Fall 2016 Advising Notes

Honors Program Advising Notes – Fall 2016 Courses

My Advice: Please consider challenging yourself by taking a course you think you aren’t particularly good at, do not typically take, or you do not think will be interesting. In other words, take something that is outside the box for you. This is the time to expand your horizons.

There will be a special advising session on Thursday April 7 in Textor 101 from 12:10-1:00. This is an opportunity to get your questions about the requirements of the Honors Program answered. Round food will be provided.

Note also that Katie Hellmann, Honors Program Coordinator, has Honors advising drop in hours on Tuesday from 1-3, and Fridays from 9-10 and 10:30-11:30 in Muller 212.

I will update this page regularly as I get more information and you point out errors. Last Updated 08/16/2016

  • In short, to finish Honors you must complete 11 credits plus 18 points plus a thesis plus a capstone course within five categories while maintaining a 3.0 gpa. The blog has a checklist that will help you keep track of requirements. Degree evaluation reflects these requirements.
    • If you are in an Honors course now you should be putting something in the Honors DRF on Taskstream, if you don’t keep up with this we will be contacting you to see if you really want to be in the Honors Program.
    • Global Engagement: Remember you can fulfill this category by either studying abroad or taking the International Scholarly Conversation (great course, offered in the spring only). Plan ahead on this.
    • Cultural Engagement: This can be fulfilled by doing stuff on your own (see Taskstream) or by taking Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College (great course that will start being offered every semester).
    • Scholarly Achievement: See Taskstream or the Honors Program Checklist on the blog for clear information about how to fulfill this category. This is an 18 point category. Points can be achieved with more coursework (1 credit is worth 2 points). You can also achieve points by actively engaging in writing papers and giving presentation outside of the classroom (e.g., conference, scholarly publications). You should start paying attention to opportunities to do these things. Our expectation is that most all of you should be able to reduce your course credit load by 1-3 credits, but it gets harder to do more than that (consider that a challenge). Every fall we will offer the option of participating in the career readiness certificate program which is worth 2 points.
    • The Thesis: Remember you will need to do a thesis (or something equivalent). Start keeping track of opportunities in your major to do this. Taskstream and the blog have guidelines for a thesis as well as the thesis proposal form.
    • Civic Engagement: We offer a 1 credit course to accomplish this as well as a self-directed option by way of a proposal. You want to talk to Pat Spencer, the Honors Civic Engagement Coordinator, if you have an idea. Also, see the Honors DRF on Taskstream for more details.
    • Honors Capstone: Student must take the 1 credit Honors capstone course. We will offer at least two sections each semester. You should take the capstone course once you have completed everything for the program except the thesis or you are in you last semester.
  • FAQ
    • Where do I find Honors Courses? When you go into Homer go to Class Schedule -> Select Spring 2016 -> Under Subject select Ithaca College Honors.
    • How do I find a description of courses? When you are in Homer looking at all the Fall 2016 Honors courses the syllabus link is live. Clicking on this will give you a description of the course. They are also placed at the bottom of this page.
    • Where do I find ICC attribute designations? The Homer class schedule is not always up to date about ICC attributes. What we are expecting, but can’t guarantee at this time, for attributes is listed below. If it is listed in Homer it is a guarantee, otherwise it is only what we are hoping to accomplish.
    • When do I register? Honors students get to register on the first day. Your time card should be for Monday April 20.
    • I need a course override, how do I do that? There is a new electronic process for course overrides. See Electronic Override Instructions  Please don’t flood the system with overrides just because you can in some effort to optimize your schedule.
    • Where do I learn more about the registration process? Go to the registrar’s page.

