Course Descriptions: Fall 2006

HONS 170

Intro to Communication Studies J. Lynch
This course focuses on theory and practice related to communication studies in general, and to interpersonal, small group, and public communication in particular.  You will read about and discuss important ideas about how communication influences individuals and society, and you will apply those ideas in order to enhance your ability to work well with others and to improve your capacities to think critically, organize clearly, and speak effectively.

Intro to Communication Studies J. Lynch
This course focuses on theory and practice related to communication studies in general, and to interpersonal, small group, and public communication in particular.  You will read about and discuss important ideas about how communication influences individuals and society, and you will apply those ideas in order to enhance your ability to work well with others and to improve your capacities to think critically, organize clearly, and speak effectively. 

HONS 180

Elizabethan Lyrical Poetry J. Hibbard

HONS 198

Research Paper: Elizabethan Lyrical Poetry J. Hibbard
Poets during the age of Elizabeth wrote some of the most beautiful poetry in the English language, poetry that remains of great value to readers today.  But besides being beautiful, the poetry shows us a great deal about human thought and emotions as we moved from the medieval to the modern world.  In this class we will begin with late medieval poetry, move through the development of the sonnet, and on into the neo-classical and metaphysical poetry that together show a great deal about the dawn of the modern world.  Students will keep a reader's journal and write a series of explications of short poems.

HONS 240

Medieval European Literature R. Dillman

HONS 198

Research Paper: Medieval European Literature R. Dillman
This course will involve reading, analyzing, and discussing Medieval European literature from a variety of European cultures.  Class activities include presentations, discussion, critical reading and writing, and viewing films about the historical and cultural contexts of the literature.  Students will write a research paper on an important aspect of Medieval European studies.

HONS 240

Shakespeare on Rome C. Abartis

HONS 198

Research Paper: Shakespeare on Rome C. 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 two or three plays about Rome:  Julius Caesar (1599), Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07), and possibly Coriolanus (1607-09).

HONS 251

The Vision of Islam O. Mirza
This course will provide an introduction to the intellectual tradition developed within the civilization of Islam.  Our project is to engage in a close, careful reading of selected texts from Islamic thinkers, to think through the problems that these texts raise, and to use these texts to stimulate our own philosophical thinking.  We will begin by making a thorough study of the history and fundamental ideas of the Islamic religion, which forms the fundamental background for all our subsequent readings, and without a knowledge of which these readings would prove very difficult.  Our readings will cover such issues as:  the Divine Names and Attributes in Islam; Islamic cosmology; the nature of the Sacred Law in Islam; Islamic mysticism; reason and revelation; the nature of prophecy; skepticism and the possibility of knowledge; the problem of defining what a believer is; methods of sound reasoning; and others.  Students will not only learn about the Islamic intellectual tradition through this course, but will also develop their own ability to think philosophically.

American Multicultural Philosophy L. Bergin
This course explores a range of experiences of American ethnic groups, and thereby introduces the student to philosophy through culturally diverse texts.  We will examine theories of knowledge, values, and reality offered by a variety of cultures within the U.S.  The questions addressed will concern views of the self, human beings in relation to each other, and human beings in relation to the non-human world.  In the context of these topics we will explore such issues as ethnicity and race, gender, sexuality, and class.

HONS 253

European Women Philosophers, Medieval to Modern D. Boyer
Pore through any standard introductory text in Western philosophy or history of philosophy published before about 1990, and the only women you'll see are mentioned in connection with the biographies of famous men: Queen Christina of Sweden was a sponsor and pupil of René Descartes; Harriet Taylor had a long-standing romantic and intellectual connection with John Stuart Mill, and later married him.  And yet many of those same women, and others besides were philosophers in their own right, and during this time women participated increasingly in intellectual circles, albeit restricted by unequal education and by lack of opportunities to publish and receive patronage, that is, to take part on an equal footing with men in what's sometimes called the centuries-long, Great Conversation.  Now that scholars are taking a renewed look, it turns out that the Missing Women Philosophers weren't really hidden away very deeply at all.

You will be invited to wrestle with questions about them: What difference might it have made if women had participated more in northern and southern European venues?  What is meant by the terms "medieval" and "modern" philosophy?  What changes came about during the long transition from Hildegard of Bingen to Harriet Taylor Mill?  And finally, what is philosophy, anyhow?  Am I a philosopher?  And is that a bad thing?

