Honors Program

Contact Us

General Honors Seminars

Spring Semester 2017

Please note: before registering for any of these seminars, be sure your name is on the appropriate sign-up sheet in the honors center office.

Please sign-up for only one seminar and be certain you intend to take that seminar before placing your name on the sign-up sheet.

 

HON 110HA — Romance, Love, Sex and Marriage: Philosophy of

  • Dr. J.W. Wiley
  • W 12–3
  • 3 Credits

Nietzche said, “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.” In this seminar we will explore the reason in love, romance, sex and marriage, while recognizing the truth in Nietzche’s observation that both love and romance are occasionally if not persistently irrational. This will be a philosophical exploration and an opportunity for students to develop and share their own philosophies about the important human experience of love and romance and the closely related results of these feelings, sex and marriage. We will accomplish this by examining various perspectives on romance, sex, love and marriage, recognizing that there is significant overlap among these topics. Readings for the course will be taken from the Philosophy of Erotic Love edited by R. Solomon and K. Higgins, Philosophy of Sex and Love by A. Soble, and Philosophy of Sex, edited by A. Soble. The readings from these texts will provide students with the philosophical tools and intellectual context for our examination. In class we will use film clips as a means of generating discussion. In our deconstruction of the clips, students will apply the concepts derived from assigned readings. Each week students will write a reaction paper articulating the connection between the film and the reading material. This will help students develop their own philosophical points of view on the subject matter of the course. Students will also come to realize in this process of applying philosophy to film how cultural and individual assumptions can impede a rational understanding of love, romance, sex and marriage.

Students will also be required to complete both individual and group projects related to the subject matter of the course. Each student will make a final presentation. Thirty-five per cent of the grade for the course will be based on participation. Participation includes attendance, contribution to study groups, contribution to in-class discussions, and presentations. The writing assignments will constitute the basis for 65% of the grade.

This seminar will satisfy the humanities component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center — Hawkins 121 Seminar Room A.

HON 114HA — Latin Via Ovid

  • Dr. Ann Tracy
  • TR 2–3:15
  • 3 Credits

It is common knowledge that much of the English language is rooted in Latin vocabulary and grammatical structure. Clearly mastery of English is enhanced by knowledge of Latin. Therefore, the primary focus of this seminar will be the acquisition of the Latin language. Through the study of Latin, students will discover the etymological roots of words in the English language. Using the study of language as a foundation, the seminar will verify and/or challenge the validity of the assertion that knowledge of classical language and literature is an integral part of a liberal arts education.

A language, however, does not stand in isolation from the rest of culture. In fact, it could legitimately be argued that language is the primary bearer of culture. Learning Latin, therefore, is much more than learning an ancient language.

How have the language, literature, and mythology of the Romans affected our artistic traditions in literature, music and art? What are the purpose, place, and influence of myth on culture, both ancient and modern? How do Latin vocabulary, grammar and style shape appreciation of our own language? Why does Latin continue to exert such a strong influence on contemporary languages? Through individual research and group projects, students will pursue possible responses to these and many other questions while developing their own individual areas of inquiry.

This course has been developed for students with little or no background in Latin. The intent is for students to develop enough skill in the language to understand material taken from a number of Roman writers with special emphasis on the writings of Ovid. To enhance this process, students will also read works of Roman literature and history in translation.

Latin Via Ovid offers an immersion in Latin, its characteristics and influences, to students who have not previously studied it and are unlikely to be moving on to the Gallic Wars. The course includes a foundation of Latin grammar (with some notice of its influence on English grammar), readings from simplified Ovidian stories of mythology and other texts, etymology and vocabulary, the meanings and applications of surviving Latinphrases, some measure of Roman culture and history, and the writing of brief original compositions in Latin.

This seminar will satisfy the humanities component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center — Hawkins 121 Seminar Room A.

