Fall Courses 2014

Honors courses are more rigorous than standard courses. Honors courses “Help students understand how scholars and artists think about problems, formulate hypotheses, research those problems, and draw conclusions about them.”
(NCHC - http://nchchonors.org/faculty-directors/honors-course-design/)

They often demonstrate pedagogical innovation through new approaches within a discipline or through cross- or inter-disciplinary study. In a level-appropriate way, students typically (but are not unreservedly required to):

  • Engage in open exploration and discovery
  • Acknowledge and confront complexity in creating new knowledge, rather than passively accepting received knowledge
  • Are intellectually adventurous
  • Conduct original research and/or creative endeavors
  • Focus on primary texts and sources
  • Interrogate and challenge fundamental assumptions

Honors Seminars

HNRS 271.01 - Architecture of Sweet Briar
Instructor: Prof Kimberly Jones; MWF 10:00-10:50AM (PA 015)
Based on the premise that buildings serve to legitimate ideas, the course will examine how precisely the college's architecture reflects the values of Sweet Briar, particularly as it has defined itself as a women's college. In addition to a variety of secondary sources, we will be utilizing the college's collection of blueprints and archives. We will compare the results of our investigation with other types of social architecture, including prisons, asylums, and of course institutions of higher education, both coeducational and single sex. It is hoped that by doing so the students will cultivate a sense of place and a deeper connection with their environment. May be counted toward the major or minor in art history. Not open to students who have earned credit for INTD 120 - Architecture of Sweet Briar College: A Social History. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor; V1 V6A.

HNRS 273.01 - Prejudice and Stigma
Instructor:  Prof Jessica Salvatore; T 7:00-9:30PM (FL 314)
What are the origins of prejudice? Why do targets of social stigma vary so much in their experiences of and responses to it? Which interventions successfully reduce intergroup conflict, and how? This honors seminar addresses these and related questions through a close study of the social psychological literatures on the border between psychology and sociology. The seminar is built around two influential midcentury texts: Goffman's "Stigma" and Allport's "The Nature of Prejudice." These will be paired with recent primary research sources in order to trace the impact of early thinkers' ideas on the evolution of their fields. We will apply their insights to a range of today's intergroup contexts to evaluate their resonance after half a century of dynamic social change. May be counted toward the majors and minors in psychology and sociology. Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or SOCI 100, and permission of instructor; V5 V8A.

First-year Honors Inquiry Courses

HNRS 101.01 - Current Topics Biology & Medicine
Instructor(s): Prof Robin Davies; T 1:30-2:20PM (GU A01)

This First-year Honors Inquiry will examine recent questions, innovations, and discoveries in biology and medicine. Students will explore the scientific content of each topic as well as the social context. Students will conduct research utilizing digital and print resources, and will share the results of their exploration in written and oral presentations. Discussions and group work will be emphasized. CRN: 10148

HNRS 117.01 - Politics of Mass Murder
Instructor(s): Prof John Ashbrook; W 9:00-9:50AM (GR 206)

The question of genocide is a primary focus for those concerned with human rights and preventing its occurrence. This course explores selected genocides in the 20th century. We will delve into issues that deal not only with the experiences of the victims, but those of the perpetrators to understand how and why they acted in such a barbaric manner. CRN: 10149

118.01 Miss Indie’s Plantation
Instructor: Professor Lynn Rainville (BE 301)
Using archival sources and archaeological features, we will examine the 100+ individuals who lived at Sweet Briar between c. 1840-1900, including the antebellum, enslaved families and the postbellum servants and employees of Indiana Fletcher Williams. Research conducted by the students will be added to a Sweet Briar History digital database.

HNRS 123.01 - Muzak Musicology

Instructor(s):  Prof Jeffrey Jones; T 3:00-3:50PM (FAC 235)

Hotels, restaurants, retail stores, nightclubs, vacation spots - for many of these commercial spaces, music is a form of sonic architecture that provides cultural context and facilitates trade. It is a way to make dollars by making sense of spaces and places. This course allows students to explore select theories and practices of sonic architecture in the music industry. It culminates with a class sonic architecture project that allows students to creatively apply the information and skills develope during the course. CRN: 10355

Honors Variants

Students interested in taking an Honors variant of a regular departmental course should contact the course instructor. To enroll in an Honors variant, students must submit an Honors Variant Contract to the registrar by the add deadline.