All-College Honors Program

Director: Professor Janet M. McNally


The All-College Honors Program is a learning community of excellent and motivated students who take interdisciplinary courses and enjoy abundant opportunities for social interaction and cultural enrichment. Because the Honors Program replaces the entire core curriculum, Honors students need not take any regular core courses or fulfill any core requirements. All majors can complete Honors, and even quadruple majors have done so. Please see the Honors website for a more detailed description of the Honors Program and its academic, co-curricular, social, and cultural opportunities at the All-College Honors' website


Admission to the All-College Honors Program is open to entering first-year students with strong academic records and to well-qualified sophomores and transfer students who seek permission from the Honors director.


All-College Honors students should see the Honors director regarding advisement questions.

Program Experiences

Many Honors courses are supported by a variety of co-curricular activities. Examples include visiting museums, art galleries, and houses of worship; attending cultural performances; sight-seeing places of historic significance; and dining at local restaurants.

The Honors Program and the Honors Student Association traditionally sponsor many different events, including a freshman orientation dinner, a luncheon series with community leaders, a film series, snow tubing and skating, lectures by nationally-known professors, jazz and orchestral concerts, visits to museums and sports arenas, ice cream socials, a Thanksgiving dinner, a Christmas party, an annual banquet, and trips to major cities. Our social media accounts publicize and promote these events. In addition, many Honors students participate in community service projects, including a soup kitchen and an after-school program to feed, tutor, and play with the youth in our community.


All-College Honors Program Curriculum

(12 Honors courses, all of which count for 3 credits; there are no prerequisites).

HON 101Honors English3
HON 102Honors Philosophy3
HON 103Honors First Year Seminar3
1 Fine Arts Honors Course3
1 History Honors Course3
1 Literature Honors Course3
1 Philosophy Honors Course3
2 Religious Studies Honors Courses6
1 Science/Math/Technology Honors Course3
1 Social Science Honors Course3
HON 451Thesis3
Total Credits36

Please Note: One of these Honors courses must focus on the American experience, and another must address diversity or global understanding.

Typically, Honors freshmen complete Honors English (HON 101) Honors Philosophy (HON 102) and Honors First Year Seminar (HON 103) in their first year. First-year Biology majors have room for only one of these courses in their first semester (usually HON 101) and another of them in the second semester (HON 102 or HON 103). If their schedule permits, Honors students may take additional Honors coursework, though only juniors and seniors may take Honors thesis (HON 451). Except for Honors thesis, the course number does not indicate the level of difficulty.

Most Honors students must also complete two non-Honors courses in another language (ancient, modern, or sign), unless they receive AP credit or have satisfactorily completed college-level foreign language coursework. International students whose native language is not English are exempt from this requirement.

Additional Course Considerations

Honors students may receive Honors credit for some qualifying Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate scores, though there are no exemptions for Honors English or Western Tradition. It may also be possible for college credit obtained elsewhere to be accepted in the Honors Program. The decision as to what outside credit the Honors Program can accept rests with the Honors director. Honors students are encouraged to study abroad and receive up to six hours of Honors credit for doing so.

Note: To graduate with All-College Honors distinction, students must receive credit for all twelve Honors courses taken and two courses in the same foreign language, and have an overall GPA of 3.25 in all Canisius courses.


Recommended Semester Schedule for Honors Program Course Requirements

HON 101HON 102 or 103
HON 102 or 103 
1-2 Honors courses1-2 Honors courses
1-2 Honors courses1-2 Honors courses
HON 4511-2 Honors courses
Thesis may also be taken in the junior year or in second semester of the senior year. 

Learning Goals & Objectives

The learning goals & objectives for the Honors Program are intimately bound up with Honors thesis, the culminating and demanding academic exercise for All-College Honors students. All-College Honors thesis addresses Middle States standards and the learning goals of Canisius University in at least six ways: (1) information literacy, (2) depth of knowledge, (3) critical thinking, (4) writing proficiency, (5) oral communication, and (6) technological competency.

Student Learning Goal #1

Honors students will demonstrate information literacy

Honors thesis is a well-developed exercise in information literacy, one that builds on the Honors curriculum's foundational courses. Each Honors thesis student must define a topic, conceive of the kinds of materials that will be needed to investigate their topics, devise a strategy to locate such materials, think critically about the information gathered, and present the findings honestly and in cogent written and oral form. As appropriate, thesis advisers will recommend relevant materials to their students and guide them in their use, but the thesis remains the responsibility of Honors students as they deepen their own intellectual, research, and communication skills. In sum, Honors students must demonstrate through Honors thesis that they are informed and literate persons on the topics they explore.

Student Learning Goal #2

Honors students will demonstrate depth of knowledge

Honors thesis intrinsically involves an in-depth investigation of one or more fields of learning. In the course of studying a particular topic, Honors students will become aware of multiple points of view regarding it. The task of probing a particular topic at length promotes the skills and habits of mind that are the hallmark of sustained scholarly and/or creative activity.

Student Learning Goal #3

Honors students will demonstrate critical thinking

Honors thesis involves the identification, analysis, and comprehension of assumptions related to the topic under investigation. In addition, Honors students must synthesize information and apply it to their theses. At its highest level, Honors thesis students should aspire to create knowledge in working on their theses.

Student Learning Goal #4

Honors students will demonstrate writing proficiency

The Canisius All-College Honors thesis, which consists of at least 35 pages of text (10,000 words), requires Honors students to think carefully about their work and to write about their findings and conclusions with clarity and precision. These tasks necessitate many weeks of writing and repeated revision, all under the watchful eye of a highly qualified faculty member who serves as thesis adviser. For most Honors students, this intensive writing exercise will be the longest and most highly polished paper of their undergraduate education.

Student Learning Goal #5

Honors students will demonstrate oral communication

Near the end of the semester in which Honors thesis is written, Honors students must present and defend their work in front of an audience that includes the thesis adviser, the 2nd reader, a faculty representative from the Honors Program, and other interested parties, including other Honors students. During this presentation, which is part of “Honors Thesis Defense Week,” thesis students must discuss their arguments, their assumptions, their research, and their findings with clarity and precision. After the thesis presentation, those present may interrogate the Honors students on any aspect of their work, and Honors students are expected to respond to such questioning with considerable familiarity, insight, and skill in communication.

