Fall 2017 Honors Program Courses

The curricular component of the Honors Program is distributed between the general education and the major: six required honors courses, typically in Core Curriculum areas, and the completion of a thesis, typically in the major field of study.  Of the six required courses, two are completed in the students' first year of residence: a first-year-only, honors section of a Core Curriculum class in the fall term and Honors First-Year Writing (FYWH) in the spring. For the remaining four courses, students may choose from the variety of Honors sections of Core Curriculum courses, including HEB, JHI and BIB, offered every term.  Students qualified to enroll in graduate-level courses may count these, too. 

Non-Honors students interested in taking an Honors course should complete the requisite form and obtain the signature of the course instructor and approval of the director of the Honors Program.  Forms should then be submitted to the Yeshiva College Dean's Office for the director's approval.  Students will be informed by e-mail of the status of their request in a timely manner.  NOTE: Successful completion of this process does not guarantee enrollment in a course that is already closed. 


BIB 1187H-331          Biblical Law and Society                               Barry Eichler              T, R 3-4:15 PM             (3 cu)
Prerequisite: BIB 1000/H; Satisfies a General Education BIB requirement (JTNK)

BIB 1300H-511          Introduction to Biblical Exegesis                  Aaron Koller              R, 1:05-2:45 PM             (2 cu)
Prerequisite: BIB 1000/H; Satisfies a General Education BIB requirement (JTNK)

COWC 1026H-261     Face-to-Face: Modern Complex Identities              Elizabeth Stewart       M, 6:45-9:15 PM (3 cu)

The basis of identity is to a large extent visual, and images are the bricks and mortar of what we eventually come to think of as cultural identity. As Aristotle claimed, we learn to become ourselves by imitating what we see (on the stage) in front of us—for us, the film screen—and we become ourselves by imitating our cultural ideals. This course explores the role cinematic images play in creating narratives about a multiplicity of cultural identities. Aristotle also insisted that it is the “ideal” character created on the stage who will aid in creating “ideal” citizens. In other words, Aristotle knew that the visual/verbal arts—in his case, theater, in our case film—have not only a representative function, but an ideological one as well. But cinematic images, like images in the other arts, have also held the function of “naturalizing” certain structures of oppression and domination as well as challenging them. This course will explore how American and foreign film represents various racial, class, gender, ethnic, and national identities, and how they reproduce and challenge those representations at the same time. While the course pays attention to both cognition and affect in our reception of film, it will emphasize the study of affect in cinematic identification, projection, and enjoyment.

Films include:

  • Crash (Haggis 2004)
  • Zelig (Allen 1983)
  • Birth of a Nation (Griffiths 1915)
  • Beasts of No Nation (Fukunaga 2015)
  • Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl 1936)
  • Rear Window (Hitchcock 1961)
  • Peeping Tom (Powell 1960)
  • Memento (Nolan 2000)
  • Cache (Haneke 2005)
  • Fight Club (Fincher 1999)
  • The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (Slavoj Zizek/Sophie Fiennes 2012)

Selected readings in film theory.
Honors Students should be aware that the reading component of the course plays an integral part within it. Readings come from the field of film theory, psychoanalytic theory, and philosophy.

Requirements: class participation; short responses; 1 shot analysis (1-2pp); 1 scene analysis (2-4pp); one final essay (approx. 8 pp)

CUOT 1003-241         The Monstrous          David Lavinsky          M, W 4:30-5:45 PM  (3 cu)

CUOT 1014H-611       Arch of Titus: Rome to Jerusalem    Steven Fine    F, 9:30 AM -12 PM (3 cu)

HBSI 1107H-331       Human Communication         Bruno Galantucci       T, R 3-4:15 PM (3 cu)

In this multidisciplinary class you will familiarize yourself with a set of diverse scientific perspectives on human communication. These perspectives will cover psychological and social aspects of human communication, providing ample opportunities to acquire a critical appreciation of its multifaceted nature.

Over the course of the class, after a brief exposure to general background material, you will interact with a diverse sample of the scientific literature on human communication. The sample will include the following topics:

  • The grounding of human signs
  • Referential communication
  • Egocentrism and miscommunication
  • Politeness theory
  • Expressions of identity in human communication
  • The emergence of novel forms of communication
  • Cultural diversity in human communication
  • Communication in the animal world
  • Challenges of interstellar communication

Readings. There are no textbooks for this class. The readings for the class will be a mix of chapters from academic textbooks and primary scientific sources such as scientific reports and literature reviews. All readings will be posted on Canvas in electronic format.

Class activities. Class meetings will involve lectures as well as class activities and discussion. The discussions will typically begin with a brief summary of the assigned reading, presented by a student. Participation to class discussions will be closely monitored.

Grading. Your grade will be based on your performance on the following:

Written examination                                         40% of final grade
Class presentations                                         25% of final grade
Final paper (1,500 words)                                 20% of final grade
Attendance and class participation                   15% of final grade


INTC 1005H-621                   Parisian Views            Rachel Mesch                                    F 10 AM – 12:30 PM (3 cu)


INTC 1008H-621                   The New World: Textual Encounters           Ronnie Perelis            F 10 AM-12:30 PM


INTC 1016H-331       Culture of the Fin-de-Siècle              Jess Olson                  T, R     3-4:15 PM (3 cu)
Satisfies the YC Writing Intensive requirement

JHI 1200H-231          Classical Jewish History       Ari Mermelstein        M, W 3-4:15 PM (3 cu)
Satisfies a General Education JHI requirement (JHSS)