HIST 200: History Colloquium - "A Struggle for Freedom": Resisting Enslavement in North America
What was a slave revolt? Historian Eugene Genovese suggests it was "a struggle for freedom." In this class, we will focus on enslaved peoples' struggles for freedom in North America during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. We will analyze their historical experiences within the larger contexts of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery in the Americas. We will use primary and secondary sources to investigate what we can and cannot know about the histories of enslaved people, and to understand the historian's craft. During the semester, you will have opportunities to hone your analytical reading, public speaking, and historical thinking skills.
HIST 395: Historiography and Methods - Construction of Identities
Some observers believe that national identities are unchanging and archetypal but historians disagree. In the recent past there have been many challenging and creative historical studies of the construction of national identity, and is clear that identities are remolded through war, religion, trade and other disparate cultural pressures. As acts of union and disunion become increasingly relevant to our daily lives and politics, an historical context is essential to understanding unsettling changes.
In this class we will explore various approaches to identity construction, from the national/regional level to the cultural. Our readings might include works which focus on political caricature, definitions of masculinity and leisure pursuits as influences on a changing national identity.
HONR 220A: Introduction to Economics
Includes both microeconomics and macroeconomics. The price system as a mechanism for directing resource allocation. Demand, supply and market equilibrium in perfectly competitive markets. Development and application of criteria for efficiency and equity. Measures of the performance of the macroeconomy. Circular flow, aggregate demand, aggregate supply and equilibrium within the context of an international economy. Nature and impact of monetary and fiscal policies upon output, price level and employment
HONR 240A: The Biblical Tradition
This course introduces students to a critical reading of the Christian Bible in a Catholic context. What exactly is the Bible and where does it come from? How has it been read and understood over the centuries? How should it be read and understood today? What role should it play in coming to grips with the meaning and purpose of our own lives? We will engage both the past and the present of the most important book in Western civilization.
An introduction to the discipline of Christian theology in the context of our science-dominated world. We will give primary attention to texts from the Bible, emphasizing prominent biblical themes (e.g. creation, covenant, reign of God) and consider some post-biblical developments in the tradition. Students will be introduced to Biblical Hebrew, and will learn to think critically both about the Bible and about modern theological controversies, particularly from the perspective of feminist hermeneutics and theology. This course has a 'gender' designation. How issues of gender intersect with texts, issues and themes of the course will be prominent in our discussions.
HONR 250L: Philosophy of Human Nature
No subject has occupied western philosophy more than that of human nature. And none is more controversial. This is not surprising, since who and what we think we are will determine a great deal about how we understand the world and our place in it. If we wish to pursue happiness, we would do well to first have an idea of what we are, from whence we came, and to what end our existence is directed. Some say God, others oblivion. What do you say? In this course we will read selections on the philosophy of human nature from classical, Christian, and contemporary sources. Special attention will be given to human rationality, sexuality, and mortality. Finally, we will seek to develop a view concerning the prospect of discovering (or creating) ultimate meaning and purpose for our lives.
HONR 250R: The Empire Writes Back
Nothing conclusive has yet taken place in the world, the ultimate word of the world and about the world has not yet been spoken, the world is open and free, everything is still in the future and will always be in the future. (Mikhail Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics)
"The Empire writes back with a vengeance," wrote Salman Rushdie back in 1982, heralding the success of writers from the erstwhile British Empire who were not only contesting colonial narratives and debunking colonial myths, but were also challenging the very notion of "English." Many of these writers, little known in the early 1980s, have become familiar to readers all across the world: Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott, R.K. Narayan, V.S. Naipaul, and of course, Rushdie himself. Their literary prominence has been such (three of the writers named above have won the Nobel Prize) that many English Departments now claim to teach "Literatures in English" rather than "English" or "American" Literature.
This course focuses on the ways in which the dominant narratives of Empire (not just the old British one, but the current de-centred one as well) have been challenged, resisted, and re-told. It takes its cue from the work of the Russian philosopher and literary critic, Mikhail Bakhtin, who gave us the concept of dialogism. Any utterance-spoken or written- responds to some earlier utterance and anticipates a future one, Bakhtin argued. Because dialogic expression is always incomplete, always oriented towards the unrealized future, it resists authoritarian interpretations. In this course we will read a number of texts (some "classics," some iconoclastic) dialogically to understand better how the authority of literary texts is constructed and resisted-both internally and externally.
