Fall 2019

Fall 2019 Honors Seminars and Tutorials (First and second-year honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
BWS 201.1
Comparing Medical Professions Cross-Nationally Quaye TR, 10-11:50 a.m.

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 McKinley and Hafferty’s The Changing Medical Profession, Krause’s Death of the Guilds, and OECD’s Internal Markets in the Making.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
CMLT 201.2
Space and Place in Literature and Film Raizen TR, 10-11:50 a.m.

How does the representation of space and place in literature contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of our contemporary world? In the context of current events, space is so often understood in terms of borders, nations, security zones, and territory. Where do spaces of human existence and experience—home, garden, bus, alley, café—fit into the equation? This course will examine fictional and autobiographical works that foreground a poetics of space. Looking at works from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, we will explore the ways in which authors and filmmakers reference space to reflect on their place in the world around them. In doing so, we will address the following questions: How might we conceptualize spaces of possibility and connection? What types of alternative geographies emerge when emotional attachments and memory are considered in the framework of spatial orientation? Group III Humanities

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s), Time
PG 201.1
The Rise of China and U.S. – China Relations Choi MWF, 10-10:50 a.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
ZOOL 201.1 Genetics and Society Hamill MW, 2:40-4 p.m.

Genetics profoundly impacts many aspects of our lives including our health, the food we eat, courtroom proceedings, and the plants and animals around as, as examples. In this seminar we will cover some basics of genetics then move to ethical and societal issues raised by selected genetic discoveries, which may include human origins, DNA fingerprinting, screening for diseases, and creation of genetically altered plants and animals, among others. Readings will be drawn from a range of sources including popular science books and essays to primary research articles.

Fall 2019 Honors Courses (Open to all honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
BOMI 103 Biology of cultivated plants Murray T, 1:10-3 p.m.; R, 1:10-4 p.m.

Cultivated plants are simply plants grown by people. In this class we study how interactions between human and plant populations have shaped the biology and behavior of both. Laboratory emphasizes plant structure & function and techniques of plant propagation. Reading covers how diet and methods of processing foods shaped early human evolution, how human activity, including agriculture, has shaped the earth’s landscape, and how human cultures use plants, with particular reference to the Americas. Freshmen only.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 350 Reason and Romanticism Merkel TR, 1:10-3 p.m.

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)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ENG 150 Introduction to Literary Study Allison MWF, 11-11:50 a.m.

This course provides an introduction to the study and appreciation of literature. We will read a wide variety of literary works‚ including fiction, poetry, drama, and creative nonfiction, and cultivate the skills of careful reading and thoughtful analysis. Along the way, we will experiment with different theoretical approaches to interpretation, and ponder some fundamental questions: What makes literature different from other types of writing? What kinds of knowledge or experience do literary works provide? Does the meaning of a literary text change depending on where and when it is read? Likely authors include Baldwin, Shakespeare, Atwood, and Wilde, among many others! Writing course.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
HONS 201.2 Science and Religion: A Cross-Cultural Exploration Yalcinkaya TR, 2:40-4 p.m.

In contrast to what many had predicted, the debate about the relations between science and religion continues to stir emotions in the 21st century world. While some groups try to show that the two are in harmony, others claim that there is an inevitable conflict between science and religion. In this tutorial we will study these debates from a sociological perspective, and explore the roles and characteristics of religion and science in different societies and historical periods. Students will read and discuss texts from the history of science as well as from contemporary debates, and not only from the US and Europe but also from the Muslim world and East Asia. Additional resources include films such as Inherit the Wind and Bertolt Brecht’s play Life of Galileo. At the end of the semester we will have a field trip to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. We will analyze the materials in relation to their social context, and focus on questions such as: Are science and religion universal social institutions? How do different societies define science and religion? Why and how do definitions change? What does it mean for science and religion to be in conflict or in harmony? Why does it matter to debate this issue? Who participates in these debates, and why? The readings and discussions will enable the students to have a more sophisticated understanding of the question of science and religion, and students will use these insights to study a specific case that they will choose.

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

Politics, policies, and institutions touch and shape every aspect of our lives. There is no escaping them. As such, an appreciation and understanding of American government is beneficial to anyone living in the United States. This course is meant to provide a solid foundation for this understanding. Through our semester together, we will cover the design of our institutions of government and explore the consequences of this design. We will start by exploring why we need government and the implications of democracy, along with how our government was designed and how citizens’ voices are heard. Then we will move on to political parties, interest groups, Congress, the executive branch, and the Supreme Court. We conclude with civil liberties and civil rights. This course offers opportunities for rigorous reading and discussion, debate, and participation in simulations, and doesn’t require extensive previous knowledge of politics.

