UNIVERSITY HONORS

HNRS-302
Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Usually offered every term. Prerequisite: permission of University Honors program director.

HNRS-302
001H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Contract Law: Law of the Deal

In our increasingly capitalist world, the deal takes on great importance and the law of contracts sets the rule by which this game is played. This course studies the U.S. laws governing the creation, performance, and breach of contracts from the perspective of the allocation of risk, an element that exists in every deal. For example, when is a deal a deal, and when do circumstances allow for releasing parties from their legal obligations? It examines the legal rules governing the sale of goods and services in the United States and compares them to laws governing contracts internationally. Students debate such politically divisive topics as the use, or abuse, of punitive damages and the allocation of the legal fees and other costs of litigation between parties. Emphasis is paid to the distinctions between the legal and ethical obligations of individuals and enterprises. Students are also introduced to legal research and writing.

HNRS-302
002H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

National Security Debates

Surveillance, enhanced interrogation, unmanned aerial vehicles--frequent news stories relate to national security issues. By the very nature of the topic and the need to protect certain types of information and disclosures from enemies, the debate that is played out in the national and international news media and blogs tends to focus on small parts of a larger program or policy. This tends to lead to a conflation of two lenses in analyzing policy or program choices: can the United States act in this way, and should the United States act in this way? This course focuses on current debates in national security and analyzes them from both of these perspectives. First, the class identifies and assesses whether the policy or law can be implemented by studying the national and international legal regime governing this action, and then assesses whether the policy or law should continue to be implemented in the way that it has. In doing these assessments, students become more informed consumers of news and media accounts of issues that are of intense concern for the foreseeable future in national and international policy.

HNRS-302
003H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Bioethical and Legal Dilemmas in Healthcare

This colloquium provides students with a basic understanding of the relationships between bioethics and the law, a grounding in the principles of bioethics, and an introduction to the key bioethics debates. Students learn about a range of legal and bioethical issues that confront healthcare providers and patients in a time of rapid technological change and about new ways of thinking about these issues. Students relate fundamental principles of bioethics to several clinical topics and public policy problems, including informed consent, diagnostic genetics, end-of-life care, advanced directives, the right to die and physician-assisted suicide. A major portion of the course is devoted to examining the evolution of bioethics decision-making in judicial contexts and where U.S. society is in the contemporary debate. Students look at recent bioethics issues that have stirred public controversy and have yet to be decided by the courts, and consider the role of bioethical issues in public policy making. The course is an excellent overview of contemporary issues relating to law and medicine and foundational for students considering careers in law, medicine, or other healthcare professions. Beyond the substance of the issues it presents, this course helps students to enhance their analytical thinking, public speaking ability, and skills in writing clearly and cogently.

HNRS-302
004H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Who Killed JFK?

This colloquium is a full examination of the many continuing mysteries and the latest findings about the murder of President John F. Kennedy in the streets of Dallas more than 50 years ago. Questions of who was responsible and why are supplemented by a thorough look at the impact this tragic event has had on America's government and its citizens.

HNRS-302
005H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Militarization of US Foreign Policy:Uniforms or Pin-Stripes?

This colloquium explores the gradual "militarization" of U.S. foreign policy on a global basis and examines its implications for U.S. foreign policy and U.S. national security. Students do intensive reading and discussion on the Iraq and Afghanistan experience, on the emergence and recent history of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) program, on the history of U.S. military involvement in the security sector, and on the broader historical context for one nation seeking to arrange the affairs of another. The course includes guest speakers from the Defense Department, Special Operations forces, U.S. Department of State, National Security Council, Congressional staff, and outside experts who discuss and debate the wisdom of this military engagement, as well as field trips to the institutions involved in the program. Students write major research papers, which evaluate the impact of BPC activities both on the United States and on the recipient countries, and make recommendations for how BPC might be changed, how the civilian institutions involved in security sector policy might be strengthened, how transparency and accountability for BPC might be increased, and how the U.S. might construct a more balanced engagement overseas.

HNRS-302
001H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Humanity in the Digital Age

Humans and our culture are increasingly becoming digital - through our interactions with internet, mobile phones, and other digital technologies. This course seeks to understand the impact of new media technologies on contemporary culture and society.

HNRS-302
002H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Legal Issues in Globalization

This course examines the legal aspects of international trade and investment. It explores the nature of international investment law, the private customary law of trade, and both domestic and international schemes for the regulation of international trade. Students become familiar with the legal mechanics of engaging in direct foreign investment, as well as questions surrounding the choice of law issues in national regulation. Special emphasis is placed on the trade protection laws of the United States and the development of the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Although the course examines these issues from a legal perspective, it also deals with the political, social, economic, and environmental aspects of trade regulation and economic regulation in this era of globalization.

HNRS-302
003H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

The Responsibility to Protect

The course explores the relatively new international concept of the responsibility to protect. Students examine a series of historical and contemporary examples where the international community failed in this responsibility: the holocaust, India/Pakistan independence, Rwanda, the Balkans, Syria as well as places where the doctrine has been asserted with mixed results: Kosovo, Libya and Iraq. The course explores the moral, legal and practical issues involved and seeks to challenge students to understand the ambiguities and competing national priorities that make implementation and enforcement possible or likely.

HNRS-302
004H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Environment and Development

This course is an overview of the multidisciplinary field of environment and development. It focuses on debates concerning various human-made or development-related root causes of natural-resource degradation in the South. Special attention is paid to the relationship between the rural poor and the environment. The course also looks critically at current innovative policy initiatives-from local to global levels--attempting to resolve the linked problems of environment and development. Students learn "root-cause analysis" to assess both the debates and the policy initiatives.

HNRS-302
005H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Social Sciences (3)

Women/Prison: Is Orng/New Blk?

This course is a study in the popular images and private realities of prisons for women. Students examine women, crime, and imprisonment as presented in popular media-in particular, the series, Orange is the New Black-in concert with an examination of the scholarly research on these topics. Providing a creative voice for those who may wish to write about women's justice issues is a secondary theme of the course.