HONS 261

Europe and the Other:  Explorations of the Colonial Mentality L. Splittgerber, T. Gardner, G. John
This interdisciplinary course explores European encounters with the Other in the age of European exploration and colonization from a variety of perspectives.  The concept of the Other refers to peoples that seem alien and which may be classified as “not human" by a dominant group in order to justify shocking and prejudicial treatment of them.  In addition to exploring the European point of view, we'll look at topics including the “discovery" of America, slavery, genocide, as well as “native" peoples and colonialism; all informed by theories of alterity.  For example, we'll read Aztec pictographs to understand their perceptions of the Spanish arrival, and learn how European exploration and expansion affected people all over the world.  We will examine what early maps reveal and look closely at how the Colonial mentality spread during the Early Modern period.  We will also examine how reactions to the Other carry through to the present day.  Finally, we'll explore syncretism, the phenomenon in which Others' cultures are assimilated into European rites, art, music, food, etc.  This course will have a unique seminar format.  It will incorporate guest speakers from many disciplines and panel discussions about how those disciplines interconnect.  Guest speakers from fields such Art History, Music, Ethnic Studies, Religion, Geography (cultural and cartographic,) Literature, Film Studies, GLBT, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy will present perspectives from their disciplines.

Technology and Third World Development A. Akubue
This course is about the role of technology in socioeconomic development in developing countries.  It attempts to explain why some countries (Western and Japan) are developed and others are not.  It identifies obstacles preventing Third World countries from effectively using available technology to foster socioeconomic development.  Content includes identifying the Third World, development strategies used, the transfer of technology, the integration of appropriate technology as a necessary ingredient for Third World development, and how and who technology and the development process affect women and girls the way they do.  It is a lecture and discussion class, requiring students to do reviews of articles and identify a Third World country of their choice to research and offer solution to prevailing social, economic, and environmental problems.

HONS 263

Women in U.S. Politics J. Olsen
This course will examine the facts about women in political roles, as well as address the social, cultural, political and power dynamics of women in elected office in the U.S.  Included will be an analysis of the demographics and faces of women in politics over the last 30 years, how women in elected office are portrayed by the media and perceived by the public, and how the power bases of women in office compare to men in elected office.  We will study the actual careers of women in U.S. politics, the gender gap in terms of voting, and the ways that policy outcomes and political issues differently affect women and men.  Through class discussions, readings, guest speakers, group work, research and special projects, students will become familiar with women as political actors, the political realities for women in elected office and other political roles, and additional interesting information about women in politics as decided and presented by students in the class.

HONS 300

Art and the Artist in Cinema P. Costaglioli
Art has always played a crucial role in the development of human civilizations: aesthetically, philosophically, culturally, historically, and politically.  Likewise in diverse cultures and in historical periods, the artist has gained an iconic status: adored, respected, marginalized, sometimes even despised and cursed.  He or she may appear as an enigmatic, disruptive and as a revelatory social force.

This class will explore how cinema and some of its greatest artists have captured the essence of the artistic experience as well as the image and the soul of the artist.  Through a selection of films by influential directors from all over the world, the following art forms will be represented: painting, literature, poetry, music, dance, theater and of course cinema.

Sport Law J. Kramer
Sports law students will learn about many specialized areas of law that have general application outside the sports industry.  Topics may include Title IX gender discrimination, federal disability discrimination laws, the legal characterization of college athletes, regulatory authority of the NCAA, antitrust law, trademark and unfair competition law, collective bargaining agreements, stadium and arena financing, constitutional law, tort law, contracts, and drug testing and related sanctions.  The class will focus on United States Supreme Court decisions as well as rulings of other state and federal courts.

HONS 301

Europe and the Other:  Explorations of the Colonial Mentality L. Splittgerber, T. Gardner, G. John
Same description as HONS 261, above.

Technology and Third World Development A. Akubue
Same description as HONS 261, above.

HONS 303

Women in U.S.  Politics J. Olsen
Same description as HONS 263, above.

HONS 403

Psychology of Gifted Women Z. Rockenstein
While gifted women make up 50% of individuals with high intellectual potential and ability, they are seriously underrepresented in positions of power and authority.  Research on gifted women indicates that they face both internal and external barriers to the fulfillment of their potential.  The ambitious dual purpose of this course is:  1) to examine barriers to achievement in women and 2) to overcome them.  Students will explore the lives of gifted women from both historical and psychological perspectives.  Students will examine the results of longitudinal studies of gifted women to identify characteristics that apply to their own lives.  A Life Dream Project will help you to both analyze your goals and to assess your progress toward achieving them.  If you have ever denied that you were gifted, thinking of yourself as merely an “overachiever”, this course is definitely for you!

