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The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479
hc@oakland.edu

The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479
hc@oakland.edu

Three students seated at a table with notebooks and pens

Curriculum

The Honors College (HC) curriculum offers a distinctive undergraduate experience that integrates the arts, sciences and professional fields. Students are required to take HC 1000, plus three of The HC core courses that take the place of OU general education courses. *Beginning in fall of 2018, HC 1000 became a general education course and now satisfies one of the 3 required HC core courses.

*Honors College students majoring in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences are exempt from the College of Arts and Sciences Exploratory requirements. (See undergraduate catalog under College of Arts and Sciences.)

Summer 2021

SUMMER 01

ART

HC-2010 The Art of the Game
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Art & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online" T/R 1:00-4:20 pm
Term: Summer (1) 2021

Course Description:  In this class, we’ll consider the Art, literally, of games and gaming, and the way that those visual elements tell a story – a story which sometimes parallels the narrative of the game itself and at other times tells a completely different tale, revealing something that little sheet of rules doesn’t… We’ll study games in different mediums: from board games to backyard games, card games to cyber-games. We’ll play with time travel to examine games from different eras—did you know a board game was found in King Tut’s tomb?! And we’ll study the way in which the ‘same’ game can look quite different in another country, and what that, what all of this, can reveal to us about society and culture… We’re going to have fun figuring out what the Art of the Game reveals to us and reveals about us. Chute, in this class we’ll also play games, and ladder on, we may even create our own!

LITERATURE 

HC-2020 Language of Decipherment
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive

Course Time: "Online"  T/R 8:30-11:50 am
Term: Summer (1) 2021

Course Description: This course will study the history of decipherment as the means by which we make unknown writing systems known in order to translate and then interpret texts. We will begin with Egyptian Hieroglyphs (Rosetta Stone) to Maya Script, covering Persian, Cypriot, Luvian, and Linear B, to name a few, and consider the impact decipherment has had on opening the gate to ancient languages. We will explore the painstaking discoveries and efforts of titans such as Champollion (Hieroglyphics), Rawlinson (Cuneiform), and Ventris (Mycenaean Linear B), without which the architecture of decipherment, and resulting history of ideas, would never have been possible.

HC-2020 Exile and Literature
Instructor: Maissa Saker
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive

Course Time: "Online" MWR 12:00-2:05 pm
Term: Summer (1) 2021

Course Description: This course takes a look at the concept of exiled authors and their different perspectives on belonging/ non belonging for having to live permanently between two spaces; the land of exile and the homeland.In this course we will focus more on thematic rather than structural aspects of such literary work.

HC-2020 Literature and Medicine
Instructor: Kathleen Spencer
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online" M/W 5:30-8:50 pm
Term: Summer (1) 2021

Course Description: Students will take an intimate look at fiction, non-fiction, short plays and poetry which relate to acute and chronic illness and healthcare. Readings will be viewed with a particular focus on empathy, ethics and professionalism.   This class emphasizes close readings and in-class discussion.  We will read patient narratives and authors/healthcare providers such as Richard Selzer, Raphael Campo, Abraham Verghese, Cortney Davis and others.This class is especially appropriate for students interested in health care fields and the helping professions.


WESTERN CIVILIZATION

HC-2040 Tudors of England
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Time: "Online" T/R 5:30-8:50 pm
Term: Summer (1) 2021

Course Description: The Tudor sixteenth century is one of the most fascinating yet challenging periods in English history, even as it was England’s most formative.  This online course will survey the events that brought the Tudors to the throne, and England out of the medieval period and into the early modern world.  Such topics as the English Reformation, the Church of England, the development of the nation state, the monarchy, and the blossoming of English literature and music will be explored.

HC-2040 How will the UK Survive
Instructor: Frank Cardimen
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Time: "Online" M/W 1:00-4:20 pm
Term: Summer (1) 2021

Course Description: For the past 10 years I have studied and visited Europe to better understand the EU and recently BREXIT.
My classes have visited many different industries, business leaders, politician, travel agents,
academicians, etc. to best understand what influenced this UK change to leave the EU and what would
be the ramifications to the EU and the UK.
In 2020 our travels took us to London where we met various business and governmental groups to learn
about the UK leaving. Most did NOT want the UK to leave the EU but were “tired” of the government’s
inability to exit cleanly. In most cases, the response wasn’t “Would the EU Survive After BREXIT?” It was
…..”Will the UK survive after BREXIT.”
This class will examine the departure mechanism on December 31, 2020 and will study what impact this
exit will have on the US, if any. What was the final agreement? What impact will it have on the UK?

