Course Descriptions: Spring 2006

HONS 110

Statistics and Baseball W. Branson
An introduction to statistics, using baseball as our database. This class will focus on two things. First, we'll learn basic statistics, such as correlation and regression, basic probability, and sampling, using baseball statistics. Second, we'll investigate the impact a well-defined statistic can have on the culture of baseball. This class is equivalent to STAT 193 for fulfilling major requirements and course prerequisites.

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.

HONS 180

Literature and Ethics J. Foster

HONS 198

Research Paper: Literature and Ethics J. Foster
Using The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature, we will study ethical issues and how they are dramatized in literature. Students will write five formal papers, preceded by rough drafts. There will also be a final in-class essay. Class meetings will be discussion based, using both large and small-group formats. One paper will be an extended argumentative essay of applied ethics on a current public issue.

HONS 180

Enlightenments and Romanticisms: Writing at the University J. Dorn

HONS 198

Research Paper: Enlightenments and Romanticisms J. Dorn
Because modern universities were created during the Enlightenment in Europe, this course goes back to literature written during the 1600s and 1700s to see where our current practices of academic writing come from. But Enlightenment ideals of reason led to the passions of Romanticism. This course will explore the tensions between Romanticism and Enlightenment in contemporary writing and the arts as a way of understanding how influential ideas of the present have been shaped.

HONS 240

Language and Literature of the Bible J. Hibbard/E. Koffi

HONS 198

Research Paper: Language and Literature of the Bible J. Hibbard/E. Koffi
This course will study the Bible from two complimentary but distinctly different perspectives: Professor Koffi is a linguist active in Biblical translation, especially currently translating the Bible into Anyi, a language of the Ivory Coast. Professor Hibbard has long experience teaching the Bible as literature. These different ways of studying the Bible bring different kinds of understanding, which in turn help make clear some of the richness and value of this very complex text. The course will include two tests over readings and lectures, a daily reader's journal, and two major papers.

HONS 251

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.

The Vision of Islam O. Mirza
"Islam" is an Arabic word that means "submission", and specifically "submission to God's will". It also designates a religion based on a sacred scripture, the Koran. A "Muslim" is one who has submitted to God's will, or who follows the religion of Islam. The Koran is a book that God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the angel Gabriel. That is the basic outline of a story believed by about one-fifth of humanity. Our first task will be to fill in the details of this story, and to gain a thorough understanding of the main aspects of the religion and civilization of Islam. Our next task will be to use this understanding to engage with selected texts of the Islamic intellectual tradition, from both classical and contemporary authors. Possible topics include: Ghazali and the quest for certainty, Averroes on the harmony between religion and philosophy, Sufism, Illuminationism, faith and reason in Islam, Islamic responses to modernism and secularism, Islamic approaches to the problems of religious diversity.

HONS 261

Contemporary Russian and Eurasian Policy: Environment W. Langen, J. Lindsey, M. Blinnikov
Exploration of Siberia and the Russian East, emphasizing geography, politics and culture since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Is this area a land of opportunity? Or a graveyard? Or both? The course will focus on energy and environmental issues in this time of increasing global demand. The course will deal with issues of federalism and local politics as well as the relationship between Siberia and the Russian East and the Asian powers of China and Japan. Russian culture will be used to portray this area as both real and imagined space. Team-taught by Mikhail Blinnikov (Geography), Bill Langen (Foreign Languages) and Jason Lindsey (Political Science).

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 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, group work, research and guest speakers, 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 by students in the class.

HONS 300

Modeling Reality A. Anda
For well over a century, the method we use to learn about the world around us, the scientific method, consisted of two principal components: theory and experiment. Beginning in the mid-20th century, a third principal component emerged: Computational Science. Computational Science can be defined as the computer simulation of (usually) simplified models of how real world physical or social systems work to better understand those systems. E.g. one may computationally model evolution to test evolutionary theories in biology: Computational Evolution. Or conversely, one may use models of evolution to better solve problems in mathematics and computer science: Evolutionary Computation. This course will explore how computer models of reality are developed, and survey a number of diverse applications. For example, we'll discuss why weather prediction, and some other predictions about the future, can be not just hard, but impossible, no matter how powerful a computer one uses -- why whether or not a butterfly flaps it wings might possibly be the determining factor with respect to whether a tornado forms. There will be guest lecturers and a possible field trip to an important computing site. Because mathematical notation will be used in the course, the student must at least have mastered MATH 072 level material (intermediate algebra). Readiness to take calculus would be better still. Computer Science majors in the course may serve as mentors to students less familiar with computational ideas. Thus, working groups may mix Honors students and Computer Science students, thereby promoting good learning for everyone in the class.

Creative Thinking Z. Rockenstein
The purpose of this course is to expand the student's ability to think and solve problems creatively. Students will study the best in creativity theory. This theory will be applied to personal projects designed to stretch each student's capacity to think creatively. Assignments include journals, a major personal project, and a final exam on the texts.

HONS 301

Contemporary Russian and Eurasian Policy: Environment W. Langen, J. Lindsey, M. Blinnikov
Exploration of Siberia and the Russian East, emphasizing geography, politics and culture since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Is this area a land of opportunity? Or a graveyard? Or both? The course will focus on energy and environmental issues in this time of increasing global demand. The course will deal with issues of federalism and local politics as well as the relationship between Siberia and the Russian East and the Asian powers of China and Japan. Russian culture will be used to portray this area as both real and imagined space. Team-taught by Mikhail Blinnikov (Geography), Bill Langen (Foreign Languages) and Jason Lindsey (Political Science).

The Meaning of Food L. Splittgerber
This course will engage students in an interdisciplinary dialogue about the symbolic and theoretical functions of food. We will consider perspectives on food from the fields of biology, psychology, history, anthropology, sociology, literature, art, advertising, popular culture, religion, feminist and film studies and use a variety of theoretical approaches from these disciplines. We will study four areas: Food, Society and Cultural Identity; Food, Sex and Women; The Evils of Food and Food, Religion and Magic.

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 303

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 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, group work, research and guest speakers, 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 by students in the class.
Alternative for HONS 243, available summer 2005, fall 2005 and spring 2006

ENGL 203 Online

Gender Issues in Literature
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.

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 saengel@stcloudstate.edu or at 320.308.3916 with questions. Note: A technology fee of $40 (the fee may increase) is added to tuition for English 203 online.

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