Course Schedule

HONS2105 printable syllabus for Spring 2021

Please note that assignments may change, so watch the Announcements section of our blackboard site and your email, and listen and make note of any changes as they are announced in class.

19th Century Liberalism

John Stuart Mill (Photograph, 1865)
Thursday, January 28, 2021

Read before class:

  • J.S. Mill, On Liberty selections (Course Packet, hereafter referred to as CP 1-8)
  • William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe Each Other (Classics of American Political and Constitutional Thought, hereafter CAPCT 163-69)
  • Pope Pius IX, “Syllabus of Errors,” selections (CP 9-10)
  • Jose Lastarria, Investigations on the Social Influence of the Conquest and the Colonial System of the Spaniards in Chile, Keen’s Latin American Civilization, 10th edition, __________– hereafter abbreviated as LAC)
  • Francisco Bilbao, “America in Danger,” (LAC 47-51)

Communism and Revolution

Karl Marx, 1875
Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Read before class:

  • Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto in Communist Manifesto and other Revolutionary Writings (hereafter CMORW 123-42)
  • Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 (CP 11-13)
  • Peter Kropotkin, “An Appeal to the Young” (CMORW 170-86)

Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton with daughter Harriet (from a daguerreotype, circa 1856)
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Read before class:

  • Angelina Grimké, “Letter to Theodore Weld and John Greenleaf Whittier” (CAPCT pp. 5-8)
  • Sarah Grimké, “Letters on the Equality of the Sexes” (CAPCT pp. 8-13)
  • “The Declaration of Sentiments,” Seneca Falls (CAPCT pp. 16-18)
  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Address to the New York State Legislature” (CAPCT pp. 18-26)
  • Sojourner Truth, Ain’t I a Woman? (CP 14)

Slavery and its Legacy in the Americas

Frederick Douglass (daguerreotype, circa 1855)
Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Read before class:

  • Slave Narratives (CP 15-24)
  • Frederick Douglass What to the Slave is the 4th of July? (CP 25-27)
  • Henry B. Brown, Plessy v. Ferguson (CAPCT 99-102)
  • John Marshall Harlan, Plessy v. Ferguson, Dissent (CAPCT 103-107)
  • Black Slavery under the Empire (LAC 102-04)
  • Joaquim Nabuco, O Abolicionismo, (LAC 104-14)
  • Jose do Patrocinio, “The Victory of the Abolitionist Cause (LAC 141-42)

Methods of the Natural Sciences: Darwin & Evolutionary Thought

Charles Darwin (portrait by George Richmond in 1840, a few years after the 2nd voyage of the HMS Beagle)
Thursday, February 11, 2021

Read before class:

  • Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, chap. 14 (CP 28-36)
  • Charles Darwin, Descent of Man (Selections)4 (CP 37-46)
  • Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid – selections (CP 47-53)
  • Pope John Paul II, “Address to the Pontifical Academy
    of Social Science” (CP54-56)

Two Masters of Suspicion

Friederich Nietzsche, as interpreted by Edvard Munch (oil on canvas, 1906)
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Read before class:

  • Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality – selections (CP 57-62)
  • Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents – selections (CP 63-70)

Latin America and Neo-Colonialism

Rubén Darío (circa 1915)
Thursday, February 18, 2021

Read before class:

  • Colombia: National Anthem (CP 71)
  • Colombian Constitution of 1886 (selections) (CP 72-80)
  • Jose Marti, “Our America,” (LAC 145-50)
  • Ruben Dario, “To Roosevelt” (LAC 340-42)
  • Jose Enrique Rodo, Ariel (LAC 332-35)
  • Jose Maria Vargas Vila, Facing the Barbarians: The Yanqui, Behold the Enemy, selections (CP81-83)

Imperialism and Colonialism

Cartoon by Henri Meyer from supplement to "Le Petit Journal", 16th January 1898. Crown heads of England, Germany, Russia, France and Japan confer about how best to cut up a cake labeled "Chine." This reproduction is from Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Read before class:

