2020-2021 Course Descriptions

Fall 2020


Below are upper-level courses only, to be taken by current Honors students. First-year courses are here.

Current students: please check our transition guide for information about how these courses will satisfy your Honors requirements.

HNR 201 01 Live.Learn.Lead.

Craig Benjamin

TR 10:00-11:15am, HON 219 [Staggered Hybrid]

This course investigates what it means to be a liberally educated human from ancient times to the present, and how we can use this knowledge to enhance our personal and professional lives in meaningful ways. We do this by examining ideas and values from the past and the present expressed through art, music, philosophy, literature, social and political theory, and religion. This course introduces the framework through which to encounter how those ideas are interpreted outside the classroom by attending and reflecting upon co-curricular events, including theatrical productions, lectures, music performances and art shows. We interpret and engage those ideas in a critical and interdisciplinary manner through class discussion and reflective essays based on the readings and co-curricular experiences.

 

WRT 219 09 Introduction to Creative Writing (Honors)

Chris Haven

MW 1:30-2:45, MAK A-2103 [Traditional F2F]

Why do we write stories? What place does narrative have in our lives? What does it mean to tell the truth? What does it mean to lie? In this course we will try to answer these and other questions about creative writing. We will be looking at creative writing as an art, and we will examine its place in the culture. We see stories all around us: in the music we listen to, in the work that we do, and in the games that we play. Students will work individually and collaboratively on their own creative writing through invention, drafting, and revision. We will also analyze the creative writing of published and student authors. This is a multi-genre course, so students will be introduced to elements of creative writing that comprise fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Along the way, we will try to understand the stories we tell to others and the stories that are told to us—stories of inspiration and celebration, of joy and lament, of thrill and discovery—and reflect on how stories help to make us who we are.

 

HNR 250 01 Project-Based Learning: The Holocaust and Its Legacy

Robert Franciosi

MW 4:30-5:45pm [Synchronous Online]

The Holocaust is one of the most catastrophic events in world history. That this enormous crime occurred in the modern world, in the heart of a “civilized” society, raises challenging questions about Western institutions, values and thought. As Yehuda Bauer argues, the Holocaust’s historical context is central to understanding it, yet its complex philosophical and psychological implications also require interdisciplinary inquiry, and readings will utilize approaches from other disciplines to uncover the motives of perpetrators and the effects of the trauma inflicted on survivors. Particularly important to our contemporary society, the Holocaust serves as a warning about the consequences of prejudice and the effects of indifference to discrimination and violence. By analyzing the steps leading to the Holocaust, the event itself, and its present-day legacy, students will be prepared to address its significance for civil rights, democratic values, and respect for a multicultural society.

To grapple with this enormous topic, students will participate in semester-long projects devoted to addressing two major challenges: 1) sifting through a wealth of primary sources—documents, books, video testimonies, photographs, films—as well as an ever-growing scholarly literature; and 2) engaging the mass death these sources convey, as well as the significances of individual lives.

Throughout our study of events which comprise the Holocaust, groups will be responsible for creating a timeline-based digital map, one that evolves over the course of the term. These maps will be linked to a primary text—either an assigned diary or memoir—and to the issues under consideration, but will also assemble materials, such as video testimony, to supplement the written accounts. 

 

HNR 250 02 Project-Based Learning: Jazzin’ the Culture

Kurt Ellenberger

TR 10:00-11:15am, HON 148 [Traditional F2F]

This course will study the history of jazz and the American culture in which it developed and also how jazz, in turn, influenced American and World Culture so profoundly in the 20C. We will learn about jazz from its origins in the 19C in the slave populations of the deep south and its subsequent move northward from New Orleans to Kansas City, Chicago, and New York. The important style periods will be studied, including blues and ragtime, dixieland, swing, cool jazz, bebop, latin jazz, hard bop, avant garde, fusion, European jazz, and contemporary trends. Students will determine their defining characteristics of this music through deep listening and engagement with the music and the cultural contexts which influenced its development and whose development was, in turn, influenced by the music. This course does not require previous knowledge of music. There will be no discipline specific content in music theory, history, or performance; however, we will introduce a small amount of very simple music terminology that will be explained and demonstrated.

