Course Offerings

Previous Course Offerings

Fall 2017

Video Games and their Impact

Hamilton: Song, History, and Storytelling

Science of Decision Making

The Beauty of Math

Voices of the Voiceless: Literary Animal Advocacy in the US

Women in Leadership and Public Service

The Middle Ages in Popular Culture

The Flying Dutchman

Spring 2017

Diversity in American Theatre

Philosophy of Religion

Words, Knowledge, Power

The Comic

The Science of Wicked Problems

LGBTQ American History and Literature

US & Canadian Partnership

Modern China

Fall 2016

Politics and the Arts


Food Studies: The Making of a Meal

A History of Medicine, Science, and Disease

The History of Drugs in the U.S.

Italian Food Culture in Practice

Dante's Moral Philosophy

Spring 2016

Design Methodologies

Free Will and Personal Identity

Tools & Strategies for Connected Learning

Bioethics and the New Embryology

The American Revolution

From Brigadoon to Brave

Conflict, Democracy, & Nation Building in the 20th Century

Fall 2015

The Romantic Antihero in Music and Literature

A Poet's Guide to the English Language

Race and Ethnicity

Western New York Natural History: A Sense of Place

Popular Music in the 1960s

What is Post-Humanism?

Cultural Sensitivity and Global Citizenship

Spring 2015

Expressionism and the Arts


Literature and the Visual Arts

Hacking, Surveillance, and Privacy

Math and Music

Women in Italian Film

Transnational Crime

Fall 2014

The Progressive Era and the Other Side of Progress: Technology, Magic, Money and Religion in Nineteenth-Century America


Mental Health and Society

From Aspirin to Viagra: A History of Medicine, Science and Disease

Rhetoric, Memory, and Identity

1968: Radicalism, Revolt and Restoration in the West

Can Islam and Democracy Co-Exist?

Spring 2014

Modernism and Music

Food Studies: The Making of a Meal

Bioethics and the New Embryology

Video Games: Their Evolution and Impact

Vonnegut and Cold War America

Revolutions in Thought and Politcs

The Two Spains and World Cultural Production

Fall 2013

Contemporary Women Poets

Literary London

Science Communication: Infectious Diseases

Thinking Like a Scientists: The Logical Roots of the Scientific Method

Multicultural American Music

The Politics of Sport

Conflicts and Crises in African History

Spring 2013

Street and Graffiti Art, 1970 to Present

Expressionism and the Arts

Gender and Transgender Identities Across Cultures

Cooking and Science

Music and the African American Experience

Italian History and Culture

Middle East Literature

Fall 2012

Modernism in Music [aka: "Who's your Dada?"]

The Comic

Silent Spring(s) Eternal

From Aspirin to Viagra: A History of Medicine, Science and Disease

Rhetoric, Memory, and Identity

Opera and Literature


Spring 2012

Philosophical Theology

Comparative Politics and the Struggle for Democracy

Bioethics and the New Embryology

Altered States of America: Drugs in American History

The Composer's Role in Society

The Politics of Space in Literature

Fall 2011

Commedia: Style & Influence

Perspectives on Positive Psychology

From Aspirin to Viagra: A History of Medicine, Science and Disease

From Experience to Reason

The Historians Craft

Global Roots of American Literature

Spring 2011

Writing the Political

Photographic Explorations

Policing the Body

Nature and History

Community in American Political and Social Thought

Fall 2010


African-American Autobiography

The Greeks-Ancient or Modern?

World History

The Science in Environmental Issues

Environmental Communication

Science in Western Culture: The Origins of Our Concepts and Methods


Seminars make up a key feature of the Honors Program. Honors-only seminars help students develop knowledge and skills within a strong liberal arts experience.

For students who entered into the Honors Program before the fall 2018, they are required to:

  • take at least FOUR honors seminars to complete the program. (Students can choose to take more than four seminars.)
  • All seminars fulfill general education courses within specific categories.
  • To complete the general education program, courses in all categories must be met.

Fall 2018 Honors Seminars

Instructor: Dr. Michael Markham (School of Music)

HONR 224, sec 1 (33971)

MF 3:00-4:20PM

Since the enlightenment the recurring figure of the antihero has symbolized the philosophical tension
between individual and society. This course will focus on iconic literary anti-heroes that have worked
their way into music. From the literary side it will address the changing attitudes toward the outsider
hero/villain across the Romantic and Modern eras. It will also present a survey of musical
masterpieces from Mozart through to the present. By comparing the literary and musical versions of
this character type, students who are not used to talking about classical music will develop a
vocabulary for hearing and analyzing the dramatic features of "classical" music. Works treated will
include Don Giovanni (Mozart), Byron's Manfred (Schumann, Tchaikovsky), Shakespeare's
Coriolanus (Beethoven), Goethe's Faust (Liszt), Mérimée's Carmen (Bizet), Büchner's Wozzeck (Anton
Webern), Crabbe's Peter Grimes (Britten).

