251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).
SECTION 001 – WORDS. This will be a seminar on words, and the social and philosophical implications of the best of them. Using the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY (the OED) as our primary text, we will examine the etymological and historical significance of a number of important words in the English language. The course will begin with instruction in our method of studying; and in the use of Latin, Greek and Sanskrit dictionaries. Thereafter the class will first examine together a wide range of assigned words – liberty and religion and justice, freedom and friendship, law and legislation, radicals and radishes, wisdom and happiness, truth and faith, belief and live, thanks and thoughts, etc. - and then explore the dictionary in search of other interesting words. Students will be expected to report in class their findings, and to write up one word per week. The text for the course will be, the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY; students will be required to buy their own copies; order forms available from the Honors Office in March. No knowledge of languages other than English is required, though students with competence in any foreign language will find such skills useful. In addition to class reports, a final essay will be required in which students will be asked to discuss what they have learned. Admission by application only. Application sheets available in the Honors Office, 1210 Angell Hall. (Hornback)
SECTION 002 – JAMES JOYCE. We will begin by reading A PROTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, for the first three weeks of the term. Then we will take time out, and read ULYSSES – aloud – straight through, together, from 8:00 on a Saturday morning until about 4:00 on the following Sunday morning. After that we will start re-reading ULYSSES as we talk about it. ULYSSES will keep us busy for the rest of the term. (If you're wise, and serious, you'll get PORTRAIT read for the first time over the summer, and you'll get as much of ULYSSES read as you can manage.) For the first half-hour of each class meeting, one of you will be responsible for presenting a report on some aspect of either PORTRAIT or ULYSSES. We will use your work, then, to inform our discussion for the rest of the class period. Prospecti for seminar papers are due by November 10; I would like to talk with you about your plans for these papers before then. The papers are due at the last class meeting. Length, ten to twenty pages. Our object in this seminar will be to understand and enjoy two of the great novels in our literature. We will all have to work hard, at both the understanding and the enjoyment. [Cost:2] [WL:3, This seminar is open to Honors sophomores only.] (Hornback)
SECTION 003 – IMAGINATION. The Romantics claimed that Imagination was both an artistic and a cognitive faculty; the seminar will begin by considering both the structure of the Romantic literary Imagination and the Romantic theory of knowledge in works by Wordsworth, Blake, and Coleridge. Attention will then shift to more general questions: Does artistic Imagination tell us anything about reality? Can Imagination become a rigorous mode of cognition? What is its relationship to rationality? Does some form of Imagination have a place in science and ethics? The nature of metaphorical thinking will be considered, as will the function of Imagination in scientific revolutions (Kuhn, Barfield, Goethe), ethics (Schiller), the psychology of perception, and the visual art (Cezanne, Merleau-Ponty). [Cost:3] [WL:3] (Amrine)
252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
SECTION 001 – ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMICAL IMPACT ON HUMAN HEALTH. This seminar will consider the influence of the chemical environment on public health. Retrospective studies of specific incidents of human chemical contamination will be used to identify the potential for human disease resulting from the addition of synthetic chemicals to the environment. Attention will be focused on the conflicting political, economic, and societal interests which have to be compromised in order to deal successfully with such environmental health issues. The scientific basis for risk analysis and the political aspects of benefit analysis will also be considered. The format of the seminar will be as follows: An historical overview of an incident concentrating on the paramount issues involved will be presented first by an individual – faculty member, government official, newspaper reporter, etc. - who has expert knowledge of the incident. Each student will then WRITE a short report which includes a critique of the actions taken by participants in the incident, possible remedies for any actions that were inadequate, and procedures which, if implemented, could have prevented the occurrence of the human contamination. Each student will also give a short oral presentation or submit a short written paper on some general principle that applies to environmental chemical impacts on human health. Evaluation of student performance in the seminar will be based upon these written and oral reports. [WL:5. Contact the Honors Office, 1210 Angell Hall] (Bernstein)
Section 002 – THE GREAT IDEAS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE. This seminar may be viewed as a physical science equivalent of Great Books. Its aim is to examine the great ideas of the physical sciences from the 13th century to the present, to see them in the context of their own time, to gauge their impact upon succeeding generations and to assess their role in the cultural development of this century. The main prerequisite is a curiosity about scientific ideas and a willingness to put as much reading time into the course as would be expected for either the Great Books or one on the history of the novel. A background in introductory physics, chemistry, astronomy and calculus will be helpful. There will be two ninety-minute discussions per week, but is not necessary together with such other modes of discourse as seem possible and appropriate. Grades will be based upon three papers and, to a lesser degree, in-class contributions. [WL:5. Contact the Honors Office, 1210 Angell Hall] (Dunn)
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