Course Descriptions

Spring 2015 Honors Courses

HONORS Core curriculum

PHIL-H215-033 “Ethics: Matters of Life and Death”

L. Kahn

TR 9:30am -10:45am

HONS-H394-033 Community Engagement Portfolio

SOCI-H396-033 “Social Deviance and Social Change”

G. Capowich

MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm

Deviance is a broad concept that incorporates any behaviour, whether engaged in by individuals or groups, which goes against prevailing social practices and norms.  This course will focus on how deviance rises to group actions that are intended to spur social change.  Studying social deviance is a perspective to understand human behavior, collective action to advocate for social change, elements of collective actions that contribute to social change, and how social reactions (particularly moral panics) to the deviance contribute to social change.  This course will use applied sociological methods within an interdisciplinary approach to study how social deviance gives rise to collective efforts that aim to change society and how these interact with social reactions and moral panics engendered by the deviance. This class will take a case study approach using the following examples of how social deviance engendered a social reaction to result in social change: the Salem Witch Trials, Pornography and the Anti-Pornography Movement, Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse.

HONS-H396-033 “Women, Diversity, and the Law”

M. Lopez

M 6:20pm-9:00pm 

This course will examine topics pertaining to how the law affects the lives of women, minorities and underrepresented groups in the United States.  Specific topics to be addressed include law enforcement interaction, affirmative action, immigrant integration, children in foster care, women’s issues etc. Class participation and a final paper will be required.

HONS-H491-033 Honors Thesis

N. Yavneh

HONS-H497 Internship

N. Yavneh

Archival History Internship at the Louisiana State Museums

Based on students' area of interest, Honors students accepted to this internship will work with the museum's curator and staff to develop finding aids for specific areas of the collection that will be placed on line.  They will learn about preservation and archival work, as well as conduct research related to a particular area of the museum's collection.

Schedule: Each student will be expected to spend 6-8 hours per week working in the archives, with the schedule to be arranged in conjunction with the museum.  Final requirements will be the production of a finding aid for an area of the museum's collection, a journal (following guidelines to be provided and including time sheets) of the internship experience, and a final reflection that relates the internship to the student's coursework and experience at Loyola; his/her academic and professional future and his/her personal goals.

Founded in 1906 with a mission to collect, preserve, interpret and present the state's rich history and diverse cultures, the Museum's collection now totals more than 450,000 artifacts and works of art. These provide an authentic experience of Louisiana to visitors from around the world while enhancing the quality of life for residents.

The "collection" includes a complex of seven historic French Quarter buildings that have become icons of New Orleans - especially the Cabildo and Presbytère on Jackson Square - and a statewide system of regional and special focus history museums in Baton Rouge, Thibodaux, Patterson and Natchitoches.   The Louisiana State Museum has two main collections facilities in New Orleans, LA. The main collections facility is located within the French Quarter. This facility houses Visual Arts, Costumes & Textiles, Science & Technology, and the Decorative Arts Collection. The second facility is the Old U.S. Mint on Esplanade Ave, which houses Document Archives and Jazz & Music Archives. The Mint houses the Louisiana Historical Center, which gives amateur and professional researchers the opportunity to access the Document Archives. In addition to maps and manuscripts, the Center houses sheet music, microfilm, scrapbooks, pamphlets, and newspapers. Both collections facilities are accessible by appointment only.

Library and Archives Internship

The Library and Archives internship is geared towards those students interested in a career in archives, historic research, library sciences, and museum studies. Duties will vary according to availability of projects and student interest.
Learning Goals/Objectives: Projects include assisting in processing and organizing materials for various collections housed in the Archives and/or process new materials for Reference and Special collections.

 

ENGLISH/Literature

ENGL-H295-033 “Black Feminist Sexualities”

T. Melancon

TR 2:00pm-3:15pm

Black Female Sexualities will explore representations and social constructions of race, gender & sexuality. More specifically, it will critically examine and illuminate how particular narratives regarding black women and black female sexualities manifest and are entrenched in
literature, cultural production, and various types of media that range from music videos, reality television, magazines to print culture to
social media, web series, and film, among others.

