Calhoun Honors College

Upcoming Classes

The following table lists Honors seminars scheduled to be taught in Fall 2011.  For a complete list of Honors courses scheduled for Fall 2011, please see Clemson's Schedule of Classes.


Fall 2011 Honors Seminars

Course and Professor General Education Course Section 
"Holocaust & Fiction"“Holocaust & Fiction/Fiction & Holocaust”
HON H 190 section 1, 3:30-4:45 TTH.
How can the horrors and the crimes committed during the Shoah beHow can the horrors and the crimes committed during the Shoah be described or represented? What role does fiction (and art in general) play in this context? Is not any attempt by a survivor to bear witness bound to fail from the onset?
This freshmen seminar sets out to discuss various literary approaches that attempt to tell us about the Holocaust. The course consists of readings, background information, discussions, films, two papers, and a final. Readings include but are not limited to Primo Levi, Tadeusz Borowski, Hannah Arendt, and Giorgio Agamben.

Johannes Schmidt
Literature HON H 190
"1861. 1961. 2001." (Available to first-year National Scholars ONLY)"1861. 1961. 2001."
HON H 191 section 1, Time TBA.
What does it mean to begin a college education at a land-grant university in South Carolina in 2011, on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, the 50th anniversary of key moments in the Civil Rights Movement, and the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11? This course will examine a “genealogy of the present” by exploring how our national narratives were shaped by and continue to reflect three epochal moments in American history: Charleston SC, 1861; Rock Hill SC, 1961; and New York NY, 2001. This writing-intensive course will carry a heavy reading load that includes history, poetry, fiction, journalism, and philosophy. Individual class meetings will feature active student participation in spirited discussions. The course hopes to provide an exciting introduction to the rigors and pleasures of intellectual inquiry. (Open to National Scholars only.)

Michael Lemahieu
Non-literature Arts and Humanities
HON H 191
"Nobel Prizes""Nobel Prizes"
HON H 190 section 2, 2:00-3:15 TTH.
This colloquium will focus on the extraordinary achievements of the men and women around the world who, since 1901, have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine or Physiology, Literature, and Peace, and, since 1968, the Sveriges Rikshart Prize in Economic Sciences. Our approach to these prizewinners will begin with an examination of the life and last will and testament of Alfred Nobel (1833-1896), as well as the nomination and selection processes that, to date, have awarded prizes 813 individuals and 20 organizations (and have not made awards to nominees as diverse as Mahatma Gandhi and Joseph Stalin!). Our primary study of a number of Nobel Prize winners will give us a world tour of a wide variety of intellectual, scientific, ethical, literary, and/or economic breakthroughs that continue to affect our lives and human history. Requirements will include two papers (40%); two presentations (30%); and readings, preparation, and participation (30%).

Alma Bennett
Non-literature Arts and Humanities
HON H 190
"The 1960s: A Decade of Change""The 1960s: A Decade of Change"
HON H 192 section 1. 11:15-12:05 MWF.
This course will examine the general notion of cultural change through the lens of one particularly turbulent decade in recent human history: the 1960s. Our focus will be primarily, but not exclusively, on change in the United States. We will begin by considering some of the antecedents of the social change wrought in the 1960s. Next we will focus our attention on several specific contexts within which change happened, including race relations, gender roles, religion, the arts, and science and technology. We will conclude by examining some of the long-lasting ramifications of these changes for human interaction, social structures, and culture. Sample readings: Doug McAdam, Freedom Summer; Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique.

Laura Olson
Social Science
HON H 192
"Individual vs Community""Individual vs Community"
HON H 192 section 2, 2:30-3:45 MW.
What is the right balance between individual and community? And what effect does American individualism have on the rest of the world? Is there a “crisis of community” in the face of a “rampant individualism” in the modern world? Ever since Alexis de Tocqueville popularized the term “individualism” in his classic work Democracy in America (1835, 1840), the relationship between individual and community has been a central concern in all serious discussions of American national character. Increasingly, it is essential for understanding the world as a whole. This course will situate the individual vs. community conflict in broad intellectual perspective, while also applying the terms of that debate to an understanding of contemporary topics such as the state of American civil engagement in all its dimensions (social, political, religious, familial), the effects of globalization on the survival of local cultures, and the influence of social media on recent political developments in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Hank Clark
Social Science
HON H 192
"Music in Sound & Film History""Music in Sound & Film History"
HON H 203 section 1, 9:05-9:55 MWF.
The objectives of this course are threefold. 1) Develop vocabulary and methods for analyzing and interpreting the sound tracks of films, with particular attention to music’s role in the sound track and the overall relation between sound and image tracks. 2) Examine how sound tracks are put together. 3) By focusing on the introduction of sound, the introduction of stereo, and the introduction of digital sound in film history, explore the thesis that each of these technological advances alters the structural relationships among the three components of the soundtrack—dialogue, music and effects. N.B. This course has an intensive writing component.

Linda Dzuris
Non-literature Arts and Humanities
HON H 203 1
"World of Ideas"(Available to members of Dixon Global Policy Scholars ONLY) "World of Ideas"
HON H 203 section 2, 6:15-9:00 pm TH.
The way we view the world—and the ways in which we try to solve the problems that face us—have been shaped by a series of intellectual approaches that have developed across many centuries. This course will examine four key areas of human endeavor—politics, economics, science, and the arts—across the past 400 years. We will avoid a survey approach, and instead focus on one key thinker or artist in each area in each of the past four centuries—such as Hobbes, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Smith, Marx, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, and more. (Open only to Dixon Global Policy Scholars).

