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Spring 2014 Honors Courses

HON 203 H, Democracy and Its Friendly Critics (3 Hours Credit)

HON 203 HADemocracy and Its Friendly Critics        MWF 12:00-12:50       Dr. David McKenzie

Course meets these requirements:

  • Required course for all honors students
  • General Education core requirement in Humanities--100 level for Philosophy.
  • May also count as the fifth humanities elective, if religion or philosophy course requirement has been met by other means (e.g. AP credit).

Course description: The motto “e pluribus unum” was inscribed on the United States National Seal, created by the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War Period. The motto referred originally to the one nation arising from the many nations whose settlers came to America and from the thirteen states which constituted the original union. The idea that it would be possible to create a nation that really is “one, from many” is a seminal idea of American history. As the phrase comes to us, it stands more broadly for the dialectic of the one and the many in American experience, reflected in a wide array of issues. This course focuses on certain moments in this rich dialectic in which the tensions inherent in the interplay of unity and diversity have come to full expression. It explores early arguments related to state and nation from the discipline of politics, cultural conflicts between Native-Americans and European settlers from the disciplines of history and literature, persistent issues of race relation from the disciplines of philosophy and Black studies, treatment of immigrant populations from the disciplines of literature and sociology, the long struggle for gender equality from the disciplines of history and women’s studies, and arguments pertaining to religious identity and separation of church and state from the disciplines of religious studies and politics.

HON 203 H, Democracy and Its Friendly Critics (3 Hours Credit)

HON 203 HB   Democracy and Its Friendly Critics      TH  12:30 - 1:45    Dr. Daryl Charles

Course meets these requirements:

  • Required course for all honors students
  • General Education core requirement in Humanities--100 level for Philosophy.
  • May also count as the fifth humanities elective, if religion or philosophy course requirement has been met by other means (e.g. AP credit).

Course description: America’s founders and leading statesmen understood what we postmoderns have all but forgotten, if not ignored. They knew that democratic popular government is difficult to sustain, that it is does not automatically sustain itself, that it offers no guarantee of its own survival, and that it requires the continual efforts of every generation to renew its foundations. What are those foundations that support democratic government and culture? In this course, three texts will serve as our guide as we reflect on those foundations: Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, perhaps the most important book ever written on democracy; social critic Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions, a penetrating and remarkably accessible examination of the ideological roots of our political differences; and Brendan Sweetman’s Why Politics Needs Religion, which thoughtfully and thoroughly considers the rich texture of American pluralism and the perennial issue of the place of religious arguments in the public square.  

AST 121HA, Discovery of Galaxies, Honors (4 Hours Credit)   

AST 121 H section A  Discovery of Galaxies   TH 9:30 – 10:45, Lab 2-4 on Fridays   Dr. Todd Timberlake

Course meets these requirements:

  • General Education core requirement in Math and Natural Sciences (4 of 11 hours required)
  • An HON 250 course (4 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students) 

Course description: The Discovery of Galaxies: Galactic astronomy from the Seventeenth Century to the early Twentieth Century. Examines changing ideas about the place of our solar system within the Milky Way galaxy and the existence of other galaxies. Emphasis the historical development of new theories and how those theories were evaluated. Includes one or two night labs at the observatory.


BIO 107HA, The Great Neglected Diseases  (4 Hours Credit)   

BIO 107H, Section A

BIO 107 HA Lab

Great Neglected Diseases TH 8:00-9:15  Dr. Bruce Conn

Lab meets on Wednesday 1:00-3:00

 Course meets these requirements:

  • An HON 250 course (4 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • General Education core requirement in Math and Natural Sciences (4 of 11 hours required)

Course description:  An initiative known as “The Great Neglected Diseases” campaign was begun several years ago by various humanitarian groups around the world that were seeking to increase an awareness among residents of North America and western Europe of the plight of tropical Third-World countries in dealing with health problems unique to or vastly more devastating in the tropics. A major focus of this program was to generate funding for and increase research activity related to tropical parasitic diseases. Many public health experts now warn that global warming, which so often grabs today’s environmental headlines, will allow the spread of some tropical diseases into what have been temperate latitudes. We can only hope that as we continue to learn about parasites, the diseases they cause will become less “neglected,” and in turn will ultimately come to be problems that are not as “great” as they now are. Otherwise, as our planet continues to shrink, our problem with parasitic diseases will loom larger than ever. This course, taught from the instructor’s background as an international researcher and scientific advisor to the U.S. State Department and White House, draws the student into a deep interdisciplinary exploration of the biological, economic, political, and cultural aspects of these diseases and the peoples and societies that they affect.

COM 203, Rhetoric and Public Address, Honors (3 Hours Credit)

COM 203 H Section C  Political Communication         TH 2:00 – 3:15      Dr. Randy Richardson

Course meets these requirements:

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • General Education core requirement in Communication (3 of 9 hours required)

Course description: Political Communication: COM 203 H with an emphasis on political communication engages students in the creation, development, analysis and evaluation of public address in the political context. The course challenges students with readings in communication theory and pragmatic political discourse from across the US political spectrum. Rhetorical analysis of contemporary and current political campaigns provides insight into everything from a rhetoric of polarization to a rhetoric of apologia.


