Mobile Navigation Menu Icon. 3 horizontal gold bars.

The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479
hc@oakland.edu

The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479
hc@oakland.edu

Three students seated at a table with notebooks and pens

Curriculum

The Honors College (HC) curriculum offers a distinctive undergraduate experience that integrates the arts, sciences and professional fields. Students are required to take HC 1000, plus three of The HC core courses that take the place of OU general education courses. *Beginning in fall of 2018, HC 1000 became a general education course and now satisfies one of the 3 required HC core courses.

*Honors College students majoring in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences are exempt from the College of Arts and Sciences College Exploratory requirements. (See undergraduate catalog under College of Arts and Sciences.)

Summer 2020

ART

HC-2010 The Art of Eating: From Still Lifes to Snapchat
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Art & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online"
Term: Summer 2020

Course Description:  Great Artwork featured food long before #AvocadoToast hitInstagram. In this course, we’ll consider the role and meaning of food in our lives and how art literally captures its importance and uses ordinary (or exotic) food items to tell our story to others.From Still Lifes to Selfies, we’ll examine the depiction of sustenance and self in images of people eating (from banquetsand balls to ballparks, from Last Suppers to #foodporn) and of edible items (from grapes to #grandelatte, from cheese wheels to #cupcakes) the food in images tells a story about who we are.

HC-2010 Low Riders, Murals and the Space Between: Mexican American Art in the 20th and 21st Century 
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Art & US Diversity
Course Time: "Online"
Term: Summer 2020

Course Description: Within this online course, students will demonstrate familiarity with examples of the cultural/artistic production from 20th and 21st century; identify artistic/intellectual movements in the period studied; and lastly relate cultural artifacts (film, fine arts and folk art) to the historical, cultural, and social contexts in which they were produced.
 

LITERATURE

HC-2020 Digital Essay in the 21st Century
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online"
Term: Summer 2020

Course Description: This course will consider the literary essay in digital format as
published on social media. We will identify a variety of posts on
Facebook and blogs that meet the criteria of essay, along with
their styles, such as satire, parody, opinion, and critique. We will
apply techniques of literary analysis to these electronic essays
and evaluate the nature of contemporary digitalism as a mode
of composition and presentation, and the production of new
literary forms.

HC-2020 True Art Speaks Plainly: The Debate over American Realism and Naturalism 
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: "Online"
Term: Summer 2020
Course Description: This online course will explore the question: Is Man ( or Woman) a product of his or her environment? What is the role of Determinism and /or Social Determinism? Within American Realism and Naturalism, these arguments have wrestled through various mediums and books. We will do the same but with the perspective of exploring these questions from a 2020 viewpoint.

WESTERN CIVILIZATION

HC-2040 Tudors of England
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Time: "Online"
Term: Summer 2020

Course Description: The Tudor sixteenth century is one of the most fascinating yet challenging periods in English history, even as it was England’s most formative.  This online course will survey the events that brought the Tudors to the throne, and England out of the medieval period and into the early modern world.  Such topics as the English Reformation, the Church of England, the development of the nation state, the monarchy, and the blossoming of English literature and music will be explored.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 Global Digital Citizenship
Instructor: Mohan Tanniru
Gen Ed: Global Perspective & US Diversity
Course Time: "Online"
Term: Summer 2020

Course Description:  Today's global environment that is digitally connected provides students unusual challenges as well as opportunities.nWhile challenges include an ability to communicate socially with populations of diverse background and culture across time zones, the opportunities include solving some of the complex problems we as a global society face including health, climate change, economic disparities and personal capacity to grow and work together as global citizens. The goal of this course is to recruit students from multiple countries and have them work as teams to engage in projects of shared interests. They use their research, writing and communication skills to engage in conversations and complete a project.

