HON 407 Seminars

Honors Seminar

Honors seminars are interdisciplinary courses taught by faculty from across the university. Seminars are small, discussion-based, reading- and writing-intensive courses that require students to actively engage with the source material and write an extended research paper. The Honors College offers several seminars every quarter, on a variety of topics.

All Honors students are required to take at least one 4-credit Honors Junior Seminar (Hon 407) as partial fulfillment of their third-year requirements.

Fall 2021 Seminars

Seminar: Pestilence & Society

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11459 - Tuesday & Thursday 12:00 - 1:50 pm

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Peterson

The ultimate infiltrators: how and why parasites have shaped human history
In this course, we will examine infectious diseases from two points of view- that of the parasite making you sick and that of the people getting sick. By doing this, we will understand why diseases happen, how they spread, and how they have shaped the evolution of every living thing on the planet! NOTE: this class is interdisciplinary and meant for EVERYONE!

With an understanding of the points of view of both the parasite and the host in our back pockets, we will learn about fascinating examples of epidemics throughout the ages to understand how they started, how they ended, and how they changed the course of history and human societies. We will include examples of how diseases highlight systemic social injustices, both in the past and today. We will also study fun examples of how diseases infiltrate our lives- for instance, the rabies virus is thought to be the source of vampire, werewolf, and zombie folklore!

The course outcome is for each student gains a clear understanding of  (i) why epidemics happens and how to prevent them, (ii) how infectious diseases (i.e., parasites) have shaped not only human evolution, but also the evolution of every single living thing on the planet, and (iii) specific infectious diseases throughout history that have shaped human societies.

Seminar: Antigone

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11460 - Monday & Wednesday 12:00 - 1:50 pm

Instructor: Dr. Kathleen Merrow

Sophocles’ play Antigone was first performed in 442 BCE. It has been continuously performed since.  In the modern period Antigone has been reproduced and restaged in widely different political and cultural contexts ranging from Bush administration America (Heaney) to Nazi Europe (Brecht, Anouilh) to apartheid South Africa (Fugard) to the dictatorship of Argentina (Gambaro) and beyond.  The play has also played a role in important philosophical accounts of modernity: Antigone is to Hegel what Oedipus is to Freud. Ever since Hegel wrote Antigone into the core of his Phenomenology of Spirit, Antigone has been a key text for those interested in questions of gender, authority and the state, and political resistance.    
We will use our readings to develop perspectives on key problems posed in the many Antigones, particularly how citizenship is constructed in relationship to the polis/city and how notions of citizenship are shaped by gender norms and assumptions.  

Our goals for this course are to:
1) develop the historical contexts for reading Antigone,
2) read Antigone and use the method of textual explication to open up production of meanings in the text with a particular interest in the intersection of politics and gender in classical Athens,
3) study a contemporary version of Antigone (Fugard’s The Island) as a case study for adaptations of Antigone and think about what it means to replay Antigone in the context of apartheid South Africa and consider how and why Antigone has been such an object of fascination and appropriation across diverse cultures,
4) follow a particular genealogy of interpretations of Antigone (Hegel, Heidegger, Lacan, Irigarary, and Butler) in the modern period and develop perspectives on the continuities and contestations in which readings of Antigone play a key role in Western gendered conceptions of identity, 
5) sharpen your skills in close reading and the work of textual explication and summary of argument.


Seminar: Crime Fiction Alla Turca 

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11461 - Monday & Wednesday 10:00 - 11:50 am

Instructor: Dr. Pelin Basci

Why do we read crime fiction? What do murder mysteries tell us about the history of the city? How do detective stories (polisiye) respond to bourgeois anxieties about the speed and direction of change in the urban environment? This seminar investigates linkages between the city and its representations in the genre of crime fiction. After a brief history of the genre, we will read literature set in Turkey, which will offer us an occasion to reflect on orientalist and postcolonial imaginings of the city, too. Ahmet Ümit’s A Memento for Istanbul, Mehmet Murat Somer’s The Kiss Murder, and Esmahan Akyol’s Hotel Bosphorus are likely to be the target texts. Course participants will write four short essays responding to prompts about the course content and compose a seminar paper about one of the main questions of the course. (Due to its content the course requires participant discretion.)