 

HNR 250 03 Project-Based Learning: Art & Its Publics

Ellen Adams

TR 2:30-3:45pm, HON 219 [Staggered Hybrid]

The Parthenon in Athens, Michelangelo’s David sculpture in Florence, and Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington: what do these artworks, widely varied in form, scale, and location, have in common? All were created for public spaces, intended to edify, beautify, inspire, and/or challenge their communities. Through readings, research, class discussion, and a semester-long project, students in “Art and Its Publics” will delve into the meaning and varieties of art created in and for public spaces. Students will also consider the problem of defining a public or publics in relation to works of art that inhabit spaces that are deemed public or common. What happens, for example, when a work of art that might be seen to properly provoke an elite museum-going audience is seen as offensive when inserted into everyday public spaces? How is this complicated when that work of art is paid for by public funds? And what kinds of neighborhoods are beautified by public art? After an introduction to the history of public art, the class will cover public space and the modern world, art and site specificity, contested/controversial public art, memory, race and ethnicity, and public/private partnerships.

The fall-semester course will coincide with ArtPrize, which will figure largely in our studies and trips outside of the classroom. Our experiences will be further enhanced with a field trip to Detroit to tour the many public mural installations as well as the Joe Louis memorial.

Students will work on a group project to digitally map every public work of art in Grand Rapids. Working with librarians and archivists at the Grand Rapids Public Library, GVSU Information Technology, and other university partners, student-led teams will be assigned a section of the city and will document as many works of art as possible. This is an evolving project that can be updated with each subsequent semester. 

 

ECO 300 01 SWS Data Analytics Eco Bus (Honors)

Laudo Ogura

MW 10:00-11:15am, SCB 1008A [Staggered Hybrid]

An introduction to empirical methods in economics and business. Uses spreadsheets and econometric software to manage data and apply visual and statistical analyses using economics and business data. Offered winter semester of even numbered years.

 

SOC 313 02 SWS Race and Ethnicity (Honors)

Jennifer Stewart

MWF 10:00-10:50am, ASH 2146 [Staggered Hybrid]

Over the course of this semester, we will examine historical and contemporary forms of racism in the US.  We will also study the social construction of race or the process by which laws, language, visual images, education, and structural positioning creates and maintains race and difference.  By examining the experiences of various racial and ethnic groups in the US, we will be able to see how race is defined, experienced, and lived.  To make sense of our studies we will be emphasizing the contributions of critical race theorists, new labor historians, and other contemporary sociologists working in the area of Race & Ethnic Studies.

 

HNR 251 01 Project-Based Learning/QL: The Healing Power of Plants

Karen Amisi

T 6:00-8:50pm, HON 214 [Staggered Hybrid]

From early time, humans have recognized that plants have the power to heal and sustain life. Plants remain the first resort cure for 80% of the global population. This course will explore the various roles medicinal and poisonous plants hold in various cultures.  Medicinal and aromatic plants (herbs and spices) have gained consumer interest worldwide. Poisonous plants contain toxic chemical compounds which can adversely affect the health of humans and animals. However, some poisonous plants can be utilized in medicine and as natural insecticides. Dosage plays a key role in dictating the eventual harmful or helpful effect of the toxin. Natural products derived from plants play a dominant role in the discovery of leads for the development of drugs to treat human diseases. The future of medicinal plants rests on our ability to invest in researching and documenting the plants and their active ingredients.  

 

HNR 251 02 Project-Based Learning/QL: Biodiversity Matters

Gary Greer

MW 3:00-4:15pm, HON 214 [Staggered Hybrid]

Biologically-speaking, we live in the “best of times”, the most biodiverse period in the history of life on Earth.  Approximately two million living species of have been cataloged and the total is estimated to be considerably higher.  The interactions between this wealth of species are as diverse and fascinating as they are numerous and, cumulatively, they create and maintain conditions necessary for life to exist, including our own, as well as the bounty on which we rely and enjoy.  Unfortunately, we also live in one of the biologically “worst of times”, as a mass extinction caused by human activity is currently underway.  This course explores the evolutionary processes that have created the tremendous diversity of life we have inherited, how the myriad ecological interactions between species facilitate biological bounty and its dependability, the importance of biodiversity to human health and economy, the humanity-driven causes of the current mass extinction, and solutions for its preservation. In addition to interactive lectures and activities, students will work in small teams to investigate a specific aspect of biodiversity and formulate solutions to its loss.

