Fall 2023 Edgar Fellows Course Offerings

F/HONR 204

Honors Seminar in the Fine Arts: Fictional Emotions to Art

Professor Jonathan Auyer (Philosophy Department)

Course Description

How can we have emotional reactions to things that aren’t real? Why do humans listen to sad songs and watch tragic films? Why do we read stories about terrible events and pay to stand in front of art that is emotionally upsetting? Art that contains so-called “negative emotions” raises at least two paradoxes from the philosophy of art: the paradoxes of fiction and tragedy. This course will begin by investigating what doesn’t seem like that strange of a thing: we respond emotionally to fictions. We will then turn to exploring why it is that humans engage, again and again, with art work that contains subject matter with negative emotions. Throughout the semester, students will read, listen to, and look at fictional art from a range of different mediums, and students should be prepared to experience emotional responses involving negative emotions. While no philosophical background is required, students will also read a number of philosophy texts that proposes solutions to the paradoxes (e.g., that we suspend disbelief or that fictions involve games of make-belief; that such art is cathartic or cognitively significant or aesthetically powerful). By the end of the semester, each student will present their own answer to the paradoxes by crafting a project that includes a responding to and analyzing a work of art.

HONR 207

Honors Seminar In Issues of Diversity, Pluralism, Difference: Disability and Gender: Intersections and Interrelations of Identity

Professor Gregory Naas-Lattanzio (Philosophy Department)

Course Description

We will consider critical issues and creative expression at the intersection of gender and
disability. This focus underscores the correlation of gender and disability in constructing our
interpersonal relationships, privileges, social status, and worldview. Highlighted topics include
those concerning employment, health, sexuality, and cultural representation. Our resources will
include essays that challenge us to rethink our understanding of these identity categories and
foundational texts from influential writers who pioneered social inquiry through gender or
disabilities studies and whose ideas are vitalized by the overlap or intersectionality that will be
explored. Creative work by those expressing aspects of their intersectional experience of
disability and gender identity will allow us to consider aesthetic and phenomenological
experiences that provide further insight. Through these, we will evaluate current trends of
activism and theoretical debates while providing historical context for emerging positions and
unsettled categories.

HONR 230

Preparing a Scholarly Profile

Michael Mills, Office of Fellowships and Scholarships

Course Description

This course will help high achieving students to prepare for nationally competitive fellowships and graduate program applications in the senior year and beyond. Topics to be covered will include developing research and creative agendas as an undergraduate; making the most of opportunities for international study, internships, and service; identifying and pursuing career goals; learning about competitive fellowships and graduate programs; writing a personal statement, and preparing for interviews. Sophomores are highly encouraged to enroll in this course.