Featured Honors Courses: Fall 2019

ANTH 3098-007 (Variable Topics): Flourishing and Well-being (Conversion Opportunity)

Flourishing and Well-being in Interdisciplinary Perspective

Instructor: Sarah Willen

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

In this seminar, we will draw on anthropology and related fields of scholarship and practice – e.g., philosophy, psychology, public health, sociology, critical theory, and human rights – to ask:

  • What does it mean – and what does it take – for human beings to flourish, or thrive? How are flourishing and health related, and how might they diverge?
  • What resources, capabilities, opportunities, and protections are needed to flourish …
    … as individuals ?
      … as communities and collectives?
  • How and why are certain people, and certain groups, ensured access to the elements of a flourishing life, while others are impeded or outright denied? What is the lived impact – and what are the embodied effects – of such obstructions and denials?
  • How can human rights violations impede the ability to flourish – and what role can human rights play in the promotion of human flourishing?
  • How can human rights be mobilized to advance human flourishing?
  • What would a policy agenda designed to promote human flourishing look like?

In addition to research literature, we will engage these questions through other media, including fiction, poetry, journaling, visual arts, and music.

DMD 3620: Collaborating with Cultural Organizations (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Clarissa Ceglio

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Ceglio welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. Alternatively, Honors students may enroll in the cross-listed graduate section (DMD 5998-005), which will entail additional advanced work. 

Museums, archives, and other cultural organizations are spaces of digital media experimentation as they seek new ways to communicate ideas, make collections accessible, inspire learning, connect people, and build community. In addition to exploring what the terms digital, public, and humanities mean—alone and in combination—we will examine ways in which digital media, from apps to virtual reality (VR) to hashtags, are being used to critically engage us in questions about our human past, present, and future. We will explore, too, the place of digital/public/humanities within contemporary debates about cultural organizations’ histories and responsibilities with regard to social justice, activism, and inclusivity. This Service Learning course also involves collaborating with on and off-campus cultural organizations on a set of microprojects with such partners as the Keney Park Sustainability Project. Through this course students will gain an understanding of the roles that current and emerging digital media play in public engagement and gain hands-on experience with basic tools, such as Omeka, an open-source software for building online collections and exhibits. No prior digital media skills required.

DMD 3998-012 (Variable Topics): Visual Representations of Armenian Memory

Instructor: Catherine Masud

Fridays 10:10 AM – 3:20 PM (with lunch break). Email catherine.masud@uconn.edu or stacy.webb@uconn.edu for permission number.

Seeking talented students who are: Film Editors, Motion Graphics Animators, Graphic Designers, Historians, Writers.

In this course, students will develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the ways in which audio-visual media can be used to recreate memory of lost communities. Students will produce a collaborative documentary film project that integrates primary archival materials with their own student-generated graphics, animations, and sound treatments. The film and supporting presentation materials will premiere at a conference near the end of the term. In addition, students will develop individual creative projects that enable them to reflect on the intersection of history and personal memory.

The collaborative film project will tell the multi-dimensional story of Armenian history and culture that was lost due to ethnic cleansing and genocide. The Armenian Holocaust (1915-19) resulted in the systematic extermination of the majority of the Armenian Christian population within the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent expulsion of survivors from Turkey. The historical circumstances surrounding this period are still controversial today. For more information, visit houshamadyan.org.

This course will be taught by award-winning filmmaker, Catherine Masud, who has a passion for national memory and oral history narratives. This unique course offers students the chance to develop their professional skills under the guidance of a master filmmaker and expert historians. This course is also an opportunity for students with an interest in history and human rights to engage in a compelling, historical narrative which is still relevant and deserving of understanding today.

ECON 3473: Microeconomic Issues in Economic Development and Policy Making

Instructor: Nishith Prakash

Prerequisites: ECON 1200 or 1202; ECON 2201 or 2211Q. The requirement of intermediate microeconomics (2201/2211Q) may be waived for Honors students who have taken ECON 1200 or 1201. Email Prof. Prakash to request a permission number.

A majority of the world’s population lives on less than $2/day. The goal of this course is to better understand the lives of the world’s poor. What are their lives like? Why do they remain poor? In particular, we will explore 3-4 interrelated topics such as poverty, education, political economy and corruption.

Key highlights of this course:

  1. Students will learn impact evaluation.
  2. Students will learn how to evaluate government policies.
  3. Students will learn how to design effective policies aimed at improving the well-being of individuals.
  4. Students will learn a statistical tool – STATA, a powerful tool used in Applied Microeconomics.

ENGL 1616W-001: Major Works of English & American Literature

Instructor: Veronica Makowsky

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011

Who Am I? Am I the same person I was yesterday? What will I be tomorrow? To what extent do I control my identity and to what extent is it imposed upon me by my historical and cultural contexts? To what extent is it formed by my family and the relationships between and among family members? We will explore these questions about identity and change as we read and discuss major works of poetry, drama, and fiction. In the first half of the course, we will survey some important British works from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century, including Hamlet and selections from our anthology, The Norton Introduction to Literature (Shorter, Twelfth Edition), as well as Robert Louis Stevenson’s brief novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), interspersed with one or two twentieth-century American plays that focus on family dynamics. In the second half of the course, we will concentrate on modernism and on American ethnic literature, including Julie Otsuka’s short novel When the Emperor Was Divine. Students will write and revise four short papers. Class participation is essential and will include almost daily in-class writing assignments. The course is intended as an introduction to reading and interpreting English and American literature with no background required other than having met the first-year writing requirement.