ENGL-H295-034 “Images of Africa”

L. Murphy

TR 3:30pm-4:45pm 

Nearly every time we hear about Africa in the West, it's depicted as some other worldly place.  Africa is mysterious; it is hot and sultry and exotic.  It is a place where wild animals and tribal peoples roam. It is an adventure, a safari, a forbidden landscape. These mythological visions of Africa and Africans have led people to think of Africa in reductive and singular ways -- allowing some people to even think of it as a single country!  This course is an exploration of the myriad ways the continent of Africa has been represented both by the Westerners who perpetuate these myths and by Africans who wish to subvert those discourses.  After a quick survey of Western depictions of Africa, we will focus primarily on novels and films produced in Africa by African people. We will read the grandfather of African literature, Chinua Achebe, and then we'll move quickly to some very recent literary and filmic depictions of the diverse and often ordinary African experiences that a new generation of very young African artists are producing today. We'll read about young lovers, detectives, and college students as much as we'll read about conflict and human rights violations. Throughout the semester, we will look at popular cultural images of the continent as well, from maps and colonial sketches to street art and hip hop and blogs.  These materials will form the basis of student-led discussions that should challenge our often narrow cultural understanding of Africa. 

ENGL-H295-035 “David Foster Wallace”

C. Schaberg

TR 4:55-6:10pm 
In this seminar we will read across the oeuvre of the late author David Foster Wallace, and we will discuss his stylistic, philosophic, and thematic contributions to American literature as well as the ways that contemporary society has projected certain ideas, expectations, and assumptions onto Wallace (as author, as genius, as depressive, as a tragic figure). Required reading: The David Foster Wallace Reader (forthcoming from Hachette in November 2014). This seminar will involve tons of in-class participation and hand-wringing discussion, as well as a long paper at the end of the semester. Recommended for juniors and seniors.
 

Creative arts and cultures

CLHU-H295-033 “Honors Epic”

O. Ranner

TR 9:30am-10:45am 

The Homeric Epics were written down ca. two thousand seven-hundred years ago. However, they stem from a tradition of oral poetry that is much older, going back in parts to the Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh (ca. 2100-1800 BCE). This long process of oral development allowed them to capture and distil the essence of human experience to an exceptional degree. It is not by accident that Achilles, Helen, Hector, Andromache, Odysseus, and Penelope are still alive in people’s imagination today. They are not simply characters of the past. Rather, through their stories they re-connect us with what it means to be human.  In this course, we will engage in a detailed reading of the Iliad and Odyssey. We will try to understand how these epics took the form in which we read them today and which allowed them to become the foundation of western epic literature. But more than that we will focus on what makes these two epics so unique in the way they portray the Greeks and their way of life, their experience of war and love, their journeys to distant lands and home again, and the very thin line between reality and fantasy.  

GERM-H295-033 “European Cinema and Culture”

D. Dittrich

TR 11:00am-12:15pm  
The course will introduce students to important European cinematic works and focus on their critical analysis. In addition, we will discuss central topics in film theory -e.g. the ideas of authorship, censorship, national cinema, and gender- and will carefully apply these concepts to the selected film works. Ultimately, we will explore in how far Europeans and their cultures can be understood through their films and what can make their cinema so refreshingly different.

MUGN-U206-001 “Music and Art in the Middle Ages and Renaissance”

A. Clark

Online - THIS SUMMER

This course will examine intersections between music and the visual arts during the middle ages and the early modern period, focusing on selected cultural moments such as the court of Charlemagne c. 800, the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris c. 1200, and Florence in the fifteenth century.

