Prior Course Offerings

Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2014

BHP 211 - Seminar: Theories of Justice and the American Common Law
Tues. eve. 6:30-9:30   Profs. J. Castagnera and J. Mendilow
Examines some of the ‘perennial’ theories of justice, both classical and modern, that have left their mark on the evolution of Western concepts of justice. The practical implications of such theories and the two-way traffic between them and social realities will be explored through their application by the American courts. In addition to studying actual cases, students will participate in the adjudication of theoretical cases, both fictional and taken from contemporary realities. Core: Social Sciences; AMS elective; LAW elective

BHP 213 - Honors Seminar: Text and Context
Wed. 6:30—9:30   Profs. P. Brown and A. Wilner
Studies the major themes of a period of cultural change as they are expressed in important social, scientific, literary, and artistic works. Students will immerse themselves in a single major literary work and will interpret it in light of a number of coordinate texts and works from a range of historical periods and genres. The text and context for spring 2014 are George Orwell’s 1984 and Cold-War Journalism.  Core: Literature OR  Social Sciences

BHP 224 Honors Seminar:  Worlds Apart: Global Perspectives on Development and Inequality
O period (TTH 4:30-6pm) Profs. J. Dickinson and R. McDonald
Examines the causes and patterns of uneven societal development in the world today. Students will learn about ways to assess societal development, theories advanced to explain uneven development, and historical and contemporary factors such as colonialism and globalization influencing global inequalities. Consequences of increasing global inequality for the well-being of populations throughout the world are also discussed.  Core: Social Sciences; GLS elective

BHP 259 – Honors Seminar: The Environment: A Conflict of Interest
Taught on WCC campus
Thurs. eve. 6:30-9:30 Profs. M. Brogan and P. Mosto
Examines critical environmental issues such as global warming; food, water and energy resources; population trends; and global industrialization. Topics for context will include the origin of the elements, the origin of solar systems, and the origin of life as well as the basic principles of the current biotechnical revolution. Scientific understanding will be combined with knowledge about strategies for raising community awareness in order to (re)formulate public policy. Core: Science OR Social Science; ENV elective

BHP 300 - Honors Seminar: Cultural Politics
Taught on WCC campus
Wed. eve. 6:30-9:30  Profs. J. Penna and B. Seldes
Focuses on the musical and political life of the American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. We will explore the figure of Bernstein - his performing and creative life, his status as cultural icon and celebrity - against the pulse of New York City’s cultural scene during the 1950’s and 60’s. Musical works by Bernstein, Copland, Thomson and Rorem will be discussed, as well as analysis of literature by Auden, Whitman, O’Hara, Ferlinghetti and others. We will also look at the role of jazz and the visual arts in the cultural milieu of the time. Core: Social Science OR Literature


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2013

BHP-212 Children and the Media
Professors A.J. Moore (Communication and Journalism) and Cara DiYanni (Psychology)
K (M/W 4:30-6:00)
3 credits
Substitutions: Social Science or Psychology Major/Minor
This course examines how children and adolescents use and understand media and analyzes the role of media in their social and cognitive development. After studying the socializing presence of the media, students will analyze how exposure to television programs, movies, magazines and the Internet shapes children’s socio-emotional development and their understanding of cultural norms. This course will also explore the effects that media use has on children’s health, aggressiveness, and academic performance. These topics will be addressed through diverse course readings emphasizing theories of child development as well as communication theory and through primary research conducted throughout the semester.

BHP-232 Science and Politics of the Jersey Shore
Professors Ben Dworkin (Political Science) and Paul Jivoff (Biology)
NN (Thursday 1:10-4:10)
3 credits
Substitutions: Social Science core or Science core
This course is designed to acquaint students with the scientific basis for evaluation of coastal problems and the political realities of funding and policy, focusing on the New Jersey shoreline. Course topics will include consideration of waste disposal in ocean systems, depletion of ocean resources, physical and biological ramifications of human activities on the environment, and the political problems in dealing with mitigation of environmental stresses. Guest speakers will lend their expertise on a range of subjects. On occasion, a field trip may require that students plan to be present for a time period slightly longer than the official class period.

BHP-268 Love and Chivalry in the Arthurian Tradition
Professors Margaret Schleissner (German Language and Literature) and Mary Morse (English Literature)
O (T/TH 4:30-6:00)
3 credits
Substitution: Literature
The legends attached to King Arthur of Britain and the Knights of the Roundtable have fascinated audiences for the past 1500 years. This course will examine the origins, development and meanings of love and chivalry, two major themes in the Arthurian legends. Through study of the two major love triangles in the tradition—Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot, and Tristan-Isolde-Mark—and the chivalrous quests of Lancelot, Tristan, Gawain, Parzival, and other Knights of the Roundtable, students will discover how Arthurian ideals regarding love, chivalry, kingship, and heroism were established and why they still resonate in popular culture.

BHP-303 The Politics and Philosophy of the Sixties
Professors Carol Nicholson (Philosophy) and Frank Rusciano (Political Science)
ME (Monday 6:30-9:30 p.m.) WCC
3 Credits
Substitution: Philosophy core or Social Science core
This course examines three major American political movements of the 1960s – the black movement, the student movement, and the feminist movement – with an emphasis on the interactions among philosophy, politics, and culture. These themes are studied using original sources including theoretical writings by the movements’ main proponents and texts describing particular events and developments in political and social history. Source materials may also include documentary films and recordings which represent the cultural assumptions of the period.

