Spring 2008

TO: Drake University Faculty, Staff, & Students

FROM: Arthur B. Sanders, Director of Honors Program

DATE: October 18, 2007

RE: Registration for Honors Courses, Spring 2008

With an Honors Program curriculum that is continually changing, Honors Program seminars unite the diverse interests of faculty and students to explore topics that cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines. The Program's small class size and unique subjects promote independent thinking, intellectual creativity, and the courses are writing-intensive and follow a discussion –based, collaborative inquiry format. Honors Program classes are open to all motivated students, and Honors Student Council activities are generally open to the entire campus community. Student leaders are elected to Honors Executive Council leadership positions each academic year.

Questions about the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum should be directed to the Honors Program office, 271-2999, or to the Director of the Honors Program.

NOTICE: The courses are numbered as follows:
1-49: intended for first-year students
50-99: first-year students, sophomores, juniors and seniors (unless otherwise designated)
100-149: suggested for sophomores-seniors
150-197: junior-senior seminars
198: Honors Program Independent Study (or approved alternative)
199: Honors Program Senior Thesis/Project (or approved alternative.)

Honors Track restrictions:

Only one web instructed class may be applied towards Honors elective hours.

No more than two courses from the same department may apply towards Honors elective hours.


Honors 072 Modern Spiritual Masters: Wrestling at the River Jabbok
Jim Laurenzo
CRN 1388
3 credits
TR 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.


The things of time are in connivance with eternity.

--Thomas Merton

A "spiritual master" is far more a guide and companion than some sort of disciplined "taskmaster." The guides for this course all have studied and written extensively in various branches of religion and religious traditions. The titles of the books we will use perhaps best explain the way this course will proceed as not so much an accomplished and finished path, but one that each of us must traverse to deepen and further our understanding and then reach the other side of Jacob's Jabbok River--wrestling with an angel.

James L. Crenshaw's Trembling at the Threshold of a Biblical Text in its very name warns us to be prepared for a close and deep study of any text we read, in our case his reflections can deepen ours. Phyllis Trible's Texts of Terror digs deeply into 4 passages of the Hebrew Bible intending us to do some wrestling of our own. Hagar, Sarah, and Their Children lead us into Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives of the Bible's story of Sarah and Abraham--and our own.

Finally, Thomas Merton (A Thomas Merton Reader) expresses a spirituality fed daily not only by the Bible but by writings and religious traditions of the world--and much wrestling.
This course is intended for students who want to engage a wider level of discussion, spiritual and religious wise, but also history wise.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations:  Religion; the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Jim Laurenzo is pastor of the Drake Catholic Student Center and professor adjunct for Drake’s Philosophy and Religion Department. Before this, he spent seven years as Adult Education Director for the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines where, although he abhors winter, he helped direct the ecumenical program, January Thaw (which in Des Moines is a lie). He has also taught during the summer for Grandview, Creighton and Mercy School of Nursing -- because Iowa summers are dreadful weather too. "Why not spend time inside, studying and learning and discussing the bigger questions of life?"


Honors 078 Public Intellectuals
Arthur Sanders
CRN 2306
3 credits
TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am

In this class, we will take a look at the role that public intellectuals have played and could play in contemporary American society. While we will begin the class by looking at the history of public intellectuals in America, our primary focus will be on the role that these individuals have played over the past twenty years. We will focus on four different areas, race, science, the "new conservatism" and gender, reading and thinking about the ideas of a prominent public intellectual in each of these areas. And we will think about whether or not the development of the World Wide Web and the Internet makes these people obsolete - or more important than ever before. Hopefully, some of what we read will inspire you, some of it will infuriate you, and some will cause you to rethink some things that you "know" are true.

Readings: We will be reading The Public Intellectual: Between Philosophy and Politics, a collection of essays that discusses the role of public intellectuals, and Public Intellectuals: An Endangered Species? a collection of essays that examines whether or not public intellectuals have lost their way. In addition, in each of the four areas, we will read a collection of essays by a single pubic intellectual. I am leaning toward the following people, race: Cornell West; science: Robert Ehrlich; conservatism: George Will; and gender: Gloria Steinem, though those assignments are subject to change.

This course is intended for first-year students and sophomores.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Arthur Sanders is Professor of Politics and International Relations and Director of the Honors Program. He has written a number of books and articles about the American political system. He just completed a book about the presidential election process and is working on a study of the role of money in elections and policy-making here in Iowa. All of his writing on American politics has been concerned with how ordinary citizens can (or do) participate in our political world, and thus, he has a strong interest in the writings of public intellectuals and their role in fostering public, democratic debate.

Honors 87 Music and Literature
William Doughery
CRN 3422
3 credit
MWF 9:00-9:50 a.m.

"Poets and musicians are members of one church related in the most intimate way:for the secret of word and tone is one and the same."

