Ohio Wesleyan’s highly specialized and advanced Honors Courses are open only to honors scholars. Throughout your four years at OWU, you’ll be able to take Honors Courses in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Honors Courses bring together a professor or professors and a small class of honors scholars to explore a topic of special interest.

Many Honors Courses are one-time offerings designed by a faculty member specifically for the Honors Program. Therefore, descriptions are not included in the course catalog.

Sometimes, Honors Courses are a special section of an existing course, modified to meet the rigors of honors-level study. You may read more, move through the course material more rapidly, or be expected to participate more than others who take the course.

Your Honors Courses will count towards general graduation requirements. Depending on the nature and subject matter of the course, your advanced study may meet distribution, writing competency, or major/minor requirements as well.


BOMI 103 Biology of Cultivated Plants
Murray 1:10-4 p.m. (TR)

Principles of plant biology in an applied context, including life cycles of plants, plant structure and function, mechanisms for sensing the environment, and propagation methods. Origin and development of crop plants. A laboratory course that emphasizes hands-on experience assessing and growing plants. Lecture and laboratory. No prerequisite. F. Freshmen and sophomores or permission.

BOMI 357 Molecular Biology of Viruses
Ambegaokar 9-9:50 a.m. (MWF), 1:10-2:30 p.m. (TR)

Molecular biology of bacterial, plant, and animal viruses, including replication strategies, virus induced cytopathology and disease, viruses and cancer, and immune defenses. Laboratory includes in vitro cell culture work with continuous lines of human epithelial and/or monkey kidney cells, and methods for quantifying viruses and viral infectivity. Students who take this course as an honors course will be required to answer additional review questions from the textbook and produce either 1) a 15 page research paper which would satisfy the “Writing Requirement”, or 2) a 10-12 minute podcast/video podcast. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisites: BIOL 271, CHEM 110, and CHEM 111, or permission of instructor.

CMLT 265
Freedom and Constraint
Sokolsky 1:10-2:30 p.m. (TR)

This Honors course is an inter-disciplinary study of the way freedom and constraint are defined and represented in various types of literature, film, and art from different cultures with particular emphasis on Asia, Arab, European, and American cultures. The many connotations of freedom and the ways in which people feel constrained as well as resist such constraint will be drawn out through an examination of historical, cultural, political, religious, and gendered contexts. We will be discussing slavery, colonialism, genocide, female sexual oppression, and how people have fought against such atrocities. We will read both fiction and non-fiction. Works may include Chinhua Achebe’s When Things Fall Apart, John Okada’s No-No Boy, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Infidel, and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. (Group III, Writing Option)

CMLT 350 Reason and Romanticism
Merkel 10-11:50 a.m. (TR)

Reason and Romanticism covers the “long 18th-century.” Students explore the spirit of the Enlightenment and its relation to the subsequent Romantic rebellion—roughly, 1750–1850. However, course readings will include seminal writings of John Locke (1632–1704), Francis Bacon (1561–1626), Isaac Newton (1642– 1727), and other thinkers who shaped Enlightenment questions about nature and reason, reason and God, politics, and art. The first half of the course features writings of German, French, Irish, Scottish, English, Russian, and American Enlightenment thinkers. Literary works include Tristram Shandy, Candide, Rameau’s Nephew and Nathan the Wise, and plays of Catherine the Great. The second half of the course features writings of French, German, and Russian participants in the Romantic cultural age. The Sorrows of Young Werther, Queen of Spades, and A Hero of Our Time are among works read. We enlist the 20th- and 21st-century theoretical and philosophical approaches of Ernst Cassirer, Isaiah Berlin, and Bill Brown (Thing Theory) to understand the legacy and lasting influence of “the long 18th-century.” (Group III, Writing Option)

ENG 105 (Sec 6)
Freshmen Writing Seminar
DeMarco 8:30-9:50 a.m. (TR)

In this Honors section of Freshman Writing, students will learn a range of techniques to create more strategically structured paragraphs and more forceful, stylish sentences. Students will read the essays of other writers regularly, and will read and comment on other students’ work. Through both experiences, students will develop their awareness of different writing strategies and writerly voices. The course will also provide an introduction to the specialized resources of a university library, increasing students’ confidence in their ability to find the best scholarly sources for future research papers.