Thesis

HC-3900 Research & Scholarship (Formerly Intro to Thesis)
Course Time: Online
Term: Summer 2, 2020

Fall 2020 Core Courses

ARTS

HC- 2010 Saints and Sounds
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Art OR Knowledge Application 
Course Time: M/W/F 12:00-1:07pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Without fail every religious community has used music as an integral part of their worship and faith practice.  This honor’s course will review the history of religious music from the earliest civilizations to the present.  In between, lectures will stop to discuss the music of the orient, Africa, Palestine, the Arabian Peninsula and Western Europe.  In each case, music will be examined as it was used as a vehicle for faith expression and worship practice.  The course will also help the student understand the theology of sound; that is, why in some cultures were certain sounds sacred, but in others the exact sound considered profane?  In addition to lots of listening to recordings, a final project will allow the student to explore and write about the musical soundscape of their chosen religious community.

HC-2010 Popular Music and Identity
Instructor: Rebekah Lynne Farrugia
Gen Ed:  Art OR Knowledge Application & U.S. Diversity
Course Time: M,W 3:30-5:17pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Popular music is a vehicle for the expression and understanding of various intersectional identities for both artists and fans, namely race, gender, and sexuality. This course examines a range of identity categories to understand how music is used as an expression of personal and community identity, as a means to insight social and political activism, and to challenge structures of power in society. The impact of industry norms and practices on pop stars are also examined. We will draw on core concepts from various fields of study including media and cultural studies, women and gender studies, musicology, and sociology to understand the relationship between identity, music industries, audiences, and texts. Overall, we explore popular music and its relationship to culture, politics, and identity.

HC-2010 Memes: Digital Art as Science
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed:  Art 
Course Time: T 8:00-9:47am at The Moceri House/ TH "Onliine"
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: This course explores the Meme as a digital form of text that combines an implied narrative whether fictional, factual or both. We will study the design elements of these compositions that include a criteria of narrative, such as subject, theme, storyline (plot), conflict, and resolution, along with metaphor, allusion, and hyperbole. We will evaluate the effectiveness of Memes for digital audiences.

LITERATURE

HC-2020 Moby Dick & Popular Culture 
Instructor: Christopher Apap
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive + US Diversity
Course Time: W 6:30-9:50pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: This course will explore how a novel that made a relatively small splash in American culture before the Civil War came to be seen as one of the most interesting attempts at the “Great American Novel”—and how the figures of the White Whale and Ahab became so ubiquitous in American culture that they could become jokes in both Progressive Insurance commercials and on Sesame Street. The three-fourths of the course will comprise a detailed reading of Moby-Dick alongside the literary and popular culture that inspired it.

As we turn our focus to the term paper, in class we will consider a variety of adaptations and responses to Melville's novel, from early blockbusters to science fiction to documentary film. In the semester’s final week, we’ll not only do peer review to refine your final papers, but will also discuss the novel as it exists in the popular register.  

HC-2020 Literary Monsters
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W, F 9:20-10:27 am
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Monsters tend to be some of the most memorable figures in literature. They come in all shapes and sizes, from beyond our world and from within; some are born, some are made, some are only "monsters" in the eye of the beholder. In this course we will bravely encounter a range of famous literary monsters—from ancient myths to contemporary fiction and film. We will assess what monsters mean and do in particular narratives, as well as what ideas of "monstrosity" mean and do across different times and cultures. Students will come away from the course not only with a rich knowledge of famous literary monsters, but also having developed the transferable critical tool of "monster theory," which can be used to analyze a wide variety of literary and cultural forms.

HC-2020 The Handmaid's Tale Then & Now
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/TH 3:00-4:47pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale was originally published in 1985. In 2019, 34 years later, its sequel, The Testaments, was released: picking up the story 15 years after the original left off….
In this class, we’re going to analyze the myriad ways dystopian literature depicts and reveals the socio-cultural and political aspects of the era in which it was created: often gaining popularity by calling upon the anxieties of the audience of the time period. But time moves on, societies progress, and politics change… So why is The Handmaid’s Tale, created 30+ years ago, so popular (in print and on Hulu) today? And what happens to that dystopian world when the author allows it (and the characters) to mature for another 15 years? We will examine these two texts and the questions they pose and allow us to explore about time, people, politics, and society…
HC-2020 Clues, Crimes & Sleuths: Detective Fiction on Both Sides of the Pond

HC-2020 The Poetics of Childhood>
Instructor: Peter Markus
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: W 6:30-9:50pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Childhood is more than just a time in our lives, it is also a physical and emotional place. A kind of geography. Call it a neighborhood. One we can go back to, through the power of memory, through the lens of our imaginations, through the words of other writers. In this writing-intensive course, we will look to the stories (both true and made up) and poems, too, of a diverse range of writers to help us locate and ground the stories (both true and made up) and the poems, too, that are ours and ours alone to write. 

