Personal and Family History
The honors course “Personal and Family History,” is an exploration into the world of how family and local histories, oral histories, biographies, and other forms of personal narrative have been conducted and constructed throughout American History. Students will learn how to conduct research, set up interviews, and begin the process of writing their own personal, family, or genealogical histories.
This course examines the question, what is religion, how is it studied, and what is the future role of religion and spirituality in the world? It will study early religions of the world including the origins of religions in Mesopotamia, ancient Greece and Rome, and the Americas before focusing on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and East Asian Traditions (Confucious, Tao, Shinto). The class will also examine the role of religion in contemporary America and the world including the role of religion in global conflicts. The guest instructor, Dr. Sussman is the Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel and a renowned author and lecturer. Rabbi Sussman has published numerous books and articles,
This course examines how "Monday" has been a recurring topic in popular music. Students will study an array of songs from different genres (blues, pop, rock, new wave, techno, country) through historical and socio-cultural lenses, to gain a better understanding of how these songs spoke to their listeners at the time and still speak to us today. How do different genres of music portray Monday, and what is it about ourselves that these songs and styles reveal? The course involves seminar-style discussion, group presentations, and informal writings. From T-Bone Walker to Tegan & Sara, you may not like Mondays, but you will like taking the Honors course Songs about Monday!
A Critical View of the Science of Science Fiction Cinema
This course is a critical view of the science behind the science fiction films that are presented to the public for entertainment. Each period we watch 2 excerpts from science fiction films, some from current films, and some from old black and white films. We spend the time after each excerpt dismantling the accuracy of the science, and why it is or is not correct. Homework assignments are to pick one of the scenes and rewrite the scene as it should look if only valid science were used.
Frankenstein: A Cultural History
It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils . . . the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open — Victor Frankenstein.
On a similar night in the summer of 1816, a gloomy season darkened by the ash of a distant volcano, 18-year-old Mary Shelley lay in bed, closed her eyes, and envisioned a tale of a madman who builds a monster from human body parts. Celebrate the 200th anniversary of this classic Gothic horror story of man’s botched attempt at creation and examine its cultural significance over the past 2 centuries.
From 1963 to 1973, rock music reached a peak of creativity and diversity that will never be matched again. From the Beatles to Otis Redding to Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix to the Who, rock n roll escaped the limitations of the formulaic hit single to revolutionize the very notion of what constitutes popular music. In “Classic Rock,” students will learn to appreciate its origins and evolution. Students will listen to the music, discuss it, and present their observations. And hopefully, some of the people who made this music will talk to the class live via Skype.
Religions in Pennsylvania: Saints, Friends, and Anabaptists
Description: Since Pennsylvania was one of the first places that had true religious freedom a number of denominations have significant events that occurred in Pennsylvania and places that are significant as well. This course will look at those events and places for three different denominations: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), the Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Mennonites. The focus is on the history in Pennsylvania, with doctrines introduced only as needed to explain the significance of an event or place. For example, it is necessary to understand the significance of the Book of Mormon to Mormons to understand the significance of Harmony, Pennsylvania (where half of that book was translated).
Personal and Family History