Honors Colloquia

The Honors Colloquia, open only to students in Williams Honors College, are interdisciplinary seminars designed to increase understanding of the primary concerns, the intellectual traditions, and the epistemologies of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These seminars offer you a special chance to broaden your perspectives by interacting with honors students from widely diverse fields of study. They invite you to sharpen your critical reading, speaking and writing skills so that you may thrive in your professional, civic, and personal lives. Note that all Honors students are required to take the set of three Honors Colloquia as part of the Honors Distribution. The colloquia are offered each fall and spring semester, and frequently during summer sessions. It is your responsibility to schedule the colloquia in a timely manner.

  • Students entering the Williams Honors College Fall 2018 or later are required to take 3 credit hours in each of the three groups, for a total of 9 credit hours overall.
  • Students must receive a grade of B or higher in their colloquium courses to graduate as a Williams Honors Scholar.

2020 Spring

The Victorian Era (1835–1901)

W, F; 8:45am – 9:35am

Dr. Harvey Rosenthal
(12989) 1870:250 – 001, 2 credit hours; Honors Complex 82


The Hero

Tu, Th; 11:45am – 1:00pm

Dr. Heather Pollock
(15944) 1870:350 – 001, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82


Hunting Witches in Early Modern Europe

M, W; 8:45am – 10:00am

Dr. Michael Graham
(16021) 1870:350 – 002, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 83

This workshop-style colloquium will focus on one of the stranger aspects of early modern European history: the fact that the same era that included the scientific revolution and the early enlightenment also witnessed the execution of tens of thousands of people (mostly women) for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. We will start with a general survey of the witch hunt. Following that, teams of students will delve into sets of trial dossiers in an effort to figure out what was really going on in those particular cases. Finally, students will be able to get creative, either by writing and performing one-act plays on their particular cases, or else “forging” a pamphlet about their case, in the style of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century tabloid-style accounts of witchcraft. This course should be of particular interest to students interested in history, literature, religion, anthropology, communications, psychology or sociology.


Fairytales, Myths, and Folklore

Tu, Th; 10:15am – 11:30am;

Dr. Juliana Amir
(15945) 1870:350 – 003, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 83

A culture's conscious and unconscious fears, hopes, and beliefs are infused into the stories we love and think we know, How do these stories, in turn, go on to suffuse anxieties and meaning into later cultures and into us as individuals? This colloquium explores the ripples that are formed by these magical stories.


Imagining a Better World: The Role of Imagination in Envisioning the Future

W, F; 1:15pm – 2:30pm

Dr. Dimitria Gatzia
(15946) 1870:350 – 004, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 83

Does imagination affects our ability to make decisions about, among other things, social, political, and economic issues? This colloquium will focus on recent philosophical and empirical research on imagination and its relation to decision-making.


Religion East and West: The Big Questions (and Answers in Words and Art)

M, W; 11:45am – 1:00pm

Dr. Paula Levin
(16415) 1870:350 – 005, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 92

What is the meaning of life? How should I live? What happens after we die? What is God? We humans, conscious of our mortality and our limitations, have wrestled with these questions since the dawn of time. In this course we will examine the teachings of major world religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam - in their attempts to guide us to answers. In addition to consulting various texts and primary sources, we will consider religious expression in art, literature, music, drama, and film. And we will discuss how religious beliefs (or the absence of them!) affect how we may experience the world.


Study Abroad in Japan

Spring Break 2020 (23 March – 29 March)

Dr. Yuki Sigler
(16469) 1870:350 – 006, 3 credit hours; tba

This program is a 10-day, three-credit authentic learning experience of Japan in Spring 2020 and cross listed by Humanities credits in Honors Colloquia.This class will not only visit several famous and historical places, but also experience various elements of Japanese culture. In order to solve real problems in Japan by using prior knowledge before the trip, this program is to promote students’ cultural awareness and leadership skills so as to boost future career opportunities.


Winning Combinations in Health Behavior: Exploring Health Priorities

M, W; 11:45am – 1:00pm

Dr. John Roncone II
(15086) 1870:340 – 001, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82

This social science discipline colloquium examines health behavior exploring health priority areas, such as, physical activity, stress management, and other dimensions of health-related physical fitness. The priority areas explored will be beneficial to students reflecting on their own health behavior(s), quality of life/healthy life years/lifestyle management. Students will leave the course with a sound knowledge of key health components related to mind/body health, research as well as health behavior models/theories.


Truth, Lies, and Alternative Facts: Are You Perplexed?

M; 4:15pm – 6:45pm

Dr. Luis Proenza
(15241) 1870:340 – 003, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 83


History of Sexuality in Latin America

T, Th; 2:45pm – 4:00pm

Dr. Martha Santos
(15972) 1870:340 – 004, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82

What have sex, gender, and sexuality meant across time and space in the Americas? How have people thought about sex, sexuality and gender in Latin America throughout five hundred years of history? What makes the way that gender and sexual norms work particular to specific places, times, and groups of people—and what makes them broader than that? Can we identify peculiarly “Latin American” approaches to sex and gender? How have gender and sexuality in this hemisphere changed over time, broadly speaking? We will explore these interesting questions through analysis of primary sources, scholarly work on these topics, and visual sources, including some feature film.


