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Liberal Arts Honors

LAH 102H • The Idea Of The Liberal Arts

30195 • Musick, Marc
Meets M 4:00PM-5:30PM GAR 0.102
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Restricted to students in the Freshman Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts. An overview of the liberal arts disciplines.

Offered on the pass/fail basis only.

LAH 350 • Afr Am Writers In France

30215 • Wilks, Jennifer
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 1.134
(also listed as E 376M)
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E 376M  l  African American Writers in France-HONORS


Instructor:  Wilks, J

Unique #:  35715

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  American writers have enjoyed a special relationship with the city of Paris since the birth of the United States.  Using a selection of authors from the 19th- through 21st centuries, this seminar will focus on African American expatriate experiences in Paris and greater France.  How did French philosophical and political ideals influence American literary visitors?  In what ways have stays in Paris challenged or deepened writers’ conceptions of American identity?  How do African American representations of French culture serve as both a window onto European mores and a reflection of North American tastes?  Our study will be organized according to three main periods—the Age of Revolutions, the Lost Generation and Harlem Renaissance, and Contemporary Paris—but writers whose work falls between these periods will be included as well.


Texts (subject to change):  Victor Séjour, “The Mulatto” (1837); Claude McKay, Banjo (1929); Jessie Redmon Fauset, Comedy: American Style (1933); James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room (1956); Shay Youngblood, Black Girl in Paris (2000).


Essays and excerpts by W. E. B. Du Bois, Gwendolyn Bennett, Langston Hughes, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Mary Church Terrell, Richard Wright, and others


Requirements & Grading:  Two short papers (4 pages each), 30%; Research paper proposal (4 pages), 15%; Final research paper (12-15 pages), 35%; Reading responses, 20%.

LAH 350 • British Hist, Lit, & Polit-Hon

30225 • Louis, William
Meets F 3:00PM-6:30PM HRC 3.204
(also listed as HIS 366N, T C 325)
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This seminar is designed as a reading course in history, literature, and politics, and as a class in professional writing.  In addition to the required reading listed below, each student draws up an individual reading list in consultation with the professor.

The scope of the seminar includes not only the literature, history, and politics of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland but also the interaction of British and other societies throughout the world.  One point of emphasis will be the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth in its Asian and African as well as early American dimensions. 

Another point will be a focus on historical and literary biography—and autobiography—for example, not only Disraeli, Virginia Woolf, T. E. Lawrence, and George Orwell but also Gandhi.

The main requirements of the course are met by students reading a book or its equivalent each week and by submitting a weekly critique of the reading.  Each of the weekly essays is circulated to all other members of the class who make annotations on style as well as substance.  The class thus becomes as much a course in professional writing as one in which individual academic interests are pursued. The class also meets together with the British Studies faculty seminar at three o’clock Friday afternoons.  This is a requirement of the course. The seminar upholds the principles of the Modern History Faculty at Oxford—to enhance (1) intellectual curiosity; (2) conceptual clarity; (3) flexibility, that is, the capacity to engage with alternative perspectives and new information; (4) accuracy and attention to detail; (5) critical engagement; (6) capacity for hard work; (7) enthusiasm for history, literature, and politics; and (8) historical imagination and understanding, that is the ability to speculate and compare, alongside the possession of appropriate historical knowledge and the capacity to deploy it.


The following books are required -- plus other books (one a week) to be decided upon in consultation with the instructor:

Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians; Hermione Lee, Virginia Woolf; Norman Davies, The Isles


Course Requirements:

Grades are determined by attendance and participation in discussion (25%) and the quality of the weekly critiques (75%). 

The class also meets together with the British Studies faculty seminar at three o’clock Friday afternoons.  This is a requirement of the course.



Professor Louis's teaching fields are the British Empire/Commonwealth and the history, literature, and politics of nineteenth and twentieth-century Britain.

Professor Louis has recently published Ends of British Imperialism: the Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization (2006). He has written or edited more than thirty books including Imperialism at Bay (1977) and The British Empire in the Middle East (1984). His edited publications include The End of the Palestine Mandate (1986), The Transfers of Power in Africa(1988), Suez 1956 (1989), The Iraqi Revolution (1991), and Churchill (1993).

LAH 350 • Don Delillo

30230 • Carton, Evan
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.122
(also listed as E 349S)
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E 349S  l  Don DeLillo-HONORS


Instructor:  Lesser, W

Unique #:  35570

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisite:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  Don DeLillo in Conversation with Contemporary Women Writers --

Upper-division English courses are predominantly organized according to literary-historical and thematic rubrics.  In literary-historical courses, the issue of “influence” is addressed by tracing the effects of earlier literary forms and historical contexts upon the composition and ambitions of later texts.  In “theme” courses, “influence” is addressed by tracking the history of an idea as it is engaged over literary and cultural time.