ENG 150
Introduction to Literary Study
Allison 11-11:50 a.m. (MWF)

This course focuses on the craft and conventions that transform language into literature, that re-fashion the world and human experience into art. A fundamental premise is that understanding how a work is made enhances rather than destroys the pleasure of reading it. We’ll read plays, stories, poems, and a novel spanning the history of English literature, as well as some emerging forms, such as graphic novels and hip-hop lyrics, to assess how literature is changing. This is a course for people who love to read, and readers who are open to the possibility of encountering a new favorite writer. Group III, R course.

SOAN 365
Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Filmmaking
Howard/Della Lana 12:30-3:30 p.m. (R)

This course equips students with the basic knowledge and skills to produce their own ethnographic/documentary film. Students explore film theory from the field of visual anthropology and from filmmakers’ written reflections on the processes involved in completing particular film projects. Students view a series of early, classical and contemporary documentaries to critique filmmakers’ representation of cultural difference, and to consider cinema verte vs. explicit message, the strengths and limits of the notion of objectivity, the ethics of filmmaking, and concerns about audience reaction. Each student learns camera use and film editing techniques to complete a documentary.


BIOL 255
Tropical Biology (Travel-Learning Course)
Johnson/Carreno 1:10-2:30 p.m. (TR)

Emphasizes the biodiversity and plant/animal interactions found in tropical ecosystems of the world, examining evolutionary processes that account for this remarkable diversity through reading and discussion of the research literature. A field trip to the neotropics constitutes the laboratory portion of the course and includes student projects, which are designed ahead of time and then summarized and reported on after the trip has taken place. No pre-requisites, but one introductory level course is strongly recommended.

CMLT 350 Russian Literature and Thought
Merkel 10-11:50 a.m. (TR)

This course presents Russian masterpieces in the context of Russian culture and history. We explore the reality of Russia as “one country, two continents,” that is, as a Eurasian culture. Students study works by Russian monks, folk singers, poets, novelists, and film makers. Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin, Gogol’s short stories, Dostoevsky’s Poor Folk and The Devils, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Bely’s Petersburg, and Olesha’s Envy are among works read. (Group III Humanities/Literature, Writing Option)

PHIL 310 Philosophical Perspectives on Mass Incarceration
Stone-Mediatore 1:10-2:30 p.m. (TR)

Mass incarceration–the extreme and unprecedented containment of over 2 million Americans in jails and prisons–has been called “the fundamental fact” of America today, “as slavery was the fundamental fact of 1850.” This course will engage philosophically with the American experiment in mass incarceration. We will explore how the modern prison expresses power relations and logics that are characteristic of modern life. We also will critically analyze cultural stereotypes of “the criminal,” the divide between “crime” and “law,” exercises of power and resistance within prisons, the gender and racial dynamics of U.S. prisons, mass incarceration in relation to the history of American racialized violence, ethical issues raised by current forms of imprisonment, and restorative justice and prison-justice movements. Class will meet in Marysville women’s prison for most class meetings. Students will need to complete a prison volunteer form and gain security clearance from the prison in order to participate in the class. Fulfills diversity requirement.

REL 300.9 Martyrdom & Persecution in Early Christianity
Eastman 2:10-4 p.m. (MW)

This course will examine the literary, liturgical, artistic, and archaeological evidence for persecution and martyrdom in the early centuries of Christianity, through the term of pope Gregory I (590-604 CE). The older view about constant persecution in all places has been correctly rejected, but in its place an equally distorted view has arisen claiming that the persecution of Christians was largely a myth. Through the examination of primary sources, students will engage the question of where and why Christians were actually persecutted, and by whom. Attention will be placed on the role of these persecutions–and the stories later told about these persecutions–in the formation of early Christian identity. In addition, students will consider what it meant for the persecuted to become the persecutors, both of other Christians and of non-Christians, in the period following the legalization of Christianity. The goal is to develop a balanced, informed view of the topic that resists the influence of sensationalist approaches. Prerequisites: Religion 103 or Religion 121 and Honors status or permission of instructor.

ZOOL 101 Human Biology Gatz 9-9:50 a.m. (MWF)

An introduction to human biology with an emphasis on how our evolutionary past influences our health as a consequence of our diet and lifestyle. Topics covered include why and how genetic diseases exist, why and how we age, how our immune system works, how our appetite and satiety centers work, and how our stress response operates among others. We shall examine these topics by reading not only books but also current articles written for a variety of audiences – science journals, educated laypersons, and popular press. F. (Group II)

For more details on course content and reading lists, please contact the professor(s) responsible for the Honors Course.