These are courses offered through departments across campus. They count as an Honors course and fulfill the normal slot of the regular course.
Honors students who enter the program in 2023 or later may complete any section of the UF-required Quest 1 and 2 courses.
Class Number: 19552
Class Number: 19553
These one-credit courses are discussion-oriented, seminar courses centered on a performance or an exhibit.
These are discussion-oriented, one-credit seminar courses centered on a book.
History + Biography
The Knight on the Bridge, by William Watson—a preeminent Scottish novelist and playwright of the 20th century—is a masterpiece of historical fiction that engages with modern philosophical and cultural currents through the vividly surrealistic lens of castle life in 13th century France. In this course, we will supplement reflection on the novel’s themes—Watson principally wrote on “chaos, faith, love, and death”—with historical contextualization and creative invention about the age of crusade, troubadour poetry, inquisition, and chivalry. Short excerpts from medieval texts will occasionally be provided, for enhanced perspective on the characters and landscapes of Watson's novel. The final assignment will require comparative discussion of Knight on the Bridge and the 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven (directed by Ridley Scott).
I am an anthropologically-informed historian of intellectual, cultural, and political life, currently writing a book-length study on texts and contexts of the Catalan courtier-philosopher Ramon Llull—Ramon’s abstract theological thought is notable for its ecumenical character, and for its influence on modern methods of empirical investigation. In my teaching, I gravitate toward reflection on European multicultural environments (in the western Mediterranean, Italy, and Poland-Lithuania), from the Middle Ages to the early modern period.
Science (Non-Health) + Science Fiction
“Thou shalt kill.
Thou shalt kill with no bias, bigotry, or malice aforethought.
Thou shalt grant an annum of immunity to the beloved of those who accept your coming, and to anyone else you deem worthy.
Thou shalt kill the beloved of those who resist.
Thou shalt serve humanity for the full span of thy days, and thy family shall have immunity as recompense for as long as you live.
Thou shalt lead an exemplary life in word and deed, and keep a journal of each and every day.
Thou shalt not kill fellow scythes beyond thyself.
Thou shalt claim no earthly possessions, save thy robes, ring, and journal.
Thou shalt have no spouse nor spawn.
Thou shalt be beholden to no laws beyond these.” -Scythe Commandments
Shusterman, N. (2016). Scythe. Simon & Schuster.
In Neal Shusterman’s Scythe he dives into a future where there is no disease, no death, no aging. A future where artificial intelligence is everywhere and there is no need for government. A society where Scythes play an essential role in population control. The story travels with two teenagers who are apprenticed to become a Scythe. This novel will inspire you to read farther than the assigned pages, and question your ethics. Within the course we will examine questions of power, ethics (population control), utopias, and individuality.
Do you keep a pet? Do you shudder at the sight of creepy crawly creatures? Do you eat T-bone steaks, chicken wings, or cheese? Lots of us do lots of these things every day, and they are just some examples of humanity's complicated relationship with animals. This course will examine these relationships in several different contexts. Using the second edition of Hal Herzog's Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals, we'll discuss dogs, cats, mice, gamecocks, cows, and many other animals that play important roles in our lives.
Through weekly Socratic discussions, occasional short reflection essays, and a case study presentation, we will explore the human-animal relationship from environmental, ethical, social, and psychological perspectives. By the end of the class, we'll confront the central question to the competing and conflicting relationships most people have with animals: are we all hypocrites wih how we view and use different species?
Drug dependence & addiction may often seem far away, unless it gets personal and affects somebody close by. We will be reading the books "Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey through his Son's Addiction" and "Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town", discussing the various aspects of how drug addiction affects the individual, their loved ones, friends, and society. Some of the topics will include the underlying biological mechanisms of addiction, the impact of addiction on society, treatment approaches, with a major part spent on sharing our views on what can be done moving forward to find solutions. This class is taught entirely online over a 12-week period using Canvas, Zoom, and Voice Thread.
The US EPA estimates that there are about 75,000 to 80,000 chemicals in commerce at this time. Many have not been safety tested for toxicological properties and only a relatively small number are chosen each year for a full battery of toxicological testing. Most of this group are selected based on the amount of each chemical that is present in commerce. Others are selected because of evidence from the medical community that such chemicals might be causing serious human illnesses, especially cancer. Environmental scientists also alert the EPA about chemicals that appear to be causing environmental concerns. Earlier books by Rachel Carson [Silent Spring, 1962] and Theo Colborn et al. [Our Stolen Future, 1995] alerted the public and regulatory officials about pesticides [Carson] and chemicals that cause endocrine disruption [Colborn et al.].