-E.T.A. Hoffman

Music and Literature have traditionally been viewed as closely related art forms because both are temporal, auditory, and dynamic. This course explores the nature of this relationship through an interdisciplinary lens. By studying musical and literary art works that attempt to blur disciplinary boundaries, the course seeks to develop a comparative methodology for examining musico-literary intersections. The course is divided into three sections. The first, literature in music, considers music that takes a literary work as a referent. We shall examine to what degree music, an apparently non-denotative art form, can convey, evoke or express anything beyond itself. The second section, music in literature, is an examination of explicit attempts to "musicalize" literature or "verbalize" music. We shall read Stevens, T.S. Eliot, and Thomas Mann (with a particular focus on Doctor Faustus). The third section, Music and Literature, examines the symbiotic relationship that arises when music and text are bound together in song and opera. The opera studied will be Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw after the Henry James story.

The course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors. It does not require any previous musical ability.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations:  This class meets the Artistic Experience requirement in the Drake Curriculum. Students on the Honors Track can use this class either for the Artistic Experience or as three credits of the required 15 elective Honors credits. You cannot double count.

William P. Dougherty is Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Music Theory and Composition. His primary research interest is in developing a semiotic approach to the art song that rigorously applies the semiotic theory of Charles Sanders Peirce. In particular, he is examining the over 300 settings of the 10 lyric poems from Goethe's Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. He is also an active composer, and has composed over 50 works for various ensembles.

Honors 100 Paths to Knowledge

Colin Cairns - CRN 2469
4 credits
TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm AND
Discussion lab (CRN 2470); Meeting time W 6:00 pm – 6:50 pm

Lee Joliffe and Marcia Keyser - CRN 3358
4 credits
MW 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
AND Discussion lab (CRN 3361); Meeting time TBA

Mark Vitha - CRN 688
4 credits
TR 9:30 am – 10:45 am
AND Discussion lab (761); Meeting time R 6:00 pm – 6:50 pm

This is an interdisciplinary course focusing on different modes of reasoning and inquiry (i.e., "paths to knowledge") in the sciences and the humanities. It should help us to better navigate our way through an increasingly information- and knowledge-saturated society. In pursuing this aim, we will explore the modes of reasoning and inquiry that are typically employed in the production of various forms of knowledge. Among the questions we will examine are: Why do we seek knowledge? How is knowledge created? How should we judge the value and validity of knowledge claims? How should society make decisions about the uses to which knowledge is put? In seeking answers to these questions, we hope to hone those critical and analytical skills that will allow us to become sophisticated producers/consumers of creative output.

This course is open to sophomore, juniors, and seniors with priority given to students completing the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: required course for the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Honors 102 Service Learning: Building a Legacy at Drake
Sally Beisser
CRN 3207
3 credits
Wednesday: 11:00 am -12:15 pm (Wed classes for discussion, lecture, interaction, planning)
Friday: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm Friday classes will meet ONLY at the beginning and end of the semester. During most of the semester students will be setting their own time (in place of the Friday sessions) for project development and collaboration.

This course will help students think critically about volunteerism, reflect on their own volunteer service, discuss social issues and problems that impact the Drake campus, the community or global populations, understand critical issues in service-learning research, and most importantly, develop a service learning project.

Students will examine the definition of service-learning, volunteerism trends, project development issues, and possible project ideas that can impact the lives of others. They will also engage in readings and discussion to investigate social issues that influence a particular area of need. This will lead to the development of a final service project to be designed and implemented individually or collaboratively. After completion of the project, they will present it to an audience, and complete final written reflections of their experiences.

This course is intended for sophomore, junior or senior Honors students. Participants need access to transportation depending on project site and distance for the service-learning project visits.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with EDUC 199 (CRN 3465); Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum

Dr. Sally Beisser has directed service learning and higher education activities for over a decade, has participated in a National Science Foundation grant for service-learning and technology, and has numerous published articles and presentations on service learning. She is intrigued with the way university students think of ways to make their world a better place and wants to facilitate Drake students in their own investigations. One little known fact is that she has designed a service- learning scholarship for undergraduates at her Alma Mater and gets to meet the two recipients each year for Dean's lunch to hear about their volunteer activities.


Honors 119 Black Christianity and Prophetic Politics
Jennifer Harvey
CRN 3388
3 credits
W 2:00 – 4:50 pm

African American citizens have played a distinctive role in U.S. democracy. From enslavement, through Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, Black Power movements and into the present, African Americans have vigorously critiqued the civic body and enacted robust dissent against its prevailing racial practices. This course will explore various forms of Christianity within the African American community, and identify the unique ways in which Black Christianity in particular has contributed to democracy. Attention will be given to both what Black Christianity has said to the civic body, as well as to debates within the Black community. Manifestations of this prophetic politics in the present will also be a significant focus, with particular attention given to the roles of Black Christianity in the 2008 presidential campaign. Opportunities will be created to explore the role that Black Churches have played and continue to play in the Iowa (and Des Moines in particular) context.

Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, or instructor consent.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Cross-listed with Rel 120 (CRN 3305); the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Jennifer Harvey is assistant professor of religion and ethics. She moved to Drake from Brooklyn, New York where she was involved in cross-racial dialogue and organizing against police brutality. She completed her Ph.D. in Christian social ethics and her research has been on movements for reparations for slavery and struggles for sovereignty by Native American peoples.

Honors 122 Dilemmas of Self in Postmodernity
Allen Scult
CRN 3389
3 credits
MW 11:00 am- 12:15 pm

This course will pursue two inter-related questions:

  1. What does it mean to be a self in Postmodernity?
  2. What does it mean to do philosophy in Postmodernity?

We will investigate these questions by studying how some of the most influential philosophers of Postmodernity tried to integrate their life and their work into a single project. Such a project, daunting in its difficulty and complexity, seems to be characteristic of philosophy after Nietzsche.

Heidegger was able to say of Aristotle that the only important things we need to know about his life is that "he lived, he worked and he died." Such is not the case today. For Postmodern thinkers, autobiography and philosophy are inexorably intertwined. Indeed the central question of postmodern philosophy can be read as " What does it mean to be a self?" For postmodern thinkers that question is intimately connected with their awareness of the omnipresence of the political, the embeddedness of the self in relations of power, and perhaps most importantly, the possibility of freedom.

Of course, how we come to understand and perhaps even define "Postmodernity" will be an essential accompaniment to our inquiry, as will the question of whether what it means to be a self and what it means to do philosophy is substantially any different for Nietzsche and his followers than it was for Socrates and his.

The central work of the course will be conducted as an ongoing conversation between and among the participants in the seminar and the texts we will read together by and about Nietzsche, Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, Deleueze, Blanchot and others. The texts are rigorously intellectual, yet very personal and intimate studies of the lives, thought and writings of philosophers who, by their insistence on thinking and writing their lives and living their work, have essentially defined the limits and possibilities of what we mean by "Postmodernity." Along the way we ourselves will become intimately familiar with the central terms and ideas which these thinkers used to construct the discourse of postmodernity.

The basic "work" of the course will be the construction of a discourse investigating the proposed questions above (and others that arise in due course). Your grade will be based on your contribution to our discourse, and the development of your own philosophical skills in reading and interpreting the texts; and thinking, talking and writing about the sorts of issues they raise. There will be a number of short papers and two longer ones.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors with some prior experience in philosophy and a serious interest in thinking.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Cross-listed with Phil 120 (CRN 3386), Honors Program Track of Drake Curriculum

Allen Scult is National Endowment Professor of Humanities, Professor of Philosophy and Rhetoric, and recipient of the 2003-04 Centennial Scholar Award at Drake University. One of his main philosophical interests is investigating how human beings use language to interpret and understand their world.

Honors 124 Salem Witchcraft Trials
Lisa West
CRN 3421
3 credits
TR 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

What caused the infamous witch trials? Religious attitudes? A social crisis? Introduction of new ideas from the West Indies? Trauma from recent Indian attacks? Changes in the status of women? This course will read a variety of explanations of the Salem witch trials. However, rather than decide what "really" caused them or argue about what "really" happened, this course will focus more on the nature of evidence. When we read a description of "what happened," what constitutes the evidence? Who gets to decide what is valid and what is not? How do these ideas of evidence come into play with various strategies of writing ­ from personal narrative to sermon to other forms? How does this increased awareness of the way evidence is "embedded" in social reality affect your views about your own reading, writing, and judging?

In addition to thinking and writing about these questions, we will assess similarities and differences between the witch trials and the trial of Anne Hutchinson. We will do this through a "Reacting to the Past" curriculum which provides selected readings and role playing. This unit will be about a month of the semester and will give us another "body of evidence," so to speak. Reading will include historical and sociological explanations of the witch trials, 17th century readings (diaries, accounts of trials, etc.), and 19th ­21st century imaginative writings about the Salem event, such as The Crucible. There will be several short papers rather than a single large project.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors and counts as a pre-1900 English course.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: The course is cross-listed with ENG 124 (CRN 3122); Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum

Lisa West is Associate Professor in the Department of English.  She received her BA in English and Environmental Studies from Williams College and a PhD in American Literature from Stanford University. Her primary interests are in early American literary culture, 18th and 19th century women writers, nature writing, and writings on "place." In her courses you can expect an interdisciplinary focus, exposure to popular writings of the past, and a dedication to the close reading of texts through a variety of methodologies.


Honors 128 The Sixties: In the Streets and in the News
Robert Woodward
CRN 3203
3 credits
MW 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

The decade of the 1960s left a major legacy for America, one that continues IN the present day. This course will examine the decade to show how its influence can be directly linked to political, social, and cultural developments in contemporary society.

