Iowa State University
Speech Communication 412

Honors 321: Seminars

Fall, 2007

Religion & Public Discourse How, if at all, should public officials draw from religion in arguing for their policy positions? Should respect for religious diversity induce them to exercise restraint in making their own views known? Or do religious views play a legitimate role in public decision-making? In specific, what sorts of religious language are the current presidential candidates using, and is it appropriate?


Spring, 2006

Why are we here? What is college for? "Rebekah Nathan's" just-out account of her fieldwork, My Freshman Year, raises this question in a very pointed form. She paints a compassionate picture of an undergraduate culture that unsympathetically could be described as shallow, careerist, hedonistic and anti-intellectual; of students who are wrapped up in a very narrow circle of intimates, focused on fun, grades, professor-manipulation and the job-getting diploma, but never on the pressing intellectual and political questions of the day. Further, she describes specific ways in which university practices and organization serves to foster these characteristics.

In this seminar, we will earn answers to the following questions: What is Nathan saying? What are the elements of undergraduate culture at "AnyU"? Is she right? Is ISU, AnyU? Is that bad? If we are like what Nathan says, how do we judge ourselves? What can we do? If we don't like the way we are, what specifically can we change?


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Last updated August 2007.
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