Classes

Honors classes at Columbia College Chicago are open to all students who have a 3.5 GPA or higher. These are marked with an 'H' in the course catalog. If you'd like to register for Honors courses, speak with your academic advisor.

For questions about the Honors Program, contact Robin Whatley at rwhatley@colum.edu

 

Spring 2019 Honors Classes
COLL 480H – Undergraduate Research Mentorship: Honors

The Undergraduate Research Mentorship connects talented students interested in conducing academic research with faculty.  This course, available to students from across the College, gives students the opportunity to share the intellectual excitement of inquiry into new questions, the solving of scholarly and creative problems, and the creation of knowledge with faculty mentors.  Students learn research and scholarly techniques as they assist faculty practitioners in their academic and integrative disciplines, gaining valuable experience in pursuit of professional fields or higher academic degrees.

Prior to the project semester, the supervising faculty and student must submit a joint proposal outlining the project. 
For more information, contact honors@colum.edu.


Requirements: Permission Required (DP) and 3.5 or Higher GPA (35GP) and Junior Standing or Above (JR)

ENGL 112H – Writing and Rhetoric II: Honors (EN credit)

Section 1: Mondays/Wednesdays 10:30-11:50am (Professor Hilary Sarat-St. Peter)
Section 2: Mondays/Wednesdays 2:00-3:20pm (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 3: Mondays/Wednesdays 3:30-4:50pm (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 5: Tuesdays/Thursdays 2:00-3:20pm (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 6: Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30-4:50pm (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)


Writing and Rhetoric II helps students use writing to develop and sustain an in-depth personal and intellectual inquiry into a subject of their choosing. The course unfolds in a series of assignments designed to lead students through a continually deepening creative research process that ripens into a written project of considerable length and complexity. Focusing on methodology, rather than specific course theme, students learn to generate worthwhile questions, collect primary data, locate secondary resources, and form original research insights. 

Prerequisites: ENGL 111 Writing and Rhetoric I or ENGL 111H Writing and Rhetoric I: Honors or TWC-T-7 EXAM-TWC WRITING MINIMUM SCORE = 7

ENGL 130H – Oral Expression: Honors (SP credit)
Section 1: Tuesdays 12:30-3:20pm (Instructor Alexis Sarkisian)
Section 2: Wednesdays 9:00-11:50am (Instructor Alexis Sarkisian)

Students overcome difficulties they may have in public speaking, such as stage fright and poor diction. Students are made aware of important elements such as delivery and posture, use of gestures, and good grammar. Course introduces students to informative, persuasive, and occasional modes of public speaking and helps students develop well-organized and purposeful speeches.
ENGL 246H – Reviewing the Arts: Honors (HU WI credits)
Mondays 1:00-4:50pm (Instructor Jim DeRogatis)

Students write confident and well-researched reviews of visual, performing, and media arts, reviews that can broaden the role of the arts in our daily lives. Students generate content for their reviews by visiting cultural and artistic institutions, attending performances, and / or viewing recordings. They examine selected expert reviews and theoretical perspectives; and they compose and revise their work through a combination of weekly in-class workshops, discussion, and take-home assignments. 

Prerequisites: ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II
LITR 110H – Introduction to Poetry: Honors (HL credit)
Tuesdays 9:00-11:50am (Professor Aviya Kushner)

Students study poetry ranging from traditional forms and figures to contemporary experimental forms. Course may include selected significant poems from all major periods. This is primarily a literature course, not a writing workshop.

Prerequisites ENGL 109 Writing and Rhetoric I Stretch B or ENGL 111 Writing and Rhetoric I or ENGL 111H Writing and Rhetoric I: Honors or ENGL 121 International Writing and Rhetoric I or TWC-T-7 EXAM-TWC WRITING MINIMUM SCORE = 7
LITR 268H – Literature on Film: Honors – Classic Hollywood Cinema (HU credit)
Thursdays 9:00-11:50am (Professor Deborah Holdstein)

Class concerns the relationship between written and filmed versions of a story, novel, or play. Course explores how character development, plot, narrative, symbols, and language are translated from text to film. To facilitate analysis, students acquire a basic vocabulary for discussing literature and film. Instructors may focus on a particular theme, such as the love story, fantasy, or mythology. Works studied have been as diverse as The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. 