  • J.S. Mill, “On Colonies and Colonization” (CP 84-86)
  • The Western Intrusion Into China (Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol 2, hereafter SCT 198-205)
  • The Earl of Cromer: “Why Britain Acquired Egypt in 1882” (CP 87-88)
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth selections (CP 89-91)
  • Mohandas Gandhi, “Ahmedabad Speech,”(CMROW pp.239-42)
  • Mohandas Gandhi, “Satyagraha,”(CMROW pp.249-58)

Study Day

Thursday, February 25, 2021

The New Social Sciences

Waiting Room at 19 Berggasse (Freud's living and consultation space in Vienna, currently housing the Freud Museum)
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Read before class:

  • Emile Durkheim, The Rules of Sociological Method, selections (CP 92-95)
  • Max Weber, “Politics as a Vocation,” selections (CP 96-100)
  • Karl Popper, “The Poverty of Historicism” (CP 101-104)
  • Jonathan Rauch, “The Constitution of Knowledge” (CP 105-107)

What Is Natural Science Knowledge Of?

llustration of a DNA molecule, methylated at the two center cytosines.
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Read before class:

  • Albert Einstein, “E=MC2” (CP 108-110)
  • Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery – selections (CP 111-112)
  • Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World – selections (CP 113-115)

The Russian Revolution

Tsar Nicholas II and the Royal Family, 1913
Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Read before class:

  • Leon Trotsky, “The Proletariat and the Revolution” (CMROW 213-214)
  • V.I. Lenin, “The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution”(CMROW 227-31)
  • Lenin, “Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People”(CMROW 236-38)
  • Peter Kropotkin, “The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Government” (CMORW 243-48)
  • Kropotkin, “Two Letters to Lenin,” (CP 116-119)

Islam & Modernity

Muhammad ‘Abduh
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Read before class:

  • Muhammad ‘Abduh, The Theology of Unity, (Norton Islam 531-39)
  • Mahmud Shaltut, The Qur’an and Fighting, (Norton Islam 548-56)
  • Sayid Ahmad Khan, “The Rights of Women,” (Norton Islam 597-600)
  • Sayid Qutb, Milestones, (Norton Islam 556-63)

World War I

British Military Recruitment Poster, World War I
Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Read before class:

  • Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, “German War Aims” (CP 120-121)
  • Werner Sombart, “Merchants and Heroes” (CP 122-123)
  • Lenin, “The War and Russian Social Democracy” (CP 124)
  • Herbert Wickens, Letter from the Front – 2nd Battle of Ypre (CP 125-127)
  • World War I poetry – selections (CP 128-130
  • Rosa Luxemberg, “A Call to the Workers of the World” (CMROW 232-35)

Nazi Germany

From Nazi propaganda leaflets that were distributed to German citizens by Hitler`s government. Photo made available for digitization by Charles and Katie Overstreet
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Read before class:

  • Adolph Hitler, from Mein Kampf (CP 131-139)
  • The Program of the NSDAP (CP 140-142)
  • The Horst Wessel Song (CP 143)
  • Hitler Youth (CP 144-146)
  • Bruno Heilig, “Why the German Republic Fell” (CP 147-155)
  • Wilhelm Stuckart and Hans Globke, “Civil Rights and the Natural Inequality of Man” (CP 156-160)
  • Pope Pius XI “Mit Brennender Sorge” (CP 161-163)

The Holocaust & the Establishment of the State of Israel

The National Flag of the State of Israel
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Read before class:

  • Simon Wiesenthal, The Sunflower
  • The Balfour Declaration and timeline of the Middle East Conflict (CP 164-167)
  • The Partition of Palestine: UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (CP 168-171)
  • Declaration of Establishment of the State of Israel (CP 172-173)

China: Nationalism and Communism

Statue of young Mao stands today in Changsha, the capital of Hunan
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Read before class:

