250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (SS).
Section 001: Integration, Segregation, Pluralism, and Diversity in Contemporary America. The contemporary debate on "multiculturism" has seemingly drawn nearly equal numbers of supporters and detractors. On one side, advocates of ethnic pluralism and diversity argue that American society must come to grips with the realities of the "new" racial and ethnic diversity if the country is to exist as a genuinely inclusive democracy. On the other side, critics of the recent "fever of ethnicity" argue that such advocacy far too often degenerates into a romantic, uncritical "celebration" of diversity for its own sake, ignoring the positive aspects of the historic ideal of a common culture. This seminar will explore these issues through intense readings and discussion, a portfolio, a short research paper/project, and weekly seminar reports on selected ethnic groups (e.g., Blacks, Chinese, Germans, Irish, Italians, Japanese, Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans). The central texts are Thomas Sowell's Ethnic America: A History, and Mary C. Waters', Ethnic Options: Choosing Identities in America. WL:1 (B. Allen)
Section 002: The Psychology of Social Movements. In this course we will examine social movements through the lens of psychology. We will study potentially illuminative psychological principles including: a) individual factors like moral development, personality, motivation, defense mechanisms; and b) group factors like conformity, obedience, groupthink, group polarization, persuasion, and leadership. We will read accounts of four modern social movements: the American student movement of the 1960s, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Jonestown, and the successful anti-Nazi resistance movement enacted by the French village of LeChambon. We will analyze these social movements, asking questions like: Why did people join these movements? Why did they behave as they did as part of these collectivities? What makes social movements go wrong – or right? The first part of the course will use the lecture/discussion format. Mastery of this material will be assessed through an exam or two. The second part of the course will use the seminar format. Class discussions will be based on brief written analyses of the assigned readings. In two longer papers students will analyze: a) a personal experience as a participant in a social movement or group ; and b) a historical social movement of their choice. WL:3 (Landman)
Section 003: The Information Society: Issues, Challenges, And Opportunities. We are told that we live in the Information Society, a post-Industrial environment in which information accumulation, processing and use occupy a major portion of our work time. In this course we will examine some of the provocative and challenging issues that the Information Society presents in technical, social, economics, aesthetic and visual dimensions. Ultimately through lecture, discussion and readings balanced with hands-on labs using infotech tools and small group projects, we will consider such questions as: How should society capture time? What is the value of yesterday's news? How does technology shape society or society shape technology? What is the ultimate information tool? Can we keep secrets electronically? Who will control what society "knows"? Course requirements: weekly lab assignments; final exam or paper; class discussion and some group work. Text: readings will be assigned from a variety of sources and accessible via course reserve, course pack and online systems. WL:3 (Holland)
251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors
students. (3). (HU).
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: Important Experiments in Physics. Since the Greeks began systematic scientific inquiry there has been millions of experiments performed. Many experiments have made small although important advances in our understanding of nature. A few experiments have caused a revolution in our views and theories of the physical world. Ten important experiments have been chosen for discussion in this lecture series. These experiments all deal in some way with the development of our understanding of the structure of matter and the nature of forces. Some experiments have discovered completely new phenomenon which required dismantling existing theories. Others were systematic exploration of new fields as new techniques became available. Each lecture will discuss the state of theory before the experiment, the experimental apparatus, and the effect of the experimental results on theory. Many of the concepts in modern physics will be introduced. Students will be expected to analyze on experiment in depth and deliver a written report and make an oral presentation. Grading will be determined by this and a final exam which covers the course. An optional field trip to the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago will be made. This will give students an opportunity to see how modern experiments are done. (Campbell)
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:3 (Dunn)
493. College Honors Seminar.
Upperclass standing; and permission of instructor
or of the Honors Director. (2-3). (Excl).
Creative Fiction Writing. Marge Piercy will be teaching a fiction writing seminar. (Piercy, Kushigian)
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