 

HNR 251 03 Project-Based Learning/QL: Molecules that Matter

Thomas Pentecost

MW 1:00-2:50pm, HON 214 [Staggered Hybrid]

Molecules are all around us and inside us. Many have altered the course of human history. This course will give students an opportunity to explore some very important/interesting molecules or classes of compounds. The course will begin with exemplar molecules to introduce some basic science of how molecules are held together and how the three-dimensional structure influences the chemical/physical properties of the substance. Additionally, the influence of the example molecules in human activity will be discussed. During the last portion of the course, student teams will formulate a question about a specific molecule or class of compounds and prepare a written and oral report answering their question. There is no science prerequisite for this course and the specific projects will be tailored to the interests of each student team.

 

HNR 251 04 Project-Based Learning/QL: Megafloods, Meteors, & Mishaps: How Dangerous Disasters Shape our World

Peter Wampler

TR 2:30-3:45pm [Synchronous Online]

From the Taiga in Russia to the streets of Pompeii our world is shaped by both human and natural environmental changes. Some of these events are referred to as “disasters” while others are infrequent natural events which may impact our lives if we happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Environmental changes can take place in minutes or stretch out across millennia. This course will be an intellectual and virtual journey to explore exploding volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, toxic spills, and cataclysmic floods and how these events leave a lasting legacy on the landscape, our lives, and our cultures. 

How can we know if we live in a dangerous place?  What are the risks?  How do we evaluate the danger and make decisions about how to avoid it?  Are we more likely to be in an airplane crash, hit by a meteor, or poisoned by radon gas?  What is the cost of being “safe”?  We will explore these questions and many more by sifting through news accounts, first-hand narratives, and data to find the answers. 

 

*The HNR 251 prerequisite for HNR 350 will not be required for current students*

 

HNR 350 01 Honors Integrative Seminar: Dirty Wars in Latin America

David Stark

MWF 9:00-9:50 am [Synchronous Online]

This course explores the breakdown of democratic governments in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s and the emergence of bureaucratic authoritarian regimes committed to economic restructuring, political demobilization, and the abrogation of civil liberties. It examines the use of torture, disappearances, and other counterinsurgency methods by Latin American military officials, as well as various forms of resistance, including guerrilla warfare. Finally, it looks at the transition to democratic rule, efforts to reconstruct civil society and forge political reconciliation, and the struggle for justice among the victims and families of victims of human rights abuses. The course focuses on the histories of the nations of Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico and seeks to address a number of questions. Why did some of the most "developed" nations in Latin America cede to such repressive governments? How did authoritarian regimes legitimize their rule? How can we make sense of the atrocities committed?  In what ways did citizens resist or acquiesce in the policies of military governments? What role did the United States play in offering economic, political, and military assistance to military dictatorships? Which factors spurred the military to relinquish power and what has been the nature of the transition to democratic rule?  How can social peace and justice be best achieved in societies that experienced such trauma?

 

HNR 350 02 Honors Integrative Seminar: Textual Tease

Jeremiah Cataldo

[Asynchronous Online]

We often assume that the Bible speaks clairvoyantly about social-political issues that concern us in our present moments, mostly in the form of “Thou shalt not ...” But what if the Bible is more scandalous in nature? What if it betrays the same struggles with gender, politics, and even religion that we moderns do? What if the Bible likes sex? This course dives into the depths of those issues, exploring what may be the darker side of the biblical texts. It compares authorial intent with modern reception in an analysis of the multidimensionality of sexuality in the Bible—where sexuality is an arena in which building blocks of society are defined and measured. By understanding that, this course will argue, we gain a better understanding of what shapes modern public discourses on gender, sexuality, politics, and even religion.

 

HNR 350 03 Honors Integrative Seminar: Encounters with the 1930s

Ellen Adams

M 3:00-5:50pm, HON 148 [Traditional F2F]

This course traces the culture, politics, and economics of the 1930s, the era bookended by the 1929 Wall Street crash and the outbreak of the second world war. This decade brought the abject poverty of Great Depression and the advent of Walt Disney films; Adolf Hitler, and the man who disproved his virulent myth of Aryan superiority, track star Jesse Owens; the Empire State Building, Social Security, and King Kong. We will focus primarily on how issues and ideas were portrayed in the visual culture of the era, including films, works of art, photography, media, and even spectacles of sports and technology. Topics such as the growth of ultra-nationalism, the rise and consolidation of the New Deal, and a mounting hostility to outsiders will raise questions about how the trauma of the 1930s shaped the world of the 2020s.  The course integrates academic readings with a variety of media materials.

