University Honors Program


Oil and Water - Jennifer Brown
MWF 11:00-11:50 AM

Our dependence on oil has many social, political, economic, and environmental consequences.  In this colloquium students will use basic economic principles to examine the competitive framework of the petroleum industry, the complexity of the international issues related to oil, and the impact that the consumption and production of oil has on the global environment.

The Rhetoric of Film: Representations of Place and Culture - Steve Ferruci
TR 12:30-4:45 PM
In this seminar we will take a multi-disciplinary approach to film and place, drawing on work in critical and human geography, communication, film studies, rhetorical criticism, and linguistics. Focusing on theories of visual rhetoric and literacy, semiotics, as well as film theory, we will examine how visual media are used to represent particular kinds of places and thus particular kinds of cultures and peoples. Student projects will involve critical rhetorical analyses of how a particular place or kind of place is represented in film or other visual media and what that reveals about our assumptions regarding that place or kind of place and those who live there.


FALL 2012
Comedy, Humor, and the Human Experience - Miriam Chirico
MWF 12:00 PM

Comedy serves a psychological function in providing a necessary human release of pent-up emotions.  Comedy also provides a method of social correction, by pointing out and mocking the various ills of society.   And finally, the structure of comedy, connected to festivals and fertility rituals, celebrates and affirms the life impulse within us.  Philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, and cultural critics alike have proposed theories for the nature of comedy, such as Henri Bergson, Sigmund Freud, Northrop Frye, and Susanne Langer.  We will examine their ideas and apply them to the study of various dramatic texts in our quest towards understanding the essence of comedy.

Conflicts in Relationships - Alita Cousins
MWF 10:00 AM

In this seminar we will explore conflicts in different types of interpersonal relationships.  Conflicts such as maternal-fetal conflict over optimal nutrients, sibling rivalry, jealousy in romantic relationships, work-family conflicts, physical aggression, and warfare will be discussed.  We will seek to understand these conflicts using principles from psychology, anthropology biology, and economics.


Anthropomorphism- Lisa Rowe Fraustino
TR 2:00-3:15 PM
Why do writers, artists, and even scientists so often use anthropomorphism to interpret the behaviors of animals, plants, and nonliving things?  What are the repercussions of this tendency to understand the world in terms of human social and cultural identities? Through multidisciplinary lenses including literary, historical, philosophical, anthropological, scientific, and others, this course will examine the meaning and significance of anthropomorphism.  Students will pursue individual paths of inquiry and engage in both critical and creative projects.
Food, Culture, and the Environment - Patricia Szczys
M 2:00-4:50 PM
This course is a study of the relationships between food, culture, and the environment with a special focus on the role of agricultural systems. Students will examine the history of food production and critically analyze impacts on ecological processes and human culture.  Students will consider the issues from several perspectives including human health, economics, and sustainable development.  Possible field trips include visiting Greywall Farms or Mountain Dairy, Shelburne Farms Vermont, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, or Monsanto.  Students may be required to attend weekend field trips.


FALL 2013
The Arab / Israeli Conflict - Caitlin Carenen
In this colloquium, students will explore the Arab-Israeli conflict from a variety of perspectives-historical, political, cultural, religious, geographical, and economic-in an effort to better understand the origins of the conflicts and its implications for modern society.  Students will be required to work on a multi-step individual inquiry project that will involve proposing a significant question about the conflict and searching for an answer to the question through interdisciplinary angles of inquiry.  The course will conclude with a presentation of the results of individual research to fellow students.



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