College Honors Courses (Division 395)

250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (SS).
Section 001 "The United States, China, and East Asia."
Despite the national focus on things European, American's involvement in her last three wars arose in East Asia. This 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 will draw upon Professor Woodcock's personal experience in preparation for the Hanoi/Vientane MIA mission (1977), together with negotiations for normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China (1978) and first American embassy to China (1979-81). Emphasis will be given to modern developments and the American interest. THIS COURSE BY APPLICATION ONLY. APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE HONORS OFFICE 1210 ANGELL. DUE BY Nov. 22. (Leonard Woodcock)

Section 002 "Cholera Pandemics: Model Systems for Evaluating Societal Attitudes. " Cholera pandemics provide model systems for retrospectively correlating societal attitudes with the methods used in eventually providing a solution to a large-scale social problem. The main text will be The Cholera Years by C.E. Rosenberg. (Whitehouse)

Section 003 "Becoming a Critical Consumer of Research Findings. " This course will introduce students to a variety of problems in several different fields of study (e.g., Psychology, Education, and Health). Students will be expected to articulate the fundamental issues embedded in these problem areas and to learn to critique the various methods of inquiry which scientists have utilized to study these fundamental issues (e.g., case studies, surveys, experiments, cost-benefit analyses). The course will expose students to articles of increasing levels of sophistication taken from newspapers, magazines, "soft" journals, and "hard" journals. Early class sessions will address problems that have been researched thoroughly, and where there exists precedent for the method of inquiry; later sessions will address problems that have yet to be discussed extensively by scientists. Evaluation will be based on class discussion, three five page papers assigned where interesting and relevant issues emerge during class, and individual student presentations of problems in which they will discuss substantive issues and respond to questions and comments in a peer review process. (Entry by override - open to Honors Special Track students, or by permission of Honors Office. Obtain override from Honors Office.) (Yeaton)

251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Something of Value.
We will read and reread a few great books: Oedipus Rex; Plato's Protacoras and Georgias; Shakespeare's Tempest; G.B. Shaw's St. Joan, and Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Our main concern will be to discuss what we value, and why we value it, and how we arrive at such determinations. For the first half of the term we will prepare one text for discussion each week; in the second half of the term we will use what we have read and talked about to inform our discussion of our main topic. Outlines of seminar papers due March first; seminar papers due April first. Meets one long evening a week, Chez Moi. Honors sophomores only. (Hornback)

Section 002 Introduction to Chinese Poetry. For the last two millennia, poetry has been the most esteemed form of literary expression in China. It is clearly one of the chief imperishable glories of Chinese civilization. This course is designed to provide an introduction to the understanding and enjoyment of Chinese poetry as represented in a wide range of English translations. We shall read selected translations of great poems done by poet-translators such as Ezra Pound, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, and noted scholar-translators such as Arthur Waley, D.C. Lau, and Burton Watson. Whenever possible, we shall read more than one translation of the same poems, along with word-for-word renderings prepared by myself. The emphasis will not be on bulk. Rather, it will be on close reading of representative works so that students will have a chance to develop the skills to appreciate the beauty, the vitality of the lyric voice, the clarity of vision, and the depth of imagination which characterize this long and rich poetic tradition. Students will be encouraged to do their own translations from literal renderings used in the course. Requirements include active participation, frequent brief exercises (one page or two in length), and several short papers. Texts: D.C. Lau, trans., Tao Te Ching; Course Pack contains materials from a variety of sources. (Lin)

Section 003 "Critical Approaches to Modern Poetry." The course will be concerned with reading and critical discussion of major contemporary poetry in the English, American, and modern European traditions, supplemented by readings in the work of major critics who have concerned themselves with verse. The special focus of the course will be lyric poetry, and different approaches to the perspective reading and analysis of works of this genre will be studied. (Emery George)