3 Credit Courses (Including ICC designation and Special Notes. Descriptions are further down)

  • Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College
  • Cross Cultural Witchcraft
  • Political Economics of Health Care
  • Staging History in Modern Drama (Writing Intensive Attribute)
  • Humans and Alcohol (Writing Intensive Attribute approved on 8/22/2016. )
  • Literatures of the Security State
  • Great Debate in Fiction and Film (Team taught course)
  • U.S. and Genocide (Diversity Attribute approved on 8/16/2016. )

1 Credit Courses (Including ICC designation and Special Notes. Descriptions are further down)

  • Tracking and the Art of Seeing
  • The Life of Cayuga Lake (This class includes an afternoon on the Floating Classroom on Saturday Oct 8, 3:30-5:30.)
  • World of Numbers (Quantitative Literacy Attribute. This is part of the group of 1 credit courses you can take to fulfill QL. You need to do three of them. We try to make sure there is a 1 credit QL course in Honors each semester.)
  • Civic Engagement (This will fulfill the civic engagement requirement for the new Honors Program)
  • Eating Sustainably (Formally known as Eating Well in 21C)
  • Harry Potter: Identity and Transformation (A student led course, longer lab like course meeting with a 2 hour class time for deeper discussions)
  • Introductions to Electronics (Expect to build stuff)
  • India’s Epic Masterpiece: The Mahabharata (A slow read course)
  • Beyond Belle (A slow read course) This course has been canceled. Sorry.
  • Honors Capstone (Everyone needs a capstone course to complete Honors. You should take the capstone course once you have completed everything for the program except the thesis or you are in you last semester.)

Course Descriptions – 3 Credit Courses

Cultural Encounters with IC (James Pfrehm)
CRN 23771 HNRS 15000 MW 4:00-5:15pm

Investigation of the broad range of cultural experiences to be encountered at Ithaca College. We will experience and discuss some of the broad range of music, theatre, art, lectures and discussion, and other cultural opportunities on campus. Open only to students in the Ithaca College Honors Program.

Witchcraft in a Cross-Cultural Perspective (Vivian Bruce Conger)
CRN 23772 HNRS 20004 TR 10:50am-12:05pm

This course will focus on the “Burning Times” in early modern Europe (Germany, France, Italy, and England in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries); seventeenth-century New England and the Salem witch trials; the depiction of the witch in fairy tales from the Grimms to Disney; the depiction of witches and their persecution in literature that purports to rely on historical sources (such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and Cary Churchill’s “Vinegar Tom”); and the explanations that scholars and writers espouse for witch persecutions. It will examine why the outbreaks occurred when they did, who was accused of witchcraft and why, how the outbreaks reflected social and cultural values, and how the crises were resolved. Issues of religion, class, social structure, and especially gender will form the backdrop against which these broader questions will be explored.

Political Economy of Health Care (Donald Beachler)
CRN 22513 HNRS 20024 MW 4:00-5:15pm

While focused on the United States, the course will include frequent comparison and evaluation of health care politics and policies in other wealthy nations. The course will explore the evolution of health care policy in the United States. The sources of the extremely high cost of health care in the U.S. will be a major concern of this section of the seminar. Health care issues also involve what are often referred to as the culture wars. The ongoing battle over the mandatory inclusion of contraception in health care plans in the United States is an example of this phenomenon and will be included in the course.

Staging History in Modern Drama (Claire Gleitman)
CRN 23773 HNRS 20027 MWF 2:00-2:50pm

In this class, we will read a selection of 20th and 21st century plays, all of which explore the vexed problem of how human beings go about representing their pasts. Although two of our works concern personal histories, most of our plays fit within the broad category we will call “the history play.” This category is a slippery one and we will devote a fair bit of energy to defining and redefining its borders. The problem is surely connected to the question of how one defines “history,” a concept that is also not static. It wasn’t until the 19th century that historians came to regard themselves as scientists engaged in a particular discipline detached from other humanist enterprises, one dedicated to the uncovering of “facts.” The very instant modern history was born, philosophers and artists set about rebelling against its presumption of certainty, denying the possibility that the past could be recaptured “as it really happened.” Very much in this spirit, our works do not simply represent history; they challenge our assumptions about the act of understanding the past, inviting us to ask: How does one go about representing the past accurately? From whose vantage point is it most authentically told? These are among the questions that lie at the heart of our texts.