HON 117HA — Myth of Pinocchio

  • Dr. Thomas Morrissey
  • TR 9:30–10:45
  • 3 Credits

Most of us are familiar with Pinocchio from the 1940 Disney animated film version of the story. That could be changing. Recently, Warner Brother’s announced that Ron Howard will direct a live action version of Pinocchio based on the Carlo Collodi classic rather than the Disney film. This project is being spearheaded by Robert Downey, Jr., who will star as Geppetto. During the 2016-17 season, the National Ballet of Canada will also feature the world premiere of Pinocchio by noted British Choreographer, Will Thicket. And, most importantly, the Honors Center will reprise the popular course, the Myth of Pinocchio, in the fall 2016 semester. Since the 1999 debut of this course, Professor Morrissey published Pinocchio Goes Postmodern: Perils of a Puppet in the United States with Richard Wunderlich. He has continued to teach on this subject since then, and this iteration of the course should benefit from both his research and teaching on the subject.

Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio is regarded as one of the classic works of Italian literature, recently described as comparable to Dante’s Commedia and Machiavelli’s advice to princes. Many critics have recognized that, although the book is didactic, it is not gentle. Collodi is a sharp social critic who is aware of how dangerous the world is and who knows the pain of poverty. Indeed, the Pinocchio story is nothing less than an archetypal tale of becoming, owning much to its nineteenth century Italian setting, but even more to its author’s understanding of the universal human struggle to become a whole human being.

In this seminar students will explore stories of becoming with particular emphasis on tales of metamorphosis in which the inanimate becomes human or humans confront their humanity by contact with what are normally thought to be inanimate objects. We will also examine the puppet’s exploits in the context of Joseph Campbell’s work on mythical heroism. The central questions to be explored are how do stories of transformation interrogate our concept of humanity, why is the Pinocchio story such a rich example of stories of becoming, and to what extent does Pinocchio follow in the footsteps of heroic figures such as Gilgamesh, Odysseus, and Jesus. Whether and how such stories differ according to the gender of their protagonists will also be an issue. Pinocchio’s status as a hero akin to other mythic heroes makes him a kind of “Everypuppet.” He is “young” and male; as an Italian boy-figure of humble origins he represents two oppressed classes: children and the poor. Other stories of transformation will include female figures whose experiences are different because of time, place and gender. Discussion of parts of P. Lorenzini’s Pinocchio in Africa will demonstrate the bizarre ways in which the puppet is used to express racist and colonial attitudes and policies that contributed to fascist Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

Students will be required to write short essays, make an oral or poster presentation, and write a longer essay.

This seminar will satisfy the humanities component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center — Hawkins 121 Seminar Room A.

HON 123HA — Superheroes in U.S. History, Society & Culture

  • Dr. Jessamyn Neuhaus
  • MW 2–3:15
  • 3 Credits

“Superheroes in U.S. Culture, Mythology, Society, and the Psyche” will explore what is arguably the most significant popular mythology of U.S. twentieth and twenty-first century culture to date: superheroes. With narrative roots in humanity’s oldest stories of gods and epic heroes, the distinctively American fictions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and others reflect and reveal in compelling ways popular aesthetics, national values, social and political debates, spiritual questions, and psychological tensions among U.S. citizens from the 1930s to today. The visually distinctive, multiplatform superhero genre offers students a complex cultural text that functions in numerous ways, from products for purchase to intricate metaphors for complex sociopolitical, moral, and philosophical issues. For example: Spider-Man struggles to understand how “with great power comes great responsibility;” the mutant X-Men fight against violent human bigotry towards the Other; the Hulk’s genesis poses serious questions about the misuses of knowledge and science; and Batman treads a fine line between justice and revenge, champion and vigilante. This seminar will challenge students to look more closely at superheroes as literature and myth, unpacking the complexities and contradictions of this U.S. art form/literary and visual genre/mass media product. Students will learn to convincingly analyze (in written assignments and class discussions) notable examples from the 1930s to today of how superhero fictions function as mythology, literature, visual art, and cultural text in the United States, and what relationship these fictions have to the historical contexts from which they derive.

One of the main assignments for the course will be a research project in which students will choose a topic about U.S. superheroes and complete research on that topic. Then, building on literary, cinematic, and historical themes in previous superhero stories, students will write an annotated short story/work of fiction drawing on their research.

The required texts for the course are: The Superhero Reader, edited by Hatfield, Heer and Worcester; Super-History: Comic Book Superheroes and American Society, 1938 to the Present by Johnson; Enter the Superheroes: American Values, Culture, and the Canon of Superhero Literature by Romagnoli and Pagnucci; Do the Gods Wear Capes? Spirituality, Fantasy, and Superheroes by Saunders.

