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Honors Course Descriptions

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HON 1101 - Literature of Social Change - 4 cr.
This course introduces students to a variety of perspectives and attitudes toward social change. Students read classic and contemporary works and hear from local activists who devote a significant amount of their time working for change. Students read several genres - fiction, autobiography, political philosophy and propaganda. They are encouraged to adopt a critical and skeptical attitude toward what they read and hear. Honors section descriptions.

HON 1110 - First Year Composition ( Foundations: VFFC - First Year Comp ) - 4 cr.
Helps students build rhetorical knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and practice writing processes. By doing so, students gain transferable knowledge and skills that they can apply to a wide range of fields, disciplines, and writing situations. Students can expect to practice some of the types of writing that they may encounter in their college careers, such as summaries, analysis papers, academic arguments, reviews, critiques, and papers built on research. Honors 1110 serves as a foundation for future writing practice within specific disciplines, where students will encounter different tasks, audiences, and purposes under the guidance of faculty from across the college.

HON 1111 - The Responsible Self ( Foundations: VFDI - Dignitas ) - 4 cr.
Click the following link to view descriptions for each section of Dignitas. Take note of the section number and instructor of the section you are interested in and then return here to determine the CRN. Dignitas section descriptions.

HON 1112 - And Dignity for All ( Foundations: VFDI - Dignitas ) - 4 cr.
These are a continuation of the fall Honors sections of Dignitas, taught spring semester at the level and using the active learning techniques of the Honors Program. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Honors Program by interview with Honors Director. Honors section descriptions.

HON 2125 - Global Sociology - 4 cr.
This course addresses a wide range of sociological issues as questions to be answered, using the solutions already provided by sociologists and students' own hands-on lab and real-world observational experiences. Examples and exercises use U.S. and world data throughout, highlighting the way humans structure their lives around differences of culture and ethnicity, gender, race, social class, age, sexual orientation and other significant groupings. Using art, literature, music and film, as well as traditional ethnographic and quantitative sociological data, students encounter the diverse ways in which people structure their social lives to meet common human needs, gaining experience and mastery of some basic tools of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Honors section descriptions.

Crosslist Course: SOC 1125

HON 2243 - Women and Religion - Honors ( Conceptions: VCRS - Religious Studies ) - 4 cr.
Emphasizes the work of contemporary women thinkers in several disciplines who are exploring various dimensions of the question of women’s presence, exclusion and contribution to religions of the world. Through historical and comparative study the course provides both a critical and a constructive understanding of the contributions that women make to religions, as well as the influence of religions on the situation of women in the world. We will focus particularly on the origins of gender norms, women’s lived experiences in indigenous religions, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as critical issues including violence against women sanctioned implicitly or explicitly by religion, the impact of patriarchy on men, and other contemporary issues.

Crosslist Course: TRS 2243

HON 2280 - Russian Literature Translation - 4 cr.
This course involves the study of literature written in Russian and translated into English. The focus is on selected works of prose and poetry from a particular period with emphasis on careful reading and reader response as well as on the cultural, historical, political, religious and economic developments. Honors section descriptions.

HON 2405 - The World - 2 cr.
This course aims to give students, largely from the Upper Midwest, exposure to and an opportunity to analyze current issues from around the globe. Because the text is a British publication, it exposes students to foreign perceptions of the United States. Students gain the research skills needed to quickly get additional information on events around the world. Honors section descriptions.

HON 2850 - Irish and Italian Film - 4 cr.
Italian film since WWII has depicted Italy's complete wartime devastation, its economic recovery in the 1960s, and the ways in which men and women see one another. The Irish film industry, slower in developing, has depicted Ireland's turbulent past, its political troubles, its joyful sense of being human, and the ways in which men and women see one another. Students in this course watch films produced in both countries to gain a full sense of how filmmakers have transformed national culture into artistic vision. Honors section descriptions.

HON 3350 - Psych of Human Sexuality ( Integrations: VISS - Social Science ) - 2 cr.
This course involves reading and discussing psychology literature on selected, often controversial, topics in human sexuality. Subjects include evolutionary psychology and mate selection, love styles and classifications, unlovely feelings such as jealousy, correlates of sexual orientation, the church and sexuality, contraceptives, resolving unplanned pregnancies, impact of pornography on sexual aggression, atypical sexual behavior, realities and politics of child sexual abuse and sex therapy. The course will emphasize interactions between psychological factors and other influences- biological, social, cultural, religious-on sexual attitudes and behavior, and the study of sexuality as a scientific discipline. Honors section descriptions.

HON 3390 - Irish Literature - 4 cr.
The incredibly rich fiction, drama and poetry of a tiny island have produced four Nobel Prize winners in literature. While some texts written before the 20th century are read, the emphasis is on modern and contemporary literature, in part because it was written in English rather than in Irish, but more importantly because Irish writers are among the giants of modern literature and some of the most brilliant writers working today. Students read, discuss and write about important literary texts, with a few forays into Irish myth, music, art, and history. Honors section descriptions.

