Honors Courses (Spring)
Honors Courses Honors Seminars Seminar Descriptions


Following are Honors courses and Honors seminars offered in Spring 2017.


All registration will be done through RAMWeb. Spring 2017 priority registration for eligible Honors students begins October 24, 2016. 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 2017. An updated schedule of Honors courses will be available after October 1, 2016.  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

Sections 1 and 2: MOVE IT! – F. Glycenfer
How we engage in everyday movement can have a profound effect on how we view ourselves and interact with the world. Everyday movement and dance is a rich source for connecting our mind-body-spirit triad so we can be prepared to share our experiences with others. We can discover the stories within ourselves through our kinesthetic senses as we understand “the fullness of the sacred gift of life”. This class will explore how everyday movement forms have developed throughout history to present day and possible contributions to a variety of cultures as well as individual experience.  Classes will include discussion, active participation in movement laboratory experiences and viewing movement events on DVD. Everyday movement and dance will be utilized as a vehicle for personal discovery to consider what is of significance and value in our everyday lives and in society.


Section 3: The Evolution of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science – M. Brown
Part I will include an introduction to drug development, pharmaceutical business practices, pharmaceutical regulatory affairs and the role of the USFDA.


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 outside reading, written assignments, participation in a broad range of group discussions, and oral presentations.


Section 4: “Four Score and Seven Years Ago": Abraham Lincoln & A Most Beloved Speech - P. Vaughan Knaus
Our class begins by setting the scene on July 4, 1863, as the people of Gettysburg emerge from their shelters to face the montage of rubble on the battlefield. The town was missing its men, cut off from the outside world, surrounded by shocking carnage, and seared by the anguish of relatives seeking to bury soldiers. We focus on one crucial moment in American history, and capture the nation’s atmosphere in which the Gettysburg Address was delivered, the changing meaning of the speech over time, and the incredible ways in which it has been garbled, misquoted and willfully misunderstood. When this 270-odd word speech was mentioned at all, it got second billing to Edward Everett's two-hour snore of an official oration. The Gettysburg Address was sniped at. It was reduced to a one-sentence sound bite. So, why examine it today, in the 21st century? While the ultimate measure of how much this speech and its meaning have changed, the legitimacy of devoting a whole course to it comes from a small Ohio newspaper. In the unforgettable words of The Steubenville Weekly Herald: "President Lincoln was there, too."


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 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?


Sections 6 and 7: Gender in Our Lives - J. Krafchick
From our family lives to college campuses to the race for the White House, gender shapes our experiences and relationships every day. In this discussion based seminar, we will look across cultures and history to learn how gender roles have changed and how they affect people’s choices, relationships, and lives.  Students will explore the social movements that have influenced gender roles, psychological theories related to gender identity development, and how the media shapes our perceptions of people based on their gender. We will discover the ways that gender influences politics, relationships, education, and careers.  Using a gender lens, we will consider gender-based stereotypes and identify personal and professional solutions to resist the limitations these rigid expectations have on people and the impact on social and personal choices.


Sections 8 and 11: Got Affluenza? – A. Merline
Affluence is an important part 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, the beginning age of affluence.  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?


This course will examine the social practice and the results on society and the environment of living in an affluent society.  Based on the premise of the PBS documentary with the same name, a book that was written to expand on the ideas, and other scholarly works and videos, we look at the effect of living in a society of over-consumption and its detriment to human culture and the environment.


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 the 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. Drawing on political speeches and documents (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” Henry Thoreau’s “On Civil Disobedience,” and, film and TV documentaries, etc.) to study the art in politics, we will also exam in literature, music, film, and visual arts the politics in art. 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.


Section 10: Ethical Dilemmas in Media - P. Plaisance
This course provides an introduction to the general field of media ethics, with more specific focus on journalism ethics. In it, we will examine some key issues confronting journalists and their audiences as well as ethical dilemmas in other media sectors: advertising, marketing and public relations. As our media culture becomes increasingly pervasive and complex, it is critical that we understand how to conduct ethical deliberations and ensure that our actions and judgments are based on key principles of ethics. 


Section 11: See Section 8


Section 12: Exploring Sustainable Solutions: A Case-Based Approach - W. Timpson
This course will prepare students to deepen their understanding of sustainability through active involvement in campus projects and how these can impact the campus community, the region and beyond, i.e., (1) How critical and creative thinking can be used to design address projects that address complex and interrelated issues; (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. 