We will begin by reading 3 plays from the 1920s whose authors essentially redefined the history play for the 20th century. With this as our foundation, we will fast-forward in time, turning our attention to plays written between 1980 and 2009, although most focus on earlier periods. Lastly, we will view a recent Canadian documentary film, “The Stories We Tell”; its emphasis on the importance of telling stories about our pasts (even though those stories are probably false) will provide a useful coda for the course.

Authors will include: George Bernard Shaw, Sean O’Casey, Bertolt Brecht, Brian Friel, Caryl Churchill, Anna Deavere Smith, Michael Frayn, Tom Stoppard, and Sarah Polley.

Humans & Alcohol: Biological Foundations and Societal Consequences (Brooks Miner)
CRN 23798 HNRS 20038 TR 10:50am-12:05pm

Alcohol use by humankind dates back at least 10,000 years, and a vast body of scientific evidence demonstrates myriad health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Yet 88,000 Americans die each year from alcohol consumption, in addition to 10,000 annual traffic fatalities caused by drinking. In this course, students will explore the biological foundations of the human relationship with alcohol, the health benefits and health risks of alcohol consumption, and the influence of alcohol on American society past and present. We will consider such questions as: When did humans first become attracted to alcohol, and why? How and why does moderate alcohol consumption affect creativity? What is going on in your body when you feel “hungover,” and how can two people of similar body size have dramatically different tolerances for alcohol? Which American leaders made historically consequential decisions while under the influence? To what degree is a person’s disposition towards drinking, or alcohol abuse, a product of the genes he or she inherited? And, is it a coincidence that all five of America’s 20th-century Nobel laureates in literature were alcoholics?

Literatures of the Security State: Privacy, Surveillance, and Modern Culture (Chris Holmes)
CRN 23799 HNRS 20039 TR 1:10-2:25pm

Since the turn of the millennium, the topic of privacy has become a social, political, and cultural battleground. Debates over government surveillance, corporate data mining, reality television, the rise of social media, and related issues have helped highlight a deep anxiety and ambivalence about whether privacy is something we want—and indeed, whether privacy exists in the first place. Scholars working in the fields of philosophy, the law, political science, history, literary studies, and visual culture have long wrestled with the slipperiness of the concept of privacy. Is privacy a basic human right or a merely escapist illusion? Is privacy worth clinging to or is it something we must and should relinquish? After the revelations of the National Security Agency’s domestic wiretapping and broad-ranging surveillance of citizens without a warrant, our attention to matters of privacy has taken on renewed urgency. In the face of both willed and unwilled ruptures of privacy, how do we maintain our sense of ourselves as free individuals, with ownership over our bodies, ideas, and properties?

This course will examine these questions by focusing on how writers, photographers, and filmmakers have attempted to represent both the maintenance and erosion of privacy. We will begin by examining some foundational privacy theory in philosophy and the law. Placing these philosophical inquiries alongside three foundational literary texts—Franz Kafka’s The Trial, George Orwell’s 1984, and Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener”—we will look at iconic characters who attempt to retreat and withdraw from social responsibility in ways that have had profound consequences for notions of individualism and the private sphere. We will then turn to the effects that the development of photography, cinema, and surveillance technologies have had on contemporary citizens’ experiences with and understanding of privacy. Throughout the course, we will take up the important question of whether privacy is a privilege enjoyed only by those with access to wealth and power, and we will conclude with an investigation into the future of privacy.

Great Debates in Fiction and Film (Tom Girshin & Tyrell Stewart-Harris)
CRN 23800 HNRS 20040 MWF 12:00-12:50pm

Despite its sometimes negative connotations, argument– especially about questions concerning basic values and principles– leads to the agreement necessary for our society to function. This co-taught course will examine some of the greatest debates of the ages through fiction and film. We’ll examine questions like, “Where did we come from and where are we going?”; “Why are we here?”; “How can truth be represented?”; “What is evil and where does it come from?”; and “How can we live justly?”.