HC-2020 E.M. Forster--Only Connect
Instructor: Craig T Smith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/TH 1:00-2:47pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: The 20th century novelist E. M. Forster is beloved for the warm human empathy and progressive values that flow through novels rich in colorful settings, dramatic plots, and unforgettable characters. Valuing friendship above all else, his motto was “only connect.” Forster is a towering figure in the English novel, gay history, and human relations. This class will read his most important novels: “Maurice,” “A Room with a View,” “Howards End,” and “A Passage to India,” along with a few of his essays. In addition, we will view film adaptations by James Ivory and Ismael Merchant, and read a hit contemporary play inspired by the novelist’s work, “The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez. Class meetings will comprise lectures and small-group workshops, with one shorter and one longer writing project. Extra credit option for reading Wendy Moffat's biography of Forster. 

HC-2020 Cartography: Intersections of Art & Geography
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed:  Literature OR Social Science + Writing Intensive for both
Course Time: M/W/F 12:00-1:07pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: This course explores the nature of map making both in history and legend, with emphasis on intersections between art and geography. Students will consider maps in their historical or legendary context, study artistic and technical features of maps, and investigate the role they played in history and general knowledge. We will also consider how maps reveal specific perceptions about the world and culture at large, and understand ways of reading maps and drawing conclusions about their origins and objectives in terms of knowledge and information.

WESTERN CIVILIZATION

HC-2040  Duels, Conspiracies, and Affairs: Political Scandals in U.S. History
Instructor: Nicholas DiPucchio
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Time: T/TH 8-9:47am-partially online
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: How have political scandals shaped U.S. history? Did Aaron Burr, after his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton, plan to create his own empire separate from the United States? Why was Peggy Eaton, the wife of Secretary of War John Eaton, so controversial during Andrew Jackson’s presidency? How did the dishonorable behavior of presidents redefine American political culture? This course will examine the role played by political scandal in shaping the history of the United States, from the founding of the American republic to the present day. Whether a scheme to create a distinct empire, a corrupted or bribed official, or a shocking impeachment trial, scandals have defined American politics and culture.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 What's All the Buzz?
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M 5:30-8:50pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: What’s All the Buzz? introduces students to the global environment and use of Honey (and Bee Keeping). This course focuses on how differences in economic systems, national culture, socio demographics, and political orientations affect the production as well as the use of honey (and the global honey) industry. This course has high qualitative expectations since it integrates knowledge of an international commodity that impacts people socially as well as culturally. Students will have opportunities to taste products from global settings and recognize how different political, environmental as well as social constructs influence the purchasing and use habits of people. Field trips to one or more apairy will take place.

HC-2050 Coffee with a Purpose
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + Writing Intensity + US Diversity
Course Time:T/TH 10:00-11:47am
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Coffee with a Purpose: Exploring the Global Coffee Culture: Past, Present and Future introduces students to the global coffee “bean”. This course focuses on how differences in economic systems, national cultures, socio-demographics, and political orientation affect the way coffee is grown and consumed. Students will utilize field research ( including a “passport” to a variety of coffee shops and roasteries in the Metro Detroit area) to learn first hand how the environment influences the sustainability of various coffee and coffee based products. Students need to have or arrange transportation to Moceri House for class and be willing to travel to locations in Metro Detroit area for field research. 

