Foundational Interdisciplinary Sequences 2016-2017

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Africa Seen Through African Eyes, section 01

Fall Semester:      HNR 254/255, section 01: Africa Seen Through African Eyes 1 & 2
Winter Semester:  HNR 274/275, section 01: Africa Seen Through African Eyes 3 & 4

Note: You must take section 01 for both semesters.

Schedule (First Semester): MW 3:00-4:15pm and 4:30-5:45pm HON 220

Schedule (Second Semester): MW 3:00-4:15pm and 4:30-5:45pm HON 220

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 235, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Steeve Buckridge, Associate Professor

David Alvarez, Professor

This course surveys the history of African civilizations to the nineteenth century. It will concentrate on the political, economic, cultural, and social development of specific African societies before European conquest of the continent. The course will be more thematic than chronological. The course will open with a discussion of the myths associated with African people and will explore a wide range of topics such as migration, languages, religious concepts, dress, art, social organization, and the process of state formation particularly in East and West Africa. The class will also examine the spread of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in Africa. Other topics will include the Atlantic Slave trade, slavery in Africa, gender and the division of labor. The course format will include lectures, papers, group discussions as well as audio-visuals and music. This course is the first part of the two-part survey of African History specifically designed for Honors.  

 

Alliance and Conflict: World Construction in Religion and Society

Fall Semester:          HNR 260 section 01 (Must also enroll in a section of Live, Learn, Lead)
Winter Semester:    HNR 261/262 section 01      

Schedule (First Semester): MWF 12-12:50 HON 218
Schedule (Second Semester): MWF 11:00-12:50 HON 218

Fulfills: Arts, History, 1 SWS, World Perspectives, HST 380, Social Science (or Philosophy & Literature if needed), WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 Issues
 

Jeremiah Cataldo, Assistant Professor of History and Meijer Honors College

Dwayne Tunstall, Associate Professor of Philosophy

At the heart of every social relationship, whether among human collectives or with the natural world, exists either alliance or conflict. In this sequence, we investigate the nature of those dialectical relationships as they take place between religion and society. We will look at how those relationships have defined or framed in particular collective identities, behaviors, morals, truths, and laws. We will look also at how those relationships have affected the construction of knowledge.

This sequence will be taught from a social-scientific approach, introducing students to different types of critical theories. Drawing upon select religious and cultural contexts, areas of focus will include: religious and cultural “normatives,” texts, art, philosophy, theology, linguistics, and politics. The first semester of this sequence will focus both on an introduction to different critical theories and select religions and societies before and during the so-called “Axial Age” (800-200 BCE). The second semester will pursue a relative mastery of critical theory and focus on post-“Axial Age” religions and societies. By the end of the sequence, students will have an understanding of how religion and society are mutually constructive through relations of alliance and conflict. In addition, the theories and analytical procedures used throughout the sequence will provide helpful tools for critical analysis in other courses in the humanities and the social- and political-sciences.

 

American Civilization, section 01

Fall Semester:        HNR 213 and 214, section 01: American Civilization 1 & 2
Winter Semester:  HNR 223 and 224, section 01: American Civilization 3 & 4
NOTE: You must take section 01 for both semesters.  

Schedule (First Semester): MWF 9:00-10:50am HON 218

Schedule (Second Semester): MWF 9:00-10:50am HON 218

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, U.S. Diversity, HST 205, HST 206, ENG 226, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues
 

Paul Murphy, Professor, History

Avis Hewitt, Professor, English

Douglas Montagna, Professor, History

Fall: Course provides a survey of American history, literature, and intellectual progress from European Colonization through Reconstruction. 

Winter: Continues the study of American Civilization begun in HNR 213. Emphasis is on philosophy and arts in American culture.

