Seminars and Forums
HON 100 – Honors Seminar: Erasures, Absences, and Silences
The interconnected concepts of erasure, absence and silence offer more than the eye can meet. Indeed, from veal-parchments to contemporary efforts to reuse materials, the fabric of our very culture is made of build-overs, cover-ups, remixes, and other repurposing of what was to make what will be. Incidentally, this is also how knowledge is constructed: from the pieces of thoughts-past without which our present and future could not be. This course aims at scratching the surface to see more of what our complex and layered culture is made of; it will also introduce students to new approaches to what knowledge is, how it is constructed and how to engage critically and creatively in its production. Students will thereby be introduced to the many ways in which honors education allows to think outside the box and to the supportive environment that empowers them to forge your unique path forward. It will also equip them with the tools to ask hard questions, begin to find answers, develop a tolerance for uncertainty, and take on the task of knowledge construction as they embrace the identity of scholar.
HON 250 – Honors Forum: Goodness: Human Cooperation, Compassion, and Kindness
In this Honors Forum we will examine the human capacity for goodness. Drawing on research from a number of disciplines, including Anthropology, Biology, Economics, and Literature, we will focus on the ways in which humans are good to one another. Our primary topics will be cooperation, altruism, play, and kindness. The scope of this course will be broad and we will touch on the related topics of joy, happiness, pleasure, and beauty among many others. Following a series of introductory lectures and discussions, students will propose their own project and share their results with the class.
HON 250 – Honors Forum: Engineering the Past
This Honors Forum focuses on the practice of historiography; close reading of text/images; exposing historical biases; the reception, use, and misuse of historical concepts; and best practices for public outreach, stewardship, and engagement. Students will apply this knowledge to creating a digital humanities project for the American Research Center in Egypt’s Archives Digitization and Publication Project. These materials span a range of thousands of years; students may choose to focus on: Pharonic Egypt, Greco-Roman Egypt, Coptic Egypt, or Islamic Egypt.