National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors in Practice 14 (2018)


Copyright 2018 National Collegiate Honors Council


At the end of a two-year Honors Civilizations sequence based on a Great Books curriculum, students at the University of Maine write a reflective essay that describes their personal and intellectual journey with the texts they have encountered over the previous four semesters. In the creation of this “intellectual portfolio,” the students can describe a theme or narrative that has emerged in their thinking, using not only the texts but the classroom dynamic, weekly lectures, and assignments to demonstrate what they have found most beneficial and/or frustrating in their journey. The first year I read these essays, I encountered deep disappointment in the absence of voices: students wanted more women, more texts produced by people of color, more non-European narratives, more attention paid to class systems. In short, students wanted more than the white Western European male narrative.