The Honors Reading Group is offered once or twice each academic year. It may be repeated up to three times for credit, as long as a different topic is covered each time.
Instructor: Diane Arnson Svarlien
Plato is well-known as the father of Western philosophy, but not everyone realizes that he is a lively and fascinating author worth reading for his literary and dramatic talents and the portrait he gives us of classical Athens as much as for his contributions to the history of thought. Our reading of Plato will be open to a variety of approaches (philosophical, literary, historical, psychological, and beyond), corresponding to the interests of the participants. This will be a journey of discovery with no fixed destination.
This one-hour class will have a seminar/book group format, with students taking turns presenting the weekâ€™s reading to the group and leading discussion. In keeping with HON 170 tradition and Oxford tutorial methods, students who are presenting will write up and distribute in advance a paper that outlines the studentâ€™s approach to the material and proposes questions for discussion. Students are expected to come to class prepared to engage with the assigned readings and with their fellow studentsâ€™ presentations of the issues.
Beyond weekly readings and one or more presentations (depending on the number of students enrolled), each student will write up a more polished essay, about 5 pages in length and due at the end of the semester, discussing a dialogue or theme of the studentâ€™s choice; it could be on the same dialogue that the student has presented, but does not have to be.
Dialogues to be read will include Protagoras, Symposium, and most likely some selection from the following: Charmides, Cratylus, Euthydemus, Euthyphro, Gorgias, Hippias Major, Ion, Laches, Lysis, Phaedrus, Philebus. Shorter dialogues will have one week devoted to them, and longer ones two weeks. The course will avoid overlap with the dialogues covered in PHI 201 (Apology, Phaedo, parts of Republic), though the Apology may be brought in on the first day of class by way of introduction to Socrates.
Instructor: Juilee Decker
All grading opportunities as designated on the syllabus remain, with the exception of the two essays. Each essay shall be replaced by an in-depth essay (5-7 pages each). Two additional components are required of the Honors Student: consultation and discussion. In preparation for these essays, the student will consult with the instructor at least once per essay. Twice throughout the semester, students enrolled with the Honors Increment, will participate in a discussion with peers in this course about their findings. This presentation will be open to all art faculty and faculty in the studentâ€™s major as well. The subject and scope of these essays is selected by the student and approved by me. The essays are intended to give the student experience with deeper research that might eventually be used for an honors thesis project, perhaps. Please ask me if you would like some suggestions or types of topics considered by previous students. If no major has been selected by the student, appropriate essay situations will be arranged in consultation with the instructor.
Instructor: Mary Anne Carletta
Students would have two options for this increment:
Instructor: Todd Hamilton
In the CHE111 honors increment you would explore one of the following topics:
Major Figures in Chemistry â€“ read an original work by Boyle (The Sceptical Chymist) or Newton (copies of his original manuscripts are becoming available through a project at Indiana University) and think about how the scientist influenced the field of chemistry at that particular time in history.
Women in Science â€“ read about Madame Curie, Rosiland Franklin, or Lise Meitner and consider the barriers that they faced in their respective disciplines.
Study the introduction of a major new scientific theory (e.g., atomic theory, quantum mechanics, or relativity) and the resulting paradigm shift in the field of Chemistry by looking at original works that introduce the theories and textbooks that integrate the theory into existing Chemistry knowledge.
Instructor: Jana Brill
French 201 students spend 4 weeks reading the original French version of the tale Beauty and the Beast. Two labs are devoted to the showing of the classic postwar film by Jean Cocteau. As an intermediate language course, the emphasis is on basic understanding of the vocabulary and grammar. The beginnings of analysis emerge towards the end as they write an essay on the topic: â€śThe Beast â€“ A Monster or a Man?â€ť
For the Honors Increment the student would focus on Cocteauâ€™s film in depth â€“ researching such elements as Cocteauâ€™s relationship with surrealism, French new wave cinema, gender identity issues, and the relationship of the film to the original Beaumont text. This research would be presented orally (5 minutes in French) to the class, and in a two-page typed paper (also in French) due at the end of the semester. In addition, the student will discuss research findings (in English) with the professor, prior to and after completion of the paper.