Seminar: Provisioning the 21st Century City

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11462

Instructor: Dr. Jack Corbett

From 1970 to 2020 the world’s urban population tripled, growing by 3 billion people, while the number of McDonalds expanded from 1500 outlets to more than 39,000. Mushrooming cities placed extraordinary pressures on world food supplies as globalization altered food preferences, identities, and patterns of demand. In the 21st century the process of provisioning cities, i.e., securing food and related necessities, requires both complex logistics and the artful combination of disparate cultures, practices, foodways, and economic circumstances. “Provisioning”, a term sounding antiquated but used by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, offers a useful means of exploring challenges changing global urban environments present to advocates of sustainability and social justice.   In the same conversation we talk of “foodie” communities, backyard chickens, and boutique bistros, then shift to “food deserts”, school lunch programs, and the burden of food-based health disparities. Our explorations will stretch from Portland to Pakistan, Spain, and Mexico as we examine the dynamics and problematics of provisioning in global perspective.


Seminar: Language of Photography

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11463 - Thursday 5:30 - 9:10 pm

Instructor: Dr. Jesse Hoffman

Photography, its Greek roots meaning to write with light, captures our most intimate moments and our
most public acts. We view significant parts of our lives through its lens. Since its inception in the late
1830s, photography has maintained a special relationship with language, especially literary language. The
goal of this seminar will be to examine the relationship between photography and writing in order to
develop a critical vocabulary to describe how this media works together. While Susan Sontag calls the
camera a “fantasy machine,” a technology that can inhibit our understanding of reality, we will also
consider the extent to which photography enables us to imagine new worlds and ideas, especially in
writings that theorize and represent the medium.

Summer 2021 Seminars

Seminar: Cultural Determinants of Witchcraft

June 21, 2021 - August 15, 2021 - REMOTE - Eight week remote session 

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 80529

Instructor: Dr. Kathleen Merrow

This eight-week summer course is a seminar in intellectual history to consider the social and cultural meaning of witchcraft. Thus, our focus is not on witch hunts or witch trials per se but on the ideas and the imagery and representation of witchcraft in early modern Europe.  Early modern witchcraft has no single definition or meaning, and the scholarship we will be reading takes that problem of definition and meaning as its point of departure. 

We will begin by placing witchcraft in cultural and historical context and then turn to the research. Our focus will be double: both reading to understand ideas of witchcraft held by the early-modern actors and to understand the contemporary historiographical politics and debates within which interpretations of witchcraft as a cultural phenomenon are embedded.  
Witchcraft is a way to “think” gender configurations and identity. Gender will be a main focus in our readings, as it is a main focus, directly or indirectly, of most scholarship on witchcraft. Inevitably the researcher ends up trying to answer the question of whether, or if so why, witches were primarily women. 

There are no required texts: students will read and work with relatively recent works of original research by historians of witchcraft with some comparison to anthropological approaches.  All readings will be available via D2L. 
Grades will be based upon participation in class discussion and presentations in which students work in small groups to teach a particular article to the class. Students will also write a short paper towards the end of the term that relates an article they have worked with to that of a significant interlocutor the author is engaged with in the article. 

Seminar: Commitment to Care

June 21, 2021 - July 18, 2121 - REMOTE - Four week session

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 80528

Instructor: Dr. Tina Burdsall

Commitment to Care: the long and hidden nature of caring in Society

In this course, we will explore the possibility and need to achieve a society that values care and caring. We will explore the wide variety of views of what care, care-giving / care-taking, and caring mean through a social science lens. This course will interrogate why and how the ideas of care has become a place of tension: hidden in work-loads, but valorized in corporate advertising; how care has been devalued, at times weaponized, and yet essential to our very lives at a very fundamental level.


Seminar: Biodiversity

July 19, 2021 - August 15, 2021 - REMOTE - Four week session

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 80532

Instructor: Dr. Olyssa Starry

This course covers both historical and current approaches to the study of biodiversity locally and globally, with an emphasis on conservation strategy. Topics of discussion include levels of biodiversity; measuring and mapping biodiversity; dispersal and succession; the fossil record and evolution of major groups; the scope of present-day biodiversity; the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem health; species concepts, speciation, and extinction; conservation biology; and restoration ecology. In the process of exploring these topics students will sharpen their critical reading skills by revisiting core honors college assignments as well as through mapping exercises and data analysis.  Assignments will be tailored to an interdisciplinary audience; the final class project will involve the creation of a field guide.


