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Spring 2007 Honors Courses

HUM 200 H, E Pluribus Unum: American Democracy in Theory and Practice (Required for all Honors Students; 3 Hours Credit)

HUM 200HA  E Pluribus Unum: American Democracy in Theory and Practice MWF 10-10:50 Dr. Michael Bailey  
HUM 200HD 
E Pluribus Unum: American Democracy in Theory and Practice TH 9:30-10:45 Dr. Erik Sands  

Course meets these requirements:
  • Required course for all honors students
  • General Education core requirement (200 level) for Government and International Studies.
  • May also count as the fifth humanities elective, if government course requirement has been met by other means (e.g. AP credit).

Course description:
America 's leading statesmen such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt understood that popular government is extremely difficult to sustain.   They understood what we largely have forgotten: Democracy, like all forms of government, comes with its own set of challenges and pathologies.  These lessons about democracy are best expressed by Alexis de Tocqueville, a critic, albeit a friendly one, of American democracy who thoughtfully and forcefully articulated the dangers facing the emerging democratic world.  This course will use Tocqueville's Democracy in America to illustrate the perpetual issues and problems of democracy--many of which are still very real despite our being blind to them---and we will also draw on works of literature, philosophy, film, and theology to give concrete meaning to these problems as they are manifested in American political and social life. 


English 102, The Rhetoric of Analysis and Argumentation, Honors (3 Hours Credit)

ENG 102 HS   Rhetoric and Writing TH 12:30-1:45 Dr. M.E. Cooley Location: EVA 103                

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 hrs credit)

Course description:
The course focuses on developing analytical and critical thinking and writing skills in argumentative and persuasive prose for academic and professional audiences. Four essays and a revision essay are required; all final drafts require several rough drafts. Class is a combination of lecture and workshop activities. Current event issues are used as the basis for readings and discussions which then become topics for writing.    


English 102, Rhetoric and Writing, Honors (3 Hours Credit)

ENG 102 sections TBA   Rhetoric and Writing TH 12:30-1:45 & 2:00-3:15 Dr. Laura Whelen                


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 hrs credit)
Course description:
The purpose of the course is to prepare students to become knowing and productive participants in academic, cultural, or civic discourse. Students will learn to use multiple and sustained modes of critical inquiry to build arguable perspectives within particular cultural contexts and conversations. These modes might include writing to learn, report, review, criticize, clarify, convince, persuade, or negotiate. In addition, students will be coached in the rhetorical concepts of persona, ethos & pathos, argument structure, counterargument, and logical fallacy. By the end of the course, students will be able to summarize, evaluate, and synthesize multiple sources in order develop a critical perspective and advance a thesis of their own. Students will also receive guidance in the evaluation and appropriate documentation of print and non-print sources (e.g., online databases, world wide web, film, photography, television, etc.).


Honors 250, The Social Construction of Reality (3 Hours Credit)

HON 250 sections TBA   MWF 11:00 Dr. Basil Englis  


Course meets these requirements:
 

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • General Education core requirement in Behavioral Science (Sociology) (3 hrs credit)
  • May count as one of the two free electives, outside of major/minor, required for graduation.

Course description:
A central theme of the course is that people interact as part of a social system that involves the progressive institutionalization of social roles. In the process, meaning also becomes institutionalized in a process that results in the production of human cultures. Peoples’ knowledge and conception of reality becomes embedded in this institutional fabric and is thereby socially constructed. The course also examines the roles of mass media, marketing and advertising as agents that amplify the process of constructing social reality. To understand these phenomena, our journey will take us into such issues as the sociology of knowledge, media studies, aesthetics, stratification, signification, and consumption symbolism. Students will be expected to read, critique, and participate in discussion of selected works, and to develop one or more of these perspectives into a research project where they will explore some aspect of popular culture (e.g., Elvis, Thanksgiving, body decoration, etc.) in terms of its deep socio-cultural meanings and embedded assumptions about social reality.

Class is conducted as a seminar; there will be little or no lecturing. Instead students will discuss assigned readings during class. Students will also critique assigned readings in verbal and written forms and complete a term project that explores an aspect of popular culture in terms of its social meaning(s) and the role that mass media, marketing and advertising play in "constructing" meaning(s).

