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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 225, 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  

Fall Semester: HNR 280 06 (Must take a Live, Learn, Lead.)

Winter Semester: HNR 280 07 & 08 (SWS)


Schedule (Fall Semester): MWF 2:00-2:50pm HON 148

Schedule (Winter Semester): TR 11:30am-12:45pm, 1:00-2:15pm HON 219


Requirements Fulfilled: History, Art, SWS, World Perspectives, Social Science, WRT 150 (w/ B or better), 1 Issues

Paul Lane, Professor

Nancy O’Neil, Adjunct

Join us on a quest to find innovative, sustainable solutions to relevant world problems and become part of a close-knit community of engaging students and instructors!  This lively, multidisciplinary sequence includes a study of the past, present and future of innovation, as well as creative project-based research and development of products and services; energetic collaborative learning, discussion, and brainstorming; inspiring field trips and guest speakers; and optional social gatherings.  Students with diverse backgrounds and interests benefit from the course, as innovation flourishes when participants bring varied perspectives, experience, and training to the creation, development, and evaluation processes.  After completing Social Product Innovation, students may participate for academic credit in the annual trip to Nicaragua in May.


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 380, 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    

Fall Semester: HNR 280 01 (Must also enroll in a section of Live, Learn, Lead)

Winter Semester: HNR 280 sections 01 and 02 (SWS)


Schedule (Fall): TR 4:00-5:15pm HON 148

Schedule (Winter): TR 8:30-9:45am and 10:00-11:15am HON 214


Fulfills: World Perspectives, History, SWS, US Diversity, Social Science, WRT 150 (w/ B or better), 1 Issues


Amy McFarland, Professor


If we are what we eat, why are we so removed from ourselves? This course examines food - from seed to waste and beyond - and its impact on our bodies, our wallets and our planet. Beginning with where our food comes from, this class will explore the cultural, scientific, and economic 'evolution' of our food systems - from the birth of modern agriculture to the patenting of genes and genetic modifications - we will investigate the causes and consequences of producing food for the ever-growing modern world. The course then will examine the choices we make, the true costs of food - - locally, regionally, nationally, and globally - - will be uncovered with special attention being paid to the social class inequality of those choices and their consequences. The final phase of the investigation delves into waste and excess and the hidden environmental, economic and social costs of excess. We will turn these lenses on our community and using what we discover, explore pathways to positive change.



History of Science          

Fall Semester:         HNR 258 and 259, section 01
Winter Semester:   HNR 278 and 279, section 01

NOTE: You must take section 01 for both semesters.

Schedule (First Semester): TR 8:30-9:45am and 10:00-11:15am HON 148

Schedule (Second Semester): TR 8:30-9:45am and 10:00-11:15am HON 148

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

Sheldon Kopperl, Professor of Biomedical Sciences
Andrew D. Spear, Assistant Professor of Philosophy


The world of today – in which the building blocks of life are modified and rearranged for human purposes, heavy machines move effortlessly through air and space, and course descriptions are read on computer screens and can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world at the click of a button – is unthinkable without science. Yet science (and its much-loved child, technology) did not spring into the world fully formed: it, like everything else, has a history. More importantly, the history of science is just one part of a broader history of the human endeavor to understand our universe and our place in it. This broader endeavor includes not only science, but also religion, literature, art, philosophy, and the study of history itself. This sequence is about this broader human endeavor with special reference to the history of science in Europe (from the Ancient Greeks to around 1850). Themes of the course will include the nature of knowledge, human nature, the relationship between scientific knowledge and other kinds of knowledge and belief, the impact of science and technology on ethics, politics, and the arts (and conversely), and the implications of changing methods and new results in science for our conceptions of ourselves and of the universe. The format of the course is lecture and discussion with occasional in-class group work and/or student presentations.

The first semester explores the history, philosophy, literature, and arts of Europe in an integrated manner, emphasizing the history of science. Specifically, HNR 258 focuses on the historical development of science and some developments in European art beginning in Ancient Greece and then focusing on the period from 1400 – 1650, while HNR 259 focuses on philosophy and theology beginning with Ancient Greece, then concentrating on the period from 1400 – 1650. Together, the two courses work to develop a picture of the Ancient Greek and Medieval-Scholastic (so largely Christian) world-view that had come to dominate European thinking by the 1300s, of the subsequent upheavals brought about by the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, and of the beginnings of the Modern Scientific Period and its key breaks with the previous worldview, including new proposals in astronomy and anatomy, and new ways of thinking about the nature, foundations, and goals of science and scientific method. The courses emphasize writing, critical thinking, and research skills.

The second semester continues to explore the history, philosophy, literature, and arts of Europe in an integrated manner, emphasizing the history of science. HNR 278 focuses on historical developments in science and the arts from 1650—1850, while HNR 279 focuses on philosophical, political, and cultural developments during the same period. Beginning with the mechanical philosophy of Rene Descartes and the scientific accomplishments of Isaac Newton, the two sections work together to trace the impact of these developments, as well as reactions to them and parallel developments, through the Enlightenment and Romantic periods, including the political and industrial revolutions. The courses emphasize writing, ethical and political reasoning, and some amount of group work and individual or group presentations.