Fall 2019 Honors in Course Options (Open to all honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
BOMI 357 Molecular Biology of Viruses Ambegaokar MWF, 9-9:50 a.m.; M 1:10-4 p.m.

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. Prerequisites: BIOL 271 and CHEM 111, or permission of instructor. Honors in Course Option.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
SPAN 300.11 Remembering the Dirty Wars in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay Colvin TR, 1:10-2:30 p.m.

In the 1970s the countries that make up the Southern Cone of the Americas (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) experienced military coups followed by dictatorial regimes that were extremely brutal in the persecution of their own citizens, giving rise to the term “dirty wars”. Today, over 40 years later, the societies of these countries are still affected by the events that transpired and continue to wrestle with how to remember and how to come to terms with the past. Both literature and film have played an important role in creating a collective memory of the events as well as shining a light on difficult questions about truth and remembrance, identity and responsibility, justice and reconciliation. In this course, we will study how writers and filmmakers have chosen to depict the traumatic events that occurred during the military dictatorships and their impact on society, both from the point of view of those who witnessed the events as well as the younger generations. Students will be encouraged to critically engage these questions and to discover their continued relevance in the world in which we live today. Honors in Course Option.

Spring 2020

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

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
BOMI 190.7 Plant Signal Transduction
Honors Tutorial (Instructor Permission Required)
Wolverton Arranged

Plant seeds are amazing structures that can protect the embryonic plant for hundreds of years, but as soon as germination begins, the plant is fully committed to living or dying wherever it finds itself. To aid the young seedling in becoming rooted and established, plants perceive cues from their surroundings and adjust their growth direction and rate accordingly. Some of the signals perceived by plants include gravity, light, and moisture levels. In this tutorial, we will investigate how plants sense these cues and convert them into signals that result in growth responses. Students will learn how to isolate plant DNA, perform PCR using that DNA, and confirm PCR products using gel electrophoresis. Students will use computer image analysis to collect data on the growth of plants with mutations in genes important in signal sensing and growth responses. Students will also monitor gene expression in plants using confocal microscopy. Along the way, students will gain valuable experience in laboratory techniques, including the cultivation of plants, tissue culture, media preparation, and basic recombinant DNA techniques. No previous experience is necessary or expected.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 190.3 Dostoevsky and Solovyov: Mentoring the Teacher
Honors Tutorial (Instructor Permission Required)
Merkel Arranged

“When one teaches, two learn.” — Robert Heinlein

What is the importance of friendship in intellectual endeavors? Do artists and thinkers need friends? What does it mean to mentor someone? And, what does it mean to be mentored? What is the optimal student/teacher relationship? Should professors befriend their students? Should students defer to their professor’s authority and expertise? Does age matter? What can students teach their professors?

This tutorial will employ close readings and digital tools to gain an understanding of the mentor-student relationship by studying the extraordinary relationship between Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky and Russian philosopher Vladimir Solovyov. Solovyov was a recent university graduate in philosophy when he sought a meeting with the middle-aged author of Poor Folk, Crime & Punishment, The Possessed, and The Idiot. Soon the two men were discussing “divine humanity,” theocracy, and ethics. When the death of Dostoevsky’s child plunged him into spiritual crisis, the novelist chose Solovyov to make the pilgrimage to the Optina Pustyn monastery with him. During this journey, Dostoevsky’s final novel The Brothers Karamazov was born from the grief of losing a child and the balm of intense discussions of “the accursed questions of human existence” (proklyatye voprosy) with Solovyov.

Readings will include Dostoevsky’s novels The Possessed and The Brothers Karamazov, and Solovyov’s Lectures on Divine Humanity and Wisdom Writings. We will also study the letters of both authors and their participation in late nineteenth-century Russian artistic-literary-philosophical circles.

Students will become proficient in at least one digital publishing tool and one digital mapping tool to produce a final, public-facing project with their professor, mentor, and friend.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 201.1 Literature of the Silk Road Sokolsky MW, 2-3:30 p.m.