Sections 13 and 18: Vietnam & America: An Introduction – P. Vaughan-Knaus
America’s longest war--the Vietnam conflict--was also one of its most divisive. As U.S. troop levels swelled to more than a half million by the late 1960s, American society split sharply over the morality 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 and far-reaching as any other since the Civil War. Neither President Richard M. Nixon’s decision in 1969 to begin withdrawing U.S. troops nor the fall of Saigon to the communists in April 1975 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 the United States intervene in Vietnam? What did the United States seek to accomplish in Vietnam? Were its goals attainable? Who were its enemies? Its allies? Can U.S. actions there be characterized as moral—or immoral? 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: Human Infectious Disease – M. Brown
In part I, students will receive an introduction to key concepts in biochemistry, immunology, and microbiology. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the history of human disease. We will delve into the mysteries of ancient plagues and discuss their influence on past civilizations, using art and literature of various cultures to follow pestilence on its path to the modern world.


In part II, students will choose a controversial topic within the life sciences as the subject for an argumentative paper. Students will work with the instructor to draft these papers in the form of a scientific editorial. Part II will also include a series of student-facilitated discussions related to biomedical ethics.


In part III, students will work in teams in which they will play the roles of scientific researchers, clinicians and other professionals. Each team will be assigned to an infectious pathogen associated with a mock disease outbreak. Teams will research their assigned disease and defend a response plan before an audience of faculty, students, and health professionals.


This course will require regular reading, written assignments, participation in group discussions, and oral presentations.


Section 15: Shakespeare and Film - R. Hentschell
Moving pictures have only been around for just over 100 years. Since the early days of this new art form, directors have found the plays of Shakespeare to be ripe material for their work (e.g. the first film production of Antony and Cleopatra was a silent film from 1908; Max Reinhardt’s 1935 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a lavish example of an early “talkie”). In the last century, Shakespeare on film has only become more prominent, thus continually introducing the Bard’s work to new generations of film goers. This class will study a selection of Shakespeare’s plays and the film versions they inspired. We will gain a solid grounding in the plays themselves, studying the historical context in which they emerged, thus recognizing their role as commercial entertainment. We will study film as its own medium and art form, and analyze how directors visually represent the written text of the plays. Plays/films may include Hamlet, Macbeth, As You Like It, and Henry V.


Section 16: Picture This, Read That: Text-Image Relations in Superhero Comics, Graphic Novels, and Children's Picture Books - A. Gollapudi
Disillusioned superheroes, Wild Things, and Jewish Mice escaping Nazi Cats—these are some of the characters you will encounter in this course on image-text interactions in (1) comics, (2) graphic novels, and (3) children’s picture books. 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 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 Watchmen, Maus, and Where the Wild Things Are. To aid in our exploration of these imagetexts- works that use pictures as well as words to tell story- we will use recent scholarly theories about visuality and textuality, breaking down the divisions between :highbrow” and “low” or “popular” literature. 


Section 17: Justice for All - A. Bernhardt
Do you care about justice and equality? Do you care about using your voice to make a difference? Do you care about how America works and also want to make America work for you? The law is supposed to guarantee justice for all but historically the law has only guaranteed justice for some. We will study past and present civil and human rights issues, including gay rights, environmental justice, racial equality, tribal sovereignty, economic disparity, and gender equality. We will also explore the ways that discrimination has been written into law and how political movements and changes in culture, religion, and economics have transformed law. Through literature, film, music, and a variety of academic sources, we will learn how the fundamental notions of democracy and civil rights have changed over time and are continuing to change.


Section 18: See Section 13

HONR 292

Section 1: Knowing Our Worls and Our Selves Through the Arts and Humanities - G. Callahan
Here’s your chance to pop the hood on that head of yours – check the oil, tighten a tappet or two, replace the plugs – and find out what you really know and how you came to know it. I know what you’re thinking: I know what I know. Truth is, you probably know a lot more than you think you do. When it comes to knowledge, most people turn to science. But there are worlds of knowledge beyond science. Universities, the great modern centers of knowledge, regularly devote more than half of their campuses to non-science endeavors – things like the arts and the humanities. So, just how much can we come to know from painting and music, literature and dance, film and photography? A world’s worth it turns out. Just as science opens up entirely new vistas about our universe, so do the arts and humanities offer essential knowledge about ourselves and the world around us – bodies of knowledge as essential as any and not accessible through traditional scientific method alone. This seminar will explore 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. Students will integrate literature, film, theater, art, and philosophy in discussions and assignments. The thematic focus of the seminar is on the role of the arts and humanities in knowing ourselves and our world. But mostly, what we are going to do is rummage around inside those heads of ours for a semester and fine tune the things we can and learn the value of the things we can’t.