This English Honors course engages an alternative approach to discussing the relations among texts.  This approach, which puts texts into “conversation” with one another, is widely employed in doctoral dissertations that aspire to investigate the aesthetic, political, and material conditions of textual production and the generation of a national self-consciousness.  This course, then, is meant to cultivate the interpretive perspective and skills for those interested in writing honors theses that can be used in a graduate application, or for students who want to explore another way to work comparatively among several texts.


Our goals can be framed by two questions:  What does it mean to put two novels into conversation with one another? How does one read a novel by regarding it as part of a conversation, not just an author’s singular realization of an aesthetic and political vision?


To explore these questions, we will pair each of four Don DeLillo novels with a topically identical or adjacent novel by a contemporary woman writer.  Although only one of these women novelists is (to date) as celebrated as DeLillo – Marilynne Robinson – all are National Book Award winners.


The Aftermath of 9/11: (DeLillo) Falling Man; (Lorrie Moore) A Gate at the Stairs


Strange Environments: (DeLillo) White Noise; (Marilynne Robinson) Housekeeping


Women in Crisis: (DeLillo) The Body Artist; (Jaimy Gordon) Lord of Misrule


Big Concepts: (DeLillo: Language) The Names; (Jennifer Egan: Temporality)

                                                      A Visit from the Goon Squad


Requirements & Grading:  Final grades will be based on participation (in class, in formal class presentations, and in weekly discussion board posts) (30%); one five-page essay (30%); and one eight-ten-page essay (40%).  Attendance is mandatory.  More than three absences may result in a lowering of the student’s the final grade.

LAH 350 • Early Celebrity Culture

30235 • Barchas, Janine
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CAL 419
(also listed as E 350M)
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E 350M  l  Early Celebrity Culture-HONORS


Instructor:  Barchas, J

Unique #:  35605

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  n/a


Prerequisites:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  This course takes a close look at the emergence of modern celebrity culture through the lens of the literary afterlives of arguably the two most famous authors in English: William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and Jane Austen (1775-1817).  Because the year 2017 marks the bicentenary of the death of Jane Austen, just as 2016 was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, this class will engage with how we are living through a unique historical moment.  However, rather than compare these two authors unequally (at 200 and 400 now), we will look at them during their respective bicentenaries, asking how the Cult of Jane today might resemble the first wave of idolatry of the Bard (“Bardolatry”) witnessed, scholars agree, in the eighteenth century.  For both these authors, adaptations, modernization, and parodies at roughly the 200th anniversaries of their respective afterlives, helped popularize their work (e.g. Boydell’s public spectacle of the Shakespeare Gallery in the 1790s resembles the BBC bonnet dramas of the 1990s that propelled the popularity of Austen).  From portraits to porcelain collectibles, branded merchandise to fan fictions, these two authors have traced intriguingly similar arcs in their posthumous fame.


In addition, Jane Austen, who was born in 1775, experienced Shakespeare’s early rise to celebrity status first-hand.  She read and admired his work, referenced him throughout her fictions, and saw his plays performed on London’s stage.  In her novel Mansfield Park (1814), Austen’s characters “all talk Shakespeare” while rehearsing amateur theatricals—with three characters, Yates and the Crawfords, intentionally sharing surnames with famous Shakespearean actors.  In fact, recent research has shown that Austen was a consummate namedropper in her choice of names for her fictional characters and settings.  The class can thus examine Austen from both sides: as a participant in and a witness to early celebrity culture in the Georgian period, and as a product of modern fan culture today.


In the wake of the recent “Will & Jane” exhibition (co-curated by Prof Barchas and Kristina Straub) at the Folger Shakespeare Library in 2016, this class will use a contemporary public exhibition as a case study and model for their own inquiries into literary brand-building (i.e. how the celebrity of authors is made and managed).


Texts:  Literary readings will start by pairing a few Shakespeare plays with the Austen novels that reference them:  Shakespeare’s Hamlet with Austen’s Sense and Sensibility; Much Ado About Nothing with Pride and Prejudice; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Emma.  Critical readings about the emergence of celebrity culture will then include selections from Joseph Roach’s book It (2007) and Barchas’ own Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity (2012), complemented by material from and about the recent “Will & Jane” exhibition (2016).  Next, we will also pair modern film adaptations, such as Ten Things I Hate About You with Clueless, which both reset Will and Jane in modern American high schools to ask about the impulse to modernize authors.  And we will watch celebrity actors “ghost” Will and/or Jane roles, such as when Laurence Olivier, who played Mr. Darcy to great acclaim in Pride and Prejudice in 1940, assumed the title role in Hamlet in 1948.  We will also contrast a few popular continuations from both authors in fan fictions, such as when both Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1966) and Jo Baker’s novel Longbourn (2014) pluck servant characters from the wings of original stories by Shakespeare and Austen to give them literary lives of their own.


