Course Offerings

Honors Program
Thompson Hall, E314
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
Ph: 716-673-3876


Julie Sticek
College of Arts and Science
Ph: 716-673-3174

Previous Course Offerings

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


The Politics of Space in Literature

“I, Claudius” and the Roman Empire

Seminar in the Novels of Charles Dickens

Blues Music

Propaganda in Media and Art

FALL 2009

World History: Poetry Time & Travel

Dante and the End of the Middle Ages

Psychological Aspects of the Holocaust and its Aftermath

The Comic

From Aspirin to Viagra: Stories of Medicine and Science

Preserving the Lithosphere


An Echo of the Infinite

The Entertainment Imperative

FALL 2008

The Methods and Philosophy of Contemporary Science

Prize-Winning Poets

Seminar in the Novels of Charles Dickens

American History

The Comic


Bioethics and the New Embryology

The Progressive Era

Poverty: Social Problems/Social Reality

FALL 2007

Honors Seminar in American History

Legacies of 1968

Science & Religion


Dramatic Comedy: Not All Grins and Giggles

Shakespeare: From Text to Performance

FALL 2006

Science & Religion


Dark Visions in European Literature

Principles of Microeconomics

Multidisciplinary and Multicultural Perspectives in Parenting


Social History through Children’s Literature

American Diversity

The Ancient Arts of Love and War

The Image of Paris in Novels and Films

1968: The Year that Shook the World

American Ethnic and Regional Music

Bioethics and the New Embryology

FALL 2005


Scientific Thought and Methodology

Book, Libraries and American Democracy

Modernism and Music

Students in the Honors Program are required to take at least four honors seminars to complete the program. All seminars fulfill general education courses within specific categories. To complete the general education program, courses in all categories must be met.

Honors Course: Crisis and Conflict.fall2013


SPRING 2016 Honors Courses


HONR 224: Arts:

Design methodologies: brainstorming, concept mapping, and prototyping

Jason Dilworth

Monday 10:30–12:50

This course will be set up as a series of workshops and seminars designed to introduce students to the processes used in design thinking, concept mapping, and rapid prototyping. Students will be taught models for design research, critical analysis of form and content, and ways to facilitate group collaboration.


HONR 225: Humanities

Free Will and Personal Identity

Neil Feit

MW 3-4:20

Students will examine and consider a range of different perspectives and views on the nature of free will and its relation to moral responsibility, and on the nature of persons and how we persist through time despite significant changes to our bodies and our psychology. We will consider questions such as these: What is free will? Do we have it? Is it compatible with the universe’s being deterministic? What is a person? (A purely material being? A partly immaterial being?) How does a person change over time and yet remain the very same person? What does this tell us about rational concern for one’s own future?

Learning Objectives

Students will be expected to…

  • Gain knowledge of the most important philosophical principles related to the topics of freedom of the will and personal identity (in a way appropriate for non-majors), including an understanding of the arguments for and against each position;
  • Begin to form their own considered opinions on the principles described above, including views on how to respond to the arguments against their own perspectives;
  • Identify, reconstruct, and evaluate arguments related to the topic of the course, and more generally;
  • Compose well-reasoned, persuasive essays; and
  • demonstrate knowledge of the conventions and methods of at least one of the humanities in addition to those encompassed by other knowledge areas required by the General Education program.


HONR 226: Social Science

Academics & Lifelong Learning: Tools & Strategies for Connected Learning

Kathleen Gradel

Tuesday 4:00-6:50

The web, access to mobile devices, and “everything technology” have changed the face of how we communicate, navigate, and learn. This course addresses questions including: How does what I do and say on the web affect my digital identity, and how can I shape that identity? How can my technology prowess help me learn and be productive? What is critical vs. optional, to keep technology in balance, while using tools and building my skills? What do I need to do, to keep pace with changes in technology access and opportunities?

