Fall 2020

Fall 2020 Honors Seminars and Tutorials (First and second-year honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
BOMI 201.1
Biology of Cultivated Plants Murray T, 1:10-3 p.m.; R, 1:10-4 p.m.

Do you like the taste of durian fruit? Interactions between humans and plants have shaped the biology and behavior of both. Our readings and discussion will cover the ways in which plant domestication has influenced human culture and evolution while altering the earth’s landscape. In lab you will apply plant biology principles to master a variety of propagation techniques—from seeds to tissue culture.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
BWS 201.1
Comparing Medical Professions Cross-Nationally Quaye Arranged

Is medicine dying as a profession/ How is the professional power of physicians developed in different kinds of societies? Are the forms taken to strengthen or limit professional power different in societies with different contrasting political economies? Is state power central in the analysis of professional power? What is the relationship between the state and the medical profession and where are doctors better off? In this tutorial we will examine the changing status of the medical profession in six countries - the United States, Britain, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and Canada. We will explore the extent to which nation states have singled out the profession guilds for control. Readings will include The Changing Medical Profession by McKinley and Hafferty, Death of the Guilds by Krause, and Internal Markets in the Making by the OECD.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
CMLT 201.3
Bad Girls of Japan in Literature and Film Sokolsky MW, 2:40-4 p.m.

The common stereotype of Japanese women is that they are demure and walk two steps behind their men. When women step out of this image, they are often labeled as “bad.” In this course, we will examine the construction of “bad women,” or femme fatales, in Japanese literature, film, and culture both past and present. Questions we will consider are how does “bad” get defined over time and by gender? Why is there even a need by society to have such a pejorative label used for women and not men? When men are “bad,” are the standards different? How does the notion of the “bad” Japanese woman compare with such a notion in other cultures? By examining works that portray such women by both male and female writers from Japan’s past and present in both the canons of literature and film, as well as more recent cultural materials, we will try to discern if there are any universals about the definition of “bad” and how this label reflects broader ideas about gender in Japanese culture as well as in other societies.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
ENVS 201.1
The Science Behind the Environmental Classics Anderson MWF, 9-9:50 a.m.

Certain great books have played key roles in capturing public attention and motivating citizen action in the modern environmental movement. This course will use these books as inspirations for in-depth study of the scientific ideas that underlie the ongoing environmental issues discussed in each text. Students will read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson while studying pesticide effects on the environment, Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez to motivate an examination of how climate change affects the arctic landscape, and Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey paired with Desert Cabal by Amy Irvine as an inspiration to explore desert ecology and environmental pressures on drylands. Newer works that are motivating current conversations among environmental scientists, such as Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which explores merging Native American and western science perspectives on nature, and Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes, which documents organized deception on climate change by the fossil fuel industry, will also be incorporated. Scientific papers on the topics in each book will also be assigned and students will discuss the status of scientific knowledge on each environmental issue at the time each book was written as compared to our current understanding. We will also consider the importance of these books in the environmental movement and discuss the different roles that science and literature play in our human understanding, exploration and reactions to the natural landscape and environmental crisis.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
PG 201.1
The Rise of China and U.S./China Relations Choi W, 6:30-9 p.m.

The rise of China on a global scene is arguably one of the most significant current issues in the study of international relations and many experts believe U.S./China relations have shaped and will continue to shape the architecture of the 21st century world. The first part of the course covers the historical and theoretical lessons of the rise and fall of great powers and applies them to the rise of China. It explores major factors and variables that drive the rise of a new great power and why a rising power challenges (or does not challenge) the existing international order under what conditions. And then it examines main driving forces behind the rise of China and whether China will challenge the existing international order from historical and theoretical perspectives. The second part examines U.S./China relations and various issues between the two great powers. It briefly explores the history of U.S./China relations and then discusses major current issues between the two powers including trade conflicts, the South China Sea dispute, the Taiwan issue, North Korea’s nuclear crisis, human rights, energy, climate change, and military competition or arms race.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
SPAN 190.7
Through the Spanish Lens: Women Behind the Camera Paris-Huseca F, arranged

