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honors program


2016-2017 Honors I Course Guide

HONORS 101 and 102 Course Options: First Year Students

Fall Semester (A)

Honors 101A  |  Civic Engagement - Presidential Election

How do presidential campaigns work? What strategies and tactics are at work within presidential campaigns? What is the relationship between philosophy and civic engagement? How can I become a more effective participant in the electoral process?

HON 101A is a team-taught course that exposes students to the inner workings of campaigns and elections. Students will develop a set of basic campaign and election strategies and tactics that can be applied to any political party campaign or election whether it be at the national level (President, Congress), state level (Governor, legislature), or local level (mayor, council). By critically analyzing strategies and processes, students will become more effective participants in the electoral process.

HON 101A will be integrated with service learning (SLVN 201A) and speaker series (HON 112A), which will provide an even wider range of disciplinary perspectives on the exploration of civic engagement. Honors 101A meets a Philosophy and Social Science general education requirement.

Honors 112A  |  Speaker Series

HON 112A further explores the topic addressed in Honors 101 through presentations by St. Ambrose faculty and staff and guest speakers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Spring Semester (A)

Honors 102A  | Civic Engagement - Social Activism & The Reflective Life

Honors 102A (Spring 2017) will continue the civic engagement theme by exploring such questions as: Why do we believe what we believe? What does it mean to mindfully engage the world though out beliefts? Honors 102A fulfills a theology general education requirement. 

Fall 2016

Course Section Course Title Professors Gen Eds Fulfilled Credits
HON-101-A Civic Engagement:  Presidential Election Dr. William Parsons & Dr. Andrew Swift Philosophy & Social Science 4
SVLN 201-A Service Learning Kaitlin Depuydt 1
HON 112-A Speaker Series Dr. Larry Skillin 1

Spring 2017

HON-102-A Civic Engagement: Social Activism and the Reflective Life Dr. Matthew Coomber & Dr. John Thompson Theology 3

Fall Semester (B)

Honors 101B  |  The Good and Evil in Art and Life - Grappling with Evil

Tornados, cancer, war, poverty, violence:  our world presents us with countless occasions to confront evil and to ponder why seemingly unjust things happen to innocent victims. From ancient burial artifacts to the modern movie screen, much of human culture has tried to make sense of all that seems evil and unjust. 

For centuries philosophy and theology have grappled with the problem of evil. In this class, so will we, exploring the ideas and questions about evil presented in movies, novels, poetry, and a variety of other forms of expression from across the centuries.

HON 101B will be integrated with service learning (SLVN 201B) and speaker series (HON 112B). Honors 101B is a team-taught course and meets a Philosophy and Theology general education requirement. 

Honors 112B  |  Speaker Series

HON 112B further explores the topic addressed in Honors 101 through presentations by St. Ambrose faculty and staff and guest speakers from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Spring Semester (B)

Honors 102B  |  The Good and Evil in Art and Life - Getting in the Act: Shakespeare from Script to Stage

Honors 102B (Spring 2017) will continue the good and evil in art and life theme by examining the Shakespeare's plays from the perspective of both the English and Theater disciplines, that is, from a literary critical perspective and from a performance perspective. Honors 102B will meet a Creative Art general education requirement.

Fall 2016
Course Section Course Title Professors Gen Eds Fulfilled Credits
HON-101-B     The Good and Evil in Art and Life - Grappling with Evil  Dr. Tanya Randle & Dr. Micah Kiel Philosophy & Theology 4
SVLN-201-B   Service Learning Kaitlin Depuydt 1
HON-112-B    Speaker Series Dr. Marianne Fenn 1
Spring 2017
HON-102-B The Good and Evil in Art and Life - Getting in the Act:  Shakespeare from Script to Stage Daniel Rairdin-Hale  & Dr. Nancy Hayes Creative Art 3

HONORS 201 Course Options: Sophomores

Fall Semester (A)

Honors 201A  |  The African American Religious Experience

This interdisciplinary course examines the African-American religious experience from the perspectives of Theology, Sociology, History, and Anthropology. The focus of this course is on the experiences of African-Americans in the United States from "before the Mayflower" to the present. The course addresses the issues of community, assimilation and minority status for African-American subcultures in their historical context. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship of America's definitional "other" in relation to a dynamic, changing dominant culture and the development and utilization of critical thinking skills through a sociological-anthropological, theological and historical examination of societal inequality in American Culture. Honors 201A meets a Humanities general education requirement.

HON-201-A  |  The African-American Religious Experience

Dr. Thomas Carpenter, Education

Spring Semester (A/B)

Honors 201A  |  For the Beauty of the Earth

In this course we will look at nature from the perspective of philosophy, theology, literature, and the arts in order to understand what 'beauty' means and how nature is variously perceived as beautiful (or ugly, or dangerous). Successful students will understand how our perspectives of nature determine our response to it and will examine how the discipline of aesthetics can re-frame our perspectives in such a way that we work to sustain nature's beauty. Honors 201A meets a Theology general education requirement.

Honors 201B  |  Dialogues with Utopia

A utopia, it seems, is a perfect society where everyone lives in harmony and happiness. But utopia literally means "no place." So why is it that there have been so many different visions of utopia? How has the idea of utopia continually inspired theoretical analyses of society, fictional imaginations of a better world, and even historical attempts to create such a perfect society?

In this course, we'll draw on literature, history, theology, and philosophy to try to grapple with the meaning and importance of utopias and utopian thinking. We'll engage in a series of "dialogues with utopia"  – utopian visions in dialogue with the ideas and issues of their contemporaries, but also have a dialogue between ouselves and with these utopian visions – in order to ask what these utopias tell us about what we think is good, whether a utopian vision can offer an effective critique of actually existing social orders, and whether it can serve as a model for changing contemporary societies. Honors 201B meets a Philosophy general education requirement.

Spring 2017
Course Section Course Title Professor Gen Eds Fulfilled Credits

For the Beauty of the Earth

Fr. Bud Grant Theology 3

Dialogues with Utopia

Dr. Richard Lynch Philosophy 3