Featured Honors Courses: Spring 2021

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.

DMD 3998-014: (Variable Topics) Museums and Activism (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Clarissa Ceglio

Prerequisites: Open to sophomores or higher.

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. Experience with digital media tools welcome but not required.

Museums are sites of activism, protest, and struggle over such critical issues as representation, cultural ownership, public accountability, and national belonging. Through a series of case studies, we will explore the history of activists, museum practitioners, and others who, from the late 1800s to the present, have challenged museums to become more inclusive, equitable, and active in civic life. Equipped with that background, we’ll grapple with one of the most difficult questions facing the field today: Should be museums be a medium for social justice and activism on such urgent civic issues as climate change, voter’s rights, immigration, and anti-Black racism? What are the opportunities, limits, and issues for institutions that step beyond traditional notions of museum neutrality? Students will use this knowledge to help present the past, present, and future of museum activism in digital form, working with a team of scholars and practitioners on a Greenhouse Studios digital publication.

This course will be offered online (asynchronous). You will have access to class materials online using HuskyCT, and you will not be expected to be available at any particular time.

Contact clarissa.ceglio@uconn.edu for questions and permission number

For more information about Greenhouse Studios, for which Professor Ceglio is Associate Director of Research, see: https://greenhousestudios.uconn.edu/projects/museums/

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.

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.

ENGL Honors classes Spring 2021

All three of these courses carry the pre-requisite of first-year writing (ENGL 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011).

ENGL 1701-003: Creative Writing I

Instructor: Ellen Litman

This introductory class will concentrate on poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. Students will learn by writing original work, reading and discussing the work of published authors, responding to their classmates’ stories, poems, and essays, and trying to help one another. We’ll begin by doing a series of exercises, eventually working our way toward producing three to four poems, one finished piece of creative nonfiction, and one short story, all of which we will workshop in class. Students should be prepared to read and write a lot and actively participate in class and online discussions.

ENGL 2409-001: The Modern Novel

Instructor: Margaret Breen

This is an exciting reading-intensive course. We will be reading a selection of significant novels of the last 125 years from a range of cultural contexts—novels important for both the stories they tell (stories regarding alienation, resilience, resistance, violence, memory, and forgetting) and the ways in which those stories are told (ways regarding narrative technique, point of view, plot construction, metaphor, and so on). In short, this is a course on the modern novel, where “modern” refers to both the new kinds of stories these texts recount and the innovative formal means that facilitate and create that recounting.

Likely texts: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones (2011), Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone (2017 [2015]), Jordy Rosenberg’s Confessions of the Fox (2018), and Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (2019)

Likely assignments: a short, 75-minute essay exam; a 5-6 essay or creative project; a final 6-8 page essay or creative project.

CA 1. 

ENGL 3122-001:Irish Literature in English since 1939

Instructor: Mary Burke

Open to juniors or higher.

This Honors course will situate contemporary Irish drama, prose, and poetry in its evolving historical, social, linguistic, and political contexts. No previous knowledge of Irish writing or culture is assumed. Authors to be discussed include Elizabeth Bowen, Seamus Heaney, Martin McDonagh, Glenn Patterson, and Claire Kilroy. Some contemporary Irish films or films on a contemporary Irish theme (e.g. McDonagh’s 2005 Oscar-winning short) will be considered alongside the literary texts. Group discussion will be at the center of class. Writing: a practice essay, a midterm paper, a presentation, film reports, and a final exam.

CA 4-Int.

ENVE 1000E: Environmental Sustainability (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Christine Kirchhoff

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

In this course, we examine anthropogenic impacts on the environment, resulting from the need for energy, food, water, and shelter, and discuss various strategies to improve economic, social, and environmental sustainability.  We ground what we learn in readings and from the scientific literature with case studies of UConn activities/programs targeting improvements in campus sustainability as well as case studies of examples of urban and corporate sustainability efforts here in the US and abroad.

CA 2, E.

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.

 

Healthcare Innovation graduate courses

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

Honors students are invited to take one or more courses in Healthcare Innovation on a space-available basis. Courses must be taken in sequence:

  • NURS 5111: Healthcare Innovation Theory and Application (Spring)
  • NURS 5112: Healthcare Opportunities for System Level Solutions (Fall)
  • NURS 5113: Developing & Leading a Sustainable Culture of Healthcare Innovation (Spring)
  • NURS 5114: Healthcare Innovation Development (Fall)

Contact Dr. Tiffany Kelley to discuss your interest in and fitness for these courses. The sequence is not recommended for first-year students.