ENGL 203 online

An alternative for HONS 243 or 303, available Summer 2006 (C. Perry), Fall 2006 (S. Engel), and Spring 2007 (S. Engel)
In Summer 2006, HONS 198 will not be available with this course.  Contact Connie Perry for information about the course content.
In Fall 2006 and Spring 2007, please contact Susan Engel (see below) about adding HONS 198. 
The following is a description of the course offered as by Ms. Engel.

Gender Issues in Literature (Diversity/Gender)
Explore gender issues in literature through online discussion and essay postings in HONS 243/English 203.  Current reading selections include four novels and one play.  Literary depiction of relationships in Ann Patchett’s novel Bel Canto, female circumcision in Alice Walker’s novel Possessing the Secret of Joy, homosexuality in Paul Monette’s memoir Becoming a Man, multiple gender roles in Michael Cunningham’s novel The Hours, and domestic relationships in the 1800s in Henrik Ibsen’s drama A Doll’s House are examined.  

Reading selections vary slightly each semester.  In Fall 2006, readings may be adapted for a closer fit to the question of modernity raised in the Elizabethan Honors course group.

Honors students must identify themselves to the instructor and must complete an Honors component to fulfill Honors credit through this course.  An Honors link is found within the course content online for English 203.  Fulfillment of the one-credit HONS 198 can also be facilitated through this instructor's class.

To register via SCSU’s online registration, choose ENGL 203, section 54.  Contact Susan Engel at or at 320.308.3916 with questions.  Note:  A technology fee of $60 (the fee may increase) is added to tuition for English 203 online.

HONS 198

1-credit, stand-alone research paper on Jewish Literature
Normally, we offer HONS 198 only in conjunction with a 3-credit Honors comp or lit class, making a 4-credit combination. But this is an unusual opportunity to offer an engaging research paper project centered around a book discussion series that will also involve faculty, staff, and community members. You could then take your Honors lit or comp for just the standard 3 credits from another teacher on another topic, maybe even a different semester. This option will be especially useful for students who have transferred in “English I” or “ENGL 100” and still need the HONS 198 to top off those transfer credits.
The book discussions will take place on a series of Thursdays, 4:00-5:30 p.m. HONS 198 students will meet with the instructor some additional hours to work on the research paper. We’ll email details to the class list by HuskyNet email (which you’ll sign up for today). For now, please leave Thursday open after 4:00, and add the class later.
The theme of the series is “Between Two Worlds: Stories of Estrangement and Homecoming.” The books and dates are:

  • Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman, Sept. 14
  • Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow, Oct. 5
  • Out of Egypt by André Aciman, Oct. 26
  • The Centaur in the Garden by Moacyr Scliar, Nov. 16
  • Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman, Dec. 27

The book series is sponsored by Nextbook, the American Library Association, and the SCSU Jewish Studies Program. I have some brief descriptions of the books with me, if you’d like to find out a bit more. (David B.)

HONS 300

Talk-story and Technology:  You, Your Story, and the iPod you Rode In On
The course works on the premise that knowledge is infinite and that each participant brings with her or him a wealth of experience and knowledge that can only be shared through narrative / story.  The question and opportunity for the instructor is to help the student (and him or herself) identify the relevance of the story to the pursuit of further knowledge and understanding in the universe of the University.  The question being examined is the place and function of story / narrative itself in which “technology” has come to define the medium in which the story is told.  How can we acknowledge, know, and adapt ourselves to the technology at the same time that we seek to adapt and use the technology to tell our story?  De te fabula narrator –Of you the story is told.  (Horace, Satires book 1, 35 B.C.E.)

HONS 303

Militant Feminism and Women Warriors: Taking Liberty
The course will be structured around a process of critical engagement following Paulo Freire’s work.  We start with the identification of the “limit situation” or the naming of the conditions under which feminism is defined and, to some degree contained.  We will then examine and identify four or five “women warriors” who do not necessarily self-identify as feminists – either from historic precedent, i.e. the term did not exist, or from a commitment to action that transcends the characterization contained within a label.  We take liberties with definitions by naming “militant” as assertive and dedicated and “warriors” as determined defenders of rights.  We also “take liberty” when freedom fairness and opportunity are denied...we take it because it is not given.  Freedom is not a gift, liberty is not a given, and feminism is an ongoing struggle for social justice.


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