 

HNR 350 04 Honors Integrative Seminar: Leadership & Problem Solving

Rosalynn Bliss

M 6:00-8:50pm, HON 148 [Traditional F2F]

A study of various historic and current leadership theories and concepts as well as innovative leaders past and present.  An examination of effective leadership skills, innovative approaches to leading change, creative problem solving and how to bring ideas to action.   

 

HNR 350 05 Honors Integrative Seminar: Games in the Circumpolar World

John Kilbourne

TR 8:30-9:45am, HON 220 [Staggered Hybrid]

A historical and philosophical study of the games of indigenous Arctic people, including an overview of the cultural attributes that inform the above.

 

HNR 350 06 Honors Integrative Seminar: Lit Expl/Medical Controv

Coeli Fitzpatrick

MW 3:00-4:15pm [Synchronous Online]

When we think about medical controversies such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, where African-Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama were denied medical treatment of syphilis in the name of science, we might assume that the days of such scandals are past. Yet new scandals and unthinkable controversies in the name of medicine, science, and progress are exposed with alarming regularity. These controversies are very often intertwined with issues of race, culture, social class, and politics. This interdisciplinary seminar uses fiction, memoir, film, podcasts, and essays to explore the sites where medicine, the elevation of science, and real bodies meet. The course will look at topics such as research/experimentation, the “war on drugs” and the opioid epidemic, “the obesity epidemic”, medicalization, risk and stigma, gun-control as a medical issue, and healthcare access. Students will also have the opportunity to use course assignments to explore their own areas of specific interest. 

 

HNR 350 07 Honors Integrative Seminar: Music in the American Century

Kurt Ellenberger

[Asynchronous Online]

This course will examine the various styles of American music in the 20C including folk, jazz, classical, blues, pop, rock, country, and other genres. In particular, jazz and blues, as invented and developed by African Americans, have had a profound effect on the development of popular music around the world as well as on the Western European classical tradition. From this perspective, American Music represents the diversity and grandeur of the American cultural experience. As such, we will study the music with a particular interest in how it intersects with and helps define American culture. In doing so, we will traverse disciplines including music, history, philosophy, politics, and cultural studies. Note: This course does not require previous knowledge of music. There will be no discipline specific content in music theory, history, or performance; however, we will introduce a small amount of rudimentary music terminology that will be explained and demonstrated. 

 

HNR 350 08 Honors Integrative Seminar: Spirituality and Health

Heather Wallace

TR 1:00-2:15pm, HON 148 [Staggered Hybrid]

This course is part of the General Education Health Issue and intended for students interested in exploring the concept of spirituality as a primary component of personal health and wellbeing.  This course will focus on the spiritual dimension of personal health within the larger context of holistic health.   Students will explore the scientific study of the intersection of personal spirituality and practices with culture, personal behaviors, policy, and health care infrastructure.  Current research and scientific inquiry on the impact of spiritual practices on health will be explored.

 

HNR 350 09 Honors Integrative Seminar: Diving Deep: Pursuing Moby-Dick

Rob Franciosi

MW 1:30-2:45pm, HON 148 [Hybrid: See Banner for details]

Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick not only endures as an American classic, but reminds us that certain texts break the bounds of their particular form and become significant in broader cultural terms. Captain Ahab, the white whale, “Call me Ishmael”—all are familiar to millions who have never read a page of Melville’s novel, who sip vanilla lattes at Starbucks unaware that the coffee empire takes its name from the first mate of The Pequod, Ahab’s ship.

In this seminar we will read Moby-Dick, of course, but will also consider its origins, history and subsequent manifestations in film, art, music, popular culture, and politics. We will read fiction inspired by Melville’s work, watch a recent operatic adaptation, and consider the event which first launched the author on his literary hunt, the sinking of the Essex by an eighty-five-foot sperm whale. Students will pursue projects either tracing the ongoing influence of Melville’s story or considering it from the perspectives of their academic disciplines. You may wonder how a 168-year-old novel can be relevant to accounting, psychology, engineering, health or environmental science. Sign up for this semester on the metaphorical seas and find out. 