Student Learning Goal #6

Honors students will demonstrate technical competency

During the preparation of Honors thesis or during the thesis defense, Honors students must use a computer with competency. One might, for example, demonstrate this competency by using data bases to gather material, storing or manipulating material in software such as Excel, and/or using PowerPoint or other software (e.g., Emaze, Haiku Deck, Keynote, Prezi, Slidebean, Visme, and Zoho Show) to present the thesis during the defense.


All of these skills are measured through the use of three Honors thesis rubrics. One rubric, which is completed at the time of thesis defense by the adviser, 2nd reader, and Honors Program representative, measures oral communication and technological competency. The other rubric, which is completed after the thesis is finished, measures information literacy, depth of knowledge, critical thinking, and writing proficiency. This second rubric comes in two forms, a longer version to be completed by the adviser and a shorter version to be completed by the 2nd reader.

HON 101 Honors English 3 Credits

Various literary genres. Works by writers representing a wide variety of places, times, nationalities, and philosophies. Student's writing refined through these readings and composition assignments.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: fall.

HON 102 Honors Philosophy 3 Credits

HON 102 introduces honors students to the history of philosophy by selecting texts and figures from the Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and/or Contemporary eras. It also delves into some of the important and principal branches in philosophy, including Aesthetics, Epistemology, Ethics, Metaphysics, and Justice. Students critically evaluate classic texts and arguments and study the elements of rational argumentation. HON 102 is a prerequisite for upper level HON courses in philosophy.

Offered: every fall & spring.

HON 103 Honors First Year Seminar 3 Credits

Honors First Year seminar introduces students to critical thinking, reading, and writing practices required for success in the Honors Program. The course is taught by professors from departments across the college, who work to encourage students’ intellectual curiosity by designing seminars around their own academic passions. Students will explore the process of research, improve their oral communication skills, and receive an introduction to the Honors thesis project, one of the most important parts of the Honors program.

Offered: every fall & spring.

HON 209 Black Mirror Reflections Technology and the Human Condition 3 Credits

Over the last century, technology has become especially ubiquitous. Television, cellular phones, medical drugs, and the internet—just to name a few—have assumed a prominent and enduring place in modern life, and there are others on the immediate horizon. Yet we rarely take the opportunity to reflect on these technologies and their relation to ourselves and our society. In this class, we will use the Netflix television series Black Mirror to examine our relationship with technology and its effects on our humanity. What unwanted or unnoticed effects does the use of technology have in our lives? What presuppositions do technologies make? How do we balance moral responsibility with the rapidly increasing demand for new and better technology? How does technology change the way we relate to our world? How should we evaluate future technologies? What kind of life do we want and what role should technology have in it? These are a few of the questions that we will consider by critically examining selected essays, articles, and episodes of Black Mirror that explore the controversies surrounding technology.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 210 Gender Intersectionality, Equality, and Identity 3 Credits

This course asks a fundamental question about identity. What is sex and gender and how do we define ourselves within those frameworks? Which levels of respect, dignity and safety do we receive within those frameworks? What would it look like to have a society where women and men are equal? This class takes an intersectional approach in our study of gender, as we will also investigate how gender intersects with economic class and race & ethnicity. The theme of this course relates to issues that are always in the news, whether a case of sexual assault or the issue of gender in our political processes and elections. Therefore, in this course, our readings will be useful in analyzing the current world around us.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 211 Living Well 3 Credits

A critical examination of the idea of living well under the principles of different ethical notions. Emphasis on the ideas of virtue and vice both for living well and for ethical theories. Character sketches for each different position will be a basis for critical and comparative inquiries. This course fulfills the Philosophy and Diversity/Global Understanding requirements of the Honors Program.

Prerequisite: None. Corequisite: None.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 212 Beauty Matters: Philosophical Considerations of Beauty from Ancient Times to the Present Day 3 Credits

An examination of the nature and importance of beauty as an aesthetic principle and as a source of value for our lives. The course covers issues of beauty and the sublime in ancient and early modern times, but focuses on philosophical literature on beauty from the last few decades, often focusing on issues related to gender and race. Fulfills the Philosophy requirement in Honors.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 213 Debating Dinner: The Philosophy of Eating 3 Credits

This course will explore the complex relationships involved in the food that we eat every day. We will examine a variety of issues that circle around food, including consumer ethics, a troubling food system, global hunger, obesity and public health, plant and animal industrial agriculture, and food workers.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 214 Sights & Sounds: Philosophy of Film 3 Credits

An introduction to the philosophy of film. Students need have no special knowledge of film, but should have an interest in watching film and being exposed to different genres and eras of film. The course will explore philosophical readings that focus on different aesthetic characterizations of film and various debates that have followed philosophical theories such as formalist, representational, and expressionist accounts. We will also explore debates in which philosophers have engaged regarding contemporary film, including questions about its nature, whether films have authors, how film engages our emotions, and what relationship film has to ethics, criticism, and knowledge. Fulfills either the Philosophy or Fine Arts requirement in Honors.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 215 Death and Dying 3 Credits

This course offers an opportunity for reflective examination on death and dying. We all are going to die, but many of us prefer not to think about it. This course tries to rectify that circumstance by considering the following questions: what is death? What does it mean to die well or to obtain a good death? Is death bad for the person who dies? Is it possible and/or desirable to defeat death? Is an immortal life a good human life? How should human beings view death? How can we best honor and remember the dead? What makes killing “wrong” in cases such as abortion, euthanasia, or suicide? This course will lean heavily on philosophy, but will be fundamentally interdisciplinary, drawing on sociology, psychology, theology, and the natural sciences.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 216 Art in Mind: Philosophical Aesthetics 3 Credits

An introduction to philosophical thinking about the arts. What is the difference between art and non-art? How has the very notion of 'art' changed across different eras? The course will introduce students to the main theories and classic texts of the philosophy of art and explore different applications and ideas. After an examination of general aesthetic theories, the course will focus on philosophical issues in different art media, such as music, painting, literature, or film.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 217 Cities, Suburbs, and Spaces 3 Credits

This course examines the 'built' environment of human beings, such as parks, bedrooms, churches, sidewalks, streets, and transportation systems, in order to determine what kinds of cities, suburbs, and spaces can best contribute to human flourishing. Fulfills the Philosophy or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 221 Religion, Peace, and Violence 3 Credits

An examination of the ways religions have advocated for both violence and peace. We will consider the role of violence in religious narratives and moral debates about the circumstances in which violence may be permitted or even encouraged. The course will focus on Christianity but will also examine other religions and will discuss religious teachings about how to respond to and disrupt violence.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 227 Vices and Addictions in American Society 3 Credits

Explains and analyzes the impact of vices and addictions on American daily life and leisure, disease and treatment, the economy, government policies, and reform crusades. Some of the bad habits and addictions to be considered include tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine, prescribed drugs, coffee, chocolate, and sports betting. Fulfills either the History, Science/Math/Tech, or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: once a year.