Requirements & Grading:  Two short (3-pp each) analytical essays about a literary or historical document from the eighteenth century (newspaper, essay, story, obituary, letter, or diplomatic dispatch) involving a “celebrity.”  One longer (10 pp) research paper about the portraiture and/or representation of a famous writer who is not Shakespeare or Austen.  Less-substantial, though still significant writing, will include three one-page "position" papers on selected historical figures or modern representations of them, particularly the rhetorical strategies used to advance their own celebrity or their perceived significance by others. Much of the writing will be evaluated by peers. Grading: 2 short essays: 15% each. Long essay, draft: 10%; final draft, 30%. Position papers: 15%. Class participation, in-class work, and helpfulness in peer evaluation will complete the percentile tally (15%).

LAH 350 • Germany In The 20th Cen-Honors

30240 • Crew, David
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GAR 2.128
(also listed as HIS 337N, REE 335)
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Description: Hitler and the Nazis have given twentieth-century Germany a world-historical significance it would otherwise have lacked. Even from our vantage point, the Nazi regime is still one of the most dramatic and destructive episodes in western European, indeed, in world history. Nazism is synonymous with terror, concentration camps and mass murder. Hitler's war claimed the lives of tens of millions and left Europe in complete ruins. The danger resides in the temptation to view all of German history from the end of the nineteenth-century onwards as merely the pre-history of Nazism, thereby failing to deal with each period on its own terms. And what do we do with the more than half a century of German history since 1945? With the defeat of  Nazi Germany in 1945, the course of German history appears to have experienced a radical break. New political and social systems were imposed upon the two halves of the divided Germany by the victors. The hostilities of the Cold War appeared to ensure a permanent division of Germany, which in 1961 assumed a compelling symbolic form, the Berlin Wall. But in 1989, the dramatic changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe revolutionized East Germany as well. The Berlin Wall came down, East and West Germany were once again joined together in one nation. What exactly this newest version of the German nation will look like in ten or twenty years is still unclear. 

In the first half of the course, we will begin by discussing the origins and effects of  World War One(1914-1918), then move on to the German Revolution(1918-1919) and the Weimar Republic(l9l8-l933), the Nazi regime (1933-1945) and the Holocaust. The questions we will focus on here are: Was Germany’s first experiment with democracy between 1918 and 1933 doomed to failure? What factors contributed to the rise of Nazism and how did the Nazi regime affect Germany and Europe? Were all vestiges of Nazism destroyed in 1945? In the second half of the semester we will discuss the history of  Germany in the Cold War(1945-1989). We will end by talking about the consequences of the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989 to the present). Here, the main questions will be: Did, West and East Germany follow fundamentally new paths? What clues can be found in the histories of the Federal Republic in West Germany and the German Democratic Republic in East Germany since 1949 that may indicate the possibilities for change in the future? How does the unification of East and West Germany affect Germany's future role in Europe and the world?



Required Reading:

Mary Fulbrook,The Divided Nation
Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
Richard Bessel(ed.) Life in the Third Reich
Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz
Peter Schneider, The Wall Jumper
We will be working extensively with materials on this site:



(1)Two longer essay assignments (each 6-8 pages typewritten, each worth 30% of your final grade) which ask you to think critically about some of the major issues in twentieth century German history.

(2)In addition to these two longer essay assignments, you will be asked to write one shorter essay (4-5 pages typewritten—worth 20% of the final grade) on any one of the books by  Remarque, Bessel, Levi, or Schneider.

LAH 350 • Holocaust Aftereffects

30245 • Bos, Pascale
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM BUR 234
(also listed as C L 323, J S 365, WGS 340)
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The events of the Holocaust changed Western culture in fundamental ways. Not only was a great part of Jewish culture in Europe destroyed, the circumstances of the Nazi genocide as a modern, highly rationalized, efficient form of mass murder which took place in the heart of civilized Europe changed the conception of the progress of modernity and the Enlightenment in fundamental ways. This course explores the historical, political, psychological, theological, and cultural fall-out, as well as literary and cinematic responses in Europe and the U.S. to these events as they first became known, and as one moved further away from it in time and came to understand its pronounced and often problematic after effects. Central to our inquiry is the realization that the events of the Holocaust have left indelible traces in European and U.S. culture and culture production, of which a closer look (first decade by decade, then moving on to a number of themes and questions), reveals profound insights into current day culture, politics, and society.