Spring 2021 Seminars

Seminar: Global City Through Film

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 61468

Instructor: Dr. Pelin Basci

The idea of the nation is intractably tied to the idea of the city. How does the modern Turkish nation imagine itself through its cities? Using cinema as its lens and the city of Istanbul as its base, this seminar explores changing representations of the Turkish nation from the 1920s to the present. Even though diverse locations are used in Turkish films, Istanbul has, as a bustling global city, been the home of Turkey’s film industry and the setting for many Turkish movies. Films depict the urban ecology of Istanbul and contrast it with provincial Turkey, including even its urban political rival, the modern capital city of Ankara. Thus Istanbul does provide an excellent window into the incessantly changing “global city,” which can be compared with other filmic cities in Turkey and abroad, including Portland. Sometimes the city itself is depicted as an intimate space that articulates gender or is itself gendered, providing for further explorations into modern identities.

Seminar: Science & Ideology

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN 61469

Instructor: Dr. Richard Beyler

The modern world has been characterized by growth in the practical power and the cultural authority of science, seen both as a body of knowledge and a social institution. Modern and recent history have also seen the rise, fall, and resurgence of competing political ideologies and intense conflict–armed and otherwise–among them. What is the relationship between these two central characteristics of the modern world? It is sometimes assumed, that science is, or at any rate ought to be, free from politics. However, the historical record certainly challenges the “is” version of that assumption–and possibly the “ought” version as well. In this course we will examine these and related aspects of the political history of science:  in particular, the relationships between science as a social institution and other social and political institutions, and relationships between science as a body of knowledge and various political ideologies. We will have some common readings dealing with several examples in societies ranging from the totalitarian to the democratic. Members of the seminar will also choose, research, and present/write on independent projects. The format of the class will include some synchronous discussion sections; however, much of the work will be done asynchronously.

Seminar: Criminal Injustice in Law & Literature

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 61466

Instructor: Dr. Jesse Hoffman

This is an interdisciplinary humanities seminar that brings together law, literature, history, and art to understand injustice in the context of criminal investigation, prosecution, adjudication, and punishment. We will read broadly—including poems, memoirs, short stories, plays, novels, cases, and scholarship—to learn about how literature represents justice and injustice in the aftermath of different crimes, both real and imagined. Texts might include Sophocles’s Antigone, Shakespeare’s Othello, Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, Beth Loffreda’s Losing Matt Shepard, Moisés Kaufman’s The Laramie Project, James Baldwin’s “Going to Meet the Man,” and Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. We will also work with a diverse array of media such as Herman Wallace’s “Dream House” and Gordon Parks’s collection of photographs The Atmosphere of Crime. Necessarily, this course will address the persecution of marginalized people who have suffered under the auspices of the law because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or political ideology. With this in mind, we will think about how the law can both protect and harm us, and the ways in which the law can obfuscate reality even when it claims to illuminate the truth. Our approach will be nuanced and dialectical with a careful examination of these difficult and timely issues. Our primary objective will be the composition of a major research paper within the scope of our topic. This course does not presume students will have an in-depth knowledge of literary analysis, but it will require a heavy amount of reading and writing about literature.

Seminar: Queer World Literature

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 61470

Instructor: Dr. Cullen Goldblatt

This seminar is part literature survey, part experiment. We will read generically diverse works of literature from different places on the globe; many are written by members of sexual or gendered minorities, some treat themes and questions we might think of as queer. We will primarily read poetry and short prose works, given the brevity of a term and the breadth of the literature. That is the “literature survey” element. The seminar is an experiment in that it (experimentally, provisionally) puts forth a body of work that we could think of as constituting Queer World Literature. After all, there is not (yet?) an established body of texts that we recognize to be the Great Books of Queer World Lit. As part of the experimental element of the course, we will put into question the concepts at work in the seminar’s title. What are the various understandings of queer? What do we mean by World Literature, and what are the critiques of that idea? What might be a queer world? In short, this seminar is a chance to talk about what we mean by queer (and world, and literature), which works we value, how we interpret them, and why. Authors we will read include James Baldwin, Alison Bechdel, Stephen Gray, Joy Harjo, T.L. Huchu, June Jordan, Diriye Osman, Richard Rive, Arundhati Roy, and Walt Whitman.