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 International Fables
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Global Perspective & US Diversity
Course Time: "Online" M/W 8:30-11:50 am
Term: Summer (1)  2021

Course Description:  This course will study the literary fable common to global cultures as preserved from original oral traditions to written forms, exploring common and unique themes, characters, and settings, toward an understanding of the circumstances, times, languages, and geography, in which they were created, as well as the traditions they informed. Using Aesop as a major aggregator of fables, we will explore world cultures that share and differ in the expression of moral lessons through language, style, and ethnic attitudes by country and region.

SUMMER 02

ART

HC-2010 What is American Music
Instructor: David Kidger
Gen Ed: Art & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online" MWR 9:45-11:50 am
Term: Summer (2) 2021

Course Description: This course examines diverse topics in American Music from about 1900 to the present.  It is not a survey course, or a traditional music history course in any sense.  There is no attempt at chronological or narrative continuity, and there is no traditional “introductory” textbook as such.  Rather the intent is to engage each unit in depth, with case studies of music or repertory for each unit, and to provide students with the tools and resources to pursue each the subject of each unit independently.   Case studies will make extensive use of online materials (audio, video and text).  

LITERATURE

HC-2020 Destination Unknown
Instructor: Susan Lynn Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online" M/W 5:30-8:50 pm
Term: Summer (2) 2021

Course Description: This is not a ‘writing’ class. This class is about discovering new worlds and coming to a better understanding of human nature through the context of ‘travel narratives’ (including video games, VR/MR/AR, blogs, and #Insta/Twitter accounts). This class is about how you can create new worlds for yourself and others.

HC-2020 Dealing with the Devil in Literature
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online" T/R 5:30-8:50 pm
Term: Summer (2) 2021

Course Description: From classic literature to contemporary movies, humans have been consistently entertained by depictions of the underworld, the “bad place,” Hell. Though he may be the Great Enemy of humankind, the Devil is also a great character. In this class we’ll explore some of the touchstone texts that depict Hell and the Devil, as well as some contemporary works of literature and film, to think about the wide variety of symbolic uses to which the Devil and Hell have been put across time. Is Hell in literature a place of horror or of hope? Tragedy or justice? Is the Devil a sadistic monster, a glorious failed rebel, or just a bureaucrat doing his job within the divine order of things? How can the literature of Hell improve humanity by holding a mirror to the worst in ourselves? Assignments will include analytical writing as well as creative and group projects. Class sessions will be held fully online, synchronously.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 Veganism as Social Justice
Instructor: Kelly Michiya
Gen Ed: Global Perspective & US Diversity
Course Time: "Online" M/W 8:30-11:50 am
Term: Summer (2) 2021

Course Description: This course explores the intersectionality between speciesism, which allows objectification and exploitation of animals, and other social justice issues, including but not limited to racism, sexism, and classism and examines veganism in its relationship with other efforts to eradicate all forms of oppression.   

SOCIAL SCIENCE

HC-2060 What Dreams are Made of
Instructor: Brian Wigman
Gen Ed: Social Science
Course Time: "Online" T/R 5:30-8:50 pm
Term: Summer (2) 2021

Course Description: Students often struggle to articulate subjective material; feelings, ideas, dreams, and abstract concepts can be difficult to write and speak about. For a variety of purposes, ranging from interview prep to graduate admissions, the ability to project an authentic and personal identity is crucial to success. Embracing the diversity of each person, and drawing off both individual and collective experiences, we will explore what it means to express ourselves publicly and develop a sense of self.

RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP

HC-3900 Research & Scholarship 
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Course Day/Time: Online
Term: Summer (2) 2021
Course Description: With the support of an OU faculty member of your choice (your thesis mentor) and the HC 3900 teaching team, you will work to develop the proposal for your final Thesis project.
Fall 2021 Core Courses

FALL 2021

*Subject to change as courses are added

ART

HC- 2010 Faith and Form
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Art 
Course Days/Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” so said Winston Churchill.  This is perhaps most true for sacred spaces—be it a Chapel or Cathedral, a Synagogue or a Shrine, a Temple or a Teepee.  Each week, this Honor’s College class will first study a different religious tradition, and then visit a representative sacred space of that faith in order to understand how theology informs architecture and vice versa.  The on-sight tours will reveal vividly how each representative faith is expressed through space, symbol, and stone while introducing students to some of Detroit’s architectural masterpieces.  In addition to large buildings, sometimes smaller works of art will be examined to see how its form embodies a faith ideal.  Individual presentations of sacred spaces not explored as a class will conclude the semester.

HC-2010 Soviet Ballet as Diplomacy
Instructor: Elizabeth Kattner-Ulrich
Gen Ed:  Art OR Knowledge Application
Course Days/Time: MW 8:00-9:47 am
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description:  Throughout the Cold War, the ballet Swan Lake was required viewing for visiting heads of state in Moscow. Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s, said that his dreams were haunted by “white tutus and tanks all mixed up together,” illustrating how both ballet and the military exemplified the intense competition of the Cold War. How did an art form practiced by so few enter the world stage and become such an important part of international politics? This course will explore how ballet as competition among nations gradually moved to cooperation among them. It will include reading selections, videos of ballets, and lecture discussions.  All lectures will be recorded for student use. Because of the current situation, this course can be taught fully face to face, as a hybrid, or fully online synchronously or asynchronously.

HC-2010 Why Architecture Matters
Instructor: Donna Voronovich
Gen Ed:  Art 
Course Days/Time: T/R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description:  This seminar will explore the significance of architecture as an indicator of cultural identity, political ideology, and economic power. We will also study the implications of the designed environment on human well-being. Focusing on a selection of ten well-known works of architecture, we will study and analyze each of them individually from a formal design standpoint while, concurrently, examining the cultures from which they emerged, and their legacies in terms of the history of architecture.

LITERATURE


HC-2020 Deconstructing Cybertext: House of Leaves & Literacy Labyrinths
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: MWF 1:20-2:27
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: In this class, we’re going to take a deep-dive into one book…which isn’t just one book. Not just narratively, but physically, the ‘novel’ House of Leaves challenges literary textual conventions through cybertext. This amazing text is actually a maze.

There is literally no ‘one’ way to read this book: throughout the act of reading, the reader determines what happens next. While challenging the authorial function in a text, the book itself also serves as a critical commentary on literary scholarship: in other words, even as we analyze the novel, it will critique us as analysts of novels. 

Similar to gaming, where the player’s choices affect the story and its resolution, House of Leaves is interactive fiction in a physical, paper-bound medium. But much like the premise of the story—the existence of a house which is bigger on the inside than the outside—we will discover the expanse of literary possibility that can be contained between the covers of a book. 

HC-2020 The Speech as Literature
Instructor: Brian Wigman
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Days/Time: MWF 1:20-2:27 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: Speeches inspire and empower, but what about speech moves and shakes us? What in oration is going on here? We will look at key speeches throughout history, and examine why and how they work, why they still resonate with us today, and why platforms such as the TedX Talk are so meaningful to us.

HC-2020 How to Create One's Self
Instructor: Craig Smith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: TR 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: The Irish playwright, novelist, cultural theorist, and celebrity provocateur Oscar Wilde remains one of the very few 19th-century writers who continue to find a wide and enthusiastic popular audience in the 21st century, quite apart from his secure position in the classroom. Each subsequent generation of young readers discovers a new Oscar Wilde who speaks to the personal concerns and cultural issues of their own time. 21st-century figures as diverse as Pope Francis, Lady Gaga, and the comedy team Key & Peele may be seen as having very direct connections with Wilde’s artistic and social innovations. As the virtual inventor of celebrity culture, a social activist intent on making art and literature available to all, and a constantly self-fashioning performance artist whose name became synonymous with minority sexual expression during an era of rigid conformity, Wilde remains an endlessly rich source of new ideas and fresh inspiration. Class format will combine short lectures and class discussion. There will be one shorter and one longer writing project.