 

Section 2: Knowing in Arts and Humanities – J. Kitchens
The theme for this course is the “social construction of knowledge,” and it engages with the ideas of how knowledge gets 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: Knowing in Arts and Humanities – S. Zwick-Tapley
Do non-human animals engage in the arts and humanities? How do we know? How do we know what constitutes the arts and humanities among our own species? This class will look at the definitions, history and current research regarding language, creativity and expression. From the philosophies of Charles Darwin and Renee Descartes to the research by Jane Goodall and Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and others we will explore the human identity and the identity we attribute to other species. Be prepared for thinking both inside and outside of the box of what we know and what we imagine.

 

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: Knowing in Arts and Humanities: Blessed Are The Peacemakers – P. Vaughan Knaus
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 constitutes ‘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. Students may integrate literature, film, theater, art, music, and philosophy in discussions and assignments.


Those who can satisfy more than one theoretical palate are far too few. Philosophical rhetoric provides a rare forum in which thinking writers are encouraged to practice something more than the same old academically predictable skills. “Blessed Are The Peacemakers” will engage students interested in thoughts and rhetoric as varied as Mahatma Gandhi, John Milton, and Ralph Waldo Emmerson. Topics include connections between logic and oratory demonstrated by Niccolò Machiavelli, and philosophical aspects of humanism favored by Christopher Marlowe and Langston Hughes, among others.

 

HONR 293

Section 2: Knowing Across Cultures: Encounters with the Other in Literature and Film – E. Brinks
Literature and film give us a unique form for experiencing what it is like to interact with cultures different from our own 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 people from diverse cultures will prove essential to our collective survival as a species, it’s essential that we engage imaginatively with perspectives culturally 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, and, 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 colonists and indigenous peoples; 2) travel and touristic encounters; and 3) the encounters arising from diasporas 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 cultures different from our own. Students 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 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.

 

Section 3: Knowing Across Cultures: Wildlife Conservation Issues – N. Vieira
Fish and wildlife conservation requires more than just scientific studies to be successful. In reality, it requires a balance between science and advocacy -- a balance which is mediated, in part, by how different cultural groups perceive the role of fish and wildlife in their lives. We will define wildlife conservation in scientific terms, and will also learn how our forward-thinking “North American Wildlife Conservation Model” is unique in the world. Then, we will highlight global wildlife conservation issues and tackle controversial topics related to differences in cultural values, world philosophies (religion and ethics), poverty and subsistence living. For example, is wildlife conservation a luxury of an affluent society? Are fish and wildlife here for human use, or do they have inherent value and rights that we are obligated to preserve? Is recreational (vs. subsistence) hunting considered ethical and useful in conservation? Should we kill one species to save an endangered one, or let nature take its course? How do different cultures react to regulations on commercial fishing and whaling? We will explore these themes through readings, discussion, movies and videos, guest speakers, and some time outside to learn about wildlife in our very own “Colorado culture”!

 

Section 4: Knowing Across Cultures – A. Williams
Nature. Natural. Wilderness. Environment. We use these terms all the time, but what do they really mean to us? How does their meaning vary with time and place, and among individuals, cultures, and societies? This course investigates the role of culture, tradition, gender, and politics in human understandings of the natural environment. This investigation will take us around the world and will include visions of the past as well as predictions about the future. Through this investigation, we will discover the ways in which human environmental understandings are constructed, communicated, manipulated, and transformed. We will ultimately gain a richer understanding of what our environment means to us and why.

 

HONR 392

Section 1: Coming to America: The Immigrant Nation – M. Elkins
The story of America is the story of immigrants -- their problems and contributions, their struggles to assimilate or to resist assimilation in their new country. In this course, we will begin with an overview of this issue, particularly focusing on the 19th and early 20th Century immigration from Europe to the northeastern section of the United States. Other immigrants have their stories as well. We will move on to look at West Coast immigrants. We will conclude with an in-depth look at the immigration reform debate that is swirling around us today.

 

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: Beat Generation – 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. I named this class after Kenny O, a former student and friend, because Kenny wishes that the world was as it was before the Beat Generation. This, of course, cannot be the case. Using two historical texts, one on the New Left and one chronicling American Conservatism, we will examine the aftermath of the Beat Generation from both sides of the coin. This course will also use the literature to discuss the change in American culture and to examine the effects on later generations.

