SAMPLER OF HONORS COURSES
Below are descriptions of several Honors courses that have been offered in the past. Students and faculty are always welcome to submit ideas and proposals for future Honors courses. See Appendix E for an Honors Course Proposal form.
First Year Interdisciplinary Written English & History of Civilization Seminar
This Honors Learning Community introduces first year Honors students to major types of expository and critical writing in conjunction with the study of world civilization. Topics focus on philosophical thought throughout history with emphasis on changes in government, economics, arts, science, and literature. Field trips include trips to Washington and Baltimore museums and theaters. Trips focus on the literary and historical connections of political thought and literary development.
A seminar-style course focusing on the conflict in Vietnam from a historical perspective. This seminar will be taught by Dr. John Paul Harris, a distinguished Visiting Professor to Shepherd University from Britain's Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Dr. Harris received both his BA in History and his PhD in War Studies from King's College London. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and has published numerous articles and book chapters in the area of War Studies and the Vietnamese conflict.
Game theory is a branch of social science that is concerned with strategic decision-making. As such, it is a collection of models and analytical tools to help us understand the phenomena that we observe when decision-makers interact. These models are abstract representations of classes of real-life situations. A central concern of these models is determining how a decision maker should choose a course of action when in competition with rivals who are acting in their own interests. Applications include voting strategies, contract negotiations, auction strategies, cartel formation, price and output decisions in oligopoly situations, political competition and coalitions, the design and use of incentives, and the use of various tactics such as brinkmanship and credible commitments.
Foundations of Non-Violence
Foundations of Nonviolence is an interdisciplinary investigation of the religious, social, political, and artistic sources for implementation of nonviolent direct action. In this context nonviolence is not merely the absence of violence but the commitment to seeking justice and significant social change in ways that do not harm those with opposing views. From the Christian admonition to turn the other cheek to India's gaining independence, from Norwegian resistance to Nazism to the American civil rights movement, we will use texts, films, lectures and student presentations to understand and critique various faces of nonviolence.
Gender and Film
Gender and Film examines the representation of gender in motion pictures. Providing an overview of critical theory, methods of film analysis and scholarly discussion and written composition. Current communications curriculum does not offer survey of literature dealing specifically with how communication reflects and shapes sociocultural constructions of gender. A seminar course in which students lead class discussions and present close readings of films. Students will also conduct a class research project in collaboration with faculty on a chosen topic and compose a scholarly monograph to be submitted for publication.
Slavery in Jefferson's Virginia
"Slavery and Freedom in Jefferson's Virginia" will examine several aspects of Virginia's 18th and early 19th century that illuminate the difficult relationship between concepts of "liberty," "freedom," and "justice," and the institution of slavery. We will focus on several approaches to the study of slavery and freedom in Virginia, including political efforts for manumission and colonization after the Revolution, religious qualms about slavery, the problems of interracial sex and families, and violent attempts throughout the period to destroy the institution. This is an intensive reading and writing course. The core of the course grade will be derived from a significant, original research paper.
Politics and Film
This class will utilize outside readings and in-class discussions as means to integrate our knowledge of political science as written and as viewed through Hollywood. An array of films will be viewed including fiction, Nonfiction, Documentaries, US-made films as well as foreign films. In addition to class discussions, students will write response papers and essays throughout the semester that are designed to combine the outside readings, class discussions, and students' own responses to the films viewed.
An advanced seminar for Honors students. Subject matter and content vary from semester to semester, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary explorations of provocative and timely topics.
Science and Religion
Science and Religion is a survey of the philosophical and historical aspects of the relationship between science and the primary world religions. It is an interdisciplinary course designed to foster dialog between people of scientific and religious backgrounds, and to encourage science students towards integration and critical thinking in their own faith traditions. After discussion of the methods of rational inference and preliminary considerations in the philosophy of science, a survey of the world religions (Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam) and the naturalistic perspective will be presented, along with various philosophical models of the relationship between science and religion. Key episodes in the historic interactions between science and religion (Babylonian Astronomy, Copernicus and Galileo, the Scopes Trial, etc.) will be examined and correlated with these models.