The Honors Reading Group (1 Credit)
For Spring 2009, we have two options:
HON170A: Early Christian Writers
Instructor: Kyle D. Potter
This reading course will focus on selected works by important thinkers in early Christian history, specifically before the Council of Nicaea. At the beginning, students will consider a recent article by Rowan Williams on how the reading and writing of history can shape one’s identity by making a contemporary situation seem more strange. Next we will read articles on the nature of “orthodoxy” and “heresy” in both theological work and faith formation. These issues will offer a framework for examining each patristic writer in his social and historical context and considering the works’ contemporary relevance. Students will consider what their faith holds in common with each writer, and where they differ. I will spend the last ten minutes of each meeting summarizing the personality and historical import of each reading for the next week. I intend for each week to carry 30 pages of reading, with very few secondary sources being necessary. The course will be taught in the fashion of an Oxford tutorial, and each student will lead one of the discussions for a particular work, and submit to the class at the beginning of each week a 3-4 page response paper for their writer. This response will summarize and critique the writer’s most important arguments and consider the ways in which the writer is “strange” to our culture, and invites us to consider our own lives from the perspective of their own concerns and circumstances. The response paper would be due to both instructor and fellow students by 5pm each Monday on the week they are presenting.
The final paper will be a 6-8 response to a broader historic or theological theme in the readings, or a description of how a particular author or selection criticizes, affirms and challenges the student’s own faith tradition or personal journey, and would be due on Wednesday, May 6.
HON170B Privacy versus Security in the Information Age
Instructor: Danny Thorne
- Wells, 1984
- Doctorow, Little Brother
- Schneier, Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World
- Darmer, Baird & Rosenbaum, Civil Liberties Vs. National Security In A Post 9/11 World (Contemporary Issues)
- Etzioni, How Patriotic is the Patriot Act?: Freedom Versus Security in the Age of Terrorism
- Leone & Anrig, The War on Our Freedoms: Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism
- Schneier, Beyond Fear
About two and a half centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin expressed that those who would give up privacy in favor of security deserve neither. Modern information technology flavors the privacy-versus-security issue as presaged by Orson Wells in his novel 1984 which introduced the “Big Brother” metaphor so familiar to us in daily conversation and popular media ever since. In 2008, Cory Doctorow published Little Brother, a novel that explores the privacy versus security issue in a 21st century setting and which features tech savvy citizens employing information technology based techniques to fight back against a government attempting to impose what they perceive as a police state Ă la 1984.
This reading group will study 1984 and Little Brother and some supplementary material. Supplementary material will be selected from the secondary texts listed above plus journal articles and popular media chosen ad lib by the participants during the course of the semester. Note that both primary texts are available online. 1984 is not in the public domain in America yet, but it is in the public domain in other countries. Little Brother is published under a Creative Commons license at http://craphound.com/littlebrother/. I encourage students to purchase the 1984 and read Little Brother online if desired.
Readings from the selected texts will be written up and discussed weekly. For each meeting, one person will be the discussion leader. The discussion leader will produce a short paper (approximately three pages) and lead a discussion. The paper will be an synopsis of the social, legal and ethical issues raised in the latest reading and emphasize an exploration of opposing viewpoints on controversial issues. The paper should be finished and distributed by two days before the meeting in which it will be discussed so that all members of the class will have a chance to read it before the meeting.
We will engage in an “artificially” polarized discussion of issues for the sake of practicing a debate style defense of assertions. The discussion leader will adopt a viewpoint to defend and begin the discussion by expressing that viewpoint. Some of the remaining members of the class shall adopt the viewpoint of the discussion leader and some shall adopt an opposing viewpoint. You may not always defend a viewpoint that you actually sympathize with. Everyone should keep this in mind. The purpose is to practice supporting assertions, independently of your personal inclinations about those assertions. In fact, it is good to make a habit of arguing for viewpoints that you do not agree with. This will help you better understand the viewpoint you do agree with as well as learn to think carefully about difficult issues while avoiding reactions based largely on emotions. When a class meeting ends, do not assume that the viewpoint that was passionately defended by one of your classmates during class is the viewpoint that they actually accept.
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.
FRE 201A and B 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 113C and D 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.
2. 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 202 Intermediate Japanese II
Instructor: Michael Rich
LAT 102 Elementary Latin II
Instructor: Diane Arnson Svarlien
The increment for Latin 102 will take you deeper into an already-challenging course.
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 all sections Elementary Probability and Statistics
Instructors: David DeSario, 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. The assigned probability problems may replace some of the regular class assignments. In those sections of MAT 111 that involve a group data collection project, increment students will be encouraged to form their own group and to pursue a topic that requires data analysis methods not introduced in the regular class.
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 102A 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 201C 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 213AH English Literature Survey II
Instructor: Kristin Czarnecki
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.
The Honors Seminar
SOC 470: Social Justice Through Folk Music
Instructors: Eric and Yolanda Carter
â€śA pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over.â€ť
Joe Hill, November 29, 1914 in a letter written from Salt Lake City Jail.
This course will explore stories of injustice, social action, and social change through the perspective of folk music. Different songwriters, performers, and songs will serve as the launching point for discussion, presentations, and performances in each class on historical and contemporary social issues and events. This course will culminate with a campus presentation on folk songs that focus on social justice issues and the stories of their context.
Historically, song has awakened a great consciousness of racial and ethnic injustice, sexism, class inequality, and national arrogance. This class uses folk music as a vehicle to bring into light the unreported resistance of people against power and oppression. At the conclusion of this course students should be able to:
- Identify key social issues/problems of the twentieth century and early twenty-first century.
- Explain the structural inequities that formed the basis of key social issues/problems.
- Define the historical context and social movements/protest that surrounded key social issues/problems.
- Explain the relationship of folk music to social movements.