This course will examine the literature of the Silk Road from ancient times to present. The Silk Road is a modern term for both land and sea trade routes that connected Asia to Europe. Civilizations that became part of the Silk Road include Chinese, Indian, Persian, Arabian, and European. Commodities such as silk (the reason for the name) as well as food, art, porcelain, technology, religion, literature, and philosophy were transported between the "East" and "West." In many ways, the Silk Road was an early form of globalization. Now the Silk Road is a popular travel destination, as well as the name of cellist Yo Yo Ma’s music ensemble. We will read both fiction and non-fiction. We will start in Asia with the famous fairytale of the Chinese empress who brought the secret of making silk outside of China to Europe. We will also study from the Chinese perspective, the adventure tale Journey to the West and from the Japanese perspective, The Silk Weavers of Kyoto and Samurai and the Silk. From the European perspective, we will read The Adventures of Marco Polo. In addition, we will read the memoirs and tales of explorers who travelled the Silk Road: Gertrude Bell, Freya Stark, Aurel Stein, and Paul Pelliot to name a few. Finally, we will look at some modern novels that center on the Silk Road such as Gail Tsukiyama’s Women of the Silk as well as other ways in which the Silk Road is represented in current cultural formats. Students not in the Honors program need to get permission of the instructor before they can register. This course counts for Diversity, Writing, and Honors.

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.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
PHIL 201.1 Zombie 101: What the undead teach us about philosophical problems Flynn TR, 10-11:20 a.m.

This course is an introduction to philosophy via the zombie. Part of the course will be dedicated to raising philosophical questions about the nature of zombies. What is undeath? Is it bad? Are zombies evil? We will also use zombies of various types as thought experiments to get us thinking about some classic problems in philosophy. One of these is the problem of personal identity. What makes a person one and the same through time? Is it having the same body? The same mind? Another is the mind-body problem. Is consciousness necessarily some non-physical aspect we possess? To raise this question, we will introduce a zombie quite different from the typical Hollywood variety: the philosophical zombie. We will also ask what conceptions of the good life we find represented in zombie movies. In addition to these philosophically oriented discussions, we will dedicate three weeks solely to the discussion of some of the movies you will be required to watch.

Spring 2020 Honors Courses (Open to all honors students)

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 131 Love and Sexuality in East Asian Literature and the Arts Sokolsky TR, 10-11:30 a.m.

This course will examine the words “love” and “sexuality” in some of the greatest love stories of East Asian (Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean) literature. By exploring the way love and sexuality get treated in the literature of East Asia, we will consider whether there is a universal component to the ideas of “love" and “sexuality,” or do these ideas vary from culture and historical setting? Stereotypes of Asian culture in the media of the United States can vary. Images of the Asian man range from effete asexual men to kung fu artists. Images of the Asian woman vary from the demure geisha to evil dragon ladies. The goal of this course is to challenge these stereotypes of Asian sexual culture and to seriously examine the assumptions of what “love” and “sexuality” mean in East Asian culture as well as in our own. The first part of the course will examine some of the greatest love stories of East Asia’s past and the impact these stories have had on East Asian culture today. Then in the second part of the course, students will do research on current themes of love and sexuality in East Asia. By the end of the course, students should be able to discern patterns about love and sexuality in East Asia. Which patterns seem timeless? Which patterns are unique to a specific moment in East Asian history? Diversity, Writing Course.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ECON 252 Intermediate Microeconomics Rahman TR, 10-11:50 a.m.

This course provides an advanced, calculus-based economic analysis of how consumers and producers in a market economy tend to make decisions when faced with trade-offs, and how their choices affect the market outcome. During the first part of the course, we will focus on how to mathematically model the trade-offs and decision-making process for individual households. In the second part, we will study the economics of resource allocation across time and under uncertainty, paying special attention to discounting, risk, insurance and the importance of information. During the last part of the course, we will model the typical firm’s decision-making process and analyze the corresponding outcomes under different market structures, beginning with the benchmark case of perfect competition and gradually incorporating market power, strategic behavior and games.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
ENG 176 Alternative Worlds: The Hero(ine) Sets Forth DeMarco TR, 1:10-3 a.m.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door.
You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet,
there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to”
– J.R.R. Tolkien

In this class, we’ll study a range of ‘quest’ narratives, stories in which heroes and heroines set forth on challenging journeys of self discovery. We’ll explore the ways in which “leaving home” provides the questing hero/ine opportunities to (re)define the self, experience passionate love, reconfigure relationships to friends and family, and prove oneself in challenges both martial and mental. While many of these tales express an optimistic belief that trials can be overcome regardless of what troubles us—the loss of a loved one, the betrayal of a friend, or tragic errors of judgment—the “return home” of several quest narratives is complicated by darker notes of tragedy.

