Honors Program Courses — Summer 2014
HONS 320-001 (CRN 25045)
Monday through Friday: 11 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 2406
Instructor: Thomas M. Foster
Leadership and Science: When Knowing Is Not Enough
Welcome to the Information Age. In this epoch there is one rule you need to know to survive: You must be better than your computer. The days of simple memorization are gone; today the skill of using knowledge is the goal. Never has access to information been so open and so easily manipulated – for better and worse. In this sea of ideas and opinion, it is easy to believe in whatever the majority believes. However, mob rule cannot govern the Information Age. This Age requires leadership. The intent of this seminar is to combine the process of science, the wisdom of ethics, and the seductive ease of information with your strengths to help you become a leader in today’s world. The Information Age, your Age, requires you to be an engaged leader.
Honors Program Courses — Fall 2014
HONS 120-FR1 (CRN 34208)
Monday, Wednesday: 3-4:15 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 1404
Instructor: Rowena McClinton
Faulkner and Southern History
The aim of this Freshman Honors Course is to examine the American South from before the Civil War to the early twentieth century through the literature of William Faulkner. William Faulkner conveyed this tumultuous era using careful observations of Mississippi and incorporating eye-witness accounts in his numerous novels and short stories. As a result of losing the Civil War, Faulkner thought that Southern society lost a sense of identity; therefore, ruling elites sanctioned extreme violence against African Americans. Turmoil led to racial and family disputes. Blindness to progress exacerbated living in the present. Faulkner succinctly explained: the "past has not passed." An intense observer of peoples who had undergone defeat, Faulkner elucidates the effects loss (of the Civil War) had on his fictional characters in Sound and Fury, Light in August, Intruder in the Dust, and short stories edited by Malcolm Cowley in The Portable Faulkner. Southern history intertwines with conflict, intensity, and irony and this course will address these themes, in particular, against the backdrop of historical facts. Texts to be read and discussed include the following: Malcolm Cowley, The Portable Faulkner (New York: Viking Press, 1945); Thadious M. Davis, Games of Property: Law, Race, Gender, and Faulkner's Go Down Moses (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003); and Joel Williamson, William Faulkner and Southern History (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1993).
HONS 120-FR2 (CRN 37695)
Tuesday, Thursday: 2-3:15 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 0307
Instructor: Matthew Schunke
What Am I and How Can I Be Happy?
This course aims to address two questions. The first is: ‘What am I?,’ that is, what is it to be a human, a person, a self? The second is: ‘How can I be happy?’ This includes questions such as: what is pleasure; what is the good life; what is well-being, and; what is it to flourish? As we will see, these two questions are intimately related. Thus, we will not explore them as distinct questions, but together. You should leave the course with a variety of answers to the two guiding questions and a clearer sense of how you would answer the question yourself. We will examine texts from Plato and Aristotle through to the contemporary period.
HONS 120-FR3 (CRN 37696)
Health Policy, Health Reform, US Health System
Tuesday, Thursday: 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 3417
Instructor: Linda W. Alford
In this course, we will discuss:
Course activities will include:
HONS 120-FR4 (CRN 37504)
Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Location: Alumni Hall 3317A
Instructor: Sofia Zamanou-Erickson
Living and Succeeding in a Multicultural Society
The purpose of this course will be to expose students to issues of diversity, to give them an understanding and empathy for others’ points of view and cultural experiences, and to move them to acceptance and appreciation of differences. Students will examine their own identities, appreciate their unique cultures, and will learn about other cultures (through guest speakers, readings, class activities, participation in cultural events on campus and beyond). Finally, students will learn communication skills that will allow them to be more successful in their interactions with others, who may be different than themselves. Diversity will be discussed in a broad sense of the term , including dimensions beyond race and gender, such as ethnicity, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation, education, and age, etc. Finally, there will be a big writing component in this class since students will keep a journal and write feedback/critique for every new experience to which they are exposed.
HONS 120-FR5 (CRN 36865)
Monday, Wednesday: 4:30-5:45 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 1404
Instructor: Carl Springer
What makes us laugh? How does humor work? How can you learn to use it effectively in your own writing and conversation? In this seminar, we will be studying theories of humor from Aristotle and Cicero to Bakhtin and Freud and exploring practical applications from the ancient world to the present. Not only the comedies of Aristophanes and Shakespeare, in other words, but Monty Python, Woody Allen, and the Colbert Report will provide us with the texts that we study in this class. We will explore a variety of rhetorical techniques such as irony, sarcasm, and puns as well as literary genres that rely heavily on humor such as satire, jokes, and sitcoms.
HONS 320-001 (CRN 37341)
Tuesday: 6-8:50 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 3313
Instructor: Eric William Ruckh
Literary and Philosophical Reflections on Illness
In this seminar, we will examine illness from a humanistic perspective. We will be less interested in illness as a product of certain biological processes or vectors and more as a historical and cultural phenomenon. We will not be asking: what causes these symptoms, or, what biological or physical processes do these symptoms reveal and how can we fix or cure them? Rather we will be asking, what does illness mean? What does the experience of illness reveal to humans who suffer it or suffer from it? We explore these questions about the meaning of illness by weaving together historical, literary, and philosophical examinations of illness broadly conceived. Three broad responses will be examined: that illness reveals the truth of human existence; that illness reveals specific dynamics of a historical situation; that illness reveals nothing but itself. Each of these responses will be critically examined and we will try to see how each contains paradoxes within it that limit its persuasiveness. In the end, we will be left with a richer, and I dare say, healthier horizon within which to formulate for ourselves what illness means to us. We will read reflections on illness from Michel de Montaigne through Dostoyevsky and Mann to Susan Sontag.