BHP-312 Musical Expression and Political Culture
Professors J.J. Penna (Piano and Voice/Creative Writing) and Barry Seldes (Political Science)
WE (Wednesday 6:30-9:30 p.m.) WCC
3 credits
Substitutions: Fine Arts core or Social Science core
This interdisciplinary course examines the relationships between political culture (e.g., enlightened reform, revolution or reaction) and musical discourse in periods selected from Viennese classicism, Biedermeier/romanticism, post-romanticism and expressionism. Major emphasis will be placed upon how composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler and Schoenberg exploited and developed musical forms, and chose and set texts to respond, affirmatively or not, to the imperatives of their political and cultural environments.


Upper-Level BHP Courses Fall 2012

BHP-206 Politics and Literary Form
Professors Hernan Fontanet (Spanish Language and Literature) and Robert Ross (Political Science)
RE (Tuesday 6:30-9:30 p.m.)
3 credits
Substitutions: Political Science core or Literature core
This course investigates the relationships between political life and literary form. Students will analyze literary texts in the context of selected political periods and ideologies, going beyond literary content to understand how language, genre, and structure mirror, otherwise represent, or criticize the political order within which the author writes. For fall 2012 the course will focus on Latin America and the various legacies of the colonial enterprise, with emphasis on Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. Students will study works by noted writers such as Pablo Neruda, Garcia Marquez, and Isabel Allende as they relate to history, politics, economics, law, religion, and questions of gender identity. All literature is read in translation, and there are no foreign-language prerequisites.

BHP-259 The Environment: A Conflict of Interest
Professors Michael Brogan (Political Science) and Jonathan Yavelow (Biology)
Thursday 6:30-9:30 p.m. WCC
3 credits
Substitutions: Social Science core or Science core
This course will examine critical environmental issues such as global warming; food, water, and energy resources; population trends; and global industrialization. Topics for context will include the origin of the elements, the origin of solar systems, and the origin of life as well as the basic principles of the current biotechnical revolution. This scientific understanding of how the past relates to the present and to the choices we can make for the future, in conjunction with knowledge about strategies for raising community awareness and (re)formulating public policy, provides the basis for interdisciplinary problem-solving. In teams, students will be asked to define the problems; research available and prospective solutions; identify the technical, social, political, and economic constraints; and finally propose a workable strategy for making progress toward solutions.

BHP-260 Education and the Arts
Professors Don Ambrose (Education) and Tim McGee (Rhetoric/Literature)
WE (Wednesday 6:30-9:30 p.m.)
3 credits
Substitution: Literature core
Through the study of classic and contemporary artistic works as well as influential philosophies and theories of education, this course explores representations of education in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, and painting and the relationship between theory and practice. Society’s shifting, ambivalent attitudes toward teachers and the educational process will be studied from multiple perspectives, including those of artists who are important educators themselves. Readings on educational theory will address, among other topics, the controversial relationship between standardized testing and recent developments in cognitive science. Course texts will include works by Orwell, Dickens, Aristophanes, and G.B. Shaw as well as films such as "Educating Rita" and "My Fair Lady" and art by Norman Rockwell and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

BHP-307 The Presence of Mind: Artificial Intelligence and Human Creativity
Professors William Amadio (Information Systems) and Joel Phillips (Music Theory, History, and Composition)
L (T/TH 1:00-2:30) WCC
3 credits
Substitution: Fine Arts core
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? In what ways can computers “think”? How is their “thinking” similar to and different from that of humans? Through readings, lectures, discussions, and creative projects, students will investigate evidence of intelligence in various disciplines including music composition, art, and human and non-human systems. We will examine predictions for AI that date back to the 1930s and ponder likely developments in this area in the 21st century. No prior experience with computers or music is required.

BHP-330 Campaign Persuasion: Theory into Practice
Professors Ben Dworkin (Political Science) and Myra Gutin (Communication and Journalism)
NN (Thursday 1:10-4:10)
3 credits
Substitutions: Social Science core or major/minor elective for Political Science major or major/minor electives for the following majors in Communication and Journalism: Speech and Interpersonal Communication, Public Relations
This course will explore both political campaign communication history and practice, with a particular focus on current campaigns in New Jersey. The interface between communication theory and politics and the way in which messages are framed by the media will be explored. Guest speakers will share their perspectives on selected campaign issues. To move from the classroom and theory to real situations, students will be required to volunteer for a campaign in New Jersey, and assignments will be focused on creating practical examples of political campaign communication materials.


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2012

BHP 212 Children and the Media (Dr. DiYanni and Dr. Moore)
Psychology major/minor elective or Social Science core
Tues 6:00-9:00 pm
This course examines how children and adolescents use and understand media and analyzes the role of media in their social and cognitive development. Students will analyze how exposure to television programs, movies, magazines and the Internet shapes children’s socio-emotional development and their understanding of cultural norms. Diverse course readings emphasize theories of child development as well as communication theory. Students will conduct primary research throughout the semester.

