Course Schedule

As always, even after the syllabus has been posted, be aware that assignments may change. HONS 2105 students are always encouraged to watch the Announcements section of the course’s blackboard site and their emails, and to listen and make note of any changes as they are announced in class.

HONS2105 printable syllabus for Spring 2024

PLEASE NOTE: The schedule information that follows hereafter is “under construction.” In the meantime, refer to the course schedule that is included in the syllabus (which can be accessed by clicking the green link above).

19th Century Liberalism

John Stuart Mill (Photograph, 1865)
Thursday, January 20, 2022

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)
  • Tomas Cipriano de Mosquera“Courting Papal Anger”(Colombia Reader 118-22)
  • “Liberalism and Sin,” (Colombia Reader 123-27)

Anarchism, Socialism, Communism

Karl Marx, 1875
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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)
  • Joseph Proudhon, selections (CP 14-16)
  • Victor Considerant, Principles of Socialism (CP 17-18)

Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement

Elizabeth Cady Stanton with daughter Harriet (from a daguerreotype, circa 1856)
Thursday, January 27, 2022

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 19)

Slavery and its Legacy in the United States

Frederick Douglass (daguerreotype, circa 1855)
Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Read before class:Slave Narratives (CP 20-29)

  • Slave Narratives (CP 20-29)
  • Frederick Douglass What to the Slave is the 4th of July? (CP 30-32)
  • Henry B. Brown, Plessy v. Ferguson (CAPCT 99-102)
  • John Marshall Harlan, Plessy v. Ferguson, Dissent (CAPCT 103-107)

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 3, 2022

Read before class:

  • Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, chap. 14 (CP 33-41)
  • Charles Darwin, Descent of Man (Selections)4 (CP 42-51)
  • Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid – selections (CP 52-58)
  • Pope John Paul II, “Address to the Pontifical Academy of Social Science” (CP 59-61)

Two Masters of Suspicion

Friederich Nietzsche, as interpreted by Edvard Munch (oil on canvas, 1906)
Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Read before class:

  • Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality – selections (CP 62-67)
  • Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents – selections (CP 68-75)

A South American Republic: The Formation of Modern Colombia

José María Vargas Vila circa 1890
Thursday, February 10, 2022

Read before class:

  • Colombia: National Anthem (CP 76)
  • Colombian Constitution of 1886 (selections) (CP 77-85)
  • Soledad Acosta de Samper, “A Girl’s View of War in the Capital,” (Colombia Reader, 331-38)
  • Jose Maria Vargas Vila, Facing the Barbarians: The Yanqui, Behold the Enemy (Colombia Reader 551-55)
  • Jose Maria Quijano Wallis, “Let This Be Our Last War” (Colombia Reader 339-42)

The New Social Sciences

Waiting Room at 19 Berggasse (Freud's living and consultation space in Vienna, currently housing the Freud Museum)
Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Read before class:

  • Emile Durkheim, The Rules of Sociological Method, selections (CP86-89)
  • Max Weber, “Politics as a Vocation,” selections (CP 90-94)
  • Karl Popper, “The Poverty of Historicism” (CP 95-98)

China: Humiliation, Rebellion, and Nationalism

Sun Yat-Sen
Thursday, February 17, 2022

Read before class:

  • The Western Intrusion Into China (Sources of Chinese Tradition, Vol 2, hereafter SCT 198-205)
  • The Taiping Rebellion (SCT 213-23, 226-30)
  • Sun Yat-Sen and the Nationalist Revolutions (SCT, 314-330)
  • Chiang Kai-Shek, “China’s Destiny” (SCT 344-47)

Imperialism and Colonialism

Rubén Darío (circa 1915)
Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Read before class:

  • The Earl of Cromer: “Why Britain Acquired Egypt in 1882” (CP 99-100)
  • Jose Marti, “Our America,” (CP 101-105)
  • Ruben Dario, “To Roosevelt” (CP 106)
  • Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth selections (CP 107-109)
  • Mohandas Gandhi, “Ahmedabad Speech,”(CMROW 239-42)
  • Mohandas Gandhi, “Satyagraha,”(CMROW 249-58)

What Is Natural Science Knowledge Of?

llustration of a DNA molecule, methylated at the two center cytosines.
Thursday, February 24, 2022

Read before class:

  • Albert Einstein, Geometry and Experience (CP 110-117)
  • Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery – selections (CP 118-119
  • Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World – selections (CP 120-122)

The Russian Revolution

Tsar Nicholas II and the Royal Family, 1913
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Read before class:

  • 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, “An Appeal to the Young” (CMORW 170-86)
  • Peter Kropotkin, “The Russian Revolution and the Soviet Government” (CMORW 243-48)
  • Peter Kropotkin, “Two Letters to Lenin,” (CP 123-126)

Islam & Modernity

Muhammad ‘Abduh
Thursday, March 3, 2022

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)

Spring Break – No class

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Spring Break – No Class

Thursday, March 10, 2022

World War I

British Military Recruitment Poster, World War I
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Read before class:

  • Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, “German War Aims” (CP 127-128)
  • Werner Sombart, “Merchants and Heroes” (CP 129-130)
  • Lenin, “The War and Russian Social Democracy” (CP 131)
  • World War I poetry – selections (CP 132-134)
  • 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 17, 2022

Read before class:

