The Honors Reading Course (1 Credit)
HON 170A Honors Reading Group:A Faith Worth Dying For
Course Instructor: Bryan Langlands, Associate Campus Minister
Meeting Time: 3-4 pm Wednesdays
Meeting Place: Conference Room of the Meetinghouse
The question we will be wrestling with in this reading course is, â€śWhat is the relationship between Christian faith and practice, and what would a faith worth dying for look like today?â€ť Because this is only a one-hour class, we will limit our texts to those dealing with the Christian faith tradition (although insights from other faith traditions will certainly be welcomed into the conversation). The first text that we will read will be John Howard Yoderâ€™s The Politics of Jesus. In this book Yoder traces out the social ethic that is immanent in the faith and ministry of Jesus Christ and in his proclamation of the Reign of God. In sum, The Politics of Jesus is Yoderâ€™s biblically-grounded apology for the importance of the practice of Christian peacemaking as the guiding virtue for the people of God.
Secondly, we will read a chapter or two from James Coneâ€™s A Black Theology of Liberation. This text will raise the question that parallels the course title, namely, what would a Christian faith worth killing for look like? It will also help course participants to think about and discover the race-specific presuppositions that spring from our particular social locations. Finally, we will conclude the course by reading Jonathan Wilson-Hartgroveâ€™s To Baghdad and Beyond. This text narrates Jonathanâ€™s pilgrimage to Iraq with a Christian Peacemakers Team just before the beginning of the latest war in 2003. Influenced by the theology of Yoder, Wilson-Hartgrove describes the ways in which his conversion to the peaceable way of Jesus motivated his decision to be willing to minister in harmâ€™s way in order to witness to the peace of Christ amidst a situation of war.
Evaluations in the course will include the following:
- Each student will be responsible for leading the seminar once over the course of the semester. The student will be responsible for turning in to instructor and emailing to the class a 3-4 page paper that responds to the assigned reading and will serve as a guide for our conversation that day.
- We will also have several pop reading quizzes over the course of the semester to hold the students accountable for keeping up with their assigned reading.
- Each student will complete a 6-8 page final paper that will give them the opportunity to wrestle with an important theme that emerged from our reading and conversation over the course of the semester.
ART 217 Survey of World Art II
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.
ART 250 Art History Methods
Instructor: Juilee Decker
This course serves as an introduction to the concepts, methods, and issues in art history and art criticism. Students will explore several art historical methods before intensively examining a work or series of works first hand. In consultation with instructor, students may choose to research a work(s) of art in the GC Archives, Permanent Collection, or Jacobs Gallery. Prerequisite: one course in art history and sophomore standing. Interested honors students who do not meet this prerequisite are encouraged to contact Dr. Decker for permission to enter the course.
The grade for this course is comprised of a midterm project, three short papers, five short assignments, and a research project. In addition, Honors Increment students are asked to participate in a “Salon”, that is a gathering for intellectual and nutritional refreshment, to be held immediately after class in the Mulberry Cafe on the last Friday of each month during the semester (January, February, March, and April). Each month, the student(s) and faculty will select an article or series of articles of current interest from the field of art history, such as a recent publication of a monograph or catalog, a review of an exhibition on view at a major museum, or an art historical or art museum controversy (from which there are many to choose!). All members of the “Salon” will circulate material to be read a week in advance of the meeting. When the salon is convened, each Honors student will present material about their selected publications and pose questions for discussion. The purpose of the “Salon” is to heighten awareness as well as promote discussion among students and faculty.
BIO 111 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.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. 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
- His Brotherâ€™s Keeper: One Familyâ€™s Journey to the Edge of Medicine by Jonathan Weiner
- The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson and Theo Colborn
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
- PPick 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.
HIS 113 History of Civilization after 1648
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:
- Is the current very negative assessment of the age of exploration a fair representation?
- How can one account for the success of Ghandi and why have so few emulated him?
- How did the Middle East become such a volatile region?
JPN 201 Intermediate Japanese
Instructor: Michael Rich
Honors students will make two additional oral presentations (in class) of approximately 15 minutes each, in Japanese (in addition to the already assigned four 5 minute presentations). A rough draft of the script for each presentation will be shown to the instructor prior to the presentation date, and incorporate corrections made by the instructor in the final script, which will be handed in after the presentation is given.
Honors students will meet with the instructor once a week to work on a short item from The Asahi Shimbun (in Japanese).
