Fall 2017 Advising Notes

My Advice: Please consider challenging yourself by taking a course you think you might not be good at.  Try something you wouldn’t typically try.  Dare to sign up for something that scares you!  In other words, take something that is outside the box for you. This is a great time to expand your horizons.

The Honors Program hosted a Course Expo on Tuesday March 21 in Clark Lounge from 4:30-6:00.  Check out the presentation given that day:  Honors Course Expo presentation. It includes slides about courses to be taught in Fall 2017.  You can also read full course descriptions below.

Each of you has been assigned an Honors Advisor as your key point person. Feel free to be in touch to set up an appointment especially as you decide about courses for this coming semester.

I will update this page regularly as I get more information and as you point out errors. Last updated 4/24/17.

What is it I have to do again?

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 resources page of the blog has a checklist that will help you keep track of requirements. The most accurate place to track your requirements is on Taskstream. Degree Evaluation will reflect your achievements once they have been manually evaluated on Taskstream.

  • If you are in an Honors course now, make sure to upload an artifact in the Honors DRF on Taskstream. We recommend that you keep up with this. If you take a long pause, we will wonder if you really want to be in the Honors Program and we’ll get in touch to find out.
  • Global Engagement: Remember you can fulfill this category by either studying abroad or taking theInternational 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(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 via coursework (1 credit is worth 2 points). You can also achieve points by engaging in scholarly work such as by writing papers or giving presentation outside of the classroom (e.g., conference, scholarly publications), but also by engaging in whatever is considered scholarship for your field. Look for opportunities! Every fall we will offer the option of participating in the career readiness certificate program, worth 2 points.
  • The Thesis: Remember you will need to do a thesis (or equivalent). Ask your major advisor about what thesis options there are in your major. Taskstream and the bloghave the thesis guidelines and the thesis proposal form.
  • Civic Engagement: You can take the 1-credit Civic Engagement course to accomplish this, and there are also self-directed options via the Center for Civic Engagement.
  • Honors Capstone: Student must take the 1 credit Honors capstone course. We 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 when you are in you last semester. Note: The Honors Capstone course does not count for the ICC capstone course.  You will have to take a separate ICC capstone course unless it is part of the capstone course in your major.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Where do I find Honors Courses? In Homer, go to Class Schedule. Select Fall 2017. Under Subject select Ithaca College Honors. (Note this is listed alphabetically under I for Ithaca not H for Honors.)
  • How do I find a description of courses? They are 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 expect for attributes is listed below, but we can’t guarantee these. 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.  This year that is Tuesday, April 4 at 7:30 am.
  • I need a course override, how do I do that?There is an electronic process for course overrides. See Electronic Override Instructions.  Please use overrides sparingly. If you’re getting worried about your schedule, check in with your advisor rather than filling out 5 overrides.
  • Where do I learn more about the registration process?Go to the registrar’s page.


3 Credit Courses: (Full descriptions are below.)

  • Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College
  • Humans and Alcohol: A C. P. Snow Seminar (Writing Intensive – ICC)
  • U.S. and Genocide (Diversity – ICC)
  • London as Text (at the London Center)
  • The Politics of Hamilton
  • American Breakdown  (Writing Intensive – ICC)
  • A Place to Call Home: Origins and Identity in Italian Literature, Film, Art, and Music
  • International Visiting Scholar Lecture
  • Paradigm Shifts: History and Philosophy of Science
  • Participatory Cultures
  • Transnational Media and the Disney Empire

3 or 4 credit Course: (Full description is below.)

  • Biology of Oceanic Islands

1 Credit Courses (Full descriptions are below.)

  • Tracking and the Art of Seeing
  • Intro to Electronics
  • Slow Read: Herodotus
  • Mathematics of Money (1 credit toward your 3 credits of Quantitative Literacy for ICC) 
  • 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 once you’re in your last semester.)
  • Civic Engagement (Fulfills the Civic Engagement requirement)

Course Descriptions – 3 Credit Courses

Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College (Ziemann, Tiffani)
CRN 22876 HNRS 15000 MWF 11:00-11:50
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.

Humans and Alcohol: A C. P. Snow Seminar (Miner, Brooks)
CRN 22901 HNRS 20038 TR 10:50-12:05
Writing Intensive for ICC

Alcohol use by humankind dates back at least 10,000 years, and a vast body of scientific evidence demonstrates numerous health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Yet 88,000 Americans die each year as a result of 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? 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? What is the biological basis for the difference in alcohol processing between men and women? 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?