Required Texts: 

Levi and Rothberg, The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings; Art Spiegelman, Maus I ⅈ Ruth Klüger, Still Alive: a Girlhood Remembered; Primo Levi, Survival in Auschwitz;  Elie Wiesel, Night; Additional  course packet

Films: Nuit et Brouillard; Holocaust (excerpts); Shoah (excerpts); Schindler's List (excerpt)

Grading Policy

Attendance/participation 15%

Response papers (2) 10%

Class presentation 10%

Presentation paper 15%

Midterm exam 20%

Final research paper 30% (proposal, bibliography, outline + 1st, 5% each, paper: 15%)



LAH 350 • Holocaust/Race: Jews/Roma

30250 • Abzug, Robert
Meets T 3:00PM-6:00PM CLA 0.120
(also listed as J S 364)
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In all that has been written about the Holocaust, both popular and scholarly renditions of its victims often overgeneralize the reasons for persecution and ultimate fate of the Nazis’ victims. This course will concentrate on the Holocaust and its catastrophic effects on the two groups—Jews and Roma and Sinti—the Nazis specifically slated for extermination as part of Nazi racial ideology. Of the nine million Jews of Europe, about 6 million or about two-thirds perished at the hands of the Nazis. Of the approximately one million Roma and Sinti (referred to pejoratively by others collectively as Gypsies) living in Germany and lands occupied by the Nazis, about 500,000 or half were murdered.

This course will explore the history and cultures of these groups, their status in Europe over hundreds of years, and the rise of racial arguments and understandings of race difference that culminated in the Holocaust. It will compare the fate of Jews, Roma, and Sinti to that of other Nazi victim groups as well as to other brands of race ideology prevalent in Europe and the United States. The goals of the course involve reconstructing the nature of European Jewish, Roma, and Sinti life, their relation to neighboring majority cultures, and the ways in which ideas of race spelled doom for them in the fateful decades of the 1930s and 1940s.           

Assignments and Grading Criteria:

Required ungraded weekly journal entries on readings and class discussions. (all journal entries required on time with penalty for late entries)

Term paper and In class presentation on term paper topic 40%

Midterm exam 15%

In class final exam 30%

Faithful attendance and participation in class discussion 15%

No final examination during finals week.

The grading scale is: A = 90-100; B = 80-89.999; C = 70-7.999; D = 60-69.999. Any average score below 60 would result in the assignment of an F. We use + and – grades at the upper and lower levels of each letter grade. 


A mixture of readings supplied on Canvas in .pdf form.



LAH 350 • Imperlism/Soc In Brit Lit

30255 • Christian, George
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CAL 221
(also listed as E 350R)
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E 350R  l  Imperialism and Society in British Literature-HONORS


Instructor:  Christian, G

Unique #:  35615

Semester:  Fall 2017

Cross-lists:  LAH 350

Restrictions:  English Honors, Plan I Honors

Computer Instruction:  No


Prerequisite:  Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.


Description:  The great nineteenth-century English historian J. R. Seeley famously wrote that Britain acquired its vast empire “in a fit of absence of mind.”  The image of an absent-minded imperialist fits well with the popular description of the century between the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the outbreak of the First World War in August, 1914 as the Pax Britannica.  But for thousands of English and colonial soldiers and millions of non-English subjects of the Empire (including many Irish, Scots, and Welsh), this century of “British Peace” was anything but peaceful.  Though England fought only one European war during the period (the Crimean War, 1854-55), it prosecuted dozens of colonial wars and armed actions aimed at forcing open imperial markets for “free” trade, suppressing local insurrections against European influence, and establishing varying degrees of formal and informal rule in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific (often to pre-empt the imperial ambitions of other European powers).


In this seminar, we will examine literary texts of the period from an “imperial” perspective.  While we will study texts with specifically imperial settings and subjects, we will also seek an understanding of the impact of the Empire on narratives that appear determinedly domestic.  Along the way, we will assess the ways in which imperial concerns implicate and inflect constructions of gender, class, and race in nineteenth-century British literature.


Texts (tentative):  Benjamin Disraeli, Tancred; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown’s Schooldays; George Eliot, Daniel Deronda; Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines; Rudyard Kipling, Plain Tales from the Hills (selections), The Man Who Would Be King; Joseph Conrad, Nostromo; selected poetry; Robinson & Gallagher, The Imperialism of Free Trade, and other selected historiography.


Requirements & Grading:  Two short essays (5-7 pages) 30% of final grade; weekly response papers (500 words), 40% of final grade; final essay (6-8 pages), 30% of final grade. Essays must be revised.

LAH 350 • Inqlty In The US Educ Sys

30260 • Pikus, Monique
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CBA 4.338
(also listed as SOC 321K, URB 354)
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Course Description

For centuries many have seen the United States as the land of opportunity. Free public education is often seen as one of the key pillars of opportunity in the U.S. Yet, the quality of public education varies greatly depending on the neighborhood and characteristics of the student. In this class, we will examine how inequality has developed and is maintained within the American public education system. We will pay particular attention to the role of school funding and residential segregation in maintaining disparities in educational quality. We will also learn and critique existing theories of educational inequality such as meritocracy, stereotype threat, and oppositional culture. Next, we will explore the effect of students’ traits on how they interact with and experience school in the U.S. Race/ ethnicity, gender, social class, and special educational needs are just a sample of the attributes that we will investigate. We will conclude by exploring current efforts to combat inequality within the public education system through school choice, magnet programs, accountability campaigns, community-based school reform, and other efforts.