BHP 259 The Environment: A Conflict of Interest (Dr. Brogan and Dr. Mosto)
Social Science or Science core
Thurs 6:00-9:00 pm
This course will examine critical environmental issues such as global warming; food, water, and energy resources; population trends; and global industrialization. Scientific understanding of how the past relates to the present and to the choices we can make for the future, in conjunction with knowledge about strategies for raising community awareness and (re)formulating public policy, provides the basis for interdisciplinary problem-solving.

BHP 318 The Bible as Literature and Philosophy (Prof. Garro and Dr. Neelakanta)
Philosophy or Literature core
WCC Monday 6:30-9:30 pm
Students will read and discuss selections from the three major divisions of the Bible: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha. Stories such as Joseph and his brothers, Exodus, Samson and Delilah, Jonah and the whale, Susannah and the Elders, the raising of Lazarus and the trial and execution of Jesus will be read. Students will study many genres, including the short story (The Book of Ruth), poetry (Psalms), history (I and II Samuel), apocalypse (Revelations), letters (I and II Corinthians) and philosophical tales (The Book of Job).

BHP 323: Capitalism: on Trial! (Dr. Gishlick and Dr. Truchil)
Social Science core or major/minor elective in Sociology or Economics
K1 (T,TH 3:30-5:00)
Through a study of classic and contemporary texts, students will analyze and critically assess competing theories of capitalism as a socio-economic system and apply these theories to current social issues such as environmental sustainability and the periodic economic crises. Study will learn how to apply theories from economics and sociology, demonstrating understanding of how the two disciplines may complement and illuminate each other.

BHP 300: Cultural Politics (J. J. Penna and Dr. Seldes)
Social Science or Literature core
WCC Wednesday 6:30-9:30 pm
This course will focus on the musical and political life of the American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. We will explore the figure of Bernstein - his performing and creative life, his status as cultural icon and celebrity - against the pulse of New York City’s cultural scene during the 1950’s and 60’s. Musical works by Bernstein, Copland, Thomson and Rorem will be discussed, as well as analysis of literature by Auden, Whitman, O’Hara, Ferlinghetti and others. We will also look at the role of jazz and the visual arts in the cultural milieu of the time.


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2011

BHP-230 Honors Seminar: Poltical Culture of the High-Tech Society: From the Authentic to the Synthetic
3 credits
Explores social, political, and cultural transformations associated with the radical extension of cybernetic and reproductive technologies in modern society. In particular the course will focus on the impact of new so-called high technologies such as computer-based communications, robotics and biotechnology on such areas as the structure of the world economy, the organization of work, patterns of consumption, styles of popular culture, the design of private and public space, and the liberal-democratic political process.
Instructors: Dr. James Castagnera and Dr. Barry Seldes
Period: M (M 6:00-9:00)
Substitution: Social Science Core

BHP-260 Honors Seminar: Education and the Arts
3 credits
Through the study of classic and contemporary artistic works as well as influential philosophies and theories of education, this course explores representations of education in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, film, and music and the relationship between theory and practice. Society's shifing, ambivalent attitudes toward teachers and the educational process will be studies from multiple perspectives, including those of artists who are important educators themselves.
Instructors: Dr. Carol Brown and Dr. Jack Sullivan
Period: L (M/W 4:30-6:00 p.m.) (WCC)
Substitution: Literature Core

BHP-309 Honors Seminar: Genetic Engineering and the Philosophy of Science
3 credits
This interdisciplinary course in molecular biology and philosophy will integrate the basics of molecular biology with the philosophy of science. It will explore the nature of the relationships between atoms, moecules, DNA, proteins, cells and genetic engineering. Molecular biology will be used as the content to explore such philosophic questions as What is the nature of scientific methodology? What is the nature of scientific observation and explanation? What is the nature of scientific laws and theories? It will also discuss the scientific and ethical implications of genetic engineering.
Instructors: Dr. Kelly Bidle and Prof. Daniel Garro
Period: W (W 6:30-9:30) (WCC)
Substitution: Science Core OR Philosophy Core

BHP-310 Honors Seminar: European Historical Fiction in the 19th Century
3 credits
This course involves reading major European historical novels of the 19th century. Students will discuss why the vogue for historical fiction began and why the novel of Sir Walter Scott had such a tremendous impact of the genre. Examined will be such questions as the definition of historical fiction, the importance of historical accuracy, the relationship of literature and history, and the influence of historical differences in the development of historical fiction in different countries.
Instructors: Dr. Robert Winter and another faculty member to be announced
Period: D1 (T/TH 9:45-11:15)
Substitution: History Major/Minor of Literature Core

BHP-350 Honors Seminar: Genocide and Human Rights in the Modern World
3 credits
This course will explore one of the main paradoxes of the modern ear: the development of the human rights standards and, at the same time, the expansion and intensification of genocide, ethnic cleansing, systematic torture, and other crimes against humanity. A central question runs through the course: How are these two polar opposites, human rights and genocide, related? Concentrating on the period from the 18th century to the present, and encompassing virtually every area of the globe, we will discuss and debate the meaning of contested key terms, investigate particular historical cases of mass atrocities, and examine critically some of the recent efforts at redress, justice, and memory.
Instructors: Dr. Barbara Franz and Dr. Lucian Frary
Period: K1 (T/TH 3:30-5:00)
Substitution: History Major/Minor OR Social Science Core OR Global Studies Major/Minor


