Honors Courses: Fall 2014

HONS 160 – Shakespeare’s Comedies

Abartis, C.

Monday and Wednesday, 1-2:40 p.m.

Goal 1B

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 love, identity, and growth; the plays explore individuals caught up in love, infatuation, and change in the world they find themselves in-relevant topics today as well. We will read, discuss, and watch videotapes of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-96), Much Ado about Nothing (1598-99), and As You Like It (1599-1600). 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

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Secklin, P.

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45 p.m. or

Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3:15 p.m.

Goal 1A

Interpersonal communication, small group communication and public speaking.  Theory and experience to relate meaningfully, think critically, organize clearly, and speak and listen effectively.  Substitutes for CMST 192 in any SCSU requirement.

HONS 210 - Read, Write, Argue, Resolve: Enhanced Skills for Work and Citizenship

Uradnik, K.

Monday, 5-7:45 p.m.

Goal 9

Using politics, citizenship, and law as its subject matter, this course focuses on developing the following skills: persuasive writing and argumentation; and effective oral communication, including mediation and negotiation skills. We will undertake a number of practical exercises that will help you communicate more effectively in the workplace and the real world, and we will often work in groups.

HONS 210 – Honors Leadership

Eyo, B.

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Goal 9

Leadership Education will be provided from multiple theoretical perspectives. Focus will be on broad leadership learning for student development, success on campus, adaptive progress in the professions and in life, within national context and global imperative. Text, handouts, lectures, research on leadership competencies, team problem solving & presentations, assessment of student development will be contexts for student leadership learning and praxis.

HONS 213 – Gender and the Body

Berila, E. (Beth)

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Goal 9

This course will examine key issues around the gendered body. We will start from the grounding feminist tenet that gender is a social construction, and then explore various feminist theories and commentaries about how that shapes our understandings of various bodies. We will consider how different bodies are positioned in power dynamics of race, class, gender, sexual identity, and national location. That is, we will examine how we learn particular relations between bodies and how those relations are experienced. This course will foreground the relationship between gender and power, the body and identity. We will therefore look at how women in particular are denied or are able to claim authority over their bodies.

HONS 213 – Genocide for Democracy

Tabakin, G.

Thursday, 5-7:45 p.m.

Goal 9

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 213 - Rwanda and the Human Condition

Wildeson, D.

Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3:15 p.m.

Goal 9

Examines the human condition through the lens of Rwanda. Explores issues of ethnicity, religion, race, and colonialism in the context of national, regional, continental, and global spheres of community within the timeframe of the 16th Century to 2014. The genocide that occurred in 1994 affected every aspect of life in Rwanda. We will explore the factors that caused and contributed to the genocide, the narratives that document its history, and the complex mix of political, humanitarian, religious, economic, and media responses to it.

HONS 220 – Our River:  A Deep Exploration of the Mississippi River

Bartha, I.

Wednesday, 9-10:30 a.m. and other times by arrangement

Goal 3B / 10

The Mississippi River is a defining geographic feature to our community and campus.  During this course we will conduct a deep exploration of the1.5 miles of the Mississippi River adjacent to campus.  Using a multidisciplinary approach we will look at the River not only as an important natural resource but also as a tool to understand local history, culture, science and ultimately develop a new sense of what the River means to those who live along its course.

HONS 230 – The Bible

Hibbard, J.

Tuesday and Thursday, times TBD

Goal 6A

The Bible is a rich, complex, multi-faceted book that deeply rewards careful literary study. It contains the experiences of literally billions of human beings over thousands of years confronting humanities greatest questions: Who am I?, What am I?, Why do I exist?, How do I tell good from bad and right from wrong? And the rest. It is a huge book (over 1600 pages in my edition) and yet intense enough that single paragraphs, and even single sentences, can be the subject matter for books and books. We will explore this ancient source of human wisdom using some of the devices of modern literary analysis. You will meet some of the most significant figures in literature, from Adam and Eve to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. We'll study the forms and purposes of biblical narrative, the poetry of the psalms, prophecy, wisdom literature among others. There will be a daily reader's journal, two objective exams, and fifteen pages of formal papers written over the course of the semester.

HONS 231 – Justice and Performing Arts

Tabakin, G.

Tuesday, 5-7:45 p.m.

Goal 6

What would dance, storytelling, music and other forms of the performing arts have to do with justice?  Part of human resilience to personal pain and social injustice is expressed through rituals of storytelling, music and dance.  We will examine the nature of both social and personal responses to injustice, physical and emotional hurt, and oppression through the mediums of storytelling, dance and music so as to overcome and grow beyond replicating a repeat of the same oppressive conditions through reprisals, reactions, and revenge.

