HCOL 185 Sophomore Seminars - Fall 2019

HCOL 185A - D2: Visualizing History: India - Prof. Abigail McGowan - CAS, History

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Humanities, Non-European Cultures
GSB:  Humanities Core
CALS:  Social Sciences or Humanities
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR:  Consult with Academic Advisor
CNHS: Consult with Academic Advisor
CESS:  Consult with Academic Advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the Art History major/minor - 100-level elective

This course counts toward the History major/minor - Asia/Africa/Mid East/Global category

This course counts toward the Asian Studies major/minor

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

In this course, we will explore India through its nineteenth and twentieth century visual culture, arguing that visual materials provide a compelling set of materials with which to investigate a culture, offering up different perspectives on the past than what is available from other sources.  Whether integrating the global imagery of the 1920’s Modern Girl (known for her flapper dresses and bobbed hair) into the Bollywood cinema of the era, or re-imagining the god Rama in more masculine poses in the last twentieth century to suit new, aggressive definitions of Hinduism, the visual world has provided critical tools with which to make political claims and articulate cultural identities.  Throughout this course we will explore how various visual materials have generated meanings in different historical contexts, and also how those materials are used for particular social, cultural or political ends.

HCOL 185B - Animal Products & Human Nutrition - Prof. Jana Kraft - CALS, Animal Science

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  No CAS Distribution – CAS Elective Credit
GSB:  Elective Credit Only 
CALS:  Natural Science/Physical and Life Science
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with academic advisor
CESS: Consult academic advisor 

Animal agriculture is a significant portion of our national agricultural economy and foods of animal origin play a significant role in our global food system. A striking but lesser known fact is that animal-derived food products have been an important factor in human evolution (e.g., eating meat has led to increases in the size of both the human body and brain). Current dietary patterns derive from the changes in food production that started with the industrial revolution and from the more recent construction of a global food economy. With increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, obesity, and food-borne diseases, animal products are coming under increasing scrutiny. Broad areas of focus reflect global patterns of consumption of meat, dairy, eggs, fish, and their products.

We will explore the connection between animal products, their nutritional attributes, and human and public perception. Particular emphasis will be placed on functional and value-added foods, biotechnology in animal agriculture, as well as animal product quality and safety issues. The course utilizes an interactive approach, involving a broad spectrum of methods including lectures to build fundamental knowledge, student forums to stimulate debate and understanding, individual and group assignments to develop key skills in writing and presenting, and the use of computer-aided learning.

HCOL 185C - D1: War, Race & Identity in America - Prof. Andy Buchanan - CAS, History

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Humanities
GSB:  Humanities Core
CALS: Humanities 
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with academic advisor
CESS: Consult with academic advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the History major/minor - Americas category

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

This seminar will examine the intersection of war, race, and identity in America focused around two critical sites.  Firstly, the racialized othering of Native America from the wars of colonial conquest to the defeat of the Plains Indians; and secondly the Civil War, viewed as war for the overthrow of slavery and as it was transformed in memory into a valorous war between brothers in which questions of race were marginalized.  These sites are critical to race and race relations in America, working to define who is, and who is not included with its racialized boundaries.

Based in the discipline of History, the seminar will embrace approaches drawn from gender studies, critical race theory, anthropology and film studies. Seminar discussions will be based on academic monographs and on cultural products, particularly in film.  I also plan to organize a visit to the “Dreaming of Timbuctoo” exhibit at the John Brown Farm in Lake Placid as part of a discussion on Civil-War era Black settlement in the Adirondacks.

HCOL 185D - Evolution and Ethics - Prof. Michael Ashooh - CAS, Philosophy

Honors College Distribution

CAS: No CAS credit
GSB:  Humanities Core
CALS: Humanities
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor, Ethics requirement
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

Evolutionary theory suggests that individuals are motivated by self-interest, a “survival instinct”, which promotes self-preservation sometimes at the cost of the interests of others.   On the other hand, it is hard to deny that many people behave altruistically, with moral regard for others, and in fact make extreme sacrifices for moral reasons to benefit others.  How then can morality be squared with the principles of evolution?  In this class, we will explore this issue in detail.  Several responses will be considered.

In doing so, we will explore a variety of cultural norms and beliefs that evolutionary anthropologist have used as evidence of a group selection model and draw on resources in the growing field of moral anthropology that survey the variety of social and cultural norms in an effort to identify common features and principles that are trans-cultural.  In considering the conflicts between various cultures moral norms, we will ask whether an objective or universal notion of morality can be sustained, and if not, what becomes of ethics in light of evolutionary theory.  We will be asking whether our ethical beliefs are attempts to describe objective features of the world we live in or whether they are merely the cultural artifacts of highly evolved and very diverse humans.

