skip main navigation

Honors Program Courses

Spring 2013 Honors Course Schedule

HRS 315: Imagination to Invention

Dr. Snipp, TR, 12:30 - 1:45
This course will count toward the natural science or social science guideline.

Fragmentation of human knowledge into disciplines and sub-disciplines is universally practiced because the sheer volume of information is overwhelming. To make maximum use of our study of any discipline we examine how the discoveries are made.

There is a universality of creativity, and conceptivity. Truly creative discovery depends on the gathering of ideas from various disciplines some seemingly quite remote from each other.

Individuals from the distant past and the work of other more contemporary people of genius will be the basis of our investigations. This course is designed to help us get an overview of the process of discovery so that we may better understand and create the world in which we will live.

HRS 342: Modeling Global Issues

Dr. Mordeson, TR, 12:30 - 1:45
This course counts for the social science or math guideline.

This course is designed to provide students the opportunity to model prob- lems of current and global interest. The mathematical background needed to accomplish this goal will be developed in the course. There is no prerequisite for the course. The mathematics involved in the modeling process is very accessible to the student. Although the problems we will tackle can be quite complicated, the mathematics involved in the initial modeling process is fairly simple. The Örst few weeks of the course will be spent developing some basic mathematics concepts needed for the modeling. During these initial weeks, reading material will be given to the students to help them decide upon their research topics. Subsequently, there will be time set aside in each class period for the instructor to lecture, answer questions, and provide guidance.

Although the topics available are diverse, they share a common theme. There is an overarching goal. Each such goal is made up of factors (or other goals). These factors are easily determined. Each factor is made up of subfactors. The subfactors are based on expert opinion and data. This is where the student will spend much of his/her time, determining the subfactors and then weighting them as to their importance. The weighting of the importance of the factors will be done by experts and by various mathematical techniques. These techniques will be explained by the instructor. The weights will be used to determine linear equations, where the overarching goal is the dependent variable and the factors and/or subfactors are treated as independent variables. These linear equations will then give a measure of the degree of success of attaining the overarching goal.

Directed arrows from the factors to the overarching goal can be drawn to obtain what is called a directed graph. This can then be followed by drawing directed arrows from the subfactors to the factors resulting in a much larger directed graph. If one considers relationships between the subfactors and fac- tors with directed arrows drawn accordingly, a mathematical structure is thus constructed. This structure is known as a network or a social network or a directed graph. It can be studied in its own right.

HRS 347: Stoics in Film and Literature

Dr. Stephens, MW, 2:00 - 3:15
This course counts for the philosophy or literature guideline.

This (1) focuses on two major areas of human and social concern, namely, human mortality, violence, and death in war, and the significance and hazards of travel. Billions of people commute, embark on pilgrimages, emigrate, immigrate, and journey.

The course philosophically examines selections from films, short stories, novellas, poems, and perhaps a biography or other work of nonfiction, and so is decidedly (2) interdisciplinary. It (3) addresses ethical and value questions rigorously—THE goal of Stoicism is to develop moral integrity no matter how unfortunate one’s circumstances. Moreover, colorful anti-stoic foils in film and fiction will motivate the value questions that would be this course’s lifeblood.

Finally, the philosophical pursuit and exploration of purpose, duty, sacrifice, and nobility in an uncertain, dangerous world would strongly (4) emphasize personal reflection by the students. Excellent films have tremendous power to grip the minds of seniors and get them to think hard about what kind of persons they aspire to be. Engrossing literary and cinematic stories about stalwart individuals, tenacious protagonists, and admirable survivors will vividly animate the stoic themes studied in the course. Writing papers that combine students’ interpretations of the meaning of images with the meaning of narratives will make for a dynamic, integrative SAM course.

HRS 348: Pictures and Words: The Visual Book

Fr. Flecky, TR, 5:30 - 7:20
This course counts for the fine arts guideline.

In the historic evolution of books, from scroll to codex to offset press prints, the appearance of texts in their format, color, imagination, and visual appeal have been as much a matter of aesthetics as of practical function, legibility, and durability. Historical relationships of pictures with words in manuscript form can be seen in the illuminations that accompany words and languages that the scribes who copied them may not even have been able themselves to read. Shapes and colors of the calligraphy and masterful drawings in the margins of carefully scripted texts supported, and perhaps substituted for, an understanding of the words themselves to a barely literate “reader.” With the invention of the offset printing press, printers incorporated graphic images drawn on blocks of wood and metal to illuminate the printed text. And with the invention of photography, visual artists were able to introduce photographs, first as single artifacts and later as reproductions, into the mix of pictures and words in printed publications.