HC-2050 Veganism as Social Justice
Instructor: Kelly Maki Michiya
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Time: T,TH 1:00-2:47pm
Term: Fall 2019

Course Description: This course explores the intersectionality between speciesism, which allows objectification and exploitation of animals, and other social justice issues, including but not limited to racism, sexism, and classism and examines veganism in its relationship with other efforts to eradicate all forms of oppression.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

HC-2060 Future Food
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Social Sciences 
Course Time: T/TH 10:00-11:47am
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Humans have been innovating to fulfill our most basic need for millennia. How will we continue to evolve our foods and food production in the face of new challenges such as ever-growing populations and climate change? We will consider how technology can aid how we grow food and which foods we grow.  New challenges mean new opportunities such as urban farms right here in Detroit and foraging for foods in urban and rural areas. Our diets may change in unexpected ways; insects, anyone? Other solutions include looking back at overlooked foods from the past. Producers are turning to technology to cope with new growing conditions, improving sustainability, promoting agricultural diversity, and lowering the environmental impact of farming. The class will visit local food producers and try any foods that come our way..

HC-2060 Cartography: Intersections of Art & Geography
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Social Sciences OR HC 2020 Literature + Writing Intensive for both
Course Time: M/W/F 12:00-1:07pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: This course explores the nature of map making both in history and legend, with emphasis on intersections between art and geography. Students will consider maps in their historical or legendary context, study artistic and technical features of maps, and investigate the role they played in history and general knowledge. We will also consider how maps reveal specific perceptions about the world and culture at large, and understand ways of reading maps and drawing conclusions about their origins and objectives in terms of knowledge and information.

FORMAL REASONING

HC-2070 Optimism: Finding Happiness
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/TR 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: What does it mean to be happy? How important is ‘hope’ in achieving our aims…from #LifeGoals to just getting through the day? Where on Google Maps is my happy place? We’ll pose and explore these questions by considering constructs of hope and happiness from different social, cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives. The meaning of happiness is not a constant across time or place—from different eras and around the globe we find different approaches to and assessments of happiness—and, additionally, what happiness means to us does not remain the same for individuals at different stages in our lives. In this course we will deconstruct ‘optimism’ and ‘happiness’ in the ‘hopes’ of reconstructing and increasing our understanding of these states of Being in ourselves and others. 

NATURAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

HC-2080 Mistrust of Science
Instructor: Barry Winkler
Gen Ed: Natural Science + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/TH 8:00-9:47am
Term: Fall 2020

Course Description: Science is humans' greatest invention. It's the reason you can read this course summary on your computer. It's why you stay healthy after getting your flu shot. It's the foundation for what we know about climate change. It can save lives and keep us safe. Yet science is too often ignored or dismissed. This course will consider several of the major areas of mistrust of science today: 1) while evolution is considered a cornerstone of biology, nearly 40% of Americans believe that God created human beings in their present form; 2) despite strong scientific evidence for the potential devastating effects of global warming, a segment of the population continues to believe that the planet is not warming, and if it is, then the change is primarily due to nonhuman causes; 3) the medical community has long-provided evidence that supports the safety and efficacy of vaccines to prevent viral-based diseases that have been shown to affect (or kill) millions of humans, but anti-vaxxers continue to believe that vaccines cause autism and other problems; 4) the impact of the deaths that have resulted from pills, medical devices and clinical trials gone bad due to unethical/incompetent behavior that have wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars; 5) genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have many benefits (e.g., plants with better resistance to pests, harsh climate and diseases) yet they are still portrayed negatively in the media and by the public; and 6) the increasing number of revelations of scientific misconduct, conflicts of interest, falsification and fabrication of data, as well as plagiarism. This course is designed to improve your familiarity with and scientific understanding of these issues (and of others as they arise) and to enhance your ability to evaluate and support the best science available that ultimately benefits our lives through good public policy decisions.     

HC-2080 Science and the Late Cold War
Instructor: Steffan Puwal
Gen Ed: Natural Science OR Knowledge Application
Course Time: T/TH 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2020


Description:This course will focus on the science relevant to the US and Soviet nuclear posture at the height of late Cold War tensions, 1982 – 1985.  Students will learn the basic principles of nuclear weapons, their health effects, nuclear winter, ballistic missiles, and nuclear seismology.  Students will also learn of key events in the history of the Cold War through the use of films and lectures, including the formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the Berlin Wall, the Space Race and the Strategic Defense Initiative.  Particular emphasis will be given to the Chernobyl disaster.