This seminar will satisfy the U.S. civilization component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 127HA — American West in Culture & Literature

  • Dr. Tracie Church Guzzio
  • MWF 11–11:50
  • 3 Credits

“We go eastward to realize history and study the works of art and literature, retracing the steps of the race; we go westward as into the future, with a spirit of enterprise and adventure.”

— Henry David Thoreau, “Walking.”

“But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest…” (Huckleberry Finn)

– Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

This course considers the American West not only as a specific location but also as a historical and cultural concept. How has the concept of the American West permeated our vision of the American self? How does the American West influence our image of the environment–its geography of “wide open spaces”? Its resources? How does the image of the American West present us with a paradoxical picture of the landscape as both an idealized, pristine wilderness and as a border between savagery and civilization? How has the “promise of the west” influence the narrative of the American Dream? How has the icon of the American frontier–its myth and reality–determine the ways we discuss American historical moments like ‘Manifest Destiny?” American progress? How have these mythic historical stories impacted such groups as immigrants and marginalized Americans–the Other (Native Americans, Chinese immigrants, Latinos, and freed African American slaves) in these narratives? How has the highly masculinized image of the American cowboy and the violence of the American West affected our understanding of gender?

We will address these questions with the vocabulary and research methods essential to critical reading, thinking, and writing. It is our objective to express what we learn through well-reasoned and well-written discourse in an analysis of American history and culture. We will be reading literary works such as On the Road, Roughing It, Ceremony, and No Country for Old Men as well as historical studies such as The Empire of Innocence and Gunfighter Nation; we will also look at selections from nature writers like Edward Abbey and Gretel Ehrlich and view clips from films like The Searchers and Lone Star. The course will be evaluated on a couple of short response papers and presentations and a final research paper. Using historical texts, literature, and film we will have a better understanding of the ways that the image and the narratives of the American West continue to determine the way we see ourselves, our communities, our history and our culture.

This seminar will satisfy the U.S. civilization component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 130HA — Biology in Society & Culture

  • Dr. Gary Kroll
  • TR 3:30–4:45
  • 3 Credits

How is biological knowledge created? Where did the scientific method come from? Who first came up with the idea of “objectivity?”

Moreover, how did the history of biology intersect with Protestant Christianity? How did it lead to the sterilization of over 50,000 American citizens? How does it shape our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

“Biology” is both an academic discipline for learning about the living world and a system of authority that exerts power on the fabric of social life. This seminar will examine both. We will begin the seminar by surveying literature in the social studies of biological knowledge and our focus will largely be centered on questions of epistemology; namely, what is the social construction of scientific knowledge? We will sample Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions; we will tackle the history of “objectivity” as interpreted by philosophers of science Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison; and we will drink from the challis of anthropologist of science, Donna Haraway, who will change the way you see the American Museum of Natural History. The highlight of this first part of the semester will be a reading anthropologist of science, Bruno Latour’s now classic deconstruction of the Salk Institute, Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts.

The second portion of the class will be historical. We will sweep through the past two hundred years of biology in the United States to understand how biological discourse framed issues of race, ethnicity, “fitness,” and identity. Moreover, we will see how the institutionalization of biology wove itself into statecraft and the management of land and the economy. Philip Pauly’s Biologists and the Promise of American Life will be our central focus here.

Students can expect to turn in approximately twenty-five polished pages over the course of the semester. This will range from brief reflections on class readings to a paper that uses some of the sociological and anthropological methods encountered in our readings to frame a research paper on a biological entity of your choosing (like a laboratory).

This seminar will satisfy the social science component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room A.

HON 141HA — Basic Math Problems Seminar

  • Dr. Robert Keever
  • MWF 10–10:50
  • 3 Credits

Unlike many other math courses, this math seminar does not focus on content but on problem solving. The main objectives of the course are for students to study how to analyze and simplify a range of problems, how to estimate and check mathematical results for reasonableness, and arrive at answers in which they have confidence. Methods of problem solving include teaching oneself by doing simpler problems, translating between English and symbolic language of mathematics, and rewriting problems in ways that extract the mathematical content, ignore nonessential detail, thereby leaving well-defined mathematical problems that are (perhaps) easier to solve.