The growing influence of the nation's media in the 1960s--especially the rise of television--will be addressed. In 1963, television became the major way in which citizens obtained their news.

The list of subjects is long:

  • Today's leaders and how they were influenced by the 1960s.
  • The presidencies of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard M. Nixon.
  • Vietnam War.
  • Civil rights.
  • The environmental movement.
  • Women's rights.
  • The assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. 
  • Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers.
  • Man on the moon.
  • Cuban missile crisis.
  • Protests in the streets and urban riots.
  • Sexual revolution and drugs.
  • Counterculture and Woodstock.
  • Folk music revival.
  • The Beatles in America.

And the list goes on.

Major objectives will be (1) to broaden student knowledge of the tumultuous decade; (2) to explore how the decade heavily influenced the lives of individuals and the nation over the years; (3) to examine major events in terms of their news and their history; and (4) to judge what the lasting legacy of the 1960s will be.

The class will use a discussion format and will draw on videos of key events of the 1960s. Students will be expected to participate in the class discussions and will write discussion papers, three 5-6 page essays, and a major research paper of 25 PAGES.

This course is intended for sophomores and first-year students. If there are seats available after first-year students have enrolled, juniors and seniors may register for this course.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Prof. Woodward lived and worked in the Washington, D.C., area throughout the 1960s. He was a key editor on the national and world desks of The Washington Evening Star from 1965 to 1972, and he now is working of a project on life in the nation's capital in the 1960s. He was at Arlington National Cemetery in November 1963 when President Kennedy was buried, and he directed the initial coverage of The Washington Evening Star on the night that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He was a key editor of Vietnam war stories in the late 1960s.

Honors 129 Literary Genres: Politics and Nature Writing
Lisa West
CRN  3374
3 credits
TR 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Within the larger field of nature writing, I believe there is a sub-genre that uses "nature" as a means of supporting political views. These political views are, in general, expressed either as a way to support the status quo (the "nature" of things, belief in a natural order that must be followed) or a form of dissert (nature used as a rallying call to return to an earlier past, a purer society, etc.). Therefore, they are broadly drawn rather than narrow political positions. Hence, the dissent really comes as a form of revolution or radical rethinking of the world and society rather than a call for a policy change or a change in law.

In this course, we will read texts that let us see HOW nature is used to support status quo or to argue for dramatic changes. We will look at the use of science, activism, metaphor – the way the writing moves from literary moments to moments that seem more political. Instead of arguing "for" or "against" positions, we will learn to ask how/why "Nature" is being brought into the argument, and how nature is defined. We will also look at narratives of nature – how nature can be written about. Another set of larger questions we will ask is what this does to OTHER studies of nature – such as scientific studies, local studies – when we have a legacy of linking a broad sense of "nature" to political purposes. Does it make all nature seem culturally constructed? Does it allow for interest in "nature for nature's sake"?

TEXTS: Walden (selections), excerpts from Locke, The Monkey Wrench Gang, The Nature Notebooks, An inconvenient Truth (film), "The Clan of One-Breasted Women," Earth in the Balance (selections), Swimming Upstream, portions of The Silent Spring and the Second Silent Spring, selections from Michael Pollan on food and/or botany, selections from Muir and issues of national parks, selected laws such as Clean Air Act.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors who have an interest in literary techniques, science and policy.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Cross-listed with ENG 130 (CRN 3123); Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum

Lisa West is Associate Professor in the Department of English. She received her BA in English and Environmental Studies from Williams College and a PhD in American Literature from Stanford University. Her primary interests are in early American literary culture, 18th and 19th century women writers, nature writing, and writings on "place." In her courses you can expect an interdisciplinary focus, exposure to popular writings of the past, and a dedication to the close reading of texts through a variety of methodologies.

Honors 137 Women, Madness and Culture
Janet Wirth-Cauchon
CRN 1312
3 credits
TR 12:30-1:45 pm

This course explores the relationship between gender and socio-cultural definitions of mental health and illness, and examines the history of the treatment of women within the major settings of the mental health system; psychiatry, psychoanalysis and asylum. The first major goal is to understand the social relations of power within which psychiatry emerged and within which women became defined as "hysterical", "irrational" or "mad". A second goal is to chart the relationship between women's social roles and the experience and treatment of mental illness, making use of autobiographical and fictional accounts by women, films and other materials.

Prereq.: One entry level sociology or anthropology course or Introduction to Women's Studies (WS 75/SOC 75/ENG 75) or instructor consent.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with SCSS 137 (CRN 1206) and
WS 172 (CRN 1352); the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Janet Wirth-Cauchon received her BA in Anthropology from Western Michigan University and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Boston College. Her current research interests are in the areas of gender studies and feminist theory, the sociology of mental illness, the body and technology, and cultural studies. Her book, Women and Borderline Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Stories is an analysis of the gender meanings used in interpreting women diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She has taught a Boston College and Bradford College. At Drake she teaches courses on feminist theory, women's studies, women and madness, psyche and society, and introduction to sociology.


