Course Descriptions: Spring 2002

HONS 130

Applied Epistemology (or How to make sense of and know what to do with all this new biology) Patricia Hauslein
The biological sciences are the fastest growing discipline of knowledge. It is one of the few sciences that impact our day-to-day lives, everyday. As citizens, we are asked to make decisions or form opinions on topics ranging from cloning, to designer genes, to life on other planets. In this course we will work to reveal the often hidden values, beliefs and misconceptions we’ve used to form our opinions about current biological issues. We’ll then explore both the knowledge base and our beliefs in order to form a more rigorous opinion. This course will require a mature willingness to explore deeply held beliefs and values. It will also be necessary for the students to have a solid foundation of biological knowledge (a grade of A or B in the high school biology course you took) and be able and willing to learn more complex knowledge concerning these issues. The course format will be discussion and student presentations.

HONS 170

Introduction to Speech Communication Bruce Hyde or Tami Spry
Students explore the nature of human communication in three contexts: interpersonal, small groups, and public speaking. Content includes theory, and practical experience is given to help relate meaningfully, think critically, organize clearly, and speak and listen effectively.

HONS 180

Shakespeare Caesarea Abartis

HONS 198

Research Paper: Shakespeare and the Renaissance Caesarea Abartis
Shakespeare is considered one of the cultural treasures of the English-speaking world. Let us explore some of the riches of Shakespeare’s works on our way to appreciating and, I hope, enjoying his powerful, complex, multi-layered plays. We will read, discuss, and watch videotapes of one tragedy, one history, and one comedy: Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students will keep an informal journal and will write three or four short papers. We will practice techniques for achieving clarity and grace in writing: parallelism, conciseness, precise word choice, appropriate punctuation, and variation in sentence length. Students will learn how to use the resources of the library to research topics. Students will practice incorporating the research of other scholars into their own writing with the use of brackets, ellipsis dots, quotation marks, notes, and bibliographies. The research component will be offered as HONS 198 for one credit.

HONS 183

American Women Writers Judy Foster

HONS 198

Research Paper: American Women Writers Judy Foster
This course is an introduction to rhetorical and analytical writing through the study of American women writers from colonial to contemporary times. Students will be engaged in analytical reading, writing, and critical reasoning through their study of non-fiction, fiction, and poetry of American women from different ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds. Students will improve their own rhetorical sophistication by learning to make choices as writers and by developing their abilities to discern different aims and purposes in writing; to use different modes of presentation in writing; to modulate their written style; to edit their own writing for grammatical correctness and appropriate usage; to develop critical perspectives; to evaluate others’ writing. The research component will be offered as HONS 198 for one credit.

HONS 241

20 th Century Jewish Literature M. Linett

HONS 198

Research Paper: 20 th Century Jewish Literature M. Linett
Jewish literature from Europe and America can tell us a great deal about some of the major themes of modern literature in general: exile, displacement, marginality, racial conflicts, family conflicts, and conflicts between religion and secular modernity. In this course we will study a broad range of literature by Jews; as we do so, we will consider what, if anything, draws this literature together and defines it as Jewish literature rather than simply an assortment of literature by people who happen to be Jewish. We will also consider what differences historical, religious and cultural contexts seem to make for the texts. As we read fiction and poetry by authors such as Franz Kafka, Grace Paley, Kadia Molodovsky, Jacob Glatshtein, Philip Roth, Cynthia Ozick, Isaac Rosenberg, and Nathan Englander, we will also work on honing our analytical and writing skills. Students will write 3 fairly short analytical papers, and do a research project about some aspect of Jewish culture or history. No previous knowledge of Jewish culture, history, or literature is necessary. Active, committed participation is required. The research component will be offered as HONS 198 for one credit.

HONS 243

Works of Toni Morrison Marlo Belschner

HONS 198

Research Paper: Works of Toni Morrison Marlo Belschner
Toni Morrison is arguably the most important novelist of our time. My interest in teaching this course developed out of my Master’s thesis entitled “Infants in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Beloved” and my extensive study and love of the work of Morrison. In this course, students will explore and analyze issues of form and content in The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, and her most recent novel, Paradise. Each student will be asked to follow an issue of form and of content throughout the novels, becoming an expert on that topic. In examining content, one might examine the racial tension within the African American communities that populate many of Morrison’s novels. Another student may focus on portrayals of masculinity or the use of magical objects and beliefs. Important issues of form in Toni Morrison’s work include the more postmodern aspects of her prose—disjointed thought and fragmented speech and logic—as well as traditional elements such as chapter division and unity, epigraphs, and extended metaphors. This two-pronged approach will emphasize rigorous literary analysis of themes and language with the objective of increasing students’ awareness of rhetorical choices and of the artistry of literature. This reading-intensive course will be in a discussion format and will include several five-page essays, a midterm, and a final exam. The research component will be offered as HONS 198 for one credit.

HONS 251

World Philosophy David Boyer

Students will read a variety of widely influential and challenging complete works and shorts excerpts from China, India, the West, and Central America. These works imply a range of views about reality, human nature, divinity, society, and morality. The instructor encourages vigorous yet respectful questioning of world views in class, believes that cross-cultural comparisons of world views are possible, provided that they are well founded in relevant texts and sensitive to the nuances and uncertainties that are inevitable in humanistic studies.

