Signature Seminars

About the Signature Seminars/HNRC 4013H

The Honors College offers Signature Seminars on cutting-edge topics taught by top professors, who are named Dean's Fellows in the Honors College. You must apply to participate, and if admitted, will be designated a Dean's Signature Scholars – a great plus for your  resume. These seminars give you three hours of honors credit  and in some cases, may also satisfy requirements specific to your degree. Please consult individual course pages for more information. 

Mark your calendar now for these public lectures introducing topics for our Fall 2021 Signature Seminars!
Lectures will be offered via Zoom

  • Edmund Harriss and Joshua Youngblood, "Euclid," 5:15 p.m., Wed., Sept. 15, 2021
  • Sharon Foster, "Economic Thought and Competition Law," 5:15 p.m., Wed., Sept. 22, 2021

Complete our interest form to receive the lecture Zoom link.

Interested? Current students can apply online. Deadline Extended to : 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021.
Questions? Contact John Treat

Apply for Honors College Courses

Videos of Signature Seminar Preview lectures will be posted after each lecture takes place.


 Economic Thought and competition law

Class will meet 2:00-3:15 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, Spring 2022.

A medieval reliefEconomic thought is the study of what economists thought happened, what did happen or what was about to happen within a particular economy.  The study of economic thought from the ancient period and the Middle Ages provides a rich understanding of the origins of competition law, or as it is known in the United States, antitrust law.

The written evidence from the ancient period and the Middle Ages indicate economic thought in general, and in competition law specifically, focused on fair and unfair – virtue and vice.  In fact, the term “justice” referenced in many ancient texts primarily meant economic justice.  Economic justice, basic principles of fairness, permeates legal history in numerous areas of commercial law including contracts, usury, and debt relief.  But competition law is, perhaps, where we most clearly see economic justice concepts.  Admonitions against the concentration of wealth in the hands of the few by unethical means included cartels and monopolization, a particular concern during frequent times of famine and plague.  Yet, despite a bountiful historical record relating to competition law, there is very little historical analysis of competition law from the ancient period or the Middle Ages. 

In this Signature Seminar, students will analyze economic thought starting with the ancient city-states of Mesopotamia from around 2402 B.C.E. through the Middle Ages ending in 1400 C.E.  The primary focus will be on economic thought regarding cartels and monopolization as expressed through ancient codes, biblical sources, canon law, philosophical writings and literature. Through these sources from the ancient period and the Middle Ages, this Signature Seminar will elucidate the connection between early economic thought and modern economic theory as it applies to competition law.

Professor Sharon Foster, the Sidney Parker Davis, Jr. Professor of Law, will lead this seminar. Learn more on the Economic Thought and Cmpetition Law course webpage.


open book displaying mathematical equations representing the course Euclid Class will meet 11:50 a.m.-12:50 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Spring 2022

Euclid’s Elements weaves its way through the history of mathematics and the world. Studying the book provides an amazing insight into many topics, especially the history of the book in general and of course mathematics. 

This Signature Seminar will guide students through the textual and intellectual history of Euclid. For more than 2,000 years, the mathematical concepts written up by the mathematician from Alexandria in Africa, have served as building blocks for students, theoreticians, designers, builders, and even poets and musicians. The collected books of Euclid were one of the most frequently taught texts in the world until the early 20th century and remain valuable sources of scholarly inquiry. In physics the 20th century began by finally showing how the universe quite literally bent the rules the Elements set down so long before. 

Combining an interdisciplinary approach to mathematics, relying on history, intersectionality, and active creation, with analyses of the “book” as artifact and object, this course will allow Honors students to explore cultural and intellectual development over millennia though one of the most frequently cited and complex textual odysseys in the world. The mathematics of Euclid was adopted into the foundation of Western civilization even though it was the work of the eastern Mediterranean. Students will seek to decolonise the historical assumptions about early mathematics and how they were understood or not understood, or willfully misunderstood. 

Professors Edmund Harriss (Matematics) and Joshua Young (Libraries), will lead this seminar. For more information visit the Euclid course web page