Upper-Level BHP Courses Fall 2010

BHP-259 Honors Seminar: The Environment: A Conflict of Interest
3 credits
This course will examine critical environmental issues such as global warming; food, water, and energy resources; population trends; and global industrialization. Topics for context will include the origin of the elements, the origin of solar systems, and the origin of life as well as basic principles of the current biotechnical revolution. This scientific understanding of how the past relates to the present and to the choices we can make for the future, in conjunction with knowledge about strategics for raising community awareness and (re)formulating public policy, provides the basis for interdisciplinary problem-solving. In teams, students will be asked to define the problems; research available and prospective solution; identify the technical, social, political, and economic constaints; and finally propose a workable strategy for making progress toward solutions.
Instructors: Prof. Ralph Copleman and Dr. Jonathan Yavelow
Period: J1 (M/W 2:50-4:20)
Substitution: Science Core of Social Science Core

BHP-304 Honors Seminar: Europe's Armageddon: The First World War in History and Literature
3 credits
This course investigatges the history and literature of World War I in order to illuminate how it shaped the civilizatin of the 20th century and how it affected the lives of those who experienced it. Texts and discussions will give students a double perspective on this critical period by showing it through the eyes of the historians trying to portray the actuality and the writers trying to convey the reality of a struggle so important its effects of civilization that it is still called "The Great War". Genres to be studied include history, fiction, drama, memoirs, and film.
Instructors: Dr. Judith Johnston and Dr. Lucien Frary
Period: WCC W (W 6:30-9:30)
Substitution: History Major/Minor OR Literature Core

BHP-318 Honors Seminar: The Bible as Literature and Philosophy
3 credits
In this course students will read and discuss selections from the three major divisions of the Bible: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha. Stories such as Joseph and his brothers, Exodus, Samson and Delilah, Jonah and the whale, Susannah and the Elders, the raising of Lazarus and the trial and execution of Jesus will be read. Students will study many genres, including the short story (The Book of Ruth), poetry (Psalms), history (I and II Samuel), apocalypse (Revelations), letters (I and II Corinthians) and philosophical tales (The Book of Job).
Instructors: Prof. Daniel Garro and Prof. Vanita Neelakanta
Period: T ( Tues. 6:30-9:30 p.m.)
Substitution: Literature Core OR Philosophy Core

BHP-325 Honors Seminar: Literature and Political Realities: From Dictatorships to Democracy in Latin America
3 credits
This course is predominantly a study of Latin American politics and government in the 20th century and of the role of artists, primarily writers of fiction and poetry, as a corps of truth-tellers and resisters in the face of government propaganda, censorship, and cultural/political repression. The course will center upon themes and theories that help us explain the current state of Latin American politics and culture, and the dynamics of their mutual influence. We will emphasize the vacillation between authoritarianism and democracy as well as the role of revolutionary change in the region. Students will analyze, among other themes, the role of economic, social, cultural, and key historical variables that influence contemporary Latin American politics and government. Analysis of these topics will be complicated and enriched by a study of representative works for influential cultural and artistic movements.
Instructors: Dr. Hernan Fontanet and Dr. Jonathan Mendilow
Period: R (TH 6:00-9:00)
Substitution: Literature Core OR Social Science Core


Upper-Level BHP and Single-Discipline Honors Courses Summer 2 2010

BHP 222 Existentialism in Literature
3 credits
This course seeks to introduce students to Existentialims as a 20th-century movement with roots going back to the 19th century and as a philosophy that has special relevance and importance for understanding today's world. Reading and discussion are based on topics of special concern to Existentialist philosophers: lying and the nature of reality, faith and reason, revaluation of values, and the meaninglessness of life. Readings will comprise a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres. Authors may include Dostoevsky, Unamuno, Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Brecht, Kafka, Pirandello, Weil, and Beckett.
Instructors: Dr. Robert Good and Dr. Robert Winter
Substitution: Philosophy Core OR Literature Core


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2010

BHP-232 Honors Seminar: Issues at the New Jersey Shoreline: Science and Politics
3 credits
This course is designed to acquaint the student with the scientific basis for evaluation of coastal problems and the political realities of funding and policy, focusing on the New Jersey Shoreline. Course topics will include consideration of waste disposal in ocean systems, depletion of ocean resources, physical and biological ramifications of human activities on the environment, and the political problems in dealing with mitigation of environmental stresses.
Instructors: Dr. Ben Dworkin and Dr. Paul Jivoff
Substitution: Science Core OR Social Science Core

BHP-307 Honors Seminar: The Presence of Mind: Human Creativity and Artificial Intelligence
3 credits
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? In what ways can computers “think”? How is their “thinking” similar to and different from that of humans? Through readings, lectures, discussions, and creative projects, students will investigate evidence of intelligence in various disciplines including music composition, art, and human and non-human systems. We will examine predictions for AI that date back to the 1930s and ponder likely developments in this area in the 21st century. No prior experience with computers or music is required.
Instructors: Dr. William Amadio and Dr. Joel Phillips
Substitution: Fine Arts Core