HC THESIS

HC-3900 Research & Scholarship 
Course Time: Online
Term: Fall 2020

Winter 2021 Core Courses

ARTS

HC-2010 The Art of Emotions: Science, Philosophy & Feeling
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Art
Course Time: M/W/F 10:40-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: The word ‘emotion’ did not even exist as we know it today until the early 17th century. Prior to that point in time, it referred to either “civil [or political] unrest” or movement (literally, a motion, a migration). In 1602, it comes to mean an “agitation of the mind” or “strong feelings, passion; …instinctive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge.” In this class we will attempt to join ‘reasoning and knowledge’ (the science and philosophy of an emotion) to the general understanding and myriad representations of emotions. During the semester, we will devote blocks of study to a series of specific emotions: first studying the physical science, philosophy, and theory of that emotion before analyzing lyrics, visual artworks, music, and films that attempt not only

HC-2010 Artistic Life in Renaissance Italy
Instructor: David Kidger
Gen Ed: Art
Course Time: T/TH 10:00-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: The notion of the Renaissance as an artistic movement remains problematic for general historians, as well as historians of architecture, the arts, music, sculpture, and philosophy. This course examines and critiques the notion of the Renaissance as exemplified through the artistic life of a number of churches, cities and courts in northern Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In this period there was a patchwork of city states, republics, dukedoms and other principalities in what we now consider northern Italy. We consider how this puzzle contributed to artistic life, both sacred and secular, and how different modes of artistic expression developed as a result of these political and social systems

HC-2010 Art in Context
Instructor: Cody Vanderkaay
Gen Ed: Art OR Knowledge Application
Course Time: M/W 3:30-5:17pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: Focus on the construction, presentation, curation, conservation, dissemination and critique of artworks. Students view artwork in context and meet with artists, collectors, conservators and curators in local studios, conservation labs, galleries, private collections and museums including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Course alternates between off-campus field experiences and classroom activities with roughly seven to eight planned excursions and seven to eight class sessions.

Class sessions include reflective group discussions about field trips from the weeks prior along with formal discussion and activity focusing on the professional practices of making, collecting, curating, and conserving artworks. Class culminates with an exhibition of HC student work and/or an exhibition review.

LITERATURE

HC-2020 World Mythology: Paradigms of Vice & Virtue 
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M/W/F 1:20-2:27pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: This course explores mythology not limited to Greek and Roman, but extending to other cultures such as Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Indian, Asian, Norse, Christian, Celtic, Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and others. Given the richness of the catalogue, we will identify characteristics that universalize or isolate myths as a means of understanding the human condition in history and culture as we study them.

HC-2020 From Aesop to Zootopia 
Instructor: Craig Smith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/TH 1:00-2:47pm 
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: Some of the most ancient surviving literature, fables from Egypt, Greece, India, and China, uses animal characters to explore human nature. This practice of representing non-human beings in human terms—called anthropomorphism—remains one of the most popular and familiar literary practices today. Modern critics have focused on the artistic and ethical implications of anthropomorphism—a discussion that has crossed over into the scientific community in recent years. We will read classic animal stories by Anna Sewell, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and John Collier, and contemporary works by the young gay Finnish-Serbian novelist Pajtim Statovci and the feminist African-American poet Donika Kelly. This course will also look at the ways that animal characters have been represented in cinema, including “Tarzan,” “Zootopia,” and Cocteau’s “Beauty and the Beast.” Assignments will include one shorter and one longer writing project. Class meetings will balance lecture with small-group discussion.