MATH Courses Spring 2021

The following MATH courses will be offered as Honors in Spring 2021, all via distance learning:

MATH 1132Q 077D Calculus II David McArdle
MATH 1132Q 078D Calculus II David McArdle
MATH 1132Q Z84 Calculus II [UConn Stamford] Richard Watnick
MATH 2110Q 106D Multivariable Calculus Katherine Hall
MATH 2142Q 001 Advanced Calculus II Myron Minn-Thu-Aye
MATH 2144Q 001 Advanced Calculus IV Iddo Ben Ari
MATH 2210Q 013 Applied Linear Algebra Matthew Badger
MATH 2410Q 003 Elem Differential Equations Michael Biro
MATH 3094 001 Undergraduate Seminar Jeremy Teitelbaum & Kyu-Hwan Lee

The topics for MATH 3094 (Undergraduate Seminar) change every semester. For Spring 2021, the topic is Machine Learning.

MCB 2225: Cell Biology Laboratory

Instructor: David Knecht

Prerequisite: BIOL 1107 or equivalent

Many Honors students in the life sciences have benefited from MCB 2225, Cell Biology Laboratory.  The laboratory is designed to help students decide if they are interested in research and to prepare them for working in a research laboratory. Students will become proficient with experimental design, quantitative data analysis, and data presentation in the context of learning to work with living cells.  Like a research laboratory, the course laboratory is accessible 24/7 because real science often does not fit into 3 hour time blocks.

Students do not need an extensive knowledge of cell biology in order to succeed in the class.  The background cell biology for each experiment will be discussed in class and a general protocol will be provided.  Students working in pairs will then design the details of the specific experimental question, develop a protocol including the necessary controls, carry out the experiment and then analyze the data.  Experiments are often repeated outside of class time as student researchers fine-tune their technique or protocol.  The results are then discussed in a “group meeting” so that each group can see how others approached related problems. There is great flexibility for students to branch out from the starting point provided to take the experiment in a direction that is of interest to the student.

Students will maintain their own wild type and mutant cell lines throughout the semester.  The laboratory is equipped with computer controlled video microscope workstations for acquiring data on cell behavior. The experiments will focus on the growth, motility, development and underlying cellular structure of the soil amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum.  Many of the experiments will ask questions about how cells move and respond to signals both in unicellular and multicellular environments.  Students will transfect cells DNA to express fluorescent probes (GFP and RFP) and investigate the role of the cytoskeleton in cell motility and signaling. Flow cytometry and confocal microscopy will also be used to analyze cells.  Open source image processing software (Fiji/ImageJ) will be used to analyze the data captured from the microscope.   One emphasis of the course will be on the quantitative analysis of image data.

In the last third of the course, students will work on independent projects of their choosing.  Often these projects involve investigation of mutant cell lines available from a National Stock Center or cells isolated from the local environment.

Unlike many courses that aim to teach science concepts, this course puts an emphasis on teaching students to think like a scientist. The class size is small and there is ample opportunity for individual attention from the instructor and TA. This course will provide students with specific skills and experience that will aid them in applying to any laboratory in MCB (and other departments) for Honors thesis research. There is also the possibility of continuing these projects as Honors thesis research in the instructor’s research laboratory as many of the experiments conducted in the class are an outgrowth of ongoing research projects.

NRE 4370: Population Dynamics (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Tracy Rittenhouse

Open to students with more than 50 credits.
Recommended preparation: STAT 1100Q and EEB 2244

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

Why do some wildlife populations become over abundant while others decline towards extinction?  Learn how to create and game a mathematical model, a skill-set applicable to all STEM majors, while also learning why black bear populations are growing throughout North America and African wild dogs nearly went extinct.

PNB 5700: Sensory Physiology

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

Instructor: Karen Menuz

Recommended preparation: This graduate course is an advanced version of PNB 3700. As such, it is appropriate for senior Honors students with credit for PNB 2274 or 3251.

This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of sensory physiology. Special attention is paid to the receptors, receptor cells, and tissue physiology in peripheral sensory organs. The course covers senses that are familiar to humans, such as olfaction, taste, vision, touch, and hearing, and those that we lack such as magnetoreception, electroreception, and infrared detection. A comparative approach will be taken, highlighting the common principles and key differences in select sensory systems in vertebrates, invertebrates, and other organisms.

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.

PSYC 2400: Developmental Psychology (Conversion Opportunity)

SECTIONS 001, 002 

Instructor: Marie Coppola

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

This course will introduce you to the scientific study of children’s development, with a focus on development from conception through adolescence. In particular, you will become familiar with the major theoretical perspectives on child development and with the techniques and findings from research projects carried out from these different perspectives. We will cover several fundamental aspects of development, including the foundations of brain development; perceptual, cognitive, conceptual, language, and emotional development; cultural and social influences; and the implications of this research for social policy and decision-making.

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.