Fall 2020 Honors Courses

Course List (Full descriptions below)

3-Credit Courses

  • Civic Engagement Seminar: Service, Community, and Social Action (Civic)
  • Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College (Cultural)
  • Honors Scholarly Conversation: Global Cartooning as Social Commentary (Global)
  • Honors Scholarly Conversation: Global Graphic Novels (Global)
  • Honors Scholarly Conversation: Media Globalization and the Disney Empire (Global)
  • Paradigm Shifts: History and Philosophy of Science
  • Honors Senior seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies

1-Credit Courses

  • Seminar: Introduction to Autism

  • Seminar: Writing for Yourself

  • Slow Read: Who We Are and How We Got Here

Honors ICSM Courses

All Ithaca College first-year students are required to take a 4-credit Ithaca College Seminar (or ICSM). Below are ICSM classes specifically for Honors students.

  • Fantasy, Fandom and Fans
  • Gothic: Hidden & Grotesque
  • The Gun: Violence and the Common Good in the United States

Course Descriptions: 3-Credit Courses

HNRS 25000 - Civic Engagement Seminar: Service, Community, and Social Action (Harker, David)

CRN 22198 | TR 2:35 PM – 03:50 PM

This course draws on theory, research, and personal accounts to explore forms of civic engagement and evaluate the opportunities and challenges each offers toward positive social change. We begin by defining civic engagement and assessing needs and strengths of the local community. Students engage with a community organization and critically reflect on their experience. They reflect on their own personal motivations and experiences with civic engagement, and how their own social identities influence social change efforts. This course fulfills the civic engagement requirement of the Honors program. Student commitment include 30 contact hours with the community organization as well as cultural competency training, class time, and reading and writing outside of class. In the event that courses are held online in Fall 2020, community-based projects will still be a requirement, but we will work with partners remotely.  

HNRS 15000 - Cultural Encounters with Ithaca College (Patrone, Tatiana)

CRN 21542 | MF 1 PM – 1:50 PM  

Provides students with a structured platform for exploring the cultural offerings at Ithaca College. The seminar explores questions about Ithaca College culture including what it is and how it is shaped. Students will address these questions through attendance at cultural events, through writing about and discussing such events, and through background reading.

HNRS 21000 - Honors Scholarly Conversation: Global Cartooning as Social Commentary (Molina, Pedro)

CRN 22783 | MW 4:00 PM – 05:15 PM | ICC Diversity and fulfills the Global requirement for Honors

Ever since sketching on the walls of caves in prehistoric times, humans have been trying to communicate with images –– their fears, accomplishments, history and desires. Cartooning today still shares this purpose. Cartoons may provoke or amuse us, but if well done, they don’t leave us indifferent. In this course we’ll learn about the importance and methods of cartooning as a creative form of expression. We’ll examine the different formats for visual storytelling: single panels, comic strips, and longer forms like graphic novels and journalism. We’ll study the history of cartoons, how they’re created and presented, and what different uses they serve –– cultural and aesthetic, but in particular social and political. Above all, we’ll explore the challenges that cartoonists now face: working with satire and humor in these humorless times.

HNRS 21002 - Honors Scholarly Conversation: Global Graphic Novels (Schack, Todd)

CRN 23127 | W 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM | ICC Diversity and fulfills the Global requirement for Honors

This seminar will explore the diverse range of voices and topics in graphic novels from around the world.  We will study issues of war, power, race, class and sex as represented by a multitude of non-traditional writers and visual artists, and discuss the history of conflict over the issue of multi-culturalism and diversity from these perspectives.   We will highlight the manner in which this genre is able to undermine and question dominant narratives of social, political and economic issues. We will be considering these texts from Cultural, Media and Visual Studies perspectives, and students will create their own version of a graphic novel using these theoretical perspectives in practical application.

HNRS 21003 - Honors Scholarly Conversation: Media Globalization and the Disney Empire (Lustyik, Kati)

CRN 23126 | Tuesdays 4:00 PM – 6:30 PM | ICC Diversity and fulfills the Global requirement for Honors

Transnational media giants 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, Start Wars, and 21St Century Fox, is one the largest, and influential transnational media giants in the world. It is the most influential 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 giant, it’s social, cultural, political, and economic importance around the world.

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, sports and most recently streaming media services (e.g. Disney+, Hulu). While many students might have grown up watching Disney content, they will be challenged to re-examine the range of characters and stories looking at racial, ethnic, and gender, stereotypes; and a specific value system created and 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-owned programs, merchandizing and leisure activities created and promoted to an increasingly global audience. The majority of the readings will examine the reception and consumption of Disney in other cultures; Disney’s international efforts to globalize its brand and expand its empire; as well as ‘alternative’ animation studios and competing streaming media services (e.g. Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Saloon, Netflix).

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

CRN 22782 | MWF 10:00 AM – 10:50 AM | ICC Designation – Natural Science (SC) or Humanities (HM) Perspective for the ICC theme Inquiry, Imagination, and Innovation

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. In this course, we will take a comparative look at how disproved theories have provided crucial insight into our current approach to normal science. We will consider how scientific thought is benchmarked by philosophical notions of truth, facts, and evidence when new discoveries prompt a paradigm shift. Come and explore the surprisingly unintuitive nature of scientific revolutions.

