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Seminars

Spring 2020 Seminars

HON 203 What Causes Cancer?
Instructor: Jennifer Waldo (Biology)
GE Requirement:  Natural Science (NSCI)

There is no simple answer to the question of what causes cancer. Cancer is not a single thing; it manifests itself differently in each individual. After an introduction to the basic science necessary for understanding the development of cancer, a series of popularly held beliefs regarding cancer causation will be critically analyzed. With these examples as a foundation, students will research and report on a topic on their own choice.

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 371 Education Across Borders
Instructor: Susan Books (Teaching & Learning)
GE Requirement: World Civilizations (WRLD)

Exploration of the culture and history of selected non-Western countries - initially, China, South Africa, and Afghanistan - and of how the cultural/historical context affects schooling in these countries, past and present.

HON 374 The Materials of History, Thought, and Art
Instructor: Andrea Varga (Theatre Arts)
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 Visualizing Myth in Ancient Greece and Rome
Instructor: Keely Heuer (Art History)

Classical art and Greco-Roman mythology are inseparable. During the 8th century B.C., ancient Greeks began visually depicting recognizable mythological figures in various media, which in turn led to an obsession in the following centuries that continued in the Roman world. More than a collection of tales derived from a tradition of oral storytelling, myth reinforced social values, explained the workings of the natural world, formed a collective identity among large groups of people, provided historical roots, and inspired poets, philosophers, and playwrights. This course will discuss the representation of a wide range of Greco-Roman gods, heroes, and monsters as well as their characteristic attributes and respective stories. Students will explore how mythological imagery in Greek and Roman art served as political propaganda and allusions to contemporary historical events. Illustrations of myths will be compared to the surviving literary record to discuss issues such as the preservation of alternative forms of narratives, individual artistic license, and the reconstruction of long-lost texts, including epic poems and plays.

HON 393 Innovation and Intelligence
Instructor: Jared Nelson (Engineering Programs)

By synthesizing multiple forms of intelligence, new understandings of what is innovation will be examined by investigating the creative process of design as well as identification of innovative products and other ideas identified by the class.

HON 393 Gender & Journalism: Representation & Practice
Instructor: Rachel Somerstein (Digital Media & Journalism)

In the U.S., as in much of the world, women and people of color are under-represented in newsrooms; under-represented in leadership positions in newsrooms; and make less money than their white and male colleagues. In this course, we look to sociological and journalism-studies theories to explain why news-work continues to be so gendered and white, despite women outnumbering men in undergraduate and graduate communications programs. In the second part of the course, we turn to theories about representation in news, considering the degree to which women, transgender people, and people of color are symbolically annihilated: shown in stereotypical roles or absented from the news-world altogether.

 

Fall 2019 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 372 U.S. Drug Education and Policy
Instructor: Kate McCoy (Educational Studies and Leadership)
GE Requirement: United States Studies (USST)

Explores historical, psychological, sociological, legal, and moral perspectives on drug education and policy in the U.S. Develops critical, international, and comparative perspectives on racial, gendered, class-based, and ethnic inequalities in drug policy and enforcement.

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

Romantic love is one of the most fundamental aspects—perhaps the most fundamental aspect—of being human. Heartbreak is the dark side of love, underscoring the great risk of forging an intimate attachment to another. This interdisciplinary honors seminar will explore love and heartbreak through the lens of literature/literary theory, psychology, history, pop culture, and gender/sexuality studies. We will consider love and heartbreak as psychological phenomena and as cultural narratives. We'll explore what beliefs and expectations these narratives convey and what relevant experiences and information they marginalize.

HON 393 How Administrative Agencies Became the Fourth Branch of Government, Tension and Dynamism
Instructor: Robert Weisel

We will explore how agencies, through regulation, seek to promote due process of law in new, challenging areas of law involving, Equal Opportunity, Americans with Disabilities and Gender Equality. We will investigate how administrative agencies respond to the great issues of the day, such as immigration and environmental protection, trying to calm the waters, but many times roiling the waters even more. We will discuss basic principles of administrative law. We will read some of the seminal cases in Administrative Law and, in the process, learn how to brief a case.

HON 393 Seeing the Light: Physics, Vision, and Art
Instructor: Catherine Herne (Physics and Astronomy)

This seminar will delve into the intersections of optics, color, vision, and art, beginning with a study of light and color from an optical physics perspective, then exploring how our eyes see color, and concluding with the interplay of colors in the creation of visual art. The optics foundation will give us the physical science language with which to define light. We will then look deeper into seeing color and build an understanding of the physiology of the eye and brain as it relates to vision and the neuroscience of perception. With this groundwork we will be able to discuss how artists learn to use color and light. Throughout the course we will do hands-on experiments and projects to engage our creativity and cement our understanding.