Junior Seminar 2019-2020

Spring/Summer 2019

HNR 311 03: SWS Controversies in Food and Agriculture

Schedule: Online

Amy McFarland

Students enrolled in this course will study some of the controversial topics within the food and agriculture industries with a focus on the different ways in which the industry and consumers have created and responded to controversies. We will study issues and controversies such as the Green Revolution, “unsavory” meats, raw milk, and superfood frenzies. Students will explore the societal and international complexities to these issues and may find some perspectives to challenge their own beliefs about food and agriculture. 

 

HNR 312 01: SWS American Music in American Century

Schedule: Online

Kurt Ellenberger

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. 

  • This course qualifies as US Diversity and is an SWS course. 
  • This is an online course and will be conducted entirely online.

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 312 02: SWS Literary Explorations of Medical Controversies

Schedule: Online

Heather Wallace

This course is part of the General Education Health Issue and intended for students interested in exploring the concept of medical controversy.  This course will focus on the bioethical and ethical debates in medical controversies using a critical thinking approach.

 

 

Fall 2019

HNR 311 01: Modern Military Issues

Schedule: TR 11:30am-12:45pm HON 219

Jonathan White

Modern Military Issues traces the root and development of the “Western Way of War.” We use military history to explain the style and types of conflict in the contemporary world. We will explore the nature of battle. In addition, we will discuss the overall political and strategic objectives of war. Finally, we’ll meet some interesting people along the way such as the Black Prince at Crecy, Frederick at Rossbach, Washington at Trenton, Bradley in the Ardennes, and Petraeus in Iraq.

 

HNR 311 02: SWS Dirty Wars in Latin America

Schedule: MWF 9:00-9:50am HON 218

David Stark

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 311 03: SWS Textual Tease

Schedule: Online

Jeremiah Cataldo

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 straight into the depths of those issues and exposes the darker side of the biblical texts, not only in its authoring and editing but also in its reception history.

 

HNR 312 01: SWS Leadership and Problem Solving

Schedule: T 6:00-8:50pm HON 148

Rosalynn Bliss

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 312 02: SWS Music, Culture & Aesthetics

Schedule: TR 1:00-2:15pm HON 218

Kurt Ellenberger

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 312 04: SWS Islamophobia

Schedule: MW 3:00-4:15pm HON 236E

Coeli Fitzpatrick

This course traces the roots of the fraught and complex ways which Islam, and the fear of Islam, is expressed in the United States. Using texts, journal and news articles, T.V. shows, social media and movies, we will explore the many expressions of Islamophobia in contemporary U.S. culture, as well as looking at different responses (political, intellectual, religious). We will also explore issues of cultural identity, racial, ethnic, and gender difference, immigration, and citizenship, with all of the accompanying social anxieties and political ramifications. Because we are will look at how Islam is represented through Islamophobia, we will not be studying “what Islam really is”, but rather “how Islam is expressed”.

 

HNR 313 04: SWS Design Thinking

Schedule: TR 2:30-3:45 PM HON 219

Jody Vogelzang

This might be the most important course you’ll ever take at GVSU. Design thinking will help you change the world, starting by changing your world. Design thinking is one of the top skills employers are looking for in today’s economic climate - the ability to understand real problems, think creatively, work collaboratively, and develop meaningful solutions. In this course, you will collaborate on an multidisciplinary team to learn and practice the design thinking process - an iterative, creative, problem solving approach - by addressing a challenge faced within the local community, a real world problem. You will work hard. You will learn a lot. You will forever think differently.

 

Winter 2020

HNR 311 01: SWS Multicultural Roots of Math

Schedule: TR 11:30 -12:45pm HON 148

Karen Novotny                                                            

What is mathematics? We tend to think of mathematics as a kind of universal language that everyone speaks in the same way. But is that true? When and where did mathematics originate? In the Western world, until quite recently, mathematics was perceived as an exclusive product of European civilization. In this historical view, mathematics started with the Ancient Greeks, lay dormant for a thousand years (during the “Dark Ages”), was re-discovered during the Renaissance, and developed from there. In this course, we critically examine this view of the history of mathematics. We explore the different ways that a variety of cultures have approached the science of mathematics, and how non-European societies have influenced the development of what we now think of as Western mathematics. In particular, we consider the development of mathematics in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, pre-Columbian America, India, and the Islamic word. We’ll also consider how the important discoveries in these societies spread to the rest of the globe. Come think about mathematics in a totally new way!

