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Seminars

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.

 

 

Spring 2019 Seminars 

HON 201 The Individual and Society
Instructor: Patricia Sullivan (Digital Media & Journalism, Honors)
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 202 Work
Instructor: Sue Books (Teaching and Learning)
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 377 Cigarettes and Nylons - Postwar Realities in Occupied Germany After World War II
Instructor: Vanessa Plumly (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)
GE Requirement: Humanities (HUM)

Scholars from various disciplines seek to reevaluate neglected discourses on the Nazi past. The suffering of women as victims of rape, hunger and prostitution has become a contemporary focus in World War II studies.

HON 393 The Past in the Present
Instructor: Michael Vargas (History)

This interdisciplinary seminar for students in the Honors Program explores how humans engage with the past. The course demonstrates key differences between "the past" and "history". It looks at examples of the past getting inside us, sticking to us even when we do not want it to. It also illustrates how we use the past to shape the present and future, sometimes for good and sometimes not. Ultimately, the course is about how we use the past and how it uses us.

HON 393 Humans at Play
Instructor: Douglas Maynard (Psychology)

Humans have played ever since there were humans, and play is certainly older than humanity. Play is now a serious subject of study with the recent emergence of game studies as a field, gamification is shaping our work and personal lives, and the video game industry is now purportedly larger than the movie industry. But what exactly is play and why do we do it? What functions does it serve? How does it impact our psychological states and interpersonal relationships? How do contextual factors such as culture and technology impact how we play? In this course, we will explore play from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, philosophy, anthropology and sociology.