HONS 320-002 (CRN 37693)
Wednesday: 6-8:50 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall 0405
Instructor: Johanna L. Schmitz
Truth or Dare: Being and Seeming to be in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so” (2.2.245-246)
Where is the line between fact and fiction? Things are either true or seem to be true, so how can we determine when our perceptions are trustworthy or deceptive? In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Hamlet’s life depends on his ability to figure out the answer to this question in various forms: who is on his side and who is “using” him to “damn” him. For Hamlet to fight his murdering and devious uncle, he must first figure out how to use theatrical weapons of artifice and “seeming to be” something he is not. To save his life he must “act” to find out: if the ghost is a ghost or a demon sent to destroy him; if his mother is loyal to him or just another complicit pawn; if his friends want to help him or hurt him; and even if his love is true love or just another game. The most famous line in Hamlet, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” not only queries the challenges and hardships of being alive in contrast to the peace we might find in death’s “undiscovered country,” it is also, and perhaps more importantly, an attempt to throw his enemies off his trail by lying to them.
This course will explore how being and seeming to be are inherent in the action of the play, both dramatically and meta-theatrically. Novels are complete and ready for a reader but plays only have all their necessary parts when they are performed for an audience. We will examine how performance choices including directing and acting as well as how theater architecture and reconstruction contribute to completing the play in production.
Honors Program Courses — Spring 2014
HONS 320-001 (CRN 13257)
Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall, Room 2410
Instructor: Carolina Rocha
Representations of Childhood in Contemporary Hispanic Film: Times of War and Oppression
In this class, we will study the representation of childhood in contemporary Hispanic film so as to explore how films produced in the last three decades revisit traumatic periods such as civil wars and dictatorships. We will investigate the representation of children as well as the social and individual construction of memory, the impact of trauma and the strategies of survival. We will also focus on children who are witnesses and actors at different historical periods, and survey their agency and involvement in local and national events. The films will be analyzed paying attention to historical and cultural developments of the different countries.
HONS 320-002 (CRN 17018)
Tuesday: 6-8:50 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall, Room 0309
Instructor: Valerie Yancey
The Spiritual Dimensions of Health and Healing
This course examines the spiritual dimensions of health and healing from historical, cultural, medical, and personal perspectives. We will ground our exploration of spiritual phenomena (e.g. synchronicity, forgiveness, meaning, holism, community, hope) in rich multi-cultural, historical and contemporary resources (novels, film, illness narratives) and then link those insights with our own experiences of health and healing. Throughout the semester, each person will create a “spiritual profile,” which will give voice to one’s own unique expressions and experiences of health. We will explore the science of the body-mind connection, the impact of chronic stress on health, and ways to manage stress in daily life for the purpose of creating healthy lives and communities.
HONS 320-003 (CRN 17128)
Monday: 6-8:50 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall, Room 0303
Instructor: Melodie Rowbotham
This course provides an overview of current complementary therapies and the influence cultures have on healthcare. Complementary therapies, also commonly referred to as alternative therapies, recognize that the person is a physical, mental and spiritual being, and that disease affects each of these areas of life. Students will also explore how culture impacts healthcare.
HONS 320-005 (CRN 17437)
Monday: 6-8:50 p.m.
Location: Peck Hall, Room 3316
Instructor: Eric Ruckh
Love and Strife
(Eros kai eris)
What is love? And why, why, does it bring with it suffering and strife? The questions are old and the answers elusive, opening on to the deepest existential and ethical problems of human existence. What are we? Why do we need others? Why do we desire others? Why do we loathe others (often and perhaps necessarily the one’s we need)? For that matter what is need? Desire? Can we learn to love in a way that eludes violence and strife? Or are love and strife inevitably and unavoidably entwined: a twirling double helix that forms the spine of human history as Freud came to think? From Sappho (‘eros once again limb-loosener whirls me, sweet-bitter, impossible to fight off, creature stealing up’) and Archilochus (‘Like Odysseus under the ram/you have clung under your lovers/and under your love of lust/seeing nothing else for this mist/dark of heart, dark of mind’) through Rumi, Shakespeare and Racine to Nabakov, Morrison, Atwood and Murakami love both heals and wounds; it is both praised and accused. We sing to it and we cry from it. And we don’t need to have read anything to understand the passions of love and strife, we need only to have lived a bit. But we shall see that reading will help widen our horizons; reading will help us soften our hearts and strengthen our resolve as we realize that our travails with loves that have whirled us, loosened us, stole us from ourselves, darkened our minds and hearts and opened them to the infinite have not been suffered alone. In fact our travails of love have about them and in them the means by which to reconnect to the deepest wellsprings of our shared humanity. Perhaps sitting together and talking about love by picking up the broken threads of our great cultural traditions will itself come to be understood as an act of love.