Classes

Honors classes at Columbia College Chicago are open to all students who have a 3.5 GPA or higher, and as long as all pre-requisetes are met.

For questions about Honors classes, contact honors@colum.edu

 

Fall 2019 Honors Classes
CCX 199H – Big Chicago: Honors (FE credit)

Section 1 - Chicago: The Global Metropolis
Thursdays 9-11:50 a.m. (Erin McCarthy)

The course will introduce students to Chicago’s economic, ethnic, racial, cultural, and political development. Students develop knowledge concerning the impact of technological change on Chicago and the economic and demographic forces that have helped shape the city’s history. In addition the class will help Columbia freshman to gain access to the various cultural institutions and neighborhoods of the city.

Section 2 - Music and Media in Chicago
Mondays 9-11:50 a.m. (Jim DeRogatis)

Music and Media in Chicago will provide an overview of the past, present, and future of the many genres of music thriving in Chicago. It will examine how this city put its stamp on the development of these sounds as they spread around the world, as well as introducing the tools of the historian, sociologist, musicologist, and cultural critic via lectures, video, film, online and dead-tree readings, and vibrant discussions. The class also will review the past, present, and future of Chicago media-newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the blogosphere-examining the city’s journalism culture and infrastructure, and, as with music, providing an understanding for an informed and critical reading of these texts so that the student can become an active and involved citizen participating to the fullest extent in everything this extraordinary metropolis has to offer. Students should expect to do some writing for each class, providing their reactions to and analysis of their choice of one of several examples of the music or media being discussed that week, and in some sessions sharing their work with the class or in breakout groups.

These courses are only open to freshmen students with less than 14 credit hours. 

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 111H - Writing and Rhetoric I: Honors (EN credit)

Section 1: Mondays/Wednesdays 10:30-11:50 a.m. (Karen Osborne)
Section 2: Mondays/Wednesdays 12:30-1:50 p.m. (Jennie Fauls)
Section 3: Monday/Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Doug Reichert Powell)
Section 4: Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:30-11:50 a.m. (Instructor TBD)
Section 5: Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:30-1:50 p.m. (Kathryn Bergquist)
Section 6: Tuesdays/Thursdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 7: Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30-4:50 p.m. (Thomas O’Donnell)


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.

Prerequisites: TWC-T-4 EXAM-TWC WRITING MINIMUM SCORE = 4

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

Section 1: Mondays/Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Thomas O'Donnell)
Section 2: Mondays/Wednesdays 3:30-4:50 p.m.  (Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 3: Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:30-1:50 p.m. (Matthew McCurrie)
Section 4: Tuesdays/Thursdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Matthew McCurrie)


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 12:30-3:20 p.m. (Alexis Sarkisian)
Section 2: Tuesdays 9-11:50 a.m. (Alexis Sarkisian)
Section 3: Wednesdays 12:30-3:20 p.m. (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.

LITR 225H - Postcolonial Literature: Honors - Why Wakanda Matters (HL credit)

Thursdays 9-11:50 a.m. (Madhurima Chakraborty)

How was literature—fiction, poems, plays—used to colonize and oppress people? What role has literature played in the liberation of people? What about culture that we produce now—when these stories think about what it means for people to be truly free and equal, what old debates are they reshaping? These are the fundamental questions that we will ask in LITR 225H: Postcolonial Literature (Honors). We will look at literature that was written exposing the bigotry of colonialism. We will also examine authors who looked at newly free countries and the practices of oppression that they continue, and ask how helpful literature can be in making the distinction between political independence and a true end to oppression. Texts include: Things Fall Apart, Shadow Lines, The Namesake. Films include: The Battle of Algiers, Long Night’s Journey Into Day, Black Panther.

LITR 270H - The Bible as Literature: Honors (HL credit)
Mondays/Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Jeanne Petrolle)

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
CULS 101H - Introduction to Cultural Studies: Honors (HU credit)
Mondays 9-11:50 a.m. (Doug Reichert Powell)

This course introduces students to the terms, analytical techniques, and interpretive strategies commonly employed in cultural studies. Emphasis is on critical approaches to exploring how cultural processes and artifacts are produced, shaped, distributed, consumed, and responded to in diverse ways. Through discussion, research, and writing, class members investigate these varied dimensions of culture; learn to understand them in their broader social, aesthetic, ethical, political, and economic contexts; and thereby prepare for more advanced coursework in cultural studies.
ECON 311H - Irrational Economics - Why We Make Bad Decisions: Honors (SS WI credits)
Wednesdays 12:30-3:20 p.m. (Rojhat Avsar)

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.