Crosslist Course: ENG 3390

HON 3666 - Psychology of Religion/Belief - 2 cr.
The classical and modern psychological theories of belief, focusing on religious belief and on the evolutionary/ cognitive basis of belief, are addressed in this course. Issues such as: the way we believe, the reasons people believe in god(s), the psychological needs that faith satisfies, the reasons people differ in the ways they express and satisfy those needs, and what it is about the certainty of belief that leads to proselytizing, persecution or feeling threatened by the beliefs of others are explored. Seminar format and application of empirically supported theory and concepts thorough projects are the methods used. Prerequisites: (a) General Psychology; or (b) Lifespan Developmental Psychology; or (c) junior/senior status having completed one other upper-division Honors course, or Benedictine Liberal Arts Education Area II, or two TRS/PHL courses. Honors section descriptions.

HON 3800 - Applications of Game Theory - 4 cr.
Explores the principles of game theory, which provide a powerful framework for analyzing strategic interaction among individuals and groups in a variety of different settings. Strategic interactions occur when individuals interact with each other, have competing interests, and the outcome depends upon how each individual behaves. In this course we examine the conditions under which cooperation is desirable and what policies make cooperation more likely. A fluency with high school algebra is assumed.

Crosslist Course: ECN 3800

HON 3950 - London Arts and Culture ( Conceptions: VCLI - Literature ) - 4 cr.
Combines a spring-semester, two-credit course on campus with an additional two-credit study abroad experience in London, England during May. Students will experience the city after encountering it in fiction and will see performances at multiple venues, visit literary sites and museums, and tour the rebuilt Globe Theatre. This course exposes students to the social and cultural landscapes of London as they intersect with literary and performance texts. Offered every other spring semester. Application required.

Crosslist Course: ENG 3950

HON 3999 - Honors Independent Study - 0-4 cr.
Independent Study. Honors section descriptions.

HON 4410 - Individual Author - 4 cr.
An in-depth study of one English or American writer, with special focus on the writer's important works and the cultural, historical and literary contexts. Offerings may include, but are not limited to, Geoffrey Chaucer, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence and William Faulkner. Honors section descriptions.

Crosslist Course: ENG 4410

HON 4420 - Film and Literature - 4 cr.
Compares written and cinematic texts. A variety of film theories will be discussed in conjunction with image creation. Narrative issues - e.g. theme, style, and characterization - will be covered.

Crosslist Course: CTA 4420

HON 4500 - Gods and Monsters: ( Integrations: VILI - Literature, Integrations: VIRS - Religious Studies ) - 4 cr.
This course explores the turn to religion and the supernatural, as well as concerns of youth in American popular culture since the early 1990s. Whether one examines the hit TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel or enormously popular films such as The Matrix trilogy and Dogma, there has been a virtual explosion of angels, monsters, vampires, and aliens in American film, TV, and literature. Beginning with a critical and historical look at some of the precursors to the recent aesthetic and cultural articulations of religion and the supernatural - from Mary Shelley's 19th century Gothic novel Frankenstein to the horror films of James Whales in the 1930s and 1940s - questions are raised about the contemporary fascination with the supernatural alongside path-breaking work in the history of religions, media studies, and cultural studies. Honors section descriptions.

HON 4600 - Global Issues After 9/11 - 4 cr.
This course offers students the opportunity to engage in historical reflection on 9/11 and its aftermath. Toward this end, we will trace recent debates in the history of religions, cultural anthropology and political philosophy on the nature of religious and cultural differences, the scope and impact of American imperialism, war, and transnational peace and justice movements. As the tragedy of 9/11 and the "war against terror" should make crystal clear, the challenge of living humanely and justly in the world today demands a different kind of political ethic--one that persistently values the place of difference and otherness in understanding (and perhaps transforming) the utter violence of the modern and postmodern worlds. The course's objective is to come to a clearer understanding of the radical implication of modern Western forms of power, knowledge and history-making in this very violence. Honors section descriptions.

HON 4650 - The Book in the Fifteenth Century ( Integrations: VILI - Literature ) - 4 cr.
Study of the history of the book in the west with a focus on the 15th century, which saw the transition from the manuscript to the printed book. An exercise in experimental archaeology, the course centers on material aspects of book production from calligraphy, illumination, and sewing to typesetting, printing, and binding. Students learn basic book production skills and collaborate to produce one manuscript book and a limited run printed book. Additionally, students individually investigate aspects of the history of book production and contribute reports to an anthology of studies that accompanies the manuscript and printed books.

HON 4777 - Topics - 1-4 cr.
The upper-level topics courses are similar to those of the lower division, except that the latter are intended for junior- and senior-level students. Applications of Game Theory; Paul’s Letters; Manias, Panics, and Crashes; The Russian Revolution; Poetry Movements: Theory and Practice; Big, Fat Novels: Dostoevsky; Economics of Globalization; Conspicuous Consumption; The Death Penalty; The Science of Happiness, and 1989: The Wall Comes Down are examples of previous upper-level topics courses offered in the Honors Program.

HON 4885 - The Holocaust ( Integrations: VIHI - History ) - 4 cr.
The course involves examination of the Holocaust and its meaning for subsequent generations through an analysis of key source materials, memoirs and interpretations. Critical for an understanding of the Holocaust is the experience of victims, perpetrators and bystanders. Honors section descriptions.

Crosslist Course: HIS 3305

HON 4888 - Honors - 0-4 cr.
Individual research projects will result in a thesis. Students will work under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required. Honors section descriptions.

HON 4999 - Independent Study - 0-4 cr.
Students complete an independent study on a specific topic under the supervision of a faculty member. Approval of the supervising faculty member and the Honors Program Director are required. These independent study courses are individual offerings based on a student's particular area of interest. Honors section descriptions.