Section 004 Roman Decadence. A systematic examination of a social and literary phenomenon as exhibited in ancient and modern works of literature. Texts from the ancient Roman world include Ovid's Art of Love; Petronius' Satyricon; some of Seneca's dramas; Apuleius' Golden Ass; Augustine's Confessions. These will constitute a paradigm for examining a society's perceptions of disorder and decline. Modern works further illustrating and elaborating this outlook include Thomas Mann's Death in Venice; Nathanael West's Day of the Locust; some of T.S. Eliot's poetry; and Tanizaki's Some Prefer Nettles. Other works may also be considered. The format of the course is that of readings, discussions and reports. A paper will also be required. (Witke)

Section 005 Literatura, Philosophy and Cognition (The Works of Jorge Luis Borges). The writings of Jorge Luis Borges could be taken as a reference point to trace the anatomy of almost a hundred years of literature and thought. His own biography debuts with the century: born 24 August 1899 he is still writing, traveling, participating in workshops and delivering speeches. His recognition spans across cultural and linguistic boundaries. His works have been translated into at least 10 languages and have furnished examples for such varied disciplines as cognitive studies, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics and semiotics. This seminar proposes to study the most significant periods of Borges' writings in connection with aesthetics and literary trends of the XXth century. At the same time it will explore the linguistic and philosophical ideas which have shaped his views of language and literature and the impact of his literary work on contemporary lines of thought - chiefly, cognition and philosophy of language. The seminar will address questions such as: In what sense can we say that language represents the world or expresses the thoughts and feelings of the speaker ("The postulation of reality," "Biography of Evaristo Carriego")? What sort of meaning configuration is set-up when a proper name and a first person pronoun are employed to identify the "the self" ("Borges and I," "The Circular Ruins")? What kind of relationship could we trace between Borges' "multiplicity of worlds" and philosophical notions such as "possible worlds" or "ontological relativity" ("The Immortal"; "The Garden of Forking Path"; "The Total Library")? What is the identity of an art work ("Pierre Menard, Author of Quixote")? What is language ("Inquisition on the Word," "Elements of Rhetoric")? What is translation? ("The Translators of the 1001 Nights")? What is narrative ("Narrative Art and Magic")? What is literature ("From Allegories to Novels," "Kafka and His Precursors")? Lectures and discussions. (Mignolo)

252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 "The History of Biochemical Science and the Art of Humbug."
This course centers around the evolution of modern medicine, including early western medical concepts and the introduction of the scientific method. In addition, attention will be directed at current fads: acupuncture, ESP, astral projections, chiropractic, diets, etc. (Malvin)

Section 002 Percept and Concept: Experiments and Models in Science. Prerequisites: at least one science course (biology, chemistry or physics) in high school; two science courses would be preferable. Limited to 15 students. The subject of this seminar will be an inquiry into the nature of scientific knowledge. We will examine together our ordinary understanding, based on elementary science courses and the popular media, of a few broad subjects in the physical and the biological sciences, then attempt to trace the nature of our knowledge in some of those areas to the seminal experimental observations on which this knowledge is based and to the development of the models that scientists presently use to explain these observations. We will also examine how scientific thinking is related to the use of language and how the evolution of our scientific consciousness is reflected in the change in the language we use. We will read works by scientists who critically examine the nature of their knowledge and biographies that illustrate processes involved in scientific discovery. The seminar requires a basic acquaintance with the language of at least one area of science, but is designed primarily for students concentrating in areas outside of the physical and biological sciences. The course is more an examination of the basis of our knowledge of the world than of any particular scientific content though we will become familiar with some of the important ideas in modern science. No examinations will be given, but students will be expected to present to the instructor several drafts of an evolving paper. This paper will require that students examine some field of interest to them by identifying the components of that field that correspond to the observing, the thinking about observations, and the development of models that goes on in the natural sciences. Part of the class time during the term will be set aside for individual discussions with the instructor of student papers at various stages of their evolution. This course is by application only. Applications are available in the Honors Office. Due by Nov. 22. (Ege)

Section 003 . Our view of the world has been dramatically influenced by developments in physics. This seminar, intended for students who are not necessarily concentrating in the sciences, examines our conventional understandings of nature in the light of quantum theory, relativity, and the recent developments in particle physics. Quantitative reasoning, as well as writing, will be important for some aspects of the seminar, but problem solving per se is not emphasized. (Hofstader & Zorn)


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