HC-2020  Displacement in Modern Sinophone Literature
Instructor: Yun Lee
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: R 6:30-9:50 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course DescriptionModern Sinophone fiction and films, including those produced within and beyond China proper, often exhibit a noticeable sense of displacement, which is due to the fact that in modern history, Chinese and members of other Sinophone communities often experience migration, relocation, exile, or self-searching journeys for cultural or political reasons. This course will explore how modern Sinophone fiction and films deal with the forced or voluntary separation from one’s home culture and the subsequent communications and interactions with other cultures, focusing on several key topics in Sinophone studies such as multiculturalism, post-colonialism, and ethnic studies.

WESTERN CIVILIZATION

HC-2040  American Things: A Social History
Instructor: Chris Dingwall
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Days/Time: T/R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course DescriptionThis course explores the relationship between people and objects in the United States from the colonial era to the present day. How have Americans made and used material objects to shape their experience of the world? How have material objects shaped, in turn, how Americans have created their selves, remembered their pasts, and envisioned their futures? To answer these questions, we will examine a variety of artifacts—cotton, jugs, photographs, drugs, soft drinks, circuit boards, satellites—that illuminate the human dimensions of large-scale historical developments: the rise and fall of slavery, the establishment of American global capitalism, the automation of work, and the formation of racial and gendered identities.

At stake in our inquiry is our understanding of the varied cultural meanings of things in American life from their tangible physical properties to the metaphysical distinction between person and thing itself.

HC-2040  Leaders within Literature
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Days/Time: T/R 3:00-4:47 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: This course introduces students to the fundamentals of effective leadership. This western civilization course will examine the societal and cultural factors that influence and shape individual and group behaviors, values and decision making. The focus of the course will be on individual judgement, decision making, persistence, problem solving and goals across various institutions and society. How do leaders make the choices that they do? Students will examine their own decision making and learn how to improve their own process and discernment. Students will investigate leadership concepts and theories; as well as gain an overview of personal leadership assessments. Students will put together their own leadership development plans. Students will be expected to be involved in some on or off campus activity where they will be expected to apply their learning

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 Swarm Intelligence
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Days/Time: TR 5:30-7:17 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description:  Swarm Intelligence introduces the global environment of Bee Keeping and use of Honey. This project based course will focus on how differences in economic systems, national culture, socio demographics, and political orientations affect the production and use of honey (and the global honey) industry. This course will require students to implement a variety of projects that integrate the knowledge of how this international commodity impacts people socially as well as culturally. Students will have opportunities to taste products from global settings and recognize how different political, environmental as well as social constructs influence the purchasing and use habits of people. 

HC-2050 Contemporary World Economies
Instructor: Frank Cardmen
Gen Ed: Global Perspective OR Knowledge Application
Course Days/Time:T/R 10:00-11:47am
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: This Honors College class will introduce students to the three major economic systems in the world that make up over 70 % of worldwide GDP…..USMCA, European Union and CHINA.  Activities of business and how national differences in culture, economic systems, and political systems affect business operations.  A focus will be on the different economic systems and yet, how each affects the other.  Also… a major focus on CHINA and its economic and military growth and how that affects the US and the world. In addition, students will explore how the knowledge contained in these different areas of study can be applied to better define, analyze and “solve” global business-related issues.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

HC-2060 Sustainable Life
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Social Sciences 
Course Days/Time: MWF 12:00-1:07 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: Sustainability – we hear this word all around us, but what does it mean? How can we live a sustainable life as individuals and as a society? In every aspect of our daily lives we face choices that affect the future of life on our planet. What factors can we use as guides? Sustainability calls on environmental and ecological considerations and economic and moral and even spiritual values. Social, political and cultural priorities will mark the decisions of individuals and societies. Our natural environment and our social and governing structures are all at stake. The United Nations has adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals; these seventeen goals cover the environment, economic well-being and social justice. The UN list is only one set of priorities being discussed; but most models share the goals of shaping a future where all life on the planet can thrive. We will face daunting decisions in order to meet such goals and find ways to give all life a sustainable future. Together we will evaluate the economics, the science, the policies, the designs and the values that can lead us through the discussions and to the decisions for maintaining sustainable life on Earth.