Female film directors lack visibility as a result of the gender inequality that is still perpetuated in the film industry. In the history of Spanish cinema, the presence of women behind the camera was more limited than in the US in its origins, mainly due to a lack of infrastructure, and the numbers were almost brought down to zero during the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1939-1975). After almost 40 years of dictatorship and Franco´s death, and the development of the new democracy, a new generation of women directors defy sexism in the film industry. These film professionals subvert gender roles and women’s sexual oppression; they denounce a society rooted in a patriarchal system and heteronormative discourses, and offer new male and female paradigms on the screen by means of stories that privilege a feminine and feminist gaze or point of view. During the last two decades, since the 90s and until today, the Spanish film industry has experienced an increase in the number of female directors. In 2016, 16% of movies were made by women, compared to 7% in the US. Although women represent over half of the population, female protagonists seem to be featured much less often. This represents a potential gap in our understanding of human experience and it affects how women are portrayed in the real world. Stories tell us what societies value, they offer us lessons, and they share and preserve our history. No matter how many movies with original screenplays and state of the art technology have been recently produced, if the female point of view of reality is limited and reduced, then we continue reinforcing gender roles and gendered stereotypes and we are only exposed to half of the point of view of society.

This Freshman Tutorial aims at enriching the map of Spain’s film canon by giving visibility to female film directors that have actively contributed to Spanish cinema and to the portrayal of Spanish history, culture and politics. The goal is to move towards a much-needed representation of gender equity by studying these filmmakers’ cultural production as work that promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. In particular, it will address topics such as immigration, the representation of the female body, domesticity and lesbian desire, and different forms of social violence towards vulnerable communities. This course will also pay attention to how these female directors, having gained full awareness of the different forms of gender discrimination in the film industry in front of and behind the camera, are developing alternative modes of filming and representing. This Tutorial will give students the opportunity to explore Spanish society and culture through a number of Spanish movies directed by women. Students will familiarize with a contemporary cultural production that features a broader presence of women directors and other female professionals behind the camera, and gain a deeper understanding on distinctive artistic techniques employed by them to advance their ideological goals. Students will learn about major historical developments, and they will gain a deeper understanding of the complex meaning of Spanish democracy today, while acquiring a better understanding of the current state of affairs of female-authored cinema in Spain. To this purpose, students will watch movies in the four official languages in Spain: Basque, Catalan, Spanish, and Galician, and class will be devoted to the discussion of topics that are relevant to Spanish history and cinema in the global context.

Special notes: All movies will have English subtitles. Students will be required to watch the movies outside of class. All movies will be on reserve in the library.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
ZOOL 190.17
Behavioral Ecology Research Hankison Arranged

We will use Poecilia latipinna (sailfin mollies) to investigate experimental design and research questions related to mating behaviors (courtship, mate preferences, mate competition).

Fall 2020 Honors Courses (Open to all honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
BOMI 233 Ecology and the Human Future Anderson TR, 1:10-2:30 p.m.

Ecology and the Human Future (BOMI 233) is an introductory course in environmental science. The course explores a range of current environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, pollution, and environmental impacts of agriculture such as eutrophication, deforestation and food waste. The course also delves into the scientific basis of these issues, their interactions with society and potential solutions. Honors in Course Option.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ENG 145 Readings in Truthiness Butcher MWF, 1-10:2 p.m.

Once upon a time, long before the Age of Oprah, writers who had lived through something fascinating or terrible or both would create slight exaggerations and turn their experiences into best-selling novels or short works of fiction. Nowadays, however, these stories often take the form of memoir—a sub-genre of the diverse and expansive genre we typically call creative nonfiction. Experiences once deemed so humiliating or painful that people hid them are now so remunerative that some writers make them up. So exactly what role does the “creative” part play in creative nonfiction? And does genre matter, really? In this class, we’ll examine and explore a wide variety of works of creative nonfiction and discuss how the limitations of genre might very well be keeping us from crafting truly innovative, energized work. This class will be full of genre-bending, outside-the-box texts and discussions that probe deeper questions about art, form, and the elements and craft of creative writing. Through cross-genre and occasionally collaborative assignments, we’ll explore experimental, contemporary literary forms that increasingly blur the line between fact and fiction. We’ll read a lot of weird texts, try our hand at assignments that are even weirder, and ultimately share our weird work with one other in an attempt to determine what makes literary art meaningful.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
PG 111 Power and American Politics Nestor MWF, 9-9:50 a.m.