HON 232 American Government: The User Guide 3 Credits

Politics matters. It will significantly impact everyone, regardless of career path. This course will provide the basic tools that students will need to comprehend and effectively participate in American government. Topics will include the three branches of government, American federalism, elections, civil rights, civil liberties, taxes, and budgets. Fulfills the Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 236 Identity and Power 3 Credits

This course is designed to provide students with a theoretical foundation in examining everyday experiences of people by putting social forms of identity (gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, class, nation, etc.) and power at the center of the discussion. The aim of the course is to encourage students to develop the analytical skills needed to think critically about the relationship between social identity and power. After introducing students to the key concepts and critical theories of ‘power’ and ‘ideology’, the historical processes of colonialism, imperialism and (and ideology) of capitalism will be discussed to establish the background for further class discussions. The seminars will then encourage students to engage in critical dialogues about racial, ethnic, religious, class, nation, gender, and sexual identities and how these identities influence the social positioning of individuals/groups and produce issues of social stratification, conflict, and inequality. The students will examine the ways in which these aspects of identity are socially reproduced, transformed and re-interpreted, both historically and contemporarily. Fulfills Social Science requirement in Honors.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 241 Ecology & Self Everglades 3 Credits

This course will be focused upon week-long field ecology studies at unique and threatened environments throughout the subtropical Florida region, mostly within Everglades National Park. Participants will experience a wide variety of interpretive programs regarding the history, ecology, and politics of these environments and come away with a deep understanding of the Florida Everglades system. Travel will occur in early January. Students will be responsible for arranging and covering the costs of their travel to our meeting point in the Everglades as well as their return travel following the experience. The course will also have an additional fee to cover costs of programming in the Everglades. Students will also meet regularly prior to and following the travel component of the course to engage with course material. Throughout the travel and campus-based components of the course, students will read narratives about authors’ relationship with the environment, connect with unique ecosystems, and reflect on their individual place in ecology. Credit: 3 credits (total hours = 135 to be divided across pretravel meetings and activities, Everglades time, and activities during the spring semester) Spring meeting times: Wednesday evenings any time after 5:30pm for no more than 1 hour.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 242 Cultural Constructions of Jesus 3 Credits

We will examine the various presentations of Jesus that have occurred in different historical and cultural contexts, beginning with the canonical Gospels. The course concludes with a survey of modern interpretations of Jesus: the American Jesus; the Jesus of Latin America, Asia, and Africa; and Jesus in modern literature and film.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 243 Carmen: A Literary Myth 3 Credits

Literature has an ability to generate characters and elevate them to symbolic categories or archetypes. Don Quijote, Don Juan, Hamlet, Faust, and Carmen are the most recognized, but there are many others (El Cid -a medieval hero, la Celestina -a matchmaker, el Lazarillo-a rogue). With the passing of time, thanks to their magnanimous individualism reflected not only in literature, theatre and art, but also in the film and popular culture of our times, they evolved into ineludible cultural references, recognized as emblems of Western civilization. Carmen appeals to high and low or popular cultures of our times. From an opera to art; from novels, short stories to poetry and postmodern film, this universal myth is in a constant aesthetic motion.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 247 Islam: Religion, History, and Culture 3 Credits

A study of Islamic scriptures, Muslim cultures, social institutions, religious practices, and Muslim and Western writings to better understand Islam and Muslims in the U.S. and throughout the world. Fulfills either the Religious Studies, History, or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Awareness requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 248 Asian Religions 3 Credits

In this class, we will survey some of the major religious traditions of East and South Asia, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Particular attention is placed on historical and contemporary beliefs, practices, texts, and cultures, as well as their changes over time. Fulfills either the Religious Studies or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Awareness requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 249 Magic, Science, and Religion 3 Credits

This course will consider diverse ways in which world cultures conceive, make use of, and tap into the realms of the extra- human. We will focus not only on 'exotic' societies and peoples, but also explore the meanings of magic, science and religion in more familiar contemporary North America. Fulfills Religious Studies, Math, Science and Technology or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience and Diversity/Global Awareness requirements.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 251 Idea of Race: History of an Idea in the Making and Unmaking of America 3 Credits

HON 251, an interdisciplinary discussion and lecture course, has students engage the major themes, persons, developments, and issues of the history of the idea of “race” in America. This course traces the history and development of the idea of “race” between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries in North America and the United States by concentrating on the interactions of Americans of various ethnicities and cultures, including Native Americans, African Americans, and Americans of various European and Asian descent. This course analyzes the social, economic, religious, and cultural implications of these exchanges, the development and evolution of racial identities as a result of these interactions, and the notions and systems of racism and racial prejudice that accompanied and fostered this development and evolution.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 255 The Buffalo Experience 3 Credits

This interdisciplinary course will focus on the history, architecture, and culture of Buffalo, New York, known variously as the 'Queen City of the Lakes' and the 'City of No Illusions.' There will be walking tours and cultural experiences to supplement classwork. Fulfills either the History or Fine Arts requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience or Diversity/Global Experience requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 258 The Audio Essay 3 Credits

Each week, millions of people listen to podcasts and radio programs like "The Moth" or "This American Life," where writers, and others from all walks of life tell gripping, fascinating, hilarious and poignant stories about their lives. Through these true stories, we gain a deeper and truer understanding of the world around us and our place in it. "We tell ourselves stories in order to live," as Joan Didion, one of the greatest essayists of the twentieth century, put it. With the explosion of podcasts in the last decade, personal essays presented in audio format have grown in popularity, creating careers for writers and performers like David Sedaris, Tig Notaro, and Ira Glass. In this class, students will encounter and analyze audio essays, sometimes known as "radio diaries," a form of narrative writing that often blends personal, memoir style writing with more traditional modes of journalism. Students will create their own audio essays using professional audio equipment, edit and their own work and help critique the work of their peers, and finally upload their work to the web for distribution. This course satisfies the fine arts or literature requirement for Honors.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 264 Ukraine and Poland's Complicated Relationship: Past, Present, and Future 3 Credits

This course would show the relations between Poland and the Ukraine since the 16th century – political, social and economic – with particular attention given to the 20th and 21th century. It would locate the relations in the uneasy context of conflicts and fights between 1918 and 1945, the relocation of Polish Ukrainians after World War 2 and attempts to establish civilized relations after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and birth of independent Ukraine. My intention would be not to narrow the course to the Polish – Ukrainian relations only but to show them on a wider European and perhaps American background.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 265 Of Gods & Philosophers 3 Credits

Does “God” - or do “gods” - exist? Can divine goodness be reconciled with evil? What place does religion have in society and government? Are faith(s) and reason combatants or compatible? In this course, we will survey several approaches to such questions from thinkers across different religious traditions, as well as some non-theists. Our focus will be on elucidating what philosophical commitments about reality, value, and knowledge must be made or implied in those various approaches.

