THE HONORS PROGRAM
HONORS PROGRAM COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
HONR 300: Directed Reading
Prerequisite: Junior Honors students only and 3.5 GPA
This course is intended to help students explore topics in preparation for the Senior Honors Thesis. Readings for the course will include theses written by former Wittenberg Honors students as well as books and articles selected by individual students, in consultation with the course instructor, as they develop a bibliography for a thesis. Writing intensive.
HONR 300A: Hitchcock's Cinema
Don't get in the shower! Actually, you probably won't be afraid of taking a shower after dissecting the editing of the famous scene in Psycho and you'll also have a much better sense of the real cinema of Alfred Hitchcock. Many viewers, familiar only with Psycho and The Birds, don't realize that they are late and somewhat anomalous entries in the great director's oeuvre. The real Hitchcock is about suspense, yes, but even more about questions of romance, trust, morality, insecurity, and self-definition. And all these issues are explored in visual images, words, music, and symbolism that make Hitchcock truly worthy of his label as auteur (we'll learn about that, too).
The class will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, but there will also be showings of each week's movies on Monday evenings, so figure that into your schedule. (If you have an unavoidable conflict with the Monday showing, however, don't worry; you'll be able to watch the movies in the library on your own time, as well.) We will spend some time on basic film terminology and theory at first, then work through some of Hitchcock's greatest films chronologically. Along the way, class members will also give presentations on films we are not able to see and discuss as a class. The written work will include several short papers or projects and a longer paper on a topic of the student's devising. We will end by discussing some contemporary films that bear the stamp of Hitchcock's influence.
This course may be counted in place of ENGL 180A by English majors and minors. Writing intensive.
HONR 300B: Water Resource Issues
The objective of Water Resource Issues will be to provide a scientific framework in which you can understand and study water resources as well as develop an environmental ethic regarding your use of them. We will use the book, Bottlemania, a provocative analysis of bottled water but also an exploration of the source and quality of our drinking water supply, as a foundation on which we build our discussions and study local water resources and issues. The specific content goals will revolve around our study of surface and subsurface hydrology, watersheds, water resources, and human impacts on them. We will study these in the context of book the text and the local setting, involving field and lab study in all aspects of the course. Grades will be assessed through written lab reports, exams, discussions, and a final project. Writing intensive.
HONR 300H: Orphans! In History, Literature, Law, and Public Policy
Secrecy and privacy, shame and joy. Adoption and foster care are institutions grounded in complex emotions and complex realities—in both loss and love. As institutions, they purport to be “in the best interest of the child,” but that means that they also always address adult needs and desires, and the broader social need for stable, healthy citizens, as well. In this course, we will focus on the stories Americans of a variety of ethnicities have told about abandoned, orphaned, displaced, indentured, adopted and/or abducted children throughout U.S. history, and the way such stories have helped shaped--and have themselves been influenced by--social practices, laws, and public policies. We will ask very basic questions about how immigration, Westward expansion, enslavement, and poverty have created significant numbers of displaced children at various times during U.S. history. We will examine how different groups, at different times, have answered the question of what a community is morally obliged to do for these most vulnerable persons in their midst—and/or how to incorporate them into the existing social order—and how much time, attention, and money to invest in the preservation of families with few resources. We will take a hard look at public policies that have had the deliberate or unconscious effect of making some parents and children, both in the US and in our increasingly globalized world, especially vulnerable to serious disruption of their family ties. On the other hand we will also explore the degree to which certain legal or social traditions privilege “blood” relationships, and certain kinds of families, over adoptive or wider kinship-care arrangements—or vice versa—and what this privilege means for adoptive and other care-giving families outside the “biological” norm, including gay and lesbian parents. And, finally, we’ll be examining the supply and demand aspects of the “baby market.” All of these forces and challenges create a complex moral landscape for adoptive and fostering parents, social workers and adoption agents, children and adult adoptees, and all those involved in creating laws and public policies related to adoption and foster care. Readings will include: Harriet Wilson's Our Nig, Zitkala-Sa's memoirs of off-reservation boarding school, Barbara Kingsolver's Pigs in Heaven, Dan Savage's The Kid, and more. This course is writing intensive and involves service learning as a requirement (12 hours).
HONR 300R: Bioethics
This seminar introduces students to basic concepts and contemporary discussions in bioethics. Topics may include organ procurement, abortion, reproductive technologies, euthanasia, use of human subjects in research, genetic engineering, cloning and stem cell research, autonomy, consent, truth telling and deception, confidentiality, access to health care, rationing, allocation of scarce resources, use of animals in research, and environmental concerns. The readings from a wide variety of disciplines - medicine, law, economics, and literature as well as philosophical and religious ethics. Oral presentations and papers will develop students’ ability to identify moral issues, analyze moral arguments, and make and defend moral judgments. Writing intenvise.
HONR 300R: Religion and Politics in the United States
Do religion and politics mix? If so, with what ingredients and recipe? In this course students will read and discuss four books that provide very different interpretations of the proper relationship between religion and politics in the United States. At the end of the course, students will write a paper using those four alternatives to place themselves in relation to this issue. This will allow students to consider the central religious question of how faith and public life should be related. Assignments will include: a Moodle entry for one chapter of each book, Moodle replies to the entries of other students and a final paper. Writing intensive.
HONR 300S: The Many Faces of Journaling
This course is designed to introduce students to different journaling styles. We will examine a wide range of journaling formats, reading excerpts from published journals and writing entries in each of the various formats. The focus of the course will be on the elements of a good journal and the elements of excellent journal writing. Assignments for at least thirteen different journal-writing formats will be given. The final assignment will include a longer writing exercise that involves developing a journal entry that is suitable for publication. Writing intensive.
HONR 300S: Contemporary Issues in Management
Prerequisite: ENGL 101
Often a deep understanding of concepts, theories, and issues in business can be found by studying books that reveal applications of these concepts or issues in real business settings. The best of these books earn the advocacy of managers or industry pundits, thus earning a place on the best-business-books lists. Authors writing such books often create new methodologies or use established empirical methods for proving their thesis, while also developing new terminology for emerging industry practices. Students will read and discuss in detail a range of books covering a variety of business issues and practices. Each student will be randomly assigned one book and write an analysis of that book. Student teams will be assigned to research, write, and present a profile of the author(s) of one book. Class sessions will be book discussions and presentations. Each student will lead the discussion at least one time during the semester. Grades will be based on the development of a discussion management plan and its execution, discussion contributions for all books, a written book analysis, and a written and oral author profile. Writing intensive.