Sample "clusters" of texts: 1) William Shakespeare, The Tempest; Aimé Cesaire, A Tempest; Elizabeth Nunez, Prospero's Daughter. 2) Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; J.M. Coetzee, Foe; Kunal Basu, The Racists. 3) Anonymous, A Woman of Colour; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea.
HONR 270C: Problem Solving
An introduction to solving complex problems in interdisciplinary topics which will be drawn from mathematics, computer science, and physics. Students will work in groups and present their results.
PREREQUISITE: MATH 119 and admission to MAPCORES program or consent in instructor.
HONR 310: Great Books/Ideas
The Great Books course is a year-long discussion-based seminar focused on some of the world's greatest works of literature, philosophy, and intellectual history. The students will purchase a personal library of a hundred books, from which we will choose many during the summer and academic year to read and discuss as a preparation for a lifetime of intellectual and literary activity. Students are specially selected on the basis of demonstrated ability to converse about sophisticated works, and they will work together to enhance each other's understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the first-rate books that will engage our attention. The professor serves as guide and facilitator of discussion, leaving it to the group to get the most out of these books. The list includes the usual suspects such as Homer, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Austen, Tolstoy, Faulkner, Woolf, and Joyce. It also introduces some works by authors not as widely known, including Dinesen, Pynchon, Saramago, Byatt, Laxness, and Ishiguro. Those interested need to apply with Dennis Beach, and a group of twenty will be selected.
HONR 340J: Christian Sexual Ethics
Given the inescapable complexities surrounding human sexuality, gender, and embodiment, how might we live and relate to one another in ways that are increasingly fulfilling, and in ways that deepen our relationships with ourselves, others, and God? This course will introduce students to the methodology of Christian ethics, i.e., the process of drawing upon sources of knowledge (scripture, tradition, reason, and contemporary experience) to formulate responses to contemporary issues regarding sexuality and relationships. Specifically, we will be exploring the concept of justice as it relates to sex, contemporary hookup culture, love, and relationships. In the end, students will be equipped to construct and articulate a compelling theological sexual ethic for college students in 2014.
HONR 350P: Souls, Selves & Persons
What am I? This question will be explored through the study of three periods marked by a change in scientific paradigms: the scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth century, the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species in the nineteenth century and the rise of cognitive science in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We'll read philosophers, scientists, historians, and novelists, as well as explore pieces by performance and visual artists. By the end of the course, you should have a basic understanding of different metaphysical views about human nature - from the claim that humans are fundamentally autonomous and independent to the view that human nature derives from the unique social bonds that we form. We will study various accounts of the relationship between the mind and the body, especially dualism and materialism, and how these theories are shaped by various philosophical and scientific commitments. In studying these topics, you will learn to recognize in past debates a reflection of contemporary struggles over human nature and our place in the natural world. No prerequisites.
HONR 370B: Research Seminar
Solving complex problems in interdisciplinary topics which will be drawn from mathematics, computer science, and physics. Students will work in groups and present their results.
PREREQUISITE: HONR 270 and admission to MAPCORES program or consent of instructor.
HONR 390: Honors Ethics Seminar: The Medical Professional in the Modern World
The word "professional" today connotes an individual with well-developed skills, specialized knowledge, and expertise, who conforms to the standards of a profession. The original meaning of "professional" as one who "makes a profession of faith" in the face of demanding circumstances has been all but lost in the medical profession. This class will use the burgeoning literature of medicine, written by, for, and about medical professionals, in order to explore the full range of "professional" challenges facing today's medical professionals.
The practice of medicine is rife with ethical dilemmas. By exploring the efforts of medical professionals to counter the institutional forces that constrain them and to find their own solid ground to stand upon, this course aims to cultivate the habit of moral reflection in future medical professionals. Although this course will primarily focus on the experiences of medical doctors, it should also be of interest to those aspiring to other medical and non-medical careers.
HONR 390: Honors Ethics Seminar: Justice in the 21st Century
Few issues are as fundamental to human life as justice: everyone is in favor of it. Yet few issues are as controversial: justice has widely divergent meanings for different people. This course will examine in detail five rival understandings of justice prevalent in debates today. Students will read two novels, and five philosophical or theological treatments of the notion of justice in our joint efforts to come to grips with what justice means in our lives: personally and on a national and global scale. Like all Senior Seminars, the goal of this course is to improve each student's ability to make good moral judgments.