BHP-312 Honors Seminar: Musical Expression and Political Culture
3 credits
This interdisciplinary course examines the relationships between political culture (e.g., enlightened reform, revolution, or reaction) and musical discourse in selected periods and movements (e.g., Viennese classicism, romanticism, and expressionism). Major emphasis will be placed upon how composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler and Schoenberg exploited and developed musical forms, and chose and set texts to respond to the imperatives of their political and cultural environments. Students will come to understand how these composers were instrumental in shaping and organizing the sensibilities and tastes of their own and future generations, including our own.
Instructors: Prof. Lindsey Christiansen and Dr. Barry Seldes
Substitution: Fine Arts Core OR Social Science Core

BHP-315 Honors Seminar: 20th Century European Ideologies
3 credits
This course covers the origins and development of 20th-century European ideologies in a comparative perspective. Topics include the condition of European political culture at the turn of both centuries (i.e., 1900 and 2000), methods of spreading Nationalism and national culture, the First World War and the emergence of Fascism and Communism, the origins and consequences of the Socialist and Capitalist systems, and the ideology of Conservatism/Liberalism. We will also reflect upon the condition of European political culture in our day.
Instructors: Dr. Barbara Franz and Dr. Lucien Frary
Substitution: Social Science Core OR History Major/Minor


Upper-Level BHP Courses Fall 2009

BHP-206 Honors Seminar: Politics and Literary Form: Global Digital Postmodernity
3 credits
Literary texts are studied in the context of selected political periods and ideologies. In this iteration of the course, students will examine the ways in which digital postmodernity has altered pre-digital literary forms and spawned emerging genres not possible in the preceding ages of oral and print literature. Students will be asked to explore and exploit the latest communication technologies and effectively make use of Rider's extensive online resources. Student projects and presentations will be digital in form.
Instructors: Dr. Barry Janes and Prof. Timothy McGee
Substitution: Social Science Core OR Literature Core

BHP-211 Honors Seminar: Theories of Justice and the American Common Law
3 credits
This course will examine some of the ‘perennial’ theories of justice, both classical and modern, that have left their marks on the evolution of the Western concepts of justice. Among these will be the conservative tradition (starting with the Protagoras), the ‘natural rights’ tradition (starting with the Roman jurists), Utilitarianism (David Hume and Jeremy Bentham), and the theory of distributive justice (John Rawls). The practical implications of such theories will be explored through the analysis of their application by American courts in their published opinions. In addition to studying actual cases, students will adjudicate theoretical cases, both hypothetical and taken from contemporary realities.
Instructors: Dr. James Castagnera and Dr. Jonathan Mendilow
Substitution: Social Science Core OR American Studies Major/Minor OR Law and Justice Minor

BHP-309 Honors Seminar: Genetic Engineering and the Philosophy of Science
3 credits
This interdisciplinary course in molecular biology and philosophy will integrate the basics of molecular biology with the philosophy of science. It will explore the nature of the relationships between atoms, molecules, DNA, proteins, cells and genetic engineering. Molecular biology will be used as the content to explore such philosophic questions as: What is the nature of scientific methodology? What is the nature of scientific observation and explanation? What is the nature of scientific laws and theories? It will also discuss the scientific and ethical implications of genetic engineering. No prior background in genetics or cell biology is required.
Instructors: Dr. Kelly Bidle and other professor to be announced
Substitution: Science Core OR Philosophy Core

BHP-322 Honors Seminar: The Guilty and the Innocent: Assessing Blame and Assigning Punishment in Literature and Law
3 credits
Through the study of social theory and research, legal cases, fiction, non-fiction, film, and poetry, this course will examine theories of criminal motivation and behavior, determination of blame, and assignment of appropriate punishment. Changes in legal and cultural understandings of individual and social responsibility for criminality, the nature, purpose, and effects of punishment, and the impact of race, class and gender on defining crime and determining guilt or innocence will be explored.
Instructors: Dr. Ava Baron and Dr. Anne Salvatore
Substitution: Literature Core OR Social Science Core OR Sociology Major OR Law and Justice Minor


Upper-Level BHP and Single-Discipline Honors Courses Summer 1 2009

BHP 231 Honors Seminar: Natural Adventures: Journeys in American Ecology and History
3 credits
Human history is shaped by the natural environment and the natural environment is, in turn, altered by human history. This semester, we will explore how these two seemingly disparate factors influence each other in the United States (and the world) using questions and approaches from both historiography and science. We will contemplate questions such as: What is nature? (Who gets to decide throughout history?) What is the relationship of humans to nature, and how has the answer changed over time? What roles have science and technology played in this process? How do answers to these questions fit into American history?
Instructors: Dr. Brooke Hunter and Dr. Laura Hyatt
Substitution: Science Core OR History Major/Minor


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2009

BHP 213 Honors Seminar: Text and Context – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four
3 credits
Contemporary discussions of politics, journalism, and social issues regularly reflect the influence of George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. Expressions like “Big Brother is Watching” and the term “Orwellian” routinely appear in modern speech and writings. Published in 1949, the book reflects the turbulent world that Orwell participated in from the waning of British colonialism to the rise of the Cold War. This course will explore the historical and cultural context that shaped Orwell as well as the ways in which Orwell’s writings continue to be used by politicians and cultural critics.
Instructors: Dr. Pamela Brown and Dr. Arlene Wilner
Core Substitution: Social Science Core OR Literature Core