VISA-H295-001 “Medieval Desire and Devotion”
G. Waldrop
TR 2:00pm-3:15pm

HISTORY

HIST-H295-033 “Witches, Prophets, and Doctors”

N. Eggers

MWF 12:30pm-1:20pm

The purpose of this course is to explore the history of health and healing in Africa.  In the course, we will examine not only how Africans have historically constructed concepts such as ‘health’, ‘disease’, ‘the body’, and ‘healing’, but also how others - namely developers and practitioners of bio-medicine - have historically used Africans to construct those same ideas. In exploring these issues, we will consider how figures as seemingly diverse as witches, prophets, and doctors have been central to struggles for bodily and communal health in African history. If witches are the illness, then what is the cure?  If prophets can be healers, then what is the disease? If structural violence is the disease, then how can doctors heal it? We will examine these questions and more through a variety of case studies across the continent, including (but not limited to) the role of public healers in pre-colonial Africa, the introduction (and development) of bio-medicine in colonial Africa, and the contemporary social and political challenges of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola. The course will be interdisciplinary in approach, utilizing a variety of sources – monographs, autobiographies, primary sources, novels, music and art, film etc. – to explore these themes. 

HIST-H295-034 “American Folk Culture”

M. Fernandez

TR 11:00am-12:15pm 
This seminar will explore the scope and significance of the culture of ordinary folk in the United States from the late antebellum period to recent times.

 

MATHEMATICS

MATH-H295-033 “Honors Intro to Linear Algebra”

A. Matei

MWF 9:30am-10:20am

 

NATURAL SCIENCE

BIOL-H295-033 “Human Ecological Science”

D. White

MW 3:30pm-4:45pm 

Global Climate Change; Natural Selection; State of the World; Population Thinking; Ecological Footprint; Coastal Wetlands; Canoeing! Want to learn about each of these topics from the advanced perspective? This exciting course stimulates thought about the human impact on the biosphere through lecture, critical writing, carefully directed experiences in the field, and outside class assignment. We will focus on two sub- disciplines of the Biological Sciences – Evolution & Ecology. There are scheduled 3 class field experiences (trips) in the course that are very important learning opportunities. The dates for all trips will be set in stone the first week of class, scheduled to avoid most conflicts (historically and conveniently scheduled on three class evenings and taking that day’s class time).   One trip is to Audubon Park lake – over at 6:00 pm; one trip is to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park – over by 7:15 pm; last trip is a canoe trip to Shell Bank Bayou – over by 9:00 p.m.

CHEM-H295-033 “Chemistry and Art”

K. Crago

R 5:00pm-7:35pm

An advanced Honors lecture course designed for non-science majors. This course represents an integration of materials concerning both Fine arts and Chemistry. It discusses the synergistic relationship between the development of chemical processes and their effects on the methods of artistic production. In pursuit of this goal this course attempts to integrate the Chemical principles of matter and energy with the techniques and experiences of Art. The course is structured on a series of instructor lectures, demonstrations, and student presentations and projects. A few of the topics to be discussed include the history of the interaction of Art and Chemistry from ancient times to the present, the basic chemistry of materials and techniques used in the development of pieces of art (i.e. sculpture, painting, ceramics, etc.), the importance of instrumentation in the restoration and the authentication of pieces of art as well as investigations pertinent to the importance of art as an expression of the times. 

PHYS-H295-033 “Astronomy: Our Cosmic Connection"

T. Biswas

MW 4:55pm-6:10pm

Our Earth came into existence due to a series of rather remarkable (and often fortuitous) series of events... starting from the Big Bang to the creation of the building blocks of atoms, the formation of atoms themselves which clustered into swirling hot clouds of gas that eventually collapsed to form stars along with their surrounding planets. While the quest of knowledge about our past is a never-ending one, this course will trace our history we have uncovered so far. In doing so we will also learn how the scientific method works and enables us to discover the secrets of nature. Only very basic knowledge about algebra and geometry is required, and they will be reviewed in lectures.

PHYS-H230-033 “Faith, Science, and Religion”

J. Carter

MWF 9:30am-10:20am

This course will critically analyze various ways of knowing: faith, science, and theology (critical analysis of faith). The methods of the physical sciences and the life sciences will be discussed. Topics will include the epic of creation, evolution, chaos theory and quantum theory.