*Our course is a rich and comprehensive journey through the evolution of American cultural life, especially as reflected in our literature and history. We examine a variety of narratives that serve as markers of our sense of the past and the formation of the American self (or selves), and we explicate works of fiction, poetry, and drama that serve as particularly articulate responses to being not only American but also human. Topics and works range from the earliest colonies to the twenty-first century. Both history and literature thrive on relentless investigation and interpretation. We are interested in what our students think and have to say about the topics we study. Our classes are full of research, discussion, presentations, group work, and writing—both formal and informal. From George Washington’s remarkable career, the life of a late eighteenth century Midwife, and the experiences of a family of American diplomats in Nazi Germany to provocative permutations of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, and Don DeLillo’s White Noise, we look deeply into both sorts of “major hitters”—that is, the giants of history and literature—as well as into the daily lives of Americans in a variety of eras. Students often find that our course is not only about the knowledge they acquire and the skills they develop, but also about the delight of being part of a community of learners where good will and good times get privileged along with proficiency.
 

American Civilization, section 02

Fall Semester:        HNR 213 and 214, section 02: American Civilization 1 & 2
Winter Semester:  HNR 223 and 224, section 02: American Civilization 3 & 4
NOTE: You must take section 02 for both semesters.  

Schedule (First Semester): MW 3:00-5:45pm HON 219

Schedule (Second Semester): MW 3:00-5:45pm HON 219

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, U.S. Diversity, HST 205, HST 206, ENG 225, ENG 226, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues
 

Steve Tripp, Professor of History

Michael Webster, Professor

This section of the Honors Foundation course focuses exclusively on the United States during the twentieth century, what publisher Henry Luce boldly identified as the “American Century.”   Using literature, poetry, film, autobiography, art, photography, and music, we will examine the lives of people who lived through the industrial revolution, the Jazz Age, the Great Depression, two world wars, de-industrialization, revolt, and reaction.  During the Fall semester, we will pay particular attention to the concept of Modernity in all its glorious manifestations. In the Winter, we will consider the fate of Modernity amidst the social, political, and cultural upheaval of post-World War II America.

 

Design Thinking for Social Product Innovation - This class is now closed.

 

Europe: The Center and the Margins, section 01

Fall Semester:        HNR 215 and 216, section 01: European Civilization 1 & 2  
Winter Semester:  HNR 225 and 226, section 02: European Civilization 3 & 4

Note: You must take section 01 for both semesters.

Schedule (First Semester): TR 10:00am-12:45pm HON 218

Schedule (Second Semester): TR 10:00am-12:45pm HON 218

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 207 & 208, ENG 221, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Ellen Adams, Assistant Professor

David Eick, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures

Fall: This course examines the sweeping political and cultural changes that roiled Europe from the Renaissance through the eve of the French Revolution. Studying art and literature in tandem will yield insights into the ways in which intellectuals challenged dominant ideologies and promoted new values like tolerance of difference, freedom of thought and expression, equality and human rights. We will delve into the Renaissance and the Enlightenment via two “Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) games: “Machiavelli & the Florentine Republic, 1494-1512; and “The Enlightenment in Crisis: Diderot’s Encyclopédie in a Parisian Salon,” in which we will canvass the bold ideas which inspired the most ambitious enterprise in the history of publishing. Throughout the semester, we will explore the how the lives and work of ordinary people, writers, artists, and musicians both reflected and shaped historical events.

Winter: This course examines the sweeping political and cultural changes taking place in Europe in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the ways in which writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians—and even restaurant chefs!--reflect and shape these changes. How does a society move towards industrialization and what implications does this have for traditional ideas about class, gender, and family? How do advances in technology affect the nineteenth century and the onset of total war in the twentieth century? How do people experience ideas and movements linked to politics, nationalism, psychology, and gender at the end of the nineteenth century? How can we see the European experience in its global context during a period of empire building? What were the social, political and cultural effects of total war, fascism and decolonization in the twentieth century? What can we learn about our modern society and ourselves by understanding this past?

 

Europe: The Center and the Margins, section 02

Fall Semester:      HNR 215 and 216, section 02: European Civilization 1 & 2
Winter Semester:  HNR 225 and 226, section 02 European Civilization 3 & 4
NOTE: You must take section 02 for both semesters.
 