U.S. and Genocide (Naeem Inayatullah)
CRN 23801 HNRS 20041 MWF 1:00-1:50pm

Has the United States committed genocide in Iraq? We will place this question in the context of three events: (1) The Nuremberg Trails initiated and spearheaded by the U.S. to convict Nazis; (2) the claim by various Amerindian scholars that the creation of the U.S. and its occupation of Indian lands is the result of genocide; and (3) a short study of the “Gulf War” that documents the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

The spirit will be one of open debate and discussion of these central themes. Neither the course materials nor the instructor will provide a definitive answer to the organizing question.

Course Descriptions – 1 Credit Courses

Tracking and the Art of Seeing (Jason Hamilton)
CRN 22182 HNRS 23003 T 2:35-4:25pm

This seminar will be a face-to-face encounter with the Ithaca College Natural Lands. You will learn how to read a forest, examining it for signs of life and health, through the skill of tracking. You’ll never see the woods in the same way after taking this seminar. Please note that significant portions of this seminar will take place outdoors in the Ithaca College Natural Lands and will require moderately paced walking in the wild and not-so-wild places about campus.

The Life of Cayuga Lake (Christopher Sinton)
CRN 22539 HNRS 23016 W 3:00-3:50pm

Cayuga Lake is always in view from the Ithaca College campus, but what do you really know about it? In this class, we will explore all aspects of the lake based on the questions generated by the participating students. For example, we can explore its diverse historical uses or how it influences local artists.  The highlight of the course will be a trip on the lake on board the Floating Classroom on Saturday Oct 8, 3:30-5:30, where we will use a variety of tools to investigate what lies beneath the water surface.

World of Numbers (David Brown)
CRN 23774 HNRS 23017 W 4:00-4:50pm

From sports to politics to the doctor’s office, we are confronted with numbers as a means of expressing ideas. What exactly do these numbers mean and how do we make sense of them? We will explore several areas of everyday life in which numbers and mathematical concepts play a significant role and we will make sense of their meaning.

Opportunities for Civic Engagement: Citizenship and Service within “The Community” (Pat Spencer)
CRN 22973 HNRS 23018 W 12:00-12:50pm

To complete the Civic Engagement requirement, students in the Honors Program must demonstrate a significant experience of engagement within “the community,” which might consist of the Ithaca College community; the local, regional, national, or global community; or a student’s home community. This pilot seminar will facilitate the pairing of four project partners with collaborative groups of Honors students to meet a need within the local community. Aligned with recognized programs at Ithaca College, potential projects will have an education, creative arts, health services, sustainability, or social enterprise overlay. This seminar, guided by the Honors Civic Engagement Coordinator, will provide a pre-service cultural competency workshop, project alignment and individual time commitment guidelines, on-going project support, and reflection exercises. A final reflection will serve as documentation of your completion of the Civic Engagement requirement.

Eating Sustainably: The Whole-Food Plant-Based (Vegan) Approach (John Hopple)
CRN 22974 HNRS 23019 T 5:25-7:25pm

Food is one of the basic necessities of life, but how do we satisfy this need in a sustainable fashion?  This academic investigation of food will immerse students in all aspects of sustainability in regards to food. The ethics of food choice will be investigated. The organic, locavore, and slow food movements will be explored as well as vegetarian versus vegan approaches to eating as they impact the environment. A whole-food plant-based (vegan) approach is put forward as the most sustainable option. Expect food to be provided at each class session with students involved in cooking simple vegan meals that the class will share in the context of food choices being discussed. At the same time we will learn about choosing fresh and environmentally friendly ingredients. Transportation will be necessary for several of the class sessions as we visit local farms and kitchens.  Eating sustainably is more than just eating tasty and healthy food. Eating sustainably also means eating food that that is right for the planet, that fits the pocketbook, and is good for society.