Instructor: Ellen Emerick
What intrigues you? That is our starting point. An Honors student is encouraged to pursue a personal interest in a culture, person, or phenomenon that particularly captivates him or her. This can be done in one of the following ways or in some other fashion suggested by the student and approved by the professor.
We can explore the â€śstuffâ€ť of history in weekly meetings: original documents, artifacts, art work, etc. The purpose here is not simply to acquire a fuller understanding of the chosen subject, but also to learn the skills that help us construct historical interpretations. Therefore, we will cover the caveats that should be applied to such material and the methods by which we can translate it into historical knowledge.
The student may choose to do a research project that will become a class presentation during which he or she will â€śbeâ€ť the professor. This will involve meeting the needs of a variety of learning styles through written handouts, visual media, and possible group work or debate. The presentation will occupy the majority of a class period.
Some past examples of starting questions are:
Instructor: Diane Arnson Svarlien
The increment for Latin 101 will take you deeper into an already-challenging course. At the beginning of the semester, Honors students read sections of works by Steven Pinker and Anthony Burgess that explain Proto Indo-European, the ancestor of Latin, English, and other languages in the Indo-European family. Students are asked to write a brief summary demonstrating their understanding of the important concepts in this reading.
Throughout the semester, Honors Increment students will do English-to-Latin composition assignments beyond those done by the whole class. Each assignment will be corrected by the student until it is perfect. This is one of the most challenging tasks in language study, since it requires a more complete understanding of the grammar than does Latin-to-English translation. Students who complete this increment will thus gain a fuller comprehension of Latin; the additional assignments will give them a greater command of the regular course material.
Instructor: Diane Arnson Svarlien
The Honors Increment for 201 continues with extra English-to-Latin composition assignments. In addition, students will memorize and recite selections from Roman poetry.
In both of the courses above, increment work typically has two components:
A Few Tougher Homework Problems. Each week the instructor assigns the honors student a very few problems that are more difficult than what is given to the rest of the class. Students turn in these problems along with their regular HW, and meet outside of class with the instructor to discuss them.
A Selected Special Topic. This is decided in advance in consultation with the student; generally we try to find something that falls within the special interests of both student and instructor. Past topics have included: a look at the foundations of calculus through rigorous treatment of epsilon-delta approaches to derivatives, sequences and infinite series; exploration of programming with symbolic computation software such as Mathematica; topics in the history of mathematics, such as the study of an original writing by a great mathematician of the past, in a language (French, German or Latin) that the student knows, or in translation.
Instructor: Jonathon Dickinson
The honors increments for General Physics I and II would take one of three forms. For all forms of the increment the student would be expected to meet with the instructor an average of Â˝ hour a week during the course of the semester. The majority of these meetings would take place during regular office hours.
A typical final product paper that is conceptual rather than mathematical would be ~8-10 pages. A typical final product presentation would be 10-15 minutes in length and would be given in class, class time permitting. The exact nature of the increment and the evaluation would be established at the beginning of the semester.
Instructor: Michael Cairo
For the Increment, the student may choose one of the following three options:
Develop a 10-12 page, typed, and double-spaced world politics simulation for use in the classroom based on a real-world event or issue. The simulation should focus on a contemporary issue or event and should be laid out according to the matrix below.
Read the books below. Develop a 10-12 page paper answering the question below. Draw on additional sources in answering the question.
According to some, because globalization encourages interdependence and a common set of interests and values, its overall effects are positive. Others believe that globalization undermines distinctive cultures, rewards wasteful consumption in rich countries, and incites violence in poor and undemocratic countries. How do we make sense of these different dynamics? Which in your view is likely to dominate?