BHP-230 Honors Seminar: Political Culture of the High-Tech Society: From the Authentic to the Synthetic
3 credits
This course explores social, political, and cultural transformations associated with the radical extension of cybernetic and reproductive technologies in modern society. In particular the course will focus on the impact of new so-called high technologies such as computer-based communications, robotics and biotechnology on such areas as the structure of the world economy, the organization of work, patterns of consumption, styles of popular culture, the design of private and public space, and the liberal-democratic political process.
Instructors: Dr. James Dickinson and Dr. Barry Seldes
Core Substitution: Social Science Core

BHP-280 Honors Seminar: The World as a Social Construct
3 credits
This course examines how world views continue to change under the impact of communications revolutions, and how this is reflected in global economic and sociopolitical alignments. The course will look at how the world has been ideologically and socially constructed within various historical, philosophical and religious traditions and perspectives. We will study how communications technology and European ideological traditions formed such labels as “East,” “West,” “North” and “South” and other geopolitical identifications. We will also examine sociopolitical ideology behind global communication labels such as the “First,” “Second” and “Third” labels, and how groups in Asia, Africa and Latin America form outlooks congenial to their world views.
Instructors: Dr. Bosah Ebo and Dr. Jonathan Mendilow
Core Substitution: Social Science Core

BHP-318 Honors Seminar: The Bible as Literature and Philosophy
3 credits
In this course students will read and discuss selections from the three major divisions of the Bible: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha. Stories such as Joseph and his brothers, Exodus, Samson and Delilah, Jonah and the whale, Susannah and the Elders, the raising of Lazarus and the trial and execution of Jesus will be read. Students will study many genres, including the short story (The Book of Ruth), poetry (Psalms), history (I and II Samuel), apocalypse (Revelations), letters (I and II Corinthians) and philosophical tales (The Book of Job).
Instructors: Prof. Rebecca Basham and Dr. Richard Burgh
Core Substitution: Literature Core OR Philosophy Core


Upper-Level BHP Courses Fall 2008

BHP-209 Honors Seminar: Genetic Engineering and the Philosophy of Science
3 credits
This interdisciplinary course will integrate the basics of molecular biology with the philosophy of science. We will explore the nature of the relationships among atoms, molecules, DNA, proteins, cells and genetic engineering. Molecular biology will be used as the content to explore such philosophic questions as: What is the nature of scientific methodology? What is the nature of scientific observation and explanation? What is the nature of scientific laws and theories? We will also discuss the scientific and ethical implications of genetic engineering.
Instructors: Dr. Kelly Bidle and Dr. Richard Burgh
Core Substitution: Science Core OR Philosophy Core

BHP-310 Honors Seminar: European Historical Fiction in the 19th Century
3 credits
This course involves reading major European historical novels of the 19th century. Students will discuss why the vogue for historical fiction began and why the novels of Sir Walter Scott had such a tremendous impact on the genre. Topics will include the definition of historical fiction, the importance of historical accuracy, the relationship of literature and history, and the influence of historical differences in the development of historical fiction in different countries.
Instructors: Dr. Charles Richardson and Dr. Robert Winter
Core Substitution: Literature Core OR History Major/Minor

BHP-315 Honors Seminar: Twentieth-Century European Ideologies
3 credits
This course covers the origins and development of 20th-century European ideologies in a comparative perspective. Topics include the condition of European political culture at the turn of both centuries (i.e. 1900 and 2000), methods of spreading Nationalism and national culture, the First World War and the emergence of Fascism and Communism, the origins and consequences of the Cold War, the development and fate of the Socialist and Capitalist systems, and the ideology of Conservatism/Liberalism. We will also reflect upon the condition of European political culture in our day.
Instructors: Dr. Barbara Franz and Dr. Lucien Frary
Core Substitution: Social Science Core OR History Major/Minor

BHP-320 Honors Seminar: Gender and Music
3 credits
Through listening and reading assignments, this interdisciplinary course introduces students to the role of gender in shaping the creation, performance, and reception of Western music. Topics include canon formation and the reception history of works by male and female composers; the historical conditions in which women became composers, performers, listeners, and patrons; the musical representations of gender difference and sexuality; definitions of feminine and masculine musical style; ideologies of genius; and gender issues in music aesthetics, music historiography, and in the biographies of composers.
Instructors: Dr. Judith Johnston and Dr. Sharon Mirchandani
Core Substitution: Fine Arts Core


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2008

BHP- 211 Honors Seminar: Theories of Justice and American Common Law
3 credits
This course will examine some of the ‘perennial’ theories of justice, both classical and modern, that have left their marks on the evolution of the Western concepts of justice. Among these will be included the debate about right v. might (starting in the Greek tradition as exemplified by Plato), the conservative tradition (starting with the Protagoras), the ‘natural rights’ tradition (starting with the Roman jurists), Utilitarianism (David Hume and Jeremy Bentham), and the theory of distributive justice (John Rawls). The practical implications of such theories will be explored through the analysis of their application by American courts in their published opinions. In addition to actual cases, students will participate in the adjudication of theoretical cases, both hypothetical and taken from contemporary realities.
Instructors: Dr. James Castagnera and Dr. Jonathan Mendilow
Core Substitution: Social Science. Or may be counted as an elective toward the American Studies major OR the Law and Justice minor

