Featured Courses

HIST 3510: Civil War America

[UConn Storrs]

Instructor: Prof. Christopher Clark

The Civil War (1861-65) was the direst crisis to face the United States since its founding in the American Revolution. The secession of eleven southern states to form the Confederate States of America would, if it had been sustained, have permanently divided the nation. As it was, it took a four-year-long war and the loss of probably more than 750,000 lives to bring the Confederacy to an end.

Using contemporary documents and recent historical works, we’ll explore the war’s origins, events, and outcomes; explain the creation and eventual defeat of the Confederacy, and why the war lasted so long; examine the abolition of slavery and the postwar legacies of Reconstruction, civil rights, and race-based repression; and look at how the war changed the course of U.S. history, affected Americans of all kinds, and has been marked ever since in national memory.

ENGL 6750: Seminar in Language & Literature

Title: ENGL 6750: Seminar in Language & Literature: Labor, Utterance, & Meaning in the Maritime World

Instructor: Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Associate Professor of English and Director of Maritime Studies

Day, Time, and Mode: Wednesday, 6:30-9 pm, in-person

No pre-requisites

Description:

For as long as history has been recorded, sailors have stepped on shore with a tale to tell. Until the laying of telegraph cables across oceans finally outpaced sailing ships in carrying messages in the 1850s, the sight of a sail on the horizon might be the first herald of news of many kinds: political, cultural, financial, or personal. The figure of the sailor as a storyteller stretches back beyond the earliest written records. The gulf of ocean between the sailor and the port and the events or circumstances that sailor described lent a paradoxical mix of authority and doubt regarding stories sailors told. The writers we will consider in this course inherited willingly or unwillingly the long heritage of these sailor storytellers. This course will examine the chronological development of a literature wherein the sea functions as physical, psychological, and philosophical setting. The course will begin by investigating early uses of the sea in literature and ways in which early works influenced later writings. It will continue with the use of the sea in contemporary literature and literature by writers of color. Through the use of literary theory and maritime history, the course will establish the context in which these works were produced as well as closely examining the works themselves. The requirements for the course will include presentations, several short papers, and a longer final essay.

ENGL 2605. Capitalism, Literature, and Culture (Honors)

Prerequisite: ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011.

In this section dedicated to Honors students, we’ll read some of capitalism’s most influential theorists (such as Adam Smith and Karl Marx) and look at some of its most ardent defenders (including Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand). The primary focus, however, will be on twentieth- and twenty-first century novels and a few films that raise questions about whether capitalism is indeed the best, much less the inevitable, way of structuring the economy—and so many other aspects of our lives. We will consider if there is a racial component to capitalism and also the possibility of a new form of surveillance capitalism emerging in the digital age. The reading list for this course is still a work in progress, but will likely include such novels as Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Dave Eggers’s The Circle, Colson Whitehead’s Zone One, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed. In addition to a substantial amount of reading, course requirements include a 15-minute presentation on a full scholarly book, a short paper, a research paper, spot quizzes—and lots of lively discussion. I love working with Honors students, and expect this course to be a blast.
If you have any questions, including about waiving the prerequisite, feel free to email me (clare.eby@uconn.edu).

HDFS 3141-H71: Developmental Approaches to Intergroup Relations and Victimization

Instructor: Alaina Brenick

Prerequisites: Open to sophomores or higher.
Recommended preparation: HDFS 2001

Developmental, social-ecological, and social psychological theories of the fundamental processes involved in intergroup relations; cognitive, affective, and social underpinnings of intergroup dynamics; critical issues of diversity and social justice in the lives of children and families; experiences of intergroup discrimination and victimization such as bullying and exclusion; theoretical approaches to improving intergroup relations and tolerance.

CA 2, CA 4.

 

SOCI Conversion Opportunities

Instructor: Phoebe Godfrey

While these are not Honors courses, Prof. Godfrey welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. 

SOCI 2705: Sociology of Food (Conversion opportunity)

Prerequisite: Open to sophomores or higher. Recommended preparation: SOCI 1001.

This highly interactive and engaging student-centered course explores in creative ways the social factors shaping the industrial food system, as well as a social analysis of viable alternatives. Readings come from a variety of texts, including academic and activist works, as well as poetry and fiction. Students are evaluated on personal reflective journals, discussions (live or online) and group projects that involve experiential, timely and innovative research into all aspects of the food system.

SOCI 2701: Sustainable Societies (Conversion opportunity)

Prerequisite: Open to sophomores or higher. Recommended preparation: SOCI 1001, SOCI 2709.

This highly interactive and engaging student-centered course explores in creative ways the sociological perspectives on the concepts of sustainability. Taking an intersectional theoretical perspective, this course focuses on the cultural roots of climate change and environmental destruction and looks to non-Western cultures both past and present for models of sustainability and equity. Typical STEM solutions as emblematic of sustainability are critiqued in favor of those that promote social justice and cultural transformation. Readings come from a variety of texts, including academic and activist works, as well as poetry and art. Students are evaluated on personal reflective journals, discussions (live or online) and group projects that involve experiential, timely and innovative research into all aspects of what can create more just and sustainable societies.

SOCI 2709W: Society and Climate Change (Conversion opportunity)

Prerequisites: Open to sophomores or higher; ENGL 1007 or 1010 or 1011 or 2011. Recommended Preparation: SOCI 1001.

This highly interactive and engaging student-centered course explores in creative ways the sociological perspectives on the social, economic, political, and environmental causes and consequences of anthropogenic global climate change. Taking an intersectional theoretical perspective, this course focuses on the cultural roots of climate change and environmental destruction and seeks to enable students to see them as inseparable from racism, sexism and other forms of social inequality. Readings come from a variety of texts, including academic and activist works, as well as poetry and art. Students are evaluated on personal reflective journals, discussions (live or online) and Service Learning (SL) based group projects that involve experiential, timely and innovative research into understanding and addressing global climate change. These SL projects form the basis of students individual or group W papers.