PHILOSOPHY

PHIL-H215-033 “Ethics: Matters of Life and Death”

L. Kahn

TR 9:30am -10:45am

PHIL-H295-033 “Philosophy: The Big Questions”

J. Watts

MWF 11:30am-12:20pm

This course will explore major philosophical questions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics: What is the nature of being? Does a god exist? Are we capable of knowing the truth about reality? What are the limits and conditions of human knowledge? What is the foundation for the moral law? Is there an absolute right and wrong? What is the meaning of life? Students will engage these questions through the writings of prominent thinkers in the history of philosophy, including Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, and Nietzsche.

PHIL-H295-034 “Freedom, Rights, and the State of Nature”

J. Peterson

MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm 
The modern period saw many important developments in political philosophy. Early modern political philosophers rejected the idea that political societies are natural entities in favor of the view that the state is an artificial creation of human beings. Beginning from the claim that human beings are free and equal, they attempted to offer an account of the rational basis and limits of political authority. In this course we will read the political writings of some of the most important philosophers of the modern period. We will examine their conceptions of freedom and equality, the family, their accounts of individual rights, the origin and purpose of the state, the justification of property and the value of democracy.

PHIL-H295-035 “Philosophy of Medicine”

K. Wildes

T 6:20pm-9:00pm 

 

RELIGIOUS STUDIES

HONS-H295-033 “Liberation Theology” 

A. Alcazar

TR 4:55pm-6:10pm

Liberation Theology, originally conceived by spiritual leaders doing social justice work within poor communities in Latin America, invites and challenges participants to examine the liberating power of faith—internally, from the “cages we have fallen in love with”, and externally, from the structures of cruelty, greed, and injustice that plague our cities and communities near and far. Satisfies Religious Studies Honors requirement. Satisfies Religious Studies Honors requirement.

RELS-H295-034 “Humor in the Bible” 

T. Bednarz

MW 4:55pm-6:10pm 

This course is a discussion-and-project based seminar on humor in the Bible. We will study biblical humor in its ancient Mediterranean context and produce a textbook for undergraduates called Humor in the Bible: An Introduction to Biblical Literature through a Humor-neutical Lens. The textbook will have two trajectories:  primary material that focuses on humor in the Bible and supplemental material (called art-boxes) that highlights humor in medieval biblical art. As co-contributors, students will collaborate with Dr. Bednarz to design, create and produce a manuscript for publication. This project will appeal to students interested in biblical humor, or students interested in medieval religious art. Students will form groups based on their interest and skills. Dr. Bednarz will guide students through their projects. A student editor has been selected to work with the production of the textbook. While it is not required, a helpful prerequisite for this course is either New Testament as Literature or Old Testament as Literature.

Special Note: Students interested in Greek or Hebrew translation work may either sign up for this course, or complete an independent study with Dr. Bednarz. Only students with at least two semesters of Greek OR sufficient knowledge of Hebrew may do translation work. These students will have the task of translating biblical texts that are cited in the material for Humor in the Bible.  Dr. Bednarz will advise and collaborate with translators in their work. Translators will also be cited as co-contributors in the publication of this textbook.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

SOCI-H396-033 “Social Deviance and Social Change”

G. Capowich

MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm

Deviance is a broad concept that incorporates any behaviour, whether engaged in by individuals or groups, which goes against prevailing social practices and norms.  This course will focus on how deviance rises to group actions that are intended to spur social change.  Studying social deviance is a perspective to understand human behavior, collective action to advocate for social change, elements of collective actions that contribute to social change, and how social reactions (particularly moral panics) to the deviance contribute to social change.  This course will use applied sociological methods within an interdisciplinary approach to study how social deviance gives rise to collective efforts that aim to change society and how these interact with social reactions and moral panics engendered by the deviance. This class will take a case study approach using the following examples of how social deviance engendered a social reaction to result in social change: the Salem Witch Trials, Pornography and the Anti-Pornography Movement, Drug Addiction and Drug Abuse.

HONS-H396-033 “Women, Diversity, and the Law” 

M. Lopez

M 6:20pm-9:00pm 

This course will examine topics pertaining to how the law affects the lives of women, minorities and underrepresented groups in the United States.  Specific topics to be addressed include law enforcement interaction, affirmative action, immigrant integration, children in foster care, women’s issues etc. Class participation and a final paper will be required.

 

 

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