Prerequisites: ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II
HIST 262H - History of the American City: Honors (HI PL credits)
Fridays 9-11:50 a.m. (Nicholas McCormick)

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.
HUMA 219H - The Italian Renaissance: Honors (HU GA credits)
Thursdays 3:30-6:20 p.m. (RoseAnna Mueller)

This is an interdisciplinary humanities class in the Italian Renaissance, a period of time that marked a shift in sensibilities in which human values in all fields were reborn and reaffirmed amidst political and religious crises. A new self-awareness, the return to humane letters and to classical antiquity created an outburst of creativity. During a time of rapid change, mankind discovered a capacity to improve, to change the world, to grow, learn and to create. We will examine how artists, bankers, diplomats, courtiers, princes, philosophers, merchants, patrons and religious leaders responded to these new values through which they affirmed their individualism, often through many-sided achievements, to wit, Michalangelo ( sculptor, painter, poet) DaVinci (painter, scientist, inventor) Alberti (painter, architect, humanist) the Medici (bankers, poets, patrons). This class integrates readings in literature, art history, history, philosophy and political science. Through readings, lectures, images and class discussions we will study how political, religious and historical events contributed to the artistic achievements of the Italian Renaissance and its lasting impact in today’s world.
PHIL 218H - Philosophy of Religion: Honors (HU credit)
Mondays 12:30-3:20 p.m. (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.
PSYC 215H - Emotions: Honors (SS credit)
Mondays/Wednesdays 12:30-1:50 p.m. (Rami Gabriel)

The emotions play a significant role in our inner lives. Sometimes the emotions act in concert with our cognitive decision-making, and sometimes they crash over our rational thinking like uncontrollable storms. Emotions influence and fuel our behavior, values, art, and other aspects of culture. Yet, systematic study of emotions is quite recent. In this course we will examine Western psychology and philosophy of emotions.

Prerequisites: ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 112H Writing and Rhetoric II: Honors or ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II
RELI 210H - Religion and Gender: Honors (HU GA credits)
Mondays/Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Stephanie Frank)

In this course, we will look at examples from many different cultures to consider forms of religiosity that are traditionally ‘gendered’, including spirit possession and practices relating to food, ritual, purification, and so on. We will also analyze religions’ constructions of masculinity and femininity around the issues of sex, reproduction, pain and agency, and the religious significance of people who do not fit into traditional gendered categories. Finally, we will take up political problems associated with religion and gender, particularly those associated with secularism and colonialism.
BIOL 235H - Evolution of Sex: Honors (SC credit)
Tuesdays 9-11:50 a.m. (Beth Davis-Berg)

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.
BIOL 240H - Animal Behavior Observational Research Methods: Honors (SL credit)
Tuesdays 8:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. (Michelle Rafacz)

This course will meet primarily at Lincoln Park Zoo, with a few on-campus meetings. The course will provide students with a hands-on introduction to animal behavior observational research methods. We will use Chicago’s own Lincoln Park Zoo as our laboratory to learn how to use a range of different observational research methods practiced by professionals in the field of animal behavior. This course will introduce students to appropriate experimental design for behavioral research and different sampling methods through discussion of primary literature and hands-on behavioral data collection. Students will use the scientific method from hypothesis formulation to data analysis, discussion, and scientific communication by designing and presenting their own independent behavioral research projects.

It is assumed that students have had some biology and stats in high school or college, and it is suggested that they take BIOL 150 Animal Behavior prior to taking this course.

Prerequisites: ENGL 122 International Writing and Rhetoric II or ENGL 112 Writing and Rhetoric II
BIOL 245H - Ecology: Honors (SL credit)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 1-2:50 p.m. (Beth Davis-Berg)

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.
EASC 110H - The Science of Global Change: Honors (SC credit)
Mondays 9-11:50 a.m. (Gerald Adams)

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.
SCIE 155H - Science of Musical Instruments: Honors (SL credit)
Tuesdays 1-4:50pm (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)
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 112 - Writing and Rhetoric II: Honors (EN credit)
Section 1: Mondays/Wednesdays 10:30-11:50 a.m. (Professor Hilary Sarat-St. Peter)
Section 2: Mondays/Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 3: Mondays/Wednesdays 3:30-4:50 p.m. (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 5: Tuesdays/Thursdays 2-3:20 p.m. (Instructor Thomas O’Donnell)
Section 6: Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30-4:50 p.m. (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 12:30-3:20 p.m. (Instructor Alexis Sarkisian)
Section 2: Wednesdays 9-11:50 a.m. (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 1-4:50 p.m. (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 9-11:50 a.m. (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 9-11:50 a.m. (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 10:30-11:50 a.m. (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
Mondays 12:30-3:20 p.m. (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 12:30-3:20 p.m. (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 3:30-6:20 p.m. (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 3:30-6:20 p.m. (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 9-11:50 a.m. (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
Mondays/Wednesdays 2-3:20 p.m. (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 1-2:50 p.m. (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
Wednesdays 9-11:50 a.m. (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 1-4:50 p.m. (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)