Honors 139 Leaders, Followers, and Power Wielders

Thomas Westbrook
CNR 3384
3 credit
M 6:00-8:50 p.m.

The purpose of this course is to assist students develop a greater understanding of leadership with special emphasis on the concepts of influence and power. The course will explore how ordinary and exemplary leaders build the capability of an organization, committee, and/or team to achieve shared goals and aspirations. The course is based upon the following three principles: leadership is everyone's business, leadership and power are fundamentally a relationship between leader and followers, and leadership can be learned. Course topics include understanding leadership, management, followership, leader characteristics, practices, and the situational components of leadership style. Various personal assessments will be used to assist each student to better understand his/her personal leadership characteristics and styles.

This class will strive to provide both intellectual and practical experiences to enhance one's understanding of leadership and one's ability to lead. It is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Honors Program or students pursuing the concentration in Human Resource Management.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with ALOP 139 (CRN); Human Resource Management concentration; Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Dr. Tom Westbrook is Drake Professor of Leadership and Adult Development. He teaches courses in the areas of leadership, adult and organizational learning, and distance education, extending to student clients such as The Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo Financial, ARAG Group, Farm Bureau, CDS, as well as numerous school districts and other colleges.  Over 180 managers across the United States have participated in interactive web-based leadership courses offered over the past two years.

Honors 141 Representing Australia

Bruce Martin
CRN 3462
3 credits
TR 3:30-4:45 p.m.

This course considers issues surrounding Australia and its representation in writing and other arts. What does it mean to "represent" something artistically, how have key aspects of Australian society and history been represented, and what might the intersection of Australia and representation suggest about each?

In pursuing these and related questions, we will discuss a sequence of texts--mostly writings by and about Australians, but also some Australian paintings and films--considered for what they suggest about both Australia and representation.  The writings and other texts will be ordered in terms of main issues in Australian history: antipodal ("Down Under") geography and topography, convict colony origins, ethnic identity, aboriginal peoples, and gender.

Besides an assembled courepack of short readings and occasional handouts, we will read two novels: David Malouf's "The Conversations at Curlow Creek" (1995) and Miles Franklin's "My Brilliant Career" (2007, orig. publ. 1901). Student writing will consist of prompted journal entries for most every class plus 3 interrelated papers (one short, the second slightly longer, and third medium-sized).

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Bruce Martin is emeritus professor in the Department of English. This course comes out of his longstanding interest in things Australian. (He taught an Australian Literature course at Drake for many years starting in the early 1990s) and in literary theory (which he taught for almost his entire Drake career). His teaching at Drake went far beyond the two courses mentioned above, mostly in British literature. His curiosity about Australia was encouraged by two teaching stints in Singapore and additional years teaching broadly in that part of the world (South Korea and Madagascar), which allowed him to get to Australia. He retired in 2006 as a Levitt Professor of English. He gave the Stalnaker Lecture in 1999 and was named Arts & Sciences Teacher-of-the-Year in 2003.


Honors 151 Science, Cyborgs and Monsters

Joseph Schneider
CRN 1310
3 credits
R 3:30-6:20 p.m.

This course introduces students to various critical analyses of technology, science, and knowledge as mobile sets of situated practices that always bear the marks of those particular social, historical, cultural, and political-economic locations in which they emerge and are practiced. Drawing especially from recent work in feminist science studies, from actor-network theory, and the intersection of studies of new media technology and affect, students are asked to consider these critiques of science and knowledge work as opening up new ways to think, do inquiry, and evaluate knowledge claims that take the materiality and matter of the world seriously-respecting much about the very traditions these texts criticize-while following the promises of this work toward building ways of knowing in which ethics and politics are as important as epistemology. Among the topics considered are representationalism and its critique, the relationship of matter and meaning in knowledge work, the laboratory as a political stage, distributed and networked agency, posthumanism, the "intra-action" of human as well as non-human entities in the production of knowledge, the nature of reality, objectivity, and truth; new media technology; measurement, ontology, and embodiment.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Students studying physical or life science would be introduced to Philosophy of Science concepts and issues.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with SCS 151 (CRN 3170) and WS 195 (CRN 2573); the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Joseph Schneider is Ellis and Nelle Levitt Professor of Sociology. He is interested in the sociology of knowledge and science and has published a paper or two on this question along with a recent short book on feminist science studies scholar Donna Haraway (Donna Haraway: Live Theory, Continuum, 2005). While feminist science studies is the focus of another course he has also taught an Honors Program course (Technoscience Culture/Practice), a course intended as a more over-arching look at the social study of science.