Prerequisites: ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II
LITR 270H – The Bible as Literature: Honors (HL credit)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:30-11:50am (Professor Matthew McCurrie)

Course studies literary qualities of the Bible with attention to its poetic and narrative modes. Instruction examines ways in which Biblical literary forms, themes, and images influence American and European literature. 

Prerequisites ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II
Requirements 3.5 or Higher GPA (35GP)
ECON 310H – Ethics and Economics: Controversial Policy Issues of Our Time: Honors (SS WI credits)
Mondays 12:30-3:20pm (Professor Rojhat Avsar)

Conventional economic justification for policies embodies a particular moral logic despite its claim to value-neutrality. This course surveys alternate moral/political perspectives from which legitimacy (or moral acceptability) of contemporary economic policies could be debated. Students will be invited to apply these theoretical arguments to a set of contemporary policy issues in the U.S. 

Prerequisites: ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II
HIST 264H – The Nineteen Twenties and the Birth of Modern America: Honors (HI credit)
Tuesdays 12:30-3:20pm (Professor Teresa Prados-Torrerira)

A study on how the nineteen-twenties brought forth modern America. Prosperity and technological innovation resulted in the emergence of a consumer society. A more permissive society redefined gender roles, while an increasingly diverse, urban society introduced ideas and customs that changed the nation for good. Traditional, rural Americans, feeling threatened by so much that was new and foreign, fought back in an attempt to restore the pre-war world.
HIST 354H – The Great Depression and the New Deal: the U.S. in the 1930s: Honors (HI PL credits)
Wednesdays 3:30-6:20pm (Professor Erin McCarthy)

This course will explore the Great Depression and the decade of the 1930s, from the election of Hebert Hoover in 1928 to bombing Pearl Harbor, from three main perspectives: the politics of FDR and the New Deal, the social response to the Depression and the president, and the cultural innovation of the era. Through reading and the examination of primary sources (including songs, speeches, films, poems and plays) students will explore the relationship between the individual and time to which s/he lives. Special emphasis will be given to the artistic and documentary production of the decade.
HIST 399H – Topics in History: Honors - Black Artistry and the Archive (HI GA credits)
Thursdays 3:30-6:20pm (Professor Melanie Chambliss)

Why do we remember certain artists and forget that others ever existed? What is the relationship between what we remember and what has been preserved within the archive? How does this change from the perspective of a creator, an archivist, and a researcher? This course will address these questions by discussing the relationship between history, creative work, and the archive. With a focus on African American artists (broadly defined), students will have the opportunity to analyze music, film, art, photography, performance, or material culture and to determine the impact that these mediums can have on historical narratives. Course is repeatable as topic changes.
PHIL 218H – Philosophy of Religion: Honors (HU credit)
Wednesdays 9:00-11:50am (Professor Stephen Asma)

This course examines a number of issues connected to religious belief and practice. At the heart of the course is an exploration of religious ways of knowing.
RELI 214H – Religion in Chicago: Honors (HU PL credits)
Mondays/Wednesdays 2:00-3:20pm (Instructor Stephanie Frank)

In this course we take up the themes of religion in U.S. cities by looking at our own city–both its past and its present. We will read historical work about the roles religion has played in urbanization and then go out in the city to analyze religion as it is practiced Chicago today with these frameworks.
BIOL 215H – Genetics: Honors (SL credit)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 1:00-2:50pm (Professor Julie Minbiole)

This course is a survey of the fundamentals of genetics and their application to contemporary issues with hands-on, inquiry-based activities. Major topics include DNA structure and replication, the chromosomal basis of inheritance, mutation, gene expression and epigenetics, and utilization of model organisms and genetic technology. Special topics may include ethical issues in genetics, human development and reproductive technologies, stem cell research, DNA fingerprinting, genetic basis of disease, and use of model organisms in genetic research.
BIOL 235H – Evolution of Sex: Honors (SC credit)
Wednesdays 9:00-11:50am (Professor Michelle Rafacz)