Course Objectives

It is my hope that students will set their own goals for the course. Nevertheless, by the end of the course, all students should be able to:

1)    Analyze existing theories of educational inequality.

2)    Understand the different relationships between inequality, education, and students’ characteristics.

3)    Recognize the mechanisms through which inequality is perpetuated within the U.S. public education system. 

4)    Outline and critique existing reform efforts to reduce educational disparities within the U.S. public education system.

5)    Be able to communicate orally and in writing the complexity and difficulty in developing reforms designed to eliminate inequality among all students within the American public education system.

Course Requirements

Class Participation (20%). I believe that learning is an interactive sport. Therefore class participation is critical to the success of the course for the class will consist mainly of guided discussion with brief lectures as needed. Students are expected to attend every class on time prepared to discuss the materials assigned for that date. Students are also expected to participate fully in any class activities that occur. Finally, students are expected to provide written feedback and a rating (50% of grade) on fellow classmates’ school reform proposal presentations.

Position Papers (25%). Writing is an essential way to assist students in engaging in the reading materials on a deeper level. Students are required to write four 700-800 word essays in Canvas summarizing and responding to the major argument(s) of the readings. Students are required to revise one of their position papers based on the feedback I provide. The total number of position papers submitted will be four original and one revised paper.

School Reform Proposal and Presentation (Total: 55%). It is not only important to understand the disparities within the current public education system, we must also try to develop solutions to these problems. Therefore each student is required to write their own school reform proposal based on independent research of one of the many school reform efforts discussed in class (or one approved by the instructor).

Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (10%). Students are required to submit a 500 word abstract of their school reform proposal in which they briefly outline the theories to be examined, the proposed school reform, and how it will alleviate inequality for at least one traditionally disadvantaged group. The abstract will include an annotated bibliography (50 word summary each) of at least 5 outside sources.

Revised Abstract and Annotated Bibliography (5%). Students will submit a revised abstract based on the instructor’s feedback.

Presentation (10%). Students will give a 10 minute class PowerPoint/Keynote presentation of their school reform proposals. Presentations will be evaluated based on classmates’ written feedback and rating (50% of grade) on a form provided in Canvas and the instructor’s evaluation (50% of grade).

Final Proposal (30%). Students are expected to complete an 8-10 page double spaced school reform proposal. The proposal should develop the theories outlined in the abstract, describe the school reform effort they support, provide evidence of the effectiveness of their proposed reform, and explain how their plan will alleviate inequality for at least on traditionally disadvantaged group. The proposal should also incorporate the presentation feedback provided by fellow classmates and me.

LAH 350 • Jerusalem And Athens

30265 • Dempsey, Erik
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 1.134
(also listed as CTI 335, GOV 379S)
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In this class, we will study the age-old confrontation between Jerusalem and Athens--that is, between the teaching of the Bible and the politics and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. We will compare the way in which each tradition answers basic questions about politics and morality, including: What is virtue? What is justice? What is the best poltiical order? What do we owe our community? In what manner are we morally culpable or sinful? What is the role of philosophic thought in the political community and in an individual life? And above all, can we know, on the basis of human reason alone, how we ought to live--or are we in need of divine guidance?
The Greeks and the Bible offer the deepest and most deeply opposed answers to these quesitons. In this class, we will use core texts from both traditions to come to grips with this fundamental alternative.
Parts of the Hebrew Bible, including selections from Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 and 2 Samuel, and others
Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
Possible additional readings include Homer's Iliad and Hesiod's Work and Days and Theogony
Grading Policy:
65%: 3 papers, 4-6 pages apiece; the first two are worth 20% each, the last is worth 25% 
25%: frequent short writing assignments, including two paper reviews (assigned in class; 1-2 pages apiece)
10%  attendance, quizzes, and class participation

LAH 350 • Johnson Years

30270 • Lawrence, Mark
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM LBJ 10.150
(also listed as HMN 350)
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Nearly 50 years after it ended, the presidency of Lyndon Johnson continues to inspire enormous interest and controversy.  What sort of person was Johnson?  What motives underpinned his greatest achievements and biggest errors in both the domestic and foreign-policy arenas?  How can we reconcile the triumphs of civil rights with the setbacks of the Vietnam War?  What is LBJ’s legacy, and what place does he deserve in the long flow of American history?  These will be among the major questions at the heart of this seminar.  In addressing them, we will read and discuss scholarship on the Johnson administration and the 1960s.  We will also meet with various participants in – or close observers of – the Johnson administration who live in and around Austin. 

Course requirements will include two short essays as well as a 10-12 page research paper based on materials in the LBJ Library archive.  We will devote considerable time early in the term to identifying promising topics and learning how to use the library’s reading room.  Over the remainder of the term, students will be expected to conduct research and, in consultation with the instructors, produce a polished paper. 