HC-2060 Tell Me the Truth!
Instructor: Kelly Michiya
Gen Ed: Social Sciences 
Course Days/Time: TR 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: This course explores how (mis)information is disseminated in various areas including medicine and science and how easily one can be swayed into believing false information, especially in today’s digital age. This course challenges the sociopolitical, cultural, and educational milieus that may contribute to the spreading of misinformation and censorship. Students will develop strong critical thinking skills and apply logic and common sense in evaluating multitudes of information. The main objective of this course is to equip students with strategies so that they can make informed decisions about the issues that are important to them and society as a whole. 

FORMAL REASONING

HC-2070 Ambiguity: Learning to Live with Uncertainty
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning + Writing Intensive
Course Days/Time: MWF 2:40-3:47 pm
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: We tend to look for answers, but is it possible that ambiguity can offer us more? We dislike disruption, but is it possible that when our idea of the future is overturned, we have the opportunity to make our present more appealing than the past? 

In this course, we are going to first explore how we are conditioned and acculturated to be averse to ambiguity and uncertainty. Then we are going to examine texts—literary, philosophical, and scientific—that demonstrate the appeal of ambiguity. 

Perhaps because ambiguity and uncertainty speak to the infinite and potential. I don’t know. And in this class it will be okay to not ‘know.’ We are going to learn to accept our inability to be ‘certain.’ We are going to strive to appreciate that there might not be ‘one single right answer,’ but rather more questions. And rather than being a facepalm, this is the force that can drive us forward in an unending quest.  And that is okay. I think. Maybe. We’ll see… ;) 

HC-2070 Face, Politeness and the Other
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning + U.S. Diversity
Course Days/Time: TR 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: The world today often seems fragmented into groups in opposition. Politics has broken down into Us versus Them. How did we get to this point? How do we bridge the gap? Linguistic politeness is a theory developed and explored over the last fifty years that looks at how we use language to negotiate our relations with others. In the current environment of increasing polarization, how has the language we use played into divisions of politics and culture? Are there ways to overcome difference with language? Can we learn to recognize when we are being manipulated? What other tools can help us come to terms with The Other and to recognize when language is being used to create conflict. We will look at concepts beyond politeness to explore ideas of belonging and relevance through both fiction and nonfiction readings and other media.

NATURAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

HC-2080 Star Constellations: Origin Stories
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Natural Science & Technology
Course Days/Time: MWF 8:00-9:07 am
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: This course combines the astronomical constellations in the sky recognized as 88 divisions of the celestial sphere, deriving from asterisms, or star patterns used for navigation, with the mythology that defined them. We will use Greek, Persian, and Norse variations that identify asterisms, constellations and the stories they have immortalized to explore the way ancient people understood navigation and cosmology. In addition to the narrative component of constellations, we will consider the artistic
elements in the representation of star patterns throughout history; how connecting the dots of asterisms are reconciled to proper celestial divisions of the sky map.

RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP

HC-3900 Research and Scholarship
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Course Day/Time: Online (1 credit) 
Term: Fall 2021

Course Description: With the support of an OU faculty member of your choice (your thesis mentor) and the HC 3900 teaching team, you will work to develop the proposal for your final Thesis project.

Winter 2022 Core Courses

WINTER 2022

*Subject to change as courses are added

ART

HC-2010 Narrative Art: Visual Storytelling
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Art & Writing Intensive 
Course Day/Time: MWF 9:20-10:27 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: In this class, we will trace tales told in art from Paleolithic Cave Paintings to Tarot Cards, spanning the illustration of straightforward story to the symbolic intricacy of the image itself.

In the 15th century, Leon Battista Alberti posited “the great work of the painter is the narrative” and through the 19th century, History Painting—a term preceding Narrative Art—was one of the most elevated and appreciated forms of art. 

And while these stories—and those told in Genre Art, another previous classification—are often seen in museums and galleries today, artists, critics, and scholars stopped listening in the early 1900s. But their popularity with the public never waned, and in more recent decades the art of storytelling in visual mediums has regained recognition even as the mediums for its creation have increased through technology and moved beyond museum walls to our streets and screens.

