Monday/Wednesday/Friday Section Course Descriptions

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 8:50a-9:40a Sections

Deb Metger

HONR 10197-025 CRN 25200

Is humanity doomed? In this colloquium, we will begin the first semester by investigating Climate Change. Some learner-friendly topics will include: sustainability, biodiversity, bio-engineering, carbon footprint, humanitarian crisis, impact of disasters. Students will choose their own topic of interest and complete projects and writing assignments that will culminate in a lengthy research paper. Writing workshops, class discussions, peer reviews, and one-on-one instruction will allow students to learn academic research, argument, and college composition. All material will be provided.

Texts for Fall semester:

  • Carl Sagan’s “A Demon Haunted World” (excerpt)
  • 11th Hour (documentary film)
  • GREEN (documentary short)
  • “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy” (Professor Jem Bendell)

Welcome to Anthropocene; the current geological age during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment. In the second semester of our colloquium, we will investigate and analyze the reasons that the American government is the only industrialized nation without a plan to transition to renewable energy. We will then investigate various climate change messages found in pop culture (music, movies, etc).Why have we failed to hear? Students will choose a topic of interest and complete a project of choice which will accompany the final argumentative essay. All material will be provided.

Texts for Spring semester:

  • Anthropocene (documentary film)
  • “Weigh of Light” (student Climate Fiction)
  • Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) (lyrics by Marvin Gaye)
  • The Rappers Guide to Climate Change (Baba Brickmen)
  • Idiotque (Radiohead)

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:55a-10:45a Sections

Elizabeth Howard

HONR 10197-019 CRN 25194

In this colloquium, we will begin the first semester by reading Homer’s Iliad, a war epic less about war and more about the effects of war on the warriors and the people they fight for. We will then read The Odyssey, the best-known so-called “homecoming” narrative. We will then move on from these epics to Aeschylus’ Oresteia, an examination of the Greek world’s most dysfunctional family. In the spring semester, we will move in a very different, but complementary, direction by focusing on the theme of coming of age. While “coming of age” most often refers to a child maturing into adulthood, this semester, we may also examine “non-traditional” coming-of-age stories. Most of this semester’s novels show the main character moving from childhood to young adulthood, from ignorance to knowledge, from innocence to experience. We will explore these themes using Joseph Campbell’s so-called “Hero Cycle,” from his text The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell demonstrates how heroes from stories, myths, and fairy tales all over the world participate in a similar adventure structure. Additionally, we will try to understand the changing nature of how the individual constructs his or her “self,” or identity, during this maturation process. We will discuss, analyze, and interpret the main character’s, that is, the hero’s experiences using these theoretical constructs.

Texts for Fall semester:

  • Iliad, Homer.
  • Odyssey, Homer.
  • The Oresteia, Aeschylus (Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, The Eumenides)
  • A Short Introduction to Ancient Greek Drama, Graham Ley.
  • The Oldest Dead White European Males, and Other Reflections on the Classics, Bernard Knox.

Texts for Spring semester:

  • The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan
  • The Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
  • The Wizard of Oz (film)
  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salmon Rushdie

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:00a-11:50a Sections

Dirk Remley

HONR 10197-007 CRN 25183

What makes someone a good leader? How can we critically reflect on others’ leadership skills toward understanding their effectiveness or weaknesses? How can we use these observations to assess and improve upon our own leadership skills? These are questions that will be addressed through this Colloquium section’s theme: Leadership Characteristics and Characters.

Students will engage with principles of leadership found in characters and plot from various works of literature and film. Through critical reading, thinking, discussions, research, analytical writing activities and other projects, students will come to understand several attributes that affect leadership effectiveness in various contexts; these attributes include cultural and social phenomena as well as personal traits. Students, also, will consider their own leadership abilities and how they may be able to improve those skills.

The texts listed below provide a sampling of those that we will use.

  • Leadership: Essential Writings by Our Greatest Thinkers, by Elizabeth Samet
  • The Secret Sharer, Joseph Conrad
  • Antigone, Sophocles
  • Major Barbara, George Bernard Shaw
  • The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit (Film, adapted from novel by Sloan Wilson)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly

Matt Shank

HONR 10197-008 CRN 25184

The major theme of the course will be literature’s depiction of the various forms of disenfranchisement (political, racial, sexual, religious, economic, class, age, gender, etc.) within modern society, and how those who are disenfranchised attempt to find their own truth and value outside of society’s norms. This analysis will lead to discussions of related themes and topics including Postmodernism, the Anti-hero, The Rebel, the Absurd Man, Classical Archetypes, and Dystopian fiction.

Students will write several five page essays each semester, as well as a final, longer research paper dealing with disenfranchisement in our current world during Spring semester.  There will be no exams but several quizzes and shorter writing assignments (WAs) will be given regularly.  Class discussion will be a crucial part of the course, both individually and in-class group work, and students will also be required to give in-class presentations of certain assigned topics and outside readings throughout both semesters. Students will also be encouraged to try creative approaches to the assignments, including fiction writing and video productions or other various artistic media. The spring semester will end with a final creative project depicting the theme of disenfranchisement.

