Spring 2021 Core Courses

AH 1030: Interdisciplinary Approach to Obesity Prevention

[UConn Storrs]

Obesity is considered a national epidemic and possibly a pandemic as it affects many developed countries around the world. This interdisciplinary course explores the biology of obesity, including genetic predispositions and behaviors that increase obesity risk (dietary, physical activity, social, and psychological); the obesigenic environment, including how communities are physically built as well as the economic relationship to obesity risk; and the policy and ethical implications for obesity prevention. Multi-level obesity prevention approaches that involve the individual, family, organization, community, and policy will be considered. The format will consist of common lectures, weekly discussions, hands-on activities, team projects, and synthesis of material presented.

Trouble registering? This class is defined in the catalog as open to freshmen and sophomores in the Honors Program. If you are an Honors student who will have 54 or more credits when this course is offered, you may register by emailing honors@uconn.edu and including (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section; (5) the class number from Student Admin; and (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the course.

SOCI 3823: Sociology of Law: Global and Comparative Perspectives

The course will examine the relationship between law and social change. We will examine the impact of Western Law on Third World countries, the ways in which legal strategies can and have challenged inequality based on class, race, sex, religion and sexuality, and the impact of international human rights treaties. Students will become knowledgeable about different types of legal systems and will learn to analyze the ways in which the law contends with issues of difference and inequality. Students will also be able to analyze the interrelationships between the law, social structure, and the ways in which nations are linked globally.

In this course, students examine:

  • Theoretical perspectives and empirical studies relating the type of law found in a society to its social structure
  • How the law figures into fundamental social change
  • Anthropological studies of dispute processing in societies that are structured primarily on the basis of kinship
  • What impact the introduction of Western Law into Third World countries has had on economic growth, democratic political development, and human rights protections
  • Cross-national influences on law in the post-colonial world
  • The ways in which legal strategies can and have challenged inequality based on class, race, sex, religion, and sexuality
  • The critiques and limits of legal approaches to social change
  • What is the impact of international human rights treaties on the legal systems of different countries?
  • To what extent are international treaty obligations relevant in domestic court proceedings?
  • What is the relationship between social movements and the law?

Note SOCI 3823 is coded at the catalog level as “open to juniors or higher” but other Honors students may contact Prof. Bernstein for a permission number. In your email, confirm that you are a member of the Honors Program, provide your PeopleSoft number, and very briefly explain your interest in taking the course.

POLS 3434W: Honors Core: Excavating the International in Everyday Practices

Requires ENGL 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011.

What is “international”?  The term translates literally into “between nations” (as opposed to intra/within nations) and typically refers to interactions that occur with other states beyond our borders.  It suggests that the international is distinct from the national, that it happens between world leaders somewhere else, and that it has limited relevance to our daily lives.  And yet, the international could not exist without our individual, daily participation in it.  The international is in the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the furniture we sit on and the music we listen to.  It’s embedded in places we think of as strictly national — our school systems, the national holidays we celebrate, the water we drink, the objects we buy and the television shows we watch.  Through seminar discussions and research modules on specific everyday objects, we explore international relations as an everyday practice.  In so doing, we consider our personal relationship to global power dynamics and inequalities and what this implies for activism, ethical change and social justice.

PHIL 2410: Know Thyself

Here are two platitudes about self-knowledge. First: it is easier to know things about yourself than to know things about others. If I want to learn about your likes and dislikes, your beliefs and commitments, your skills and shortcomings, then I might need to do some investigative work. If I want to learn about my own likes, beliefs, and commitments – well, it seems like that’s the kind of thing that I would just know! Second: knowing yourself is distinctively valuable. As we have learned from the self-help industry, it is important to ‘get to know the real you’, to try and ‘find yourself’, to undertake journeys of ‘personal discovery’. In this course, our aim will be to investigate both these platitudes. We will ask what self-knowledge is, how we get it, and why it matters. We will also consider the tension between these platitudes – since, on reflection, we might well wonder why self-knowledge would take on such importance if it really was so easy to come across. A significant portion of the course will therefore be spent looking at the personal and societal barriers to self-knowledge. Our approach to these questions will be mainly philosophical, but we will likely also draw upon resources from sociology and psychology.

Trouble registering? This class has a catalog-level pre-requisite of PHIL 1101/1102/1103/1104/1105/1106/1107. We can override this pre-requisite. If you are an Honors student, you may register by emailing honors@uconn.edu and including (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section (PHIL 2410-001); (5) the class number from Student Admin; and (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the course.

ECON 1108: Game Theory with Applications to the Natural and Social Sciences

[UConn Stamford]

Introduction to game theory examines applications in the natural and social sciences and technology, which may include electric power auctions, evolutionary biology, and elections. The course is an opportunity for students to begin to think strategically about many types of problems found in science, social settings, and even university life.

In this course, students will learn: To recognize strategic behavior—and the potential for strategic behavior—in a variety of situations, for example, in social and political situations and even in the natural sciences. To solve games, use solutions to predict and explain behavior, and recognize and learn from the successes and failures of their analyses. How to work through a sequence of short directed projects to learn that choosing a topic for the Honors thesis is not quite as daunting as they may believe.