Honors | Ideas & Experience II (HON)
H212 | 12303 | Edward Gubar
“What then must we do?” Leo Tolstoy asked in 1886, writing about
greed, exploitation, and poverty in the slums of Moscow. Men and
women have been asking similar questions since men and women began
asking questions. How should we act? How should we behave? What
standards or schemes should we follow? What ideas, what motives,
what values should govern our actions?
We will see how some important writers, philosophers, artists,
historical figures, and others, mainly from the past two hundred
years, have addressed these questions. We will also watch several
films related to the various themes the course addresses.
Core readings will include the Sermon on the Mount, Plato’s Crito,
and selections from Isaiah Berlin, Marx & Engels, Tolstoy, Nietsche,
Freud, Darwin, Einstein and a postmodernist text or two.
We will also probably read a few of the following: plays by
Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Aeschylus, Forster’s Howard’s End,
Camus’ The Plague, Gary Snyder’s Earth Household, Albee’s Zoo Story,
Mann’s Death in Venice, and Ursula Leguin’s The Dispossessed.
Films may include Inherit the Wind, Adaptation, Salt of the Earth,
Class format: directed discussion.
Required work: A variety of writing assignments including some brief
responses, a few short essays, and one longer essay.
Honors College “H” course
Freshman Topics course
COAS Intensive Writing course