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The Honors Program seminars change every semester, but most fulfill General Education requirements. Enrollment in Honors seminars is limited to 15 students to ensure direct and regular interaction with professors and engage in active discussion during class sessions.


Fall 2021 Seminars

HON 201 The Individual and Society
Instructors: Madeleine Arseneault (Philosophy) James Schiffer (English), Hamilton Stapell (History), Patricia A. Sullivan (Digital Media & Journalism, Honors), & Thomas Festa (English)
GE Requirement:  Humanities (HUM)

Investigates the relationship between the individual and society through discussion of the philosophic, literary, and historical aspects of major texts.

HON 303 Education and Poverty
Instructor: Susan Books (Secondary Education)
GE Requirement: Diversity (DIVR)

This course offers an interdisciplinary exploration of poverty -- its causes, consequences, representation in public discourse, and complicated relationship to schooling.

HON 374 The Materials of History, Thought, and Art
Instructor: Cyrus Mulready (English)
GE Requirement: Western Civilization (WEST)

An interdisciplinary seminar in material cultural studies, this course examines how human interactions with objects and the lived environment have shaped culture and intellectual endeavor through time.

HON 393 Introduction to Sustainability 
Instructor: Andrea Varga (Theatre Arts)

Introduction to Sustainability Seminar: An exploration of regenerative, just, and sustainable strategies for the environment and society: Utilizing the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development students will examine the three pillars of sustainability - environment, society, economics - to promote and practice regenerative, just and transformative solutions for contemporary challenges as global citizens. Students will explore how today’s human societies can endure and build healthier systems in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation and resource limitations. Cross-disciplinary study and perspectives will be utilized to promote systems-thinking and understanding.

HON 393 Love and Heartbreak
Instructor: Lisa Phillips (Digital Media & Journalism)

Romantic love is one of the most fundamental aspects - perhaps the most fundamental aspect - of being human. We will explore love and heartbreak as media and literary narratives, psychological phenomena, and lived experience.



Spring 2021 Seminars 

HON 316 Debates in U.S. History
Instructor: Patricia A. Sullivan (Digital Media & Journalism, Honors)
GE Requirement:  United States Studies (USST)

An exploration of selected and pivotal topics in the history of the United States from the colonial period through today. Politics, economics, society, and culture will be examined focusing on primary source documents and images.

HON 378 Humans at Play
Instructor: Doug Maynard (Psychology)

An exploration of play across the human lifespan in all of its myriad forms, including play's possible functions, subjective experiences, communities, and the influence of culture and technology.

HON 393 Ethical Fashion: Understanding Consumerism, Globalization, Justice & Sustainability Through Textiles
Instructor: Andrea Varga (Theatre Arts)

Utilizing the Global Goals for Sustainable Development as a framework, students will explore textile, dress and adornment history relating practices from prehistory through the present day to our relationship with textiles, consumer behaviors and sustainability. This course will allow students to understand personal choices and behavior (from understanding fibers to personal economics, and social communication, regulations and industry standards) and connect them to the globalized fashion industry. Students will explore the implications of consumer choices on the environment, people, and other living creatures by utilizing research tools and data available through organizations like Fashion Revolution and Good on You. Students will have the opportunity to empower themselves as consumers to have a voice and be a change agent by making informed choices and communicating sustainability norms to the companies that they engage with.

HON 393 Humanitarian Psychology
Instructor: Amy Nitza (Psychology)

This course will consider the contributions of psychological science to understanding and addressing humanitarian emergencies. We will explore human behavior in complex humanitarian situations, and consider such questions as: What are the root causes of such emergencies? What are the needs of the individuals, groups, and communities caught in such emergencies? How can the psychology be applied to alleviate the suffering of those caught in such emergencies? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current practices of humanitarian response and the provision of humanitarian assistance, and how can psychological science be used to improve these practices? We will explore these questions using case studies of real humanitarian crises, past and present, and a critical examination of the current literature on the topic.

HON 393 American Girls' Culture
Instructor: Susan Lewis (History)

Arguing that girls are an important subject for scholarly analysis, this course will explore American girls' culture in the twentieth century. Girls' series books (like Nancy Drew), girls' magazines (like Seventeen), girls' fashion and beauty trends (from flappers to bobby soxers to mods), music made by girls (the girls' groups of the early 60s), teen and preteen fandom (from Frank Sinatra to the Beatles to Madonna), movies with girl-heroines ("The Perils of Pauline," "Where the Boys Are") TV shows geared to girl audiences (Gidget, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), girls' dolls (Barbie, the American girl dolls) -- and more -- will provide evidence of ways in which girls' culture has both empowered and limited young women's horizons. We will trace the evolution of girl power over the decades, explore diversity within girls' cultures, and consider what changed, and what stayed the same, for a century of American girls.