TV, Radio, Internet... Oh My!

F; 10:15am – 12:45pm

Dr. Carrie Tomko
(15974) 1870:340 – 005, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82

Communication is key in this fast-paced society with TV, radio, and the internet bringing instantaneous news, information, and entertainment. The mass media brings global topics from across the world close to home. T his colloquium will engage students by examining current event coverage in conjunction with communication theories in order to critically analyze what we seeing and hearing in the media. Watch it! Discuss it! Be a student of the world around us!


Water Law, Science & Policy: Environmental Decision-making to Attain A Fishable and Swimmable Summit Lake

M, W; 4:15pm – 5:30pm

Dr. Emily Collins
(16073) 1870:340 – 006, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82


Global Classroom

T, Th; 10:15am – 12:45pm

Dr. Chris Opoku-Agyeman
(16572) 1870:340 – 007, 3 credit hours; tba


Science and Technology in the World

M; 10:15am – 12:45pm

Dr. Luis Proenza
(15242) 1870:370 – 001, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 83


Science and Technology for Future Presidents

M; 1:15pm – 3:45pm

Dr. Luis Proenza
(15244) 1870:370 – 002, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 83


Complexity

Tu, Th; 8:45am – 10:00am

Dr. Dane Quinn
(15245) 1870:370 – 003, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82

From engineering to economics to biology, the systems around us are made of components that often interact in simple ways. However, these multiple interactions can give rise to feedback loops and behaviors that are more complicated than would be expected from the components alone. This colloquium will examine complex systems with examples from biology, economics, socialogy, physics, and engineering, highlighting how complicated behavior can emerge from simple components.


Our Great Lakes

T, Th; 8:45am – 10:00am

Dr. Ira Sasowsky
(15246) 1870:370 – 004, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 92

This natural sciences colloquium examines the role of water in our everyday lives, with particular emphasis on the Great Lakes of North America. Using the overarching topic of Great Lakes, we will explore as a group, learning from each other's experiences, and the background of the professor (an expert in groundwater), as well as from assigned readings and discussions. An optional field trip to Lake Erie will be held on non-class day.


Polymers and the Environment

T, Th; 10:15am – 11:30am

Dr. Ruel McKenzie
(15557) 1870:370 – 005, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 92

Polymers (natural and synthetic) play an important role in society and has been integrated into nearly all aspects of human life. Recent focus on the issue of plastic waste mitigation has brought the notion and necessity of sustainability of the polymers industry to the forefront of national discussions. The objective of this course is to discuss in a holistic manner: the extent to which polymers have enabled societal transformations, attempt to raise a collective awareness detailing the resultant ecological ramifications of polymer production, highlight some of the advances in mitigating the ecological impacts and to explore paths for a more sustainable coexistence with these materials.


Energy and Society

T, Th; 1:15pm – 2:30pm

Dr. Andrew Knoll
(16000) 1870:370 – 006, 3 credit hours; Honors Complex 82

Energy is essential to every aspect of our daily lives from transportation to food to electronics. This course will give a basic overview of how humans use energy in our daily lives and where that energy comes from. We will discuss the impacts of this energy use on aspects of our society and the environment.


Global Environmental Issues

Tu, Th; 11:45am – 12:35pm

Dr. Michael Dunbar
(10016) 1870:470 – 001, 2 credit hours; Honors Complex 92

During the semester we'll be exploring how our presence on the planet has impacted the natural resources, its environment, and offer a prognosis for the future. Our discussions, debates and proposals will examine how to confront some of these issues and how we can act on a local level.


Global Environmental Issues

Tu, Th; 1:15pm – 2:05pm

Dr. Michael Dunbar
(12385) 1870:470 – 002, 2 credit hours; Honors Complex 92

During the semester we'll be exploring how our presence on the planet has impacted the natural resources, its environment, and offer a prognosis for the future. Our discussions, debates and proposals will examine how to confront some of these issues and how we can act on a local level.


Edison to Elon Musk: Learn to Ideate, Build, and Innovate Successfully

W; 4:15pm – 5:55pm

Dr. Gopal Nadkarni
(16461) 1870:470 – 003, 2 credit hours; Honors Complex 92


2019 Fall

The Hero

Pollock, Heather N

(74785) 1870:250–001
2 credit hours
Tu, Th 11:45am – 12:35pm; Honors Complex 82


Digital Storytelling

Turner, Dudley B

(76804) 1870:350–001
3 credit hours
M, W 1:15pm – 2:30pm; Honors Complex 82


The History of Anti-Semitism

Lavin, Michael J

(75957) 1870:350–002
3 credit hours
M, W 8:45am – 10:00am; Honors Complex 82


The Rhetoric of Self

Svehla, Lance M

(75958) 1870:350–003
3 credit hours
M, W 11:45am – 1:00pm; Honors Complex 82


Sense, Nonsense, Brains, and People

Blower, Nathanial S

(75959) 1870:350–004
3 credit hours
M, W 4:15pm – 5:30pm; Honors Complex 82


American Folk Music and Social Justice

Bove, Frank

(75965) 1870:340–001
3 credit hours
M, W 10:15am – 11:30am; Honors Complex 82


From Nazis to Neocons and Beyond: The Reception of Classical Antiquity by Modern Political Movements