BHP-307 The Presence of Mind: An Examination of the Nature of Intelligence
3 credits
What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)? In what ways can computers “think”? How is their “thinking” similar to and different from that of humans? Through readings, lectures, discussions, and creative projects, students will investigate evidence of intelligence in various disciplines including music composition, art, and human and non-human systems. We will examine predictions for AI that date back to the 1930’s and ponder likely developments in this area in the twenty-first century. No prior experience with computers or music is required.
Instructors: Dr. William Amadio and Dr. Joel Phillips
Core Substitution: Fine Arts

BHP-312 Honors Seminar: Musical Expression and Political Culture
3 credits
Taught at Princeton Campus (Westminster Choir College), open to all qualified BHP students
This interdisciplinary course examines the relationships between political culture (e.g., enlightened reform, revolution or reaction) and musical discourse in periods selected from classicism, romanticism, post-romanticism and expressionism. Major emphasis will be placed upon how composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler and Schoenberg exploited and developed musical forms in response to the imperatives of their political and cultural environments. Students will also come to understand how these composers were instrumental in shaping and organizing the sensibilities and tastes of their own and future generations, including our own.
Instructors: Dr. Lindsey Christiansen and Dr. Barry Seldes
Core Substitution: Fine Arts OR Social Science

BHP-319 Honors Seminar: The Arts of Memory
3 credits
Collective memory, cultural memory, computer memory, crises of memory: this course will explore different ideas about memory through a variety of disciplinary lenses within the humanities: film, music, rhetoric, literature, history, and fine art. Topics will include the nature of group and cultural memory, mnemotechnica (the structures and techniques of memory), the representation of memory, memory anomalies and problems, and historical and national memory.
Instructors: Dr. Matthew Goldie and Dr. John Sullivan
Core Substitution: Fine Arts


Upper-Level BHP Courses Fall 2007

BHP-209 Honors Seminar: Law and the Arts: Cause and Effect
3 credits
Taught at Princeton campus (Westminster Choir College), open to all qualified BHP students
This course looks at cause-effect relationships between the law and the arts in America. Included are The Thin Blue Line, a film that helped overturn a murder conviction, and Bob Dylan’s song “Hurricane,” which won a new trial for World Heavyweight Boxing Contender Rubin “Hurricane” Carter leading in turn to a major motion picture starring Denzel Washington, and another, Mississippi Burning, which rekindled interest in the 1960s church-bombings in the segregated South. The course also examines legal documents that have attained the status of art, from the writing of Clarence Darrow to the decision in Brown versus Board of Education.
Instructors: Dr. James Castagnera and Dr. John Sullivan
Core Substitution: Fine Arts
OR may be used as an elective course toward the Law and Justice minor or toward the American Studies major or minor.

BHP-303 Honors Seminar: The Politics and Philosophy of the Sixties
3 credits
Examines three major American political movements of the 1960s – the black movement, the student movement, and the feminist movement – with an emphasis on the interactions among philosophy, politics, and culture. These themes are studied using original sources including theoretical writings by the movements’ main proponents and texts describing particular events and developments in political and social history. Source materials may also include documentary films and recordings which represent the cultural assumptions of the period.
Instructors: Prof. Rebecca Basham and Dr. Frank Rusciano
Core Substitution: Social Science

BHP-304 Honors Seminar: Europe's Armageddon: The First World War in History and Literature
3 credits
This seminar offers comparative analyses of literary and historical texts about World War I. We’ll question the popular images of liberty, of civilization, of the enemy, and of women and men. In addition to texts, we’ll look at films and posters and listen to songs of the time. French, German, English, Russian, Czech, and American experiences are included. Students have individual choice of topics for research and analysis leading to an oral report and a paper, and we all participate in discussions. Sherriff’s Journey’s End, a war play we will read in the fall, is on Broadway now, Spring 2007.
Instructors: Dr. Judith Johnston and Dr. Charles Richardson
Core Substitution: Literature
OR may be used as an elective course toward the History major or minor.

BHP-322 Honors Seminar: The Guilty and the Innocent: Assessing Blame and Assigning Punishment in Literature and Law
3 Credits
Through the study of social theory and research, legal cases, fiction, non-fiction, film, and poetry, this course will examine theories of criminal motivation and behavior, determination of blame, and assignment of appropriate punishment. Changes in legal and cultural understandings of individual and social responsibility for criminality, the nature, purpose, and effects of punishment, and the impact of race, class and gender on defining crime and determining guilt or innocence will be explored.
Instructors: Dr. Ava Baron and Dr. Anne Salvatore
Core Substitution: Literature OR Social Science

BIO 103 Honors Life Science: Ecobotanical and Sustainability Emphasis
3 Credits
We know that human behaviors and choices have caused environmental changes that affect where species can live, how well our crops grow, how clean our water is, and even how well we can breathe. Growing concern about the sustainability of our way of life has led to an explosion of interest in ways that human society needs to adapt to the new reality created by our use of resources. Proposed solutions are emanating from interactions among scientific, business, and social thinkers. By considering a wide variety of scientific, ecological, economic, social, and geopolitical questions, students in this class will come to understand the complexity of the sustainability challenge.
Instructor: Dr. Laura Hyatt
This course counts fulfills a core science requirement; it is not designed for science majors.