The course embeds digital badging, to recognize personal achievements in course objectives; requires a capstone published ePortfolio and presentation; and integrates a service learning component.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore digital identity and digital citizenship challenges, to extend personal skill sets.
  • Experience multiple productivity tools to manage time, writing, and project planning; set and track related personal goals and achievements.
  • Build skills in curation of personal and published digital content by using multiple tools.
  • Practice using tech-based productivity and curation tools through an embedded service learning project in partnership with the Office of Online Learning.
  • Compile, publish, and present artifacts of learning in a working digital ePortfolio.


HONR 227: Natural Science

Bioethics and the New Embryology

Bruce Tomlinson

MW 3-4:20

Technological advancements such as in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering, and stem cell research have opened the door to many healthy debates about technological capabilities and the development of the embryo. To make informed judgments and participate effectively in debating these issues people should understand the science behind the ethical debates. The course is designed to teach you the biology you need for an informed discussion of the bioethics of the process of development.


HONR 228: American History

The American Revolution

Nancy Hagedorn

T/R 11:00 - 12:20

This seminar will analyze the causes and consequences of the American Revolution through a close examination of the events leading up to the Revolution, as well as the political, economic, and social developments that occurred during the war and the first twenty years following its end.  We will pay particular attention to different notions of “liberty,” “equality,” and “independence” and of how best to secure those ideals for future generations.  We will accomplish these goals through individual analysis and seminar-style discussions of contemporary documents and historical articles on selected topics, as well as, possibly, role-playing game simulations.  Potential game simulation topics include the trial following the Boston Massacre, the British occupation of New York City, or the Constitutional Convention.


HONR 229: Western Civilization

From Brigadoon to Brave: The Representation of Scottish Race, Class, and Gender in Cinema

Rosalind Smith

T/R 8:00-9:20

Far from offering realistic portrayals of Scottish identity, most films depicting Scotland dwell on clichés and stereotypes. This interdisciplinary course will explore how cinematic representations of race, class and gender shape an image of Scotland. By drawing on students' previous educational and life experiences, Scottish and American culture will be compared and contrasted. In a world increasingly shaped by moving pictures, this course is designed to develop a visual literacy and critical self-awareness about who we are, what we are about, where we are situated, and where we are coming from which can be applied not just to academia, but to life itself.


  • Discover how the construction of images relate to cultural representation of race, class and gender
  • Determine the distinctive features of Scottish history, institutions, economy, society, culture of Scotland
  • Acquire the analytical skills needed for the rhetorical process in film
  • Analyze formal, historical, and social properties of the moving image
  • Explore the moving image as a means of storytelling and a historical record
  • Identify key concepts underlying theories of culture
  • Challenge stereotypical representation and how it relates to social constructs
  • Participate in a rigorous discourse from multiple cultural perspectives
  • Create scholarly research from a historical and social perspective


HONR 230: World Cultures

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

Steven Fabian




How do you create a nation out of complexity and contention? How can different social, religious, and racial groups cohere as a single nation? How can democratic governments be installed among peoples who have for generations lived under non-democratic governments? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of a democratically-elected majority? This course seeks to engage students in answering these questions by placing them directly in the shoes of people who grappled with these issues in different places and different time periods. Rather than rely solely on lectures and seminars, students will assume the roles of historical characters and political factions, and engage in debate, discussion, and alliance building centered upon the above questions. This course will transport students to two different world regions which struggled (and still struggle) with these issues throughout the 20th century: Mexico (1912) and India (1945). Each episode will unfold over six week units. Students will inform themselves by careful analysis of actual historical documents such as speeches, charters, photographs, maps, newspapers, and manifestos. These elaborate games are highly interdisciplinary (History, Political Science, Communications, Theater, Sociology, Religious Studies, Philosophy).

Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • learn the distinctive features of the history, institutions, economy, society, culture, etc., of two non-Western civilizations (Latin America, Asia);
  • gain a detailed, if not intimate, knowledge of foreign events which have shaped 20th and 21st century world history;
  • learn research skills (library and online resources);
  • learn how to develop a well-reasoned argument, support it with evidence, and defend it from opposing points of view;
  • learn effective communication skills (deliver a coherent speech; awareness of body language and eye contact; use of tone and volume; how to listen);
  • learn how to work together; team building.


Page modified 10/20/15