Core HONORS Departmental Courses

Course Descriptions: Core Honors Spring 2017

ENGL 1302H 901: Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, Text and Screen: MW 3:30-4:45 pm, Amelia Zurcher

Course Description: In this class we’ll read plays by Shakespeare and a few of his early modern contemporaries, with careful attention to their cultural and historical situation and meaning. We’ll also watch and interpret 20th and 21st century film productions, considering them both as interpretations and adaptations of the plays and as films in their own right. Plays will probably include Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, The Spanish Tragedy, and The Duchess of Malfi. Assignments will include short and longer papers and a filmed dramatic scene (you’ll get preparation and technological assistance for that in class). No prior experience with Shakespeare, other early modern drama, or film is necessary or assumed!

ENGL 1302H 902 Guilt and Agency in Lyric Poetry: TTH 8-9:15 am, Brittany Pladek

Course Description: Guilt is many things: a feeling, a legal category, a religious condition, and a collective responsibility. In this class, we will explore guilt’s various manifestations through a particular genre of poetry, the lyric. Since the nineteenth century, lyric poetry has been considered a genre of inwardness, of self-reflection. At the same time, lyric has offered poets a space to probe their relationships to larger collectives (national, cultural, racial, sexual). By reading a series of lyrics from the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries, we will examine guilt as it swings between these two poles—from the deeply personal guilt of addiction to the collective guilt of systemic oppression. In doing so, we will grapple with key ethical questions of guilt and responsibility: How do we know when we should feel guilty? Is there a difference between guilt and shame? What is collective guilt? Can (and should) guilt be absolved? These questions are especially pressing today. Guilt is omnipresent in our culture, from the exposure of gaslighting as a form of abuse to debates about Americans’ collective guilt for the nation’s history of racism and slavery. In addition to thinking about urgent ethical problems, this class will introduce students to a poetic genre that has come to synonymize poetry itself. The class’s exploration of lyric will therefore allow us to investigate our contemporary understandings of what a poem is in the first place. As part of this exploration, students will be given the chance to compose their own lyrics on a topic related to the course theme. Readings: Poets studied include Claudia Rankine, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Derek Walcott, Emily Dickinson, and others. Assignments: Several short papers, two longer papers, and a creative assignment.

ENGL 1302H 903 Authority and Morality in the Russian Literary Tradition: MWF 11-11:50 am, Leah Flack

Course Description: In 1986, Nobel Prize winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney looked east to the Russian literary tradition and admired that this tradition demonstrated the existence of a “government of the tongue,” a kind of moral authority separate from the institutions of political power claimed by writers living through an era of revolution and totalitarianism. This course will explore three of the most important writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who participated in the “government of the tongue” that inspired Heaney and countless other writers around the world: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, and Mikhail Bulgakov. Their works—The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, and The Master and Margarita—mix comedy with pathos to represent some universal themes, like love, death, faith, and the search for meaning in life, and they also offer some surprises, like the devil’s multiple trips to Russia (once to tell the story of Christ and Pontius Pilate to a group of atheists). We will focus on the evolution of a set of major themes, ideas, cultural contexts, and formal features that ended up exerting an important influence on the development of the novel in Western Europe and America in the past two centuries. This is a reading-intensive course. Students should be prepared to read 150-180 pages per week.Assignments: Weekly D2L journals; 2 papers; 2 in-class essay exams; active, informed participation.

POSC 2201H Honors America Politics: TTH 12:30-1:45 pm, Paul Nolette

Course Description: This course is an introduction to the constitutional framework, institutions, and political processes of American government and politics. The objective of this course is for students to gain a deeper understanding of how fundamental aspects of American politics operate. To that end, we will examine how and why American political institutions function as they do as well as important trends in the development of non-institutional influences on the political system (such as political culture and political behavior). In addition to gaining a better appreciation of how various parts of the American political system operate, we will consider perennial questions such as: What is unique about American politics, particularly as compared to other democracies around the world? How democratic and representative is the American political system? What changes to the political system would help to improve American politics? One of my goals for this course is to spur your thinking about these sorts of bigger questions as you move forward in your college career and lives as citizens.

Upper-division Theology (after completion of THEO 1001H)

THEO 3110H 901 New Testament Selected Books: MW 2-3:15 pm, Michael Cover
Course Description: Study of a portion of the New Testament in depth and with a focus on critical reading skills, as well as central theological questions (God, individual, church). Specific textual content varies by term, with possible focus on the synoptic gospels, the Johannine literature, or the Pauline letters. Prereq: THEO 1001 or THEO 1001H; Soph. stndg. and admission to Marquette University Honors Program.

Theo 3530H 901 Honors Theology and Economics: TTH 9:30-10:45 am, Joseph Ogbonnaya
Course Description: Provides skills for theological evaluation of economic theories and practices, particularly as they bear on the rise and ascendancy of the global market. Divided into three sections: 1) A history of economic thought traced from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes, with particular attention to their moral theory, underlying philosophy and its relationship to theology; 2) The tradition of economic thought within Christian theology, as a traced drawing on Scripture, tradition and Catholic social teaching; and 3) Contemporary theologians will be examined, who relate the Christian tradition to various economic theories and practices. Prereq: THEO 1001 or THEO 1001H; Soph. stndg. and admission to Marquette University Honors Program.

Student studying on campus

Quick links


    University Honors Program
    Sensenbrenner Hall 002
    P.O. Box 1881
    1103 W. Wisconsin Ave.
    Milwaukee, WI 53233
    (414) 288-7516
    University Honors Program

    Dr. Amelia Zurcher
    Director, University Honors Program
    (414) 288-3475

    Maria Cooper
    Assistant Director, University Honors Program
    (414) 288-7517


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