Schedule (First Semester): TR 1:00-3:45pm HON 220

Schedule (Second Semester): TR 1:00-3:45pm HON 220
 

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 207 & 208, ENG 221, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues
 

Grace Coolidge, Associate Professor of History

Diane Wright, Professor of Modern Languages

Gabriela Pozzi, Professor of Modern Languages

While this course covers all of European history and culture, we put a special emphasis on Spain. Spain occupied a unique historical and geographical position as the cultural crossroad of East and West, where the three “peoples of the book” (Christians, Jews and Muslims) coexisted in complex patterns of harmony and tension.  The Spanish empire dominated the early modern world, and Spain was home to a rich cultural Renaissance.  By contrast, twentieth-century Spain survived a brutal civil war and the longest-running Fascist dictatorship in European history to become a thriving modern democracy.  We explore the twists and turns of Spanish history and compare and contrast Spain to the rest of Europe, learning about its uniqueness as well as about the common ties that bind it to the mainland.  The course covers Spanish and European history and culture from the medieval period to the present day European union.  We learn how to cure love-sickness, follow a cross-dressing nun in her adventures across Spain and the new world, meet the famous witch Celestina, and wrestle with the Frankenstein monster.  In the 19th century the class uses a six-week simulation in which students play the parts of workers and factory owners caught up in the Industrial Revolution, making choices and living with the consequences in this fast-changing culture.   We explore the tragic, disillusioned poetry of World War One, the impact of the Holocaust, and the slow rebuilding of a traumatized Europe into today’s European Union.  The class puts special emphasis on learning to write historical and literary essays and to handle a college-level reading load, skills that will benefit students in any discipline they pursue.

 

Food for Thought - This class is now closed. 

 

History of Science - This class is now closed.

 

Human Culture: Past and Present 

Fall Semester: ANT 215-04: Origins of Civilization (Honors Section) (must also enroll in a section of Live, Learn, Lead)

Winter Semester: ANT 204 08: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Honors Section)

Schedule (First Semester): TR 10:00-11:15am HHLC 207A

Schedule (Second Semester): Schedule: MWF 10:00-10:50pm HHLC 205A

Fulfills: History, Social Science, World Perspectives, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Elizabeth Arnold; Associate Professor

Fall Semester: ANT 215 examines the development of world civilizations using historic, archaeological and other perspectives that inform us about the past. This course provides an overview of select civilizations of the ancient world, including Egypt and other parts of Africa, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, Mesoamerica and South America. Emphasis will be placed on how archaeologists use material culture (i.e. artifacts) to examine the social and cultural organization of these societies. Additionally, we will look at the current research that is examining the processes involved in the rise and fall of civilizations and the factors by which complex societies evolved in different parts of the world.

Tara Hefferan, Professor

Winter Semester: This course focuses on cultural diversity and how anthropologists attempt to understand social and cultural systems in modern populations.  Students will explore theories of culture change, patterns of kinship, and the place of religious, economic, and political institutions and go outside the classroom to explore this diversity in our community. We will explore many issues in terms of case studies from various regions of the world but the course will continually emphasize the application of these concepts in our own culture and social systems. Frequently, we will make comparisons with U.S. culture and students will be asked to bring their knowledge and experiences of culture and food systems to bear upon social issues during classroom discussion.

 

Intellect, Creativity, and the Muses

Fall Semester: HNR 280, section 03 (Must enroll in a section of Live.Learn.Lead.)

Winter Semester: HNR 280, sections 03 & 04 (SWS)

Schedule (First semester): MW 3:00-4:15pm HON 218

Schedule (Second semester): MW 3:00-5:45pm HON 218

Fulfills: HST, Philosophy & Literature, WRT 150 (w/ B or better), Art, World Perspectives, 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Bettina Muehlenbeck, Frederik Meijer Honors College

Our focus will be dedicated largely to the written and to the melodious muses and their interrelated development from the Enlightenment through the crisis of modernity in the 20th century. As we travel this timeline, intellectual history will accompany us on our journey. We are interested in the interplay of the human and musico-artistic elements and their evolution throughout this time period. The first half of the sequence will focus on music from the late 18th century through the Romantic generation and will provide students with a foundation in aesthetics and musical styles. The second half of the course will begin in the tumultuous 19th century, a divided century characterized by asynchronicity as opposing forces push and pull in different directions. Romanticism, Restoration, Tradition, Victorian prudery, and poverty contrast with Realism, Revolution, emerging emancipation movements, technological and industrial progress, and the accumulation of great wealth. These contradictory tendencies and the uncertainties that accompany them lead to an explosion of creative avenues that characterize artistic production in the twentieth century. How will the future look?

