Housing Banner Frederik Meijer Honors College

Junior Seminar

Junior seminars are typically taken during junior year. This will give you an opportunity to learn more in your major, so you can bring your experience and knowledge to the junior seminar.

The topics vary from semester to semester, but junior seminars are opportunities to look in-depth at a topic, issue, or problem, often in ways that allow a student to view the subject through the lens of her or his own major, and to see how students in other majors provide different perspectives on the same subject.

 

Fall 2014

HNR 300 01: SWS Classical Mythology
Schedule: MW 3:00-4:15pm HON 220
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and World Perspectives
Sufen Lai, Professor

 

*Course description TBA*

 

HNR 312 01: SWS Literary Explorations of Medical Controversies
Schedule: TR 10:00- 11:15am HON 214
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and U.S. Diversity
Jane Toot, Professor of Physical Therapy

This junior seminar focuses on ethical, cultural, and controversial issues in medicine today. Through fiction, poetry, memoirs, film, and essays, we learn not only about people’s experiences with illness, but also how cultural differences shape our interactions with the healthcare system. Our analysis of texts elucidates attitudes toward race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, which have been implicit in “objective” medical science from the Victorian period through our contemporary experience. Topics include research/experimentation, aging, women’s health issues, AIDS, depression, cancer, and end of life concerns. Students are encouraged to use course assignments to explore their own areas of specific interest.

 

HNR 312 02: SWS Literary Explorations of Medical Controversies
Schedule: ONLINE
Requirements Fulfilled:
Junior Seminar and U.S. Diversity
Sue Swartzlander, Professor of English

This junior seminar focuses on ethical, cultural, and controversial issues in medicine today. Through fiction, poetry, memoirs, film, and essays, we learn not only about people’s experiences with illness, but also how cultural differences shape our interactions with the healthcare system. Our analysis of texts elucidates attitudes toward race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, which have been implicit in “objective” medical science from the Victorian period through our contemporary experience. Topics include research/experimentation, aging, women’s health issues, AIDS, depression, cancer, and end of life concerns. Students are encouraged to use course assignments to explore their own areas of specific interest.


HNR 312 03: SWS Sociology of Consumption
Schedule: TR 1:00-2:15pm HON 148
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and US Diversity
Joel Stillerman, Professor

Consumption – the desire for, purchase, use, exchange, and disposal of products and services – is an essential feature of our everyday lives, yet we seldom examine its meaning and importance.  Why do we want certain products?  How are our desires shaped by advertising, marketing, and market research? How do our tastes reflect the class, gender, racial, and age groups to which we belong?  In this course, students will have the opportunity to explore these questions by reading key theoretical perspectives on the nature and meaning of consumption as well as recent research on consumer culture in the U.S. Readings have a specific focus on how consumer behavior and consumer culture both reflect and help reinforce social inequalities based on class, race, gender and age.  Significant themes include the role of advertising and promotion in consumption and culture, how historical legacies of racial inequality affect the patterns of consumption across ethnic/racial groups, the symbolic and ritual aspects of consumption, the ethics of consumption, the relationship between consumption and social roles/identities (gender, age, race), and the intersection of consumption/ sales practices with personal relationships.  Classes combine lectures, discussions, group activities, and audiovisual materials.  Assignments include research exercises on consumer behavior and reflective journals on students’ consumption practices. 

 

HNR 312 04: SWS Theory of Human Rights
Schedule: MW 4:30-5:45pm HON 220
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and US Diversity
Richard Hiskes

Explores the historical and philosophical development of the theory of human rights and, in the second half of the term applies theoretical approaches to significant human rights issues such as trafficking, genocide, and the rights of minority populations.  Among other objectives, students will learn to appreciate different philosophical schools of thought regarding the reality of rights and their applicability to contemporary issues and construct written and oral arguments exploring the relevance and usefulness of applying human rights concepts to contemporary political, international, and ethical issues and problems.