HC-2010 Symbolism in Chinese-Language Films
Instructor: Yun Lee
Gen Ed: Art 
Course Day/Time: R 6:30-9:50 pm
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: This course examines symbolism in Chinese-language films, discussing how sounds, quotations, colors and objects are used to convey meanings. Students will investigate the broader historical and cultural context in which the symbols are used and identify the meanings they generate. Some special cases, such as the variation of meaning of a symbol due to external cultural impact or significant historical events, will also be surveyed. Through this course, students will not only learn iconic analysis for film studies but also develop a critical understanding of the thematic significance of symbolism in Chinese-language films.

HC-2010 Outsider Art in the 21st Century
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Art 
Course Day/Time: MWF 9:20-10:27 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: Roger Cardinal coined the term to describe the English form of art brut, or raw/naïve art in 1972, based on what French Artist Dubuffet earlier labeled any art produced by those with little or no contact with mainstream art. Some of its hallmarks include an expression of extreme mental state, unconventional
ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds. Once marginalized by art institutions, the 21 st century views the
genre as a robust market of interest by patrons and exhibitions alike. This course will explore examples
of outsider art as produced by the mentally ill, children, and peasants or folk community.

LITERATURE

HC-2020 War and Peace: A Deep Read
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: Tolstoy’s most famous work, War and Peace is a title often mentioned, but its length sometimes scares off readers and overshadows the aspects that make it worth reading. We will approach the book in the context of other Tolstoy writings and the history of the Napoleonic era he evokes and which motivated him to write. (Pro tip: He never even got to the period and events that were his original inspiration.) Tolstoy made his reputation as a writer with earlier works like The Sevastopol Tales and The Cossacks which was notable in part for its depiction of war. His final work, Hadji Murat returned to the same part of the Russian Empire, the Caucasus, this time telling the story of a Chechen fighter who has been a determined foe to the Russian forces. In between these two works Tolstoy continued his literary and personal wrestling with art, history, and what it means to be a moral being and an individual. We will consider what the idea of “Russia” meant to Tolstoy and why it mattered. Join up to conquer and understand one of the world’s great books.

HC-2020 Crime, Punishment and Justice in Great Works of European Literature
Instructor: Rebecca Josephy
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: T/R  8:00-9:47 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: In this course, we will study six works of European literature from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. These works by Dante, Molière, Voltaire, Hoffmann, Hugo, and Camus have been specifically chosen for their depictions of crime, punishment, and justice. Each text ultimately grapples with the following questions: who is criminal? what is criminal? how is crime punished? and is justice possible?

In addition to reading some of the greatest works of European literature, students will learn how crime and punishment have changed over time. They will also engage in ethical and philosophical debates on justice through class discussions and historical and cultural readings. The class will culminate in a final end of semester project. 

HC-2020 Introduction to Ecoliteracy
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: T/R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: This course will examine prose written in the late 20th and early 21st Century that explores the connection between people and the natural world. As a writing intensive course, students will learn how to produce well written essays drawn from critically examining the course texts; engage in various rhetorical strategies that are appropriate to the topic and context as well as gain a greater appreciation for the Natural world as offered through literature. Students will demonstrate familiarity with examples of the Eco literature movement from 20th and 21st An emphasis will be placed on Ecocriticism. Ecocriticism Is the study of literature and the environment from an interdisciplinary point of view, where literature scholars analyze texts that illustrate environmental concerns and examine the various ways literature treats the subject of nature.

HC-2020 Mythology of Adventure
Instructor: Mary Wermuth
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: T/R 3:00-4:47 pm

Course Description: The term Mythology to most students is synonymous with falsehood or stories about the Greek gods. The term Adventure is synonymous with travel or just going someplace new. Both sets of synonyms have validity on the surface. Mythology, however, opens doors to literature of all cultures, times, and expressions that define human experience.  Adventure is travel—inward into self as well as physically going forth out into the world or outer space. Traveling demonstrates that we do not have immobile tree roots but restless spirit roots and each one searches for where those roots can best be nourished. Thus we set out on personal mythic journeys.  Mythology of Adventure offers an exploration of these journeys taken by real and fictional characters and their discovery of their spirit roots. When we look at these journeys, some of the best begin with a strong sense of the unknown. The characters taking the journeys did not know what was ahead of them—Lewis and Clark, Columbus, Odysseus, Marco Polo for instance. The results of these journeys have created new cultures, destroyed cultures, changed the individuals taking these journeys, trade roots, created artistic expressions of all kinds, and changed thinking about our locale, oceans, world, solar system, stars, and the universe. Discussion, research, and personal responses to these journeys will serve as a framework in which to place our own adventure travels to discover our spirit roots. 