 

 

 

The Middle East Beyond the Headlines

Fall Semester:         HNR 209 and 210, section 01

Winter Semester:   HNR 219 and 220, section 01
 

Schedule (First Semester): MW 12:00-1:15pm and 1:30– 2:45pm HON 219

Schedule (Second Semester): MW 12:00-1:15 and 1:30-2:45pm HON 219

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 211, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Coeli Fitzpatrick, Associate Professor of Philosophy

Majd Al-Mallah

Fall, The Classical Period: This course looks at the rise of Islam from the hot desert of the Arabian Peninsula and traces its development and expansion through the region and beyond until the decline of the last Islamic Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire.  Students will learn about the world that was Muhammad’s birthplace, and answers to questions about him and the new religion of Islam.  What was the world of Mecca and Medina like before Muhammad?  What did this new religion change?  How did was the message of the Qur’an revealed and received?  What does the Qur’an really say?  How did the Muslims conquer the Middle East so quickly—did they ride through the region with swords in one hand and Qur’ans in the other?  How did Muslims and Middle Eastern Christians and Jews experience the Crusades?  What is it like to view these historical events through their eyes?  In answering these and many other questions, we will explore the rich cultural, literary, philosophical and artistic legacy created by the Muslims in this period called the Classical period of Islam.

Winter, Philosophy and Art: The decline of the last Islamic Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, used to be described by historians as a history of “the sick man of Europe.”  The final demise of the sick man happens after WW I, and it is a period of immense change in the Middle East—indeed it is the period where the “Middle East” and many of its countries are invented—with the border lines of some countries literally drawn up by European politicians.  These massive changes leave their marks everywhere in the society: Islam undergoes a major reform, socially and politically and comes to be a vehicle of resistance towards outside interference; Muslim modernizers and revivalists struggles over the influence of Islam within society; Allah’s gift of oil to the Arabs and Muslims is discovered; new literary genres are developed and we see the rise of the Arabic novel;  the state of Israel is created; the feminist movement begins and women demand more rights; all citizens demand representation.  But most of the Middle East today is still governed by monarchies and dictators—why?  And what about terrorists from the Middle East? The Western world views the Middle East as a hotbed of fanatical Muslims.  What truth is there to this view?  What do average Muslims think about the West?  This sequel to HNR 209/210 explores the modern Middle East in all its fascinating aspects: religion, culture, society, literature, history.  This makes reading the news much more relevant and interesting!

 

 

Making of Europe

Fall Semester:        HNR 217 01 Making of Europe 1
Winter Semester:  HNR 218 and 228, section 01 Making of Europe 2: The High Middle Ages

Schedule (Fall and Winter Semester): TR 10:00-11:15am HON 220
Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 203 or 207, ENG 220, WRT 150 (w/ B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Benjamin Lockerd, Professor of English

Mark Pestana, Professor of Philosophy


Fall Semester:             HNR 227 01 Making of Europe 3: Early Renaissance
Winter Semester:       HNR 228 01 Making of Europe 4: SWS

Schedule (Fall and Winter Semester):   TR 8:30-9:45am HON 220

Benjamin Lockerd, Professor of English

Mark Pestana, Professor of Philosophy

HNR 217: The Making of Europe 1

This is the first course in a 4-course sequence that will address the development of European culture from the end of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the modern era.  This first course seeks to give students some knowledge of the Roman Empire and then to enter into a study of the early Middle Ages, from about 450 A.D. to about 1100 A.D.  The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, with professors from all the major disciplines within the Humanities.  In this way, we hope to achieve a comprehensive view of the development of European civilization during this period.