 

HNR 312 05: SWS Music, Culture, and Aesthetics
Schedule:
TR 1:00-2:15pm HON 218
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and US Diversity
Kurt Ellenberger, Professor

This course will examine music as it intersects with and helps define culture in present-day America (where culturally-diverse genres coexist and cross-pollinate in a surprising manner), and contrast this with similar developments during pivotal points in the last 500 years. We will look at “art music” and popular music in many of their forms and examine them through readings from scholarly and popular writings. Aesthetics will function as a means of identifying embedded cultural values that transcend genre, thus illuminating our understanding of music in a broader societal context.

 

HNR 313 01; SWS Stoicism and Identity
Schedule:
W 6:00-9:50pm HON 219                                                                            Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar
Peter Anderson, Professor of Classics

*Course description TBA*

 

HNR 313 02: SWS Social Improvement Through Community Engagement
Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50am HON 219
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar
Bill Holsinger-Robinson

Ever wonder how events like TEDxGrandRapids (www.tedxgrandrapids.org) come about? Where did the idea come from? How was the team pulled together and organized? How are events like this led, funded and gain community support? In this course you will learn some fundamental frameworks for starting and running your own organizations through hands on experiences working with the TEDxGrandRapids team. You will also gain exposure to other events/projects (both significant and start-up) that are happening in Grand Rapids.

Specifically, we will work to:

  • Develop your ideas
  • Create a sense of purpose and vision
  • Build and organize teams
  • Measure your impact
  • Start small through prototyping

The basics on what you can expect to learn:

  • How to build and organize teams.
  • How to run an effective meeting.
  • How to gain community support.
  • How to position yourself and your project to raise funding.
  • How to think about partnerships with other community organizations and businesses.


HNR 313 05: SWS Visionary Thinkers: Marx
Schedule: TR 6:00-8:50pm HON 219
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar
Gordon Alderink, Professor

For most, the fall of the Berlin Wall signaled the triumph of a “free market” (capitalism) over central planning (communism), democracy over totalitarianism.  However, the Great Recession of 2008 suggests that the neo-liberal model of capitalism is not what it “appears”; explanations for the recession superficially credit de-regulation and greed as the primary faults.  Karl Marx’s research and scholarship in the middle 19th century, contrasted, what he called, the “appearance” with the “essence” of capitalism, which may provide more profound clues to our most recent economic crisis.  In this course students will: 1) explore the life of Karl Marx as a backdrop to reading Capital (Volume 1) and 2) pursue a critical reading and analysis of Capital.

 

Winter 2015

 

HNR 311 01: SWS Problem Solving for Sustainable Solutions through System Analysis
Schedule:
TR 1:00 -2:15pm HON 236E
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and World Perspective
Jane Toot, Professor of Physical Therapy

This course will examine a variety of problem solving techniques which can be used across disciplines and which support a sustainable approach to seeking solutions. The range of professions will included business, education, health care, and politics. Participants will learn how to identify, use and develop isomorphic strategies and tools to address presented problems.

 

HNR 311 02: SWS The European Union
Schedule:
TR 11:30 am– 12:45 pm  LSH 227
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and World Perspective
John Constantelos, Professor of Political Science

An examination of the history, economics, politics, and policies of the European Union and its twenty-eight member states.  Topics include the euro crisis, EU-US relations, EU enlargement, immigration issues, and economic, social, environmental, and security policies.  In April, students will participate in the Midwest Model EU, an intercollegiate simulation that meets for three days on the campus of Indiana University, in Bloomington, IN.

 

HNR 311 03: SWS Survey of French Literature II, "Scandalous Literature"
Schedule: MW 6:00-7:15pm HON 219
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and World Perspectives
David Eick, Professor

Readers aghast, books publicly lacerated and burned by the executioner, authors and publishers threatened with the death penalty for sedition and irreligion--many masterpieces of Old Regime French literature sparked heated controversy when they were first published. This course focuses on texts originally deemed offensive or dangerous for their experimentations with linguistic and literary conventions, exploration of new modes of feeling, questioning of religious and political orthodoxy, and representations of desire. Four weeks will be devoted to a Reacting to the Past game, “The Enlightenment in Crisis: Diderot’s Encyclopédie in a Parisian Salon.”

