Honors Courses: Spring 2014
HONS 160 - Myth & Legend
Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.
We will read and discuss Homer’sIliad(about the war between Greece and Troy) andOdyssey(about the Greeks’ journey home after the war with the Trojans), and plays by Euripides (Iphigenia at Aulis,The Bacchants,The Trojan Women, andMedea). 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.
HONS 170 - Intro to Communication
Hyde, R. Bruce
Mondays and Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. OR Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
This course in an inquiry into the human communication and its power to shape the quality of our lives, both in our careers and our personal relationships. The specific format includes both impromptu and extemporaneous presentations (AKA public speaking), the completion of a small group project, and the exploration and analysis of the ways communication functions in the development of relationships. The context of this inquiry is practical, profound and playful. The practical assignments- designed to develop strong presentation and argumentation skills, increased facility with small group collaboration, and sensitivity to the role of communication in interpersonal relationships- are appropriately rigorous for the intelligence of Honors students. The profound discussions of the nature of language and its role in the creation of human identity will challenge many of the students’ assumptions and provoke the kind of deep thinking that most Honors students crave. And, because in my experience the greatest skill one can develop is the ability to approach life as a magnificent game, the overall atmosphere throughout will be playful, as rigorous in its commitment to open classroom interaction as it is in its demand for effective performance. Everything in life happens in communication.
HONS 210 - History of American Political Issues
Mondays at 5 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Contemporary political and social issues examines and analyzed against this country’s founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
HONS 211 - Genocide: Name, Frame, Blame
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
GOAL: 9 (DIV)
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.”
HONS 220 - Social Issues of Human Biology
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
GOAL: 3B, 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 220 - Changing the World by Air
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
GOAL: 3B, 10
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.
HONS 221 - Diversity in Aviation
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
GOAL: 3B, 10 (DIV)
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.
HONS 221 - Planet in Peril
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
GOAL: 3B, 10 (DIV)
Humans’ overarching role in our planet’s environmental problems and successes. This course will offer a fresh, forward-looking approach to sustainable solutions.
HONS 230 - Ceramics for Non-Art Majors
Mondays and Wednesdays at noon - 2:45 p.m.
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.
HONS 231 - Resistant Arts - Dance Music
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:00 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.
GOAL: 6B (DIV)
HONS 240 - Fantastic Cases in Failure: Organizational Dysfunctionality
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
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.
HONS 241 - The Greek Ideal
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Goal: 6A (DIV)
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.
HONS 250 - Freedom in Society
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
GOAL: 2, 6
This class explores what it means to be free in today’s society. There are many things that seem to limit our freedom in society, such as other people’s rights, the purpose we set for our lives, the expectations that society, culture, family or friends have for us, the law, and even our own personality. A tentative reading list may include John Stuart Mill (“On Liberty”), Albert Camus (“The Myth of Sisyphus”), Fyodor Doestoevsky (“Notes from the Underground”), John Rawls (“A Theory of Justice”) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“Discourse on Inequality”). Classes will be focused on student discussions of philosophical ideas from the texts and students’ own ideas about how they are not free.
HONS 250 - Smart Machines
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
GOAL: 2, 6
Robots and Cyborgs and Drones, Oh my! Machines are getting “smarter”- does such increasingly smart technology diminish or enhance the possibilities for human excellence? Are human beings simply very smart machines? How do we distinguish the animal from the mechanical? Might our machines become our masters, and if so, can humans flourish in a post human world? In this course, students will hone their critical thinking abilities by recognizing, analyzing and evaluating contemporary arguments on issues such as the plausibility of “the singularity;” the wisdom of increased use of robotics and drones in the military, law enforcement, and health and human safety professions; the utopian and dystopian possibilities for merging the biological and the technological, and more. Discussion and short writing exercises centered on a wide variety of readings from Plato to Piercy will provide the basis for a self-selected course project/presentation.