Fall 2015 Advising Notes

Advising Notes – Fall 2015

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 Tuesday April 14 (This date was changed from the 9th)  in Textor 101 from 12:10-1:00. This is a great opportunity to get your questions about the requirements of the Honors Program answered. Round food will be provided.

I will update this page regularly as I get more information. Last Updated 04/02/2015

    • Notes for 1st and 2nd Year Honors Students. Download the Program Checklist.
      • If you are in an Honors course now you should be putting something in the Cursus Honorum (e-portfolio), 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 the Cursus) or by taking Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College (great course, offered in the spring only). Plan ahead on this too.
      • Scholarly Engagement: See the Cursus with clear information about how to fulfill this category. This is a 9 course credit part of the program (beyond the 11 required credits for academic challenge), with the opportunity to reduce it below 9 credits. In order to reduce the course credit below 9 you will need to be actively engaged 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). You should expect to take 6 or so course credits in this sections unless you are heavily engaged in scholarship.
      • The Thesis: Remember you will need to do a thesis (or something equivalent). Start keeping track of opportunities in your major to do this.
      • Civic Engagement: See the Cursus for more details.
  • FAQ
    • Where do I find Honors Courses? When you go into Homer go to Class Schedule -> Select Spring 2015 -> Under Subject select Ithaca College Honors.
    • How do I find a description of courses? When you are in Homer looking at all the Spring 2015 honors courses the syllabus link is live. Clicking on this will give you a description of the course. I’ve also placed them at the bottom of this page.
    • Where do I find gen ed designations? The Homer class schedule is not always up to date about gen ed attributes. Below I’ve listed what we are expecting, but can’t guarantee at this time. If it is listed in Homer it is a guarantee, otherwise it is only what we are hoping to accomplish.
    • Where are the Senior Seminars? The senior seminars are listed under Interdisciplinary Studies Prog in Homer.
    • I need a Senior Seminar but can’t fit it into my schedule, what do I do? Talk to Tom. He may be willing to substitute another seminar, but the preference is that one takes the senior seminar.
    • I’m a Junior, can I take a Senior Seminar? Yes, if that is all you have left to complete the program.
    • When do I register? Honors students get to register on the first day. Your time card should be for Nov 10.
    • 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 Gen Ed, ICC, and Special Notes. Descriptions are further down)

  • American Breakdown (Old Gen Ed: 3a, h)(ICC:  Writing Intensive has been approved)
  • Girl with Dragon Tattoo (Old Gen Ed: 1, g)
  • Sex, Gender & Desire (Old Gen Ed: 1)
  • Political Econ of Health Care
  • Participatory Cultures (ICC: Writing Intensive has been approved)(This course can serve as a prerequisite for the FLEEF blogging course)
  • Modern Self
  • Modern Iran (Homer doesn’t list an instructor because this will be taught by the next international visiting scholar in Honors and we can’t list the name yet. Feel free to stop by and talk to Tom about this as I expect it will be a great course.)
  • Finding Things Out (Senior Seminar – See notes above if this doesn’t fit your schedule)

1 Credit Courses (Including Gen Ed, ICC, and Special Notes. Descriptions are further down)

  • Tracking
  • Writing for Yourself
  • The Life of Cayuga Lake (This class includes an afternoon on the Floating Classroom on Oct 3)
  • Opportunities for Civic Engagement (This will fulfill the civic engagement requirement for the new Honors Progam)
  • Eating Well in 21C
  • Sex Drugs Student (ICC: QL has been approved. This is part of the group of 1 credit courses you can take to fulfill QL. You need to do three of them. There will continue to be a 1 credit QL course in Honors each semester.)
  • Slow Read: The Art of Painting
  • Slow Read: Hans Fallada

Course Descriptions – 3 Credit Courses

American Breakdown: The Literature of Madness and Mental Instability
CRN22361 HNRS 20002 MWF 10:00 -10:50 am

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. 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; how “madness” in America is inflected in terms of gender and race; how the process of going mad is recorded in language; and how psychological interpretations of literature unearth buried assumptions about self and nation. Authors include Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ken Kesey, Tennessee Williams, Sylvia Plath, Susanna Kaysen and others.