Honors 250HA/PSY 385IA, Psychology of Women (3 Hours Credit)

HON 250H Section A Psychology of Women       MWF 12:00 - 12:50         Dr. Susan Conradsen

Course meets these requirements:

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • Counts as the psychology course requirement in the Behavioral and Social Sciences general education core (3 of 9 hours required)
  • May count toward the major with departmental approval

Course description: This course is an interdisciplinary investigation of the psychological, social, emotional, and cognitive aspects of gender in our society. In particular, the unique issues and challenges to women’s psychological well-being created by the impact of society (both direct and indirect) and culture will be addressed. Some of the specific topics we will cover include how gender identity is formed, the preponderance of sexist stereotypes, how the media influences our ideas of masculinity and femininity, the occupational and domestic challenges women face, the culture of violence against women across their lives, the experience of birth and mothering, love relationships, and other developmental events unique to women’s development such as menstruation and menopause. Throughout the course the existence of sexism within American culture and beyond will be covered such as inequity in political representation and salaries, sex trafficking, female genital mutilation, and role expectations. This class is a discussion oriented class. Students take weekly quizzes, complete a group presentation on a topic of their choice, and complete five writing assignments.


Honors 250HB/COM 416IA, Media Law (3 Hours Credit)

HON 250H Section BMedia Law        MWF 8:00 - 8:50          Dr. Kathy Richardson

Course meets these requirements:

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • May count toward the major with departmental approval

Course description: Constitutional and legislative foundations of freedom of speech and press, with special emphasis on the law of libel, privacy, censorship, access and broadcast regulation. Topics include discussion of the ways in which the interests of the state, society and individuals have been balanced in such arenas as political speech, commercial speech, sexual expression, student speech and technological change. For example, examining the changes in the freedoms or restrictions governing student speech require an examination of the purposes served by public and private K-12 educational systems; the changes in both prompted by social movements from the integration of the 1950s to the social conservative movement of the 1980s, and the changes in technologies available to students inside and outside the school environments. Honors students will be required to complete an annotated bibliography as they prepare for the major research-based essay required of all students. They will also complete a more detailed writer’s workshop report and will respond to a different writing prompt on the final exam. PR: COM 220 or CI


Honors 250HC/REL 359/PHI 359, Environmental Ethics (3 Hours Credit)

HON250HC Environmental Ethics        MWF 9:00-9:50         Dean Thomas Kennedy

Course meets these requirements:

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • May count as one of the two free electives, outside of major/minor, required for graduation; OR, as the fifth humanities elective

Course description: Seminar on the relationship between humanity and nonhuman nature. Discussion includes current biological, political and economic conditions, the role of technology and major philosophical perspectives. PR: one introductory course in REL or PHI.


Honors 250HD/REL 345A, Mysticism East & West (3 Hours Credit)

HON250 HD Mysticism East & West      MW 2:00-3:15      Dr. Jeffrey Lidke  

Course meets these requirements:

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • May count as one of the two free electives, outside of major/minor, required for graduation; OR, as the fifth humanities elective

Course description: This course seeks to understand mysticism as a phenomenon common to all major religions. Through a careful exploration of mystical tradition from the East (particularly Hinduism) and West (particularly Christianity) we will investigate the impact of mysticism on theology, politics, and cultural practice. Most class sessions will begin by discussing different devotional practices and inviting the students to participate in the practice under discussion for a few minutes. The links with this experience/discussion to the larger themes of the course will be explored. PR: any 100-level REL or CI


Honors Thesis

Register for HON 450H if you are starting your thesis. Register for HON 451H if you completed HON 450H last semester. To register for a thesis course, you will need an authorization form (available: http://www.berry.edu/provost/honors/page.aspx?id=7879) signed by your thesis director. Be certain to have the other committee members’ names indicated on the form. Also obtain a reasonably detailed description of the work to be completed during the semester provided by your thesis director. Bring both the description and the signed authorization form to Dr. Brian Carroll for his signature. Take the signed authorization form to the Registrar’s window to have the course added. (This process should be done during pre-registration.) After the course is added to Viking Web, your thesis director will need to authorize you to take the course before you can finally register for it on Viking Web.

Honorization of Courses

An honors student may request to change a “regular” course within a major into an honors course. Follow the procedure below. BEFORE you begin attending the course, during registration, meet with the instructor. Print and take the form with you (see Forms on the Honors web page); this form has guidelines for you and your instructor. Discuss with the faculty member your interest in receiving “honors” credit for a particular course. He or she will define the nature of the honors work to be completed. Complete your part of the form and return the form to Dr. Carroll.

Honorizing any course is NOT permitted after the first week of classes.

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