tales: Mysticism in Film, Biology and Mysticism in Natural Childbirth, Rasa in Dance, Finding the White Liight: Bikram Yoga, Paranoid Schizophrenia & Mysticism, Humanism in Literary Dystopias (1984 & Fahrenehit 451), Humanism in Ch’an Buddhism, Mystical Art of Alex Grey, Philosophy of I Love the Huckabees.



As you conduct your research, thinking and writing, you should focus your research and an essential question that’s interesting to you.  


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