Instructor: Karyn MacKenzie
Social psychologists attempt to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985). Relevant topics covered during the semester include the self, conformity, obedience, gender, attitudes, prejudice, liking & love, aggression, helping, and group behavior. Interested honors students will complete all requirements for the course (see the Spring 2007 course syllabus) and in addition, will create an experimental or correlational study investigating an area of interest within social psychology. Such students will be responsible for collecting the data and analyzing it using a statistics program; students will closely work with the professor because it is assumed that students are not already familiar with conducting psychology studies. At the end of the semester, a paper will be submitted, which will include a literature review that summarizes the variables studied and their relationships with each other, a methodology section describing the experimental procedure used to collect the data, a statistical analyses section that addresses the correlational results, and a discussion section that involves interpretation of the findings. The ethical guidelines established for the field of psychology will be followed. The final product should be between 3-5 pages. For example, one semester a student surveyed 30 students in her social psychology class, who completed an informed consent form, followed by 3 reliable, valid scales: The Altruism Scale, The Interpersonal Betrayal Scale, and a Self-Esteem Scale. She hypothesized about their relationships before surveying her classmates, looked at current research related to the variables, analyzed her data using SPSS, and interpreted the results.
Instructor: Emily Stow
All SPA 102 students do a short presentations during the semester about one of the countries we study (Caribbean and South American Spanish-speaking countries). The topic must be specific and something that is not covered in depth during class time. An honors student, therefore, can receive an honors increment by doing the following with his/her topic:
Instructor: Adela Borrallo-Solis
Students in SPA 201 have a better grasp of the Spanish language and can express themselves in various tenses. They also have studied various Spanish-speaking countries (Caribbean and South American countries in SPA 102, Central American countries and Spain in SPA 201). Therefore, an honors student can receive an honors increment by doing the following:
Instructor: Barbara Burch, 2006 Cawthorne Fellow
English 112 is an introduction to academic writing. During the semester, weâ€™ll learn about and practice: strategies for library research, the methods of scholarly writing and the ethics of scholarship. I know what you are thinking: â€śI know how to write research papers. Can I bypass this class?â€ť This course, however, will not be a dry and tedious study of library databases and footnote form. Instead, we will develop your ability to think critically, argue forcefully and succeed in the Honors Program. Your first paper will evolve from our exploration of a series of texts and films that examine the essential questions about the relationship between personal identity and choice such as: Is a person the same person after she compromises her belief? Is redemption the salvation of an old self or the birth of a one? Is heroism the ability to make moral choices? How does a person decide what is right then when caught between respect for the authority of church or government and his intuitive sense of what is right? We will approach these questions by reading â€śA Man for All Seasonsâ€ť by Robert Bolt and â€śA Good Man is Hard to Findâ€ť by Flannery Oâ€™Connor. We will view and discuss two recent movies: â€śThe Lives of Othersâ€ť and â€śChildren of Men.â€ť Our work in the second half of the semester will help you to discover and develop your identity as a scholar. With guidance from the honors faculty, you will plan and carry out a research project that addresses a pressing contemporary issue in the academic field of your choice.
Instructor: Bradford Hadaway, Oxford Program Director
In our times we suffer no shortage of opinions about all sorts of moral issues. War, stem cell research, physician assisted suicide, abortion, homosexuality, and radical hunger and poverty all call for some moral response, and as the newspaper headlines and pundit-driven talk shows illustrate, many people claim to have the answers. But the confidence and certainty on display on both sides of these debates inspires the central question of this course: How does one go about thinking systematically, clearly, coherently, creatively, and cogently about right and wrong? To advance in our quest for answers to this question, we will first consult some of the great masters of the western intellectual tradition who have offered answers themselves: e.g., Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. But the best exploration of ethics is not done in theory alone. We will also examine our most common moral conflicts and questions as exemplified in a variety of short stories. These stories will bring to life in rich detail the prospects and problems of the theories we have considered and allow us to feel the full weight of the moral life as seen through the eyes of the characters and in the midst of the plotlines.