 

HNR 401 01 Senior Project Proposal

Kelly McDonell

M 12:00-12:50pm [Asynchronous Online]

In this class students will review project possibilities, methodological options, and the proposal process, connecting their proposed project with their overall college experience and articulating ways in which the project can create opportunities beyond graduation. By the end of the course, students will identify a mentor and develop an approved project proposal.

 

 

 


Winter 2021

HNR 201 01 Live.Learn.Lead.

Coeli Fitzpatrick

TR 10:00-11:15am, HON 148

This course investigates what it means to be a liberally educated human from ancient times to the present, and how we can use this knowledge to enhance our personal and professional lives in meaningful ways. We do this by examining ideas and values from the past and the present expressed through art, music, philosophy, literature, social and political theory, and religion. This course introduces the framework through which to encounter how those ideas are interpreted outside the classroom by attending and reflecting upon co-curricular events, including theatrical productions, lectures, music performances and art shows. We interpret and engage those ideas in a critical and interdisciplinary manner through class discussion and reflective essays based on the readings and co-curricular experiences.

 

HNR 201 02 Live.Learn.Lead.

Ellen Adams

M 3:00-5:50pm, HON 148

This course investigates what it means to be a liberally educated human from ancient times to the present, and how we can use this knowledge to enhance our personal and professional lives in meaningful ways. We do this by examining ideas and values from the past and the present expressed through art, music, philosophy, literature, social and political theory, and religion. This course introduces the framework through which to encounter how those ideas are interpreted outside the classroom by attending and reflecting upon co-curricular events, including theatrical productions, lectures, music performances and art shows. We interpret and engage those ideas in a critical and interdisciplinary manner through class discussion and reflective essays based on the readings and co-curricular experiences.

 

*For HNR 250 and 251 we will not be accepting capacity override requests*

 

HNR 250 01 Project-Based Learning: The Holocaust and Its Legacy

Jason Crouthamel

MWF 9:00-9:50am, HON 220

The Holocaust is one of the most catastrophic events in world history. That this enormous crime occurred in the modern world, in the heart of a “civilized” society, raises challenging questions about Western institutions, values and thought. As Yehuda Bauer argues, the Holocaust’s historical context is central to understanding it, yet its complex philosophical and psychological implications also require interdisciplinary inquiry, and readings will utilize approaches from other disciplines to uncover the motives of perpetrators and the effects of the trauma inflicted on survivors. Particularly important to our contemporary society, the Holocaust serves as a warning about the consequences of prejudice and the effects of indifference to discrimination and violence. By analyzing the steps leading to the Holocaust, the event itself, and its present-day legacy, students will be prepared to address its significance for civil rights, democratic values, and respect for a multicultural society.

To grapple with this enormous topic, students will participate in semester-long projects devoted to addressing two major challenges: 1) sifting through a wealth of primary sources—documents, books, video testimonies, photographs, films—as well as an ever-growing scholarly literature; and 2) engaging the mass death these sources convey, as well as the significances of individual lives.

Throughout our study of events which comprise the Holocaust, groups will be responsible for creating a timeline-based digital map, one that evolves over the course of the term. These maps will be linked to a primary text—either an assigned diary or memoir—and to the issues under consideration, but will also assemble materials, such as video testimony, to supplement the written accounts. 

 

HNR 250 02 Project-Based Learning: Modern Art and Mass Culture

Ellen Adams

TR 2:30-3:45pm, HON 219

This course introduces students to some of the significant movements and developments in art and culture from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This period witnessed a radical expansion in the definition of artistic practices as well as a search for new modes of expression. Many of these practices took shape in response to and/or in conjunction with industrially-produced mass culture, advertising, and other forms of “popular” art.  We will examine these correlations in relation to a historical framework of cultural changes brought about by capitalism, industrialization, war, and revolution. For example, in what ways does art rebel against or advance concepts such as globalism or mass politics? How have governments co-opted art to promote their agendas? Does radical thinking necessarily lead to radical art? We will study the relationship between art and visual technologies such as photography, cinema, television, and digital media, and think about the myriad ways that the lines between them blur. Student teams will create projects that examine these intersections and that relate to their own consumption of media, advertising, and popular culture.