 

HNR 311 02: SWS Culture & the Holocaust

Schedule: TR 1:00-2:15pm HON 218

Robert Franciosi

This course examines the Holocaust’s lasting effects on American culture. We will first consider what Americans knew about the unfolding disaster between 1933 and 1945 and then focus our attention on four pivotal moments: 1945, when images of the liberated camps filled newspapers and movie screens; 1961, when testimony from the Eichmann trial flickered across black-and-white televisions; 1978 when the television miniseries Holocaust attracted millions of viewers and eventually became an international sensation; and 1993, called by some “the year of the Holocaust,” when both the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Schindler’s List opened to wide public attention and acclaim.  After tracing the evolution of what has been termed American Holocaust consciousness, we will then consider its current position in our cultural discourse and speculate on its future significance. Students will also participate in “History Unfolded,” a crowd-sourcing project sponsored by the USHMM which aims to collect information on what American newspapers reported about the Holocaust as it was being perpetrated.

 

HNR 312 01: SWS Music, Culture and Aesthetics

Schedule: MW 1:30-2:45pm HON 218

Kurt Ellenberger

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 312 02: SWS Food, Culture, Conscience

Schedule: TR 10:00-11:15am HON 219

John Ugiletta

Think that food is just something that you eat? Well, in this class we consume connections about food! We will explore questions about what we can and cannot eat, health (and paternalism regarding food), culture, identity, traditions, and diversity related to food, the role of pleasure in eating, hunger and food justice, and ethics of eating certain foods or how we eat—or don’t eat—food. waste). This class is truly a mixture of different disciplines and how they look at food: the lenses of history, philosophy, science, health, religion, and politics will all be used. Who knows—we might even eat a few things!

 

HNR 312 03: SWS Literary Explorations of Medical Controversies

Schedule: Online

Heather Wallace

This course is part of the General Education Health Issue and intended for students interested in exploring the concept of medical controversy.  This course will focus on the bioethical and ethical debates in medical controversies using a critical thinking approach.

 

HNR 312 04: SWS Exploring Race & Racism

Schedule: TR 1:00-2:15pm HON 148

David Martin

Using the lens of popular music, students will explore past and present-day race relations in the United States and in a global context. We will begin by mapping the social construction of racial and ethnic categories through economic, legal, and cultural processes. We will investigate how racism and White privilege manifest and how whiteness came to be the dominant racial category in the United States. We then interrogate conceptions of race abroad, moving beyond the U.S. context and into a more global understanding of racial identity formation. Students will be able to complete a culminating research project that explores these ideas. Through the semester, students will develop a robust understanding of racial and ethnic relations in the U.S. context. In addition, students will gain proficiency in data analysis, technical writing, and formal research presentation skills. 

 

HNR 312 05: SWS Prophetic Critique in the Modern World

Schedule: MW 3:00-4:15pm HON 148

Jeremiah Cataldo, Professor

In their days, the biblical prophets gave messages of social and political criticism. Their collective aim was to change dominant ideologies and values of their social-political communities. Monotheistic traditions consider their messages to have continuing relevance in the unfolding of history, and popular culture adopts the prophet as a model in film and other media in cultural critique. 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 segregation? To dichotomization between “liberal” and “conservative” values? And more? Would they support now dominant traditions of interpretation or challenge them? This course will be part study in the methods of biblical criticism and part analysis of the modern sociopolitical world through the lens of cultural criticism. 

 

HNR 312 06: SWS Sociology of Consumption

Schedule: TR 4:00-5:15 PM HON 219

Joel Stillerman

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 312 07: SWS Spirituality & Health

Schedule: TR 11:30-12:45am HON 220

Heather Wallace

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 312 08: SWS Leadership and Problem Solving

Schedule: M 6:00-8:50pm HON 148

Rosalynn Bliss

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.   

 

 



Page last modified March 28, 2019