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Honors Courses Fall 2014

Honors Courses Fall 2014

Honors Core Seminars

Des Plaines

The Stories We Tell and the Songs We Sing: Religion and the Literary Imagination

PHL 205 0H1 (CRN 31872) World Religions
3 credit hours
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Room 2735
Instructor: Mohamed Mehdi

EGL 129 0H1 (CRN 31873) Introduction to Literature
3 credit hours
Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Room 2735
Instructor: Madhuri Deshmukh

Religion and literature raise some of the most profound questions of human existence. Many literary works draw heavily on religious heritage – and religious questions, aspirations, and doubts are often expressed in literature. Thus it is difficult to fully understand important literary works without some knowledge of religion – and hard to grasp the cultural manifestations of religion without reference to literature. Explore how literary and religious texts treat four major themes: love, death, justice, and liberation – with particular attention paid to how religion has both inspired and oppressed struggles for social justice. Course begins with ancient classical texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Book of Job, and moves on to more modern works of poetry, fiction, and drama – including works focusing on the traditions of oppressed groups, including South Asian Buddhism; Native American religions and cultures; Afro-Caribbean traditions such as Rasta, Voudou, and Senzala; and African-American Christianity and Islam.

In addition to earning honors credit, seminar meets an elective requirement for the Peace and Social Justice concentration.

Madhuri Deshmukh, Ph.D., English, Loyola University Chicago.
Mohamed Mehdi, Ph.D., philosophy, McGill University.


Social and Cultural Anthropology and Women and Creativity

ANT 202 0H1 (CRN 32004) Social and Cultural Anthropology
3 credit hours
Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Room 2735
Instructor: Vicky Giambrone

HUM 142 0H1 (CRN 31870) Women and Creativity
3 credit hours
Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Room 2735
Instructor: Kathleen Carot

Explore cultural systems around the globe, with special emphasis on women’s contributions and the influence of gender norms. Learn more about how creativity and artistic endeavor shapes culture, and how, historically, women have had a unique relationship to this phenomenon. Study the many ways people live today and trace the historical developments – particularly post-colonialism and globalism – that shaped current cultural behavior. Course materials include ethnographies from non-Western cultures, text that covers the development of women’s social history, and artistic endeavors – poetry, plays, music, folk art, and more –past and present. Engage in lively discussions with peers and instructors, attend lectures and performing and visual arts events, and express your own creativity through poetry, song, dance, and the visual arts.

In addition to earning honors credit, seminar meets an elective requirement for the Women’s and Gender Studies concentration.

Kathleen Carot, M.A., theater arts, Roosevelt University; coordinator, Women's and Gender Studies.
Vicki Giambrone, M.A., anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., geography and environmental studies, Northeastern Illinois University.  


Honors Courses


SSC 101 0H1 (CRN 31874) The Individual in Modern Society
3 credit hours
Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
Room C251
Instructor: Richard Stacewicz

The "American Dream" at its core places great emphasis on the individual. According to the ideology of the American Dream, we are masters of our fate, we go our own way, do our own thing,  and carve out our destinies based on our own abilities and efforts. The United States, in this view, is a truly meritocratic society where individual liberty is central to our identity as Americans. This is an interdisicplinary social science course that examines the roots, reality, and impact of individualism in western society -- and the often-tense relationship between individualism and social cohesion and/or social justice in the United States. We will look at this concept through the lens of several social sciences and ask a number of questions, including: What purpose does the ideology of meritiocracy serve? Have all Americans always had equal access to the American Dream? What, if any, roadblocks have existed? How have they been overcome? What impacts has the ideology had on American society?

Richard Stacewicz, Ph.D., history, University of Illinois at Chicago.


Des Plaines

EGL 101 0H1 (CRN 31867) Composition I
3 credit hours
Monday and Wednesday, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Room 2735
Instructor: Madhuri Deshmukh

All writing is a form of self-definition – whether writing about personal experiences or responding to the writing of others. Explore the concept of the "self" by reading important reflections on the topic by diverse writers and examining the importance of ethics, politics, culture, race, religion, and history in developing a concept of “selfhood.” Write your own "self" stories through essays, observations, memories, and responses to the readings.

Madhuri Deshmukh, Ph.D., English, Loyola University Chicago.