 

HCOL 185E - Viruses: Good News After All! - Prof. Markus Thali - CALS - Microbiology

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Non-Lab Natural Science
GSB:  Elective Credit Only
CALS: Natural Science/Physical and Life Science
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

Metagenomic analyses have established that viruses are the most abundant and diverse biological entities. The sequencing of the human genome also revealed that viruses, together with evolutionarily related, mobile genetic entities occupy more than half of our genome.
Together with recent research, these findings are leading to a paradigm change: viruses, while being parasites (as their propagation can take place only within cell-based organisms), are no longer perceived primarily as pathogens but are now being appreciated as important
positive constituents of the biosphere. They are rooted in the pre-cellular world, have coevolved with cell-based biological entities, and we now recognize that the interplay between cell-based organisms and viruses (and similar mobile genetic entities) has profoundly affected the evolution of presumably all cellular life forms. While many new properties/traits are thought to be the result of a continued arms race between these genetic parasites and their hosts, genome analyses have also revealed that hosts, as they evolved to their present forms, on numerous occasions have recruited genetic information from viruses or virus-like entities for proper functioning. Recent research further shows that such cooperation takes place also at the population level: viruses are now being recognized as important ecological forces, both on land and at sea.

The overall goal of this course is to discuss this paradigm change: comparable to how we finally appreciate that most of the bacteria that live with us are “true” symbionts, as they coevolved with us and are essential for our health, viruses should now be considered as being
overall positive genetic entities. They were not only essential during evolution but likely are also important during ontogenesis, and while some of them can act as pathogens, likely many more actually help prevent diseases, for example by strengthening host physiology and
immune functions and thus helping to fend off or at least limit the multiplication of “true” pathogens.

HCOL 185F - D2: Women in Science - Prof. Donna Toufexis - CAS - PSYS

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Social Science
GSB:  Social Science Core
CALS:  Humanities, Social Science
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

In 2005 Larry Summers, the President of Harvard University, gave a speech at a conference on diversity in which he stated, “there is a difference in the standard deviation and variability of the male and female population.”  A finding, he went on to say, that explains why there would be more men than women at the elite levels of mathematical ability, and thus, why there are so few women represented in science and engineering. These remarks engendered a great deal of anger and debate. But what exactly was he saying?  And is there any truth behind his remarks? In this course, we will examine sex-differences in the brain and behavior. We will also examine the paradigm of western science. What exactly is the scientific method? Does sex affect the way science is done? We will also discuss the work and lives of several prominent scientists who are women. Why are there so few examples of successful women scientists? What factors, including nature and nurture, led these particular women into science? Were they stymied by their sex?  What obstacles hindered these women in their pursuit of science as a career? Do these barriers still exist?

HCOL 185G - Leonardo DaVinci: Art & Science in Renaissance - Prof. Stephanie Glickman - CAS, Classics

Honors College Distribution

CAS: Humanities or Fine Arts
GSB:  Humanities Core
CALS: Humanities or Fine Arts
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the Art History major/minor - 100-level elective

This course counts toward the European Studies major/minor

This course counts toward Italian Studies major/minor - Category B

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

 

In 2019, museums worldwide will mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death
with exhibitions exploring Leonardo’s artistic and scientific insights. In this course, we will
examine the relationship between art and science in the Renaissance, with special
emphasis on art’s intellectual underpinnings in Italy and in the works and notebooks of
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). While today we may often think of art and science as
separate domains, fifteenth- and sixteenth-century artists and intellectuals appreciated
their interdependence. Techniques of naturalistic representation, mastered by ‘artistscientists,’
lent authority, credibility, and a sense of ‘objectivity’ to Renaissance
representations of the natural world. In the context of rising empiricism and the study of
natural history throughout Europe, the related practices of Renaissance art production
and scientific illustration transformed fields such as geography, astronomy, biology, and
botany.

This course is an introduction to the ways in which the practices of art and science
depended on and informed one another in Renaissance Europe. We will primarily examine
drawings, paintings, and prints, alongside issues pertaining to the reproduction and
dissemination of visual information. Key themes will include: Renaissance conceptions of
art as a form of scientia (knowledge); Renaissance naturalism; technological innovations in
image production (e.g., printmaking); the role of representation in scientific investigations;
and the prerogatives, practices, and patronage of artist-scientists.

HCOL 185H - Issues in Food Systems - Food Safety - Prof. Catherine Donnelly - CALS, Nutrition and Food Sciences

Honors College Distribution

CAS: No CAS credit
GSB: Elective Credit Only
CALS: Social Science
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

Disease outbreaks linked to a variety of foodborne pathogens including Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria cause over 48 million people to become ill each year in the US. This course will address food safety issues by reviewing outbreaks caused by notable pathogens. We will explore the development of microbiological food safety policy through analysis of how science and risk assessment are used in establishing policy. Using selected case studies and readings, we will examine the factors that have created current food safety policies and explore how pending legislation can either protect or compromise public health. Students will become familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the FDA, USDA and CDC in shaping policy, as well as the use of tools such as HACCP, risk assessment, FoodNet and PulseNet in identification of emerging food safety issues. Through extensive class writings, students will become familiar and gain experience in submitting written public comments to Federal Register notices concerning changes in food safety policy.