 

HNR 250 03 Project-Based Learning: Rockin’ the Culture

Kurt Ellenberger

TR 11:30-12:45pm, HON 219

This course will study the history of rock and the American culture in which it developed and also the many ways in which this music influenced American and World Culture so profoundly from the mid-20C to the present day. We will learn about rock from its blues and gospel origins in the late 19C in the slave populations of the deep south until it emerges in the 1950s as a discernible genre. We will study the important styles that follow, including blues and gospel, early rock, doo-wop, hard rock, folk rock, soul, motown, classic rock, progressive rock, punk rock, 80s synth pop, heavy metal, alternative rock, EDM, rap, and other contemporary trends. Students will determine their defining characteristics of this music through deep listening and engagement with the music and the cultural contexts which influenced its development and whose development was, in turn, influenced by the music. This course does not require previous knowledge of music. There will be no discipline specific content in music theory, history, or performance; however, we will introduce a small amount of simple music terminology that will be explained and demonstrated.

 

HNR 250 04 Project-Based Learning: Race & Gender in Latin America

Elizabeth Gansen

TR 1:00-2:15pm, HON 218

This course will examine the construction of race and gender in Latin America. Christopher Columbus’ arrival to the Caribbean in 1492 prompted an unprecedented mixing of peoples and cultures, giving rise to the mestizaje (mixing of races) of today. How was race interpreted in this early period? In what ways have the racial legacies of colonialism endured, and how have they changed? How was gender articulated in colonial life, and how is its presence still felt in the macho culture of today? Students will apply critical thinking skills to define and interrogate expressions of race and gender and the role they have played in the formation of Latin America. Students will play a Reacting to the Past game and they will also create their own Reacting to the Past game as a class based on a contemporary problem or issue related to these topics.

 

HNR 251 01 Project-Based Learning/QL: The Healing Power of Plants

Karen Amisi

M 3:00-5:50pm, HON 214

From early time, man has recognized that plants have the power to heal and sustain life. Plants remain the first resort cure for 80% of the global population. This course will explore the various roles medicinal and poisonous plants hold in various cultures.  Medicinal and aromatic plants (herbs and spices) have gained consumer interest worldwide. Poisonous plants contain toxic chemical compounds which can adversely affect the health of humans and animals. However, some poisonous plants can be utilized in medicine and as natural insecticides. Dosage plays a key role in dictating the eventual harmful or helpful effect of the toxin. Natural products derived from plants play a dominant role in the discovery of leads for the development of drugs to treat human diseases. The future of medicinal plants rests on our ability to invest in researching and documenting the plants and their active ingredients.  

 

HNR 251 02 Project-Based Learning/QL: Zombie Physiology

Eric Ramsson

TR 4:00-5:15pm, HON 214

Zombies seem to be everywhere in our culture. What remains unclear, however, is the question: "Are zombies even possible?" Through this course, you will learn how the human body normally functions, and then use that information to argue the feasibility of zombies through Project-Based Learning. Who knows, you might even convince yourself that zombies already exist...

 

HNR 251 03 Project-Based Learning/QL: Physics of the Body Human

Bradley Ambrose

MW 1:00-2:50, HON 214

This interdisciplinary science course partially fulfills the general education requirements in science for Honors students. The structure and function of human movement are examined from a basic physical perspective, with applications in body composition, biomechanics, and other areas of movement science, in order to develop an appreciation for the human body.  The course also focuses on the nature of science as a human endeavor.  

 

*The HNR 251 prerequisite for HNR 350 will not be required for current students*

 

HNR 350 01 Honors Integrative Seminar: World’s Deadliest Border

David Alvarez

TR 11:30-12:45pm, HON 148

This seminar explores the causes, character, and consequences of undocumented migration across the Western Mediterranean, a region that for migrants and refugees has become "the world's deadliest border," in anthropologist Maurizio Albahari's phrase. In response to the Mediterranean's transformation into what has been described as a vast "cemetery" for undocumented migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe by sea, writers, visual artists, and filmmakers from around the region have produced a large body of work that explores the experience of clandestinely crossing the lethal maritime border. In this seminar we will examine several literary texts, artworks, and films from this corpus and will study them alongside readings from disciplines that have also shed light on this phenomenon, such as anthropology and sociology. Along the way we will grapple with such issues as the nature of borders, mobility as a human right, and the right of asylum. By the end of the semester, we will have delved deeply into the most dramatic chapter of one of the main stories of our times: the fact that all over the world millions of people are attempting to cross nation-state borders without authorization in a determined effort to find refuge and remake their lives.