Understanding the nature of sex and its relationship to evolution is important in biology. This class will cover sex and sexual selection across the animal and plant kingdoms. We will discuss the nature of science and the influences of culture on science, specifically the role of feminism on our understanding of female choice. Monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, homosexuality and other types of sexual and asexual relationships will be explored in an evolutionary context through primary literature.
SCIE 155H – Science of Musical Instruments: Honors (SL credit)
Tuesdays 1:00-4:50pm (Instructor David Dolak)

Students study the scientific principles by which sound is generated in common acoustic musical instruments and discover the mathematical foundation of musical scales. This course explores mechanical oscillation, frequency, wavelength, and the harmonic series. Students investigate the complex timbre of musical instruments through hands-on laboratory experiments using wave and spectrum analysis, and develop scales using sound-generation software. For a final project, students construct a functional instrument and perform an original musical composition.
COMM 326H – Semiotics for Creators of Popular Culture: Honors (SS WI credits)
Fall 2018 Honors Classes
Ecology (BIOL 245H)

This course introduces basic principles of ecology: the study of relationships among living organisms, their environment, and each other. We examine ecological concepts applied to individuals, populations and communities of both plants and animals. Topics include plant and animal adaptations to the environment, the role environmental factors in the distribution and abundance of organisms, the dynamics of population growth, species interactions including competition and predation, the structure of ecological communities, and the application of ecology to problems in conservation.

This class is taught by Elizabeth Davis-Berg, Science and Mathematics

Homeostasis: The Biology of Equilibrium (BIOL 255H)

This course will cover the physiology of plants and animals in the context of homeostasis. All living organisms maintain this dynamic equilibrium to preserve internal conditions suitable for life as they face the challenges of changing external environments. This theme unifies concepts in cellular biology, physiology, and systems thinking. We will consider the basic biophysical challenges faced by cells and relate these to challenges on the organismal level. The course focuses on the mechanisms of homeostatic regulation using external and internal cues, interactions between organisms and their environment, and how cells and tissues work together to optimize the physiological processes that allow diverse life (including humans) to succeed in environments all over the planet.

This class is taught by Heather Minges Wols, Science and Mathematics

Semiotics for Creators of Popular Culture (COMM 326H)
Science of Global Change (EASC 110H)

This course examines the idea of global environmental change and the mechanisms by which global change occurs. We will use an approach combining Earth history with modern Earth processes (Earth systems) to understand changes in the physical environment like plate movement and climate change, and changes in the biological environment like evolution and extinction. We will analyze some of the relationships between physical and biological changes on Earth (physical mechanisms for extinction, biological inputs to climate change, and others). Students will be challenged to use their knowledge to better inform public awareness of global change, and public policy on global change issues.

This class is taught by Gerald Adams, Science and Mathematics. 

Irrational Economics: Why We Make Bad Decisions (ECON 311H)

We may not be the rational calculating machines maximizing their satisfaction to perfection, as economists would like to believe. This course sheds lights on the psychological and evolutionary foundation of our apparently irrational economic decisions. A more nuanced understanding of the intricacies of our decision-making process could potentially inform an array of policies that would improve our well-being.

This class is taught by Rojhat Avsar, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences

Writing and Rhetoric I (ENGL 111H)

Writing and Rhetoric I helps students understand and refine their own writing processes. Designed to assist students in making connections between their knowledge, cultures, worlds, and the multiple-literacies and discourses of academic, communicative and performing life, the course encourages students to develop their distinctive voices as they learn to make conscious rhetorical decisions. Writing and Rhetoric I connects personal reflection with critical analysis, providing plentiful and varied opportunities for writing, strengthening reading skills, and becoming a member of a writer-reader community.

There are multiple instructors for this class. 

Writing and Rhetoric II (ENGL 112H)

Writing and Rhetoric II helps students use writing to develop and sustain an in-depth personal and intellectual inquiry into a subject of their choosing. The course unfolds in a series of assignments designed to lead students through a continually deepening creative research process that ripens into a written project of considerable length and complexity. Focusing on methodology, rather than specific course theme, students learn to generate worthwhile questions, collect primary data, locate secondary resources, and form original research insights.

There are multiple instructors for this class.

Oral Expression (ENGL 130H)

Students overcome difficulties they may have in public speaking, such as stage fright and poor diction. Students are made aware of important elements such as delivery and posture, use of gestures, and good grammar. Course introduces students to informative, persuasive, and occasional modes of public speaking and helps students develop well-organized and purposeful speeches.

