Courses in College Honors (Division 395)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Introduction to Historical Research.
Understanding of the past necessarily rests upon the study and assessment of a great variety of records. These range from archaeological finds, official government documents, newspapers, diaries, letters to rare books. Historians depend heavily upon the fact that such materials have been collected and preserved by museums, archives, and even families. Here at Michigan are two well-known repositories of historical materials, one the Bentley Library on North Campus, and the other the Clements Library on South University Avenue. The first collects primarily those source materials that relate to Michigan history, and the second collects primarily materials pertaining to the discovery and early settlement of North America. Early in the term we shall visit each library to see something of the range and texture of their holdings. Then, each student will carve out a modest historical problem or issue that can be addressed from these sources during the remainder of the term. Then the task will be to examine pertinent manuscript collections, take suitable notes, and put together an original work of history. Again, the scope must necessarily be limited by materials available and the time available to complete it. (Livermore)

Section 002 Racism Underground: Hidden and Not So Hidden Prejudice in America. Public opinion surveys suggest that prejudice and racism have declined dramatically since the 1940s. Has racism really declined, or simply gone underground? Can people discriminate against others without being aware they are doing so? In this seminar we will learn about such "hidden" or covert forms of prejudice, as well as some not-so-hidden, more overt forms of prejudice. We will discuss how stereotypes can influence the way we see other social groups, and influence our feelings and attitudes towards members of these groups. The seminar will focus primarily on Black-White intergroup relations, but issues involving other ethnic groups (e.g., Asian-Americans, Jewish Americans, Native Americans, Latino/a Americans) and other sexual orientations will be included as well. (Sekaquaptewa)

Section 003 Thinking About Intergroup Relations. This course will serve as an introduction to various frameworks that psychologists and more sociologically oriented researchers use in understanding intergroup perception/relations and the management of conflict between social groups. The course will also deal with the important topic of cross-cultural relations. In addition to class reading assignments, students will also reflect on the notions of multiculturalism and social justice. The course will include a modified seminar format, small group discussion sessions, and a considerable degree of interaction. (Ybarra)
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251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Imagination.
The Romantics made major claims for imagination: that it was both an artistic and cognitive faculty. Thus 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, Coleridge, Kant, and Fichte. 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, the psychology of perception, and visual art.

Section 002 Yiddish Literature in Translation. In this course, we will read some of the most important texts of modern Yiddish literature. Now largely unknown, these stories and novels of the past 150 years explore the ways in which Jews of Eastern Europe and, later, America confronted modernity. What happens when a traditional society, rooted in community, encounters modern, post-Enlightenment ideas about individual freedoms? How does religion change? How does a minority culture make a claim for itself within societies that have often been hostile? What possibilities for the creative imagination are there in these circumstances? What are the stakes in our contemporary largely romanticized notions about the shtetls (small towns) of Eastern Europe? How do writers reflect on the immigrant experience in America? Questions such as these will guide our discussions. Now that excellent translations of these works exist, we can come to terms with the culture of Yiddish. (No Yiddish is required for this course; all texts will be read in English translation.) Course requirements include active, lively class participation, at least three essays and an exam or final paper. (Norich)
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252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 The History of Medicine and the Art of Humbug.
This course centers around the evolution of modern medicine, including early Western medical concepts and the introduction of scientific method. In addition, attention will be directed at current fads; acupuncture, ESP, astral projections, chiropractic, diets, etc. Students are required to read one book from the suggested reading list that is provided on the first day of class and write two papers, a short paper at midterm and a 5-6 page paper at the end of the term. (Malvin)

Section 002 Race and Racism. This course examines the relationship between science and racist social policies historically and in the present day. Through a focus on polygeny, eugenics, the holocaust, and the relationships between race and intelligence and crime, the course particularly examines how anthropological work has been used and abused in socio-political arenas. During the course we will grapple with questions about the existence and definition of race, the validity of various biological claims for racial differences in behavior and the consequences of basing social policy on these claims. Students will come to appreciate how the worlds of science, politics and society are interrelated and how their relationship has been used to undermine and sometimes promote different racial and ethnic groups. Requirements: Class participation is required. Students will be responsible for presentations/leading class discussion after the fourth week and for a written version of their presentation. There will be a final take-home exam. (Caspari)
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370. Junior Seminar on Research Methods. Honors student and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.
Section 001 Rhetoric of Evidence in Research. (Credits: 2 or 3 *).
This upper-class course is concerned with modes of inference from evidence across all of the arts and sciences, from physics through the humanities. The discussion will emphasize commonalties among disparate disciplines in the rhetorical modes in which ambiguous evidence is used: modes such as preponderance-of-evidence arguments, statistical inference, graphics, experiments, or abduction. The seminar meets weekly, Tuesday evenings. Often an invited faculty guest will review the history and the reasoning underlying some earlier publication (handed out the week before), whereupon the seminar will weigh in with a generalized critique. The attack might question the target article's exclusion of plausible alternatives, for instance, or anomalies not pursued, or ambiguities remaining; or it might inquire as to the origin of the disciplinary community's a priori agreement that certain questions of this sort need not have been raised in the main text. In past years, the tenor of these sessions has corresponded to that of a strenuous doctoral defense, but the outcome is rarely so predictable.

* To receive two hours of credit, the student must either submit a term paper drawing upon themes common to some subset of these presentations (not necessarily those of the student's own concentration) or take charge of the seminar for one half of one of these sessions, using a reading of his or her own choice. Those wishing three credit hours must both submit a paper and lead half a session. Maximum class size 15, by permission of the Honors Office. (Bookstein)
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493. College Honors Seminar. Permission of instructor or of the Honors Director. (1-4). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of eight credits.
Section 001 Art and Geometry: Cicumscribing Patterns in Islamic Art. (3 credits).
For Fall Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History of Art 394.003. (Bier)
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