Seminar: Reading the Bible Through the Iron Age: The Hebrew Bible in its Ancient Near East Context

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 64640

Instructor: Dr. Jason Price

Many are accustomed to thinking of the Hebrew Bible as a religious text. But it’s also a cultural artifact of Iron Age Israel and Judah, whose inhabitants composed, read, and edited texts of the Hebrew Bible in the light of their cultural surroundings and specific historical events. Through the study of comparative ancient Near Eastern texts and archaeology, this course will explore those events and surroundings that influenced the composition of biblical literature. Special attention will be given to Egyptian and Mesopotamian literary and historical parallels. Students will explore the history, religion, and culture of the ancient Near East and the emergence of the Hebrew Bible from this milieu by utilizing the historical-critical method of interpretation. Thus, this course will attempt to decouple the Hebrew Bible from modern religious interpretations and seek to subject it to the same type of critical inquiry scholars use to understand any historical work of literature. The course will include a discussion of such topics as creation myths, ancient Near Eastern literary genres, gods and goddesses, theories of biblical composition, the emergence of Israelite material culture, social structure, temple-building, literacy, colonialism, forced migration, death, ritual, magic, women, and more.

Winter 2021 Seminars

Seminar: Living with Animals

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 41547

Instructor: Dr. Harry York

The scholarly field of animal studies has grown dramatically over the last twenty years. This field draws scholars from multiple disciplines, who raise a number of questions about human-animal interactions. For example, key questions in the field of animal studies revolve around the ways in which humans have defined animals as the “other,” providing an ethical justification for their use as food, objects of entertainment and spectacle, objects of scientific inquiry, etc. Some scholars in critical animal theory have advocated rethinking our ideas about animals to counter these “humanist” or “anthropocentric” views that justify ethical positions about their treatment. In this context, scholars are often interested in addressing the human-animal divide, or the way in which people in different cultures and times have thought about the relationship between human and animal shaping identity (humanity vs. animality). Addressing this question, we will explore the representation of animals in art and literature to consider the “ways of seeing” animals and how that shapes attitudes towards them.

In addition to the theoretical consideration of how we have defined the human-animal divide, scholars have also focused attention on the ways in which humans have interacted with animals in history. Scholarship in this area has looked at the history of animal domestication where animals were raised as food and/or beasts of burden. The practice of hunting animals for food and sport has also received attention. Different efforts to keep animals as forms of entertainment, objects of curiosity in museums and zoos, or as pets have been considered for what they reveal about human attitudes toward animals and the natural world. Furthermore, other scholars have explored the ways in which animals have been approached as objects of scientific study, focusing on how scientists have tried to collect representative individuals, categorize different species, use them as objects of experimentation (including vivisection), or study them as creatures in need of medical attention.

Seminar: Collective Memory and its Discontents

Hon 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 41548

Instructor: Dr. Cullen Goldblatt

In this seminar, we wrestle with the idea of collective memory. What happens when we move from individual memory to the notion that a group possesses a collective memory? What does this idea, of a thing called collective memory, help us to think about, and do, and what does it make it difficult to consider (and do)? We will chart a brief history of the rise of the idea of collective memory, and we will read a variety of texts that employ memory in different ways. We will bring particular attention to African and Diasporic pasts and texts. Readings will include short excerpts of legislation and textbooks, non-fiction writing by scholars including Saidiya Hartman, Debarati Sanyal, and Walter Benn Michaels, and literary texts by authors such as Richard Rive. The professor—one of collective memory’s discontents—is a scholar of literature by training; the seminar integrates literary, historical, and theoretical readings.

Seminar: Oil Cities and the Arabic Novel

Hon 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 41549

Instructor: Dr. Yasmeen Hanoosh

In this seminar we will study Arab cities whose emergence and subsistence are dependent on that most combustible of planetary resources: oil. We will examine these cities through the lens of Arabic short stories and novels that have oil at their core. We will interpret these works within the wider rubric of ‘petroculture’, teasing out the universal patterns in petroleum's effect on urban development and life. We will use Arabic literature as method and resource to map and critique ways in which petroleum, one of the world’s most ubiquitous resources, is unevenly produced, extracted, refined and exploited on a East-West trajectory. Through canonical works such as Abd al-Rahman Munif’s Cities of Salt and Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun, we will take a closer look at how people have processed and articulated the relationship between life’s upheavals and the petroleum industry since its discovery in the Middle East nearly a century ago. We will examine how “petrofiction” evaluates vulnerable populations in the Middle East and throughout the world as subject to oil imperialism, dispossession, and environmental degradation. In the process we will establish correlations between social and political frameworks and events, revealing oil’s relations with climate breakdown, economic short-lived booms and chronic crises, democratic stress, war, urbanization, and reconfiguration of traditions.