HNRS 40000-01 - Honors Senior Seminar in Interdisciplinary studies (Young, Cory)

CRN 23407 | MWF 9:00 - 9:50AM

This course is the culminating experience for students in the Honors Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. Students engage in collaborative scholarly research or creative production involving interdisciplinary inquiry, dialogue, and problem-solving. Prerequisites: One three-credit 20000-level HNRS course and Senior standing. (F,S)

Course Descriptions: 1-Credit Courses

HNRS 23031 - Seminar: Introduction to Autism (Jones, Skott)

CRN 21954 | W 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM

An overview of autism spectrum disorders, including characteristics, etiology, and common treatment techniques. An emphasis on the dynamic and diverse nature of autism will be explored through an interprofessional lens to learn about how to best work with individuals with autism across different settings. A variety of academic disciplines will be integrated including education, health sciences, arts, sociology, and psychology. Prerequisite: One honors course.

HNRS 23013 - Seminar: Writing For Yourself (MACHAN, KATHARYN HOWD)

CRN 21891 | R 5:25 PM – 6:15 PM

Writing for Yourself is a course designed to lead students to the further exploration and discovery of the importance of words in their lives and how to shape them with significance and power. As an advanced course, it is primarily a workshop and discussion center, informed by a shared commitment to creating new poetry and prose and learning from offering and listening to thoughtful responses about it.

HNRS 24000 - Slow Read: Who We Are and How We Got Here (Miner, Brooks)

CRN 23128 | M 3:00 PM – 3:50 PM |

In Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, geneticist David Reich describes recent discoveries about human evolutionary and societal history derived from the study of DNA from fossilized human remains. The book was favorably reviewed by most professional biologists, science journalists, and others. Yet it was also the subject of controversy: the Wall Street Journal referred to it as “A potential political bombshell,” and an open letter, “How Not To Talk About Race and Genetics,” was published by Buzzfeed three days after the book’s publication. We will read Reich’s book alongside several commentaries from across the academic and political spectrum. Students will gain an increased understanding of the origins and evolutionary history of our species, in addition to an awareness of how misunderstandings about the science of human genetic variation can lead to inaccurate and potentially harmful conclusions.

Course Descriptions: IC Seminars (First-Year only)

ICSM 11800-1 - Fantasy, Fandom and Fans (Warburton, jaime)

CRN 21882 | MWF 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM, W 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

In this class, we’ll explore and blog the texts that surround us, inspire us, and invite us to imagine our world more fully, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Star Trek; cultural markers that develop around love of sports and music; the cultural hierarchy of fandom based on religion, sports, and sci-fi/fantasy; technological, fiscal, and legal concerns; elements of participatory culture, specifically fan fiction; and the impact of fan-based communities, both online and IRL (in real life). Students will be expected to engage in analysis of such texts in a scholarly fashion led by Henry Jenkins’ definition of the “aca/fan,” a “hybrid creature which is part fan and part academic.” We’ll emphasize written forays into fandom along with writing in response to “original” texts as we explore what drives us to imagine ourselves in universes/lives other than our own, and define the ways fandom binds together disparate parts of our lives. Research projects can also include created fan film/art/writing. This course is available only to those students accepted into the Honors Program. This course fulfills the ICC ‘Academic Writing’ competency requirement.

ICSM 11000-2 - Gothic: Hidden & Grotesque (Reed, Alex)

CRN 22807 | MWF 3:00 PM - 3:50 PM, W 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

This interdisciplinary course concerns the aesthetic of the gothic across media and throughout history, blending elements of media studies, philosophy, creative artistry, and sociology. From the Romantic symphony to Lana Del Rey, from Oscar Wilde to horror film, why do visual, literary, and musical media so return to the ideas of the hidden and the grotesque with such fascination and consistency? Students in this class will create works and engage with a wide range of both famous and lesser-known texts in pursuit of a variety of questions: How do music, art, and words create mood? Why do we like to be scared?  Why do we sometimes conflate “dark” with “deep”? What do vampires have to do with our modern day-to-day lives, values, and politics? And what is behind that door? This course is available only to those students accepted into the Honors Program.

ICSM 11000-4, 5 - The Gun: Violence and the Common Good in the United States (Holmes, Chris)

CRN 22805 | TR 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM, W 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM,
CRN 22190 | TR 1:10 PM - 2:25 PM, W 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

Is there any single American object more demanding of our attention than the gun? Whether we ever hold one or experience the violence they perpetrate, the gun fundamentally affects the ways in which we understand our rights and liberties, privacy and community, and the very sovereignty of the body. In this class we will examine guns and gun violence through a nexus of academic interventions. These will include the law, medicine/public health, media and culture, and history and politics. The aim of this class, while not polemical will not be even-handed in its treatment of the gun. Nor should it be. We begin with the understanding that the cultural history of the gun is inseparable from development of weapons designed kill people with increasing lethality. The American obsession with firearms too often seeks to eclipse this fact, but our exploration will always return to the cost in lives of the proliferation of guns.The historical and cultural sensitivity of this course will give us the opportunity to ask a fundamental question: what is the relationship between the gun and the common good? This course is available only to those students accepted into the Honors Program.