  • Adolph Hitler, from Mein Kampf (CP 135-143)
  • The Program of the NSDAP (CP 144-146)
  • Hitler Youth (CP 147-149)
  • Bruno Heilig, “Why the German Republic Fell” (CP 150-158)
  • Wilhelm Stuckart and Hans Globke, “Civil Rights and the Natural Inequality of Man” (CP 159-163)
  • Pope Pius XI “Mit Brennender Sorge” (CP 164-166)

The Holocaust

Czeslawa Kwoka, aged 14, Auschwitz, 1942
Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Read before class:

  • Simon Wiesenthal, The Sunflower

Palestine and the State of Israel

Flag of the State of Israel
Thursday, March 24, 2022

Read before class:

  • The Balfour Declaration and timeline of the Middle East Conflict (CP 167-170)
  • The Partition of Palestine: UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (CP 171-174)
  • Declaration of Establishment of the State of Israel (CP 175-176)
  • The Palestinian Charter (CP 177-180)
  • The Palestinian Declaration of Independence (CP 181-183)

China: From Mao to Now

Statue of young Mao stands today in Changsha, the capital of Hunan
Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Read before class:

  • Mao Zedong, “The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party,” (SCT pp. 412-16)
  • 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)
  • Deng Xiaoping, “Build Socialism With Chinese Characteristics” (SCT 507-10)
  • Bo Yang, “The Ugly Chinaman” (SCT 565-68)
  • Gu Mu, “Confucianism as the Essence of Chinese Tradition,” (SCT 581-83))

Vatican II and its Aftermath

St. Peter's Basilica, site of the Second Vatican Council 1962-1965
Thursday, March 31, 2022

Read before class:

  • Nostra Aetate (CP 184-186)
  • Gaudium et Spes (excerpts) (CP 187-197)
    Dorothy Day, “Aims and Purposes” (CP 198-199)
  • Camilo Torres, “As a Colombian, as a Sociologist, as a Christian, and as a Priest, I Am a Revolutionary” (Colombia Reader, 141-46)
  • Pope Francis, Laudato Si, selections (CP 200-209)

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 5, 2022

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 210-216)
  • 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)

Post War Social Democracy and Liberalism

John Rawls
Thursday, April 7, 2022

Read before class:

  • Eduard Bernstein, Evolutionary Socialism, “Preface” (CP 217-220)
  • “Declaration of Principles of the Socialist International,” 1989 (CP 221-222)
  • “Party Manifesto of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany,” 2007 (CP 223-224)
  • “An Interview With John Rawls,”

Afro-Caribbean Writers

Jamaica Kincaid, 1999
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Read before class:

  • Jamaica Kincaid A Small Place
    CLR James, Beyond A Boundary, selections (CP 225-228)
    CLR James, “The Revolution and the Negro” (CP 229-233)
    CLR James, “Fanon and the Caribbean” (CP 234-236)

Holy Thursday – No classes

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Latin American Literature and La Violencia: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Cover Art from "In Evil Hour" (1991)
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Read before class:

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, In Evil Hour
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (CP 237-240)
  • Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, “Prayer for Peace speech” (Colombia Reader 343-46)
  • Gustavo Alvarez Gardeazabal, “Dead Bodies Appear on the Streets” (Colombia Reader 347-54)

Contemporary Islam

Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb
Thursday, April 21, 2022

Read before class:

  • Pope Francis and Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb, “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” (CP 241-245)
  • Ebrahim Moosa, The Debts and Burdens of Critical Islam (Norton Islam 590-96)
  • Ali Shari’ati, Fatima is Fatima, (Norton Islam 607-18)
  • Mohammed Arkoun, Rethinking Islam (Norton Islam 577-86)

Colombia: Between Legitimacy and Violence

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Read before class:

  • Colombian Constitution 1991 (selections) (CP 246-250)
  • Starting Points for the FARC and the ELN (Colombia Reader 367-76)
  • Turning Points in the Colombian Conflict (Colombia Reader 426-33)
  • Guillermo Gaviria Correa, Diary of a Kidnapped Colombian Governor, selections (CP 251-254)
  • “General Agreement for the Termination of the Conflict and the Building of a Stable and Enduring Peace” (Colombia Reader 591-98)
  • Caroline Sandoval, “Colombia Can’t Afford to Abandon Peace”
  • “Leftists Are Ascendant in Latin America as Key Elections Loom”

Women's Voices

Betty Friedan, 1960
Thursday, April 28, 2022

Read before class:

  • Amanda LaBarca, “Of Man, Woman, and Time” (CP 255-256)
  • Betty Friedan, “Our Revolution Is Unique” (CAPCT 715-17)
  • Kathleen Sprows Cummings, “Do Women Have Souls?
  • Catholicism, Feminism and the Council of Macon” (CP 257-262)
  • Amina Wadud, Qur’an and Woman (Norton Islam 625-29)

LGBTQ Rights, Church & Society

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Read before class:

  • US Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges, selections (CP 263-269)
  • Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons” (CP 270-274)
  • James Alison, “Yes, But Is It True?”


Thomas Merton and Dalai Lama, November 1968
Thursday, May 5, 2022

Read before class:

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “The Solitude of Latin America” (CP 275-277)
  • Thomas Merton, “Learning to Live” (CP 278-286)
  • Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists


Possibilities (Continued)

Sunburst over the planet Earth
Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Read before class:

Rutger Bregman, Utopia for Realists