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2018 Honors FSPs

All students in the Honors Program are expected to take at least one honors course during their first semester. It is highly recommended that honors students take an Honors FSP. Contact Prof. Maggie Benoit ( if you think you may be unable to take an honors FSP.

You should choose three of the following Honors FSPs and place them in your First Semester Worksheet. One of these choices will be assigned as your FSP.

Learn more about the Honors Program

Class Name/Description Instructor Civic Responsibility
FSP 162-H1

Remembering Slavery and the Civil War

This course will address why the Civil War era captures the imagination of Americans and features so prominently in our national collective memory.

Course#: FSP 162-H1
Professor: Hollander, Craig
Day/s & Time/s: MR: 11-12:20PM

Hollander, Craig Race and Ethnicity
FSP 164-H1

The Beatles and Their World

The Beatles’ lives and musical careers reflect profound cultural changes that took place after the Great Depression and World War II. In particular, the extraordinary transformation of this group in a decade and a half from one of many local Liverpool bands to the most influential popular music group of all time and an international cultural arbiter offers insight into the modern cultural world. With the Beatles as its focus, this seminar will explore such topics in modern cultural history as race relations, women’s rights and gender issues, youth culture, counterculture and protest, mass media and public relations, as well as, of course, developments in popular music. This fall 2018 seminar celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’ trip to Rishikesh, India, to meditate at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the fiftieth anniversary of the recording and release of the Beatles’ remarkable “White Album.”

Course#: FSP 164-H1
Professor: Venturo, David
Day/s & Time/s: TF: 11-12:20PM

Venturo, David Global
FSP 161-H1

The Persuasive Power of Recent Television Narrative

Many have claimed we are in a new golden age of television, or Peak TV. The Sopranos and The Wire were pioneers that have been followed by multiple recent serialized stories that have attracted film directors, actors, and writers. We have moved from the confinement of networks to cable, pay subscription services, and streaming platforms. Content is developing as quickly as technology, offering us a broader palette of more characters who look like more of us. How we engage with the stories these characters tell shows us the impact of the argument the creators are making. Focusing on the implicit visual arguments these stories make will allow us to create our own explicit written and visual arguments about them. We will explore and write about three of these series, uncovering strategies that each uses to persuade. Students will write one longer final essay on one other series of their choice. Additionally, in small groups, students will create, shoot and pitch a ten-minute pilot for their own series.

Course#: FSP 161-H1
Professor: Ringer, Nina
Day/s & Time/s: TF: 9:30 - 10:50AM

Ringer, Nina
FSP 164-H2

Morality, God, and Free Will

This seminar is about what it means to be human. Most people believe that there are moral rights and wrongs and a God (or gods) who cares about human moral conduct. They also believe that they themselves are “persons,” (intelligent selves, souls, or agents) who are continuous in time and have the free will to choose among alternative future possibilities. Yet few things are more difficult to substantiate than fundamental beliefs about morality, God, selfhood, and free will. We will examine and discuss the views of philosophers, religious thinkers, and contemporary scientists.

Course#: FSP 164-H2
Professor: Kamber, Richard
Day/s & Time/s: MR: 12:30 - 1:50PM

Kamber, Richard Global
FSP 161-H3

Explorations In Time & Time Travel

What do you know about time? Does it move, or do we move in it? It is it constant or variable? Can we leave our present moment? These and many other questions are explored as we examine literature on the nature of time and time travel. Ideas and works by thinkers and writers such as Albert Einstein, H. G. Wells, Jack Finney, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein, Stephen Hawking, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King are considered. Physics, philosophy, religion, literature and popular culture are brought to bear on considering meanings and definitions of time and their effects on human thought and consciousness.

Course#: FSP 161-H3
Professor: Anderson, Robert
Day/s & Time/s: MR: 9:30 - 10:50AM

Anderson, Robert
FSP 164-H3

Understanding Modern Iran

It's hard to read an American newspaper or watch TV news without hearing the mention of Iran, and it is most often in a negative context. However, beyond the sound bites and political rhetoric, how much do you really know about the history, politics, culture and society of Iran, not to mention the history of US-Iranian relations? This seminar will use the lens of film, literature and history to move beyond media-based images to gain a more grounded understanding of the complex history of modern Iran from the late nineteenth century to the present day Islamic Republic through the eyes of those who have experienced that history. Over the course of the semester will examine issues concerning Islam, politics, revolution, gender, modernization, marginality, exile, and popular culture through reading and discussing background historical texts along with novels and Iranian films.

