Honors Courses: Spring 2015

HONS 160 - Myth and Legend

Abartis, C.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 1-2:40 p.m.
Goal 1B

We will read and discuss Homer’s Iliad (about the war between Greece and Troy) and Odyssey (about the Greeks’ journey home after the war with the Trojans), and plays by Euripides (Iphigenia at Aulis, The Bacchants, The Trojan Women, and Medea). By reading works that are not from our own contemporary culture, our imaginative sympathy is enlarged and, of course, our understanding of our own culture is increased. Learning about even one other culture helps us to imagine other cultures of the world, helps us to experience vicariously the lives of other people across time and space, and helps us to see ourselves more clearly. We will also view videotapes about ancient Greece. These stories about gods, monsters, heroes, and heroines are exciting works that have been pleasing listeners and readers for 27 centuries. Students will keep an informal journal of their thoughts on the works we read and will write three or four formal papers. We will practice techniques for achieving clarity and grace in writing: parallelism, conciseness, precise word choice, appropriate punctuation, and variation in sentence length.

HONS 170 - Introduction to Communication Studies (3 Sections)

Hyde, B. R.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30-11:45 a.m.; 2-3:15 p.m. or
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Goal 1A

Interpersonal communication, small group communication and public speaking. Theory and experience to relate meaningfully, think critically, organize clearly, and speak and listen effectively. Substitutes for CMST 192 in any SCSU requirement.

HONS 210 - Honors Leadership

Eyo, B.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Goal 9

Education for Leadership competencies will be provided from multiple theoretical perspectives. Focus will be on leadership learning for personal and professional development, including impact of leadership on student development on campus. Opportunities will be provided for research, diaries, dialogue, critique and development of leadership competencies for life, for success on campus, in the professions, within national context, and global imperative.

HONS 210 - Democratic Leadership

Kroll, N.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Goal 9

This course presents a comprehensive overview of democracy in America: its origins and key concepts; on-going redefinition in the United States; and its cultural, community, and civic application. Topics include democratic principles, government, economics, identity, social capital, urban sprawl, and sustainability. Critical thinking and discussion are emphasized. The tension tetween individualism and civic responsibility in a liberal democracy will be debated with readings from Thucydides, Machiavelli, de Tocqueville, and Jane Addams.

HONS 210 - History of American Political Issues

Hofsommer, D.
Mondays, 6-8:45 p.m.
Goal 9

Contemporary political issues studied and analyzed against America's historic founding documents - the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as amended.

HONS 211 - Genocide: Naming, Framing, Blaming

Tabakin, G.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Goal 9 (diversity)

In conjunction with the linked course of Naming, Framing, Blaming (HONS 211, HONS 130) we will consider the consequences of mis(myth)interpretation, mis(myth)perception, misogamy, and the reactionary in the construct, justification, and aftermath of genocide and the genocidal. We will ponder the imponderable question of how we justify our humanity amidst a world of ongoing atrocities. What are those moments of light and hope that affirm our capacity to care and act humanely? In particular we will consider current events in Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas as well as events from the recent and ancient past that has given us the terms "genocide" and the "genocidal."

HONS 213 - Greatest Generation

Anderson, S.
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10-10:50 a.m.
Goal 9 (diversity)

Building on newscaster and TV personality Tom Brokaw's book, "The Greatest Generation" the class will explore the perceived traits, strengths, and weaknesses of many "generations," including their own, for the past century or more. These "generations" will be examined in terms of concepts and ideas from work ethic to social and economic impact to perceptions and impacts regarding diversity (race, gender, culture).

HONS 220 Land Conservation: How the US Built a Model that Influenced the World

Bartha, I.
Wednesdays, 9-10:30 a.m. and other meetings by arrangement
Goal 3 (non-lab) and 10

Land conservation have been paramount to the development of outdoor recreation, education and recreation in the United States. The US model of National Parks and public lands has been the template for other countries and regions across the world. In this course we will explore some of the key history, important people and landmark legislation that have made drastic improvements to the environment, increased participation in outdoor recreation and created an economy that makes a significant contribution to the economy.