Harry Potter: Identity and Transformation (Katherine Kittredge)
CRN 23802 HNRS 23024 W 3:00-4:50pm

The Harry Potter series is a popular culture phenomenon that explores a range of topics, issues, and themes. We will examine Rowling’s construction of these topics in the many layers of the series, as well as the interaction between these topics in Harry Potter and in our world. Many of these topics will be considered through the lens of identity. This seminar is dedicated to the critical analysis of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Our analysis will include material from: (1) the seven novels written by Rowling, (2) the eight movies, (3) scholarship from the fields of literature and the social sciences, and (4) the fan culture associated with the series, including certain fan-produced transformative work: fanfictions, adaptations and re-imaginings.

Introduction to Electronics (Jennifer Mellot)
CRN 23803 HNRS 23025 F 11:00-11:50am

The course covers the basic concepts of electrical theory.  This will include simple dc circuits, simple ac circuits, ohm’s law, the basics of micro controllers and soldering.  The course is face-paced and as non-mathematical as possible.  The goal of this course is to help participants to understand the concepts and terminology of electronics.  This is not an in-depth electronics course but rather a course aimed at individuals who require the skill or have an interest in basic electrical repairs, entry level micro controller programming, prototyping, or in the field equipment repairs.  Demonstrations and hands-on projects will be used to reinforce the concepts learned from the lectures and homework.

India’s Epic Masterpiece: The Mahabharata (Angela Rudert)
CRN 23775 HNRS 24012 W 10:00-10:50am

“Poets have told it before, and are telling it now, and will tell it again. What is here is also found elsewhere, but what is not here is found nowhere else.” (Māhābhārata 1.1.23)

The Sanskrit epic poem, Mahabharata, is indeed encyclopedic, as its poet Vyasa claims in the introductory verses quoted here. It is 7 times longer than the Iliad and Odyssey combined, and some 8,000 pages in full English translation. Some call the Mahabharata a history of India, leading to the great war of ancient times that marked the beginning of our current degenerative age, or Dark Age (Kali Yuga). The epic’s presentation of war is rich and complex and relevant today. Some call the Mahabharata Hindu scripture. The epic contains philosophical teachings as well as sage advice on leadership and kingliness, with ample lessons on dharma (moral responsibility). In the epic’s climactic chapter, in what has become one of Hinduism’s most beloved sacred teachings, the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God), Lord Krishna counsels his devotee and best friend, one of the epic’s great heroes, Arjuna, as Arjuna stands on the battlefield dejected and confused. Undoubtedly, the Mahabharata entertains, and has continued to do so for well over 2000 years. As the epic poet claims, The Mahabharata has it all, hallowed teachings, astute philosophical discussions, and all of the entertainment value expected from an epic poem whose celebrated narrative structure exists as stories inside of stories inside of stories, featuring demigod heroes and heroines, demons, sages, snake kings, forest nymphs, and gods and goddesses in disguise.

Students in this course will read contemporary British poet Carole Satyamurti’s much acclaimed “modern retelling,” accessible, abridged (approximately 800 pages), and written in English blank verse. In this course, students will be introduced to other recent retellings including the immensely popular TV serial, comic book versions, as well as animated films — all testament to the epic’s self-claim that poets have told, do tell and would continue to tell what is found in the Mahabharata. Students can expect to learn a great deal about the classical period of Hinduism from their study of the Mahabharata and they can expect to do some storytelling from the epic in class.

Beyond Belle (Jennifer Germann) This course has been cancelled. Sorry.
CRN 23804 HNRS 24013 W 3:00-3:50pm

This slow read would center on the anonymous portrait of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray, which served as the basis for Amma Asante’s critically acclaimed film, Belle (2013). We will understand the portrait via an engagement with the painting itself, related images, the film, as well as some scholarly articles and primary sources that provide the historical context for understanding women’s lives in relation to race, gender, and social class in the eighteenth century.

Capstone (Thomas Pfaff)
CRN 23776 HNRS 30000 Section 01 F 10:00-10:50am

Capstone (Robert Sullivan)
CRN 24005 HNRS 30000 Section 02 T 4:00-6:00pm (Block II)