 

HNR 311 04: SWS Biotechnology & the World
Schedule: TR 10:00-11:15am LSH 136
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and World Perspectives
Osman Patel, Assistant Professor of Cell and Molecular Biology

Biotechnology has been practiced by human society since the beginning of civilization. However, the discovery of the structure of DNA and the function of cells has advanced biotechnology to unprecedented levels. Twenty-first century biotechnology, armed with genetic engineering and the deciphered codes of life (genomes), is affecting every facet of human existence and has brought about radical changes in technological approaches to the world’s problems of food, health, global warming, energy production and environment.  The purpose of this course is to examine the evolution of biotechnology paralleled with the economic and societal dilemmas created around the world by the advances in biotechnology.

 

HNR 312 01: SWS Hollywood & the Holocaust
Schedule: MW 3:00-4:15 HON 236E
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar, U.S. Diversity, Philosophy & Literature, and SWS
Robert Franciosi, Professor

For most Americans the Holocaust’s enormity only became evident in the spring of 1945, when celebratory images of Nazi Germany’s defeat were accompanied by horrific footage from the liberated concentration camps. What has been termed “American Holocaust consciousness” was first prompted, then, and continues to be renewed, by our national passion for moving images—on the screen, the tube, or the LCD display. This course will trace America’s evolving understanding of the Holocaust by considering the way films and television programs, two pillars of our mass culture, have shaped that knowledge for millions of Americans. Organized chronologically, the seminar will examine how particular American works have reflected or prompted Holocaust awareness. Students will also set those understandings within the larger cultural dynamic of American society between 1945 and the present.

Structure
This seminar will adopt a structure common to many GVSU science courses—two hours of lecture/discussion, complemented with three hours of lab, i.e., film viewing. Class will meet on MW for fifty minutes, but also gather on Thursday nights for three hours to screen films. Because of this significant time commitment, course reading requirements will be less than in a typical junior seminar, though the writing expectations will remain at the SWS level.

 

HNR 312 02: SWS Literary Explorations of Medical Controversies
Schedule:
TR 2:30-3:45pm HON 236E
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and U.S. Diversity
Jane Toot, Professor of Physical Therapy

This junior seminar focuses on ethical, cultural, and controversial issues in medicine today. Through fiction, poetry, memoirs, film, and essays, we learn not only about people’s experiences with illness, but also how cultural differences shape our interactions with the healthcare system. Our analysis of texts elucidates attitudes toward race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, which have been implicit in “objective” medical science from the Victorian period through our contemporary experience. Topics include research/experimentation, aging, women’s health issues, AIDS, depression, cancer, and end of life concerns. Students are encouraged to use course assignments to explore their own areas of specific interest.

 

HNR 312 03: SWS Literary Explorations of Medical Controversies
Schedule: TR 8:30- 9:45pm HON 219
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar, U.S. Diversity, and SWS
Gordon Alderink, Associate Professor of Health Professions

This junior seminar focuses on ethical, cultural, and controversial issues in medicine today. Through fiction, poetry, memoirs, film, and essays, we learn not only about people’s experiences with illness, but also how cultural differences shape our interactions with the healthcare system. Our analysis of texts elucidates attitudes toward race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, which have been implicit in “objective” medical science from the Victorian period through our contemporary experience. Topics include research/experimentation, aging, women’s health issues, AIDS, depression, cancer, and end of life concerns. Students are encouraged to use course assignments to explore their own areas of specific interest.

 

HNR 312 04: SWS Sex, Power and Politics
Schedule: TR 11:30am-12:45pm HON 236E
Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and US Diversity
Karen Zivi, Assistant Professor of Political Science

This course looks at the way theories of sexuality (understood broadly to include gender and sexual difference) inform the policies and practices that shape the lives of everyday citizens. It pays particular attention to the ways that understandings of sexual difference can reinforce the inequality and subordination of certain individuals and it explores possibilities for making change.