Possible Fall Texts:

  • Campus Book and Supply course packet
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • A Handmaid's Tale
  • The Glass Menagerie

Possible Spring Texts:

  • Campus Book and Supply course packet
  • Night
  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Fences
  • The Hunger Games
  • Catch-22

Adam Brodsky

HONR 10197-030 CRN 25205

Everyone’s influenced by media, so it is good to know how media works to deliver meaning. This colloquium will focus on popular media of the twentieth century with an emphasis on film, music, and art. We will view, listen to, read about, discuss, analyze, and critique popular media and its mechanisms to make sense of it in writing about its design, aesthetics, and effects. 

Expect many types of essays, projects, and presentations as well as student-guided discussions and group activities.

 The core texts are listed below. This colloquium will also invest time directly experiencing creative works of cinema, art, and music.

 Texts for Fall:

  • Understanding Media
  • The Anatomy of Film

 Texts for Spring:

  • How Music Works
  • What Are You Looking At?

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 12:05p-12:55p Sections

Matt Shank

HONR 10197-009 CRN 25185

The major theme of the course will be literature’s depiction of the various forms of disenfranchisement (political, racial, sexual, religious, economic, class, age, gender, etc.) within modern society, and how those who are disenfranchised attempt to find their own truth and value outside of society’s norms. This analysis will lead to discussions of related themes and topics including Postmodernism, the Anti-hero, The Rebel, the Absurd Man, Classical Archetypes, and Dystopian fiction.

Students will write several five page essays each semester, as well as a final, longer research paper dealing with disenfranchisement in our current world during Spring semester.  There will be no exams but several quizzes and shorter writing assignments (WAs) will be given regularly.  Class discussion will be a crucial part of the course, both individually and in-class group work, and students will also be required to give in-class presentations of certain assigned topics and outside readings throughout both semesters. Students will also be encouraged to try creative approaches to the assignments, including fiction writing and video productions or other various artistic media. The spring semester will end with a final creative project depicting the theme of disenfranchisement.

Possible Fall Texts:

  • Campus Book and Supply course packet
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Catcher in the Rye
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • A Handmaid's Tale
  • The Glass Menagerie

Possible Spring Texts:

  • Campus Book and Supply course packet
  • Night
  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Fences
  • The Hunger Games
  • Catch-22

Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:10p-2:00p Sections

Liz Wagoner

HONR 10197-028 CRN 25203

Come for the glow in the dark cats and neurotic AIs, stay for the discussions of ethics, philosophy, and pop cultural representations of science! This section explores major issues in science fiction, as well as issues raised by popular discussions of science today, through themed units focusing on larger philosophical, ethical, and theoretical ideas. Each unit will contain works from literature, comics/graphicnovels, film, and nonfiction science writing. Science-fiction issues covered in this course include:

  • Science Fiction as a Genre – Contested, Lowbrow, Beloved, and now Quite Difficult Due to the Speed of Innovation
  • Progressivism – Is humankind advancing toward a more evolved or better state of being through technological innovation?
  • Space Travel – The Science Required to take us to Mars and Beyond.
  • The Apocalypse in Science Fiction – AI, Viral, Nuclear, and Climate Disasters
  • Science vs. Superstition – Pseudoscience, Logic, and the Battle for the Human Mind

Examining the ways scientific ideas are framed through these texts, we will gain a richer awareness of major issues in science fiction and science today. In addition to weekly writings and discussion, there will be several researched essays, and film analysis.

Texts for Fall:

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, Film.
  • Binti: The Complete Trilogy, Nnedi Okorafor
  • Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb, Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

Texts for Spring:

  • The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood
  • The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
  • Arrival, Film

Bill Morris

HONR 10197-029 CRN 25204

Comedy, humor, and laughter are uniquely human ways of being in the world. While each individual has some sense of humor, what is funny is often rooted in the customs and habits shared among those in a given community or culture. Like love, or justice, or virtue, humor is a complex human activity which is difficult to define for lay and academic audiences alike. This course surveys comedy in Western culture from the Old Comedy of ancient Greece to contemporary fiction, film and stand-up among other comedic artifacts. While this theme suggests a light-hearted survey, the course materials allow us to explore the perennial philosophical and social issues the humanities are uniquely equipped to help us understand. This means that we become a small scholarly community sometimes silly, sometimes serious, but always inquisitive and collegial.

Over the course of two terms, students will develop a variety of writing to represent the various ways we've come to understand the course materials. We will develop our understanding through student-lead discussion, brief and extended analyses of course readings, short presentations, and essays directed by individual student inquiry. One goal of this course is that students should emerge with a deeper understanding how comedy and humor shape our intellectual pursuits, inform our shared social values, and enrich our individual capacity to be curious comedy connoisseurs.

Fall Texts:

  • Aristophanes -   The Clouds
  • Dante -                 Selected Excerpts
  • Boccacio -            Selected Excerpts
  • Shakespeare -    Select Comedies
  • Johnson -             Every Man and His Humor
  • Moliere -              Le Misanthrope

Spring Texts:

  • Voltaire -             Candide
  • Swift -                   Selected Essays
  • Alexie -                 Selected Short Stories

Select Films from silent to contemporary

Select Stand-up clips/specials from Bruce, Carlin, Pryor, Diller, Rivers, Chappelle  et.al.