Honors Courses for Fall 2016

HONS 100: Beyond George Street: A course that welcomes freshmen in the Honors First-Year Learning Community into the honors experience by introducing them to faculty and peers through small-group discussion, one-on-one mentoring, and community engagement. Students explore opportunities and academic interests, ultimately creating the basis for a professional portfolio. Upper-level honors students serve as mentors. Required for first semester freshmen in the Honors College.


HONS 110: Honors Academic Writing: An accelerated introduction to the practices necessary for successful college writing at the quality expected of Honors College students. This course satisfies the requirements for ENGL 110. Taken during student’s first year.


HONS 121: Honors Colloquium in Western Civilization I: This History component of the first semester of a year-long, interdisciplinary colloquium which relates the arts, literature and philosophy of the Western world to their political, social and economic contexts. Examines the development of Western civilization from its origins in the ancient Near East through the Renaissance and Reformation.


HONS 122: Honors Colloquium in Western Civilization II: This Humanities component of the first semester of a year-long interdisciplinary colloquium which relates the arts, literature and philosophy of the Western world to their political, social and economic contexts. Examines the development of Western civilization from its origins in the ancient near East through the Renaissance and Reformation.


HONS 151: Honors Biology I: The Honors version of BIOL 111.


HONS 151L: Honors Biology I Lab: The Honors version of BIOL 111L.


HONS 155: Honors Geology I: The Honors version of GEOL 103.


HONS 155L: Honors Geology I Lab: The Honors version of GEOL 103L.


HONS 159: Honors Astronomy I: An introduction to astronomy. (This course is the Honors College equivalent of ASTR 129.) Topics considered include a brief history of astronomy, coordinates, time, the earth’s structure and motion, astronomical instrumentation, the moon, eclipses, comets, meteors, interplanetary medium, stars, star clusters, interstellar matter, galaxies and cosmology.


HONS 159L: Honors Astronomy I Lab: A laboratory program to accompany Honors Astronomy I.


HONS 163: Honors Psychology: This course will highlight the methods and procedures that psychologists use to understand the complexity of human behavior. Because psychology has grown to include numerous and vastly different domains, the course is team taught so that the students may gain a broader appreciation of psychology from two professors with differing laboratory approaches to the study of behavior.


HONS 173: Intro to International Studies: The Honors version of the Introduction to International Studies course introduces a base of knowledge, analytical skills, and a vocabulary of concepts useful for understanding the multi-dimensional concerns of International Studies. Through an examination of international politics, economics, society, history, literature, and environment, this course will enhance the student’s appreciation for an international studies approach to issues associated with global development. The Honors version of the course entails more in-depth discussion, a heavier reading load, and more substantial written assignments.


HONS 175: Approaches to Religion: An introduction to the comparative study of world religions using a thematic approach in at least three traditions, combined with a specific theoretical analysis of the theme.


HONS 180: Honors Business/Consumer Ethics: This is the Honors equivalent of PHIL 175. It is designed to introduce the student to the ethical issues of the marketplace.


HONS 191: Honors Chemistry Principles I: Introductory chemistry course presenting theoretical principles and fundamental facts for understanding chemical compounds starting with the atom, building to molecules.


HONS 191L: Honors Chemistry Principle I Lab: Introductory chemistry laboratory course presenting practical applications related to concepts from lecture. This course stresses student development of proper technique, application of scientific method, data analysis, and reporting of scientific data. Formal 1-2 page reports required for experiments.


HONS 203: Honors Financial Accounting: A survey of accounting information essential for external parties to make business decisions about an organization. This course satisfies the requirement of ACCT 203.


HONS 205: Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice: This course provides an introduction to theoretical and experiential issues in entrepreneurship including the language of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, lean startups, business models, entrepreneurship, and learning from both successful and unsuccessful ventures. Readings, lectures, and live case discussions with entrepreneurs will be used to explore these and related issues.


HONS 282: Special Topics: Language and Culture: A study of language in its social and cultural context. Relationships between language and the transmission of meaning, world view and social identity will be examined. This is the Honors version of ANTH 205.


HONS 293: Honors Organic Chemistry II: This course provides qualitative introduction to concepts of kinetic and thermodynamic control of the reactions of organic compounds.


HONS 293L: Honors Organic Chemistry II Lab: An introductory laboratory course presenting practical applications related to concepts from lecture. This course stresses the student use of proper technique, application of scientific method, data analysis, and reporting of scientific data. The formal reports for each experiment will be one-two pages each.


HONS 381 (01): Time Travel in Fiction, Film, Philosophy, and Physics: The first course goal is to encourage students to appreciate how distinct disciplinary and artistic practices can inform each other’s evolution, a theme to which the topic of time travel is especially well suited. Although metaphysical speculation about the nature of time goes back at least as far as Augustine in the West, and related speculation about free will & determinism dates back to classical Greek philosophy, speculation specifically about time travel is much more historically constrained topic, first emerging at the end of the 19th century as a vehicle for other literary themes, and coming into its own as a literary and cinematic topic only in the mid-20th century, and as an {academic} philosophical & scientific one {with a few notable exceptions} only in the 1970s & 1980s.

The second course goal is to illustrate, to some degree, the historical evolution of both a literary/cinematic genre, and of scientific speculation on a specific topic over a manageable block of time (a little more than a century for the first, barely a century for the second).

Finally, I hope to develop the class’s facility for reflective critical analysis, as this is a topic that rewards careful logical reasoning, and rapidly degenerates into an inchoate hodgepodge without that.