 

HCOL 185I - Crafting Point of View - Prof. Jenny Grosvenor - CAS, English

Honors College Distibution

CAS: CAS elective credit 
GSB: Humanities Core
CALS:  Humanities
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the English major/minor - equivalent to ENGS 114

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

Think about it. Point of view shapes everything—in life and, more so, in writing. This opening sentence demonstrates its power: that direct-address, invisible "you" as in  Nike's legendary slogan, "Just do it."

In this course, through immersion and imitation, you—in this case, students—will examine how writers make rhetorical choices and utilize point of view to craft short stories, novels, essays, memoirs, poems, and media messages. As readers and writers, students will study: how point of view impacts voice; how it relates to audience and  purpose; and how authors shift points of view, often from the "I" in order to reckon with  traumatic life experiences—their characters' and their own.

Through literary and rhetorical analyses, as well as drafting and revising their own original works, students will experience wait, what? moments as they probe and come to appreciate the transformative power and mastery—see the magic, the point—in the manipulation point of view. Students will take a 'scientific' approach to syntax, dissecting sentences, and scrutinizing diction. They will debate pros and cons as they contemplate omniscient versus limited, direct address versus inclusion, singular versus multiple "I"s. They will question: Does this work? How? Why? Or why not? They will experiment in first-, second-, and third* person treatments to expand their own perceptions of the discipline—and art—of writing.

HCOL 185J - D2: At Work in America: Oral Histories - Prof. Holly Painter - CAS, English

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Humanities
GSB:  Social Science Core or Humanities Core
CALS:  Social Science or Humanities
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

In the first few weeks of the course, students will learn and practice field research skills and gain a foundational understanding of large economic trends that shape work in the U.S. In the second part of the course, they will interview three different workers in the community. Students will present each oral history in a different way in three major assignments that build on each other: first, a lightly edited transcription; second, a magazine-style article that synthesizes their field research with database research; and third, a creative piece and reflection paper. Each assignment will be guided by readings that both model what the students will produce and provide further history and context for the larger theme of how jobs are changing in the U.S.

This course is informed by my own ongoing research on specifically (near) obsolete jobs, for which I have travelled across the country interviewing and photographing 50 workers in their workplaces. In the role of the scholar-teacher, I will model for students this kind of research and the possible directions it can lead.

 

HCOL 185K - Body, Earth & Identity - Prof. Kelly Clark-Keefe - CESS, Leadership

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  CAS Elective Credit
GSB:  Social Science Core
CALS:  Social Science
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the GSWS major/minor

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

This course is an introduction to the field of Body Studies. Body studies is an academic field of inquiry that places experiences of the human body and its relationship to the social, cultural as well as natural or “material” world at the center of analysis. The field investigates how power, privilege, social structures (such as schooling), and politics play an important role in the views, uses, and experiences of the body. Explorations extend these considerations of how the world “acts-upon” bodies to also consider how bodies are active agents in making worlds; how the human capacity for memory, creativity, and imagination has shaped—sometimes radically—the social and ecological landscape.

HCOL 185L - Media & Mediums - Age of Transition - Prof. Kathleen Gough - CAS - Theatre

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Fine Arts 
GSB:  Humanities Core
CALS: Humanities or Fine Arts
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the Theatre major/minor - elective

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

The main aim of this course is for students to explore the notion that images are not what one sees, but are indicative of how one sees. Archetypes that defy classification indicate that the defining feature of transitional ages is the cross-wiring of our senses: seeing with our ears, hearing with our eyes and hands, developing non-physical senses, or our intuitive capacities. Aby Warburg, the founder of iconology, wrote: “The more we see, the more we must be able to add to by thinking. The more we add thereto by the thinking, so much the more we can believe ourselves to see.” Or, as great mystic and philosopher, Simone Weil claimed, “attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” Studying transitional moments allows us to move against theories of inevitability. In this way we can pay attention, and practice what the influential Russian theatre maker, Konstantin Stanislavsky, called thinking “as if.” As in: ‘Let us think about our historical moment “as if” we are living in the early days of a better world’.

