General honors (GH) classes

Previously Offered general honors (GH) classes

General Honors (GH) courses are the heart of the University Honors Program curriculum and feature small class sizes, dedicated faculty members, interdisciplinary perspectives, active learning and an exciting array of topics. These classes can be accessed by searching under University Honors in the catalog. The following is an example of a General Honors (GH) course that has been offered in the past. This course may or may not be offered again.

GH101: Coming of Age

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Madrid, Spain (1933)

Course Description

The coming of age novel centers on the human progression from youth to maturity. This process leads to self-discovery, yet it is also the backdrop for larger notions of nationalism, ethnicity, class, religion and gender. Indeed, the protagonist’s struggle to learn and adapt to life as an adult is intrinsically tied to the individual’s society, culture and historical moment. The question is not simply “Who am I?” but rather “Who am I in relation to society and history?” “What does it mean to be a woman in turn-of-the-century England for example, or “What does it mean to be an African under colonial rule?” “What does it mean to be an immigrant in the United States?" This course attempts to answer these questions, using the coming of age novel as a means to map the individual’s role and relationship to society, as well as greater social institutions, such as education, marriage and family.

From nineteenth-century Paris to modern-day Chicago, Elizabethan England to colonial French Guinea, we follow our protagonists through time and across continents, charting not only the development of the individual and society, but also the evolution of literature, the ways in which it too shapes society and the individual.

Reading List:

Goethe, Wilhelm Meister

Honoré de Balzac, Old Goriot

 Kate Chopin, The Awakening

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Virginia Woolf, Orlando

Camara Laye, The Dark Child

Ulrich Plenzdorf, The New Sorrows of Young W.

Sandra Cisneros, The House on Mango Street

Instructor: dr. Keri yousif