A comprehensive introduction to the American political system. Political foundations, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federal Constitution period; Federalist, pluralist, and Democratic foundations of the American political style, political parties, the electoral system; pressure groups and public opinion; the Congress and the legislative-representative function; the contemporary presidency and the executive branch; the Supreme Court and judicial politics. The course also examines the policymaking process generally with reference to current political and governmental issues both throughout and at the conclusion of the course.

Fall 2020 Honors in Course Options (Open to all honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 321 East Asian Film Sokolsky TR, 2:40-4 p.m.

Some scholars argue that film is the new literary form of the late 20th and early 21st century. This course will focus on films that are products of one of the most populous and economically powerful parts of the world-East Asia. We will look at East Asian films (China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) to see in what ways they are unique expressions of Asian culture and thinking and in what ways they are part of a more global world of filmmaking. We will study film theory and learn how to critically watch a film. We will also read theoretical works that specifically address the art of Asian films. While reading these theoretical works, we will look at famous Asian films that have made an historic impact in the film world. Finally, we will look at current trends in Asian films, with particular emphasis on the way Asian films have influenced Hollywood. Genres we will study include: Japanese anime, J-Horror, and Chinese martial arts films. We will also look at classics such as: The Seven Samurai, Farewell My Concubine, and Raise the Red Lantern. Previous courses in film or East Asian studies are highly recommended. (Group III) (Diversity) (Writing)


To earn Honors in Course, students must develop an individual project that meets the following criteria:

  1. Students must apply their environmental science knowledge to researching or solving a local environmental problem,
  2. The project must include an exploration of connections across disciplines or different ways of knowing,
  3. The student must design a reading list for their project, in consultation with Dr. Anderson, that includes at least five additional, substantive items in addition to those assigned in class,
  4. The student must meet with Dr. Anderson at least 3 times outside of class to discuss their progress on the project, and
  5. The student must submit an 8 page paper at the end of the semester describing the background and context for the project, reporting on what was accomplished, and reflecting on what was learned.

An Honors in Course designation also requires a minimum grade of B (83%) in the standard portion of the class.


Spring 2021

Spring 2021 Honors Seminars and Tutorials (First and second-year honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
DANC 190.2 Dance Film: A Calculated Framing of Bodies Smith M, 6-8 p.m.

“Dance Film: A Calculated Framing of Bodies” examines the relationship between human movement and the camera - whether for artistic reasons or utilitarian ones - as a means for understanding bodies in motion, human relationships, and culture. Class meetings will be devoted to the review and discussion of pivotal projects and will cover the role of film and video in dance film festivals, art installations, theatre and dance performances, and the field of medical science. Field trips to exhibits, performances, and medical centers will be a valuable component of the tutorial. Students will further research work that aligns with their own interests and will ultimately present their research in the form of a paper or video project to be presented at the end of the semester. Writing option available. This course also counts towards a Film Studies major.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
HONS 201.1 Time Andereck MWF, 2:10-3 p.m.

Time. Everyone knows what it is, but nobody can define it. We won’t succeed in defining time in this tutorial either, but we will investigate many attributes and associations of time: how time has been measured throughout history, time as a fourth dimension, time dilation, the arrow of time, the history of time, the reversibility of time, time travel, time perception.

Spring 2021 Honors Courses (Open to all honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 265 Freedom and Constraint Sokolsky TR, 2:40-4 p.m.

This course is an inter-disciplinary study of the way freedom and constraint are defined and represented in various types of literature from different cultures with particular emphasis on Asian, 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 social, political, historical, gendered, economic, and physical contexts. We will read both fiction and non-fiction that focus on religious, racial, gender, economic, and physical oppression. Some topical discussions will include racism within the United States, including the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and what it means to go through life as a “disabled” person. Texts will include: No-No Boy, The Miracle Worker, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Things Fall Apart, Night, Life and Death in Shanghai, and Silence. The overarching questions that we will consider in this course are as follows:

  1. How do people define freedom?
  2. When should freedom be limited? How? Why?
  3. When should one conform?
  4. What are the most effective ways in which to attain freedom?
Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 350 Reason and Romanticism Merkel TR, 10-11:50 a.m.

Before Wikipedia, there was Diderot’s massive Encyclopédie. Long before social media, there were social networks of letter writers. And before Salon.com, the salons of Madame Necker and Madame Geoffrin. “Reason and Romanticism” is a course devoted to the long 18th-century where students can inhabit the drama of Enlightenment thought through digital projects in order to better understand the break in Western consciousness we call ‘Romanticism.’ Our approach to studying the cultural age emphasizes participation over a nomenclatural approach. In addition to reading major authors and genres, we consider the cross-cultural friendships, artistic collaborations, and political, religious, and cultural affiliations among thinkers, writers, and artists—both the privileged and the powerless. In seminar-format class discussions, students explore the relevance of 18th-century studies for understanding 21st-century problems, questions, and issues. Students read Sterne, Voltaire, Goethe, and Pushkin, as they actively seek out under-represented participants and forms of participation, such as female virtuosity in the genre of letter writing.

Coursework requires students to apply digital tools in the humanities to eighteenth-century studies. Student “Encylopédistes” will move between the digitized 28-volume Encyclopédie and Wikipedia, as they participate in a Wiki Education project, researching, writing, and editing Wikipedia entries, or stubs, relating to under- and misrepresented authors, genres, and concepts. Final project in the course is a public-facing, collaborative project mapping female participation and virtuosity in the genre of letter writing.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ENG 105 College Writing Seminar DeMarco TR, 1:10-2:30 p.m.

Designed to help you to improve your skills in critical thinking and analysis, as well as your ability to write analytic essays and well-researched, documented essays. Class time will be spent discussing writing strategies, analyzing samples of expository prose, and workshopping student essays. Throughout the term, we will also learn and practice using various revision techniques designed to improve the clarity, cogency and rhetorical appeal of your writing. In our documented essay unit, you will gain familiarity with specialized resources for academic research, learn how to assess sources and cite them properly, and discuss ways to organize and express complex ideas in a clear, forceful writing style.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ENG 300.X Reading Dystopia Allison MWF, Times TBD

In this course, we will read widely and carefully in the dystopian literary tradition, c. 1890-present. We will consider a series of questions: What is the purpose of dystopia as a form? What is its relationship of dystopianism to utopianism? Under what social and historical circumstances does the dystopian imagination flourish? Most puzzlingly, why do we take such pleasure in reading stories about hell on earth? Likely authors include H. G. Wells, E. M. Forester, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, and Chang-Rae Lee.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
HIST 385 B Women and Gender in Modern America Flamm TR, 2:40-4 p.m.

From the fight for suffrage to the struggle for equality, the history of women in modern America has featured change and continuity, conflict and consensus. Great expectations and extraordinary courage have led to substantial progress – but also to bitter disappointment and unintended consequences. This seminar will examine how, for more than a century, American women have sought personal fulfillment and professional advancement despite political, economic, racial, social, cultural, and individual obstacles.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
REL 151.2 Critical Issues in Religion and Ethics Twesigye MWF, 1:10-2 p.m.

This is an honors section in Critical Issues and Ethics. It discusses in more detail selected key topics which are central in the introductory studies in the academic fields of religion and ethics and how they apply to politics, healthcare, laws, environmental policies and theologies. Readings and discussion will include Pope Paul II’s Evangelism Vitae on the dignity of human life and Pope Francis’ Laudato si on the ethics of capitalism and need to protect the environment as both God’s special creation and as our home.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ZOOL 101 Human Biology Gangloff MWF, 2:10-3 p.m.

An introduction to human biology with an emphasis on how our evolutionary past has shaped us to be as we are today. Topics covered include our relatedness to other living creatures, why and how we age, how our immune system works, mechanisms of genetic disease, the role of nutrition and lifestyle in health including heart disease, basic neurobiology and endocrinology, the hormonal biology of stress, and human reproduction including early development and sexual differentiation.