Prerequisite: HON 102.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 266 Between Past and Future: Post-1989 Polish Culture 3 Credits

In Polish history the year 1989 marks a historical transition from state socialism to democracy and capitalism. The end of socialism started a new era in Polish society, governmentality, and culture. Yet, it turned out that the new state and its culture could not “build” themselves without looking into and grappling with the past, most importantly, the history of the World War II and the socialist legacy. In this cultural studies course, we will familiarize ourselves with the post-1989 Polish culture in a variety of art forms, including literature, film, photography, and digital media. We will analyze how this “new” culture grapples with the past (for example, the Holocaust, the anti-Semitic campaign of the 1968, exclusion of LGBTQ+ minorities in socialist Poland) and if and how it attempts to “move on.” We will discuss important social phenomena and historical events occurring after 1989 and the ways in which culture represents, responds or silences them. We will think about how the post-1989 culture negotiates Polish tradition and reconciles it with European values and the global market. Most importantly, we will ask whether culture can help us understand the past and what kind of futures it envisions.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 267 Discordant Cultural Voices Creative Tensions, Justice, and the Alchemy of Conflict 3 Credits

This course will look at prominent contemporary critics and writers whose viewpoints and narratives involve opposing ideologies and practices, or whose work features stories with seemingly irreconcilable visions of our present and future. Our readings will focus on three areas of cultural debate holding center stage today: race, education, and medicine. In Woke Racism, John McWhorter takes on Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me, and Nicole Hannah Jones, founder of the 1619 Project. Economist Thomas Sowell’s Charter Schools and Their Enemies challenges Diane Ravitch’s argument in The Death and Life of the Great American School System. Historian Ivan Doig’s novel, The Whispering Season, foreshadows and distills this conflict in enlightening fashion. Lewis Thomas, one of our great writer doctors, explores the failure and limitations of medicine in distinct opposition to its successes in his final book, The Fragile Species; and Dr. Rafael Campo’s poetry reveals the painful strains and bewilderments he confronts without and within as he practices medicine today. These works and other related essays and stories create intense heat; what light might we possibly see? This course will fulfill the Literature and History requirements in Honors, as well as Diversity/Global Awareness and American Experience.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 268 Refugee Cinema 3 Credits

This course explores the varied experiences of different refugee populations through feature film, documentary, journalism, first-person accounts, and guest speakers. Films and readings examine the ways refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people have been represented in contemporary film, as well as the ways refugees have represented themselves. We will also look at the ongoing work of refugee organizations in Buffalo. Fulfills either the Fine Arts, Literature, or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as Diversity/Global Understanding.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 269 Apocalyptic Culture Visions of the End of the World 3 Credits

In this seminar, we will look at the idea of the Apocalypse in all its many forms, from its origins in Jewish and early Christian writings to the current explosion or apocalyptic visions in modern popular culture. We will consider such questions as: What is an Apocalypse and why do people imagine the end of the world? Do all cultures do this? What if divine punishment happens and world doesn’t end? Should we make a distinction between “apocalyptic” and “post-apocalyptic” visions? What historical contexts have given rise to apocalyptic visions and what does that say about what we fear or hope for? What is going to kill us: Zombies? Robots? Nature? Something else? What do these stories tell us about ourselves?

Offered: occasionally.

HON 270 Psychobiography 3 Credits

This class will use psychological theory and research to gain an understanding of the life of an individual, a literary figure, or a historical period through the act of psychobiography. In doing so, students will also build their understanding of psychological science. We will begin the semester by learning about the art and science of psychobiography. The rest of the semester will be student-driven, applying psychobiographical techniques to learn about different areas of psychology within the context of a student-chosen focal psychobiographical subject. For example, students have gained a better understanding of Frank Lloyd Wright, Robin Williams, Coco Chanel, Lin Manuel Miranda, Lady Macbeth, and Hermione Granger while learning about and applying theory and research on narcissism, depression, extraversion, and creativity. Fulfills Social Science requirement in Honors.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 271 The Body Erotic/The Body Politic: Sexuality as Political Discourse 3 Credits

We will examine a variety of writers from Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. whose writing deals directly with the issues of the sexual body in terms of the political body. The course will explore the political uses of the body as well as the sexualization of the political. The idea that political discourse has made the sexual political will inform how we read these textual responses to political oppression of the sexual body, and how the sexual body is used as a political retort. These texts will be read in terms of racial, class, and political “identities”. We will explore the usefulness of sex as protest, as political discourse, and as free speech during the course of the 20th Century, from just before WWII, until the present. We will also explore the role religion plays in the intersection of national and sexual identities.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 272 Race, Resistance, and Arts of Refusal 3 Credits

What do freedom and justice really mean for those barred from their attainment because of “race”? How might we understand living under racialized constraint as an existence that is more than oppression? What teachings are offered by persons who have needed to be skillful in crafting possibility from impossibility? The course will explore how “race” has been theorized, constructed, contested, and negotiated. Formally excluded from traditional philosophy, Black peoples and other racialized groups have used literature, music, and stylized cultural expression to do the critical work of philosophy. We will draw upon the work of such thinkers as James Baldwin, Zora Neal Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and N.K. Jemisin to better understand how groups that have been marginalized refuse to accept an unjust world. How they engage in world-making by taking up arts of refusal. Fulfills the philosophy attribute in the Honor's program.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 308 Culture in the Cold War 3 Credits