Required readings will likely include Mark K. Updegrove, Indomitable Will:   LBJ in the Presidency; Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided:  The Civil War of the 1960s; and Mark Atwood Lawrence, The Vietnam War:  A Concise International History, as well as a packet of photocopied chapters and documents. 


LAH 350 • Leadership Strategy In Sports

30275 • Roberts, Daron
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.108
(also listed as T C 325)
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In February of 2014, Michael Sam, a former outside linebacker for the University of Missouri and SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, announced that he was gay. The announcement did not come as a surprise to his former teammates – Sam had shared his sexual orientation during a fall practice session the previous year – but the news sent shockwaves through the news media. His declaration was met with both scorn and praise. With the NFL Draft nearly four months away, would Sam become the first openly gay player in the NFL?

His courage attracted international media attention and drew the support of First Lady Michelle Obama via Twitter: “You’re an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball.  We couldn’t be prouder of your courage both on and off the field.”  But some NFL players, including Jonathan Vilma, voiced uneasiness about Sam’s reception in the locker-room. “I think he [Sam] would not be accepted as much as we think he would be accepted,” Vilma cautioned.

The Sam Saga underscores the extent to which sports reflect ideological divides in our culture. In this course, we will frame our discussion of contemporary issues in sports through a historical lens that examines the introduction of athletic contests into American society.  Next, we will use this backdrop to wade through complex social, economic and cultural issues including: compensation of college athletes, use of analytics to inform decision-making, minority representation among players and managers, introduction of openly gay athletes and the health implications of player safety. 

Most importantly, we will take on the role of key decision-makers (e.g., athletic directors, head coaches and general managers) and construct our own management strategy for dealing with these issues in the sports context. 

Assignments and Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on the following: (1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the class; (2) timely submission of all work; (3) a term paper.

Final grades will be calculated using the following formula: (1) short response papers – 35%,  (2) term paper and presentation – 35%, and (3) class participation – 30%. There will be no final examination.


Books that will be used: Michael Lewis, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2004). William Rhoden, 40 Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete (2007); Mark Faninaru-Wade & Steve Fainaru. League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth (2013). There will also be a course packet comprised of short readings.


Roberts holds two expensive degrees from Harvard and was elected Student Body President as an undergraduate at the University of Texas - the largest public university in the United States. 

He is a contributor to, and his articles have appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Fortune, Houston Chronicle, Texas CEO Magazine and Time.

Today Daron serves as founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas. As a lecturer at the University of Texas, he focuses on issues of leadership and innovation in the sports arena.

Roberts has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for creating a nonprofit football camp - 4th and 1, Inc. 4th and 1 provides free SAT prep, life skills development and football training to at-risk youth. The camp has served nearly 500 student-athletes since 2010.

LAH 350 • Money In Amer Politics

30295 • Roberts, Brian
Meets W 3:30PM-6:30PM CBA 4.340
(also listed as GOV 370L, HMN 350)
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LAH 350 (30295) / GOV 37OL (38845) / HMN 350 (40015) Fall 2017 

Money in American Politics 


Course Description 

This course explores the nature and consequences of money in American politics and why, at this point in history, we find ourselves embroiled in the most significant debate over campaign finance reform in over thirty years. The debate goes to the heart of the U.S. Constitution, pitting the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly against the perceived fairness and efficacy of a republican government awash, some claim, in increasingly unaccountable money. 

Campaign finance issues lie at the crossroads of a bewildering number of analytical perspectives. We (must) examine the work of historians, social scientists, legal scholars, and interested parties on all sides of the debate in an effort not only to assess current policy debates but also to understand how we got here. 

The objective of the course is not to persuade you of any particular point of view but, rather, to arm you with the substantive knowledge, theoretical foundation and analytical tools needed to be resolute in whatever conclusions you draw from this experience.


Course Requirements 

This course is an honors seminar. As such, there is a premium on preparation and participation. Final grades are based on class participation, two tests and two class projects: 

• Participation: 10% 

• Projects: 35% 

• Tests: 55% 

 Grades will be based on the +/- scale. 


Required Readings 

• Kuhner, Timothy K.. Capitalism v. Democracy. Stanford University Press. 2014 

• Mutch, Robert E. Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform. Oxford University Press. 2014 

• Post, Robert C. Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2016 

• Samples, John. The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2006 


All other readings, of which there are many, are linked in the weekly reading assignments posted on Canvas.