Seminar: Looking at a Pandemic through a Social Science Lens

Hon 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 41550                                                                                     

Instructor: Dr. Tina Burdsall

Seminar: Racial Politics in Urban America

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN 44492

Instructor: Dr. Paul McCutcheon

The Racial Politics of Urban America is a quarter-long excursion across the racial cartographies of urban America. As we travel through U.S. cities, we will consider how urban space created possibilities for new forms of entertainment, artistic exploration, social organization, and modes of pleasure even as they exacerbated social divisions and sustained particular forms of inequality and exclusion that were felt and experienced beyond the borders of the cities we will consider. We will explore histories of segregation, migration, imperialism, settlement, protest, and political struggle. We will explore the hidden histories embedded in urban spaces and consider how cities mediate the material, psychological, and social lives of those living in, and beyond, the borders of the city. As such, our journey through U.S. cities will require us to traverse a number of unexpected roads and paths. Although we will make extended stops in a number of U.S. cities, our journey will often require trips to and from global destinations, both urban and rural, forcing us to crisscross the globe from the “global cities” of trade, commerce, and production to the agrarian economies in places like U.S. South. We will travel migratory routes, circuits of global capital, and ecological pathways that help structure the liquor stores, dance clubs, strip malls, skyscrapers, factories, and the other built spaces that make up large parts of the U.S. city. Perhaps paradoxically, we will find that the racial contours of urban space become more legible and clear even as the borders that define those spaces become less coherent and definable. 

Seminar: Biodiversity

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN 44493

Instructor: Dr. Olyssa Starry

This course covers both historical and current approaches to the study of biodiversity locally and globally, with an emphasis on conservation
strategy. Topics of discussion include levels of biodiversity; measuring and mapping biodiversity; dispersal and succession; the fossil record and evolution of major groups; the scope of present-day biodiversity; the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem health; species concepts, speciation, and extinction; conservation biology; and restoration ecology. In the process of exploring these topics students will sharpen their critical reading skills by revisiting core honors college assignments as well as through mapping exercises and data analysis. Assignments will be tailored to an interdisciplinary audience; the final class project will involve the creation of a field guide.

Seminar: Settler Colonial Studies

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN 

Instructor: Dr. Katrine Barber

Global patterns identified as settler colonialism – Anglo land hunger, the elimination of Indigenous people symbolically and actually, and the exploitation of expendable migrant and/or enslaved laborers discernable in places like Australia, the United States, and South Africa – have transformed interpretive practices in many academic disciplines. Coupled with analysis of the structures of white supremacy, nationalism and citizenship, and anti-blackness, settler colonialism has proved to be a powerful interpretive tool in Anthropology, History, Sociology, Geography, and Education, among many others. This course examines how scholars have relied on settler colonialism’s explanatory power, how they have uncovered the framework’s limits, and how we might apply both in our own work. 

We will explore the foundations of settle colonialism, decolonialism, and adjacent scaffolding in the first weeks of the course (punctuated with plenty of stories to ground us!). In the second half, we will investigate how they operate in the history of the carceral state and the recent #noDAPL uprisings at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. These case studies inspire a term-length project that asks students to chart how interpretive changes have challenged professions such as education, the arts, public health, social work, medicine, environmental science, public policy, law, criminal justice/policing, real estate, and community organizing/activism. Our guides in this course include an outstanding group of scholars across the disciplines who help us map the overlapping architecture of settler colonialism, white supremacy, and decolonialism that construct and maintain structural inequality in Oregon, the United States, and beyond. 

Fall 2020 Seminars

Seminar: Marx in the City

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11511

Instructor: Dr. Kathleen Merrow

Jeffrey Popke has observed, “From 19th-century London to contemporary New York, cities have provided rich grist for the Marxist mill, because urban spaces have invariably come to exemplify both the best and worst features of capitalist modernity.”[1]  We will take this as our guide to exploring how Marxist theory offers a way to think about globalization and urban geography.