Honors 156 Modes of Cultural Inquiry

Darcie Vandegrift
3 credits
CRN 3209
MW 2:00-3:15 p.m.

This seminar gives students the opportunity to answer crucial epistemological questions through hands-on social inquiry. Most centrally, we will investigate how a writer's social position affects the production of his or her writing. A focus on centrality of language and practices of representation in cultural analysis will give participants an opportunity to experience these dilemmas as they engage in the practices of analysis, reading, and writing. We will deploy these practices to discuss empirical or written materials; practices may include discourse analysis, textual analysis, various forms of ethnography, interviewing, and other methods of research and criticism.

The course will address the ethical and epistemological debates in cultural analysis. Our questions will include both theory and practice. In acknowledging that any representation of the social world is constructed by the author, how might an author undertake the ethical and epistemological issues inherent in speaking for others? How should an author construct knowledge about people, cultures, and texts within a given terrain of power relationships? How might we interrogate the notions of objectivity and positivism, and how do these concepts become constructed as the elements of "good research?" What alternative positions might one take in evaluating representations of the social world? As we work through these issues, the class will also examine the complexities of cultural relativism vs. universalism and the problematics as well as strategic uses of essentialism.

This semester, the course will explore these themes through a consideration of global flows of people as tourists, migrants, and workers, as well as fantasies and objects of desire. This focus will allow us to explore issues of power, inquiry, social location and representation through a series of readings, written projects, out-of-classroom experiences and conversations.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have the following pre-requisites: an entry-level sociology, anthropology or rhetoric course (except public speaking) or permission of instructor.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with SCS 120 (CRN 3168); Sociology, Culture & Society, Rhetoric, Anthropology, International Relations; Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum

Darcie Vandegrift is an associate professor of sociology. After being a tourist in Latin America as a college student, she returned to study tourism and other forms of travel and arrival in Costa Rica. Her work looks at the impact of tourism narratives and practices in many aspects of social life: poverty, identity, work, gender, race and memory.


Honors 161 Africa/Africans/Atlanta/ Slavery

Glenn McKnight
CRN 3159
3 credits
R 6:00 – 8:50 pm

The immense growth of slavery and slave trade research in the last quarter century has made examinations of unfree labor a major issue for world research. Studies of Atlantic slavery have generated the bulk of that research, and, as a result have challenged many traditional perceptions of that trade and its associated system of slavery. However, despite the unquestioned value of these recent analyses, most of these studies have looked at Atlantic slavery from the American side of the ocean. Consequently, the African nature of Atlantic slavery has often lacked close scrutiny.

This course has two goals:

  1. to root Atlantic slavery and its trade in its African context, and
  2. to help incorporate recent research findings into popular understandings of the Atlantic trade. 

The major argument of this course is that one cannot know why the Atlantic trade happened as it did nor how Atlantic slavery developed as it did without understanding the context which produced the people who were sold into slavery. Therefore, the course looks at the influence political, social, economic, and cultural factors in Africa had on the making of slavery and the slave trade both in Africa and the Americas. In doing so, the course will challenge students to rethink their own notions of Atlantic slavery as they analyze and critique the ideas encountered in this course.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Cross-listed with HIST 161 (CRN 2505); Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

"When people consider issues of globalization, they often ignore the role Africa and Africans play in the world economy and in global politics; they consider Africa as marginal to processes of globalization. I don't think this is correct and part of my goal in teaching about Africa is to dispel that notion. Recently, myself and some colleagues from the College of Business took a group of Drake students to Uganda on a study abroad course. Once there, students became very aware of the impact of global forces on Uganda and its people and the impact Ugandans have in return. What's interesting is that this same dynamic exists historically in terms of Africa's relationship with the world - a dynamic that is very apparent, ironically enough, in the history of Atlantic slavery." Glenn McKnight

Honors 164 Postcolonial South Asia

Sandya Hewamanne
CRN 1344
3 credits
W 4:00-6:50 p.m.

This junior/senior honors seminar will focus on the intense contradictions surrounding postcoloniality. The course will focus on colonial and post colonial South Asia in examining inequities in modes of representation. Using Edward Said's crucial text Orientalism as our major guide, we will look into how colonial European culture produced and managed the Orient politically, sociologically, ideologically and imaginatively during the post-enlightenment period. We will examine cultural texts that reinforced the structures of imperialism in South Asia as well as some post colonial texts that focus on lives profoundly affected by the experience of colonization. By focusing on notions of hybridity, split subjectivity, migration and exile, the class will further explore issues of representation, identity, agency, discourse and history. The course will especially focus on subaltern studies, which is specifically aimed at recovering the agency of the subaltern that got covered within elite based discourses of colonial South Asia.

This course is intended for juniors and seniors.