                Each semester of the Making of Europe sequence involves all four disciplines, but each of the four semesters also focuses particularly on one of the four disciplines, as follows:

                --HNR 217: History

                --HNR 218: Philosophy

                --HNR 227: Art

                --HNR 228: Literature

HNR 218: The Making of Europe 2

This course will examine the late Middle Ages (sometimes called the High Middle Ages) in Europe, from approximately 900 to approximately 1300 A.D.  We will study and discuss the cultural, artistic, religious, intellectual, and political developments that took place at this time.  The course will be interdisciplinary, involving discussion of history, philosophy, art, architecture, music, and literature of the period. The course emphasizes the great philosophical works of the era, especially the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas. We also read selections from Dante's Divine Comedy.

HNR 227: The Making of Europe 3

This course will examine the transition from the late Middle Ages to the early Renaissance period in Europe.  The Renaissance begins at different times in different regions: around 1300 in Italy, but not until the late 1400s in England.  Historically, we will look at roughly that period, but in literature we will move forward into the late 1500s. We will study the various cultural, artistic, religious, intellectual, and political developments of the period, with an emphasis on the romance epic, the development of polyphony, and Renaissance painting.  The course is interdisciplinary, involving history, art, architecture, music, philosophy, and literature.  There will be a pronounced emphasis on the great artistic accomplishments of this period.

HNR 228: The Making of Europe 4

This course will examine the late Renaissance period in Europe, from approximately 1500 to approximately 1700.  Major topics in the course will be the Protestant Reformation, the consolidation of the modern European nation states, and Humanism.  We will study the cultural, artistic, intellectual, and political developments of the era.  The course is interdisciplinary, involving history, art, architecture, music, philosophy, and literature. There will be an emphasis on literary works of the period, including those of Shakespeare and Milton.

 

 

The Making of Latin America

Fall Semester:         HNR 280 04 & 05

Winter Semester:    HNR 280 15 & 16

Schedule (First Semester): MWF 1:00-2:50pm HHLC 207A

Schedule (Second Semester):  MWF 1:00-1:50pm and 2:00-2:50pm HHLC 109A

Fulfills: Art, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 230, WRT 150 (with a B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

David Stark, Associate Professor of History

Jose Lara

Mayra Gonzalez, Professor, Modern Languages

 

The Making of Latin America 1 & 2: When Worlds Collide

 What is Latin America? This course examines Latin American civilizations and cultures from pre-conquest times to the nineteenth century. It will survey the history, culture, art, economy, literature, and politics of Latin America from the time of its first inhabitants until the independence period. Five major themes will be addressed: the development of the great Amerindian civilizations, the encounter between Amerindians, Europeans, and Africans, the making of a colonial society, the struggles leading to the collapse of colonial rule, and the wars of independence. Students will come away from this class with a better understanding of how the different peoples and cultures came together in the Americas shaping the colonial societies, and how some elements of this legacy persisted or were transformed by different social groups after independence.

 The Making of Latin America 3 & 4: In Search of Modernity

 What does it mean to be Latin American? This course examines Latin American civilizations and cultures from the independence period in the nineteenth century to the present day. Given the vastness of Latin America the approach of the course is thematic and chronological rather than regional. We will pay attention to five specific and interconnected themes: the struggle to define the nation, imperialism and intervention, divergent paths of political and economic development, resistance and revolution, and confronting the challenges of modernity. These themes will be explored through an interdisciplinary lens: history, culture, art, economy, literature, film, and politics of Latin America. By the end of the class, students will be able to approach the diversity and complexities surrounding Latin America(n) identity(ies) through a historical and cultural perspective.

 

National Security - This class is now closed. 

 

The Worlds of Greece and Rome

Fall Semester:          HNR 211 and 212, section 01

Winter Semester:    HNR 221 and 222, section 01

Schedule (First Semester): MWF 1:00-2:50pm HON 220

Schedule (Second Semester): MWF 1:00-2:50pm HON 220

Fulfills: Arts, History, Philosophy & Literature, World Perspectives, HST 380, WRT 150 (with B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues
 

This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the history, literature, intellectual history, philosophy, and arts of the Classical period with emphasis on Greeks and Romans. This approach includes close and extensive reading of primary sources (such as literary texts and artifacts) and secondary sources (including history and art history textbooks).

 

Theory and Practice of Rights - This class is now closed.                    

 

Urbanism  - This class is now closed.