This interdisciplinary seminar-style course brings the writings of feminist, political, and social theorists together with analyses of contemporary public policy controversies. Student will be encouraged to consider questions such as: Are men and women born or made? What role does biology play in shaping whom we are and how we live? What role does the state or tradition play? What difference does or should “sexual difference” make anyway? And what role should the individual, the state, or society play in making it possible for individuals to flourish?  While emphasis will be placed on understanding the theoretical underpinnings and political implications of these questions, attention will also be given to the way they play out in contemporary debates about the roles of women in and outside of the home, changing norms of masculinity, the meaning and scope of reproductive freedom, the value or danger of pornography, and the ongoing struggle for LGBT equality.

 


HNR 312 05: SWS The Terror of Monotheism
Schedule:
MW 3:00-4:15pm HON 148                                                                               Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar and US Diversity
Jeremiah Cataldo, Professor

This course analyzes the ideological and material formation of monotheistic religious identities, historical and modern, and how those identities restrict forms or types of social engagement with the surrounding world. It starts with this basic hypothesis: monotheism, in its different forms, is a product of a contest for authority that begins in the material world.

 

HNR 313 01: SWS Lost Generation
Schedule: Online
Requirements Fulfilled:
Junior Seminar
Sue Swartzlander, Professor of English

"It was a place where the very air was impregnated with the energies of art."
- Thomas Wolfe
"Was it fun in Paris? Who did you see there and was the Madeleine pink at five o'clock and did the fountains fall with hollow delicacy into the framing of space in the Place de la Concorde and did the blue creep out from behind the Colonades of the Rue de Rivoli through the grill of the Tuileries and was the Louvre gray and metallic in the sun and did the trees hang brooding over the cafes and were there lights at night and the click of saucers and the auto horns that play DeBussy-I love Paris. How was it?"
-Zelda Fitzgerald
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris . . . then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."
-Ernest Hemingway
If you were a writer, artist, or musician in the roaring 20's, Paris was *THE* place to be. Sign on for a journey back in time to a magical city that inspired such creative geniuses as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Andre Breton, Jean Cocteau, ee cummings, Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, Igor Stravinsky, Pablo Picasso, Sergei Eisenstein,  Josephine Baker, and Isadora Duncan. We will read a variety of literary texts and "little magazines", view contemporary photographs, paintings, and films, and listen to music of the jazz age.
If you have an interest in modern literature, music, art, dance, film, photography, literary cafes, or the roaring twenties, this is the junior seminar for you. So, don't be a flat tire, be a darb and learn more about this ritzy time in this swanky city. Twenty-three skiddoo now to sign up for this whoppee that will be not only the bee's knees but the cat's meow as well!

 

HNR 313 02: SWS Religion and Science of Origins
Schedule:
TR 11:30am-12:45pm HON 220                                                                Requirements Fulfilled: Junior Seminar
Kelly Clark, Professor

Primitive peoples, requiring an explanation for thunder, postulated Zeus or Hadad; Aeolus or Vayu were thought to control the winds, while Tialoc or Chiuta brought on the rain. There was no end of alleged deities in charge of reproductive success: Famian, Njambi, Ruhanga, Xesiovo, Ison, and Unkulunkulu, to name just a few. The great Aristotle called upon the Unmoved Mover to do some heavy planetary lifting. Are the gods scientific hypotheses that stand or fall by how well they explain the data? With the development of the reproductive sciences, meteorology, the principle of inertia, and the law of gravity, these explanatory gods have fallen by the intellectual wayside. Is religion in a battle with other scientific theories concerning, most fundamentally, the origins of this or that? If so, is religion destined to lose its battle with science as science explains this and that? We will examine the claims of the Abrahamic traditions about the origins of the world and life and the relationships of such claims to scientific theories on the origin of the universe, life, humans, morality, and even the gods themselves.


HNR 313 03: SWS Designing Social Ventures
Schedule:
MWF 9:00-9:50am HON 219
William Holsinger-Robinson

*Course description TBA*

Glenn A. Niemeyer Learning and Living Center • Allendale MI 49401
Phone 616-331-3219 • honors@gvsu.edu