The assignments and class time are aimed at getting students to understand specific problem solving strategies, and we hope to accomplish this through direct engagement of students in the problem solving process. Students will work together to accomplish this goal. These methods embody the expectations of the Math category of the General Education program, to “introduce students to mathematical thinking and logic and foster students’ ability ‘to interpret and draw inferences from mathematical models such as formulas, graphs, tables, and schematics,’ ‘to represent mathematical information symbolically, visually, numerically and verbally,’ ‘to employ quantitative methods such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, or statistics to solve problems,’ and ‘to recognize the limits of mathematical and statistical methods.’” We hope to accomplish this in a mutually supportive environment. Students will be graded on their ability to demonstrate this understanding as well as the ability to apply the methods to a wide variety of problems.

The assignments and class time will focus almost entirely on real world problems. The pedagogy will ask every student to actively engage in the education of their classmates as well as themselves. This is the ideal math class for students who lack confidence in their mathematical ability.

This seminar will satisfy the math component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 153HA — Power of Music: Elusive Force

  • Dr. Jun Matsuo
  • TR 11–12:15
  • 3 Credits

The aim of this seminar is to investigate the effects of music on the mind and body, while cultivating the skill of active listening. The goal is to make students better and more engaged listeners. Active listening means being fully present and preoccupied by the music you are listening to. You might think of it as interacting with the music. It is a skill and it can be learned.

Philosophers and musicians have discussed and debated the effects of music on humans for centuries. In the last few decades scientists also have become concerned with the impact of music on humans. What does listening to music do to us? In this seminar students will read three books: The World is Sound: Nada Brahma by Joachim-Ernst Berendt, The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song by Elena Mannes, and Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said. Berendt’s book focuses on the philosophical approach to the effect of music and Mannes’ book will provide a scientific overview. Said and Barenboim focus more on the societal impact of music.

Students will be required to prepare questions about these readings and to lead class discussions on them.

Music surrounds us, but we rarely reflect on how we are listening to it. Listening is a skill, and like other skills it can be trained and training makes listening more meaningful. Reading selected chapters of Aaron Copland’s What to Listen for in Music will help students develop and explore active listening. You will be asked to share your thoughts on the music you listen to and you will write about what you hear and what it means and how it affects you in a Listening Journal.

The course will begin with an exploration of what music is. Much of the course will look at the effect of music from the positions of science and philosophy. Students will become familiar with various types of music, including classical, popular, jazz, and ethnic or indigenous styles.

This seminar will satisfy the arts component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room A.

HON 167HA — Urban China

  • Dr. Liou Xie
  • TR 2–3:15
  • 3 Credits

Westerners don’t know much about China, but still think they do. For example, Charles de Gaulle once mused, “China is big country inhabited by many Chinese.” And, Donald Trump claimed, “I’ve read hundreds of books about China over the decades. I know the Chinese. I’ve made a lot of money with the Chinese. I understand the Chinese mind.” This seminar will provide a more comprehensive exploration of urban China than you’re likely to get from other sources.

Only 20% of China’s population lived in cities in 1980. Today more than 60% of the population is urbanized and urbanization continues. Another 300 million Chinese are expected to move to cities in the next 20 years. That means that approximately as many Chinese will move to cities by 2045 as live in the entire USA today. This process of rapid urbanization has produced tremendous changes in both the social fabric and economic underpinnings of Chinese society. In this course we will examine a range of issues deriving from this context, including urban renewal, land use planning, land/housing reforms, and property rights, economic development zones, motorization and environmental challenges. Students can expect to learn about Chinese society, the impact of urbanization, migrant workers, housing policy, and economic development, issues that are also significant to the American experience over the last 150 years.

The texts for the class are The Concrete Dragon: China’s Urban Revolution and What It Means for the World by Thomas Campanella and The Chinese City by Weiping Wu and Piper Gaubatz.

Students will write seven reaction papers focused on a critical evaluation of course material, including articles, texts, documents and video. Reflective discussions based on readings and other course materials will constitute 30% of the final grade.