This course is an examination of the ways people across the globe experienced, consumed, and lived the Cold War from the late 1940s until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Using various cultural artifacts from the period, such as literature, print propaganda, film, sport, and other cultural modes and genres, the course aims to have students understand the Cold War as a multi-polar experience that profoundly shaped the “West,” the “East,” as well as the Global South. The format of the course will be a hybrid of lecture and seminar discussion.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 309 Polish History Through Film 3 Credits

This course will use award-winning films to introduce students to major aspects of Poland's history and contemporary society in all its complexity. Fulfills either the History, Social Science, or Fine Arts requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Experience requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 310 Globalization Challenges & Opportunities 3 Credits

This course will investigate the manifestations of globalization in the 21st century as a moment in time and space where contacts between cultures, economies and political systems accelerated via the new technologies to create what is perceived as a form of  "uniformisation". Globalization tends either to be praised, reviled, or accepted as inevitable. This course encourages students to explore the different facets of the question, provoking ideas and debates about the role of different actors and institutions and the new forms of civic engagement brought about by modern globalization. The course is discussion-based, with a particular emphasis on current events, contemporary essays, and the media.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 312 Masters of Modern Thought 3 Credits

This course focuses on five thinkers whose thought defines, for better or worse, the world in which we now live, i.e., Karl Marx, Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche, Max Weber, and Sigmund Freud. All were products of the German intellectual tradition, and the profundity of their thought and influence testifies to the preeminent position that Germany held in European thought and culture in the 19th and first part of the 20th century. The cumulative effect of their thought was to challenge the values and moral certain­ties of what historians and philosophers have called the “bour­geois-Christian world.” This course will provide students with an introduction to the thought of each man and will show how they in their own ways were speaking to each other as part of an intellectual tradi­tion. It is not designed as the end but as the beginning of an intellectual journey that I hope will continue with you for the rest of your lives. Whether or not you agree with what they have to say either individually or collectively, you will, if you are at all sensitive to the larger world around you, be wrestling with the power of their ideas and the implications of their thought long after you have escaped the confines of the classroom.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 321 Critical Issues in the History of Photography 3 Credits

This seminar proposes to examine the long-standing critical issues surrounding the many discursive spaces (e.g., the museum, family scrapbook, illustrated press, and court of law) that photography occupies in our common (that is, shared) culture. Fulfills the Fine Arts requirement in Honors.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 322 Orchestral Music 3 Credits

The course covers orchestral music from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Students will develop an understanding of the history of orchestral music as well as how it is structured, its general characteristics, and its social context.

Offered: Fall.

HON 326 Art Song 3 Credits

The simplest musical expression in Western culture is the solo song, the blending of lyric poetry and music. The course surveys art song from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century, looking particularly at those periods and styles that stand as high points of musical achievement. Students will study the poetry and musical styles of a selected repertoire with emphasis on its historical and cultural context and reception. Students will experience the music through live performances on or outside of campus as well as through recordings in class. No previous musical knowledge is required to take the course. Fulfills the Fine Arts requirement in Honors. It also fulfills the Diversity/Global Awareness attribute.

Prerequisite: none.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 338 Cuban Cinema of the Revolution 3 Credits

The course will serve as an introduction to Cuba by exploring issues of history, education, race (including slavery’s past), gender, sexuality, prostitution, economies (from official to black market, multiple currencies, libreta, etc.), religion (Catholic & syncretic religions), and how the Revolution of 1959 transformed the country at all levels of society. We will look at a variety of filmmakers, though primarily focused on four: Gutiérrez Alea, Tabío, Giral, and Solás. The course will examine how cinema serves history, propaganda, the state, but also how cinema can be critical, subversive, and revolutionary (in terms of technique, adaptation, perspective, narrative construction). We will explore how art (film) and politics intertwine, inform, and critique, and how film can be used as part of a process of education, history, national identity formation, and rectification of revolutionary processes.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 339 LatinX Experience in Literature and Film 3 Credits

The course will explore the Latino struggle of belonging, or not belonging, to the mythic U.S. melting pot. We will explore Latin@ literature primarily from the last half of the previous century to contemporary writers. We will problematize the term “Latin@” in terms of race, ethnicity, country of origin, and cultural variables. Furthermore, the unease of belonging to neither the locus of the U.S. nor to the country/culture of origin/ancestry will be further explored in light of other marks of identity difference, including race, gender, sexuality, religion, and class. The difficulty of finding an identity, a locus, and the various modes of adaptation and adoption will be explored through the literary production of Latinos trying to articulate the state of (not) belonging for themselves as well as to give voice to their community. While the course will strive to give an historical perspective to the issues at hand, our focus will be more on the literary production of the 20th/21st centuries, when Latin@ literature blossomed in the context of Civil Rights and the social upheavals of the mid century. Knowledge of Spanish not required. Course is taught IN ENGLISH.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of HON 101.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 340 Desire and Conquest Urban Landscapes of Old Spain 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the historic and cultural evolution of five magnificent Spanish cities: Sagunto/Valencia, Seville, Cordoba, Toledo, and Granada from Roman times to the end of the Arab hegemony, roughly 300 BC – 1400 AD. Students will learn how to analyze major socio-cultural institutions, art, and architecture in Ancient and Medieval Spain. The course explores how Christian, Islamic, and Jewish cultures shaped life and molded the identity of Spain and made the Iberian Peninsula a melting pot, a cosmopolitan region with major metropolises, which became a major center for cultural dissemination in the Mediterranean. To enhance students’ understanding of the topic, there are two 1-day study tours programmed during the semester: Corning Museum of Glass (impressive collection of Roman and Arab artifacts), and Met Cloisters (superb collection of Medieval paintings).

Offered: occasionally.

