Honors Program

Honors Abroad: Current Topics

Honors Abroad Summer 2022! (tentative)

Note: due to COVID-19, summer 2021 study abroad experiences have been postponed.


HON 195: Stories of Justice in Traditional Northern Maritime Communities

Course Description: Iceland and Maine share many geographic, religious, and economic traits, and these have shaped both the social fabric of their communities and the tales told within and about those communities. Iceland and Maine both have rich traditions of story-telling, and the tales told both reflect and critique the values of these northern, rural-maritime and place-bound societies. Students will compare and contrast these components through theatrical performances created and presented throughout the course.

This course compares the historical and legal structures of Iceland and Maine, looking specifically at murder, outlawry and execution, as well as the roles that religion, gender and social status played in determining an individual’s relationship to the law and the community. In examining traditional tales and social roles, students will explore the historical and mythological roots of policies and cultural conventions that commonly concern both Icelanders and Mainers to this day. 

Faculty Leaders

Assunta Kent, Professor of Theatre and Gender Studies: assunta@maine.edu

Mark Mullane, Professor of History: mark.mullane@maine.edu

Tentative Dates

  • Maine portion*: TBD (likely late May-early June)
  • Iceland portion: TBD (likely early June)

*Optional housing in USM dorms in Gorham provided



HON 195: Becoming a Traveler

Course Description: This course explores the many dimensions of Maine and Iceland cultures from the lens of a traveler.  Through readings, assignments, and field excursions, students will learn the essential skills of a traveler:  observation, description, and storytelling.  These skills will be used to analyze Public Art, Working Waterfront, or Green Space/Landscapes in the surrounds of Portland and Reykjavik.

Students will contribute to the course Travel Dispatch Blog (combination of words and images) and produce a Travelogue focusing on either public art, working waterfront, or green space/landscapes.

Faculty Leaders

Dennis Gilbert, Professor of Communication and Media Studies: dgilbert@maine.edu

Daniel A. Panici, Professor of Communication and Media Studies: panici@maine.edu

Tentative Dates

  • Maine portion*: TBD (likely early May)
  • Iceland portion: TBD (likely mid-May)

*Optional housing in USM dorms in Gorham provided