 

HNR 350 02 Honors Integrative Seminar: Music, Culture & Aesthetics

Kurt Ellenberger

MW 1:30-2:45pm, HON 218

This course studies classical music, jazz, and popular music first from an aesthetic viewpoint in which styles and genres are identified and compared. Students learn to identify the major style periods in classical music and jazz through listening and class discussions about what we are hearing in the various different eras. We also engage with 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 historical events since the Enlightenment. We use aesthetics as a means of identifying embedded cultural values that transcend genre, thus illuminating our understanding of music in a broader societal context. This is a class for those who like listening to music and talking about music, and those who enjoy exploring music in its role as a cultural force.

 

HNR 350 03 Honors Integrative Seminar: Food, Culture, Conscience

John Uglietta

TR 10:00-11:15am, HON 219

If we are lucky, most of us eat every day. However, the regularity of our encounters with food may cover up many of the ways that our food practices reflect our personal, religious, scientific, and philosophical beliefs and also our historical and environmental setting.  We will look at a variety of contemporary and historical sources to investigate the ways we eat, prepare, and talk about food.  We will begin by looking at recipes, cookbooks, and food reviews to investigate the methods and difficulties of talking about the taste and judgment we exercise in eating and preparing food. We will go on to explore the nature of American cuisine and some of the great variety of food traditions in the US.  Towards the end of the term, we will consider the ethical implications of what we eat – exploring arguments for and against eating animal products and attempts to influence people to eat healthier foods. 

 

HNR 350 04 Honors Integrative Seminar: Prophetic Critique

Jeremiah Cataldo

Online

Do the biblical prophets have anything to offer us in the 21st century? This course will set the biblical prophets in conversation with today’s politics, social events, news media, movies, music, and more.  It will seek to understand the influence of the Bible in modern U.S. cultural expressions and seek to discern whether that influence has strengthened or weakened what some call the moral fabric of U.S. society. In what ways might the prophetic critique bear down on modern social and political issues, concerns, and problems?  How might the prophets have responded to immigration? To same-sex marriage? To unrequited feelings of nationalism? To trends in movies and music? Or, do they have anything to offer at all? This course will explore these questions. We'll watch movies. We'll listen to songs. We'll analyze social and political policies. We'll analyze cultural phenomena. What does Beyoncé or A Perfect Circle have to do with the Bible and prophecy? What about Star Wars? The Matrix? The Crying Game? The "subway prophets" of NYC? Come find out! 

 

HNR 350 06 Honors Integrative Seminar: Social Media and Belief

Jeremiah Cataldo

MW 3:00-4:15pm, HON 220

How has the Internet and social media changed the ways we think and believe? How has it remapped the ways we express our deepest religious, political, emotional, and other beliefs? Are we becoming *transhuman*? This course pursues answers to those questions. By reviewing the formation of belief systems in the past across a range of cultures and by exploring current psychological and sociological research on belief formation, religious and other, it will show why our beliefs will never be the same in the dawning of an increasingly digitized world. Its benefit will be for anyone studying how humans behave and relate, such as those seeking careers in politics, business, religion, advertising, computer science, medicine, and more.

 

HNR 350 07 Honors Integrative Seminar: Sociology of Consumption

Joel Stillerman

TR 4:00-5:15pm, HON 219

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 desire certain products?  How are our desires shaped by advertising, marketing, and market research? How do our tastes reflect our 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, reading summaries and reflective journals on students’ consumption practices.   

 

HNR 350 08 Honors Integrative Seminar: Leadership & Problem Solving

Rosalynn Bliss

M 6:00-8:50pm, DEV 303E

A study of various historic and current leadership theories and concepts as well as innovative leaders past and present.  An examination of effective leadership skills, innovative approaches to leading change, creative problem solving and how to bring ideas to action.   

 

HNR 401 01 Senior Project Proposal

Kelly McDonell

M 11:00-11:50am, HON 220

In this class students will review project possibilities, methodological options, and the proposal process, connecting their proposed project with their overall college experience and articulating ways in which the project can create opportunities beyond graduation. By the end of the course, students will identify a mentor and develop an approved project proposal.

 

HNR 401 01 Senior Project Proposal

Meg Marshall

W 10:00-10:50am, HON 220

In this class students will review project possibilities, methodological options, and the proposal process, connecting their proposed project with their overall college experience and articulating ways in which the project can create opportunities beyond graduation. By the end of the course, students will identify a mentor and develop an approved project proposal.