  1. This course will study the historic evolution of pictures generally and photographs specifically in the relationship between pictures and words that may be described generically as visual “books”.
  2. The course will study materials and products of traditional bookmaking such as the scroll, codex, manuscript, bound volume, folio, portfolio, signature, broadsheet, chapbook, catalogue, poster, notebook, sketchbook, facsimile, etc.
  3. In addition, the course will study examples from contemporary art that challenge the notions and boundaries of book arts and related media such as printmaking and papermaking, as well as interpretations of the artist’s book and related contemporary media as art objects in themselves.
  4. And the course will apply what students have learned about the craft and structure of pictures and words to assignments in personal bookmaking that challenge their skills in photography and simple material construction and book design.

There will be assigned reading and presentation of visual slides and artifacts, from which students will be tested once at mid-term. Students will produce a visual book and broadside from their original photographs and writing, employing adaptations of historic or contemporary techniques to their personal artistic expression. Creativity and craft will be emphasized, as well as originality and integration of the history of the book arts medium.

HRS 356: Archaeology and Politics

Dr. Erin Averett, MW, 9:30 - 10:45
Dr. Averett has graciously shared a tentative syllabus for her course.
This course counts for the history or social science guideline.

This course explores the dynamic issues surrounding the political use of the past with a focus on archaeological and artistic cultural monuments in the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. The way the past is studied, interpreted, presented, and conserved is becoming an increasingly hot topic in today’s politicized global environment. Modern political ideologies such as colonialism and nationalism, wars, poverty, and a thriving illicit antiquities market are closely intertwined with how past cultural heritage is collected, interpreted, presented, and maintained.

This class will analyze the political use of the past with a focus on the 19th – 21st centuries through student presentation and discussion. The class format is seminar-style, with emphasis on discussion, debate, and active student learning. Issues to be addressed will include: why preserve the past, and in what form? How has past cultural heritage been used and abused for political purposes in different historical and cultural contexts? How do museums, collections, restitution of cultural property, and the illicit traffic in artifacts contribute to this situation? What solutions have been tried or proposed to mitigate the ongoing struggle for control of the past? Students are encouraged to apply these principles to other global cultures in their individual research projects.

If you are interested in taking RDA 510 or COM 495 (organizational rhetoric) for SAM credit, please contact Dr. Hause.

HRS 101: The Rise of the West

Sec. A: Dr. Dawson, MW, 8:00 - 9:15
Sec. B: Dr. O'Keefe, TR, 12:30 - 1:45

Honors Program Course Offerings

Honors Foundational Sequence

HRS100/HFSI: Beginning of the Christian Intellectual Tradition
HRS101/HFSII: The Rise of the West
HRS200/HFSIII: The Modern World

Honors Sources and Methods Courses (SAMs)

HRS302: Research in the Writing of Poetry
HRS301: The Epistemology of Political Science
HRS303: Fuzzy Math Logic
HRS304: Noncitizens in Democratic Athens
HRS305: Intelligence - Multiple Perspectives
HRS306: Organization Learning: Finding Your Place in the World
HRS307: Writing Our Lives: Identity and Culture in Personal Writing
HRS308: The Theology of Medieval Women
HRS309: Philosophy and Economics: Method and Horizon of Discourse
HRS310: Metaphysics of Film
HRS311: Graph Theory
HRS312: Gödel, Escher, Bach
HRS313: European Literary Modernism
HRS314: This View of Life - Evolutionary Biology
HRS315: Imagination to Invention
HRS316: American Identity in the World
HRS317: European Metropolis 1900
HRS318: Animals, Persons, and Ethics
HRS319: The Psychology of Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Intergroup Conflict
HRS320: Cosmology and our Evolving Understanding of the Universe
HRS321: The Age of the Samurai
HRS322: The Catholic Church and Latin America
HRS324: Classics of Social Theory: Positivism and its Discontents
HRS325: Evolution and Human Behavior
HRS326: Gender in Classical Antiquity
HRS327: Greek Tragedy: Texts, Contexts, and Subtexts
HRS328: Critical Perspectives of Disability and Society
HRS329: In Search of the Promised Land: Religion and Place in America
HRS330: Christian and Jewish Theology after the Holocaust
HRS331: Representations of Piracy from 1600 to the present
HRS332: Thugs, Preps, and Playas: Critical approaches to Masculinities
HRS333: The Renaissance Artist
HRS334: Green Chemistry and Sustainability
HRS335: Not Lost in Translation: What goes into a Translation of the Bible and what we can take out of it
HRS336: The Theory, Method, and Art of Autoethnography
HRS337: Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship
HRS338: Research in Writing Poetry
HRS339: The Age of Augustus
HRS340: Green Cultural Studies: Nature, Space and Bodies in Postmodern Culture
HRS341: History and Future of the Book
HRS342: Modeling Global Issues
HRS344: The Literature of Mysticism
HRS345: The World and Writings of St. Augustine
HRS347: Stoics in Film and Literature
HRS348: Pictures and Words: The Visual Book
HRS399: The Scottish Enlightenment
HRS497: Directed Independent Research