HC-2020 Mythology of Adventure  
Instructor: Mary Wermuth
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M/W 3:30-5:17pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: The term Mythology to most students is synonymous with falsehood or stories about the Greek gods. The term Adventure is synonymous with going some place. Both sets of synonyms have validity on the surface. Mythology, however, opens doors to literature of all cultures and times that define human experience.  Travel is adventure—inward into self as well as physically going forth out into the world or outer space. Being adventurous demonstrates that we do not have immobile tree roots but restless spirit roots and each one searches for where those roots can best be nourished. Thus we set out on personal mythic journeys.  Mythology of Adventure offers an exploration of these journeys taken by real and fictional characters and their discovery of their spirit roots. When we look at these journeys, some of the best begin with a strong sense of the unknown. The characters taking the journeys did not know what was ahead of them—Lewis and Clark, Columbus, Odysseus, Marco Polo for instance. The results of these journeys have created new cultures, destroyed cultures, changed the individuals taking these journeys, developed trade roots, and changed thinking about the locale, oceans, world, solar system, stars, and the universe. Discussion, research, and personal responses to these journeys will serve as a framework in which to place our own travels to discover our spirit roots.

HC-2020 Climate Change in Literature
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/TH 10:00-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: Rising waters, melting ice, and weather extremes - most of the attention about climate change has been on how we will cope with the physical changes that are affecting the planet. How will our society cope with the changes wrought by the changed landscapes and natural cycles? What about the climate migrants, human and animal? How will we handle these consequences of our changing environment? Writers have been exploring these issues for some time. We will explore texts of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry as we think about how humans will survive the changes our planet faces. We will supplement the readings with visual art, film, and music as we examine the Anthropocene. What are the factors that are affecting the changing environment? How will we live in this new environment? How will our human relationships be altered? We’ll read observations about the changing climate and possible futures; how different may they be? And how differently can they be represented in artistic, literary forms?

HC-2020 Conflict in Camelot
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M 5:30-8:50pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: The stories of King Arthur and his Round Table have been retold countless times from the early Middle Ages through the present, with each age revising the legends to fit its own fantasies, anxieties, and interests.  In this course we will explore the range of narratives about and inspired by Arthur—from the early Middle Ages to the 21st century, as well as some artistic representations of the legends. As we discuss Arthur comparatively across time, genre, and medium, we will track how perceptions of the legends have changed, as well as the continuities and ongoing relevance of the legends for our present moment.  Assignments will include short writing responses and longer essays, and a final creative project will enable students to practice their own creative adaptation of Arthurian characters and themes.

HC-2020  Literature and MedicineInstructor: Kathleen Spencer
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: M/W 5:30-7:17 (partially online)
Term: Winter 2021
Course Description: Students will take an intimate look at fiction, non-fiction, short plays and poetry which relate to acute and chronic illness and healthcare. Readings will be viewed with a particular focus on empathy, ethics and professionalism.   This class emphasizes close readings and in-class discussion.  We will read patient narratives and authors/healthcare providers such as Richard Selzer, Raphael Campo, Abraham Verghese, Cortney Davis and others.This class is especially appropriate for students interested in health care fields and the helping professions.

WESTERN CIVILIZATION


HC-2040 Edwardian England Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Time: M/W 12:00-1:07pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: The World of Edwardian England.  The PBS series “Downton Abbey” (re)introduced the world to Edwardian England.  At the turn of the century, with a new king on the throne, England witnessed some of the most sweeping, dramatic changes known to modern history:  suffrage, crumbling socio-economic barriers, radical changes in fashion, new scientific claims, and a world forever changed by war.  This course will explore not only how the world changed in Edwardian Britain, but also how America was shaped by it.  Using Mary Doria Russell’s novel Dreamers of the Day as a starting point, we’ll explore the politics, social systems, monarchy and even the Church of England of that time—in addition, of course, to the foods, the fashion and the music.  In all, we’ll explore how the end of one genteel and incredibly wealthy era - the 1910s - ushered in the shocking behavior of another - the Roaring 20s.  Class meets in Meadow Brook Hall, our own “Downton Abbey,” and evaluation will be class participation, readings, and an individual project that will be offered as a class presentation.