CLCS 1102: Classics of World Literature II (Conversion opportunity)

Instructor: Fiona Somerset

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Somerset welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. 

In this course we will study the world through its literatures, focusing on the period from about 1600 to the present. Rather than trying to tell an overall story about cultural change in this period, we will compare five genres and think about who writes them and what they are used for across the world: we will study drama, persuasive prose, lyric poetry, excerpts from novels, and short stories.

CA 1. CA 4-INT.

CLCS 1101: Classics of World Literature I (Conversion opportunity)

Instructor: Fiona Somerset

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Somerset welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. 

In this course we will study the world through its literatures, starting from the earliest written sources and selecting a range of writings up to around 1600 CE. Rather than trying to tell an overall story about cultural change in this period, we will consider how a range of cultures across the world used writing, and how it was a means to convey the imaginary. We will focus especially on writings about travel, since this will help us to understand that the world has always been interconnected, and has always involved contact between people different from each other, even when movement from place to place was generally slower than it is now.  

CA 1. CA 4-INT.

PSYC 2201: Drugs and Behavior (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: John Salamone

In Spring 2021, there is a small in person section (002) and a larger distance learning section (001). Prof. Salamone encourages Honors students to register for section 002 if possible.

Prerequisite: PSYC 1100 or BIOL 1107

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Salamone welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students.

An overview of drug effects on chemical transmission in the nervous system, with an emphasis on the behavioral/psychological effects of drugs. This includes drugs used for psychiatric and neurological treatments, as well as drugs of abuse.

ENGL graduate courses, Spring 2021

Graduate courses act as Honors credit, as long as you earn a grade of B- or higher

The instructors for the following graduate courses in English invite Honors students to enroll. For longer course descriptions, please see the listing of English graduate seminars.

ENGL 6500-001: Seminar in Literary Theory: Theory of Irony

Instructor: Charles Mahoney

This seminar takes as one of its central concerns the question (to paraphrase Kevin Newmark) of what it is about irony – as both an object of serious philosophical reflection and as a literary technique and trope – that makes it a seemingly inevitable topic for seemingly endless critical debate (beginning with Plato, and never ending…). This class may be of interest to students of rhetoric, of literature, of literary theory, and of the human condition (not least in the second decade of the twenty-first century). It takes seriously the enigmatic tropological power of irony and seeks to address both as fully and as insufficiently as possible Schlegel’s haunting question: “What gods will be able to save us from all of these ironies?”

ENGL 6550-001: Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition: Teaching Twenty-First Century Professional Writing

Instructor: Brenda Jo Brueggemann

Technical writing. Business writing. Workplace writing. Copy writing. Grant writing. Editing and publishing. These are some of the primary subgenres under the larger umbrella of professional writing that we will engage in the triangulated theory, practice, and pedagogy of this course.This course will introduce and engage participants in two braided strands:

  • the theories and practices of doing professional writing and
  • the theories and practices of teaching thoughtful approaches to professional writing

Seminar participants will learn about how the world of professional writing “works” (both historical and current) AND they will also learn how to teach professional writing courses to undergraduates. Upon completion of the course, participants will be ready to teach an undergraduate course in professional, technical, or business writing and they should also have some important skills that would make them viable candidates for positions in professional writing positions.

ENGL 6700-001: Seminar in Major Authors: Jane Austen and the Bröntes

Instructor: Jean Marsden

This course is designed to offer an in-depth study of some of the most important novelists of the nineteenth century: Jane Austen and the Brönte sisters. The bulk of the reading will consist of the major novels (Austen’s entire published corpus, Charlotte Brönte’s major novels, one of Anne Brönte’s works, and Emily Brönte’s only novel), supplemented by selected scholarly work and historical context. As all four writers explored issues specifically related to female experience, particular attention will be paid to issues related to the status of women in the nineteenth century.

ENGL 6750-001: Seminar in Language and Literature: Edges of Personhood

Instructor: Fiona Somerset

This course aims to engage with the interests of students in rhet/comp as well as a range of historical and contemporary fields by inviting them to critique Western post-Enlightenment understandings of the self. In conversation with queer theory, critical race studies, and ecocriticism, we will read literary works that interrogate the limits post-Enlightenment Western culture has placed on personhood in order to deny it to (for example) women, slaves and the underclass, people of color, non-Christians, and animals.We will begin with Erin Lynn’s extraordinary poem Grendel’s Mother to the Spear Danes, and go on to read other poetry, music, and a limited selection of longer works (because reading loads should be manageable in this difficult year). Readings will largely be selected by students.

DMD 3998/HRTS 3540: Visual Storytelling Through Human Rights Archives

DMD 3998-008 (Variable Topics) & HRTS 3540-002 (Topics in Human Rights Practice)

Instructor: Catherine Masud

This practice-based course will introduce students to the use of human rights archival materials in documentary storytelling. In the first part of the course students will study the technique and aesthetics of documentary treatments utilizing archival materials, while also gaining exposure to archival best practices, specifically looking at the Thomas J. Dodd Nuremberg Trial collections held in the University of Connecticut Library Archives. Later in the course students will produce a collaborative documentary film project that integrates primary archival materials from the Nuremberg collections, filmed interviews, and their own student generated graphics, animations, and audio treatments. In addition, students will develop individual creative projects on a human rights-related theme using archival collections to enable them to reflect on the importance of history, witnessing, and memory in human rights film practice.

University Honors Laureate: This Variable Topics course will count toward the Arts & Humanities category.