Course#: FSP 164-H3
Professor: Gross, Jo-Ann
Day/s & Time/s: R: 3:30 - 6:20PM

Gross, Jo-Ann Global
FSP 161-H4

The Charles Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Case – Modern Scientific Analysis of Evidence in a “Cold Case”

Just when America needed a hero, Charles Lindbergh flew nonstop from Long Island to Paris in 1927, becoming the pride of the country. Five years later, his young son was kidnapped, held for ransom, and eventually found dead. A suspect was quickly tried and executed. This “trial of the century” continues to be studied and debated, since so many questions and inconsistencies remain. Unusual evidence included many ransom notes, and a hand-made ladder, supposedly used to enter the baby’s room and take him. Modern chemical, instrumental and digital methods, including those used for document analysis, will be applied to the evidence, in light of the many facts and theories that exist, as we go back in time in an attempt to gain new insights into this cold case. (By the way, this all happened in 1932 in New Jersey, and much of the evidence remains in the state.)

Course#: FSP 161-H4
Professor: Allison, John
Day/s & Time/s: MR: 2 - 3:20PM

Allison, John
FSP 161-H5

Introduction to Celtic Civilization

This course introduces students to the civilization of the pre-Christian Celts, especially through texts preserved in the Irish literary tradition and through external sources. Beginning with a brief look at archaeological evidence from the Hallstatt and La Tene sites, the course will follow the Celts through classical literary sources. Internal sources, including the classic Irish tale The Cattle Raid of Cuailnge, the Irish law texts, and poems written by Irish monks in the margins of medieval manuscripts, will be used to develop a picture of life in the Celtic cultures, especially Ireland. Topics will cover the structure of Irish society, the rights and obligations of different societal members, and the egalitarian nature of the society prior to the arrival of Christianity. The impact of traditional Celtic culture and beliefs in more recent society will also be discussed, including the Scottish clan structure, taboos and charms, and festivals.

Course#: FSP 161-H5
Professor: Ochs, Michael
Day/s & Time/s: TF: 11 - 12:20PM

Ochs, Michael
FSP 161-H6

Star Wars: Films & Adaptations

“Star Wars: Films & Adaptations” examines the original movie trilogy (Episodes IV, V, VI) as well as the prequels (I, II, III), and other Star Wars films released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm.. We also read one Star Wars novel, watch selected episodes of the Star Wars animated TV series (both Clone Wars series and Star Wars Rebels), and read about and discuss other ancillary creations (e.g. video games, collectibles, Jediism) that make up the Star Wars cultural phenomenon. Our approach is interdisciplinary: film studies, literature, philosophy, religious studies, history, sociology, anthropology, economics/marketing, other. The primary sources analyzed are the fictional works created by George Lucas and others; secondary sources include books and articles in a variety of disciplines. The final project is a research paper on a topic related to Star Wars. If you haven’t already watched all the films, please do so over the summer since we won’t be able to avoid spoilers in our reading and discussion.

Course#: FSP 161-H6
Professor: Konkle, Lincoln
Day/s & Time/s: TF: 2 - 3:20PM

Konkle, Lincoln
FSP 161-H2

The History of Disease

We will discuss diseases over the millennia and their impact on human society. These include smallpox, cholera, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, syphilis, and the Spanish flu of 1918. Among the emerging diseases we will explore are HIV/AIDS, Ebola, SARS, and H1N1. How have we managed to eradicate smallpox and how close are we to ending the spread of polio? Current epidemics of polio and cholera will be discussed. Will the next Flu pandemic be H7N9? Are we ready? How does disease impact other areas including art and music? These and other questions will be answered in this course. The history of disease will go on, despite once confident predictions of an end to epidemics in our times. Those who now wage the heroic struggle to find elusive cures to our new plagues may find that they have more to learn from the past than had once been thought.

Course#: FSP 161-H2
Professor: King, Rita Mary
Day/s & Time/s: MW: 7 - 8:20PM

King, Rita Mary