Fall 2024 Edgar Fellows Course Offerings

S/CGC/HONR 203* 

Honors Seminar in the Social Sciences: The Medium is the Message: Media Ecology and the Power of Technology

Professor Glenn Geiser-Getz (Communications Department)

Course Description

This course will provide an opportunity for students to analyze the tools that have impacted human society over time, with a special focus on the present day (for example, the impact of generative AI on the meaning of work, the arts, and humanity itself). We will shine a spotlight on technologies and techniques that often fade into the background of our lives. Our interconnected and interdependent world is shaped by a variety of economic, social, political, and cultural forces. Headlines focus on identifiable, powerful interests that seek to dominate and control, while the impacts of everyday tools are underestimated and underexamined. Technologies that enable or enhance communication, transportation, research, entertainment, and other activities shape not only those human behaviors but also the thought processes behind them. Sanitation tools (indoor plumbing), transportation tools (paved roads), and communication tools (smart phones) have surprising impacts on how we think about our relationships, our goals, even our own identities. 

*This course satisfies both the Social Science General Education credit and Contemporary Global Challenges (CGC) GLOBE attribute credit.


Honors Seminar: Technology and Values

Professor Jonathan Auyer (Philosophy Department)

Course Description

This course will engage students with ethical issues connected to technology by offering them an opportunity to study the ways that the advance of technology relates to the development of values. Students will investigate how we evaluate and respond to technology and will examine technology's impact on such values as freedom, individuality, growth, work, and the political process. Over the course of the semester, students will develop the skills needed to think critically about such ethical issues through classroom discussions, analyzing readings and specific cases studies related to the intersection of technology and ethics, and developing their own personal code of technological ethics. 

*This course satisfies both the Contemporary Global Challenges (CGC) and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion GLOBE attribute credits.


Honors Seminar In Issues of Diversity, Pluralism, Difference: Nostalgia

Professor Jovana Babovic (History Department)

Course Description

Nostalgia, built from the Greek words nostos—homecoming and algia—longing or pain, is a yearning for a home that no longer exists or never existed in the first place. Nostalgia can be a desire for a place as much as it can be a longing for a time. It might evoke a lost homeland, an unfulfilled dream, or a past childhood. The cultural critic Svetlana Boym suggests that “nostalgia is a sentiment of loss and displacement, but it is also a romance with one’s own fantasy.” That is to say that nostalgia is as much about the past as it is about the present because its expression ultimately gives us an insight into the moment when it was imagined. 

Seventeenth century Swiss physicians diagnosed the first cases of nostalgia among displaced soldiers and prescribed a treatment of opium, leeches, and a visit to the fresh air in the Alps. This course will begin by considering instances of nostalgia as a curable disease in the early modern and modern periods. By the twentieth century, however, most societies discarded the optimistic belief in the future, making nostalgia a pervasive and distinctly untreatable modern malady. The course will examine several major types of nostalgic expression across global spaces: loss of homeland due to violence, war, and genocide; revisionist views of history; longings for individual and collective youthful pasts. Our aim will be to understand nostalgia as a powerful form of memory that reflects the present as much as it engages with the past. 

*This course satisfies the Diversity, Pluralism, and Difference (DPD), Contemporary Global Challenges (CGC), and World Cultures and Values (WCV) GLOBE attribute credits.

HONR 230

Preparing a Scholarly Profile

Michael Mills, Office of Fellowships and Scholarships

Course Description

This 1 credit 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.