John F. Reed Honors Program

Honors Seminars

Honors courses are small, interdisciplinary seminars. These courses are neither discipline specific nor lecture-styled. Something much different happens in our honors offerings.

Scholars enrolling in Honors Seminars enter a discourse community that is "learning-centered" and "learner-directed." In Honors Forums, responsibility for learning the material and directing the course is shared by all persons -- Honors Scholars and Honors Faculty. These 2-credit offerings are open to all FLC students. However, Honors Forums are designed to serve the needs of persons admitted to the John F. Reed Honors Program. As such, Honors Forums are demanding.

For further information regarding any course, please contact the professor for each individual course or contact Dr. William Lee Mangrum. The following forums are available Fall Term 2016.


HON 221/421: Food Fight!

(MW 2:30 -- 3:25; William Lee Mangrum)

How often have you heard questions such as: are you gluten free? Do you buy locally? Eat organically? Are you a vegan or vegetarian? Have you heard about food deserts, slow food movement, urban gardens, GMO's, Whole Foods market, Food Not Bombs, or the Food Network?

In this forum, we will explore how food impacts our lives paying close attention to contemporary key activists and thinkers within the food politics movement including Michael Pollan, Vandana Shiva, Lucas Benitez, and Will Allen. We will explore food rhetoric focusing on issues of power, privilege, culture, and identity.

HON 222/422: I don’t care! You don’t care! They don’t care!

(TR 5:45 -- 6:40; William Lee Mangrum)

When things don’t go our way, we often say, “I don’t care!” When the person we love slights us, we sometimes say “You don’t care!” When communities remain entrenched, indifferent to racism, poverty, human trafficking, and more, we emphatically say, “They don’t care!”

But what does it mean to “care” about a person, an issue, or a community? Drawing on the work of a Jewish Philosopher, Milton Mayeroff, and a Feminist Educator, Nel Noddings, this seminar explores “caring” as foundational to human survival and to planetary well-being. Our future depends on linking “critical thinking” with “caring” for ourselves, our neighbors, and our world.

HON 223/423: 4TH AND Long: Sociological, Scientific, Historical, and Cultural Perspectives on the NFL

(T 4:05-- 5:55; Melissa Anne Thompson )

The National Football League is the largest professional sports league in the US, making it the perfect topic for interdisciplinary analysis. This course is designed for those who want to go beyond the level of inquiry of the typical armchair quarterback. We will examine the NFL using a variety of disciplines and examine the thinking of some of its major innovators. Sample topics will include the science of player safety (concussions), historical perspectives of team relocation, sociological aspects of player conduct; and, of course, no analysis would be complete without discussing Deflategate.

HON 223/423: The Poisoner’s Handbook

(W 3:35 -- 5:35; William Reed Collins)

This course will look at how poisonings have affected historical figures, as well as important/pivotal historical events. Additionally, we will follow the evolution of forensic chemistry as a tool for solving poisonings (both homicidal, accidental, and environmental). Finally, we will delve into the principles of toxicology (aka “what makes a poison a poison?), and see that many historical poisons are now being utilized as targeted modern medicines.