College Honors Courses (Division 395)

251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Pagans and Christians in the Roman World.
This seminar seeks to recreate the experience of the Roman social cultural world in which Christianity developed. Through selected readings (in translation) of fiction, plays, religious tracts, documents, rhetorical treatises, philosophical texts, we shall attempt to recover the attitudes, practices, and emotions of the Romans who first encountered Christianity, and the corresponding reactions of the early Christians to the pagan world around them. I plan one hour of lecture, and two hours of discussion each week. The first section of the seminar will include the following topics: 1) the character of Roman religion at the end of the Roman Republic, as it emerges through selected cults (of Jupiter, the Saturnalia), rituals (the Roman triumph), and priesthoods (Arval Brethren, Vestal Virgins); 2) impiety, both personal and collective, as the Romans understood it; 3) religion inside and outside Rome: ambiguous attitudes towards foreign gods and cults. The second half of the seminar focuses on Christianity. We shall begin with the phenomenon of conversion - both its psychological aspects, and the varying social levels of the earliest Christian converts, who included wealthy Jews and manumitted slaves. We shall contrast the Roman sacrificial banquet with the Christian communal meal. We shall study the rhetoric of the Christian apologists who attacked Roman paganism, and consider the reactions of Roman emperors to the Christians - reactions which ranged from suspicion and persecution, to tolerance and respect. Finally, how far was Christianity instrumental in "humanizing" the Roman world for example, in contributing to the decline of Roman slavery? (D'Arms)

252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 Constraints on Energy Options.
Several ways in which we obtain energy will receive rather technical evaluation. The terms force, energy, work, heat and temperature among others, will be given rigorous scientific definitions and used in assessing maximum useful energy as utilized or proposed in various options. For resources relying on minerals the geologic setting and processes of formation will be described, as well as the geography of their occurrence. These options will include oil, natural gas, coal, geothermal energy, solar energy (direct), tidal energy, agricultural wastes, urban trash, oceanic thermal gradients, wind, fresh/saline water osmotic pressure, wood and others. Evaluation will consist of a short midterm paper, a slightly longer final term paper, a short (ca. 15 minutes) class presentation on some energy related topic and a midterm exam. Field trips during class time are likely to be at the Ford Nuclear Reactor (North Campus), KMS Fusion, and one or two solar heated houses (small fee to cover transportation). Readings will be from Energy in Transition 1935-2010, Final Report of the Committee on Nuclear and Alternative Energy Systems, National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, W.H. Freeman & Co., 1980; Schurr, S.H., et. al., Energy in America's Future, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979; and current or recent periodicals. Prerequisites are high school algebra, and a reasonably good knowledge of general science (a little chemistry and physics, which may be rather short of high school course equivalency). (Cloke)

493 College Honors Seminar. Upperclass standing; and permission of instructor or of the Honors Director. (3). (N.Excl).
Section 001 United States, China and East Asia.
Despite the national focus on things European, America's involvement in her last three wars arose in East Asia. The seminar will examine relationships within that area and give consideration to cultural and historical developments as an aid to understanding present-day alignments and antagonisms, and future possibilities. The presentation will draw upon Professor Woodcock's personal experience in preparation for the Hanoi/Vietnam MIA mission (1977) together with negotiation of relations with The People's Republic of China (1978) and first American embassy to China (1977-81). Emphasis will be given to modern developments and the American interest. By application only. (Woodcock)

Section 002 Contemporary Poets. We will study the works of four contemporary poets: Galway Kinnell, Wendell Berry, Donald Hall and Seamus Heaney. We will read several volumes of poems by each poet, and also various essays they have written on poetry. Since several of these poets write of the influence public readings have had on their poetry, we will listen to recordings of their readings as part of our work. Students will write short papers on three poets, and major papers on one poet. Admission by permission of instructor. Interested students should make an appointment in 1210 Angell Hall. (Hornback)


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