(CA 1, W)

ENGL 2409-001: The Modern Novel

Instructor: Sarah Winter

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011

This course will examine modernist transitions in narrative technique and the representation of psychology, sexuality, and consciousness, as well as the changing historical, cultural, and aesthetic frameworks of novels by Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, and Zora Neale Hurston. The course will also serve as an introduction to narrative theory. Requirements: midterm; final; a short critical analysis paper and presentation; 6-7 page final paper.

(CA 1)

ENGL 3120-001: Irish Literature in English to 1939

Instructor: Mary Burke

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011; open to juniors or higher

This course will situate Irish drama, prose, and poetry up to the mid-twentieth century in its evolving linguistic, historical, social, political, economic and religious contexts. We will read works by some (but not all) of the following: Brian Merriman, G.B. Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Elizabeth Bowen, and J.M. Synge. A number of Irish films or films on an Irish theme will be screened during the course. The course is predicated on group discussion. Writing: a practice essay, a mid-term paper, and a final exam. This class fulfills one of the four courses focusing on Irish Literature or Language required for the Concentration in Irish Literature, which is open to English majors.

(CA 4-Int)

EVST 1000: Introduction to Environmental Studies (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Mark Boyer

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

EVST 1000 is the gateway course for the Environmental Studies major as well as a CA2 and Environmental Literacy GenEd course.  Students will be exposed to a broad range of environmental approaches and topics across the humanities, social sciences, and biophysical sciences with guest lecturers invited to address their areas of expertise.

(CA 2)

HIST 2020: Pyramids, Pirates, and the Polis: The Ancient Mediterranean

Instructor: Joseph McAlhany

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the histories and cultures of the ancient civilizations surrounding the ancient Mediterranean, with special emphasis on the transformations they underwent as a result of their interactions, both peaceful and violent. The political and religious developments of these cultures are still with us today, in ways we might not recognize and in ways we might not like.

From readings of both primary and secondary sources, written and visual, you will learn not only what this history was, but also what it wasn’t. Along the way, you will also learn to appreciate how history gets made, both by the people who live it and the people who write it.

(CA 1, CA 4-Int)

POLS 2998W-008: (Political Issues) The Politics of War Memory and Memorialization (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Christine Sylvester

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011.

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

This course considers processes whereby major wars are remembered and memorialized in the USA and elsewhere.  The question addressed throughout is whose version of a war is remembered and memorialized and whose is ignored, disputed, or assigned less legitimacy in the politics of national memorialization? Cases revolve around the atom bombing of Hiroshima, the rape of women in Berlin by Russian troops at the end of World War II, the destruction of ancient artifacts in recent Syrian and Iraq wars, the politics of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and of Confederate statues today, and how/whose war is curated in related museum exhibitions, war cemeteries, and war novels. Geared for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, the course entails student presentations, in-class written analyses, and a culminating paper. Previous courses in international relations or issues of public memory helpful.

POLS 3472: South Asia in World Politics (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Betty Hanson

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

This is a course in international relations, and as such, its orientation is toward broader issues of world politics, using South Asia as a case. These issues include nation-building, “enduring rivalries,” ethnic conflict, nuclear proliferation, militant extremism, and development strategies.   An important purpose of the course is to provide the historical and political background for understanding the current developments in South Asia that threaten international stability and security.

(CA 4-Int)

POLS/HRTS 3042: Theories of Human Rights (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Zehra Arat

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

Various theories of human rights, both historical and contemporary. Conceptual arguments both in favor and critical of the theory and practice of human rights will be considered, with literature taken primarily from philosophy and political theory.

PSYC 3250W: Laboratory in Animal Behavior and Learning

[UConn Storrs]

Instructor: Etan Markus

Prerequisites: (1) ENGL 107, 1010, 1011, or 2011; (2) PSYC 1100; (3) PSYC 2100; (4) PSYC 2200 or 2500 or 3201 or 3552; (5) a good knowledge of statistics

Permission number required. Request a permission number using this form.

Remember how you got to class today? a bad experience? learning to ride a bike? What parts of the brain are involved in these different types of behaviors? How can one examine these questions in the laboratory rat? This hands-on laboratory will provide students with an opportunity to conduct experiments using modern behavioral techniques. The ability of rats to carry out different types of tasks will be related to different brain structures.

This is a serious lab designed for students interested in continuing to graduate or medical school.

  • This is a hands-on lab, most of the time we will only have a brief classroom session. Instead, on about half the weeks students will be training animals for about 1-2 hours/day for 3-4 days a week.
  • On occasion you will have to come in on the weekend to care for your animals.
  • This is also a “W” class, and I’ll be working with you on your writing (& re-writing).


PSYC 5140: Foundations in Neuropsychology

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

Instructors: John Salamone & Deborah Fein

Recommended preparation: Some background in biology and/or neuroscience

An introduction to neuropsychology, including functional neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology and cognitive/emotional function and dysfunction.

PSYC 5460: Social and Personality Development

Graduate courses act as Honors courses, with Honors credit awarded for a grade of B- or higher. 

Instructor: Rhiannon Smith

Recommended preparation: PSYC 2400, PSYC 2100

Fundamental theory and empirical research on social-emotional development in childhood and adolescence. Topics include social cognition, empathy, aggression, gender, ethnicity, and interpersonal relationships. Students in this course will read and critique empirical journal articles, participate in class discussions, and give class presentations.

SOCI 2275: Social Well-Being

Instructor: Bradley Wright 

We all have days when we feel happy or sad, with purpose or lost, satisfied or dissatisfied. Why do these states happen when they do? Is it what we are doing? Where we are in life? Who we are with? This course examines how well-being is experienced in society. It explores different conceptualizations of it as well as who has the most of it. It examines the various antecedents of it, including cognitive, emotional, situational, and societal factors.