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.
Spring 2023 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 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 375 Doing Race and Gender
Instructor: Anne Roschelle (Sociology)
GE Requirement: Diversity (DIVR)
Using feminist and racial-ethnic theories we will analyze how gender, race, and class oppression shape the experiences of women and how we, as agents of social change, can translate these theoretical insights into methodological strategies.
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 Asian American Fiction
Instructor: Nathen Clerici (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
This course is designed as an exploration of Asian American fiction. Our objectives will be to study not just the thematic concerns of these works (identity formation, immigration, family structures, racism, queerness, etc.), but the historical and political contexts in which they were produced and how that is evident in the aesthetic choices of the authors. Asian American literature and film have both reflected and produced cultural shifts within the U.S., and the selections in this course will give us a framework by which to examine them. We will approach the material through three thematic units. The first, "Gendered Boundaries," focuses on representations of the masculine and feminine, and will comprise the first half of the course. The second, "Dislocation & Empire," considers the shock of moving—or being moved—from one place to another and the effect this can have on identity formation. In the third, "Discovery," we look at the ways in which youth and family serve as the backdrop for thinking about Asian American life. There will be overlap between these units, but this structure will be useful for focusing our inquiries within each one. Finding connections between works and authors is encouraged.
HON 393 From Famine to Feasts: Food and Identity in Ancient Greece and Italy
Instructor: Keely Heuer (Art History)
What we eat and drink does much more than sustain life -- how we procure it, what we ingest, and the way we consume it are key components of our cultural identity and often construct our social relationships. This course explores the many roles of food and drink in ancient Greece and Italy with the goal bringing the past to life and demonstrating its continued relevancy in understanding who we are today. This topic will be approached through an interdisciplinary lens, from the logistics of foodways in this part of the Mediterranean world to investigating how food was closely connected to religious life, socio-economic status, and funerary practices. Each week, students will learn how to glean information from a wide range of primary literary sources (in translation) as well as how to examine and interpret ancient visual and material culture. Students will also gain familiarity with common foods in the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman diet and will engage in experimental archaeology to recreate the processes used to prepare and serve them.
Fall 2022 Seminars
HON 201 The Individual and Society
Instructors: Madeleine Arseneault (Philosophy) James Schiffer (English), Hamilton Stapell (History), Patricia A. Sullivan (Digital Media & Journalism, Honors), & Vicki Tromanhauser (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 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.
HON393 The Literature of Witness
Instructor: Michelle Woods (English)
This course will explore modes of witnessing through examining both first- and second generation Holocaust texts as well as works from other sites of conflict, genocide, and disaster as they create an aesthetics of moral imagination, social and political protest, and personal and collective resistance. The course will examine how artists treat human rights and social justice issues, trauma, and atrocity as well as protest genocide and violence occurring in a Holocaust and post-Holocaust, global world. Themes examined will include human rights abuses (slavery, colonialism and apartheid, incarceration and detention, political repression and torture, genocide, conflict, identity-based violence, social and economic deprivation, structural inequality, and environmental injustice); the representation of pain; resistance; redress and reconciliation; and resilience. In addition, the course will examine dimensions of the artistic process of witnessing (including such concepts as witness and testimony, memory and counter memory, and post memory) as well as aesthetic and theoretical questions about this form of literature. The course will include a range of genres and texts (oral testimony, memoir, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, film, and photography) as well as theoretical and critical perspectives drawn from various disciplines including memory and trauma studies, Holocaust studies, human rights studies, psychology, sociology, and literary criticism.
HON393 The Psychology of Story
Instructor: Tabitha Holmes (Psychology)
This course will explore how stories and story construction can be used to understand the human condition. This will include examination of topics concerning how stories influence empathy and perspective-taking and the role of stories in development and relationships. We will pay particular attention to autobiographical memory, self-narrative, and identity development, as well as how narratives are related to health and wellness.
HON393 Human Ecology
Instructor: Eric Keeling (Biology)
What is (or should be) the relationship between humans and nature?Human Ecology is a broad and evolving multi-disciplinary field focused on understanding and guiding human relationships with humanized and non-humanized environments including wild nature. In this course, we will critically examine and discuss approaches and ideas about human ecological relationships from biological ecology, philosophy, environmental history, and other disciplines. Our inquiries will be in the context of the current predicament of environmental sustainability, ethical questions related to human impacts on non-human nature, the need for environmental justice, and the search for meaningful relationships with non-human nature in a world increasingly dominated by technology and humanized environments. Students will combine scientific knowledge and methods, field experiences, philosophical arguments, social theories, and their own disciplinary expertise and creativity to explore these contemporary and perennial questions about humans and nature.