LAH 350 • Regime Persp Amer Poltc-Honors

30280 • Tulis, Jeffrey
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM MEZ 2.102
(also listed as CTI 335, GOV 379S)
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GOV 379S / LAH 350/ CTI 335  Regime Perspectives on American Politics

Fall 2017

Wednesdays 3-6pm


Jeffrey K. Tulis


This is a seminar on American politics and culture.   Two purposes govern the selection of texts for the course and guide our discussion of them.  All of our texts attempt to look at American politics as a whole.  Most books and courses on America look at only a part, such as the Presidency, or elections, or popular culture.  Here we attempt to think about how the parts of America fit together.  Even when these texts speak about a part, for example an institution such as the presidency or the Congress, they present the topic from a vantage point on the whole polity.   To see the polity as a whole also means that we will have to revisit and rethink aspects of our political life that we take for granted – that we don’t examine because those parts have become so natural or familiar to us.  Seeing the polity whole enables us to render the familiar unfamiliar, to make what we take for granted strange and new.


To see the polity as a whole requires that we get some distance from our subject, much as to see the planet earth as a whole requires one to look at it from outer space.  Just as it is difficult to get visual perspective on a place living within it, it is difficult to understand the promise or pathologies of a regime from within.  To get critical distance from our politics, we will closely study three sets of texts that look at American politics from a distance.   The first part of the course will recover the perspective of the founding debate between Federalists and Anti-federalists.   This fundamental debate reveals what is a stake in the basic architecture of the American regime.  The second part of the course is a close study of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America.  Regarded by many as the best book ever written on democracy and the best book written on America, Tocqueville sees our polity whole because he looks at it from the vantage point of Europe, in general, and France, in particular.  In the third part of the seminar we think about American politics from the perspective of thoughtful commentators who feel only nominally included in the polity.   Half in and half out, these extraordinary black American writers reveal fissures and fault lines in the American regime.  We end the class with a discussion of America’s place in the world today – examining a speech by a writer who articulately raises challenges to our self-understanding that are inarticulately expressed today in rage and ranting from enemies of the United States.




Three take home analytic essays, chosen from a list of topics I provide, each weighted 25% of the course grade.  Late essays will not be accepted, except with a doctor’s excuse or a Dean’s excuse for family emergency.


OR as an option: you may write the two short essays (both together weighted 25%) and do a longer 15 page paper on a topic of your choice in consultation with me (weighted 50% of your course grade).   Government honors students who are thinking of doing an honors thesis next year may prefer this option to begin to develop research and writing skills for longer work.  Students who prefer this option will need to designate their preferred third short essay and have discussed with me a topic for their long paper by March 30. 



The Federalist

Selected Anti-Federalist writings

Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Essays, speeches and articles by Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

LAH 350 • Technologies Of The Book

30286 • Winship, Michael
Meets T 12:30PM-2:00PM HRC 3.206C
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The book – the printed book in particular – has been the most important medium for the communication and preservation of written human culture for the past millennium.  This course will examine the technologies that enabled this remarkably persistent and flexible object and explore its impact on society.  Technology will be understood in its broadest sense: attention will be paid not only to the technologies of production and manufacture, but also those that enabled the creation of texts by authors and their distribution and reception.  Finally, the course will consider the future of the book in today’s society, which is in the midst of a digital revolution.

The course will meet in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in order to draw on its remarkable resources: on Tuesdays, we will meet on the 3rd floor in the Tom Lea Rooms (3.206); on Thursdays, we will meet on the 2nd floor in the Denius (2.212).  Students will also participate in a printing laboratory, where they will set type and print a text by hand.  If students are interested, we may also arrange several field trips over the course of the semester.

This course carries the independent inquiry “flag” and is designed to give students experience with investigating and writing up an academic research topic of their own choosing that is related to the class material. You can expect to write regularly during the semester, complete a substantial research project, and receive regular feedback to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise your assignments, and to read and discuss your peers' work.  A substantial portion of your grade will be based on your final research paper, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available to you through the University Writing Center in the PCL ( 

Texts: Our readings will be a selection of articles that will be made available in digital form on the class’s Canvas page, supplemented by Philip Gaskell’s useful New Introduction to Bibliography.  Students will also be required to view a number of on-line videos that demonstrate various book-making technologies.

Grading and Requirements: Students will produce two short writing exercises (3-4 pages each) and a final research paper (8-10 pages).  Letter grades (with plus or minus) will be based on class participation (20%), the two short writing exercises (15% each), and the final research paper (50%).  No late writing assignments will be accepted unless an extension has been granted in advance of the due date.  In evaluating your work, the strength of the analysis will be emphasized, though clarity, spelling, and grammatical correctness will also be taken into account.  Students are encouraged consult with me during the semester to discuss their writing and research skills.  

Attendance in class is required, and students missing 3 or more classes without prior permission will have their grades lowered; regular tardiness will be considered the equivalent of missing one or more classes.  As an upper-division honors course, students will be expected to come to every class fully prepared, having completed the assigned readings and ready to contribute to class discussion.  

Policies: The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, and individual opportunity and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community.  Any work submitted by a student in this course for academic credit must be the student's own work. For additional information on Academic Integrity, see

By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a reli­gious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, I will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence. 

