Courses in College Honors (Division 395)


250. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (SS).
Section 00l 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 the materials available and the time available to complete it. (Livermore)

Section 002 Integration, Segregation, Pluralism, and Diversity in Contemporary America. The contemporary debate on "multiculturalism" 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., Asian Indians, Blacks, Chinese, Germans, Irish, Italians, Japanese, Jews, Mexicans, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans, and Slavic Americans). The central texts are Ronald Takaki, ed., From Different Shores: Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America (2d ed.), and Thomas Sowell's Ethnic America: A History. First day class attendance is mandatory. (Wacker)

Section 003 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Guest lecturers will share insights into critical thinking and problem solving in their own academic and professional specialties. Students will prepare two term papers the first on critical thinking and problem solving, and the second on an article appearing in the Skeptical Inquirer. Students will present a formal critique of one of these two papers. The section does not fulfill a writing requirement. Students will bring to class current written accounts of news which illustrate flawed critical thinking for discussion. (Whitehouse)

Section 004 Disaster Journalism: Is it a disaster? This is a seminar to explore crisis or disaster journalism, perhaps the least understood but most influential of the genre. How do journalists respond to crisis and disaster? How do they hold institutions, particularly governmental leaders, agencies, and major corporations accountable for the way they deal with such events? How do they help the public take part in the debate of issues raised by such events? Answering such questions and viewing the role played by race, ethnicity, religion, social standing, or gender provide an interesting view of journalism, as well as a starting look at the state of intolerance and inequality in modern culture. Through lecture/discussions lead by the instructor, a veteran journalist, as well as case studies of some of the most famous disasters of our time, including Pan Am 103, TWA Flight 800, and, yes, the death of Princess Diana (was it a crisis, and if so, why?), we'll broaden our understanding. The course also will include guest lecturers, videotapes and electronic conferencing. (Hall)

Section 005 Organizational Behaviors, Structures, and Dynamics. This course examines behavior in organizations, as well as the behavior of organizations. We all work in "organizations." How does the organizational environment affect what we do and how we act? What are the main kinds or organizational cultures, and how do we fit into them? Four cultures will be specifically explored the clan culture, the hierarchy culture, the market culture, and the advocacy culture. Implications for us personally will be considered. But organizations are also actors. Organizations make, or do not make decisions. They need to contend with rapidly changing environments. Organizations which fail to contend and adapt appropriately become "boiled frogs." We will examine conditions which distinguish those organizations which adapt from those which are rigid and die. Students will have the opportunity to assess their own "style" and its fit with organizational styles. Issues of leadership, gender, and race in organizations will be a special theme. (Tropman)

Section 006 Nation Formation: Race & Gender in the Americas. What is the connection between the nation and "the people?" Is there an authentic "national identity?" Who is entitled to lead the nation and represent "the people?" If we look at nation formation in the Americas we can see that it has been based on both principles of inclusion and equality, and practices of exclusion and subordination. These practices have been significantly organized around racial and gender hierarchies which shape institutions, social life, and beliefs. This course will examine different aspects of national identity and state power, including: political power and norms of masculinity; racial dimensions of political repression and opposition. We will look at cases in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S., and will use a wide variety of materials from historical to literary and visual. (Skurski)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

251. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Yin and Yang: Relationships Between the Sexes in Chinese Literature and Culture.
Romance, sentimentality, anger, revenge, hate, bawdiness, eroticism, modesty, faithfulness, infidelity: these and many other human experiences weave their way through the rich Chinese literary tradition in ways that inspire, titillate, instruct, and entertain. This seminar will examine male-female relationships in Chinese literature from ancient to modern times. sources will include works of fiction, drama, poetry, other genres, and film. Requirements include regular attendance and participation, two in-class presentations, occasional written assignments, and a final paper. (Crown)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

252. Sophomore Seminar. Open to Honors students. (3). (NS).
Section 001 Numbers and Reasons.
Measurement in the natural sciences typically deals with true values (constants); measurement in the behavioral and social sciences, with problems of managing social systems. Measurements in sciences on the boundary, like neuropsychology or medicine, attempt with variable success to capture stable latent aspects of individual hidden states or histories. In this course we try to untangle some of this confusion by careful attention to the proper role of quantification in the versions of reality constructed by the various disciplines we consider, from astrophysics through, perhaps, literary history. Our approach is by various methods, including logic, arithmetic, history of science, and the careful analysis of instrument readings, answers to questions, and various visual representations of same. Three specifically statistical themes are covered in brief lectures, but there is no associated "homework." The most extensive reading this year, I think, will be Herrnstein and Murray's The Bell Curve. Assignments: four short papers and a term paper. (Bookstein)
Check Times, Location, and Availability

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 Rethinking Agriculture in the Age of Ecology. (2 credits). Modern agriculture has been dramatically reshaped by economics and technology and now poses severe environmental as well as social costs. The Land Institute has been asking what agriculture might look like if it were redesigned according to the principles of ecology. This course will present for critical discussion the philosophical underpinnings of an ecological approach to agriculture as found in science, literature, and history. We will ask how agriculture might be put on a sustainable basis in the future. This two-credit Honors Seminar will be limited to 15 students meeting in the first half of the term. The course will require extensive reading and discussion as well as writing. The course pack is expected to cost between $50 and $100. (Jackson, Worster)


Section 002 Race and the Founding of America. (1 credit). The Virginia Declaration of Rights, adopted in June 1776, asserted "That all men are by nature equally free and independent..." When the issue arose as to whether those words applied to Blacks, a Virginia Court of Appeals judge wrote in 1806 that the Declaration did not apply to slaves because it was not intended to free those who remain "in the same state of bondage they were in at the revolution in which they had no concern, agency, or interest." This seminar will explore whether that perception is accurate or whether the founding of the Republic offers a more complex and more deeply human story than the one that animated the judge. We will look at the issue of the Black stake in the nation's founding primarily through the lens of the Virginia colony from its founding through the Revolution while observing some of the statesmen who emerged from that culture George Mason, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. The course will cover the period running roughly from 1595 to 1799. We will examine economic, political, philosophical, and moral issues in attempting to probe the validity of the judge's vision. (Wilkins)
Check Times, Location, and Availability


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.