HC-2040 Young at Heart
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Western Civilization + US Diversity
Course Time: T/TH 3:00-4:47pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description:  How the definition of aging has evolved and informs the creation of new institutions, programs, artifacts, and technology, as well as ways of being will be explored within the course. Students will be given a group “problem” –whether it is programmatic, technological, or social—that is a problem faced by older adults.  Through this project, students will acquire practical experience and skills that lead to their engagement as citizens. 


GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 Will the EU Survive After BREXIT
Instructor: Frank Cardimen
Gen Ed: Global Perspective OR Knowledge Application
Course Time: T/TH 10:00-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: Course will provide:
• knowledge of the EU environments, political systems, economies, societies and religions of one or more regions outside the United States and awareness of the transnational flow of goods, peoples, ideas and values
• knowledge about different cultural heritages, past and present, and how they play in forming values in another part of the world that are different than in the USA. Travel Component will provide 11 days in Europe in Hungary and UK.

HC-2050 Frontiers and Borders

Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective 
Course Time: T/TH 1:00-2:47pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: Through readings and project based assignments including a student self-designed new experience; students will explore the enduring lessons and questions that prompt a person to quest and seek new knowledge of one self; of far-away lands, people, cultures and topics.

HC-2050 The Silk Road

Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Time: M/W/F 1:20-2:27pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: The Silk Road conjures up images of traders riding camels across the desert, but that is only part of the story. We will dip into the long history of the network of routes that are known as the Silk Road. The trade that moved along the road brought silks and spices to the West and wool and weapons to the East. From the Han Dynasty in the second century BCE until the closing off of trade by the Ottomans in the fifteenth century the exchange included goods, religions, art, and technology. The class will study the traders and the trade, the good such as silk and the bad like the plague as well as the geography and politics that affected the Silk Roads. We will read travelers’ accounts, look at the art and architecture, listen to the music, and eat the foods that show the cross-cultural connections at work. We will also take a brief look at modern China’s efforts to create a new Silk Road primarily using maritime routes to extend and deepen its economic reach.

HC-2050 Translation in the Digital Age
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Global Perspective 
Course Time: M/W/F 12:00-1:07pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: This course will introduce a brief history of translation along with its theory and practice as both art and science and its role and influence in knowledge in general, and literature in particular. We will then explore the ways in which the digital age is shaping translation with examples such as online translators and other translation apps. We will study examples of classical translation against digital mechanics, observing the ways knowledge and culture are served or otherwise impacted. 

HC-2050 Contemporary Migration in Europe
Instructor: Secil Pacaci Elitok
Gen Ed: Global Perspective & Writing Intensive
Course Time: M/W/F 10:00-11:47am (partially online)
Term: Winter 2021
Course Description: The goal of this course is to explore one of the biggest challenges of today’s global environment from a critical point of view. Specifically, we will explore migration to, from and within the Europe, and its relationship to migration systems in its periphery

SOCIAL SCIENCE

HC-2060 US & China: Bridges or Walls?
Instructor: Alan Epstein
Gen Ed: Social Science
Course Time: M/W/F 1:20-2:27pm
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: A consensus projection among contemporary international relations experts contends the character of the 21st century will principally be defined by the evolving relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.  Rather than the recently organized Group of 21 globally consequential states or the more established G7 assemblage, it is the G2 that forms the prospective axis around which the world will increasingly rotate.  While the distribution of their respective power attributes remains uneven, the economic, military, political and ideological wherewithal of China and the US already surpass those of other countries.  Given this reality, more precisely determining the nature of this relationship and discerning whether its foundations will support cooperative ties and advance pacific international relations or whether connections are grounded on antagonisms susceptible to catalyzing global conflict, or whether there is a mixture of such elements requiring disaggregation to assess their associated portents, is a worthy undertaking. This course is designed to explore these questions and enable students to decide whether China-US relations of today and tomorrow are conducive to erecting constructive, collaborative bridges or barrier walls furthering misunderstanding and interstate strife, or something in between.  