        

Government/Sociology/Women's Studies 387/ Honors 250, Gender, Law, and Society (3 Hours Credit)

HON250HC  Gender, Law and Society TH 9:30-10:45 Dr. Carrie Baker                


Course meets these requirements:
 

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • Women’s Studies, Sociology or Government elective requirement (3 hours)
  • General Education core requirement in Behavioral Science (Sociology) (3 hrs credit)
  • May count as one of the two free electives, outside of major/minor, required for graduation.

Course description:
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the legal status of women and men in the United States historically and today, particularly focusing in the areas of employment, reproduction, education, the family, sexuality, and violence. We will examine how the law has reflected, reinforced and shaped ideas about appropriate gender roles and how race, class and other aspects of identity intersect with gender to shape legal rights. In the class, we will discuss and debate the meaning of concepts such as equality, human rights, and the role of the state in regulating the family.

 The class will be conducted in a lecture and discussion format. Students will take three tests and write an essay.

English 428 / Honors 250, Gay and Lesbian Studies and Literature (3 Hours Credit)

HON250 Sections TBA   Gay and Lesbian Studies and Literature MWF 10-10:50 Dr. Bucher Location: GRE 110    


Course meets these requirements:
 

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • A required "Studies" course or an upper-division elective for English majors
  • An elective requirement for the Women’s Studies minor with a substitution form
  • As a 200 literature requirement for general education courses
  • May count as one of the two free electives, outside of major/minor, required for graduation.

Course description:
While “homosexuality” as a word did not enter the English language until the late 19 th century, same-sex love, desire, and relationships have existed and been written about since the beginnings of recorded human history. The formal study of same-sex love in literature found its beginnings in conjunction with the development of women’s studies courses and programs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. This course will explore gay and lesbian literary studies by focusing on three areas: (1) a basic introduction to gay and lesbian (and queer) literary theory as well as a history of their development (2) gay/lesbian readings of traditional canonical texts and (3) a historical survey of gay and lesbian writers, primarily in the Anglo-American tradition. Students should expect to read and discuss literary texts, as well as examine and discuss the historical, sociological, psychological, and political contexts which have helped to create this thriving field of literary studies.

**Note: this course will not debate the morality of gay and lesbian identity nor search for “causes” of homosexuality; it will offer an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of gay and lesbian literary studies.

The class will be discussion-oriented with substantial readings and a series of short and mid-length writing assignments.

Communication 429 / Honors 250, Digital Media, Demos & Distributed Society (3 Hours Credit)

HON250 Sections TBA   Digital Media, Demos, & Distributed Society TH 12:30-1:45 Dr. Brian Carroll                


Course meets these requirements:
 

  • An HON 250 course (3 of 9 elective required hours for all Honors students)
  • COM major elective
  • COM major, journalism concentration course
  • May count as one of the two free electives, outside of major/minor, required for graduation.

Course description:  

The objective of this course is to enhance and extend students’ understanding of online (or virtual) community, citizen journalism, and the potential of networking and self-organization in digital environments. We will look not only at technologies for community building, such as wikis, podcasting, blogs, portals and social networking sites, such as MySpace.com and Facebook, but also at documented attempts at online community building on a large scale, such as The Well and Blacksburg (Va.) Electronic Village. In examining these large-scale online community efforts, we will pay special attention to how social capital and knowledge capital are created, made manifest, shared, transacted, and lost.

Embracing an interdisciplinary approach, we will attempt to define “community,” using historical, commercial, sociological, and technological terms. We will look at communities of practice, communities of faith, wired physical communities, and learning communities, among other operationalizations of the term. We will explore what is lost or restricted in these various operationalizations, including difference, conflict and conflict resolution, and personal privacy. Helping us in our explorations and analyses will be social capital theory, social networking theory, and news flow theory.

Class will be conducted as a seminar. Students will discuss readings during class, sometimes leading or co-leading discussion. Students also will critique readings, both verbally and in written form, and they will do research on and write a paper about a topic that explores some aspect of online community. A class blog will extend our discussions and help prepare us for each presentation. Participation in discussions and on the class blog will be considered in grading.

 

Honors Thesis

Register for HON 450H if you are starting your thesis.
Register for HON 451H if you completed HON 450H last semester.

You will need an authorization form signed by your thesis director, department chair, and the honors director.


Honorization of Courses

“HONORIZING ” a course or a course within a major.

As you know, 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.

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

Complete your part of the form and return the form to Dr. Cooley.

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