HCOL 185M - Crafting Democratic Institutions - Prof. Ned McMahon - CAS, Political Science

Honors College Distribution

CAS: Social Science 
GSB: Social Science Core
CALS:  Humanities, Social Science
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with academic advisor
CNHS: Elective – Consult with Academic Advisor for further clarification
CESS: Consult CESS advisor for General Education Requirement Approval

Major/Minor Requirements

This course counts toward the Political Science major/minor - comparative category

PDF iconCourse Syllabus

Developing lasting political structures that are representative of and responsive to human needs is a subtle and challenging endeavor.  In recent years, many countries have sought to do this and shed legacies of political authoritarianism.  Operationalizing the democracy concept at the level of the nation-state, however, often proves tricky.  There are many issues to be considered in creating and adapting democratic governance institutions.  For example, should the system be presidential or parliamentary, or a hybrid incorporating elements of both approaches?  What elections systems should be used?  How should the executive branch be structured? 

This course provides an introduction to key concepts and is followed by focus on the executive branch, and then the legislature. It then considers election systems and administration, models of decentralization, and several country case studies.  The course ends with a concluding segment designed to pull together and summarize the proceedings over the semester.  The course is designed to be fast-paced, participatory and hands-on.  It is not designed to provide “yes or no” answers but will instead provide an understanding of key concepts in the field, how they are utilized, what successes and failures have been in the field of governance institution design, and what can be learned from them.

HCOL 185N - Self Cultivation & Spiritual Practice: Comparative Perspectives - Prof. Adrian Ivakhiv - RSENR

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Humanities
GSB:  Humanities Core
CALS:  Humanities
CEMS:  ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with your academic advisor
CNHS: Consult with your academic advisor
CESS: Consult with your academic advisor

Major/Minor Requirements

The course can count toward the Religion major (students should consult an advisor in Religion about where exactly it would fit for them)

This course introduces students to the comparative study of religion, spiritual, and psycho-physical practices - exercises by which individuals and groups deepen, develop, challenge, and transform their perceptions and capacities for action in harmony with religious, moral-ethical, or philosophical ideas.  The course covers a range that stretches from ancient Green and Roman philosophers (Stoics, Epicurians, Skeptics and Neoplatonists), the yogis and monks of ancient medieval South and East Asia, medieval Christian ascetics and Renaissance mages, to practitioners of modern forms of westernized yoga, martial arts, ritual magic, and forms of "civil religiosity" such as environmental activism.  Readings of ancient texts and contemporary philosophical writings will be complemented by practical exercises and writing and presentation assignments.

 

HCOL 185O - D2: Multicultural Competence: Toward Reducing Health Disparities - Prof. Lauren Dewey - CAS, PSYS

Honors College Distribution

CAS:  Social Science
GSB:  Social Science Core 
CALS:  Social Science 
CEMS:ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with Academic Advisor
CNHS: Consult with Academic Advisor
CESS: Consult CESS advisor 

This is an experiential and didactic course that guides students through the beginning stages of developing multicultural competence and asks students to consider the role that multicultural competence can play in reducing health disparities. Multicultural competence includes: awareness and understanding of oneself as a racial and cultural being, and of the attitudes, assumptions, biases and beliefs one holds that influence perceptions of and interactions with others; knowledge about worldviews of culturally diverse individuals and groups; and skills and strategies for effective communication, and individual- and institutional-level intervention. This is a writing intensive course with an emphasis on research that examines ethnocentrism, racism, classism, sexism, and other forms of marginalization and oppression in the U.S. The course provides opportunities for in-depth self-reflection on the socialization of one’s identities and supports students in generating and evaluating research on issues of cultural diversity and health disparities. Students will be exposed to traditional and non-traditional research, including interdisciplinary methods used in multicultural research such as critical, community and activist oriented approaches.

HCOL 185P - Biology of Symbiosis - Prof. Sarah Wittman - CAS, Biology

Honors College Distribution

CAS: Non-lab Natural Science
GSB: Natural Science Core 
CALS: Natural Science/Physical and Life Science
CEMS: ENGR: Gen Ed Elective; Math/Stat/CS/DS students check with your advisor
RSENR: Consult with Academic Advisor
CNHS: Consult with Academic Advisor
CESS: Consult CESS advisor 

Symbioses are intimate associations involving two or more species. Symbiotic relationships are
incredibly diverse, and affect almost all life on the planet. The establishment of symbioses has
shaped the branching of the tree of life and impact the function of entire ecosystems. For
example, the evolution of mycorrhizal symbioses (involving plants and fungi) was likely a key
innovation that allowed plants to colonize land. This course will survey the wide diversity of
symbiotic organisms and investigate how these symbioses form, how they persist in
evolutionary time, and how they impact their environment. In particular, we’ll focus on species
that mutually benefit from their close association (mutualisms) and investigate what stabilizes
these interactions – that is, what prevents partners from reaping benefits without reciprocating
(“cheating”). We’ll apply this mutualism framework to untangle current issues such as invasive
species, climate change, agriculture, and human health.