U.S. and Genocide (Inayatullah, Naeem)
CRN 22904 HNRS 20041 TR 10:50-12:05
Diversity designation for ICC

Have you ever been confused about what genocide is – or if the U.S. has committed it? This course explores the impossible to see hidden within plain sight. About Dr. Inayatullah’s classroom style: “I support emergent anarchies, disjunctive seriousness, spontaneous laughter, the discovery of sinews that connect intuition and articulation, and a blunt refusal of jargon.” One thing he hopes students will take away from this seminar is that “It will take students five to ten years to grasp what we experienced together.” When asked for one piece of advice he would give to students, Dr. Inayatullah answers,  “Beware of advice givers and even more those willing to teach.”

London as Text (London Center) (Lonsdale, Thorunn)
HNRS 27000 TBA

Seeks to immerse students in the amazing cosmopolis of London. Participants in this seminar will not tour the city so much as interrogate it. Investigations will extend to as many aspects of the city as we can manage in a semester, and the objects of those inquiries will be as varied as the interests of the participants. This course takes place in London as part of the London Semester.

The Politics of Hamilton (Shevory, Tom)
HNRS 20045 TR 10:50-12:05

The course draws on the hit musical Hamilton to discuss early American political and constitutional thinking.  Alexander Hamilton was among the most important of the American founders.  Born in Charlestown, Nevis, orphaned at a young age, he rose to become chief aide to General Washington during the American Revolution.  He was at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He wrote most of The Federalist Papers, which are considered among the most important political documents in American history. He was the first Secretary of Treasury and was responsible for initiating the First National Bank, which was crucial to fostering American economic development.  He opposed slavery and believed in a strong national government. He died in a duel with Aaron Burr, who Hamilton had long known as a sometime colleague and political competitor. His funeral a was huge public event, attended by thousands of people in New York City, a city that Hamilton helped shape as a future center of global finance and culture.

  • What is the “American Dream,” and does Alexander Hamilton embody it?
  • Of what political significance is Hamilton’s position as an immigrant?
  • What were Hamilton’s views on democracy? How democratic is the U.S. Constitution?
  • How important was slavery for shaping the U.S. constitution?
  • How true to life is the musical Hamilton?
  • In what ways is Hamilton innovative as a Broadway production, and why has it been so successful?
  • How does the decision to cast non-white actors as the primary performers in Hamilton help us rethink the American founding?
  • In what ways do Alexander’s ideas still shape American political thinking?

American Breakdown (Egan, Hugh)
HNRS 20002 MWF 10:00-10:50
Writing Intensive for ICC

In this honors seminar we will investigate some of America’s literature of madness and psychological instability. After a brief look at the methods and vocabularies of psychologists Sigmund Freud and R.D. Laing, we will begin our survey with Edgar Allan Poe and proceed more or less chronologically through the 20th century and into the 21st, ending with a graphic novel.  American literature is often viewed in terms of its self-reliant and “sane” male narrators and characters (including Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau and others), but there is another, equally powerful and counterbalancing literary strain that records narratives of breakdown, psychosis, and suicidal descent. These two literary traditions are not mutually exclusive, and indeed might best be seen as weirdly co-dependent. A number of discrete themes will emerge in the course of our reading, including: the importance of the Puritan tradition to America’s volatile self-image; “madness” in America as inflected in terms of gender and race; the tension between individual and cultural psychosis; the process of going mad as recorded in language; and the value of psychological interpretations of literature as they unearth buried assumptions about self and nation. This will be a discussion-based class, and our authors will include Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Tennessee Williams, Sylvia Plath, Ken Kesey, Susanah Kaysen, Toni Morrison, Alison Bechdel, and others. The course carries a Writing Intensive designation for the ICC.

A Place to Call Home: Origins and Identity in Italian Literature, Film, Art, and Music (Feltrin-Morris, Marella)
HNRS 20046 MWF 1:00-1:50

What is home and how do we recognize it? Is it the country, the town, the house, the room where our loved ones come together as a family? Or is it a psychological state, an experience or a memory that triggers a sensation of comfort and protection? Literature, film, art and music from all time periods have explored the concept of home and the theme of identity associated with it, starting with the human body, which provides the most tangible representation of ourselves but at the same time may create a sense of alienation between our appearance and our emotions. The leitmotif of home is also inextricably connected with that of the journey, a journey that may lead us back to our origins, or away from them, in search of adventure or of a way out of desperation. A land of travelers by passion or necessity, Italy has produced a wide array of artifacts dedicated to the countless shapes and versions of home. In this course we will examine several of these works (poems, short stories, novels, films, artworks and songs) with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding not only of the authors’ interpretation of this archetypal place, but also, and more importantly, of our own relationship to it.

International Visiting Scholar Lecture (TBA)
HNRS 20047 MWF 2:00-2:50

This seminar will focus on the intellectual career a visiting international scholar at Ithaca College, or on issues associated with his or her works. The Ithaca College Honors Program, with support from the Provost, works with Ithaca City of Asylum (ICOA) to support an International Visiting Scholar in Residence. Founded in 2001, Ithaca City of Asylum supports the human rights and freedom of expression for writers exiled from their home countries by sponsoring writers-in-residence. The Honors Program is proud to support these scholars. This year’s scholar will be selected by the Honors Program in collaboration with Ithaca City of Asylum.

