Registration for classes and seminars is by seniority: Seniors and juniors can begin registering for Honors seminars on Thursday, November 7th; sophomores on Monday, November 11th; and freshmen on Wednesday, November 13th. All Honors classes and seminars are on reserve, so students will need to register in person in Bradley Hall, Room 295.
- You may sign up for only ONE honors seminar per semester.
- You will not be charged extra tuition for HON 101 if it causes you to have more than 16 hours.
40 – Thoreau’s Walden TH 1:30-2:45 (Jan. 23, 30, then every-other-week)
Dr. Kevin Swafford
In this seminar we will read closely Henry David Thoreau’s masterpiece, Walden (1854). Though it is subtitled, Life in the Woods, the book is not simply an autobiographical account of Thoreau’s two-year sojourn away from “civilized life” on the shores of Walden Pond. Rather, it is one of the great philosophical/narrative explorations of the possibility of “living deliberately.” In the book, Thoreau examines the virtues of simplicity, the spiritual and intellectual significance of Nature, the moral responsibilities of individual self-reliance and social cooperation, and the limitations of materialism and “civilization.” It is a book that will engage you like few others. For the course you will be expected to read the entirety of Walden, to keep a reader response journal (minimum 300 words a week), and to write an essay (5-8 pages in length) that analyzes and discusses a central issue of the work. Welcome!
41 – The Great Romantics TH 3:00 – 4:15 (8 weeks)
Dr. Kyle Dzapo
This course will introduce students to the most engaging and brilliant music of the Romantic era, music of Brahms, Wagner, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Strauss, Paganini, and Rachmaninoff. In each class session we will delve into masterpieces by one or two composers, relate the musicians’ compositions to the time and place in which they lived, and create aural guides to help us appreciate and enjoy the content and genius of the compositions. Students will be asked to read chapters from Harold Schonberg’s The Lives of the Great Composers, to write two short papers about Romantic works they have gotten to know, and to complete two related assignments. All students are welcome; no prior musical training is necessary.
42 – Neurotherapy and Neurofeedback TU 11:00-12:00 (12 weeks)
Dr. Lori Russell-Chapin
This course will introduce students to the fundamental processes and techniques of neurotherapy and neurofeedback. Students will be able to define neurofeedback (NFB), a type of biofeedback for the brain using EEG and computerized technologies. Basic understanding of NFB’s underlying principles of operant conditioning will be discussed. NFB assists in optimizing brain wave regulation thus identifying causes of brain dysregulation. NFB efficacy research will be offered for differing mental health symptoms. Students will have the opportunity to participate in demonstrations of NFB and other neurotherapy techniques.
43 – Understanding Cancer W 3:00 – 4:00
Dr. Theodore Fleming
This Honors seminar will explore the origin of cancer. It will examine research, theories, detection, and treatments associated with the disease. Other areas that will be explored include types of cancer, the cost of treatment, and end-of-life care. The seminar will consist of a lecture-discussion format, meetings with specialists in the field, and off-campus trips. Off-campus trips may exceed the time period of the regular class. Each student will be required to present 3 oral reports and write a topic paper on an aspect of cancer.
44 – Why Nations Fail M 3:00-4:15 (8 weeks)
Dr. Jannett Highfill
Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine? Is it culture, the weather, geography? Perhaps ignorance of what the right policies are? These are the questions formulated by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson that we will explore in this class. The primary work of the course will be to read their Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty. All 500 pages of it. After talking it over with your colleagues in class, each person will choose a country to examine, and present their thoughts to their colleagues.
45 – Rhetoric of Death and Dying M 3:00 – 4:15 (9 weeks)
Ms. Laura Bruns
In this seminar, we will examine communication about death and dying through discussion, guest speakers, documentaries, and field trips. Some themes and issues we will explore include: the cultural diversity and difference in attitudes regarding death; societal messages about death; end-of-life communication stages, grief and bereavement, funeral industry communication; rhetoric and ethics of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia ("right to die"); and after-life rhetoric (mediums and near-death experiences). Students will be graded through a series of short response papers posted to a Sakai forum. Though controversial in nature, this seminar's goal is to create a better understanding of death in order to enhance one's quality of life
46 – Mindfulness Meditation W 4:00 – 5:15 (9 weeks)
Dr. Robert Fuller
This seminar will introduce students to what Buddhists call “mindfulness meditation.” The goal of mindfulness is to live fully in the present moment. Most humans are distracted by stress, by preoccupation with events from their past, or by preoccupation with events they anticipate in the future. Mindfulness aims at removing these distractions and helping us to become fully attentive to the present moment. Students will watch videos that both explain the historical development of these practices and that also provide instruction on mindfulness practices. Weekly class sessions will be devoted to watching these instructional videos and discussing how they might be implemented in daily practice. Students will keep a journal of their own daily mindfulness practices. The seminar will meet approximately nine times over the course of the seminar. The principal requirements are attendance at these meetings, practicing mindfulness exercises for a few minutes at least five times per week, and keeping a journal that documents (and reflects on) these practices.
47 – Sustainability T 4-5 (12 weeks)
Dr. Janet Gehring
Sustainable use is economic development and management of natural resources that happens in a way which will meet the needs of current and future generations without damaging the environment, ecosystem functioning, or biodiversity. Sustainable use is necessary if we hope to continue to have the water, food, and other resources necessary to maintain human health and quality of life indefinitely. In this seminar we will read a book published in 2013 by The Worldwatch Institute entitled Is sustainability still possible? The book explores the huge changes that are needed for humans to live sustainably and also the social and cultural impacts that may occur if we do not choose to live sustainability. We will read three chapters per week. You should read and be prepared to discuss Chapters 1-3 on Jan 28.
48 – Exploring the Fourth Dimension TH 4-5:15 (9 weeks)
Dr. Tony Bedenikovic
The idea of a fourth dimension--of reality beyond what can be seen--has attracted thinkers from various fields throughout history. In this seminar we will study references to the fourth dimension in the work of artists, mathematicians, philosophers, scientists, and others. In general, a different aspect of the fourth dimension will be explored at each meeting. While most studies will include a mathematical perspective, the goal of this seminar is to investigate diverse perspectives. All majors are welcome. To help further convey the nature of this seminar, a list of sample questions follows: Can we learn to visualize the fourth dimension? How is a 4-dimensional universe different from a 3-dimensional universe? Is the fourth dimension just time? How has the fourth dimension been used in the work of visual artists and writers? How has it been used in scientific theories? Does the dimension of the universe really matter?
49 – A Critical Approach to Evaluating Acting Performance F 2-2:50 (10 weeks)
Mr. Steve Snyder
We see so many TV shows and movies that we all think we are experts on acting and that it's easier than it really is. Few understand the real work of acting. This seminar will investigate the skills of acting and attempt to codify what good acting is. The result will be informed critical opinions when evaluating the work of actors in TV and film. Work will include some acting exercises in class meetings, some work with scripts, discussion, assigning the viewing of TV and film clips, and writing that intelligently evaluates the acting work.