As a subsidiary goal, this course will seek to explore some of the similarities & differences between literary and cinematic narratives on the topic of time travel.


HONS 381 (02): Becoming American: What is America? What does it mean to be “American”? How does one “become” American? These questions rest at the heart of some of the most popular and provocative debates in the history of the United States, questions ultimately about what binds a nation together and what defines the boundaries of citizenship. In Becoming American, faculty and students will engage these questions from the vantage point of three particular communities. African Americans, Catholics, and Jews have each been characterized as outsiders at various points in American history. And yet, at other moments, each have been heralded as the epitome of the American Dream. This course will situate this seeming paradox in historical and cultural context.

Faculty and students will explore these questions through close engagement of a variety of primary sources, ranging from memoirs to court cases. Students will become familiar with significant scholarly work in the fields of African American Studies, American Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology. Moreover, this course asks students to think through the consequences of these questions for our contemporary moment. Becoming American will be taught in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaigns and our opening questions – which revolve around issues of race, religion, immigration, citizenship, and national belonging – will undoubtedly be debated on the national stage. In collaboration with faculty, students will present and facilitate discussion on how a contemporary source relates to the themes of the course.


HONS 381 (03): The Art of Pilgrimage: Cultural Heritage on the Way of St. James: This class explores the transcultural phenomenon of pilgrimage and more specifically the Way of St. James, a network of medieval heritage routes stretching across Europe. The Way has undergone a renaissance in the last 30 years and is once again walked by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. The Way of St. James is a museum stretching over thousands of kilometers throughout Europe. A millennium of pilgrimages has left a treasure of art, architecture, music, literature, and history along the way to Compostela. This course will focus on the seminal importance of the pilgrimage roads to Santiago de Compostela and the relevance of this 1000 year old phenomenon to Spain’s and Europe’s self-definition. From its first years, the Road to Santiago has proven to be a framework for mythological legends and a focus of Spain’s historiography. Along with literary works, we will examine historical texts, art, and architecture. Additionally, articles and other secondary readings, web pages, videos, will bring alive the spirit of the pilgrimage route. The class will focus on the importance of the medieval and contemporary Road to Santiago within the broader context of ancient and modem pilgrimage.


HONS 381 (04): Music and Film: This course explores the history, craft, and aesthetics of the symbiotic existence of music and moving image, in both popular and experimental film genres, as well as non-traditional settings (animation, gaming, installation etc.).  Class lectures will describe the creative process, demonstrate the role and contribution of the music score to a successful film, and trace the history and technical development of the genre. Class discussions will focus on the aesthetics of film music and the ways in which music can enhance and influence the dramatic discourse. Seminal scores by selected composers from diverse genres will be presented and analyzed. By the conclusion of the course, the student will have gained significant insight into the form and function of music within visual media environments, and applied it to directed analytical projects, culminating to a term paper and in-class presentation.


HONS 381 (05): Disaster! Catastrophe! Tragedy!: This course takes a comprehensive look at major disasters faced by human society in the past, present, and future. Students will analyze cultural artifacts ranging from Egyptian stelae on famine to expressionist paintings of volcanic events, and place them in context with modern geologic and environmental studies. Why did these catastrophes happen, what was the response, and what kind of disasters might humans be facing in the near future?


HONS 382: Critical Race Issues and Inequalities in Education and Social Policy: Ideologies and belief systems related to race are deeply embedded in society, and as such, Gallagher (2012) argues, “When it comes to race and ethnic relations in the United States, we are two nations: the nation we imagine ourselves to be as depicted in the media and the nation we actually inhabit.

The representations of a color-blind America seriously misrepresent the extent to which race continues to shape the life chances of racial minorities in the United States” (p. xi). This course will examine the notion of race as a social construction and the implications of this in American society and education. The course begins with building a foundational knowledge of race from a sociological and an historical perspective. That is, students will read the seminal sociological theories of race, e.g. Omi and Winant’s work on “racial formations,” and Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s widely studied, “Racialized social system approach to Racism,” in order to define race and understand how racism operates in society. From here, students will explore the concept of identity and the ways in which both racial and ethnic identities are formed and constructed. Students will also examine and critique the notion of color­blindness through scholarship on Critical Race Theory (Leonardo & Grubb, 2013) to understand how color-blindness as a form of racism functions throughout key institutions in American society. Specific topics that will be explored through a socio-historical and interdisciplinary lens include, but are not limited to: Jim Crow laws, second-class citizenship, immigration and U.S. racialization of Latino/as, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. Of particular emphasis in this course is the manifestation of race in the institution of education and educational policy, e.g. the problem of the model minority stereotype and the school-to-prison pipeline. The analytical and methodological tools that will be used to examine these issues will draw from the disciplines of anthropology (cultural studies and cultural practices from ethnographic research), sociology (the relationship between schooling and society through empirical studies), and history (archival and primary source analyses and policy analyses).



NOTE: If you would like to look more closely at the Honors course offerings for the Fall 2016 semester, you can do so through MyCharleston:


  1. Log into your MyCharleston account.
  2. Click on the Academic Services tab.
  3. Scroll about halfway down the page until you see Registration Tools.
  4. Click on “Look Up Classes”.
  5. Select the term (Fall 2016).
  6. Click “Advanced Search”.
  7. Use the Subject bar to select Honors.
  8. Click “Section Search” at the bottom of the page.


You can now view a list of all of the Honors course offering, the days and times on which they will meet, the Instructor of the course, and where the class will be held.