This seminar will satisfy the world systems component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 174HA — Parenting: A Sine Qua Non In Human Evolution: Its Role In Our Human Future

  • Dr. Magarita García-Notario
  • TR 12:30-1:45
  • 3 Credits

Traditionally, parenting was considered to be one of humans’ natural purposes, something imbedded in human nature that guides the species toward the goal of reproducing itself. Not too long ago most humans would see parenting as an unavoidable outcome for the majority of men and women. However, with the advent of technologies that control or enable our life-conceiving capabilities, parenting is no longer unavoidable or “natural.” Nonetheless, most of us who become parents are not well prepared for the task.

Following bio-physical anthropologists, other scientists, and social thinkers, such as Sarah Hrdy, David Loye, Rianne Eisner, Alice Miller, Gabor Mate, and Daniel Siegel among others, this seminar will examine the role that parenting plays in human life. We will reflect on the methods and ideas that guide childrearing today, in contrast with what was common in the past, and we will search for beneficial and enriching parenting and education habits and behaviors. We will explore the following questions:

  • How does the brain develop from conception to adolescence?
  • What role do feelings and emotions have in a healthy life?
  • What role does bonding and attachment play in determining human behavior?
  • How does one become a good parent?
  • What is the role of parenting in human evolution?

Students will read contemporary brain research focusing on emotions, and together we will explore the reinterpretation of Darwinian lessons. We will focus on the role of compassion and cooperation in natural selection and species survival. We will explore Alice Miller’s thesis that we are not born with a clean slate, but with a history of our own: the history of nine months from conception to birth. In addition to the genetic blueprint we inherit, we will consider the thesis that character depends crucially on the nature of the social surroundings in which one is raised.

At all stages students will take responsibility for defining the terms and boundaries of the discussions. Students will be expected to question the premises and conclusions of the authors they read. Discussion questions will be required for all readings. Presentations and participation are expected, and will occur in a supportive environment. A detailed, inquisitive and critical reflection will be required for all assigned readings.

This seminar will satisfy the natural science & technology component of the Plattsburgh general education requirement.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room A.

HON 183HA — Rebellion and the Status Quo: ‘A Critique of Cynical Reason’

  • Dr. Jurgen Kleist
  • TR 3:30–4:45
  • 3 Credits

Cultural systems of all levels of complexity are inherently conservative. They are structured and rationalized in order to preserve themselves. The ideas that sustain them, religious and political, are often system maintaining ideologies. Nonetheless, they do change, and often this change is rapid, violent, and destabilizing. The main emphasis of this seminar focuses on the antagonism between the forces that constitute the status quo at any given point in time and the forces that oppose the status quo, rebelling against the system maintaining structures and ideologies. For many philosophers in the Western tradition this dialectic exchange and dynamism is the structural foundation of historical progress, cultural achievements, political institutions, and a large part of philosophical inquiry. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the power structures of the modern world through an in-depth study of these forces. In addition, the student will explore the main topics of philosophical thought, while examining the history of philosophy from the ancient Greeks to contemporary thinkers. This goal will be achieved in two parts. The first part will introduce the student to the history of philosophy through the novel Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. In this novel a fourteen year old Norwegian girl receives lessons in the history of philosophy from the pre-Socratic to the present. This introduction makes philosophy accessible, while laying the foundations for the second part of the course. The second part of the course focuses on Critique of Cynical Reason by Peter Sloterdijk. This book describes in detail the dialectical process of rebellion and status quo in Western history.

In essence this course constitutes an introduction to 2000 years of Western philosophy through the exploration of the tension between the status quo and forces of change.

Students will engage in a number of learning activities, especially critical thinking and writing assignments used to construct a portfolio and class presentations.