Human Culture: Past and Present  confirm what it fulfills


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

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, 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 musicoartistic 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: Understanding Conflict and Peace Processes                              

Fall Semester: HNR 280 Section 07 (must also enroll in a section of Live, Learn, Lead)

Winter Semester: HNR 280 Sections 09 & 10 (SWS) 


Schedule (Fall): TR 11:30am-12:45pm HON 220

Schedule (Winter): TR 11:30am-12:45pm 1:00-2:15pm HON 148


Fulfills: History, 1 Social Science, HST 380, World Perspectives, WRT 150 (w/ B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Jonathan White, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Honors College

Kelly Clark, Professor


The National Security Sequence is designed to teach you how to assess threats to United States security. It focuses on methods for gathering information and transforming it into intelligence. Topics include: history of national security, terrorism, unconventional and conventional war, chemical-radiological-biological-nuclear (CRBN) threats, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and applied lessons from military history. You will also participate in a simulated not-for-profit company that gathers and analyzes information for the United States’ Intelligence Community. The whole process culminates in the second semester when your research team will produce and present an actual threat assessment based on information available to the public. Guest lecturers will include former U.S. intelligence agents.


The first course in the fall will focus on research methods. You will learn to utilize research tools and how to gather information related to national security. You will also learn how to assess and analyze information and the processes for turning information into national security intelligence. You will be introduced to a year-long project where teams of interdisciplinary researchers will gather and analyze threats to the security of the United States. Two courses in the winter semester will build on the skills developed in the fall semester. First, you will complete a class covering historical intelligence-gathering techniques from the Revolutionary War to the present. You will enhance research skills by utilizing Hauenstein-Markle Collection of National Security and Intelligence. Second, you will continue the research project from the fall semester by conducting and presenting an actual threat assessment. If you choose, you may use this sequence to begin an interdisciplinary major in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in National Security Studies.



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                    

Fall Semester: HNR 263 section 01 (Must take a Live, Learn, Lead)
Winter Semester: HNR 280 sections 05 & 06

Schedule (First semester): TR 4:00-5:15pm HON 220
Schedule (Second semester): TR 2:30-3:45pm, 4:00-5:15pm HON 148

Fulfills: US Diversity, SWS, World Perspectives, HST 380, 2 Social Sciences (or 1 SS and 1 History), (Philosophy & Literature for transfers), WRT 150 (w/ B or better), 1 Issues

Karen Zivi, Professor

Richard Hiskes, Professor

Pamela Galbraith, Professor of Anthropology


If the 1960s marked a “rights revolution” in the United States, the 21st century has been witness to that revolution’s expansion around the globe. But what are rights? Where do they come from? What do they do? And how do they work? This 3-course sequence takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of rights theory and practice. In the first semester, students will examine the philosophical meanings of and justifications for using rights to challenge political authority. The focus will be on 18th and 19th century European and American debates and conflicts, and particular attention will be given to questions of gender and race. In the second semester, students will examine rights philosophy and practice from a more contemporary and broader cross-cultural perspective with emphasis placed on assessing the benefits and limits of using rights language to address inequality and injustice in realms such as gender, sexuality, and health.




Fall Semester:         HNR 280 08 (Must take a Live, Learn, Lead)

Winter Semester:    HNR 280 sections 13 & 14 (SWS)


Schedule (Fall):    MW 1:30-2:45pm HON 218

Schedule (Winter):   TR 2:30-3:45pm, 4:00-5:15pm EC 510


Fulfills:  History, Art, One Social Science, US Diversity, HST 380, WRT 150 (with a B or better), 1 SWS, 1 Issues

Melissa Morison, Associate Professor of Classics

Matthey Daley, Associate Professor of History


Cathedrals or wastelands, solutions or nightmares, cities rank amongst the most fundamental political, economic, and socio-cultural phenomena of human society. We have built, modified, praised, and cursed our cities for thousands of years. Cities have become the primary tools used by more than half of the human beings on our planet to organize their shelter, food, water, government, education, religion, and entertainment.

 But this was not always the case. What prompted the emergence of the earliest cities? Can it be true, as some scholars have suggested, that cities were an inevitable development? Can we imagine other viable long-term options? Is the “Age of Cities” coming to an end? In the first semester of the course (3 credits; Professor Morison), we will examine the city as “artifact,” analyzing the broad spectrum of ways that cities have developed and functioned across time and space. We will consider planning strategies, cultural and environmental interaction, infrastructure, meaning, form, and representation of the city in the visual arts. We will also use the Fall semester to develop an understanding of key theoretical approaches and the language of architectural and urban analysis.

The second semester (6 credits; Professor Daley), continues the analysis of urban forms from the Renaissance to the present day taking an even closer examination of what constitutes an urban society. Drawing on the first semester’s concepts we will examine the impact of industrialization, the emergence of professional urban planners, and the changes brought by the automobile. The rise of increasingly globalized and urbanizing societies will also be a major focus. To understand these changes, the Winter semester will also utilize metropolitan Grand Rapids as a research site to consider these changes at the local and global levels.