Course Descriptions: Fall 2013


Honors Courses: Fall 2013

HONS 160 - Shakespeare on Rome

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. Shakespeare was keenly interested in politics and the plays explore individuals caught up in their ambitions, their values, the world they find themselves in–relevant topics today as well. We will read, discuss, and watch videotapes of Julius Caesar (1599), Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07), and Coriolanus (1607-08).

Students will keep an informal journal of their thoughts on the works we read and will write three or four formal papers. We will practice techniques for achieving clarity and grace in writing: parallelism, conciseness, precise word choice, appropriate punctuation, and variation in sentence length.

HONS 160 - Embodied Discourse: Integrating Mind and Body in Composition

Education often expects us to be "disembodied" minds, talking heads divorced from our physical bodies. However, research in neuroscience indicates that the mind and body actually work together in complementary ways to make meaning. Where the mind operates through a model of simile in order to categorize, classify, and order the world (for example, "My love is like a red, red rose."), the body operates through a model of metaphor ("My love is a red rose."). In this course we will read and discuss texts from neuroscience, philosophy, history, and writing studies to explore the concept of what it might mean to create both digital and print-based texts as embodied writers. We will also explore how mind and body can be better integrated in the context of teaching and learning, how the body is "written" by the culture that surrounds us, and how we might begin "writing the body."

HONS 170 - Introduction to Communication Studies

Interpersonal communication, small group communication and public speaking. Theory and experience to relate meaningfully, think critically, organize clearly, and speak and listen effectively.

HONS 213 - Genocide for Democracy
GOAL: 9 (D/G)

How often and with what horror do nations, governments, and the people they represent abhor and condemn the genocidal actions of others while denying, justifying, and exorcising the genocidal actions of our nation, our government, and our complicity? Let us consider the founding of "our" democracy and "our" conquests on the dismembered bodies, blighted hopes, and convenient disappearance of those who were in our way. How has the concept of "genocide" been contained to limit culpability? What is the commercial meaning of genocide in North America? What about imperialism, race, religion, oil in present day Africa - Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Darfur?

HONS 220 - Social Issues of Human Biology
GOAL: 10

The purpose of this course is to explore topics of Human Biology through the lens of current social issues. Using the Flipped Classroom Design, students will use a variety of resources outside of class to learn the basic content. Class time will be used for discussion, lab activities, group work, and other enrichments. Assignments will focus on the synthesis of the biology content and the social issues to explore public perceptions and policies. For example: if there were an influenza pandemic, what do we need to know about human biology to understand its effects and consequences? We then might explore SCSU's policies and procedures for such a pandemic. Other topics include mental illness, nutrition and exercise and human ecology.

HONS 223 - Gender and Technology
GOAL: 10 (D/G)

Course will explore mutual shaping of gender and technology in society. Critical thinking and active learning in a seminar format are required.

HONS 230 - Music & Arts in Violent Times

Time and again artists faced with human tragedy find their sensibilities and responsibilities to humankind to offer serenity in the midst of madness. How can we "speak the unspeakable" in a world steeped with horrific violence? Can artistic expression impart solace and powers of spiritual healing? We will engage in interdisciplinary studies in music, poetry, visual arts, religion, literature, wellness, and theatre. Historical contexts of 9/11, the Holocaust, school shootings, and global atrocities will be investigated. Students will provide capstone creative projects, historical chronicles, and artistic analyses in theis seminar course.

HONS 240 - Beginning Poetry Writing

This enriching course will focus on the theory and practice of writing poetry at the beginning level. Numerous poetry writing exercises during the semester are designed to inspire the students' creativity. Contemporary poets and a poetry technique handbook will be used as background reading.

HONS 240 - The Soviet Experiment

This course will explore the Soviet Experiment - the attempt made in Russia in 1917 to create a differenty type of society, i.e. socialist/communist economic and political system, and its collapse in the 1990s. We will try to explore historical background, cultural specificity, political attitudes in Russia that made the experiment possible through readings, films, and art. We will try to connect the past and the present, address the current political/economic situation in Russia, and speculate about perspectives the country has (or has not) for a democratic development.

HONS 250 - Evolution and Creationism

Defenders of intelligent design creationism have recently raised new and interesting arguments against the Darwinian theory of evolution. This course will explore these arguments and help students to understand the theory of evolution via the context of this crucial debate that has widespread implication for science, theology and education.

HONS 253 - Philosophy and Film
GOAL: 6 (D/G)

This course explores philosophical issues on love, beauty, and enlightenment through selected films, focusing on the details of life experience rather than the theoretical principles. Gender differences on love and global perspectives on the way of enlightenment will also be discussed. The films covered in the course are: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000), Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), The Age of Innocence (1993), Sophie's Choice (1982), Life of Pi (2012), Slumdog Millionaire (2009), The Way (2013) and Out of Africa (1985).

HONS 260 - World Changers

Students and the instructor will work together to identify a unique list of events, developments, and people from around the world that have shaped or changed the course of modern history. The identified list of events, developments, and people and the past, present, and possible future positive and negative social, economic, cultural, and other impacts will be explored through discussions, debates, quests, games, and activities.

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