CHIN 321A: Chinese Women in Literature
Cross-listed with GEND 290B
This course aims to engage students with literature by and about Chinese women and the gender, class, and cultural issues that are intertwined with this intriguing topic. We will read ancient and contemporary Chinese women's writings, including poems, short novels, and autobiographies. Notable female authors that will discuss include4 Ban Zhao and Qingzhao Li from ancient China and Bingxin and Huiyin Lin from modern China. We will also discuss who the female writers were and the reasons they took up the pan, a practice often discouraged by the traditional patriarchal society. Furthermore, we will read portrayals of women's lives that were confined to the inner quarters of the household and the expectations imposed upon them by the society and customs of their times. Readings include tomb inscriptions for honorable ladies, biographies of deceased concubines, essays on the proper conduct of women, chapters of novels focusing on the domestic life, and diaries of foreign missionaries.
FREN 351H: Le Théâtre classique
Le XVIIe siècle, c'est le Grand Siècle, l'âge de l'absolutisme, ''âge du roi soleil, l'âge de la période classique. Cette période littéraire, comme celles qui précèdent et suivent le XVIIe, présente une définition de la condition humaine : soit ce qu'elle était ou ce qu'elle est ou devrait être. Nous étudierons la condition humaine chez Corneille, Racine et Molière tout en découvrant et en examinant les règles de l'art classique pour le théâtre au XVIIe.
FREN 354: Studies in French Language: French Poetry & Advanced Phonetics
This course will help students improve pronunciation, intonation and fluency in French while learning about a selection of poetry (Renaissance, 19th & 20th century). Students will gain familiarity with the international phonetic alphabet and work on perfecting pronunciation, intonation, and vocal chaining to achieve more fluency in speaking French. We will also study aspects of syllabication, rhyme, and differences in the rules of pronunciation for prose and verse.
GERM 356A: German Music & Its Texts
In this seminar, students will explore the world of German music, especially the Lieder of German Romanticism, according to several of the following themes: The Experience of Poetry and Art; Human Awe; Hiking through Nature; the Lorelei Myth; Ghosts; Kinds of Love in Human Experience; Evening; Autumn; God and the Gods; Animals; Love and Eros; War; Death; Springtime; Happiness and Bliss. We will explore how different musical compositions based on the best of German poems contribute to our understanding of the original texts. Through frequent discussions, we will apply the ideas and moral debates within the works to how we live our own lives. Our discussions will cover several interpretive levels: intrapersonal, one-on-one, communal and national, international and global, cosmic and God-centered relationships. By the end of this seminar, you will have listened to, read and discussed a wide range of great German poets and composers from medieval times to the present. Composers include Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Schumann and several others. You will examine poetic texts and musical renditions through structural, new historical, reader response, genre-historical, biographical, deconstructionist, gender-centered and ethical modes of interpretation - and we will also discuss the relative merits of each mode of interpretation.
JAPN 330A: Transnational Japan
This course surveys a broad range of themes related to Japan's cultural history through analysis of literary and visual media from ancient to modern times. However, rather than seeking to discover an essence or key to understanding Japan, this course aims to complicate the picture of a unitary, internally consistent, and monolithic Japan. We take as premise that Japan is and has always been hybrid, fractured, and transnational. Hence, we interrogate how understanding of what is "Japan" often has much to do with transnational exchange, migration, negotiation, and acknowledge that this "Japan" is in constant flux. For example, we explore not only how Japanese thinkers represented Japan to people within Japan, but how thinkers attempted to project a certain image of Japan onto an international stage. We will work with both primary sources in translation and secondary sources, considering perspectives of the people of Japan--including ethnic minorities--and outsiders looking in.
NOTE: This course has a pending IC designation.
LATN 327C: The Catilinarian Conspiracy
An investigation of an attempted revolution led by Catiline against the Roman state in 63 B.C.E. We will read Latin selections from (and English translations of) the following contemporary accounts of the events: Cicero's political speeches and Sallust's history of the conspiracy. In the process, we will learn a great deal about two of the most important Latin prose authors and the life and thought of the late Roman republic.