HONS 221 - Environmental Inequality and Environmental Justice

Janasie, S.
Wednesdays, 5-7:45 p.m.
Goal 3 (non-lab) and 10

Human activity creates environmental contamination that has a negative impact on ecosystems and societies. In most cases, lower-income communities and communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of the resultant destructive effects on ecosystems and human health. In this course, students will examine environmental inequality as well as the environmental justice movement that has developed in response to this issue. Students will critically investigate environmental decision-making structures in the U.S. and learn how they respond or do not respond to this concern. Through case studies a number of environmental issues will be explored to better understand the problems faced by lower-income communities and communities of color in Minnesota, the U.S. and the world.

HONS 231 - UBUNTU: Dances of Resistence

Tabakin, G.
Tuesdays, 5-7:45 p.m.
Goal 6 (diversity)

This course is a comparative study of "Ubunto" - a term from Southern Africa expressing the essence of being fully human by recognizing our interdependence on each other - and more - as expressed in the music and dance of the freedom movements in the Americas, primarily the United States Civil Rights era, and in Africa, primarily the anti-Apartheid struggles in the Republic of South Africa. The course emphasis on the cultural and historical development of the early African-American presence in the US, the post-World War II period, and the Civil Rights era to the present is directly linked to an examination of the place of the arts - particularly dance and music - in the parallel struggle against Apartheid and the pursuit of a national reconciliation and unity in South Africa. We will dance across and amidst the defiance of the music and dance of Blues, Jazz, Rock 'n Roll, Gospel, Hip Hop and Rap and find parallels with Kwela, High Life, Reggae and the quintessential Toyi Toyi (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gQkWMekXeQ).

HONS 233 - LGBT Cinema and Identity

Plachejo, A.
Thursdays, 5-7:30 p.m.
Goal 6 (diversity)

The purpose of this course is to use LGBT-themed fiction and non-fiction films to examine the construction of sexual otherness and the development of sexual/gender identity in contemporary society. The students and the instructor will work collaboratively to explore how the big screen depictions of non-heterosexuality inform and are informed by the social construction of LGBT identity. This course puts a strong emphasis on the social act of watching a film. When we watch a film, our personal filters make us resonate (or not) with the story, the characters, the situations, etc. However, because we will each have a different reaction, it is the shared experience of meaning making that enables us to use films to discuss broader social issues. This course will use most of its class time to watch films in an intentional way that creates that shared viewing experience. Further critical reflection will be engaged through bi-weekly online discussions and the writing of a research paper

HONS 250 - Philosophy and Mental Illness

Shaffer, M.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Goal 2

In this class we will explore the nature of mental illness as it is understood in psychology and in the media. Special attention will be paid to theoretical models of mental illness, how disorders are categorized, how disorders are determined to be real and how these models differ from folk/media concepts of mental illness.

HONS 251 - Aesthetics East and West

Zheng, Y.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Goal 2 (diversity)

This course provides a comparative study of aesthetic taste east and west from three angles; philosophical and religious literatures, films, and textile art (lace, brocade, kesi of the 17th and 18th century). We will read philosophical and religious essays, watch Oscar-winning movies, and examine the collection of the prolific lace author and collector, Pat Earnshaw.

HONS 260 - Unlocking Creativity and Innovation

Vorell, M.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m.
Goal 5

As social creatures, human potential can only be truly actualized when we work together. Sadly, while many individuals think they know what it takes to be a team, they are wrong. The purpose of this course is to equip students with the necessary theory and skills related to team processes in order to manifest their abilities of innovation and creation. The class will work together to create/design/innovate a product/service for an industry "customer." During the creation process students will be regarded as an expert in the areas of their majors as we explore scholarly concepts common to many disciplines (i.e., observation, teamwork, decision-making, etc.). All of this will be done in an environment that welcomes mistakes (as long as we learn from them).


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