Course Descriptions: Spring 2013


HONS 130

Naming, Framing, Blaming: Data, Quantification, and Interpretation

Understanding the natural world requires us to make observations (collect data), compare the difference in the aspects of the world we observe (quantification), and arrange these measurements and observations into some sort of logic system (interpretation). How do we legitimate those actions? How do we determine if something is ethically or morally acceptable to us? What are the categories that define your world? How do those categories constrict or liberate you? What sorts of rewards and sanctions are associated with those categories? Contemporary and historical examples will be drawn from politics, health, environment, and entertainment. Meets Goal Areas: 3, 9, and 10.

HONS 160

Myth & Legend

We will read and discuss Homer’s Iliad (about the war between Greece and Troy) and Odyssey (about the Greeks’ journey home after the war with the Trojans), and plays by Euripides (Iphigenia at Aulis, The Bacchants, The Trojan Women, and Medea). By reading works that are not from our own contemporary culture, our imaginative sympathy is enlarged and, of course, our understanding of our own culture is increased. Learning about even one other culture helps us to imagine other cultures of the world, helps us to experience vicariously the lives of other people across time and space, and helps us to see ourselves more clearly. We will also view videotapes about ancient Greece. These stories about gods, monsters, heroes, and heroines are exciting works that have been pleasing listeners and readers for 27 centuries. 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. Meets Goal Area1.

HONS 210

American Political Issues

Study of political issues, their impact on elections and government policies. Meets Goal Area 9.

HONS 210

Honors Leadership

This course examines Leadership in its broadest sense.  Focus is on development of leadership competencies and learning a range of theoretical perspectives to enhance capacity for self-organizational development and extraordinary service in society. Meets Goal Area 9.

HONS 211

Naming, Framing, Blaming: Genocide and the Myth of Humaneness

In conjunction with the linked course of Naming, Framing, Blaming (HONS 211, HONS130) we will consider the consequence of mis(myth)interpretation, mis(myth)perception, misogamy, and the reactionary in the construct, justification, and aftermath of genocide and the genocidal.  We will ponder the imponderable question of how we justify our humanity amidst a world of ongoing atrocities.  What are those moments of light and hope that affirm our capacity to care and act humanely?  In particular we will consider current events in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas as well as events from the recent and ancient past that has given us the terms “genocide” and the “genocidal.” Meets Goal Areas 5, 8, and 9.

HONS 220

Changing the World by Air

Over the course of history many events and developments have changed the world.  Through discussions, debates, guests, games and activities this course will explore how air travel has changed the world.  In our journey through the course we will examine past, present, and possible future positive and negative social, economic, and cultural impacts air travel has had on the peoples and societies of the world.  We will also explore how the air transportation industry has both used and changed gender and racial perceptions and stereotypes. Meets Goal Area 10.

HONS 221

Diversity in Aviation

A variety of interactive learning methods will be used to increase student’s knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the aviation industry including various minority groups, past and present, and their contributions to the global aviation community. Students will also understand and demonstrate an awareness of the political, social and economic influence that created a power distance within and between cultures in the aviation industry.  Students will describe and discuss the political, social and economic influences that under-represented groups in aviation have experienced and continue to experience. Meets Goal Area 10 and Diversity.

HONS 230

Ceramics for Non-Art Majors

This introductory ceramics course is designed to introduce the general education students to the introductory fabrication techniques and the history of ceramic arts. Additional focus will be given to the basic glazing techniques and the design principles of simple pottery forms and sculptures. Students will write several research papers on historically significant ceramic arts. Students are expected to work on the studio projects each week independently in addition to the regularly scheduled classroom time. Meets Goal Area 6B.

HONS 231

Ubuntu – The Dance of Freedom

This course is a comparison study of Ubuntu, (Southern African term expressing the essence of being human … and more) in the freedom dances of the African American traditions of modern dance in the United States and the African dance traditions of South Africa.  The emphasis of the course is the cultural and historical development of the early African-American presence in the US, the post-World War II period, and the Civil Rights era to the present.  The course is directly linked to an examination of the place of the arts – particularly dance -- in the parallel struggle against Apartheid and the pursuit of a national reconciliation and unity in South Africa.  We will dance across and amidst the defiance of the music and dance of Blues, Jazz, Rock’n Roll, Gospel, Hip Hop and Rap and find parallels with Kwela, High Life, Reggae and the quintessential Toyi Toyi (see  The course will be offered during the Spring 2013 so as to link-up with the Multicultural Student Services (MSS) ten days of study in South Africa.  Goal Areas 6, 7 and Diversity.

HONS 240

Fantastic Cases in Failure: Organizational Dysfunctionality

As many times as organizations succeed, they also fail.  However, society often doesn’t discuss failure until after something TRAGICALLY bad has happened.  This course offers a pragmatic approach to applying theoretical explanations when understandings organizational problems.  We will investigate a variety of often neglected and difficult topics both on the micro and macro levels that lead individuals and organizations both to fail.  At the same time, we will focus on communication strategies aimed at correcting a failing situation before it crosses a point of disrepair.  Topics to be address include (but are not limited to): occupational bullying, office gossip/rumors, sexual harassment, work/home life balance, workplace cliques, workplace violence, ethics failure, faulty leadership, complacency/conventional thinking, poor planning in change, service failure, discomfort with diversity, thinking outside the box, responding to destructive organizations, humor, building constructive climates. Meets Goal Areas 6.

HONS 241

The Greek Ideal

Concepts of perfection – human and divine – are examined by delving into the culture of Greece.  This course will examine the manifestation of those ideals in language, art, literature, philosophy, and religion.  The period covered will be from Classical Greece through Byzantine Greece.  An introduction to the Greek language is included, followed by perusal of foundational texts (including Iliad, Republic, and the Christian New Testament), examination of Greek Philosophy, mythology, and monotheism, and a comparison of Byzantine iconography to the classical and neo-classical art of the culture.  The enduring value and impact of these tenets (the appropriation and misappropriation) in Roman, Western European, and American culture and society will be discussed. Meets Goal Area 6.

HONS 250

Food and Culture

This course is a philosophical study of cultural relativism and the concepts of tolerance, criticism and taste.  The course approaches these topics through the study of food and differences in cuisine. Meets Goal Areas 2 and 6B.

HONS 251

The Vision of Islam

This course will provide an introduction to the practice of philosophy through a careful and detailed reading of texts by classical Islamic thinkers.  Our goal will be to use these texts as an inspiration for developing our own thoughts.  In other words, we will gain experience in the actual process of philosophical thinking, rather than merely studying the philosophy that others produced. Meets Goal Areas 2, 6B and Diversity.

HONS 260

Exploring Happiness

What is happiness?  How do we measure it?  How can you engage in a more meaningful life?  We will explore your strengths and discover ways to improve your overall state of well-being.  The topics we will address include self-esteem, self-control, gratitude, joy, forgiveness, mindfulness, stress reduction, relationships, spirituality, optimism and much more.  The class will have a few books as well as participation in a variety of activities to discover and uncover your strengths. Meets Goal Area 5.

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