PSY 101 0H1 (CRN 31869) Introduction to Psychology
3 credit hours
Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Room 2735
Instructor: Eva de la Riva

Survey all elements of this behavioral science, including learning, motivation, emotion, perception, intelligence, human development, amd mental processes – supplemented by the latest research in neuroscience. Covers many of the topics in a traditional class, but limits the breadth of subjects in order to emphasize depth, focusing on class discussions rather than lecture. Active participation required.

Eva de la Riva, Ph.D, social cognitive and neuroscience, University of Texas at El Paso.


Special Honors Night Class

EGL 225 HG5 (CRN 32050) Women and Literature: Women, “Nature,” and Social Justice
3 credit hours
Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 - 9:20 p.m.
Room 2547
Instructor: Marian Staats

What do women’s stories tell us about our identities, desires, and experiences of “nature” and the environment? How do creative writers and filmmakers challenge our conceptions of the “natural” in gender and sexuality – as well as race, class, and physical ability? And how have women contributed to our understanding of current environmental problems? Learn more about how women writers and filmmakers have challenged traditional definitions of the “natural” that structure our lives, and the vital role they play in shaping our culture by questioning our relations with nonhuman animals and the environment. Explore the ways these women have revised notions of gender, sexuality, friendship, and family as they imagine possibilities for change. Course considers global perspectives, including the work of Gloria Anzaldúa, Margaret Atwood, Eli Clare, Harriet Jacobs, Arundhati Roy, and Marjane Satrapi. Students select some course readings and evaluation methods.

Marian Staats, Ph.D., English, Loyola University Chicago.

Co-Listed Honors Courses


HIS 226 0H1 (CRN 32013) History of Islamic Middle East in Modern Times
(Co-listed with HIS 226 001)
3 credit hours
Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Room C114
Instructor: George Lungu

What are the historical roots of the “Arab Awakening?” Is there a “clash of civilizations” that underpins relations between the West and the Muslim world? What role do such Western concepts as secularization, nationalism, and democratization play in modern Middle Eastern history? Investigate the development of political institutions as well as social trends and important cultural and religious developments in the region today. Course illuminates the historical roots of present-day events to better understand their impact on Middle Eastern societies, including their international relationships.

George Lungu, M.A., international relations, University of Chicago; co-director, honors.


PSC 202 0H2 (CRN 32014) International Relations: Global Studies
(Co-listed with PSC 202 002)
3 credit hours
Monday and Wednesday, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Room C114
Instructor: George Lungu

“May you live in an interesting age!” is a Chinese proverb and curse that seems to capture the essence of today’s world. Examine the complexities of international politics and learn to critically interpret and assess contemporary international events. Class approach is based on the notion of “puzzles” – or observations that demand explanations – such as international war, intervention, poverty, economic competition and development, and the global environment.

George Lungu, M.A., international relations, University of Chicago; co-director, honors.


Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research

Des Plaines

CHM 240 0H1 (CRN 30654)
BIO 240 0H1 (CRN 31083)
Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research
- 2 credit hours
Monday, 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. (lab)
Wednesday 1 - 3:45 p.m. (lab)
Room 2222
Instructors: Paul Gulezian, Gary Mines, Kalpa Patel

This challenging interdisciplinary seminar offers a hands-on approach to learning science while doing science, following guidelines for inquiry-based learning. Perform experiments, collect data, analyze results, undertake extensive research reading, and critique research articles while interacting with other students and professors. At the end of the semester, present your results. Course can be repeated once for credit.

Paul Gulezian, Ph.D., biology, University of Illinois at Chicago
Gary Mines, Ph.D., chemistry, California Institute of Technology
Kalpa Patel, Ph.D., biochemistry, Rush University

Academic Program

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From Korean to Russian to Urdu, Oakton introduces students to the world through programs in 11 modern languages.



October 5
Incomplete (I) grades from summer 2014 semester for which faculty have not submitted final grades will become an "F" after this date.

October 10
Last day for filing Graduation Petitions.

October 26
Last day to withdraw with a "W" from 16-week courses; Students will receive a grade in all courses in which they are enrolled after October 26.

November 11
Veterans Day holiday. College closed.

November 19
Registration opens for spring 2015 semester.

November 27, 28
Thanksgiving recess. College closed.

November 29, 30
Thanksgiving recess. No classes; College open.

December 16, 17
Evaluation Days.

December 17
Last day of student attendance.

December 18
Grading Day. Faculty on campus and available to students at designated times.

Full Academic Calendar