HON 341 Shakespeare's Globe 3 Credits

“What country, friend, is this?” asks Viola in the first line of Twelfth Night. Shakespeare’s works are set in dozens of countries, and, while they all really represent England to him and his audiences, Shakespeare’s global ambitions have come to fruition in the centuries following his death. His words were spread as touchstones of western culture during the age of empire, for good and ill, and modern critics and thespians have long debated the universality of the supposed inventor of the human. In this seminar, we will examine the way Shakespeare’s works create meaning - how they fit within specific historical, philosophical, and artistic frameworks - and how that meaning can be (and has been) reimagined in and reclaimed by the voices of different modern peoples around the world. Fulfills either the Fine Arts, History, or Literature requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Awareness requirement.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 342 Two Elizabeths: The Changing Art of Queenship 3 Credits

When Elizabeth II became Queen in 1952, commentators spoke of a “new Elizabethan Age,” inviting comparisons of the new monarch with Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558 to 1603. When the second Elizabeth died in 2022, those comparisons appeared again. This course examines what monarchy, and specifically the role of a reigning queen, meant in two very different periods. Using both primary and secondary historical material, as well as representations from the arts and from popular culture, we will examine the contrast between a powerful ruler and a constitutional monarch whose role was largely symbolic. We will consider how gender shaped politics and power and how the experiences and personalities of both queens have been used to foster national unity and identity.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 343 Vampires and Ghosts in Art and Literature: The English Gothic Novel 3 Credits

This course will examine the English Gothic novel. Gothic novels emphasize the horrible, the supernatural, the sublime, and the fantastic, finding their inspiration in the mystery of the unknown. Knowledge and mystery, good and evil, the beautiful and the sublime, light and dark, all are opposing forces that characterize the human condition in the Gothic novel, which often dramatizes psychological, social, and sexual conflict. Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto in 1764 introduces many of the elements that will characterize the Gothic for two centuries: a castle, suspense, ghosts, a persecuted innocent, and a highly symbolic environment. We will begin with Walpole and wend our way through the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic tradition and end with contemporary stories like Angela Carter’s and Neil Gaiman’s, pairing the literature with art, architecture, and theories of the Gothic, and discuss how the Gothic transforms, adapting its political and social critique and incorporating developing understandings of human psychology.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 344 Literary Publishing 3 Credits

Literary and arts magazines, both print and digital, represent a powerful force in American culture: they nurture young artists, provide a home for innovative work, and offer a place for diverse identities and ideas to be welcomed and represented. This course is a hands-on exploration of the literary publishing phenomenon: its history, cultural significance, aesthetics, and process by which unique and distinctive artifacts are created. Together we’ll learn about the history of literary publishing, meet and converse with publishing professionals, survey the current landscape of literary magazines, and study the interplay of form and content, design and theme. We’ll even take a field trip: to the Western New York Book Arts Center In order to learn about and practice the art of letterpress printing. Students will, finally, have the opportunity to participate in the creation of Quadrangle, Canisius’s own magazine of visual and literary arts, with its own rich tradition, and thus have the chance to practice their own editorial and design skills.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 346 30 Years that Shook Science: The Story of the Quantum 3 Credits

Major scientific breakthroughs during the 19th century led many scientists at the end of the 1800's to confidently claim that science was close to explaining everything theoretically. But how wrong these scientists were! The solutions to a few remaining problems led to the discovery of the quantum, which started a revolution in science at the beginning of the 20th century. This course will explore a number of important concepts in science discovered in the early 1900's, their historical development, and the intriguing lives of the scientific giants who played a major role in this revolution. Fulfills either the History or the Science/Math/Tech requirement in Honors.

Prerequisite: None. Corequisite: None.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 347 Mathematics: Patterns, Problems, & Puzzles 3 Credits

Mathematical problems and puzzles can often be solved by investigating underlying patterns. This course analyzes such patterns in the mathematical fields of number theory, geometry (2D & 3D), and logic. The history of the mathematics (and the mathematicians) involved with these patterns, problems and puzzles will also be explored. Fulfills the Science/Math/Tech requirement in Honors.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 348 Practical Epistemology Discerning Truth Among Deepfakes and Disinformation 3 Credits

In a time when conspiracy theories abound, accusations of disinformation and discredited expertise run rampant, and the uses (and seeming abuses) of technology are growing, some age-old philosophical questions are particularly relevant again: “What do we know anyway? Who ought we trust - and why? How can we be better at identifying what’s trustworthy?” These are some of the most central questions in the sub-field of philosophical inquiry called ‘epistemology’ - the study of knowledge. In this course, we will review classical and contemporary answers to various relevant problems and paradoxes of knowledge. We will then see how these answers may help us resolve contemporary quandaries about knowledge and identify intellectual virtues worth developing to help us find knowledge - and, perhaps, practical wisdom - in a world full of data and information.

Prerequisite: HON 102 or PHI 101 plus another PHI course or instructor approval.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 349 The Western and the Faking of America 3 Credits

The American West is a powerful, mythical place imbued with qualities considered by many to be the distilled essence of “American” identity, values, history, and character. “The West” has been constructed as a locus of rugged individualism, manifest destiny, supremacy (over nature and peoples), where the duality of lawlessness and imposition of justice require performances of violence. These narratives are haunted by the Mexican-American War, the US Civil War, and the Mexican Revolution, and the unresolved conflicts of race (black, indigenous, “Mexican”). These films also wrestle with gender and sexuality within the contexts of nationalist romance. This course will explore the development, promulgation, and recent reimaginings of the Western film narrative, delving into their social and political contexts. We will examine how conservative narratives attempt to use the mythology of the Western to harken back to an idyllic, mythic American past that has never existed; even while many films, from the past to the present, contradict this narrative, revealing how many films are misunderstood, misread, and misappropriated. The course will conclude with films that take the genre and its tropes and tell the story of the western mythology from the POV of women, Indigenous people, African American, and queers.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 351 Biology in Fiction and Film 3 Credits

This course will focus on biological concepts and themes as conveyed in novels, short stories, film, and television. Material and class discussions will feature both the science and cultural implications behind topics including evolution, ecology, human consciousness, genetics, disease, and gender/sexuality. Fulfills either the Fine Arts, Literature, or Science/Math/Tech requirement in Honors.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 354 Science in the 21st Century 3 Credits

Topics include the technology gap, global warming, genetically modified foods, alternative fuels, global food security and environmental stewardship. The seminar will explore the scientific underpinnings of the scientific discussions of our time, focusing on science fact, societal needs (nutrition), environmental concerns, population density, and global moral responsibility. Students will read primary literature, watch media reports, and debate scientific topics. Fulfills either the Science/Math/Tech or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Awareness requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 359 Spiritual Autobiography 3 Credits

Considers the characteristics and patterns of spiritual autobiographies, analyzes these texts within the historical, cultural and religious developments of each author's time period, and evaluates modern spiritual autobiographies for their connections to the students' own experiences. Sample autobiographies include those of Augustine of Hippo, Vera Brittain, John Bunyan, Edward Gosse, and Ignatius of Loyola. Fulfills either the Religious Studies or Literature requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Awareness requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 363 The Bible & Popular Culture 3 Credits

This class will examine pop culture references to the Bible, including those found in art, music, literature, television, film, and social media. We will critique these uses of the Bible and attempt to sort out their implications. Fulfills either the Religious Studies or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 364 Living Religions in Buffalo 3 Credits

Religious beliefs and practices play a significant role in the lives of many people around the world. Religious differences have also led to conflicts and problems. In this class, we will explore world religions through encounters with members of religious communities present in Buffalo.