HONS 233 – Music & Heart – The Vibrant Now

Hansen, R.

Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3:15 p.m.

Goal 6

We will engage in "soul to soul" music expression for our times - "The Vibrant Now."  Interdisciplinary studies in poetry, visual arts, religion, heart math, psychology, and drama will enrich spiritual renewal.  Historical contexts of 9/11, American school shootings, violence against women, the Holocaust, and global and minority atrocities will be investigated.  Students will present capstone creative projects, historical chronicles, and artistic analyses in multi-media presentations and scholarly documents.

HONS 240 – Fantastic Cases in Failure:  Organizational Dysfunctionality

Vorell, M.

Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-4:45

Goal 6

As many times as organizations succeed, they also fail. However, society doesn't discuss failure until after something bad happened. This course offers a pragmatic approach to theoretical explanations and understandings of specific organizational problems or unhealthy patterns entailed in the darker side of human behavior in organizational settings. 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 how to use communication strategies through awareness of the communication processes involved in organizational failures and dysfunctional trajectories. If we learn how to better identify and understand faulty communicative practices in organizations, perhaps we will be able to find our ways back from them if not avoiding them entirely. I am assuming that increased knowledge and recognition may prove enlightening and personally and professionally useful. For sources, this class will have student draw on a variety of both scholarly articles and contemporary articles. Through the former students will learn how to understand the causes of failure from a theoretical lens, and through the latter, students will apply the causes of failure to both historic and contemporary case studies of failure. Topics to be addressed 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 240 – Beginning Poetry Writing

Meissner, Wm.

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Goal 6

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 241 – The Greek Ideal

Kroll, N.

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Goal 6

Concepts of human and divine perfection are examined in the culture of Ancient Greece.  This course examines the manifestation of those ideals in language, art, literature, philosophy, religion (polytheistic mythology and monotheism), and sport.  An introduction to the Greek language is included.  Texts include Iliad, Republic, Oresteia, and the Christian New Testament.  The enduring value and impact of these tenets (appropriation and misappropriation) in Roman, Western European, and American culture and society will be discussed.

HONS 250 – Shakespeare and Philosophy

Hartz, C.

Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Goal 2

It's been said that all of philosophy is contained in Hamlet. That probably overstates the case, but many people have noted the rich mine of philosophical issues underlying many of Shakespeare's works. From questions about how we can know what goes on the minds of others, to the nature of language and communication, to self-identity, to the nature of truth, Shakespeare's plays give us a window into both the mind of a genius and the worldview of a time very different from ours.

HONS 250 – Philosophy of Death

Neiman, P.

Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3:15 p.m.

Goal 2

Everyone is going to die, and yet none of us knows precisely when or how it is going to happen. This class will consider the nature of death, and what attitude individuals, and society in general, ought to take towards death.  We will discuss the Phaedo, in which Plato argues for the immortality of the soul and that philosophers ought to look forward to death.  We will consider metaphysical accounts of the nature of death, as well as Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of death.  Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger, will provide a focus for examining society’s attitude towards death and whether this is consistent with the nature and meaning of death.  We may also discuss end of life issues, such as advanced care directives, euthanasia, and the idea of a natural death.

HONS 260 – Exploring Happiness

Shafer, T.

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:50 p.m.

Goal 5

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.

HONS 261 – World Changers

Anderson, S.

Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9-9:50 a.m.

Goal 5

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, guests, games, and activities. The impact of and on diversity (race, gender, culture) will be discussed in relation to each identified topic.

HONS 261 – Diversity and Disorders of Human Communication

Rangamani, G. N.

Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Goal 5

Communication is an essential part of human life. This course introduces how humans communicate & its required biological processes. Perspectives of communication differences & disorders from various cultural & linguistically diverse groups will be discussed. High impact, experiential-learning activities (research or service projects) will help students develop skills to effectively communicate with people from various CLD groups and those with impairments, and advocate for prevention of disorders.

HONS 261 – Asian Folklore

Yang, D.

Tuesday, 5-7:45 p.m.

Goal 5

Folklore consists of legends, music, and fairy tales. Asia's histories of folklore and how it plays a part in their culture. This course is to help expand students' knowledge of Asian culture, history, and how folklore is implemented. Students will examine varieties of folklore from Asian communities, and understand the historical and social context within the stories. Students will engage in a creative process or performance.


HONS 263 - Big History: The Myths & Legends of Achievement

Olson, A.

Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Goal 5

History is not only a moment in time; it is a series of events that have contributed to modern achievements. This course will explore the myths and legends of various achievements and events or technologies that have contributed to it. Students will be asked to identify an achievement in their field of study and deconstruct it. This course will examine different technical, cultural, economic, and political influences that have contributed to this modern achievement in their field of study and connect it on a global level.


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