The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY.


LAH 350 • Writing Nonfiction

30290 • Curtis, Gregory
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM MEZ 1.104
(also listed as T C 325)
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Overview – This is a rigorous course for students who want to learn to write well.  We focus on writing profiles and narratives based on research and personal experience.  We will also write two imitations and two parodies.  This is decidedly not a course about writing journals, diaries, or memoirs.  Student work is read and discussed in class.

     The assigned reading, with one exception, consists of work by contemporary writers.  All this work is legally available for free on the web or on reserve in PCL.  The one exception is A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway (Scribner 1964), which is available at the Co-Op as well as in used book stores.  The readings are also discussed in class.

     This course carries the Writing Flag. Writing Flag courses are designed to give students experience with writing. In this class, you will write regularly during the semester, complete substantial writing projects, and receive feedback from me to help you improve your writing. You will also have the opportunity to revise one or more assignments, and you will be asked to read and discuss your peers’ work. Your grade will mostly depend on the quality of your written work. Writing Flag classes meet the Core Communications objectives of critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and personal responsibility, established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the communication component of the university core curriculum.

     If you must miss class or an assignment in order to observe a religious holy day, you should notify me at least fourteen days in advance.  You will be allowed to complete the missed work within a reasonable time.

     Any student with a documented disability who requires academic accommodations should contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 512-410-6644 (Video Phone) as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations. 

Grading Information

Assignment   %of final grade

Quizzes              15

3 Profiles            25

3 Narratives        25

2 Imitations          8

2 Parodies             7

1 Free choice      20

     I read, comment on, and grade your work the way a professional editor would.  I’ll be looking at the overall organization of each assignment, at the quality of the thinking and information it contains, and at the structure of sentences and paragraphs.  I am very particular about grammar and usage.  Your words should really mean what you think they mean; your sentences should really say what you are trying to say.

     Proofread your papers carefully.  Remember, running spell check on your computer is not a substitute for proofreading.  It annoys me to find, for example, “night” when the intended word is “knight” since such errors are clear indications that you have only run spellcheck and have not really proofread.  I do not have an arbitrary system of taking off so many points for a typo or grammatical mistake, and I will indulge a minor error here and there.  But too many typos or repeated grammatical mistakes will result in a reduced grade.  One good way of checking a paper is to read it out loud to yourself.  Another good way is to show the paper to another person and see what advice that person may give.

     All other things being equal, a paper that is clear, interesting, savvy, coherent, and surprising gets an A.  A paper that is clear and interesting enough gets a B.  A paper that is organized just well enough but is otherwise work-a-day and plodding gets a C.  Beyond that lies the abyss.  I do not give plus/minus grades.

     I do not accept late assignments except…  Those exceptions are rare.  Don’t take the chance.  Work is due at the beginning of class.

     Most classes will begin with a short quiz about the reading.  The quizzes will not be hard.  They will be true/false questions and the like.  It won’t be necessary to study for them.  If you have simply read the assignment, you will get every question right.

     If a final grade is on the borderline, I will look for a reason to raise it.  I’m not promising I’ll find such a reason, but I am promising to look.  One reason would be consistent, helpful comments during class discussion.  Another reason would be a pattern of improvement.  I don’t want a low grade, or even two, to be fatal, especially if those grades are on assignments early in the semester.

     I consider plagiarism a serious offense.  Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s writing as your own.  Do not do so.

     Please come see me whenever you wish, especially if you have questions or are having problems.  You are welcome to stop by my office on the spur of the moment.  If I am free, I will be happy to see you.  It is best, however, to make an appointment by seeing me before or after class or by contacting me by email or telephone.  I am in my campus office from 9:30 to 4:30 most days.  Let me emphasize again, don’t hesitate to come see me  

Assignments – Please turn in a hard copy of your assignment at the beginning of class on the indicated date and email the assignment to me as a Word or Pages attachment (not a pdf).  Please put your name, a title, and the word count at the beginning of each assignment.  Do not exceed the assigned word count.  Number your pages!!!

     Always bring a copy of the reading assignment to class.  You will need it during class discussion.

     The instructor is an experienced editor and a widely published author.

LAH 358Q • Supervised Research

(also listed as AAS 318Q, AAS 358Q, HMN 358Q)
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Supervised Research. Individual instruction. Prerequisite: A
University grade point average of at least 3.50 and consent of the
liberal arts honors program adviser. Only one LAH 358Q may be applied towards college honors. Course may be repeated.

LAH 679TA • Honors Thesis

(also listed as LAH 679TB)
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Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Supervised research, reading, and writing of a substantial paper on an interdepartmental subject.

LAH 679TB • Honors Thesis

(also listed as LAH 679TA)
show description

Restricted to Plan I majors in the College of Liberal Arts. Supervised research, reading, and writing of a substantial paper on an interdepartmental subject.