Paradigm Shifts: History and Philosophy of Science (Brady, Rebecca)
HNRS 20048 MWF 10:00-10:50

Does “Philosophy of Science” sound like a contradiction in terms? The first time I taught such a course, I’m afraid to say I rolled my eyes a little. (I had the typical scientist’s bias against squishy humanities courses.) But teaching that course fundamentally changed the way I think about science and scientific progress. Science is much more than the slow accumulation of data or the clever conclusions of brilliant scientists. Most of the facts we accept as true are based on shockingly indirect evidence, and our current scientific worldview profoundly influences the way we interpret that evidence. Come and explore the surprisingly unintuitive nature of scientific revolutions.

Participatory Cultures (Zimmerman, Patty)
HNRS 20000 T 4:00-7:00pm
Writing Intensive Designation for ICC

Participatory culture defines our contemporary environment: the amateurization of new technologies, Facebook, Twitter, selfies, user-generated media, piracy, remixing, fan fiction, crowdsourcing, viral spirals, Wikipedia, human rights social media, archives without curators, aggregators, participatory design, Instagram, citizen journalism, cosplay, locative media, radical cartography, double screening , politically oppositional movements around the world propelled by social media usage..

This course explores the concepts and practices of participatory cultures across technologies, forms, platforms, theories, debates, policies and constituencies.  It explores participation through the lens of the environments in which these practices operate and intervene into, and the environments which they seek to create and mobilize.

This course traverses a wide range of transdisciplinary theoretical perspectives ranging from creative economies, aesthetics, social theory, political theory, music theory, media histories, and new media theory to probe  and unpack participatory cultures. The course investigates how participation—both in participatory arts and consumerist practices–have shifted politics, media, and the arts into new environments of shared encounters and productive experiences

The generative texts for Participatory Cultures will include examples of  from creative economies public polices, festivals, new media, social media,  participatory media, tactical media, sonic experimentation,  and cross platformed works available via online archives and artists’ interface projects, many of which have been featured at the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival.  Each week will feature a different example (film, new media project, art project, festival) which will be analyzed through the theoretical lens of that week’s theory and method.

Participatory Cultures also examines the histories and theories of participation and participatory design practices. With an international and transnational focus, this course interrogates and analyzes works across  commercial, non-profit and artistic modalities. It will also map the major theoretical, political and ethical debates emerging about participatory cultures:  Are these practices simply expanding consumerist markets or are they providing engagement?  Are these practices emerging out of the affordances of new technologies or do they have longer and deeper histories?  Is participation a democratization of arts, politics and media practices or simply a form of free labor that increases value?  Do these practices resolve the ethical dilemnas of representing others including others in collaboration, or is collaboration merely camouflage of authorial control and design?  Are commercial transmedia practices depending on fan produced engagements in series like Mad Men or Games of Thrones providing acces, or simply colonizing viewers within storyworlds?

This course will also serve as one of several pre-requisite gateway courses to prepare students to apply for internships with the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival in the Spring.

Transnational Media and the Disney Empire (Lustyik, Kati)
HNRS 20050 Tuesdays 4:00-6:40 pm, Park 228

Transnational media conglomerates such as Viacom or the Disney Company are among ‘the primary agents of cultural globalization’ and have been described as ‘media superpowers.’ The Walt Disney Company that owns Pixar, Marvel Entertainment, ESPN and Start Wars is one the largest, and influential transnational media giants in the world. It is the most recognized US-based media brand among children and families worldwide, and has grown into a powerful cultural and economic force since its establishment in 1923 by Walt and Roy Disney. As David Buckingham, influential British media scholar put it, ‘children today are Disney children; and parents are Disney parents’ in many parts of the world.

The primary aim of this interdisciplinary and critical course is to develop an in-depth understanding of the Walt Disney Corporation as a transnational media conglomerate, its social, cultural, political, and economic importance within the United States and internationally.

First, students will become familiar with the history of the Disney Company and its key holdings that include television, radio, film and animation, theme parks, music labels, theatrical production, tourism and sports. While many students might have grown up on Disney and Pixar animation, they will be challenged to re-examine the range of characters and stories looking at racial, ethnic, and gender, stereotypes; and specific values promoted by Disney products during the second unit of the course. The third unit will focus on ‘global Disney:’ the marketing and localization of Disney programs, merchandizing and leisure activities created and promoted to an increasingly global audience. Several readings will focus on the reception and consumption of Disney in other cultures, as well as Disney’s international efforts to glocalize its brand and expand its empire.