This class is taught by Alexis Sarkisian, English.

Curiosity in the City: Monsters, Marvels, and Museums (FEXP 113H)

Freak shows, serial killers, medical oddities, and flesh-eating beetles are all part of the Chicago experience. This course is an interdisciplinary study of curiosity and wonder, incorporating philosophy, science, and history to investigate the threshold between shadow (the unfamiliar) and light (the known). Celebrating the marvelous and the macabre is part of a long history of collecting, reaching back to the wonder-cabinets of the late Renaissance. Chicago museums were leaders in the post-Darwinian transformation from sideshow to legitimate science. In this course we will explore three categories of strange Chicago (monsters, marvels, and museology) as case studies to understand the nature of curiosity. Themes will include the nature of knowledge (e.g., credulity, skepticism, collecting and constructing nature, etc.), the borders of human and inhuman (natural and moral monsters), and the hidden oddities of urban natural history. In addition to reporting on a few strange sites in Chicago, each student will make their own curiosity cabinet (a personal artistic/intellectual statement).

This class is part of the "Big Chicago" First Semester Experience class for freshman students. It is taught by Stephen Asma, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences. 

History of the American City (HIST 262H)

This course examines the history of the development of the U.S. as an urban nation. It analyzes the rise and decline of various urban systems that developed over the course of American history. Students investigate the social, economic, political, technological, and demographic trends that have shaped the modern American city.

This class is taught by Nicholas McCormick, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences. 

The Enlightenment (HIST 321H)

Learning about the Enlightenment as a complex, trans-national intellectual movement, we will focus in this class on the Enlightenment in Paris, its heart. Issues studied will vary by semester, and may include science, social satire, women's roles in the Enlightenment, the development of a public sphere, the use of fictional literature to "do" Enlightenment, commerce, education and epistemology, political thought, penal reform, aesthetics, racial and gender theory, the transmission of ideas, and the question of how the Enlightenment may be linked to the French Revolution of 1789.

This class is taught by Katharine Hamerton, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences.

Introduction to Literature (LITR 101H)

This course introduces students to genres of fiction, drama, and poetry. By studying important works by writers of culturally diverse backgrounds, students gain experience in reading, analyzing, interpreting, and writing about literature. Course establishes connections between literature and other areas of arts and communications.

This class is taught by Doug Reichert Powell, English and Creative Writing.

English Authors: Romantics to Contemporary (LITR 202H)

This course's selected readings range from Blake and the Romantic poets to contemporary figures such as Harold Pinter. Significant writers studied may include Wollstonecraft, Austen, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, the Brownings, the Brontes, Hardy, Woolf, Yeats, Joyce, and Lawrence.

This class is taught by Deborah Holdstein, English and Creative Writing. 

Literature on Film (LITR 268H)

This class concerns the relationship between written and filmed versions of a story, novel, or play. Course explores how character development, plot, narrative, symbols, and language are translated from text to film. To facilitate analysis, students acquire a basic vocabulary for discussing literature and film. Instructors may focus on a particular theme, such as the love story, fantasy, or mythology. Works studied have been as diverse as The Color Purple by Alice Walker, Shakespeare's Hamlet, and 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke.

This class is taught by Jean Petrolle, English and Creative Writing. 

Religion and Violence (RELI 213H)

Much violence perpetrated in the world today is considered religious in nature. This class will interrogate that assumption by considering several important questions: Is there something inherently violent about religion? What work does violence do, for religion? What is religious terrorism, and what do the techniques of terror earn for those who use them? Is violence ever justified? Must it be justified with religion, if it is to be justified at all? Most centrally: is the category of religious violence meaningful?

This class is taught by Stephanie Frank, Humanities, History, and Social Sciences. 

Science of Musical Instruments (SCIE 155H)

Students study the scientific principles by which sound is generated in common acoustic musical instruments and discover the mathematical foundation of musical scales. This course explores mechanical oscillation, frequency, wavelength, and the harmonic series. Students investigate the complex timbre of musical instruments through hands-on laboratory experiments using wave and spectrum analysis, and develop scales using sound-generation software. For a final project, students construct a functional instrument and perform an original musical composition.

This class is taught by David Dolak, Science and Mathematics.