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

From the exploits of Al Capone and John Dillinger to the influence of J. Edgar Hoover, the ordeal of Patty Hearst, the trial of O.J. Simpson, and the politics of mass incarceration, the clash between police, criminals, and the law has never ceased to fascinate and horrify. This seminar will examine that fixation by investigating some notorious individuals and infamous events of the past century. The objective is to use both the myth and reality of crime as a lens through which to view racial, class, and gender issues in American political, social, and cultural history.

Spring 2020 Honors in Course Options (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.

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.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
NEUR/BOMI 262 Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience Ambegaokar MWF, 9-9:50 a.m.; T 1:10-4 p.m.

The course examines the fundamental molecular and cellular properties of neurons and other cells of the nervous system. Topics include the biochemical properties of ion channels, neurotransmitters and their receptors; signaling cascades required for genetic regulation at the pre- and post-transcriptional levels of expression; and mechanisms of synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity (the cellular basis of learning & memory). Other topics include development of the nervous system, neural stem cells, and sensory systems (vision and touch). The lab portion will include techniques in studying proteins, DNA, and RNA, the use of in vitro and in vivo model systems, bioinformatics and statistical analyses. Prerequisites: BIOL 120; BIOL 271 or NEUR 250; CHEM 111 (CHEM 260 recommended); or permission of instructor. Honors in Course Option.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
CMLT 320 Great Books of East Asia Sokolsky TR, 2:40-4 p.m.

In this course we will probe both the term “Great Gooks” and “East Asia.” During the first week of class, we will discuss the politics of canonization. Questions we will consider are: What makes a work of literature great? And who gets to decide? In the first part of the course we will study the history of the Great Books Program and the politics surrounding this lens by which works are deemed great. We will then read books on this list that have been part of “Great Books” syllabi. The second part of the course will turn to another famous way in which literature from around the world is canonized‚ the Nobel Prize in Literature. This prize is by no means apolitical. We will learn about the history of the Nobel Prize in Literature and then study the various works from East Asia which have received this high honor and the reasons why. Fulfills Diversity Requirement. Writing Option. Honors in Course Option.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
HHK 365 Physiology of Exercise Busch TR, 1:10-2:30 p.m.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding for the direct application. The Honors component will allow students to complete the same coursework required, plus additional annotated bibliographies looking into different research topics in exercise physiology. Students will also receive hands-on training to conduct metabolic tests for direct-measure VO2max testing protocols on various individuals with various exercise modalities. Honors in Course Option.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
SPAN 300.10 Spanish Crime Fiction: Fatal Women, Murderers and Other Outcasts in Contemporary Spanish Literature and Cinema Paris-Huesca MW, 2:10-4 p.m.

The primary focus of this course is to introduce students to the origins, developments, distinguishing elements, and ideological uses of Spanish noir and detective fiction. The course includes a selection of primary works in literature and cinema from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present, as well as critical articles that analyze these genres from different perspectives (History, Sociology, Psychology, Gender). The authors included are Manuel V. Montalban, Rosa Montero, Emilia P. Bazan, Patricia Ferreira and Enrique Urbizu, among others. The main objectives of this interdisciplinary course are two. First, to give students a better understanding of the use of this broad genre as a cultural space to discuss, denounce, and advance social and political issues at a national and global level. Second, to provide them with the basic tools to analyze the selected works critically and logically. Particular attention will be given to gender role representation, aesthetics and leitmotifs. The course will include theoretical exposition, collective discussion of primary works and secondary readings, weekly written exchanges on Blackboard, oral presentations and a final group project. Honors in Course Option.

Course Code Name Instructor(s) Day(s); Time
SPAN 499 Woman and Power in Early Modern Spain Nieto-Cuebas MW, 2:10-4 p.m.

This course will focus on the political and social role of noble women in early modern Spain. We will study power relations and views of gender, religion, race and class in order to understand their level of influence and contributions. We will also examine how women’s experience and society in general were shaped during this period. Some of the historical figures we will study are: Isabel I, Juana I (better known as Juana la Loca), Isabel de Portugal, and Maria de Guevara, among others. Course readings will be supplemented with secondary sources, including works of art, films and other forms of modern media. The course will be taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: 350 or permission of instructor. Honors in Course Option.

Contact Info


Honors Office
Phillips Hall #214
Ohio Wesleyan University
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3562
P 740-368-3886
F 740-368-3553