Honors Special Topics Courses for Fall 2017

Disciplinary Courses

HONS 282: Language and Culture

This course is an honors version of ANTH 205: Language and Culture. Students study language in its social and cultural context, stressing the relationships between language and the transmission of meaning, worldview, and social identity.

Interdisciplinary Courses

HONS 380 Introduction to Mathematical Biology

This interdisciplinary seminar draws on mathematics and biology to introduce students to mathematical models of biological phenomena, to show them how mathematical and computational techniques can be used to analyze these models, and how to employ simulations to gain further insight into biological processes. Among other things, we will look at population biology, predator-prey models, population genomics, enzyme reaction kinetics, and the spread of disease. Minimum qualification is MATH 120.

HONS 380: Touch: the science of hand, heart, and mind

This course takes its title from David Linden’s recent book, and we will use it as a framework to explore the biology, neuroscience and psychology behind the touch sensation. The biophysics of touch receptors allow us to precisely wield a paintbrush, read Braille or hold a toddler’s hand without crushing it. Touch is essential for our health, it alerts us when we are hurt, and it also lets us know that our food is spicy. This class will explore how the touch sensation connects us to our world and to other people, and in doing so alters the development of our brain and our behavior

HONS 380: Water in the Urban Environment

The goal of this interdisciplinary science course is to synthesize the role of the built urban environment in both creating and alleviating pressures on the quantity and quality of water resources in different contexts, and the varied impacts to humans and ecosystems. The public health needs and economic realities of water infrastructure in densely populated areas through history to today will be viewed through both personal and global lenses. How personal consumption of water and use of public amenities scale up to regional water use sectors and land use change to impact aquatic ecosystems will be explored.

HONS 381: Understanding Electronic Music

The emergence of electronic music has involved the confrontation of creative artists and thinkers with the foundations of Western art music. This seminar examines the aesthetics and practice of electronic music from its origins in the early twentieth century to the present, drawing upon primary sources (electroacoustic works, artistic manifestos, and criticism) and recent work in musicology and the philosophy of art. Seminar members will also experiment with the production of electronic music, including drone composition and musique concrète, through creative modeling projects. 

HONS 381: A People’s History of the Civil Rights Movement in Charleston

This course examines the civil rights movement as a transformative moment by focusing on events in Charleston. We will range from resistance to slavery in the 18th century to the Black Panthers. Students will also examine the struggles of the LGBTQ community and American Indians. We will also visit local historical sites and engage with local oral history.

HONS 382: Education Law

This course examines legal principles applicable to educational institutions, including federal and state constitutional provisions, legislation, administrative regulations, and case law. Students will examine the concept of service learning and engage with a local public school or regional rights organization. We will examine the history of service learning as well as its methodologies.