This course will focus on selected categories of chemicals that can cause health problems to the public and also impact the environment and wildlife. Students interested in their own health and the health of their families are especially welcome in this course. A student in any academic major will benefit from it. Majors in pre-medicine, pre-vet, pre-law [there are several environmental laws designed to protect us but are they really effective?], environmental science, any physical science, journalism, and history will find the course of interest.
Society + Culture + Politics
This course will introduce you into Karl Marx’s revolutionary mindset. We will learn the divisions that Marx found within humanity and within human communities; the way he divided the different revolutionary movements; the main goals of his revolutionary action (the abolition of religion, the family, private property, culture, truth, philosophy and morality); and the strategies and measures that he proposes for seizing power and using it. The text will be clarified in the light of previous writings (especially Marx’s poetry and play, the “Theses on Feuerbach” and the “Philosophical and Economical Manuscripts”), and some of the later writings. We will examine the surprising transformations suffered by the main drive of Marx’s revolutionary action, the interplay between the hope for the utopia and despair concerning human goodness.
The professor will lead the discussion following the Socratic method. Besides, you will have to critically discuss one problem suggested by the reading in a 2,000 words final essay. The last week of the semester will be dedicated to help the students to rightly finish their essay.
Carlos A. Casanova is Senior Visiting Fellow of the Hamilton Center at the University of Florida. He researches and teaches in the areas of classical philosophy, political and moral philosophy, philosophy of Law, metaphysics and philosophical anthropology. He has published 9 books in two languages and more than 50 peer reviewed papers in English and/or Spanish. He has been Fellow at the Jacques Maritain Center of the University of Notre Dame, Researcher for the Chilean National Agency of Research and Development, and has university experience in four countries.
Before joining the University of Florida, professor Casanova was teaching Introduction to Philosophy, Natural Law, Theory and Sources of Law and philosophical seminars at the Law School of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, and doing research on Marxism and classical philosophy. He also has taught classical philosophy for many years in Venezuela and Chile.
The Iliad is “not only the greatest epic poem in literature but also the most tragic,” comments Bernard Knox. It is also a “terrifying poem”: depicting the carnage of the Trojan War, Homer’s epic presents both the reality of violence and its senseless waste, and prompts questions about whether vengeance is ever worth the cost of death and human degradation. Yet, despite its extreme violence, the Iliad also offers a portrait of regret and redemption, love and forgiveness, divine nobility and true heroism. Its depictions of battle stand alongside the unvanquished desire for peace, not only from combat but as a hard-won condition of the human heart.
In this course we will read Homer’s Iliad (composed in the 8th or 7th century, B.C.) as a work of unparalleled literary, philosophical, and historical significance. Socrates the philosopher argued to ban it; Herodotus the historian consulted it; nobody reading it can be left unchanged. We will examine both its controversies and its insights as to why “the rage of Achilles” still has relevance for our society today and even our understanding of ourselves.
Considered the greatest love poet in the English language, John Donne wrote a collection of short lyric poems, published as Songs and Sonnets in 1633. We will read these 55 short poems, which trace the passion and fervor of a religious and social renegade obsessed with, among other things, the union of souls in and beyond death. Drawing on the language of sacraments, alchemy, Greek myth, legal arguments, martyrdom, astronomy, and New World discovery, Donne’s poems offer a glimpse into one of the most brilliant minds of Renaissance England. Fired from his diplomatic job when he eloped with his boss’s daughter and briefly imprisoned, Donne also carefully navigated political requirements that he change his religion when he later became Royal Chaplain to King James I of England and Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
This class will be a deep dive into Donne’s poetry, with each meeting a master class in close reading, where your hunches and instincts will guide our discussion as we grapple with Donne’s breathtaking voyages of love, sex, and death in the tempestuous Elizabethan age.
Jill Ingram specializes in Shakespeare and Renaissance literature and is a faculty member in the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education. Author of two books on the expression of economic relationships in Renaissance drama, she also edited Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost for the New Kittredge Series.