Prerequisites: one sociology or anthropology entry level class or instructor permission.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with SCSA 150 (CRN 1240); the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Sandya Hewamanne is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of the Study of Culture and Society. Her research interests are globalization, transnational production, identity and cultural politics and feminist and postcolonial theory. She previously taught at University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, University of Texas at Austin and Hartwick College.

Honors 165 Technoscience Culture and Practice

Joseph Schneider
CRN 3175
3 credits
MW 12:30-1:45 p.m.

This course offers an historical and theoretical overview of the interdisciplinary field called science studies or the social studies of science and technology as it has emerged mostly since the 1970s in the United States and the United Kingdom.  The focus moves beyond looking for so-called "social factors" or "forces" thought to influence the social organization of technoscience and technoscientific work to taking the very contents and practices of that work as the objects of critical examination, including the very study thus constituted.

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with SCSS 135 (CRN 3233); Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Joseph Schneider is Professor of Sociology in the Department for the Study of Culture and Society. He long has had an interest in the sociology of knowledge and science and have published a paper or two on this question along with a recent short book on feminist science studies scholar Donna Haraway (Donna Haraway: Live Theory, Continuum, 2005). While feminist science studies is the focus of another course he has taught in the Honors Program for a few years (Science, Cyborgs, & Monsters), this course is intended as a more over-arching look at the social study of science.

Honors 169 Telling Our Lives: Narrative Medicine

John Rovers
CRN 3477
MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.

Rationale for this course

There is no question that the health care professions are science-based. Our epistemology of health care practice - our way of knowing who we are and what we do - is increasingly evidence based. We know what to do based on our science and our science tells us what the right drug is, the best dose to choose and the adverse events to monitor for.

Patient care is taught according to the biomedical model. We know patients have a disease when we can measure a problem with their biology. Epilepsy is misfiring neurons and congestive heart failure is poor pumping action of the heart. This thinking is reductionist--it reduces the patient to her simplest elements of a few malfunctioning cells or a broken organ system.

Certainly health care education has been successful for many years, using the epistemology and reductionism I describe. But, the longer I teach and the longer I think about it, the more I am convinced that our epistemology and its attendant reductionism, although not actually wrong, are inadequate. It is this inadequacy that I will try to redress in this course.

In my view, although we as practitioners are our science and our patients are their biology, we are not only our science and our patients are not only their biology. Our patients and ourselves are also our stories. People lead biographical lives, not just biological ones. The most significant unmet need of any patient is the need to be heard as a person and not just seen as defective biology.

Science, with its attendant epistemology and reductionism will continue to be the cornerstone of the educational model for the healing professions. But it's not enough. Simply stated, my hope for this course is to mitigate some of health care education's epistemological and reductionist limitations by encouraging students to see patients in a fuller and more complete manner.

Intended Audience & Goals
The target audience is Juniors and Seniors but Freshmen and Sophomores may enroll with faculty member permission.

Course Goals
After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Define and describe what narrative medicine is;
  2. Explain how narrative medicine can be practiced by both  health care providers and the lay public;
  3. Apply the principles of narrative medicine to a written text;
  4. Analyze the writer's medical narrative in a written text;
  5. Create the medical narrative for a person with a chronic illness.

Course Content
The primary proponent of Narrative Medicine is Rita Charon who holds a PhD in English literature in addition to being a Board Certified Internist.

Initially, I will teach in an interactive lecture fashion, just what Charon is telling us. Then, using Charon's book, I will guide students in applying her principles to one of the secondary textbooks. We will read the book closely to see how each principle applies.

Once students have learned the principles of narrative medicine and seen it work, it then becomes time for them to apply the principles on their own. Students will be required to work in teams of 2-4 to apply them to the remaining books from the reading list.

Finally, students will work in pairs to interview a chronically ill patient. The principles of narrative medicine will be applied to each taped interview during class discussion. Each team of students will then write up their interpretation of their patient's narrative and turn that in as the course's capstone experience.

Faculty Member
John Rovers is Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice and has taught an FYS (Perceptions of Illness: How We View the Sick) since 2001. His teaching and research interests include unbundling the tacit knowledge that forms the practice of patient care.

Honors 168 Storytelling/Social Practice

Jody Swilky
CRN 3387
3 credits
MW 11:00 am – 1215 p.m. AND
Film Viewing Lab (CRN 3390) Sunday, 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Storytelling is ancient. As Trinh Minh-ha puts it, "[s]torytelling is the oldest form of building historical consciousness in community." And as a mode of professional discourse, storytelling is also, in one sense, nothing new. Autobiography, the "personal essay," the memoir, the travelogue, and other written genres of storytelling have long enjoyed an important position in the pantheon of Western literary genres. By contrast, there recently has been a move towards a practice of storytelling which deliberately challenges the boundaries of this reserved space of Western culture for aesthetic self-reflection. What social roles have storytellers played? What are the functions and effects of different approaches to storytelling?