This seminar will satisfy the Western civilization component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 307HA — Game Design for Wicked Problems

  • Dr. Curt Gervich
  • T 9:30–12:20
  • 3 Credits
***This seminar is open to students with sophomore standing or above***

Wicked problems (Rittell and Weber, 1973) are intractable social dilemmas in which no solution is mutually agreeable to all stakeholders. Any single resolution comes fraught with unintended consequences that may be worse than the initial problem. Stakeholders cannot agree on the very nature or cause of the problem, and experimentation is impossible because even the outcomes from small tests can bring disastrous consequences. Challenges such as global climate change, refugee crises, the loss of biodiversity, nuclear proliferation and black market trafficking (wildlife, guns, diamonds, drugs) are all examples of wicked problems. Games—yes, games—are growing in popularity as vehicles for raising awareness and providing venues for considering how to manage problems such as these. This course will explore the history, theory, current state of play, and audiences for educational gaming about wicked problems. We will develop a series of games about wicked problems; play, dissect and discuss educational games; research the ways that public, private and third sector organizations are using gaming to address wicked problems, and participate in game jams. While we will experiment with digital high-tech gaming, this is not a digital gaming class. Our focus will be on “high touch” games that involve face-to-face interaction, foster collaboration and social learning, and develop participants’ leadership skills.

Students will write reaction papers analyzing, critiquing, and commenting on their gaming experiences especially as these experiences relate to the global issues being explored.

This seminar will satisfy the global issues component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 308HA — Debt as Power

  • Dr. Richard Robbins
  • TR 12:30–1:45
  • 3 Credits
***This seminar is open to students with sophomore standing or above***

Currently the world is awash in debt—public and private—over $200 trillion worth, or some 300 percent of global GDP. Countries, both in the developing and developed world, are under assault from creditors demanding they cut health, education, and poverty programs, and even cancel negotiated pension rights, just to pay the interest on debt. Farmers in India are committing suicide by the hundreds of thousands because they cannot pay creditors, indebted farmers in Thailand are trying to satisfy creditors by selling bodily organs or giving their daughters over to sex traffickers, while college students in the United States collectively owe over a trillion dollars as the cost of the education sold to them virtually from infancy. And these are just the readily visible problems.

This course will explore why the global economy is now best characterized as a “debtocracy.” To understand how this happened we will need to explore the history of finance, specifically how the right to issue our money supply as debt to private individuals evolved. We will also need to examine the most significant consequence of this development, the creation of the necessity for perpetual economic growth, and how this, in turn, has led to continuing environmental despoliation, massive global and domestic inequality, and the continuing centralization of political power.

The course will also explore some of the ways that the damage inflicted by granting private parties the right to issue money as debt can be reversed and some of the strategies through which this can be accomplished. Thus, students will be engaged in discovering the source of the debt crisis, understanding the implications of debt, and trying to determine ways in which the damage inflicted can be remedied.

One of the primary texts for this course is Debt as Power written by Tim Di Muzio and Dr. Robbins.

This seminar will satisfy the global issues component of the Plattsburgh general education program.

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

HON 401HA Gender & Sexuality in India

  • Dr. Susan Mody
  • W 3:30–6:15
  • 3 Credits
***This seminar is open to students with sophomore standing or above***

This course is cross-listed with the gender and women’s studies course (GWS385A Women Gender & Sexuality in India).

This course will provide students with an introduction to gender and sexuality issues in India, contextualizing them regionally and historically. The main emphasis will be the intersections of gender, place, religion, caste and class in contemporary Indian society. Students will apply a critical analysis to the problems created by modernization, nationhood, and development, especially as these relate to issues of gender and sexuality in multiple contexts. The framework students develop for analysis will be applied to film, youth culture, and conflict zones. The main objectives of the course are to examine gender dynamics in multiple locations (rural, urban, regional) in India, while analyzing issues of display, embodiment, voice, and agency in media and social practices. This will be accomplished by exploring the constructions of gender in ancient, colonial and modern Indian history. Students will also explore a range of responses to gender issues, including governmental, academic, NGO and activist efforts.

This seminar will meet the world systems (by petition) component of the Plattsburgh general education program

This seminar will meet in the Honors Center–Hawkins 121 Seminar Room B.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about the honors program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

Dr. James Armstrong, Director
Email: james.armstrong@plattsburgh.edu

Dr. Tracie Church Guzzio, Associate Director
Email: guzziotc@plattsburgh.edu

Sandy Boulerice, Secretary
Email: sboul002@plattsburgh.edu

Office: Hawkins Hall 121–123
Phone: (518) 564-3075
Fax: (518) 564-3071