COM-105 Honors Seminar in Mass Media Communication
3 credits
Through discussion of major philosophical, political, technological and economic issues in the development and contemporary nature of the mass media, students will learn not only about the fundamental elements of the media, but also how to place them in a larger context of meaning. By analyzing and synthesizing of ideas found in primary and seminal secondary readings, students will learn to evaluate and critique the role that mass media play in modern society. They will also come to know some of the ways that scholars have attempted to explain and theorize the mass media.
Instructors: Dr. Pamela Brown and Dr. A.J. Moore
This course counts toward the COM major and as a social science core course for non-COM majors.


Upper-Level BHP Courses Spring 2007

BHP-209 Honors Seminar: Law and the Arts: Cause and Effect
3 credits
The course will focus on controversial art images, including films, paintings, photographs, music, and literature, as well connections between the art and political/social/legal issues. Topics will include censorship, propaganda, definitions of pornography, intellectual property, issues surrounding government funding, and the uses of art to educate public taste. In addition, there will be opportunities to attend gallery openings and art gallery talks in the Rider University Art Gallery, as well as one or more guest artists in class.
Instructors: Dr. James Castagnera and Dr. Harry Naar
Core Substitution: Fine Arts OR may be used as an elective course toward the Law and Justice minor or toward the American Studies major or minor.

BHP-232 Honors Seminar: Issues at the New Jersey Shoreline: Science and Politics
3 credits
This course is designed to acquaint the student with the scientific basis for evaluation of coastal problems and the political realities of funding and policy, focusing on the New Jersey Shoreline. Course topics will include consideration of waste disposal in ocean systems, depletion of ocean resources, physical and biological ramifications of human activities on the environment, and the political problems in dealing with mitigation of environmental stresses.
Instructors: Dr. Marc Wallace, Dr. Paul Jivoff
Core Substitution: Science

BHP-315 Honors Seminar: Twentieth-Century European Ideologies
Europe's experience in ideological conflict shaped the twentieth century not just in Europe but globally. Beginning with a look at the meaning of the term “ideology” and the condition of Europe's political cultures at the turn of both centuries ( 19th and 20th), we will consider the role of nationalisms (e.g., Fascism, Communism, Liberalism, Conservatism) in shaping the World Wars, the Cold War, and the condition of European political culture today.
Instructors: Dr. Barbara Franz, Dr. Lucien Frary
Core Substitution: Social Science (also counts toward History major)

BHP-318 Honors Seminar: The Bible as Literature and Philosophy
3 credits
In this course we will read and discuss selections from the three major divisions of the Bible: the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Apocrypha. Readings will include the narratives of Joseph and his brothers, Exodus, Samson and Delilah, Jonah and the whale, Susannah and the Elders, the raising of Lazarus, and the trial and execution of Jesus. We will study a range of genres, including the short story (The Book of Ruth), poetry (Psalms), history (I and II Samuel), apocalyptic tale (Revelations), letters (I and II Corinthians) and philosophical tales (The Book of Job).
Instructors: Dr. Rebecca Basham, Dr. Richard Burgh
Period: Tues. evening
Core Substitution: Literature or Philosophy


Upper-Level BHP Courses Fall 2006

BHP-130 Honors Seminar: Theories of Justice and the American Common Law
3 credits
This course examines some of the `perennial' theories of justice, both classical and modern, that have left their mark on the evolution of the Western concepts of justice. Among these are the conservative tradition (starting with the Protagoras), the `natural rights' tradition (starting with the Roman jurists), Utilitarianism (Jeremy Bentham and J. S. Mill) and the philosophy of distributive justice (John Rawls). The practical implications of such theories and the two-way traffic between them and social realities will be explored through the analysis of legal rules and their application by the American courts. In addition to actual cases, the students will participate in the adjudication of theoretical cases, both fictional and taken from contemporary realities.
Instructors: Dr. James Castagnera, Dr. Jonathan Mendilow
Core Substitution: Social Science

BHP-231 Honors Seminar: Natural Adventures: Journeys in American Ecology and History
3 credits
Examines the linkages between environmental history, biology and ecology. The relationships between people and the natural environment are complex, ranging from terror/fighting off to wishes to sub/e/merge. We will focus on the impact of changes in human land use and technology on natural ecosystems, exploring feedbacks between the two. Hands-on experiences will supplement readings from the primary literature both in science and history as well as literary explorations of nature. This course is designed for students fascinated by the landscape of the U.S. and the environmental impact of human actions.
Instructors: Dr. Laura Hyatt, Dr. Brooke Hunter
Core Substitution: Science

BHP-310 Honors Seminar: European Historical Fiction in the 19th Century
3 credits
This course involves reading major European historical novels of the 19th century. Students will discuss why the vogue for historical fiction began and why the novel of Sir Walter Scott had such a tremendous impact on the genre. Examined will be such questions as the definition of historical fiction, the importance of historical accuracy, the relationship of literature and history, and the influence of historical differences in the development of historical fiction in different countries.
Instructors: Dr. Robert Winter, Dr. Charles Richardson
Core Substitution: Literature