Ukrainian author Oksana Zabuzhko magnum opus The Museum of Abandoned Secrets (2009) has become
extremely relevant as Russia continues to invade Ukraine. The novel draws a comprehensive portrait of Ukraine
that spans over six decades of significant historical events. Set in the present, the book uses flashbacks and
memories to create a timely record of how constant turmoil impacts both the present and the future. This
course will focus on how to read the novel through different lenses to understand the social and linguistic
consequences of living in a place with wavering national status. We will ask ourselves: what is at stake when a
book makes an explicit political claim rooted in trauma (such as the Holodomor)? What is the role of literature
and translation in transferring ideas of cultural knowledge? And importantly, how does an expansive chronicle
uncover, as the title suggests, a collection of ‘secrets.’ The course will include short reflection assignments and
a final project.
Noah is a PhD student in the English Department. He received his bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy
in Fall 2019. His main areas of focus are children’s literature, queer studies, and archival research. In recent
years, he interned at the Baldwin Library and is now curating his Master's project digital exhibit “Historical
Diversity and Representation in the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature." He was recently granted
a fellowship from the International Youth Library in Munich.
Business + Economics
“Germany’s Shakespeare,” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) created Faust, the essential modern dramatic poem about the conflict of reason and faith, tradition and the individual, the life of intellect and the life of feeling. In this tragedy of loss and redemption, Goethe paints the image of the modern man, Heinrich Faust, a scientist and scholar bored to the point of despair by the rationalistic and disenchanted modern world. Signing a pact in blood with the witty demon Mephistopheles, Faust falls in love with the beautiful peasant-girl Gretchen and plunges himself into a world of feeling and emotion, throwing away both traditional religious faith and scientific reason. Reading Goethe’s classic and beloved poetic drama—known in Germany as well as Romeo and Juliet is in America—we will ask ourselves the pressing questions of how to live in the modern world. Is romantic love the solution to human suffering? Is evil real, or only a phantom created to keep the strong from taking all they can get? Can an intelligent person believe in God? Goethe’s answers will surprise and challenge us, as will his conviction that truth does not lie in what past thinkers have thought or said but what you can discover for yourself. “Everything past is only a metaphor!” Goethe says at his tragedy’s end. “What cannot be grasped is the here and now.” We will read Faust, therefore, not primarily to understand the past, but to understand the ungraspable here and now.
Clay Greene is a post-doctoral fellow at the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education. He received his PhD in English and Renaissance Studies from Yale University and his BA and MA in English from the University of Alabama. He is interested in the connections of religion and politics in seventeenth-century English literature, especially the poetry of John Milton. He is currently completing a book on Milton and the Christian idea of "holy war." He likes to run, to walk, and to sit—in that order.
These courses are interdisciplinary in nature and often team-taught.
This course will look at potential legal issues in certain literary texts–texts that are not ostensibly about the law but that nevertheless do involve legal issues. The focus of the course will entail analyzing these legal issues, researching positions on them, and writing persuasive legal briefs in support of these positions. Students will perform mock trials, evidentiary hearings, and depositions both during and at the end of each unit and present the arguments made in their legal briefs before a live jury. Texts for the class include: Miss Julie (August Strindberg), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson), “A Mother” (from Dubliners, James Joyce), Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton), A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen), and Dirty Work (Larry Brown).
The University of Florida (UF) is distinctly positioned as one of the US leaders in Arts in Public Health. Notably, the UF Center for Arts in Medicine has produced fundamental research to this field through its epidemiology-focused lab, the EpiArts Lab, its development of an evidence-based framework for Arts in Public Health, and even through its recent engagement with the CDC to produce field guides on how the public health sector can utilize the arts to promote vaccine confidence.
This course provides an overview of the Arts and Health research landscape with an emphasis on Arts in Public Health. With that, it also integrates knowledge across sectors and emphasizes the value of collaboration in public health knowledge, skills, and values — essential facets to effectively contribute to the field of public health. Students are therefore challenged to consider innovative solutions to public health problems. As cross-sector collaboration within public health rises in prominence, it is essential that future health leaders understand how and why the field of art can be leveraged.
These courses are aimed at developing skills that will help students over their career.
Signature Seminars offer opportunities to work with UF's top faculty in their research areas of interest.
Uncommon classrooms are courses designed around unusual topics with cities, places, and natural landscapes serving as experimental classrooms.Students that participate are registered for a 1-credit course and are responsible for tuition (financial aid may apply) and fees. Details about additional fees associate with each course are provided in the description. Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the location of the course, unless otherwise noted.
Wentworth Travel Scholarships are available to support costs, up to $500. Students that provide proof of financial need as part of the application may be eligible for additional funding.