250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (SS).
This seminar is to discuss a very important topic in the history of science: the processes by which astronomers came to suspect, investigate, and then describe accurately the universe of galaxies. We will begin with the work of a German musician, William Herschel, in the eighteenth century and end with the work of a Missouri lawyer, Edwin Hubble, in the 1920's. Readings and student projects will be based on primary sources and works by historians of science. I do not expect prospective students to have a science background beyond, say, a course in high school physics or completion of a lower-level astronomy course here. This is NOT a science course; it is, instead, an opportunity for us to study the ways in which scientific knowledge advances and the human nature of scientific work. (Lindner)
Section 003 – 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)
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 "PROTAGORAS" and "GORGIAS," Shakespeare's TEMPEST, Dostoevskii's CRIME AND PUNISHMENT, Hardy's TESS OF THE D'UBERVILLES, 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 book 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. Students are responsible for leading the discussions in the second half of the term. Outlines for seminar papers due March first; papers due April first. The seminar meets on Wednesday nights from 7:00 until 10:00, CHEZ MOI. Books ordered from Shaman Drum Book Store, 313 South State. Open to fourth term Honors students only. This section meets on Tuesday from 7-10 p.m. (Hornback)
Section 003 – READING WRITING. We will start with the word "read" – to make sure we know what it means. And then we will do some serious, close reading of some rich and serious writing. Our books will include OEDIPUS THE KING, HAMLET, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Jane Austen's EMMA, James Baldwin's GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN, Simon Raven's FIELDING GRAY, and Peter Shaffer's LETTICE AND LOVAGE. Our ambition will be to find meaning – or meanings – in what we read, which means that we will all have to think hard, and argue carefully. Every other week pairs of students will be responsible for leading our class discussion. I'll take the first week, and the other unclaimed weeks. A seminar paper, in which you construct a "reading" of a book of your choice, will be due at the end of the term. Class meets Wednesdays, 7:00-10:00 p.m. at 1717 South University. (Hornback)
252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 – THE NATURE OF EVIDENCE IN NATURAL SCIENCE. Seminar discussions will cover some current and classical controversies in science, using examples from exhibited material in the Exhibit Museum. Aspects examined will be human interactions in the search for truth and professional stature, tests of truth and of hypotheses, reliability and independence of "evidence," and ethics, morality, and honesty in science and education. No special background is required, but an interest in scientific method is recommended. No text is required. Evaluations will be based on papers or projects selected jointly between instructor and students. (Moore)
Section 002 – NUMBERS, REASONS, and DATA. Scientists in a great variety of fields now spend most of their effort analyzing large collections of numbers. What drives this pervasive symbolism of "data," and how does it relate to scientific knowledge? This seminar will consider the different ways in which numbers are claimed to be realistic or to help us understand things. We will see if there is anything in common, such as the notion of "precision," underlying the many disciplinary tactics for the measurement of extended systems and processes. Readings will range widely, from a history of statistics through extracts on physical constants, biomedical measurements, psychological tests, and social and literary indicators to frequent articles from the New York Times and other mass media. All classes are encouraged to apply. Although students need have no background in statistics or advanced mathematics, it will be helpful to have struggled at length to measure something. The course is a weekly discussion of two-and-a-half hours in a comfortable setting. The grade is based on four short papers and a term paper analyzing the logic of measurement in some area of discourse. Admission to the course is by invitation only. (Bookstein)
493. College Honors Seminar. Upperclass standing; and permission of instructor or of the Honors Director. (3). (N.Excl).
Section 001 – ORIGINS OF AUTHORITARIANISM: THE CASE OF LATIN AMERICA. This seminar will probe the origins of authoritarianism in Latin America through the study of indigenous and Iberian traditions; the impact of imperial centers of power upon the Latin periphery; and recent political science theory concerning the nature of the state. Students will read assigned and optional literature covering a broad range of periods and disciplines, from writings of the CONQUEST OF AMERICA; from Aristotle on natural slavery to Guillermo O'Donnell on the bureaucratic-authoritarian state. Psychological roots of the authoritarian personality will be probed, beginning with theoretical works and moving on to feminist analyses of the Latin American family structure. Literary access to modes of authoritarianism will be opened through readings in Miguel Angel Asturias, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and other novelists. Participants in the seminar should emerge with enhanced analytic skills, an appreciation of a variety of primary and secondary sources, and considerable knowledge about the origins of authoritarianism. While previous exposure to Latin American history will enable students to enter into the course material in greater depth, this is not requisite for understanding the reading or for participating in the seminar. (Elkin)
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