Honors 301:  The Honors Colloquium

Spring Semester 2011

G. Dameron (Department of History)

Durick Library 306/x2318

Office Hours: Monday, 9-11; Wednesday, 2:30-3:30, and by appointment


Franz Schubert (1797-1828)

(featured in Spring Semester 2011 Humanities Program Concert)

(Source: http://www.kunstderfuge.com/schubert.htm)


Goals of Course:


The goals of the 2-credit Honors Colloquium are several:  1) to challenge students to take full advantage of the cultural and academic resources of the College and wider Burlington community, 2) to broaden student appreciation and understanding of the fine arts and of a liberal arts education, 3) to foster critical thinking and communication skills in writing, research, and speaking, and 4) to fulfill a major requirement of the Honors Program. 


An additional (fifth) goal of this particular 2011 Colloquium is to explore two related topics:  a) Romanticism in the arts, and b) the involvement and engagement of intellectuals and artists in progressive social and political change. 


The Honors Colloquium is a unique aspect of the Honors Program at Saint Michael’s College and, for that matter, unique in any honors program anywhere.  To a large extent students themselves shape and create the direction of the Colloquium.


Course Format:


This 2-credit course will consist of the following:  weekly colloquium (seminar) meetings on Monday afternoons (2:30-4:10), during which there will be discussions and student presentations.  Students will attend ten (10) cultural or artistic events outside of normal class time and write about them.  Four (4) of those events are required.  Students will also read, discuss, and write about one assigned book.  There will be three (3) student presentations of 15-20 minutes each on class days designated for presentations.  They will be followed by short discussion.  There will be no lectures or examinations.  The course will use the eCollege course management system, and the Web site will include an online syllabus, Web sites, lists of readings, lists of events, and any other material deemed relevant to the course by the instructor. Students should consult the site frequently for updated information.




Required Book:


George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia  (Mariner Books, 1980), 15th printing

ISBN-10: 0156421178 ISBN-13: 978-0156421171.


Class and Event Schedule:


January 17:  Introduction and orientation to course


January 24: 


January 31:  no class because of concert the next day on February 1 (McCarthy Arts Center, 7:30 pm, free)


February 1 (7:30 pm, McCarthy Arts):  The Spring Semester 2011 Humanities Program Concert


February 7:  Discussion (Orwell, Introduction and chapters 1-9)


February 14:  Discussion (Orwell, chapters 10-14)


February 21:  no class (February break)


February 28:  Presentations and discussions


March 7:  Presentations and discussions


March 14:  no class (Spring Recess)


March 21:  Presentations and discussions


March 28:  Presentations and discussions


April 4:  “Lawrence of Arabia” (David Lean, Director; 1962)


April 6-9:  William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet” (the Saint Michael’s College spring semester play)—students attends performance at own convenience


April 11:  Discussion about “Lawrence”; presentations and discussions


April 18:  Presentations and discussion; brief descriptions about final essay topics


April 19:  Special colloquium meeting (optional make-up class for lost snow day, March 7)


April 25:  no class (Easter Break)


May 2  Conclusion to Colloquium




Web sites that list events from which students can choose their six events (note:  there is some overlap here with Professor Clary’s list, posted at our eCollege site)


The City of Burlington


The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts


The Lane Series (University of Vermont)


The Fine Arts, Art, Music, and Theater Departments (Saint Michael’s College)


The Fleming Art Museum (The University of Vermont)


The Middlebury Art Museum


The Saint Michael’s College Events Calendar


Seven Days (weekly local newspaper)


Vermont Council on the Humanities


Major Political Parties:  Democrats, Progressives, Republicans


M.O.V.E. (and other student activities, Saint Michael’s College)