  • Sun Yat-Sen and the Nationalist Revolutions (SCT, pp 314-330)
  • Chiang Kai-Shek, “China’s Destiny” (SCT pp.344-47)
  • Mao Zedong, “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party,” (SCT pp. 412-16)
  • Mao Zedong, “On New Democracy,” (SCT pp. 418-23)
  • Mao Zedong, “The Dictatorship of the People’s Democracy,” (SCT pp. 423-25)
  • Mao Zedong, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the the People,” (SCT pp.459-64)

Study Day

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Holy Thursday – No classes

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Afro-Caribbean Writers

Jamaica Kincaid, 1999
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Read before class:

  • Jamaica Kincaid, Annie John
  • CLR James, Beyond A Boundary, selections (CP 174-177)
  • CLR James, “Revolution and the Negro” (CP 178-182)
  • CLR James, “Fanon and the Caribbean” (CP 183-185)

Vatican II and its Aftermath

St. Peter's Basilica, site of the Second Vatican Council 1962-1965
Thursday, April 8, 2021

Read before class:

  • Nostra Aetate (CP186-188)
  • Gaudium et Spes (excerpts) (CP 189-193)
  • Dorothy Day, “Aims and Purposes” (CP 194)
  • Ernesto Cardenal, “The Church in the Nicaraguan Revolution” (LAC pp. 236-41)
  • Pope Francis, Laudato Si, selections (CP 195-204)

Race and Civil Rights in the U.S.

U.S. Marshalls escort Ruby Bridges from school, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A. 1960
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Read before class:

  • Booker T. Washington, “Atlanta Exposition Address” (CAPCT 188-90)
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folks (CAPCT 190-96)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (CAPCT 653-62)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., “Mountaintop speech” (CP 205-211)
  • Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet” (CAPCT 664-74)
  • James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, “Debate at Cambridge University” (CAPCT 684-88)
  • Thurgood Marshall, “Remarks on the Bicentennial of the Constitution” (CAPCT 832-34)

Contemporary Islam

Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Read before class:

  • Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb, “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” (CP 212-216)
  • Ebrahim Moosa, The Debts and Burdens of Critical Islam (Norton Islam pp. 590-96)
  • Ali Shari’ati, Fatima is Fatima, (Norton Islam pp. 607-18)
  • The Palestinian Charter (CP 217-220)
  • The Palestinian Declaration of Independence (CP 221-223)

Latin American Literature: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Cover Art from "In Evil Hour" (1991)
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Read before class:

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, In Evil Hour
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Very Old man With Enormous Wings (CP 224-227)

Post War Social Democracy and Liberalism

John Rawls
Thursday, April 22, 2021

Read before class:

  • Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism, “Preface” (CP 228-231)
  • “Declaration of Principles of the Socialist International,” 1989 (CP 232-233)
  • “Party Manifesto of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany,” 2007 (CP 234-235)
  • John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (CAPCT 774-77)
  • “An Interview With John Rawls,”

Contemporary Latin America

Cuban Prime Minister, Fidel Castro, arriving at MATS Terminal, Washington D.C. (1959)
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Read before class:

Women's Voices

Betty Friedan, 1960
Thursday, April 29, 2021

Read before class:

  • Amanda LaBarca, Of Man, Woman, and Time (LAC 193-96)
  • Eva Peron, On Women’s Right to Vote (LAC 189-91)
  • Betty Friedan, “Our Revolution Is Unique” (CAPCT 715-17)
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, “A Left-Handed Commencement Address (CAPCT 830-32)
  • Amina Wadud, Qur’an and Woman (Norton Islam pp. 625-29)

LGBTQ Rights, Church & Society

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Read before class:


Thomas Merton and Dalai Lama, November 1968
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Read before class:

  • Thomas Merton, “Learning to Live” (CP 259-267)
  • Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists


Possibilities (Continued)

Sunburst over the planet Earth
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Read before class:

Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists