Honors Courses (Spring)

 

Following are Honors courses and Honors seminars offered in Spring 2019.


All registration will be done through RAMWeb. Spring 2019 priority registration for eligible Honors students begins October 22, 2018. Check your RAMWeb account for your earliest registration time.


Make an appointment to meet with your departmental adviser early so you'll be ready to take advantage of your priority registration time. Your major department assigns your adviser, so check with that office. The Honors Office is available, too, for advising. Call, email, or stop in for an appointment.


The following courses are a sampling of Honors sections being offered for Spring Semester 2019. An updated schedule of Honors courses will be available after October 1, 2018.  The latest description and other details for each class can be found by clicking on the CRN link from the table below or from Class Schedule on RAMWeb.

HONORS seminars are listed below the table of Honors courses.

**For the most up to date schedule, check the schedule on RAMWeb often. Using advanced search, select one or all Subjects (click on the first subject on the list, scroll to the bottom and Shift+left click on the last subject in the list) and choose Honors Program under Attribute Type – OR - select one or all Subjects and type Honors in the Course Title field.


The Honors courses listed below are described in the RamWeb Class Schedule by clicking on the CRN for each section. To determine if the course listed meets Honors curriculum requirements in your major, check the curriculum page.  Click on either Track 1 or Track 2, then on the link for your college.


Honors Courses

The following is a list of offered Honors Courses:
Honors Courses PDF


Honors Seminars

The following is a list of offered Honors Seminars:
Honors Seminars PDF

Seminar Descriptions

HONR 193

Section 1 & 2: Action as Expression – Everyday Dance for Every Body – F. Glycenfer
Our mouths move to speak, our hands experience the tactile nature of life around us, our bodies leap for joy - these are a few of the examples of how we can more fully engage in life through movement. We move our bodies 24/7, even in our sleep, as we are interacting with the world around us as athletes, dancers, and everyday movers. Yet, we aren’t often aware of how expressive our movement can be as we go through our daily lives. Rather than emphasizing actual physical movement ability, this course focuses on discovering movement forms, applying movement concepts, and stimulating cultural appreciation. Students will have the opportunity to identify the richness of their own kinesthetic sources through personal exploration, viewing everyday dance forms, and class discussion. The act of engaging as we move through everyday life can have a profound effect on the way we view ourselves and interface with the world. Societal change has been driven by many who have harnessed the power of action in relating to others. The power of moving is found in all aspects of life and begins within each one of us. 
 
Section 2: See Section 1 
 
Section 3 & 14: The Evolution of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science – M. Brown
In part I, we will lay the groundwork for public speaking in preparation for end-of-semester pharmaceutical industry presentations. Part I will also include an introduction to drug development, pharmacology and the FDA. In part II, students will work in groups and research a current drug on the market for either human or veterinary applications. The drug must be produced by a company that is publicly traded. The findings of this research will be used to present an evaluation of the drug, its home company, and the extended portfolio of that company. Evaluations will be presented to a mock audience of potential investors and FDA inspectors. This course will also include discussions on biomedical ethics and health disparities. It will require regular reading, written assignments, participation in a broad range of group discussions, and oral presentations. 
 
Section 4: Gettysburg: America’s Rebirth – P. Vaughan Knaus
On November 19, 1863, in the wake of the gruesome battle in Gettysburg, PA, President Abraham Lincoln’s remarks cleansed the ground, air, and soul of America. Using fewer than 270 words, Lincoln simultaneously consecrated the soldiers’ sacrifice, purified the country’s mythos, and fostered hope and unity among the American people. Timeless and enduring, the Gettysburg Address provides both retrospective and prospective frames through which to view America’s past, present, and future. What cultural or societal patterns were transmitted between the North and South as a result of the events in Gettysburg, PA in 1863? In what ways did this three-day battle (July 1-3, 1863) provide the blueprint for modern warfare? What were the impacts of the decisions—military, political, and governmental—made in Gettysburg, and how did they spread across the country? In surveying one crucial moment within American history, we seek to capture the nation’s atmosphere during the Civil War, analyze the changing meaning of the speech over time, and recognize the remarkable ways in which it has been garbled, misquoted, and woefully and willfully misunderstood. 
 
Section 5: Tell Me a Story: Finding and Creating Meaning in Our Lives – C. Elkins
Listening to and creating stories appears natural and universal. There is no culture, however “primitive” without its stories about nature and themselves: where they come from, how to behave, and where they are going. As children, we hear stories and learn to repeat them; as adults, we hear, read, write, see and tell stories constantly from others, television, books, films, advertising, and even in our sleep. In stories we order our experiences and create ourselves. In this seminar, we explore the nature and function of stories in various mediums as they are manifested in such narratives as: myths, dreams, tragedy and comedy, autobiography, and politics. In doing so, we will focus on three general questions: Why do we need stories at all? Why do we need the “same” story over and over? Why do we always need more stories? 
 
Section 6 & 7: Gender in Our Lives – J. Krafchick
From our family lives and relationships to the way we view people in positions of power, gender shapes our experiences and relationships every day. In this class students will explore the many dimensions of life that are influenced by gender. Using a feminist theoretical lens, students will learn about historical and contemporary social movements that have influenced the evolution of gender roles, psychological theories of gender identity development, family and intimate relationships, and representation of gender in the media. Students will bring a cross cultural perspective and examine gender related issues in countries around the globe. We will discover the ways that gender influences politics, relationships, and careers through an examination of stereotypes, double standards, and socialization. 
 
Section 7: See Section 6 
 
Section 8 & 11: Got Affluenza? Consumerism and the Environment – A. Merline
Affluence and over consumerism are important parts of the cultural understanding of Post Modern America. Today’s generation stands on the shoulders of two generations that has lived in Post World War II America. This course will examine the questions of over consumption based on global and social history. The first is how did the United States get to this point of abundance? What are the expectations of American citizens? Do we have too much? What can be done to reverse the trends of over- consumption? What effect do we have on the earth due to industrialization, continued production, and a collection of wealth? 
 
Section 9: Art is Politics; Politics is Art – C. Elkins
Art is politics; politics is art. Politics is an art, not a science; all art is political. These assertions capture the close relationship between art and politics and suggest the blurring of distinctions between these two institutions. This course explores some timeless themes in politics and, art paying attention not only to the content but the medium and style of politics and art. The central thesis of the course is that politics and art are drama, and we will explore the implications of that metaphor. We will draw on political speeches and documents, literature, music, film, and visual arts to study the relationships between politics and art and art in politics. We will focus on political systems that employ force (coercion and force) and ideology to attain their goals. In doing so, we will touch on the nature of power, law, social and political justice, tolerance, moral relativism, ethics, and resistance, rebellion, revolution, and war. While we explore our subject in a various times and places, we will focus on American politics and art, particularly the era of the Sixties, a decade seminal in American art and politics. 
 
Section 10 & 17: Experience Seekers: Eco- or Egotourists? – J. Raadik Cottrell
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”, said Mark Twain. The world is an open book to discover through travel, to learn about other people and places, and about ourselves. It is less important where we travel, but how. Are you a traveler or a tourist, an eco- or an egotourist? Are you aware of the impacts of your travel? Responsible travel values and celebrates diversity of natural and cultural heritage as a product of geography and history. Responsible travel is an inspiration and a challenge to the industry. This course provides an overview of the principles and criteria for responsible travel with a broad overview of the challenges and issues associated with the travel industry. Poverty alleviation, gender equity, and nature conservation initiatives through tourism are among the topics discussed from a global to local context. Field excursions will be used to apply and illustrate how planning and management of responsible travel experiences can be facilitated. 
 
Section 11: See Section 8 
 
Section 12: Exploring Sustainable Solutions: A Case-Based Approach – W. Timpson
Exploring Sustainable Solutions: A Case-Based Approach will prepare students to deepen their understanding of sustainability through active involvement in personal, campus and community projects and how these can impact the environments in which they operate, i.e., (1) How critical and creative thinking can be used to design projects that address complex and interrelated issues of sustainability (i.e., the interconnected nature of environmental, societal and economic health); (2) When a commitment to sustainability has challenged conventional practices and nurtured change; (3) How people can learn to work more cooperatively on negotiated solutions to complex problems; (4) Why deep listening can engender empathy and understanding for others and yourself; (5) How anger and emotion can be best understood and managed when confronting the challenges of sustainability; (6) What it takes to stay centered when aggressive or dysfunctional attitudes mix dangerously with ineffective policies and practices. 
 
Section 13 & 18: Vietnam & America: An Introduction – P. Vaughan Knaus
America’s lengthy war in Vietnam was--by most accounts--its most divisive. As U.S. troop levels swelled to more than a half million by 1968, American society split sharply over the legitimacy and efficacy of the war effort. The war’s inconclusiveness and unpopularity spawned not only a broad-based antiwar movement, but also a reexamination of America’s purpose as wrenching as any other since before or after the grueling Civil War. Neither Richard Nixon’s 1969 decision to ultimately eliminate U.S. ground forces, nor the 1975 fall of Saigon did much to resolve the debate or to ease the traumas that it unleashed. Our class explores the larger boundaries of that debate by focusing on questions such as: Why did America intervene in Vietnam; what did America seek to accomplish there? Were these goals attainable? What domestic events played out; often resulting in lasting and compelling change? Who were America’s enemies? Allies? Can U.S. actions there be characterized as moral—or immoral? How did an unindustrialized, rural region ultimately dominate the world’s leading authority? Much reading and even more discussion will allow us to travel back and re-live this conflict and its ascendant chaos, perhaps with new-found appreciation for Vietnam’s American legacy. 
 
Section 14: See Section 3 
 
Section 15 & 22: Sex, Drugs, and Rock n’ Roll in the Ancient World – E. Wilson
This class aims to familiarize the student with the broad trends of the Ancient Mediterranean World(Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome) as well as the basic sets of evidence to any Classically-oriented scholar (archaeology, epigraphy, texts, etc.) through the themes of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. We will examine both our own preconceptions about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll and how they could bias the modern scholar, as well as consider how the ancients experienced and thought about these topics, in what contexts (domestic, funerary military, diplomatic, etc.) they appeared, and how each category of evidence should be handled by the modern scholar. 
 
Section 16: Picture This, Read That: Text-Image Relations in Children’s Picture Books, Superhero Comics, and Graphic Novels – A. Gollapudi
Disillusioned superheroes, Wild Things, and Jewish mice fleeing from Nazi cats – these are some of the characters you will encounter in this course on image-text interactions in (1) children’s picture books (2) comics, and (3) graphic novels. Using works from these three genres, the course will explore the nature of words and images, how they create meaning separately, and how they interact in complex ways to tell a story. Do images have a ‘language’ and can the text sometimes function as an image? Do words often seem to colonize and dominate images? And can images function as a subversive element in the book, telling a very different story than the ones told by the words? How do we “read” not just the black marks inside the book but the book itself as a visible, material, object? These are some of the questions we will ask in this course as we consider the aesthetic, socio-historical, and thematic aspects of works such as children’s picture books, superhero comics, and graphic novels. To aid in our exploration of these imagetexts – works that use pictures as well as words to tell a story – we will use recent scholarly theories about visuality and textuality, breaking down the divisions between “highbrow” and “low” or “popular” literature. So if you like the idea of writing a formal, academic paper on a childhood favourite such as Wild Things, or a superhero classic like Watchmen, this is the course for you! 
 
Section 17: See Section 10 
 
Section 18: See Section 13 
 
Section 19: Meaningful Mourning: Global Death Cultures – M. Edwards
Death is a constant, it touches every one of us at some point in our lives. For some, we observe death when losing those we love (and sometimes people we don’t care for) and for others it means staring our own mortality in the face. As a result, this unifying experience has inspired the living to create a plethora of practices and rituals. In this interdisciplinary course, we will examine the variety and vigor in which death is celebrated, honored, mourned, and prepared for across the globe. We’ll see how religion, geography, culture, history, and even diseases have shaped bereavement traditions. Beginning with past and present rituals of western civilization, we will demonstrate the richness and breadth of American cultures through such practices as spirit photos, caskets in horse drawn carriages, second lines, and more. Next, we will explore the traditions of European countries through time, from the ossuaries (or bone churches) to the Scandinavian Viking funerals and of course examining how historic plagues shaped tradition. Then, we will explore various Asian, African, and Latin American practices including sky burials, sacrifices, and el Día de Muertos, respectively. Lastly, we’ll close the semester on a somewhat lighter note looking at mythological narratives of death. From days-long festivals to weeks long fasting; from obscured mummies to paraded skeletons, we’ll explore the world and its customs through the final celebration of a life. 
 
Section 20: Musical Revolutions: From the turntable to the turnstile – B. Hull
In many ways, music helps define who we are. It marks generational differences, creates modern tribes and subcultures and pushes mass culture in new directions. In the modern world, fresh and innovative artists are prized and sought after. However, we rarely look into the complex elements that stimulate musical evolution. Often it is the risk takers, the musical renegades, whose creative innovations eventually find their way into the mainstream and who change the very notions of what is “musical” and “pleasing to the ears.” But how does this process take place? How do these movements get started and how do they affect our lives? What are the necessary historical conditions that need to come together to launch a new genre and to spark cultural movements? So many questions and the needle has only begun to turn. 
 
Section 21: “Redneck Rebellion” – C. Keyt
Underemployment. Expensive housing. All the Blame. No national football championship. The only thing missing is the dog, and you’ve got a nice country song. Country music and southern rock emerged as a theology of sorts in the late 1960s and 1970s as factory jobs moved overseas and suburbanites laughed at Jed Clampett and his concrete pond. Identity crises and gun racks appeared in the 1980s when home places changed into tech parks and white-collar suburbs. By the 1990s, that distinctive, working-class identity, especially in the South, could no longer be expressed in the landscape or through rituals and jobs. What emerged in its place were new symbols of identity – pick-up trucks, football as a “religion,” and increased use of the rebel flag. By the 2000s, an entire industry of “Redneck Chic” swept the nation – showing up in Duck Dynasty television shows, “white trash” cook books, and shotgun shell Christmas lights. Come explore this relationship between crisis, identity, the media, and material culture (physical objects that tell us who we are) in an unstable world, and create projects that address our current national tensions. 
 
Section 22: Telling the Story: How Music Influences Society – D. Apodaca
Music is among the many artistic expressions created by society. This course will investigate historical, societal, structural, and stylistic background of many genres of music and how each genre of music connects to one another. The social influence of music is vast. Music gets inserted into almost every group activity. It gets played at large arenas where we gather to watch sports. We have soundtracks for political campaigns, tv shows, movies, stores, elevators, and workplaces. It frames the tv news. Music plays in our cars, on airplanes and in our earplugs. We use it to offset a romantic dinner, to mourn at funerals, to praise our gods, to get married, and to workout at the gym. And then there’s dancing and concert going. These activities define our cultural identity, our happiness, our sadness. It defines our protests. It tells our stories. Its’ social influence is ubiquitous. It frames our mood and tells us how to feel. We live in a social era that is saturated with musical soundtracks, we barely notice them, but we keenly notice their absence and swiftly plug every silence hole. The goal of the class is to explore the impact that music has on society. This course will study music through classical and popular genres and will help the student to thoroughly discuss, intelligently listen, and more completely comprehend all music. We will also visit the University Center for the Performing Arts for a day in the keyboard lab. An introductory keyboard lesson will also lead to final performances and presentations in Organ Hall. 
 
 
 

HONR 292A

Section 1: Science as a Way of Knowing: Animal Behavior – J. Moore
The ways that non-human animals behave have fascinated and mystified humans since people first made drawings on the walls of ancient caves, and they continue to capture our attention. We watch them and invent explanations for their behavior, often with little evidence. Much as the ancient Greeks anthropomorphized their gods, giving them human traits, we do the same to animals: They are “sneaky,” “wise,” “stupid,” “jealous”. . .and they are, ultimately, dumb—and therein lies the mystery. How can we understand a non-speaking creature on its own terms? Can we know how the birds at dawn begin to sing, all at the same time? How do we understand the intelligence of fish? The map-making of honeybees? Do animals think? How would we know? 
 
Section 2: Science as a Way of Knowing: Ocean Dynamics and Carbon Dioxide – U. Quillmann
Why has climate change become the focal point of an increasingly polarized political conversation, whereas the vast majorities of other countries have long accepted climate change as a scientific fact and have accepted that human activities are the foremost cause of it? Climate science has become a pawn in the US political arena, with numerous politicians ignoring, rejecting, or misrepresenting scientific conclusions that conflict with their political views. People who lack authority on climate science are discussing the causes and solutions for climate change. The heated debate over climate science begs the question, what is science? In our seminar we will explore “science as a way of knowing.” Ocean dynamics and carbon dioxide (CO2) will provide the framework for our seminar. Ocean dynamics and CO2 are the crucial players in climate change, regardless of whether climate change is natural or caused by human activities. We live on an ocean planet with >70% of the Earth’s surface covered by ocean and >97% of the Earth’s surface water being stored in the ocean. The ocean plays an enormous role in absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, thus mitigating the effects of global warming by absorbing approximately one half of the CO2 added to the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning. Scientists fear the ocean reaching a tipping point when it can no longer uptake any additional CO2 from the atmosphere. We will examine the oceanic processes that make it possible for the ocean to take up excess atmospheric CO2. We will examine scientific tools that are being used to determine past CO2 levels in the atmosphere and in the ocean. We will scrutinize climate models that are being used to predict future climate change. We will also look at the effects a warming ocean has on sea level, ice sheets and glaciers, sea ice, hurricanes, monsoons, and El Niño events. The role of CO2 in warming was recognized long before the “other” CO2 problem was recognized. The “other” CO2 problem is ocean acidification, often referred to as the “evil twin” of climate change.
 
 
 

HONR 292B

Section 1: Manifest America: Knowing the Roots of Modern America by Looking West – D. Sheflin
The course is formulated around the study of an American identity that emerged with the articulation of Manifest Destiny in the 1840s. The ideology of Manifest Destiny, though not entirely new to Americans in that period, came to work as a justification for American expansion into the North American West largely because it facilitated the sense of exceptionalism that excused the costs of such expansion. In exploring the impact that it had and its influence on American history, we will connect Manifest Destiny to some of the more dramatic and formative events in US history, including the overland migration, the era of the gold rush, the Mexican-American War, and even the Civil War. In looking at how these issues of freedom, democracy, and opportunity play out in the American West and in the nascent American empire, we will look at the construction of race and the racialization of non-white people in the Americas, the promotion of American masculinity at home and abroad, and the balancing of American ideals and self-interest. We can then make broad connections with both the context and the legacies of this period by considering how much these themes remain part of an identity supported by many Americans today. 
 
Section 2 & 5: – J. Kitchens
The theme for this course is the social construction of knowledge, and it engages with the ideas of how knowledge is produced, by whom and for what purposes. Other considerations include what counts as knowledge and how has it been produced and transmitted in the past (and present), e.g., public schooling? What other institutions are involved in the production of knowledge? And what is the relationship between knowledge and power? Course materials will range in disciplinary perspectives including philosophy, history, education, sociology, literature, and film. Students will also be guided in a self-reflective investigation into how knowledge has been produced in their personal lives, and specifically how such knowledge informs their worldview, i.e., how they interpret and act in the world.
 
Section 3 & 6: Knowing in Arts and Humanities: Do Non-Human Animals Create Art? – S. Zwick-Tapley
The overarching theme for this seminar is the “construction of knowledge.” Students will be engaged in discussions, readings, written communication, and oral communication to consider ideas of how knowledge is produced, by whom it is produced and for what purposes it is produced. The political construction of knowledge challenges students to consider the potential impacts of manipulating what is known and by whom it is known. Cultural identity, arts, philosophy, literature, film, and social media will be considered for their subjectivity and selectivity in the sharing of knowledge which can ultimately drive election outcomes, perpetuate social injustices, or be used as justification for wars. Students will also be challenged to reflect upon the sources of their own knowledge and to identify gaps that may ultimately impact their views and actions. 
 
Section 4: Knowing in Arts and Humanities: Construction of Knowledge – M. Brown
The overarching theme for this seminar is the “construction of knowledge.” Students will be engaged in discussions, readings, written communication, and oral communication to consider ideas of how knowledge is produced, by whom it is produced and for what purposes it is produced. The political construction of knowledge challenges students to consider the potential impacts of manipulating what is known and by whom it is known. Cultural identity, arts, philosophy, literature, film, and social media will be considered for their subjectivity and selectivity in the sharing of knowledge which can ultimately drive election outcomes, perpetuate social injustices, or be used as justification for wars. Students will also be challenged to reflect upon the sources of their own knowledge and to identify gaps that may ultimately impact their views and actions. 
 
Section 5: See Section 2
 
Section 6: See Section 3
 
Section 7: Knowing in Arts and Humanities: Science Fiction and Social Criticism – J. Brown
In 1978, literary scholar Darko Suvin described science fiction as the literature of “cognitive estrangement.” It was, he argued, the tension between the known reality of the reader’s world (cognition) and the imagined alternative world of the text (estrangement) that gave Science Fiction a privileged role in encouraging the kind of critical thought about one’s own society and circumstances that could disrupt the blinding nature of ideology. This seminar will explore the rich tradition of the science fiction short story by authors such as Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. LeGuin, Samuel R. Delany, Joanna Russ, Ray Bradbury, Octavia Butler, and Frank Herbert alongside select critical essays. Finally, the course’s ultimate goal is to investigate the ways that our attempts to know the imagined future affect our ways of knowing our present world. 
 
Section 8: Knowing in Arts and Humanities: Memoir and Non-fiction Graphic Novels– A. Davies
How do we know our own story? Which stories are ours to tell? How do we make sense of different views of the same events? To understand these question and explore possible answers, we'll start the semester with 5 weeks considering the philosophy of knowing. The seminar will engage students in the exploration of different ways of knowing - and their purposes, values, and limitations - in the arts and humanities. The seminar considers what counts as knowledge, and by whom; the methods employed to gain or affirm knowledge; the values attributed to knowledge; and the ethical and aesthetic implications of what one gains and does with the acquisition of knowledge. Understanding how we come to know will help us consider how we come to tell our own stories and the stories of those around us. To understand how others have grappled with these issue, we'll delve into non-fiction graphic novels, both memoirs and histories. We'll consider how visuals and text function together to tell true stories and whose truth they represent. We'll also consider whose truth they leave out and the implications of those choices. During the semester students will not only critically analyze these texts, but they will also craft non-fiction works of their own that will combine language and visuals. Writing our own stories will bring new awareness to the limitations of our knowledge and the value of questioning our interpretations.
 
 

HONR 292C

Section 1: Knowing Across Cultures: Refugees in a Global Era – M. López Ramírez
There are around 60 million people in the world who have been displaced by war, persecution, natural disaster or conflict. Migration has become a big issue, especially after multiple terrorist attacks in Europe and the US over the last few years. As a consequence of the current immigration narrative, right-wing movements and parties, xenophobia, a fear for diversity and a lack of tolerance are on the rise around the world. This course will inquire into the nature, causes and consequences of contemporary refugee waves in our globalized world. We will set aside the current narrative and have a more open dialogue. To that end, we will debate personal social identity construction and stereotypes, and analyze the positive side of immigration to create a more open, respectful and tolerant society. Particular attention will be paid to the recent EU crisis, integration and segregation processes, racism, and cultural diversity. What are ways of knowing? The seminar will engage students in the exploration of different ways of knowing across cultures by understanding different cultural perspectives and analyzing how cultural values differently inform research methodologies. The seminar considers how cultural values inform what counts as knowledge, and by whom; the methods employed to gain or affirm knowledge; the values attributed to knowledge; and moral implications of how knowledge is constructed, evaluated, and reproduced. Specifically, this course will provide experiences for students to critically and analytically reflect on how power, privilege, cultural identities, historical frameworks, social systems, and cultural backgrounds influence what we know about self, others, and the world. These reflections will involve examples of how social and historical gaps, omissions, and shifts in knowledge, including what is not known, what cannot be known, and what is un-known (which may have been disregarded, discarded, or forgotten) often reflect competing cultural perspectives and values. Students will also learn to understand the effects of cultural bias on the interpretation of facts, empirical data, observation, and experience, and how this shapes understandings of the possibility for certainty and objective knowledge. In this way, students will explore how cultural values inform and influence which research methodologies are used for knowledge production, construction, and acquisition. By analyzing contemporary case studies or issues on a theme, students will further integrate and evaluate different ways of knowing. 
 
Section 2: Knowing Across Cultures: Encounters with the Other in Literature and Film – E. Brinks
The seminar considers how cultural values inform what counts as knowledge, and by whom; the ways humans gain or affirm knowledge; the values attributed to knowledge; and moral implications of how knowledge is constructed, evaluated, and reproduced. We will reflect on these concerns firstly through a series of readings common to all HONR292 courses and secondly, through specific examples of how literature and film construct our knowing of other cultures and peoples. Literature and film give us a unique form for experiencing a range of cultures and ways of knowing. In particular, they stage dramas that allow readers to consider and feel what it is like to interact with different cultures and with what we consider strange and/or foreign. As recent studies of cognitive science have demonstrated, fictional texts are paradoxically more successful at developing empathy in readers than nonfictional ones are, despite nonfiction’s claims to truth. In a world where collaborative work with and concern for people from diverse cultures will prove essential to our collective survival as a species, it’s essential that we engage imaginatively and empathetically with perspectives distant and distinct from our own. Literature and film are two media that uniquely bring such experiences to the fore, even if their stories are “made up.” Through their representational worlds, we can see human life through others’ eyes, understand different cultural perspectives, and, perhaps most valuably, we can “see ourselves seeing the other,” allowing for critical insight into the cultural determinants that shape our understanding of self and other. To examine how the foreign is represented in literature and film, three sites of encounter between self and other are chosen as representative and valuable permutations on the theme: 1) the colonial encounter between settler colonists and indigenous peoples; 2) intra-communal tensions; and 3) the encounters arising from migrations and the emergence of global identities. These vividly imagined narratives foreground discrepancies in economic, political, and social power, the shaping role of historical events, and the diverse ways of we are ignorant of and misunderstand others from different cultures, as well as the ways that we share common perspectives and goals. We will grapple with how we construct what we claim to know about people from other cultures and the vital necessity of self-awareness. Literary works and film from the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries are chosen with regard to how they illuminate how coming to terms with difference or otherness is an essential, inescapable, and enriching point of reference for living humanely in the world today. 
 
Section 3: Knowing Across Cultures: Wildlife Conservation Issues – N. Vieira
The seminar will engage students in the exploration of ways of knowing across cultures by understanding different cultural perspectives and values, and analyzing how these perspectives and values influence what we know about self, others, and world issues. Specifically, we will look at how culture influences global conservation of fish and wildlife. Students will critically reflect on how power, privilege, cultural identities, historical frameworks, social systems, and cultural backgrounds interact with science to influence both conservation successes and intercultural conflicts over wildlife management. Students will also learn to recognize effects of different “ways of knowing” and cultural biases on the interpretation of facts, empirical data, observation, and experience, and how they shape understanding of the possibility for certainty and objective knowledge in conservation, and in life in general. We will explore these themes through readings, group discussion, movies and videos, guest speakers, walking field trips and outside time! 
 
Section 5: Knowing Across Cultures: The 14th Amendment and Race in U.S. History – J. Kim
The seminar will engage students in the exploration of different ways of knowing across cultures by understanding different cultural perspectives and analyzing how cultural values differently inform research methodologies. The seminar considers how cultural values inform what counts as knowledge, and by whom; the methods employed to gain or affirm knowledge; the values attributed to knowledge; and moral implications of how knowledge is constructed, evaluated, and reproduced. Specifically, this course will provide experiences for students to critically and analytically reflect on how power, privilege, cultural identities, historical frameworks, social systems, and cultural backgrounds influence what we know about self, others, and the world. These reflections will involve examples of how social and historical gaps, omissions, and shifts in knowledge, including what is not known, what cannot be known, and what is un-known (which may have been disregarded, discarded, or forgotten) often reflect competing cultural perspectives and values. Students will also learn to understand the effects of cultural bias on the interpretation of facts, empirical data, observation, and experience, and how this shapes understandings of the possibility for certainty and objective knowledge. In this way, students will explore how cultural values inform and influence which research methodologies are used for knowledge production, construction, and acquisition. By analyzing contemporary case studies or issues on a theme, students will further integrate and evaluate different ways of knowing. The U.S. society and history are unlike any other. We are a nation founded on the lofty ideals of freedom, equality, and rule of law. The ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution affirmed these principles and established new standards for equality and fairness. However, our history is simultaneously replete with examples that significantly deviate from such principles. As a nation, we have long struggled with this contradiction, and, the persistence of inequalities continues to pose challenges for us today. Race (relations, conflicts, identities) is one such area where the tension between the promises of these ideals and the lived realities seems to be an enduring feature of an American experience. This seminar-course seeks to uncover how the concept of race originated, surveys key historical moments when race took the center stage, and commissions us to struggle together to figure out ways to move forward as a society.
 
 

HONR 392

Section 2: Why Do They Hate Us? Understanding the Myths, Realities and Limits of the “American Empire” – K. Jaggers
In “Why Do They Hate Us?” we will explore the tension between how Americans perceive themselves and how, and why, the rest of the world perceives us in a different, and often less flattering, light. At its core, this course will focus on the uneasy relationship between America’s liberal political culture and institutions and the power-centric and nationalistic ideals that have traditionally governed our country’s foreign policy. Particular emphasis will be placed on the motivations and tactics that have fueled America’s expansionist ambitions over the past 200 years and the forces, both domestic and foreign, which have sought to limit both the size and scope of the “American Empire.” In this course we will also examine both the political and moral implications associated with being the world’s first global “empire” as well as the social, economic and political forces contributing to the rise of anti-American sentiment and political action throughout the Islamic world. 
 
Section 3: The Beat Generation Writers – A. Merline
The Beat Generation is a term used to describe both a group of American writers who came to prominence in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the cultural phenomena that they wrote about and inspired. This class will explore the influence of the legendary group of American writers who came to prominence during this era who challenged the values of American society after World War II, and paved the way for the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s. We examine the lives and literature of Neal Cassady (Collected Letters), Allen Ginsberg (Howl, Kaddish, America), Jack Kerouac (On The Road), and William Burroughs (Naked Lunch) and other minor poets and poetry that exemplify this generation of writers. 
 
Section 4: Abraham Lincoln: What’s Up With That Hat? – P. Vaughan Knaus
Abraham Lincoln once described his life story as “the short and simple annals of the poor. That’s my life, and that’s all you or anybody can make of it.” We know differently. Yet, America’s sixteenth president remains an enigma: both beloved and despised, depending upon where one’s sympathies lie. Did he unduly exceed the boundaries of Executive Privilege, alienating nearly half of the country? Was he a devout humanitarian possessing a genuinely ethical nature, yet still able to justify taking the United States to unspeakable devastation? The truth, as is generally the case, lives somewhere in the middle. Let us explore the man, the myth, the legend. Our task is to discover for ourselves just who was Abraham Lincoln? What forces guided his decisions and edicts? Was he a man of faith? Of uncommon intellect? Of tremendous self-doubt and physical shortcomings? Lincoln said about himself: “Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher but that was all.” Yet, he gave us his poignant First Inaugural and eternal Gettysburg address. The spirit that guided him most may be that of his Second Inaugural Address, now inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C.: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds." Our class has a rare opportunity to revisit history as it was being made. David Donald’s definitive work, Lincoln, serves as foundation for evidence, discussion, and even argument. Presentations will vary tremendously, and may include topics such as Lincoln’s service in the Black Hawk War or why his hat was the size and style that we’ve come to recognize as distinctly “Honest Abe’s.” 
 
Section 5 & 6: You’d be Murdered for This: Art, Political Regimes and Morality – S. Zwick-Tapley
Imagine a painting so scandalous you'd be imprisoned. Imagine a play so threatening you'd be tortured. Imagine a book so controversial you'd be exiled for life. Imagine a film so revolutionary you'd be killed. Throughout history art has challenged dictators, religion and sexual norms and has been blamed for the destruction of morality and civilization. What are these works of art and what made them so threatening? And did these works of art succeed in bringing about the change so feared? This class will explore controversial art from around the world and look at the political, sociological, and psychological frameworks specific to each culture. Art forms covered will include theatre, dance, the visual arts, film and literature. (Warning: The material in this class may be offensive to some students). 
 
Section 7: Contemporary East Asian Cinema – H. Chung
This course is not a survey of the entire history of various Asian cinemas; rather our focus will be exclusively directed to films made in Japan, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea in the past four decades. We will examine how the global/local geopolitics specific to the post-Berlin Wall era (the dismantling of Cold War institutions; the passing of authoritarian regimes; the boom and bust of the Asian economy; the international popularity of Asian art and genre films) have influenced the reshaping of New Asian cinemas across borders. Attention will be also given to specific genres, such as the samurai film, the martial arts film, animation, the historical drama, the family melodrama, the social problem film, the horror film, queer cinema, and “extreme cinema.” 
 
Section 8: Friendship in the Western World: Ancient Greece, Modern and Contemporary Perspectives – A. Archie
The purpose of the seminar is to critically analyze the ancient Greek conception of friendship (i.e., Plato and Aristotle) in relation to modern and contemporary conceptions of friendship. According to Aristotle, friendship has to do with the self. Thus, in reflecting on friendship we enter upon self-discovery. In contrast to the ancients’ preoccupation with the self, modern and contemporary reflections on friendship tend to focus on rules and acts. The main question of the seminar is, “Which position on friendship is more compelling: the ancient Greek, modern or contemporary position?”
 
 

HONR 492

Section 1: Philanthropy In Action: Passion To Serve – F. Glycenfer
We often wrestle with how to put our good intentions more fully into action in ways that will benefit our community as well as enhance our individual lives. Volunteering in America is at an all-time record high however, there can often be challenges between making the world a better place and actually achieving it. This course empowers students to maximize their potential to serve others through the lens of assisting in alleviating material poverty by investigating theoretical constructs, viewing film documentaries, incorporating fiction reading and practical hands-on experience. The call for aid in our world is great–our passion to serve must be greater. 
 
Section 2: Understanding the Quest for Human Liberation through Philosophy and Film – K. Jaggers
The modern age has rightly been referred to as the “age of freedom.” Compared to life in ancient and medieval societies – where superstition, communal obligations and entrenched hierarchies of social power effectively undermined the autonomy of individual action and thought – the modern age represents a “rational” rejection of these traditional forms of social stratification, authority and control. Forged by the ideals of the European Enlightenment, the modern world was envisioned to be a world in which the individual would be liberated from the dead hand of ignorance, tradition and hierarchy. While the desire of humankind to shed the yoke of unjust authority relations and systems of social control is, as noted by President Bush, “on the march,” nevertheless, the appropriate role of freedom in society continues to be a matter of considerable debate and conflict. While “spreading freedom’s blessings” may be “the calling of our time,” what, precisely, does this mean? What does it mean to have free will; to live in a free society; to express oneself freely? Moreover, is the march of freedom inevitable? Is it desirable? Should it be unbridled in its promotion and construction? Is freedom the “natural” condition of mankind – “the birthright and deep desire of every human soul” -- or do humans actually covet other values – personal happiness, social order, fealty to God, commitment to community, the pursuit of social justice, etc. – which may actually conflict with the unchecked promotion of individual freedom? While there is a temptation in our society to uncritically accept the idea of freedom as an unalloyed “good,” in this course we will seek to deconstruct the idea of freedom and systematically explore its social and ethical boundaries. In this course we will view the concept of freedom through the analytical lens of philosophy and the artistic lens of modern cinema. Why cinema? The arts – painting, literature, theatre, music, dance and film – play an important role in human society not simply because they entertain us but also because they force us to reflect upon and challenge our commonly held beliefs concerning social reality (metaphysics), human knowledge (epistemology), and moral values (axiology). In other words, the arts help us better understand, as well as shape, our collective human experiences. Contemporary cinema, while often infantile and banal, nevertheless, possesses the capacity to both challenge and mold our values, desires and even identities with its powerful narratives and images. In this class we will use film as a pedagogical tool for better understanding the role of freedom in our lives. In addition to exploring how modern cinema addresses the idea of freedom, we will also explore the significance of this artistic medium as a mechanism for both social liberation and social control. Throughout the course of the semester we will examine this topic by approaching the concept of freedom through a myriad of distinct -- and often incompatible -- perspectives: (1) psychological freedom; (2) spiritual freedom; (3) biological freedom; (4) metaphysical freedom; (5) social freedom; (6) political freedom; and (7) economic freedom. As we shall discover, only by exploring the many dimensions of freedom, and then investigating how each dimension is influenced by the degree of freedom found in the others, will we be able to achieve a deeper understanding of the promises and pitfalls associate with the pursuit of human liberation in the contemporary world. 
 
Section 4: Construction of Self in Philosophy, Literature, and Medicine – G. Callahan
Construction of Self will explore three views of this most essential of human traits -- the biological, the philosophical, and the literary. Literature and philosophy have for centuries probed at the surfaces and the cavities of self. Biology, our teachers have told us, couldn’t care a whole lot less about the nature of the human self. But as we will see in this course, biological and medical sciences, though less overtly, are also steadily changing the way we view our selves. Three pillars of self. However, since there is no single aspect of this universe that is not in some way relevant to the process of self-definition, we might as easily have picked any of several other perspectives, including things like art, religion, sociology, archeology, cosmology, and so on. But we only have one semester. And biology, philosophy, and literature offer a reasonable sampling of how we have struggled with our pictures of our selves since we first noticed we had selves and wondered just what we ought to do with them. Furthermore, the consideration of these seemingly disparate subjects and their intersections will allow us to explore the process of self-construction and the ways in which our images of self are synthesized from the seemingly discontinuous fragments of our experience. 
 
Section 5: Globalize This? Fear and Loathing in the Age of Progress and Prosperity – K. Jaggers
In this course we will explore both the perils and promises of globalization. For better or worse, the process of globalization is fundamentally transforming the economic, cultural and political foundations of the globe. While globalization holds out the promise of progress – providing significant opportunities for the emancipation of much of the world’s population from the tyranny of poverty, ignorance and political repression – it simultaneously evokes a sense of fear and loathing throughout much of the globe. Globalization is a contentious process -- its meaning almost entirely dependent on who is talking about it. Pro-market economic reformers, displaced workers, environmental and human rights activists, security experts and cultural nationalists, to name a few, all compete for the right to stake claim to the idea of globalization and shape public perceptions about its potential impact on the world in which we live. In a very real sense globalization has become the buzzword that serves to crystallize disagreements concerning the speed and direction of social and political change in the world at-large. While both the meaning and merits of globalization have become highly politicized in recent years, with intellectual debate about this topic sometimes transforming itself into contentious political action and legislation, in this class we will seek to evaluate the origins, nature and impact of this phenomenon by using insights and analytical tools from the humanities (e.g., history and philosophy) and the social sciences (e.g., economics, political science, psychology and sociology). 
 
Section 6: Women & Early American Psychology – V. Volbrecht
1) Context of American Early Psychology - To understand and appreciate the challenges and successes of the first generation women American psychologists, it is important to understand the context of American Psychology. This module examines the development and influences on early American psychology. This includes: psychology’s fit within the history of science, the development of mental philosophy into the science of psychology, and the influences of philosophical thinking, evolution, Germany ideas, and American society on the formation of “modern” psychology. This sets the stage to understand the direction of psychological education and research of early American psychologists. 2) Views on Women - To understand and appreciate the challenges and successes of the first generation women psychologists, it important to know the views of society on the female sex and how this effected their opportunities for education and professional careers. This module examines the views of women during this time period, including those of male psychologists that mentored future women graduate students as well as availability of college education and academic careers. The feminism movement during this time period is also explored. 3) Early American Women Psychologists - The definition of first-generation American psychologists is based on the criterion set by Elizabeth Scarborough and Laurel Furumoto in their 1987 book Untold Lives: The First Generation of American Women Psychologists. First-generation American women psychologists completed their doctoral work in or before 1906. This module will include an overview of this generation of women psychologists, male mentors and their exclusion/inclusion of women, women psychologists preceding the first generation (the foremothers), and then various first-generation women psychologists. Unfortunately, the inclusion criterion of 1906 limits the inclusion of under-represented populations, so one of the first-generation, Afro-American women psychologists will be studied. This module concludes with an overview of the second-generation women psychologists and permits comparison between the two groups. 
 
Section 7: Change: Social, Environmental, Economic, & Institutional Perspectives – J. Raadik Cottrell
There’s only one thing for sure in life and that’s Change. We as individuals change (i.e., beliefs, attitudes and behaviors) throughout our lifespan and so does the world around us. In lieu of today’s rapid societal, environmental, economic, technological, etc. changes, the need for more balanced development is acute. Bold and transformative steps are necessary to shift global societies on a positive course of change to a more sustainable and resilient path. Today’s young generation is undoubtedly one of the most influential agents of change for a more sustainable future. Changing world views and the ability to take advantage of the advancements of today’s science and technology create endless opportunities and pose challenging ethical responsibilities. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development currently adopted by the United Nations is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity for poverty alleviation, universal education, health and well-being. The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) demonstrate the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda. This course through multidisciplinary approach perspective examines how responsible practice may help realize human rights for more, to achieve gender equality and empowerment to mention the few. Through the lens of a holistic sustainability framework, the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainability along with institutional mechanisms are used to examine the opportunities of achieving the SDGs. Students will be engaged in classroom debates and discussions, explore different scenarios of change through case studies and field trips. Interdisciplinary and multicultural viewpoints are encouraged to gain an understanding how flows of information, people and knowledge can make a meaningful change. 
 
Section 8: Food & Power – M. Van Buren
Why do we eat what we eat? Most of us assume that our diet is based on individual choice, but by refocusing our lens to capture a longer historical perspective and a broader range of social forces we can see that our personal preferences are shaped by a web of social, economic, and political relations that extends from families to transnational corporations. The goal of this course is to encourage students to address the question of why they eat what they do by considering their diets as a product of historical and contemporary conditions that extend far beyond consumer choice. Topics to be considered include the development of agriculture, the globalization of food production, local and sustainable as well as industrial agriculture, hunger, the politics surrounding dietary recommendations, and food activism.