The Politics of the Girl with Dragon Tattoo
CRN22362 HNRS 20003 TR 10:50 am – 12:05 pm

In this course, we will read and discuss Stieg Larsson’s global bestselling Millennium Trilogy¸ which consists of three books: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and The Girl Who Played with Fire. The novels should be seen as entry-points, or provocations, to engage a number of political issues. Stieg Larsson, author of the novels, was quite famously a crusading left-wing Swedish journalist, who had passionate political commitments involving women’s equality, immigrant rights, anti-fascism, and freedom of expression. These are a few of the issues that we will explore in the process of reading the novels.

Sex, Gender & Desire
CRN22366 HNRS 20008 TR 1:10 – 2:25 pm

While many courses set out to answer questions, this honors seminar is designed to question conventional answers, probe where our knowledge comes from, and raise new questions. How are sex, gender, and desire dynamically produced and embodied? What are the implications of the claim that sex, gender, and desire are socially constructed and/or performative? Why do we believe there are only two sexes, two genders and three sexual orientation categories? What if genders and sexualities were more fluid than fixed? Is it similar or different for women and men? Are “women” and “men” even meaningful categories? Are we born with predisposed gendered and sexual identities or are we in continual process of negotiating and performing said identities? What do we learn from people who express variant sexes, genders and sexualities? How do binary conceptions of sex/gender/desire limit our embodiment and psychic lives? How do other cultures conceptualize sex/gender/desire? What are the implications for social relations, public policy, and law, of thinking about sexes, genders, sexualities, and identities differently than we currently do? Attention will be paid to how contemporary feminist, lesbian and gay, queer, and transgender studies/movements have informed our understanding of these questions.

Political Economy of Health Care
CRN22865 HNRS 20024 TR 10:50 am – 12:05 pm

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.

Participatory Cultures: Festivals, New Media, Arts, Performances, Environments
CRN22868 HNRS 20026 T 4:00 – 7:00 pm

This course explores the emergence and affordances of contemporary participatory cultures in festivals, the arts, new media, old media, creative economies, and environments through critical readings and critical viewings.

Comment from Tom: After last fall a student sent me this comment about this course, “The course was challenging, demanding, and analytical, but it was enjoyable.” and “…this was a course unlike any I have taken and my writing improved greatly.”  You are Honors students so challenge yourself. Also, this course may lead to FLEEF blogging opportunities.

The Rise & Fall of the Modern Self: A Multidisciplinary Study and Creative Writing Workshop
CRN23573 HNRS 20030 TR 4:00 – 5:15 pm

Is it a problem that we value the individual as much as we do? Are we each as unique as we’ve been told we are? How might we behave (or write) differently if we believed differently about the sanctity of the individual? This course is an exploration of the predominant Western concepts of selfhood since the Renaissance. In addition to studying our subject traditionally by reading theorists and writers and writing analytical papers in response to them, the course invites you to write poems and essays that explore these concepts from a personal perspective and workshop them in class. So half our class-time will be devoted to the study of concepts of the self in Political History, Buddhism, Economic Behavior, Neuroscience, Happiness Studies, and Literature and Literary History (not to mention Writing Pedagogy), and the other half to workshopping your creative writings written in response to our thinking on our subject (a 2-day per week class, one day a week to each).

Modern Iran (or: What I Mean When We Talk About Modern Iran)
CRN23601 HNRS 20032 MWF 1:00 – 1:50 pm

(Homer doesn’t list an instructor because this will be taught by the next international visiting scholar in Honors and we can’t list the name yet. Feel free to stop by and talk to Tom about this as I expect it will be a great course.)

This course focuses on Modern Iran, the mainland of the huge ancient Persia Empire and a strategic country in current Middle East. “Modern” refers to the time period beginning in the 19th century as Iranians were gradually becoming familiar with western modernity in all aspects such as human rights, newspaper, democracy, parliamentarism, drama, etc. We will cover such topics as Literature, History, Culture, Art, Politics and Media, and related fields. There will be a special focus on Persian Humor and Cinema, an art and industry that has become popular worldwide, and has seen very fast growth in Iran during recent decades. At the end of semester students will have a general knowledge about Iran as a basis for future studies in the Middle East. Guest speakers will be brought into class as time and availability permit.

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out (Senior Seminar)
CRN 20270 IISP 40000 TR 9:25 – 10:40 am

Students will read and discuss approximately eight works of fiction, creative nonfiction, and journalism that deal with perception, epistemology, privilege & social inequality, racism, and the virtue of empathy. Students will be expected to read approximately 100-150 pages per week, write analytic papers, lead class discussions, and complete a semester-long research project to be advised by the instructor.