HONS 260

Globalization and its (Dis)Contents: Multiple Perspectives Tom O’Toole
Globalization refers both to the compression of the world and the intensification of consciousness of the world as a whole. Therefore, this course requires active, intensive, critical, and analytic reading, writing and discussion. With the teacher (me) as a catalyst, students will be prodded, challenged, and yes even cajoled, to go beyond mere definition and engage in a thorough process of conceptual analysis of globalization. Only students desiring and able to synthesize, analyze, and evaluate complex concepts ought to take this course. Topics will include, among others, the global economy, the global environment, and the global future.

HONS 263

Global Perspective on Women’s Health, Education and Welfare Beverly Stadum
In this class students will pursue facts about women’s social welfare status and their vulnerability as individuals, workers, mothers, and wives in places throughout the world. Questions will evolve as to why and how varying social mores, political and economic systems support or deny change in women’s lives. Women’s indigenous strategies for survival and the fulfillment of their own dreams will be contrasted with the strategies for changes implemented by NGOs, government, the IMF, and World Bank. Respecting differences in women’s priorities and hunting for a useful definition of “development” will be an ongoing task. Students will work in groups to develop presentations that focus on women in specific countries of their own choice.

HONS 300

Hollywood and History Brad Chisholm
This course is an examination of the art and consequences of dramatizing history for the screen. In nine units we will compare and contrast a Hollywood version of a particular event with that of a documentary film on the same event (for example, Speilberg’s Schindler’s List and Blair’s Schindler). I propose teaching it as a large undergraduate course with a special Honors section attached. The 80 non-Honors students would be dismissed at 8:30. The 20 Honors students would remain for discussion (and extra readings).

Minnesota Settlement: Archaeological Research Richard Rothaus
We will study the different ways humans have lived in the area around Lake Mille Lacs over the past 10,000 years. Students will use historical, archaeological, and geographical approaches to understand how the land has shaped people and the people have shaped the land. Students will work with primary source material, including archival records, maps and photographs, and the results of archaeological projects. The course will include field trips to the area, and students will be responsible for completing an independent, original research project. The instructor will be assisted by several guest lectures and a close co-operation with the park naturalist at Mille Lacs Katio State Park. Students will have the chance to compete for a paid summer internship at the Mille Lacs Katio State Park Interpretive Center.

Power of Language in Human Communication Suzanne Stangl-Erkens
The purpose of “The Power of Language in Human Communication” is twofold: The general purpose is to study the nature and function of language – the role of language in perception and thought and the service (as well as disservice!) of language to society. A more specific purpose is to examine the persuasive power of language to define and promote social realities (i.e. “world views”).

Food Representations Across Disciplines Lisa Splittgerber
This course will engage students in a dialogue centering on the symbolic and theoretical functions of food in human society. We will consider food throughout time and cross-culturally using a variety of theoretical approaches from different academic disciplines. We will follow an abbreviated historical timeline, starting with early man, moving though the Classical period, medieval and renaissance periods, baroque and neoclassicism, through Romanticism up to the present day. If SCSU regulations permit, we will participate in (and/or sponsor somehow) a dinner where foods from many cultures and time periods are served.

HONS 301

Introduction to Ethnic Studies Robert Johnson
The central purpose of this course is to give the student an understanding of the nature of race relations in the United States, and insights into the experiences of various ethnic and racial groups. As a result of this course, the student should be able to analyze public policies and social issues involving race and ethnicity. Also, the student should have a better comprehension of the life experiences of members of these groups, beyond societal stereotypes. This course provides an overview of the social, historical, and cultural experiences of ethnic and racial groups in the United States, specifically African-Americans, American Indians, Asian-Americans, and Latinos/as. We examine patterns of racial and ethnic interactions using theoretical concepts from a variety of disciplines. We study social forces and institutions affecting race relations in the United States.

Technology and Third World Development Anthony Akubue
This course presents an overview of the application and impact of technology on the social and economic development of the Third World. Specifically, the course considers certain characteristics associated with the Third World and how they impact upon these societies’ ability to develop socially, economically, politically, and environmentally. Through critical thinking, students will generate alternative solutions to identified problems in the Third World.

Introduction to East Asia Tom O’Toole, Keith Ewing, Marie Kim, Steve Fuller, Jim Robinson
This course is an interdisciplinary, team taught course which will introduce students to the history, philosophy, mythology, art, literature, and music of East Asian civilizations. It seeks to familiarize students with the arts and culture of East Asia in an attempt to expand appreciation for the civilizations of the area. Team and guest instructors will make presentations on aspects of Asian civilizations relevant to their respective disciplines and/or interests.

HONS 403

Psychology of Gifted Women Zoa Rockenstein
This course will look at the characteristics and concerns of gifted women in America. We will study things like the imposter syndrome, the inverse relationship between creativity and acceptance of authority in gifted women, and “over achieving” (if there is such a thing!). We will then examine the lives of individual gifted women. This will include women from a rich variety of ethnic backgrounds that comprise the population of American women. We will look at the contributions of these women in social culture, political and scientific arenas, and explore the difficulties they encountered in combining gender, race, and achievement in a patriarchal society. This course is most appropriate for upper division women.

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