 

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 educts? Was he a man of faith? Of uncommon intellect? Of tremendous self-doubt and physical shortcomings?

 

Section 5: Ode to Al: Perspectives on Human Rights – A. Merline
This course examines the topic of human rights.  We will read and discuss the philosophy, the articulation, and the legislation of human rights in the context of the United States and of the World Community.  In order to make sense of a very broad topic we will break down this examination into perspectives of human rights into categories of Treatment of Indigenous Peoples, Human Trafficking and Slavery, Women’s and Minority Rights, War, Social and Political Expression, and Worker’s Rights.

 

Section 6: Natural Resources Law and Policy – A. Bernhardt
There is a deep and abiding connection between the way a culture views the natural world and the way in which a particular culture acts in response to the natural world. Environmental laws and policies are a reflection of America’s constantly changing philosophical, religious, and political ideology over the span of history. All too often, environmental issues are oversimplified as basic conflicts between those who care for the environment and those who do not care for the environment. This class will explore the complex and varied factors that contribute to environmental degradation, including population enlargement, demographic settlement, economic motivation, and cultural perspectives. The effectiveness of different environmental strategies, including federal, state and tribal law and personal action, will also be explored. By viewing environmental issues through the lens of religion, art, politics, and economics, the nuances of environmental preservation and justice can be fully understood.

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 willbenefit 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 the underserved 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: Freedom in Focus – K. Jaggers
This course is organized around the idea, and practice, of freedom. While freedom is said to be "on the march" in the world today, 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 both its promotion and construction? While there is a temptation in our society to uncritically accept the idea of freedom as an unalloyed "good," by viewing the concept of freedom through the analytical lenses of philosophy and the social sciences we are better able to understand the "bounded" role of freedom in human society. The objective of this course is to think critically about the idea of freedom and, in the process, to evaluate the political, social, theological and ethical arguments both for, and against, its promotion. In this course we will examine the idea of freedom by reading the works of classic social theorists and commentators (e.g., Plato, Mill, Kant, Freud, Sartre, etc) and by interpreting these works through the lens of modern cinema (e.g., The Seventh Seal, The Matrix, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, etc). Note: students who register for this course will be required to attend weekly screenings of films that fall outside of scheduled class meetings.

 

Section 3: The American Presidency: From Washington to Obama – M. Elkins
In this course, we will look in some depth at the United States Presidents over the last two and a half centuries. We will raise questions about their ideas and attitudes concerning foreign affairs, the role of the federal government in citizens’ lives, their conceptions of the role of the executive branch, and their domestic and social policies. We will try to discover the ways in which external affairs affect these policies. The main text for the course is a collection of essays entitled The American Presidency. Each of these essays concerns one President and is written by a different prominent historian, and the book as a whole is edited by Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer. We will also read some excerpts from James MacGregor Burns’ seminal and Pulitzer Prize winning book, Leadership. Finally, I will provide every student with a pocket copy of the U.S Constitution. We will spend the first weeks of the semester considering the four Presidents whose faces are on Mount Rushmore –Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. Then every student will randomly select a different President to focus on for presentation to the class. The selection of the President will be the luck of the draw.

 

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 – K. Jaggers
In "Globalize This!" we will explore both the perils and promise 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 the 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 the globe. Globalization has become a popular buzzword which serves to crystallize disagreements concerning the speed and direction of change in the world at large. Globalization is a contentious process; its meaning almost entirely dependent on who is talking about. Neo-liberal economic reformers, 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. While both the meaning and merits of globalization have become highly politicized in recent years, with intellectual debate about this topic transforming itself into contentious political action with increasing regularity, in this class we will seek to evaluate the origins, nature and impact of this process in the modern world using insights and analytical tools from history and the social sciences.

 

Section 6: Women and Early American Psychology - V. Volbrecht
This course explores the cosmic forces that pushed the study of mind from the boundaries of philosophy to its own field of scientific inquiry in the United States. The early days of this new field of study are studied by examining the influences from other countries in its evolution and the research guiding the field in its genesis. The growth of a new field also requires the education of its future leaders and often during this time period it meant the education of males. Often forgotten are that woman contributed to moving the science of psychology forward. This course will explore the societal and discipline norms faced by women seeking advanced degrees and how despite the obstacles and challenges these early female pioneers were able to move the discipline forward.