Course Descriptions – 1 Credit Courses

Tracking and the Art of Seeing
CRN22363 HNRS 23003 W 2:00 – 3:50 pm

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.

Writing for Yourself
CRN22870 HNRS 23013 F 12:00 – 12:50 pm

Do you think of writing as a chore? Papers, papers, papers. Writing for Your Self is about the mindful practice of writing as a way to explore your thoughts and emotions on the deepest level. Dedicated creative practice provides many benefits to the whole self, nurturing mind, body, and spirit. During the first half of the course, we will develop such a practice through weekly sessions of writing with no other goal than discovery, through whatever form emerges. At mid-term, I will collect a portfolio of your work(s) in progress, along with your ideas on where your work might be headed (a collection of poems or short prose pieces, part of a novel or play, a set of songs…). I will read and provide comments on this portfolio as requested, but the direction you take is completely up to you. In the second half of the semester, those who wish to do so may participate in small-group workshops. Finally, each of you will turn in selected writings in a final portfolio, accompanied by a reflection on your experience of the creative process. Writing for Yourself provides you with the opportunity to devote 50 minutes a week in the company of others who are also working on their own, independent writing projects, and receiving feedback on your work if you so choose.

The Life of Cayuga Lake
CRN22935 HNRS 23016 T 4:00 – 4:50 pm

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 Oct 3, where we will use a variety of tools to investigate what lies beneath the water surface.

Opportunities for Civic Engagement: Citizenship and Service within “The Community”
CRN23569 HNRS 23018 M 2:00 – 2:50 pm

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 entrepreneurship 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 Well in the 21st Century: the Whole Food Plant-Based Feast
Currently listed in Homer as: The Vegan Feast: Eating Well in the 21st Century
CRN23570 HNRS 23019 R 5:25 – 7:25 pm

Food is one of the basic necessities of life, but how do we satisfy this need in a sustainable fashion? Part cooking class, part academic investigation of food and sustainability, this course will immerse students in all aspects of food. Activities will involve learning how to cook simple vegan meals, how to bake bread from scratch, and how to choose healthy and environmentally friendly ingredients. 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. Transportation will be necessary for several of the class sessions as we visit local farms and kitchens. Expect food to be provided at each class session. Eating well is not just eating to satiation. Eating well means eating food that is right for the planet, that fits the pocketbook, and that will lead to enhanced personal health.

Sex Drugs Student
CRN23575 HNRS 23020 W 9:00 – 9:50 am

In this course, we will investigate student health and wellness in areas that concern students such as exercise, stress, weight management, sexual behavior, contraception, drugs, and alcohol. Together, we will use data to explore trends and predictors of Ithaca College students’ health and wellness and see how this compares to college students across the country.

Slow Read: The Painter’s Eye and the “Art of Painting”
CRN23571 HNRS 24004 w 4:00 – 5:15 pm

The visual equivalent of a “slow read” might be a “close look,” but the careful and deliberate engagement of viewer and painting is more than just seeing the details. A close look can help us understand a work of art as the record of an artist’s observations, as an interpretation of its subject, and as an artifact of material creation. Close looking also implies a reading of the expressive and symbolic meaning of an image, as well as insight into the history and influence of that image. In this course, and in the spirit of the “Slow Read,” we will carry out a close (and slow) visual reading of Johannes Vermeer’s painting “The Art of Painting” and use it as a springboard for discussion about the painterly representation of reality. Along the way, we will examine a selection of other paintings (both old and new) to provide context and comparison, as well as read texts that help us decode the image and its subject.

Slow Read: Hans Fallada’s Every Man Dies Alone
CRN23572 HNRS 24005 R 9:50 – 10:40 am

This slow read is based on a novel about the true story of Elise and Otto Hampel, a couple who exemplified everyday resistance during the Third Reich. Novelist Hans Fallada, who lived through the National Socialist regime, crafted the narrative as a cat-and-mouse detective story between the “criminal” pair and a Gestapo officer. In so doing, he interrogated the nature of resistance, complicity, and justice within oppressive societies. Our seminar will examine these themes from a historical as well as a literary perspective, considering in particular whether novels should be considered historical sources.