The Honors Reading Group (1 Credit)
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.
HON 170A Honors Reading Group: The Dialogues of Plato
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.
ART 216 Survey of World Art I
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.
BIO 111 (Sections A and B) Biological Principles
Instructor: Mary Anne Carletta
Students would have two options for this increment:
- Read an additional text related to biology or science in general, meet with me once a week for at least 45 minutes to discuss it, and make a short (10 minute) presentation to the class at the end of the semester, summarizing the readings. My initial thoughts on possible texts are:
- The Third Chimpanzee: the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal by Jared Diamond
- Our Stolen Future: How We Are Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peter Meyers
- Hopeâ€™s Edge: the Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe
- The Forgotten Pollinators by Stephen Buchmann, Gary Paul Nabhan, and Paul Mirocha
- Science on Trial: the Case for Evolution by Douglas J. Futuyma
- Living Downstream: an Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment by Sandra Steingraber
- The Next 100 Years: Shaping the Fate of Our Living Earth by Jonathan Weiner
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
- Having Faith: an Ecologistâ€™s Journey to Motherhood by Sandra Steingraber
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
- Gathering the Desert by Gary Paul Nabhan
- The Beak of the Finch: a Story of Evolution in our Time by Jonathan Weiner
- Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse, Envisioning a Sustainable Future by Donella Meadows, Dennis Meadows, and Jorgen Randers
- Why is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality by Jared Diamond
- Time, Love, Memory: a Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior by Jonathan Weiner
- Coming Home to Eat: the Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods by Gary Paul Nabhan
- The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson and Theo Colborn
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
I expect that the text would change from semester to semester. If I have more than one student in an Honors increment in a semester, then the students would have to agree on a text.
- Pick a topic of interest related to biology, explore the scientific literature on it, write a research review paper of at least eight pages using a minimum of six peer-reviewed references, and make a short (10 minute) presentation on the topic to the class at the end of the semester. The student and I would meet every week or two to discuss the topic, how to search the scientific literature, the references, the ideas the student is finding in the literature, and the progress of the studentâ€™s paper.
FRE 201 Intermediate French I
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.
Note: Other research topics arising from class discussions may be considered, with permission from the instructor
LAT 101 Elementary Latin I
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.
LAT 201 Intermediate Latin I
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.
MAT 225 Calculus II
Instructor: David DeSario
MAT 325 Calculus III
Instructor: William Harris
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.
PHY 111 General Physics I
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.
- Increased Complexity. In this form of the increment some of the studentâ€™s homework problems would be replaced with problems of greater complexity. Types of problems can include applying the material covered in the regular class to situations not covered in class, complex situations, and situations that span multiple chapters of material. The goal of this form of the increment is to improve analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. This form of the increment would give likely majors and pre-engineering students an opportunity to be better prepared for the upper level courses.
- Additional Topic. In this form of the increment the student would study one particular physics topic mutually agreed upon by the instructor and the student. The topic could either be one covered in class (but at greater depth) or a topic typically omitted from the class. For example a non-major could explore an advanced topic such as relativity or quantum and a major could delve deeper into the physics of sound, a topic not covered in any upper level course. The topic would be covered in either a conceptual or mathematical manner depending on the nature of the studentâ€™s interest and abilities. Likewise the method of evaluation would be individually determined. If the topic lends itself to problems of a reasonable level for the student, then problem assignments and a test could be used for evaluation. If a final product is more appropriate for the topic, then a mathematically adept student might derive a collection of formulas, while another student might write a paper or do a presentation that conceptually explains the same formulas.
- Connections to Other Disciplines. In this form of the increment the student would consider the intersection of physics with other disciplines. Possible humanities connections includes political policies on energy, the epistemological basis of Einsteinâ€™s thought experiments, and the implications that the ordered nature of the universe has on the nature of a creator. Possible science connections include the field of medical physics and describing chemical reactions in electromagnetic terms. The evaluation of this form of the increment would be some type of final product such as a paper or presentation.
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.
POS 300 World Politics
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.
- Introduction. Provide a brief introduction to the problem and explain what students will be doing in the simulation.
- Materials. Provide a list of materials required to do the simulation.
- Background Scenario. Provide a history of the issue/problem, complete with a historical background, and a contemporary understanding so that students will be prepared to discuss/negotiate on/debate the issue. This should also include specific questions or problems that students should solve when participating in the simulation.
- Roles. Describe the student â€śrolesâ€ť needed for the simulation and the â€śinterestsâ€ť and perspectives of each role.
- References. Provide a list of materials for research for students participating in the simulation.
- In consultation with the professor, follow the directions below and type a 10-12 page double-spaced advocacy paper.
- Select an issue that is a â€śproblemâ€ť or â€śchallengeâ€ť in world politics. (i.e., bio-terror, drugs, energy security, the environment, human rights, the war in Afghanistan, etc.)
- Define the issue. State and define the issue. Insure that the issue is specific and narrow in focus. Do not choose an issue that is overly broad or general.
- Analyze the issue. Analyze how this particular issue pertains to and affects world politics. Does this issue present a threat? If so, what type of threat is it? How serious is the threat and what are the consequences of this threat?
- Develop courses of action. Develop distinct, viable and realistic courses of action to address this issue. As a general rule, there should be at least three courses of action. While doing nothing may, in fact, be a realistic course of action, do not use this simply to fill out your list.
- Analyze courses of action. Analyze each course of action. Consider the specific advantages and disadvantages posed by each. What are the benefits, limitations, resource requirements and constraints associated with each course of action? Each course of action should be analyzed independently of any other course of action.
- Recommend a course of action. Based upon your analysis, recommend a specific course of action that should be implemented.
- Justify recommendation. Justify your recommendation as to why your course of action should be implemented. Do not simply restate your analysis of this course of action and the relative advantages and disadvantages. How does this specific course of action further your goals and objectives as it relates to this issue?
- Conclusions. What are you conclusion about this issue, your recommended course of action and the future prospects for the solution of the issue/problem?
- Read the books below. Develop a 10-12 page paper answering the question below. Draw on additional sources in answering the question.
- Benjamin Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World
- Thomas L. Friedman, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
- Paul Blustein, The Chastening: Inside the Crisis that Rocked the Global Financial System and Humbled the IMF
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?
SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish I (sections A and B only) 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:
- 8-page research paper (in English) about a specific issue in the Hispanic world. The student should choose a topic that is related to his/her major and/or interests (for example, an art major can do a paper about Hispanic muralists; a business major can do a paper on the trade agreements of South America). This is an additional assignment.
- 2-page summary (in Spanish) of the 8-page research paper he/she wrote. This is an additional assignment.
- 5-10 minute presentation in Spanish about his/her topic. This is an additional assignment.
ENG 112B English Composition II
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.
HIS 111F Western Civilization to 1648 World Emphasis: Reconstructing Early World History
Instructor: Ellen Emerick
A historian hears voices! Those voices come to us across time in the letters, journals, or records of individuals, the plays, poetry, or stories of a culture, and the law codes, court records, and official histories of a civilization. Each voice is claiming truth, and history as a discipline employs critical thinking and interpretation in an attempt to recover the reality revealed by the chorus of those voices. We, therefore, will spend considerable time with that chorus, what historians call primary or original sources, practicing the craft of history, examining and commenting on historical problems or questions. We will exchange interpretations of those primary sources until we feel we have reconstructed the most probable explanation or description possible of the subject at hand. This is definitely not a class that asks you to memorize a textbook.
There is no Honors Seminar for Fall 2009. Look for a Seminar in Spring 2010.