HC-2020 Black Lives/Queer Lives
Instructor: Craig Smith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: T/R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: This course will engage with the still-exhilarating writings of the great 20th-century African-American writers Audre Lorde and James Baldwin. Issues of racial, ethnic, gender, and LGBTQIA2+ identities, and the rhetoric deployed to combat cultural impulses of oppression and discrimination, are the great themes that shaped their magnificent careers. The essayist and poet Lorde, and the essayist and novelist Baldwin, are acknowledged heroes and role models of a millennial generation of resistant African-American and LGBTQIA2+ intellectuals, whose work we will also explore. Short lectures, small group discussions, and some film analysis. Writing assignments include one short and one longer project.


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WESTERN CIVILIZATION


HC-2040 Edwardian England

Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Day/Time: MWF 12:00-1:07pm
Term: Winter 2022

Course DescriptionThe World of Edwardian England. The PBS series “Downton Abbey” (re)introduced the world to Edwardian England.  At the turn of the century, with a new king on the throne, England witnessed some of the most sweeping, dramatic changes known to modern history:  suffrage, crumbling socio-economic barriers, radical changes in fashion, new scientific claims, and a world forever changed by war.  This course will explore not only how the world changed in Edwardian Britain, but also how America was shaped by it.  This course studies the social systems, monarchy and the Church of England of that time—in addition to the foods, the fashion and the music.  Evaluation will be class participation, quizzes, readings, and an individual project that will be offered as a class presentation.  The class will be offered at Meadowbrook Estate, Oakland’s own “Downton Abbey.”


HC-2040 From Montesquieu to Macaron, the Influence of France on the U.S.
Instructor: Bernadette Donohue
Gen Ed: Western Civilization OR Knowledge Application
Course Day/Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description:  In politics, literature, film & food, students might be surprised to learn how France has greatly influenced the U.S. This course will introduce students to various aspects of French culture that have influenced the U.S.  We will start with French enlightenment philosophers like Montesquieu and de Tocqueville  that influenced the formation of our country and government, continue with authors like Jules Verne and Victor Hugo, cover Disney and their film adaptations of French contes de fees, and finish with France’s influence on our cuisine, including the cult of the macaron.  As a final project, students will have the opportunity to choose a topic of their own to explore in more depth.

HC-2040 Vlad the Impaler: The Historical Dracula
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Western Civilization 
Course Day/Time: TR 8:00-9:47 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: This course explores the historical Wallachian Prince, Vlad Drăculea, or more commonly, Vlad Țepeș (Impaler), who fought against the Ottoman Turks of the 15th century in present day Romania, achieving heroic status for his patriotic resistance in eastern Europe, while earning a reputation for brutality. We will address the Western appropriation of this national hero to the character of Dracula, iconic vampire of the eponymous Bram Stoker classic and Nosferatu of German cinema, to reflect historical events of European culture,  and how the character of Vlad the Impaler has evolved over time in Western Civilization, thus, separating the historical Vlad from legend and myth.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 Coffee in the Modern World
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + Writing Intensive + U.S. Diversity
Course Day/Time: T/TH 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: Coffee in the Modern World introduces students to the global coffee market.  This course focuses on how differences in economic systems, national cultures, socio-demographics, and political orientation affect the way coffee is grown and consumed. Students will utilize qualitative research methods to learn how the environment influences the sustainability of various coffee and coffee based products. Relationships with: https://coffeecenter.ucdavis.edu/   and members of  https://sca.coffee/  are being developed for student research projects.

