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Course Descriptions Spring 2012
Core 4: Critical Inquiry into Cultural Issues
Honors 264-01: Women's Stories Across Cultures (Schapiro)
This course will study contemporary narratives by women, in both literature and film, from various Western and non-Western cultures. We will look at the myriad ways women across cultures negotiate various conflicting claims, such as the pull towards family, tradition, and security vs. the desire for independence, freedom, and autonomy. The narrative form itself will be looked at as a means of constructing an identity, of discovering the story of one's self. Focusing on women's struggles for identity and agency within a global context, the course will compare women's diverse strategies of finding and telling their stories.
Requirements include attendance and participation in discussion; frequent informal response writing; two 4-6 page analytic papers on the primary texts in the course; and a take-home final exam.
Honors 264-02: "The New Global Village: The Future of the World's Great Cities" (Motte)
The world's population is migrating to cities in unprecedented numbers. Industrialization and urbanization, processes which came to dominate western nations over two centuries ago, today drive millions of people to the burgeoning cities of Africa, Asia and Central and South America. This mass population movement represents a spatial and cultural transformation of truly global proportions.
The recent growth trajectories of major cities throughout the world reflect a number of common elements: outward spatial expansion of the built environment beyond traditional city boundaries; the emptying out of population from the central city; population growth at the fringes of the metropolitan region; increasing economic specialization; a definable role within both a national hierarchy of cities as well as within the new global economic order; deepening divisions between rich and poor (both within and between cities); and widespread municipal governmental concern for persistent social and environmental pathologies related to long-term sustainability.
These commonalities, however, mask considerable variations in the city cultures which are emerging from the economic and political forces behind the creation of a more inter-dependent world geography. Shifts within dominant national cultures, the residual forces of moribund economic systems, unequal access to technological innovation, and varying degrees of political upheaval continue to have profound impacts on the evolution of the world's great cities--even as homogenizing tendencies continually demand redefinition of the term "global village."Back to top.
Junior Year Honors
Honors 351-01: Research Colloquium (Cook)
One of the most rewarding aspects of collegiate study is the opportunity to conduct advanced research in your field. In preparation for conducting research and writing a senior honors thesis in their respective departments, students from a variety of disciplines explore strategies for the research and writing of advanced scholarly work. In the class, participants join together on a collaborative interdisciplinary research project of their own design. Students work sequentially on identifying a topic and key research question(s), finding relevant literature and preparing a scholarly review, locating key sources and/or materials, selecting appropriate methods/approaches, and participating in the final presentation of their findings at a class conference.Back to top.
Area Distribution Courses
History 104H: Multiple Voices: Europe in the World Since 1600 (Schneider)
The course explores two ideas developed by various European thinkers from the 17th century on that have come to have worldwide resonance: political liberty and feminism. The writings of proponents and opponents of those ideas will be studied. In depth investigations of the works (partial or complete) of among others Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Baron Montesquieu, Voltaire, J.J. Rousseau, Mary Wollstonecraft, Condorcet, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler and de Beauvoir will occur against the backdrop of reading a Western Civilization text book and some supplementary scholarly articles.
Physical Sciences 217: Introduction to Oceanography – Honors (Knowlton)
The ocean covers nearly 71% of the Earth's surface and impacts our climate, our economy, and our health and safety. We will examine ocean processes and apply the knowledge to better understand important topics in ocean science, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, marine pollution, hurricanes, fisheries, and sound in the sea. This course integrates the lecture and laboratory sections of the class to provide a hands-on approach to the study of the ocean.
Sociology 202H: The Family (Roche)
American family life is studied from a sociological perspective including coverage of family dynamics and interpersonal relationships. The course explores vital issues affecting today's marriages and families. Topics include:
- making family choices in a changing society
- our gender identities
- choosing a marriage partner
- alternatives to marriage
- to parent or not to parent
- raising children in a diverse and multicultural society
- work and family
- aging families
- communication and managing conflict in marriages and families
- family stress, crises, and resilience
- divorce, remarriages and stepfamilies.