O'Bryan, Erin E

(75986) 1870:340–002
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 8:45am – 10:00am; Honors Complex 82


Leadership Through LEGOs

Plaster, Karen B

(75998) 1870:340–003
3 credit hours
W 4:15pm – 6:45pm; Honors Complex 83


Walls and Welcome Mats: Perspectives on Migration, Refugees, and Asylum

Brown, Robin K

(76035) 1870:340–004
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 7:15pm – 8:30pm; Honors Complex 82


Theatre Anthropology: Ritual, Play, Performance, and Self

Slowiak, James R

(76805) 1870:340–005
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 1:15pm – 2:30pm; Honors Complex 82


Cult Anthropology: Reasoning from Archaeological Evidence

Shott, Michael

(77005) 1870:340–006
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 8:45am – 10:00am; Honors Complex 83


Cult Anthropology: Reasoning from Archaeological Evidence

Shott, Michael

(77004) 1870:340–007
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 1:15pm – 2:30pm; Honors Complex 83


Truth, Lies, and Alternative Facts: Are you Perplexed?

Proenza, Luis

(70037) 1870:360–001
2 credit hours
M 4:15pm – 5:55pm; Honors Complex 83


Williams Honors College Common Hope — Guatemala Study Abroad Experience

Pollock, Heather N

(70038) 1870:360–002
2 credit hours
M 7:30pm – 9:10pm; Honors Complex 82


Developing a Worldview

Dunbar, Michael D

(70039) 1870:360–003
2 credit hours
Tu, Th 10:15am – 11:05am; Honors Complex 83


Science and Technology in the World

Proenza, Luis

(75968) 1870:370–001
3 credit hours
M 10:15am – 12:45pm; Honors Complex 83


Science and Technology for Future Presidents

Proenza, Luis

(76076) 1870:370–002
3 credit hours
M 1:15pm – 3:45pm; Honors Complex 83


Water In Our World

Sasowsky, Ira D

(76497) 1870:370–003
3 credit hours
M, W 11:45am – 1:00pm; Honors Complex 92


The Mathematics of Change

Quinn, D Dane

(76658) 1870:370–004
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 1:15pm – 2:30pm; Honors Complex 92


American Eugenics

Kern, Kevin F

(76659) 1870:370–005
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 10:15pm – 11:30am; Honors Complex 82


Introduction to Data Analytics in Sport

Juravich, Matthew

(76917) 1870:370–006
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 11:45am – 1:00pm; Honors Complex 92


Global Environmental Issues — with an Anthropogenic Discussion Focus

Dunbar, Michael D

(70040) 1870:470–001
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 11:45am – 12:35pm; Honors Complex 83


2019 Summer

Exploring Genre

06/10/2019 – 07/14/2019 (5W1)

Wyszynski, Matthew

(32853) 1870:350–001
3 credit hours
M, W, Th 5:30pm – 8:00pm; Honors Complex 82


TV, Radio, Internet......OH MY!!!

05/20/2019 – 06/09/2019 (Int)

Tomko, Carrie A

(32854) 1870:340–001
3 credit hours
Tu, W, Th 10:00am – 2:10pm; Honors Complex 82

Global Environmental Issues

07/15/2019 – 08/18/2019 (5W2)

Dunbar, Michael D

(32855) 1870:370–001
3 credit hours
Tu, Th 9:00am – 12:45pm; Honors Complex 92


TBA

07/15/2019 – 08/18/2019 (5W2)

Kaut, Kevin P

(32856) 1870:370–002
3 credit hours
M, W 11:00am – 2:45pm; Honors Complex 82


Propose a Colloquium

For faculty

If you are a faculty member here at UA and would like to teach an Honors Colloquium, we would love to hear your idea. A colloquium should typically be on a specific unique topic of particular interest to the faculty member teaching the course, and should not duplicate courses otherwise offered in the general curriculum. Keep in mind that there will most likely be students from a broad range of disciplines in any given colloquium group.

Use this form to submit a colloquium proposal for the Williams Honors College to consider whether and when it might fit into an upcoming schedule.

For students

Are you a Williams Honors College student with an idea for an exciting and unique Honors Colloquium? Email us your idea for consideration. Additionally, we are always happy to add more Honors Colloquia in a given semester for a given subject area once the others have filled, so please keep us in the loop about what type of colloquia you need and your preferred date and time if everything is full, and we will look to provide additional offerings before the semester begins.