FORMAL REASONING

HC-2070 Logic: It's Just so Logical
Instructor: Carolyn Delia
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning
Course Time: T/TH 10:00-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: This course is a non-mathematical based introduction to formal logic which attempts to show that being "logical" is immensely important but is only achieved through definite patterns of thinking. The course presents the types of logical reasoning, forms and rules, and practical applications of argument formation and evaluation. The text will provide the knowledge base for deductive/ inductive reasoning and abductive inference but examples and exercises will also come from the various disciplines and careers which require the use of logical reasoning.
• Induction: prediction - used by weathermen, profilers, etc.
• Deduction: based on observation - Students will look at relevant societal, environmental, political topics being currently debated.
• Abduction : inference - Students will look at examples of medical diagnoses, detective cases, etc. (Students may be asked to watch some TV)

HC-2070 Pessimism: Imagine the Worst = Win
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning
Course Time: M/W/F 10:40-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021

Course Description: We’ll start by considering philosophical constructs of pessimism. But maybe that won’t work because it isn’t an approach familiar to everyone. So we’ll also examine literature that imagines scenarios—from characters continuously facing conflicts to the sky literally falling—pessimistically presenting bad day after bad day…but ultimately offering hope in terms of a happy ending. But that could go wrong if the happy ending hides the purpose in pursuing pessimism. So, ultimately, we’ll apply pessimism—questions of “what’s the worst that could happen?”—to real world situations and projects that interest the students personally, the same way professionals in all fields have to anticipate worst case scenarios in order to prepare for them…and ultimately succeed. A great plan isn’t created by thinking how perfect things are: it comes out of imagining what’s wrong and how bad things could get. So, in this class, we’re going to plan to fail.


NATURAL SCIENCE

HC-2080 Veganism, Health & EnvironmentInstructor:Instructor: Kelly MichiyaGen Ed: Natural Science
Course Time: M/W/F 10:40-11:47am
Term: Winter 2021
Course Description: This course explores the impact of dietary choice on health and the environment. It examines basic human anatomy and physiology in relation to nutrition and evaluates the current system of food production and its impact on the ecosystem. This course further considers veganism (or plant-based nutrition) as a viable solution in creating both personal and global health.

HC THESIS

HC-3900 Introduction to the Thesis
Course Time: Online
Term: Winter 2021

Independent Study

HC-4900 Independent Study
Instructor: Dr. Harper
Course Time: TBD
Term: Winter 2021

Language

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

The Honors College foreign language requirement may be fulfilled by choosing one of the following 4 tracks:

  1. Foreign language proficiency: Completion of, or proficiency in, foreign language courses (including Sign Language) through level 2150.
  2. Foreign language and cultural experience: Two semesters of the same language on campus in partnership with a study abroad experience of at least 6 weeks in a non-English-speaking country.
  3. Foreign language diversity: Two semesters each of two different languages for a total of four semesters.
INVOLVEMENT

INVOLVEMENT

Honors College students complete an average of 10 hours of involvement per year.  Anything outside of course related work can be counted and involvement can be undertaken fall, winter or summer semester.

The 4 categories of Involvement are:

  • Honors College
  • OU
  • *Humanitarian
  • Professional

* Humanitarian service qualifies students to apply and be recognized for one of our yearly Humanitarian Awards

-Graduating Seniors, with significant Humanitarian service over their time in The Honors College, will qualify for our cumulative award, presented at the HC Graduation ceremony.

Thesis Info

All HC students must produce an Honors Thesis, ie: independent project of scholarly or creative achievement. Most often, this activity is carried out in the student's major area of study, e.g., biology, English, economics, business, engineering.

In our Research & Scholarship course, HC 3900, the student, together with a faculty sponsor/mentor, develops a proposal of the project and submits it to The Honors College Council for approval.  Work on the final thesis is carried out between student and mentor and is due the semester the student graduates.

There is wide latitude regarding the nature of the projects, since it is recognized that substantial differences exist across disciplines. The end result is a written thesis – which could also include a creative performance, dance recital, engineering project, or another type of creative activity. The final thesis must be approved by the mentor and The Honors College Council.

*Current students, please see espace for deadlines, forms and details