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Current Course Offerings

Below, students will find current course offerings for Fall 2017. For those interested, a selction of previous courses may be found in the Past Course Offerings section.

Honors 250 - Fall 2017 Course Descriptions

HONS    250        001        Connections: LOVE & STRIFE

CRN       37138   T              6 - 8:50 pm         DR. ERIC RUCKH

What is love? And 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 loathe others (often and perhaps necessarily the one’s we need)? Can we learn to love in a way that eludes strife? Or are love and strife inevitably and unavoidably entwined, a twirling double helix that forms the spine of human history? Readings will be drawn from the ancient to the contemporary world and will range from the philosophical to the literary.


HONS    250        002        Connections: LEFT & RIGHT

CRN       37139   R             6 - 8:50 pm         DR. ERIC RUCKH

Whip-sawed by politics? Wondering what social democracy is? Or authoritarianism? Puzzled by the labels, conservatism and liberalism? Wondering what the future holds? Hoping to learn how to talk to people who hold different sets of political values? This seminar will examine the major political ideologies of the modern and contemporary period, seeking to provide a framework of terms that will allow us to identify both the underlying assumptions and the aims of the range of modern and contemporary ideologies. We will explore the ideologies of left and right through representative essays or speeches (and art) that exemplify them. By examining the various ideologies in structural terms, this seminar seeks to provide a value-neutral set of terms to understand both what connects them and what differentiates them. We may wonder if ‘left and right’ are any longer terms adequate to our political situation.


HONS 250        003        Connections: REAL & UNREAL IN LITERATURE & ART FROM CHINA & JAPAN

CRN       37701   W            6 - 8:50 pm         DR. TOM LAVALLEE

By reading selections from poetry anthologies, historical records, short stories, and novels and viewing manga, visual art, and film, this course will explore meanings and connections derived from Cao Xueqin’s Dream of the Red Chamber:  “Truth becomes fiction when the fiction's true; Real becomes not-real where the unreal's real.”  How is the unreal portrayed in “traditional” forms of expression in a Chinese and Japanese cultural context? What happens to representations of the real and the unreal when we move between these two cultures, between different forms of representation and into modern and contemporary time periods? Interpretation, reflection, discussion will be based on texts and media translated into English.

HONS    250        004        Connections: IGNORANCE & EDUCATION

CRN       37702   M            6 - 8:50 pm         DR. JENNIFER LOGUE

Agnotology is the study of the cultural production of different forms of ignorance. In this course, we examine the relationship between different socio-political constructions of knowledge and ignorance in education, with particular (but not limited) focus on sex, gender, and sexuality.



HONS    320A     001        Probs in Hum/Arts/Soc Sci: PERSPECTIVES OF HEALTH - LIT & MEDIA

CRN       36558   T/R         3:30 - 4:45 pm   DR. THERESE POIRIER & PHARM FAC

This course explores interdisciplinary perspectives on health and illness through the exploration of literature, media, and various humanities and social sciences.


HONS    320A     002        Probs in Hum/Arts/Soc Sci: ABRAHAM LINCOLN & AMERICAN MEMORY

CRN       37140   T/R         9:30 - 10:45 am DR. ERIK ALEXANDER

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to studying the life of Abraham Lincoln through an in-depth exploration of the concept of historical memory. Beginning with a conventional historical overview of Lincoln’s life, the course will move beyond biography to consider how Americans have remembered and interpreted the life of Lincoln after his death in a variety of times and places. Students will examine how interpretations of Lincoln life changed over time through such mediums as historical scholarship, fiction, and film. In doing so, we may find that our understanding of Lincoln at any given moment in the past reveals less about Lincoln himself, and more about ourselves.


HONS    320A     003        Probs in Hum/Arts/Soc Sci: PARTISAN POLARIZATION IN AMER POLITICS

CRN       37003   M/W      4:30 - 5:45 pm   DR. KENNETH MOFFETT

Party polarization, whose rise began in the mid-1970s, is one of the defining characteristics of today’s American politics. In this course, we will examine partisan polarization from a broad range of interdisciplinary perspectives, including statistics, mass communications, and sociology. To begin, we investigate what constitutes party polarization and what causes it. Then, we will explore the consequences and implications of party polarization and its effects on political elites and the public. By the end of the course, you will be able to speak to this topic, and provide solutions that mitigate or resolve this issue.

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