LAT 102 Elementary Latin II
Instructor: Seth Kendall
The increment for Latin 102 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.
MAT 111 Elementary Probability and Statistics
Instructors: William Harris and Homer White
In a series of weekly one-hour meetings, we explore combinatorics and probability in much greater depth than in the standard version of MAT 111. Selections from an advanced probability text form the basis of these meetings. During the week, increment students work several assigned problems from the supplementary text, and show their solutions at the weekly meeting. If the students and instructor are interested and if the opportunity presents itself, the final portion of the year may be devoted to statistical consultation for a group of students who are using statistics in an allied course such as biology, environmental science, kinesiology, etc. The assigned probability problems may replace some of the regular class homework, and the consultation project may substitute for any data collection project featured in the regular version of MAT 111.
PSY 260 Social Psychology
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 http://www.georgetowncollege.edu/departments/psychology/McKenzie/social_psychology-syl2.htm for 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.
SPA 102 Elementary Spanish II
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:
- 6-page research paper (in English) about one of the countries we will be studying this semester. It must be a specific topic (for example, we cover Chile, so the student can do a research paper on Easter Island; we cover Cuba, so the student can do a research paper on the history of baseball in Cuba). This is an additional assignment.
- 1 Â˝ -page summary (in Spanish) of the 6-page research paper he/she wrote. This is an additional assignment.
- 4-6 minute presentation in Spanish about his/her topic. This is the same assignment as all the other SPA 102 students; the only difference is that the honors student will present by himself/herself, while the other students present in groups of 2.
SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish
Instructor: Adele Boralla-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 213H English Composition II
Instructor: Barbara Burch
Are you a human or a horse, a yahoo or a Houyhnhnm? How is writing poems like collecting leeches? How does one prepare to â€śforge in the smithyâ€ť of oneâ€™s soul â€śthe uncreated conscience of a raceâ€ť? â€śDo you dare to eat a peach?â€ť These essential questions and more will be answered by your reading for the honors section of English 213. In the process of discovering these answers, you will learn about literature written in Great Britain from the Enlightenment through the early twentieth century. In addition. you will come to appreciate the values and ideas of the artists who created them and the history and the language of their culture. We will arrive at this point by reading, discussing and writing about an impressive series of poems and novels, very few of which deal with the staid and conventional topics new students of literature have been taught to expect.
REL 231 New Testament: Gospels
Instructor: Joe Lunceford
The course will be taught inductively. Readings will be assigned for each day in both the textbook and the Gospel texts. Each day the students will be given a list of questions which they are to try to answer from the readings and be prepared to discuss the answers in class the next day the class meets. Gospel Parallels is another tool that will be used. When paragraphs from Gospel Parallels are assigned, the students will be instructed to look for the differences among Matthew, Mark and Luke and entertain the question as to why they differ as they do. A full-fledged term paper of 12-15 pages will also be a requirement of the course.
The Honors Seminar
HIS/POS 470 Terrorism: The Modern Challenge
Instructors: Ellen Emerick (History), Michael Cairo (Politics)
An ancient Chinese proverb advises one that if a dragon lives in oneâ€™s neighborhood, it is best to take that into account and be well acquainted with it. The modern world might do well to apply this counsel to the phenomenon of terrorism. Although there is much talk of the War on Terror, little understanding is in evidence as to the nature of the intended target. During this course, students will be introduced to and utilize both a political science and historical perspective to shed light on the narrative, causes, and methods of terrorism as a way of coming to grips with its modern manifestations.
- Definitions: What is terrorism? What is a political science approach to its study?
- How does this differ from a historical methodology?
- When and Where Was Terrorism Born?
- The Debate over Causes
- Origins of Modern Terrorism
- Algeria: Prototype of Urban Terrorism
- The ETA in Spain
- The Shining Path, FARC, and Black September
- Ethno-nationalist Conflict in Ireland and the Balkan Peninsula
- Terrorism in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
- How Can One Explain Suicide Terrorism?
- Religious Terrorism: Islam versus Islamism
- Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas
- What is Al Qaeda?
New texts on the subject are appearing almost daily and a reading list of 6 to 10 books will be chosen from the many possibilities. Students will be asked to write a short (3-5 pages) position paper each week on a chosen issue. They will alternate applying and writing from a political science or historical perspective. In addition, role-play and individual presentations may be joined by a field trip to help students see given situations from opposing sides.