Instructor: Emily VanDettte

ENGL 144, sec 01

Humanities/Critical Thinking & Analysis

TR 9:30-10:50 (CRN 33769)

This course explores representations of animals and of animal-human relationships through literature and other cultural productions.  Taking a cue from the emergent field of animal studies, we will pay close attention to the specificity of animals in literature, rather than merely treating animals as tropes or metaphors for the human experience. We will treat seriously what Jacques Derrida has called “the question of the animal” by asking such questions as: What is an animal? What is a human? Do animals have identities and individuality, do they have subjectivity and agency? Do humans have responsibilities to nonhuman animals?

How do animal representations, and especially depictions of human-animal exchanges, bonds, and even transformations blur the lines between species? What is the relationship between historical discourses of animality and constructed categories of human identities based on race, class, gender, and sexuality? In addition to studying literary representations of animals, the course will include artistic, performative, cinematic, and digital media representations of animals, as well as philosophical, historical, and eco-critical discussions in both academic and public-sphere settings.

Instructor: Mary Bolo-Burr

SPMG 230

Social Science/Global Perspectives & Diversity

WF 8:30-10:50 (CRN 33719)

This course facilitates students’ acquisition of the knowledge and skills required to be creative, responsible, and engaged global citizens. It also focuses on integrated, interdisciplinary competencies and perspectives that foster critical thinking. More specifically, this course explores the diversity and complexities of social worlds and sport. This includes past and present sport contexts including the emergence of women and African-Americans in sport, cultural challenges and cultural contributions to sport, LGBTQ issues, youth participation, gender issues, athlete coach relationships, ethical issues, cheating, violence, race/ethnicity and the future directions of sport. This course brings in current event topics relating to the above and additional issues. These topics provide a multicultural and diverse perspective of sport uncommon to most students and fans.

Instructors: Jon Titus and Dave Kinkela

HONR 226, sec 02

Natural Science

Tuesday 2:00-6:00PM

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring and understanding the biological diversity of the Western New York Landscape. We will also examine the ecological and historical transformations of the region as a way to interogate change caused by human and nonhuman actors. Students will learn concepts and methods employed in field ecological research, including basic species identification skills, current land use issues in western New York, and the ability to compare, contrast and evaluate viewpoints on topics in natural history including the strengths and limitations of each approach.  Have gained an increased appreciation for ones relationship with the natural world. 

Aside from in-class work, this course will also take students into the field. Students should be perpared for occasional Saturday explorations of the region, including the Allenberg Bog, Cassadaga Creek Preserve, Elm Flats, Jamestown Audubon, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo Inner Harbor.  



Instructor: Jeanette McVicker

ENGL 124 sec 01

American History/Global Perspectives & Diversity

TR 11:00-12:20 (33765)

Students will delve into historical and recent American literature, across multiple genres and in relation to multiple institutions and media, that relates to the experience of “becoming Americans.” This course will invite students to examine historical narratives of American national identity from a range of critical and genre perspectives, to explore the multi-valent processes of ‘Americanization,’ and to understand the distinct yet collective role of various institutions involved in this process – e.g., the news media, the courts/legal system (including laws, acts, treaties), cultural institutions such as literature and popular culture, and social institutions such as monuments and museums. “Becoming Americans” foregrounds helping all students gain the skills for determining the scope, validity, intended audiences for, and intended outcomes of such narratives. Additionally, the course will explore whether it is possible to conceptualize the idea of America and American History without such narratives, the transformation of our understanding as narratives become plural and undergo temporal pressures and challenges, and institutional change.

Instructor: Dr. Christina Jarvis

ENGL 296, section 01

American History/Global Perspectives and Diversity

TR 12:30- 1:50PM


This American History Fredonia Foundations course explores the central question “What does it mean to be an American?” Adopting the Global Perspectives and Diversity theme, we will examine how particular categories of identity have shaped who gets to enjoy the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship at different historical moments. While those two larger topics will provide the broad narrative framework of the course, we will address several key questions to give our analysis more depth: How have historical events and/or legislation shaped who can be an American citizen? Are there connections between citizenship, military service, and civil rights? What central myths and stories have been central to constructing an “American” identity? What forms of violence are tied to these constructions? How do wars and other moments of conflict both challenge and reify gender norms and other identities? How do external enemies and/or concerns about the U.S. position on the global stage shape national and individual identities? How do gender, race/ethnicity, and class intersect with and complicate notions of an “American” identity?

Instructor: John Staples

HIST 161, section 01

Western Civilization/Creative Thinking & Innovation

MWF 10:00-10:50 (CRN 33806)

This course engages students with complex human problems rooted in the relationship between citizenship and individual identity from a historical perspective. Throughout the course, students will consider divergent and contradictory perspectives that defined the scope of personal freedoms within the framework of civil responsibilities in Europe in the 20th century, while evaluating the consequences and benefits of a variety of European political systems. Using digital technologies, students will plan, make, develop, and present historical narratives in a variety of forms.

Instructor: Peter McCord

HIST 150, section 3

Other World Cultures/Critical Thinking & Analysis

MWF 1:00-1:50PM

This course will examine the conflicts and political upheavals that shaped World History in the 20th Century, from the Chinese and Mexican Revolutions through World Wars I and II, and the decolonization conflicts of the 60s and 70s.




Honors Program

Thompson Hall, E332
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063