Offered: Spring 2023.

HON 365 Bible and Power Reconsidering the Impact of the Bible in America and the World 3 Credits

An examination of the ways that the Bible has been used to support systems of power and oppression, and the ways that it has been used to liberate people from those systems. For instance, the Bible was used to defend slavery but was also used by the abolitionists who sought to end it. We will examine current debates as well as topics in American and global history, such as slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, Christian missionary efforts around the world, liberation movements, and debates about how to respond to prior injustices. We will use simulations to explore the motivations of people in the past and consider German actions after the Holocaust and the South African Truth and Reconciliation commission as possible models for ways that Americans can respond to current debates.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 367 Constructing Social Knowledge and Everyday Experience 3 Credits

Social theory guides us to an understanding of the social world and what we know about how it works and our role in it, as well as the causes and consequences of social issues. Students will dive into questions surrounding human social behavior. For example: How is society possible? Are human beings free? Can an individual really make a difference? Is the world becoming one global society? Students will embark on an investigation of the social world using social theory, including the ideas of conflict, functionalism, post-modernity, globalization and neoliberalism, feminism, environmental justice, and critical race theory. Students will study how theory is developed, applied, and challenged. This course fulfills the social science requirement in Honors.

Offered: every fall.

HON 368 War and Memory in America 3 Credits

Armed conflict and how we as a culture remember it are fundamental to our understanding of who we are as a people. This course investigates the experience of war and how it is remembered over the course of American history. Students will analyze theoretical readings, articles and essays, monographs, literature, television, monuments and art, public commemorations, and films to gain a greater understanding of America’s experience of war. The course addresses the fundamental question, “why do we argue over war’s meaning?” Papers, oral presentations, online discussion boards, and classroom discussions will allow students to learn how we as a culture have remembered war.

Prerequisite: Honors student or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: fall of even-numbered years.

HON 369 Almodóvar: Filming Desire, Passion, and Art 3 Credits

This course on the films of the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar explores how Almodóvar’s oeuvre reflects, comments, and critiques the socio-political contexts of Spain during the transition from the Francoist Fascist dictatorship to democracy, and, as a reaction to Franco, the eventual leftist leaning social and political development of Spain through to the contemporary crises of immigration, economic collapse, and terrorism. Students will engage with theoretical perspectives in order to enhance cinematic analysis. Starting from Almodóvar's first films in the 70s through to today, we explore sexual politics, class, gender, and the overarching presence of the church and state. The course explores the interactions between marginalized groups (LGBTQ, women, the poor, rural) with the dominant culture. We explore the geography of the city (Madrid and Barcelona, primarily) and forays into the countryside, examining the tensions between past and present, conservative and liberal, and the regional fragmentations of modern Spain as reflected in geography, gastronomy, clothing, scenes/props, and so forth. We also study the symbolic language of cinema, cinema as art, and the presence of art, music, and architecture in film.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 371 From Argonaut to Avenger, Son of God to Superhero: Religion, Myth, and the Evolution of the Hero 3 Credits

This new interdisciplinary Honors course will examine the mythic and religious traditions of the heroes of the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome, and their continuing influence upon the themes and motifs found in the “‘super’” heroes of the comic book age. The course will thus chart the cultural transformation of the idea of the “hero” from a religiously venerated human, to its contemporary association with fictional costumed crime-fighters.

Restrictions: All-College Honors Program students only, or by permission of the program director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 373 Living Writers 3 Credits

An examination of contemporary literature written by published authors who will visit our class. We will pay special attention to how assigned books reflect and respond to particular contemporary realities, such as the trauma of war, cultural upheaval, spiritual crisis, racial tension, and the challenge of achieving intimacy in a technological world. Fulfills the Literature requirement in Honors.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 378 Magic Realism 3 Credits

The course will explore the origins of magic realism and consider the function of magic realism as political protest. We will also explore what makes magic real by examining the issue of perspective, faith, and marginalization in relation to the texts. As a genre, magic realism attempts to manipulate western forms of narrative (the novel) to articulate a non-Western reality. The course considers the socio-political impact colonialism/post-colonialism (including revolution) and the use of the novel to define ethnic, racial, or even national identity in the post-colonial environment of the last half of the 20th century. Other questions we will explore include how magic realism has evolved from a post-colonial mode of discourse to a narrative form employed by other oppressed or underrepresented groups, including women, homosexuals, and the poor.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 382 Detective Fiction: Global Perspective on (In)Justice 3 Credits

Explore how detective fiction has evolved in various social, political, cultural, historical, and linguistic contexts from the origins in US and UK to a more global context. The course examines how the genre functions as social commentary in distinct places. Topics focusing on the relationship different cultures, societies, ethnicities, and other groups have toward the law and justice, which is distinctly different from what is common in American and British experiences with jurisprudence. They will also explore how the social, cultural, and political realities of the U. S. South, Italy, the U.S. Southwest, the Caribbean, Spain and Latin American, and their often repressive and violent histories, make Detective Fiction in these locales different than that experienced in mainstream markets in the United States and the UK. Recent historical developments in various locales around the world are studied, and how the peculiar social and political histories of these areas has dictated the nature of the detective fiction produced in these countries. Students will also engage in significant cultural analysis through language, geographic descriptions, gastronomical explorations in the texts, as well as exploring different systems of justice, social justice, revenge, memory, history, and crime and the law.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 383 Rock & Roll and Literature 3 Credits

In this seminar, we will look at the literature of Rock & roll--fiction, poetry, memoir, and journalism--that addresses one of America's most loved musical forms. While our study will not be limited to American writing, we will explore the ways that Rock & Roll is particularly American. What exactly does Rock & roll bring to the listener, and is that more than just music? We will consider the ways in which Rock & roll acts as a destructive and redemptive force, and the ways it interacts with gender and cultural identity. We will look at the "revolutionary spirit of rock and roll," as Patti Smith called it, and how it has been both a catalyst of change and a sign of it. We will be listening, too. Each work will have a soundtrack, so we will read the books in the context of their songs. As for writing assignments, students will produce analytical essays and other styles of writing about music. Fulfills the Literature, Fine Arts, and American Experience attribute in the Honor's program.