Course Description: 3-4 credit course:

Biology of Oceanic Islands (Witherup, Susan)
CRN 23559;  HNRS 22300  T-R 10:50-12:05

The mechanisms of evolution and the factors that drive speciation on island systems are covered in detail. Topics include: island biogeography, global and island climate, ecological niches, natural selection, adaptive radiation, invasive species, conservation biology, and the impacts of anthropogenic activities on island habitats.  This course also has an optional 1-credit component that provides the opportunity for students to gain hands-on field-biology experiences in a tropical island system.  Lectures are supplemented with outside readings and videos.Cross-listed with BIOL 22300. Prerequisites: BIOL 122000 or BIOL 120000 or permission of the instructor. 3-4 credits. (IRR)

Students taking the course for 4 credits will be required to meet outside of regular class hours to prepare for January off-campus trip.
For Honors students lacking the prerequisite, you can register with permission of the instructor.
Please ask the instructor, Susan Witherup, about the cost of the January trip.

Course Descriptions – 1 Credit Courses

Tracking and the Art of Seeing (Hamilton, Jason)
CRN 21935 HNRS 23003 T 2:35-4:25

Take a long hard look at the ground. Say “goodbye.” You will never see the ground in the same way again! Every day, every hour, every minute a new story is being written on the earth and you are launching a lifelong journey in learning how to read these stories. Learning the ancient art of tracking is a process, not a goal. And in this process, you will learn as much about yourself as the landscape and creatures you are tracking.

Intro to Electronics (Mellott, Jennifer)
CRN 22906 HNRS 23025 W 11:00-11:50

The course will cover the basic concepts of electronics theory.  This includes simple circuits circuits, ohm’s law, the basics of micro controllers and soldering.  The course is fast-paced and as non-mathematical as possible.  Also covered in the course will be an introduction to Arduino, Open-source electronic prototyping platform enabling users to create interactive electronic objects, and an introduction to 3D printing. The goal of this course is to help participants to understand the concepts and terminology of useful areas, while also seeing new possibilities of how and where this technology can be used.  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, anyone who might want to demystify programming, or anyone with a desire to bring concepts closer to reality through  prototyping.  Demonstrations and hands-on projects will be used to reinforce the concepts learned from the lectures and homework. 

Honors Capstone (Edwards, Karen)
HNRS 30000 W 3:00-3:50 Block 1
HNRS 30000 W 3:00-3:50 Block 2

Slow Read: Herodotus (Klemm, Matthew)
HNRS 24015 W 4:00-4:50

The History of Herodotus is probably most familiar today for the story of the Persian invasion of Greece, with the battles at Marathon, Thermopylae (as seen in 300), and Salamis. Beyond these famous battles, the History is a remarkable treasury of incredible stories, both true and not-so true, which have inspired countless moments in fantasy and historical fiction over the years. This class will explore all this, while also considering the significance of the History as a new genre of literature, and understanding how the Greeks situated their identity within the broader context of the Mediterranean.

The books of the History fall into three thematic groups (1) the ethnographies, which include book two on the Egyptians, book four on the Scythians, and the digressions on the Athenians and Spartans in book five; (2) the historical background leading up to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece, i.e., books one (Croesus and Cyrus), three (Cambyses and Darius), and six (Alcmaeonids and Spartan kings; First Person War); and (3) Xerxes’ invasion in books seven, eight, and nine. We will read and discuss selections from each of these groups in order to get a sense of the whole work.

Mathematics of Money (Yurekli, Osman)
HNRS 23037 R 1:10-2:25
This course counts as 1 credit of your 3-credit Quantitative Literacy (QL) requirement for ICC

The mathematics of money course will teach students to learn mathematical methods that help to understand life’s financial decisions, such as those credit cards, managing debt, paying for college, retirement plans, etc. Furthermore, the course will explore mathematical practices related social justice issues. The aim of the course is to help students develop the knowledge and skills needed to make sound financial decisions, illuminate financial injustices, and motivate social responsibility. After completing the course, students will recognize the power of math, be more motivated to understand mathematical ideas, develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Civic Engagement (Harker, David)
HNRS 23018 TR 1:10-2:25

What is Civic Engagement? How can various forms of civic engagement contribute to meeting the needs of communities and/or creating social change in different ways? What are the roles and responsibilities of individual citizens in addressing the pervasiveness of injustice and inequality in our society? How do our personal experiences influence the ways in which we understand social issues, and how does this understanding shape our motivations and forms of engagement?

This course draws on theory, research, and personal accounts to explore numerous forms of civic engagement and evaluate the opportunities and challenges each offers in working towards positive social change. This course also requires students themselves to engage in the local community and critically reflect on their experience. Students will have the opportunity to examine their own personal motivations and experiences with civic engagement, as well as gain a deeper understanding of how our social identities can influence our social change efforts.