Our first task is to understand Marxist theory.  We will read selections from Marx, including volume 1 of Capital (1867) as well as Engel’s study of Manchester (in The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845)).  Our next readings will focus on Louis Althusser and Henri Lefebvre, two key (and radically opposed) Marxist theorists of great importance in the history of Western Marxism.  Lefebvre’s work is the point of origin of theories of the production of space. These historical readings are preparatory to our study of the work of two key contemporary scholars: David Harvey, an anthropologist and geographer, and Manuel Castells, a Spanish sociologist and communications theorist. Both have been very important as scholars of the city who have brought together Marxist theory and concepts of space and thus opened up ways that Marx’s analysis of capitalism as an economic system can illuminate urban history and phenomena (and vice versa).  Our overall goal is to understand the value of Marxist theory in understanding what David Harvey has called “the urbanization of capital.”

The readings for the course represent foundational work done to extend the theories of Marx to the study of urban spaces.  Students will be asked to take this further and study the intersection of urban and Marxist theory and scholarship in a presentation and a formal paper.

Seminar: The Language of Photography

Hon 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 14849

Instructor: Dr. Jesse Hoffman

Photography, its Greek roots meaning to write with light, captures our most intimate moments and our most public acts. We view significant parts of our lives through its lens.  Since its inception in the late 1830s, photography has maintained a special relationship with language, especially literary language. The goal of this seminar will be to examine the relationship between photography and literature in order to develop a critical vocabulary to describe how this media works together. While Susan Sontag calls the camera a “fantasy machine,” a technology that can inhibit our understanding of reality, we will also consider the extent to which photography enables us to imagine new worlds and ideas, especially in writings that theorize and represent the medium.

A rich body of literature about photography will inform our work, ranging from poems and short stories to essays and memoirs. We will work closely with these texts and related images to develop substantial critical essays that will undergo significant revision. Some of our work will involve thinking about photographs that depict atrocity, genocide, and other forms of violence. We will approach this kind of material carefully, critically, and ethically because it is crucial for understanding our subject. Texts might include Susan Sontag’s On Photography, Susie Linfield’s The Cruel Radiance, Errol Morris’s Believing is Seeing, Graham Clarke’s The Photograph, Sally Mann’s Hold Still, and Natasha Trethewey’s Bellocq’s Ophelia.

Seminar: Orhan Pamuk's Instanbul

Hon 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11512

Instructor: Dr. Pelin Basci

How does fiction create spaces for cultural and artistic cross-fertilization between what we see as the East and the West? Drawing on post-modern, modern and pre-modern artistic and literary traditions, as well as European and Middle Eastern classics, the work of Nobel Laureate (2006) Orhan Pamuk offers fertile ground for the exploration of this question. Pamuk is one of the most interesting, original, and prolific authors in Turkish literature. His work has been translated into 60 languages, including English. In these works the city—especially his beloved Istanbul—emerges as a literary hub, the crossroads of many cosmopolitan encounters. We will work in a seminar setting to contextualize Pamuk’s work, investigate his textual references, and explore his city of fiction. The course will focus on My Name Is Red (Eng. 2001), Black Book (Eng. 1994, 2006) and Istanbul. Memories and the City (Eng. 2005). Students will be asked to prepare a final paper involving one other work by Pamuk (e.g. a novel, a book of essays, a screenplay, a museum, or a museum catalog).

Seminar: Pacific Science

Hon 407 - 4 credits - CRN: 11510                                                                                     

Instructor: Dr. Richard Beyler

The diversity of land- and seascape, flora, and fauna in and around Earth’s largest ocean have been a challenge and inspiration to human understanding for centuries.  Likewise, the Pacific Ocean has been alternately a buffer between distinct cultures developing in relative isolation, and a pathway for exchange, migration, and conquest–often in ways that belie the literal meaning of the word “Pacific.”  As such, the Pacific Basin has been the arena for both some of the oldest traditions of knowledge in human civilization, and the scene of revolutionary new discoveries in fields from physics and astronomy to biology and anthropology.  In this course we will survey some key stories of the history of science the Pacific area, from ancient times to the present, and members of the seminar will choose specific aspects of these stories to explore in more depth.

Seminar: Ancient Aliens: Migration, Immigration, and Construction of the Other in the Ancient Near East

HON 407 - 4 credits - CRN 11513

Instructor: Dr. Jason Price

This seminar will survey the movement and settlement of migrant groups in ancient Egypt, Israel, and Mesopotamia during the Bronze and Iron Ages (ca. 2000 – 332 BCE). By examining the textual record and relevant archaeological remains, the course will explore factors that contributed to migration in the ancient world as well as how migrant groups maintained their identities in foreign settings. It will also consider how host societies constructed a variety of views towards migrant groups that were socially, culturally, and historically shaped.