William Lasser
Non-literature Arts and Humanities
HON H 203 2
"Clemson Experimental Forest""Clemson Experimental Forest"
HON H 206 section 1, 3:30-4:45 T, 3:30-5:30 TH.
Clemson University is fortunate to have a 20,000 acre green space right on its doorstep. You will learn about: the history of the Clemson area, the effect of technology changes on the local population, how Clemson University has restored the Clemson Forest, and some of the inhabitants of the Forest (both plants and animals). You will visit waterfalls, historic cemeteries, beaver ponds, old cotton field terraces, wetlands, house sites from the 1700’s, and more. Finally, you will also be able to discuss a wide variety of ideas regarding the future of the Forest.

Ben Sill
Science and Technology in Society
HON H 206 1
"Sustainable Energy""Sustainable Energy"
HON H 206 section 2, 12:30-1:45 TTH.
The need to develop a sustainable energy future has never been more urgent. In this course, students will develop their technical and creative abilities to innovate toward this critical goal. Students will evaluate demand-side (e.g. more efficient buildings and automobiles) and supply-side (e.g. solar and wind) strategies for more sustainable use of energy. Using this information and their backgrounds, students will work in small groups to design one approach for more sustainable energy use at Clemson.

Leidy Klotz
Science and Technology in Society
HON H 206 2
"Whatever Happened to the Space Age""Whatever Happened to the Space Age"
HON H 206 section 3, 2:15-5:00 M.
What kind of world do we want technology to create for us? The Space Age is a technological dream that seems to have failed—the future imagined in the mid 20th century is simply not coming true. The course will take a historical look at the rise and fall of the space age as an idea, not just as a technology. We will end by considering whether—as some people think—a new space age run by private industry is on the horizon.

Pam Mack
Science and Technology in Society
HON H 206 3
"Puzzles & Paradoxes""Puzzles & Paradoxes"
HON H 207 section 1, 11:00-12:15 TTh.
Prepare for some surprises and challenges to your intuition! Statistics, probability, logic, and graph theory are fields that can help us understand and analyze a wide range of commonly encountered situations: such as mapping the shortest route using a GPS system, searching and interpreting DNA sequences, analyzing common voting systems and their fairness, and dating archaeological finds.
The focus of this course is on evolving a rational, systematic approach to dealing with complex problems and on understanding why our intuition can often be misleading. This approach enables us to move from a possibly vague, convoluted or paradoxical statement of a problem to a rational method or algorithm for its solution. Build confidence in your ability to analyze problems while learning about contemporary issues in society and gain familiarity with useful problem-solving strategies, heuristics, and alternative representations. We will meet in a newly equipped multimedia classroom, which is conducive to active exploration by students.

Doug Shier & Marilyn Reba
Competency on Reasoning, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
HON H 207 1
"Middle East Crisis""Middle East Crisis"
HON H 220 section 1, 3:30-4:45 TTH.
This course will focus on the dramatic developments in the Middle East triggered by the Tulip Revolution in Tunisia and protests in Egypt.
The United States has vital strategic interests in this oil rich but troubled part of the world. 1989 ended the Cold War and our confrontation and competition with the Soviet Union, but American positions in the Middle East remained anchored in relations with autocratic regimes which are now being toppled. But the building of these possible new democracies is challenged by Islamic radicalism.
Are we able to handle these historic changes? Can the ongoing process promote our security or will it weaken U.S. global position? May it even endanger our democracy through increased threats to American national security? Let us find out the answers.
A combination of lectures and seminar format will ensure active participation of students and will help hone your research, writing and presentation skills along with critical analysis, creative thinking, and tolerance for different approaches and views.

Vladimir Matic
Social Science
HON H 220 1
"Ed Policy - No Child Left Behind""Ed Policy - No Child Left Behind"
HON H 220, section 3, 9:30-10:45 TTH.
On January 25, 2011 President Obama declared “Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.” In this course students will follow this attempt to replace No Child Left Behind. Within a seminar format, students will learn how No Child Left Behind came to be and discuss its future. In addition, students will learn how the law is interpreted at the state and local level from various policy actors, such as state officials, superintendents, principals and teachers. Students will actively engage in a class-led advocacy project that will allow them to apply the principles and knowledge of policy debate to practice.

Curtis Brewer
Social Science
HON H 220 3
"Studies in the Russian Novel: Rakes, Rogues and Nihilists""Studies in the Russian Novel: Rakes, Rogues and Nihilists"
HON H 221, section 1, 4:00-5:15 MW.
Few would dispute that the Russian literary tradition has produced some of the greatest, strangest and most darkly funny novels of the past two hundred years. This course deals with a mere sampling of this rich tradition by examining in detail four unsurpassed masterpieces: Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls, Fyodor Dostoevsky's Demons, Lev Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, and Vladimir Nabokov's Laughter in the Dark. Each of these novels poses what the Russians call "cursed questions," the kinds of questions about the nature and meaning of human existence, its heroism, brutality, absurdity and beauty that one might be lucky but terribly impoverished to ignore. We shall not ignore them; rather, they shall be the very centerpiece, the delight, misery and treasure trove of the course. All texts in English.

Jeff Love
HON H 221 1
"Multi Modal Communications""Multi Modal Communications"
HON H 223 section 1, MWF 9:05-9:55.
Communication no longer involves using just one medium: instead, it is multimodal. This course will replace your COMM 150 or 250 public speaking requirement. The substitution has been approved by the University Curriculum Committee, though in some cases you will need the approval of your departmental adviser. In this class you will not only learn the fundamentals of public speaking, but also learn about visual communication, social media, and mass communications. You will learn how to create a social media presence and how to deliver well developed visual and oral presentations. The information you learn in this class will translate into any field of study and provide you tools to make you a strong candidate for any job.

Marianne Glasser & Ashley Cowden 
Oral Communications
HON H 223 1