Through reading and writing about different examples and theories of storytelling, you will investigate issues such as the relationship between writer (or speaker), story and reader (or listener), the functions of storytelling, and the place of experience in storytelling. We will consider how and why stories affect us-where we become engaged with parts of the story as well as where we resist or ignore other parts of the story. In other words, we will consider how an approach to storytelling does or does not have power, and consider how social determinants influence our responses to story. You will work in your writings towards a better command of yourself as a writing subject shaped by story and narrative as well as your relationship to communities, audiences, and the broader culture.


This course is open to students who have completed an English course at the 20-99 or 100 level. This course should be valuable to students who have an interest in rhetoric, literature, social sciences, cultural studies, and discourse theory and practice.

Majors/Minors/Concentrations: Cross-listed with ENG 168 (CRN 3128), Cultural Studies, Multicultural Studies, and serves as a Women's Studies related course. Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.


Jody Swiky is Professor of English. He has taught honors courses since 1990. In graduate school and at Drake University, he has taught writing-intensive courses that emphasize student participation, critical thinking, and the close reading of texts. He also has taught courses in language theory and philosophical rhetoric.

Honors 177 Gender and Violence

Nancy Berns
CRN 2663
3 credits
TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.

This course examines gender and violence, including the social construction of the problem, interdisciplinary theoretical explanations, and the social and cultural contexts. In this course, we will explore how media, politics, and popular discourse impact policy for intervention and prevention, and individual understandings of gender and violence. Some specific themes include the discovery and conceptualization of gendered violence, such as how definitions, measurements, politics, and language affect the understanding and response to the problem. Students will discuss how particular research questions and theoretical assumptions impact social policy, political agendas, and overall understanding of gender and violence. We will explore the lived experience of gender and violence from the perspectives of victims and perpetrators. Lived experience will be examined in context of the intersections of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, religion, and culture. Interdisciplinary explanations of gender and violence will be studied. And students will explore the social and cultural responses to gendered violence (and lack of response). Topics will include victim blaming, attitudes towards gendered violence, media images of violence, and the backlash against the battered women movement. We will also learn about programs and institutions that are involved with intervention in and/or prevention of cases of abuse and violence.

Students will be better prepared to:

  1. Recognize and explain violent and abusive strategies.
  2. Shape social policy for violence intervention and prevention.
  3. Critically read research and discourse on violence.
  4. Understand what factors contribute to violence, including interdisciplinary explanations of violence that go beyond the individual level of explanation.

This course is intended for juniors and seniors who have had an entry-level course in Sociology or Anthropology.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with SCS-Sociology 177 (CRN 855) and WS 177 (CRN 996); the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum

Nancy Berns is an associate professor of sociology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Berns teaches courses on gendered violence, social problems, media constructions, criminology, and restorative justice.

Honors 191 Women and Hebrew Scriptures

Sally Frank
CRN 1304
3 credits
W 4:00-6:50 p.m

The basics of the course include reading Biblical accounts involving women and various commentaries on those Biblical accounts with a critical eye. These accounts will include Genesis, The Red Tent and The Five Books of Miriam. The goal is to come to an understanding of how the Jewish Bible deals with issues involving women and how such an understanding can help us understand issues today.

This course is intended for juniors and seniors.

Majors / Minors / Concentrations: Cross-listed with WS 181 (CRN 759) and Rel 151 (CRN 3337); the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Sally Frank, Professor of Law, studies Women's Rights and also brought and won a landmark sex discrimination case against Princeton University and its all-male eating clubs. Her publication "Eve Was Right to Eat the Apple: The Importance of Narrative to the Art of Lawyering," Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, is a re-examination of the Eve narrative that proposes criminal defenses that Eve might have used.  Professor Frank organizes and provides representation for survivors of domestic violence, and she is an activist with peace organizations.


Honors 198 Honors Independent Study (CRN 166)
Honors 199 Honors Senior Thesis/Project (CRN 1061)

Interested students and faculty advisors for honors independent studies or senior theses/projects should direct their questions to Dr. Arthur Sanders, Honors Program Director. The preliminary agreement to enroll form is available in the Honors Program office of the Director (Meredith Hall, room 212) and must be submitted to Dr. Sanders before enrollment is allowed in the course. Course proposal forms (and senior thesis grant forms) are available in the Honors Program office as well. Students are asked to prepare a 1-2 page proposal summary and submit it, with the appropriate form, to the faculty project mentor and to the Honors Program Director for their signatures of approval. The form is due within three weeks of the start of the semester. Students will be asked to present their findings at a student/faculty forum held before the student's graduation.

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University News
August 30, 2016
A free event on Sept. 6 will provide a fun, safe, and encouraging environment for people of all ages to think about their big dreams and ideas, write them down, and help one another make those dreams a reality.