Offered: Occassionally.

HON 385 Modern Myths and Fairy Tales 3 Credits

Students will explore the continuing influence of fairy tales and Greek and Roman myths on contemporary literature. In addition, we will consider the cultural contexts of the initial versions of the stories and their more recent retellings, and we will analyze the works from several critical standpoints, including historical and feminist. Fulfills the Literature requirement in Honors, as well as the Diversity/Global Awareness requirement.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 387 Slavery, Real and Reimagined in Literature 3 Credits

“I was born a slave” are the words that begin many slave narratives. These five words were the key to selfhood, freedom, and independence for hundreds of black men and women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. More recently, contemporary authors have adopted the voices, events, and themes from the slave narrative, and have written novels based on them; these novels are called neo-slave narratives. The slave and neo-slave narrative are intimately tied to another, and they become an ideal place to study the dynamic between the past and present, the author and reader, white and black, men and women, fiction and fact, and North and South. For example, when we read the nineteenth-century slave narrative, we will study how the black author had to balance the desire to tell a deeply personal story with the realities of a white audience; for the neo-slave narrative, we will question how and if this has changed. We will be reading slave narratives from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries from men and women, like Gronniosaw, Equiano, the Crafts, and Harriet Jacobs, and we will be reading neo-slave narratives from Toni Morrison, Kyle Baker, Sherley Anne Williams, and Colson Whitehead.

Offered: Occassionally.

HON 388 Major American Writers 3 Credits

This new course will serve as a general introduction to major American writers from colonial times to the present. As such, this course will be loosely organized around the theme of freedom, the quintessential myth of American identity. We will explore creative responses to the personal experience of oppression and resistance, particularly in relation to inequalities experienced because of race and gender. We will also examine the American experience in terms of religious and sexual freedom. The course will be particularly focused on what authors have to say about the nature of freedom, or its absence, and how to achieve it on an individual level. Fulfills the Literature requirement in Honors, as well as the American Experience attribute.

Offered: Occassional.

HON 389 Nation, Homeland, and Diaspora in Contemporary Middle East Film 3 Credits

This All-College Honors course seeks to introduce students to a wide range of contemporary (post-2000) films from the Middle East and North Africa. In this seminar we will analyze examples of twelve or thirteen feature films from these regions, paying particular attention to how filmmakers represent and comment on the social and political conditions that shape the lives of everyday people. Fulfills either the Fine Arts or Social Science requirement in Honors, as well as Diversity/Global Understanding.

Prerequisite: HON 101.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 390 Contemporary Irish Fiction 3 Credits

An exploration of contemporary Irish fiction, including the fiction of Irish America. We will look Ireland’s past through the lens of its present, reading novels and stories from a wide range of Irish and Irish American voices. Through our readings, we’ll seek to understand how Ireland’s colonial past, the Famine, the Troubles, and the Irish diaspora affect Ireland today. More than anything, our intention will be to read and discuss fantastic contemporary books.

Prerequisite: HON 101 unless the Honors director makes an exception. Corequisite: None.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 391 Imagining Medicine: Powerful Gazes, Healing Stories 3 Credits

This semester we will explore the many convergences of literature, arts, and medicine, an interdisciplinary field called medical humanities. Medical humanities builds on traditional scientific foundations to focus on the many ways healing can take place, i.e. the human dimensions of health, illness, and disease. We will analyze the interplay between the viewpoints of the physician, the caretaker, and the patient. We will particularly examine various narrative approaches to illness, especially the emerging field of graphic medicine that holds the promise of portraying groups traditionally underrepresented. Mainly, we will consider how and why the simple act of sharing stories about disease affects doctors, caretakers and patients alike. How does it also influence us as an audience? Representative course readings include works by Oliver Sacks, Leslie Jamison, Damon Young, Michel Foucault, Landis Blair and David L. Carlson, Katherine Anne Porter, Ann Patchett, Tony Kushner, and Abraham Verghese. Fulfills the Literature or Science/Math/Technology requirement in Honors.

Offered: Occassionally.

HON 392 Imagination, Affection, Community, and Citizenship in Place: The Life and Writings of Wendell Berry 3 Credits

For more than sixty years, Wendell Berry has been writing about life in America, especially as it relates to his life in Kentucky. By engaging both with Berry’s writings (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry) and with the various contexts of his life (through the works of authors such as bell hooks, Crystal Wilkinson, Norman Wirzba, and James Rebanks) this course will not only introduce students to important themes and ideas of twentieth and twenty-first century America (including citizenship, war, prejudice, industrialization, national security, “race,” gender, privacy, community, the place and significance of rural economies, organic and small farming ventures, technologies, and sexuality and feminism), but also encourage students to join Berry in analyzing and critiquing their respective “place” and places in this world.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 394 Empires and their Aftermath Western Imperialism and the modern world 3 Credits

This course examines the "new imperialism" of the 19th and 20th centuries and the impact on the modern world. It looks at the motives, reasons for and legacy of western empires in history and the arts. The course incorporates both history and literature in its focus, and interprets imperialism in the broadest sense.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 395 Stories of Suburbia 3 Credits

This course studies the culture of the American suburbs—suburbia—through literature, film, and popular media. Although we will focus primarily on the postwar period, our readings begin from the late-19th century and conclude with more contemporary examples. Representations of life in the American suburbs show not only the construction of oppressive norms for whiteness, gender, and sexuality but also their critique and occasional transgression.

Corequisite: None.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 430 Tutorial 3 Credits

This course will be conducted as a tutorial in the Oxbridge (Oxford & Cambridge Universities) style, i.e., one or two students will meet with the instructor once weekly to discuss readings and write & revise papers. Interested students should contact the instructor for mutually agreeable topics.

Restriction: restricted to honors students or by permission of the honors director.

Offered: occasionally.

HON 451 Thesis 3 Credits

Independent research on topic selected by student, culminating in a research paper or creative writing project. Students work closely with their faculty advisers.

Restriction: junior or senior standing in the honors program.

Offered: fall & spring.

HON 499 Independent Study 3 Credits

Study and work with a faculty supervisor. Project to be determined by faculty agreement. Independent studies require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor, department chair, & associate dean.