HC-2050 Executed Kings, Armies of Liberty, and Cries for Freedom: The Age of Atlantic Revolutions
Instructor: Nicholas DiPucchio
Gen Ed: Global Perspective 
Course Day/Time: MWF 1:20-2:27

Course Description: How did the Atlantic Revolutions of North and South America, Europe, and the Caribbean come to embrace the same ideas about self-government but ended in starkly different ways? Did Polish soldiers fight for Haitian independence? Why did French revolutionaries invent a new calendar and holidays? How have the Atlantic Revolutions shaped the world we live in today? This course answers these major 

and minor questions by surveying the American, French, Haitian, and Latin American Revolutions between the 1760s and 1830s. The age of the Atlantic Revolutions witnessed the execution of kings, the crumbling of empires, and cries for liberty across the world. This course presents an introductory history of the Atlantic Revolutions while providing an in-depth look at how revolutionary ideas and agents ignited the world in the name of liberty. Additionally, this course explores the impact of the Atlantic Revolutions on feminism, modern human rights, and the abolition of slavery. 

SOCIAL SCIENCE

HC-2060 Play Your Way to Productivity
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Social Science
Course Time: T/R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: We hear a lot about work, but what about the importance of play? Not simply as ‘having fun,’ but as a means to better ourselves and, even, get more done. This class isn’t on R&R but on engaged, active play as a practice that can improve our lives as individuals and social beings. 

In this class we’ll explore the philosophy and science of play—how it has changed over time and culture, and how it changes our bodies and brains. We’ll pursue the practice of play, incorporating more of it in our daily lives and 

experimenting with different forms of play. We’ll consider applications of play to institutions and we’ll investigate the different mediums and technologies that can be leveraged for play. And, ultimately, how play can lead to a very serious pay-off. We’re going to have fun as we work hard to figure out how and why we need to play. 

HC-2060 Is Change Hard
Instructor: Kelly Michiya
Gen Ed: Social Science
Course Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 pm
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: In a broader sense, this course explores how habits work. Drawing on concepts from biology, psychology, and neuroscience, this course focuses on practical strategies that can be applied to break bad habits and form good ones, whether the goal be time management, health enhancement, or transforming communities. Students will carefully consider these strategies to reflect on their own habits and investigate ways to improve their lives.

FORMAL REASONING

(N/A: at this time)


NATURAL SCIENCE

(N/A: at this time)

RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP

HC-3900 Research and Scholarship
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Course Day/Time: Online (1 credit) 
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: With the support of an OU faculty member of your choice (your thesis mentor) and the HC 3900 teaching team, you will work to develop the proposal for your final Thesis project.

Language

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

The Honors College foreign language requirement may be fulfilled by choosing one of the following 4 tracks:

  1. Foreign language proficiency: Completion of, or proficiency in, foreign language courses (including Sign Language) through level 2150.
  2. Foreign language and cultural experience: Two semesters of the same language on campus in partnership with a study abroad experience of at least 6 weeks in a non-English-speaking country.
  3. Foreign language diversity: Two semesters each of two different languages for a total of four semesters.
INVOLVEMENT

INVOLVEMENT

Honors College students complete an average of 10 hours of involvement per year.  Anything outside of course related work can be counted and involvement can be undertaken fall, winter or summer semester.

The 4 categories of Involvement are:

  • Honors College
  • OU
  • *Humanitarian
  • Professional

* Humanitarian service qualifies students to apply and be recognized for one of our yearly Humanitarian Awards

-Graduating Seniors, with significant Humanitarian service over their time in The Honors College, will qualify for our cumulative award, presented at the HC Graduation ceremony.

Thesis Info

All HC students must produce an Honors Thesis, ie: independent project of scholarly or creative achievement. Most often, this activity is carried out in the student's major area of study, e.g., biology, English, economics, business, engineering.

In our Research & Scholarship course, HC 3900, the student, together with a faculty sponsor/mentor, develops a proposal of the project and submits it to The Honors College Council for approval.  Work on the final thesis is carried out between student and mentor and is due the semester the student graduates.

There is wide latitude regarding the nature of the projects, since it is recognized that substantial differences exist across disciplines. The end result is a written thesis – which could also include a creative performance, dance recital, engineering project, or another type of creative activity. The final thesis must be approved by the mentor and The Honors College Council.

*Current students, please see the HC Student Info Site for deadlines and details.