University Honors Program

Honors Courses

Spring 2018

HONS 160 – Composing a Life through the Contemplative Arts of Mindfulness

Fox, C.

Goal Area 1

Mondays, 3-6:30 p.m.

Who are we?  How do we want to relate and live in relation to other people?  These two questions about personal identity and ethics have been central questions for humans across cultures and generations.  In this class we explore and discover insights into questions of identity and ethics through philosophical and literary texts.  Using the contemplative arts of writing, reading, listening, yoga, and meditation (the practice of active presence with a curious, inquisitive mind) we will explore how the arts of contemplation can be used to compose one's sense of self through the written word.

HONS 210 – Food and Hunger

Bender, M.

Goal Area 9

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

An exploration of food in cultures around the world.  A historical and technological overview of food production from the use of early agricultural implements to today's genetically modified crops.  An investigation of the sustainability of cropping systems within our global food system.  An examination of domestic and international hunger issues and food security.

HONS 210 – The Ethics of Tourism

Yu, H.

Goal Area 9

Tuesdays/Thursdays, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

The course provides students with an in-depth and critical analysis of contemporary trends in the tourism industry towards ethical, sustainable and responsible tourism, consolidating policy and implementation issues within the wider context of ethical theory and application.  Students will understand the significance of ethics in tourism management, philosophical terminology and concepts, applications of ethics, the role of politics and economics in ethical decision-making, tourism and human rights, environmental ethics, tools and management systems for implementation of ethical values in the tourism industry, opportunities and challenges to implementation of ethical principles in the global tourism industry.  This learner-centered course encourages students to seek the active learning experience via readings, writing assignments, small group discussions, and the final research project.

HONS 211 – Genocide:  Name, Frame, Blame

Tabakin, G.

Goal Area 9 Diversity

Mondays, 2-4:50 p.m.

Genocide and the genocidal are events that we seek neither to understand nor rationalize.  We do, however, recognize such events and make judgments about them although we do not all agree as to what and when and how or by whom these events occur and continue.  So we are looking to learn how we come to NAME and identify such events, how we come to FRAME and contextualize such events, and then examine whom we BLAME and hold responsible for such events - including ourselves.  This is also how discrimination emerges - racial, ethnic, religious, species, national, political, ideological, and so on.  There's more, though, and that requires that we examine two critical aspects of how we know what we know and then how we act in the light of this knowledge.  The aspect regarding how we know we identify as NARRATIVE - how we tell the story - and SCIENTIFIC - how we collect and analyze the data (this is, of course, a false dichotomy but think of it as a heuristic device for purposes of argument and comparison).  Most critically, we will then explore the responsibility we take upon ourselves to act in the light of such knowledge and heightened awareness.

HONS 221 – Peace for Our Planet

Akhavan, R.

Goal Area 3 & 10 Diversity

Mondays, 2-4:50 p.m.

The study of failures of contemporary approaches to peace; focus on the root causes of war, including nationalism, racism, religious conflict, extremes of wealth and poverty, and inequality of women and men; and a search for realistic solutions to these destabilizing global problems.

HONS 231 – Justice and the Performing Arts

Tabakin, G.

Goal Area 6 Diversity/MGM

Thursdays, 2-4:50 p.m.

What would dance, storytelling, music and other forms of the performing arts have to do with justice?  Part of human resilience to personal pain and social injustice is expressed through rituals of storytelling, music and dance.  We will examine the nature of both social and personal responses to injustice, physical and emotional hurt, and oppression through the mediums of storytelling, dance and music so as to overcome and grow beyond replicating a repeat of the same oppressive conditions through reprisals, reactions and revenge.

HONS 250 – Critical Thinking in Academic Research

Gruwell, C. – Tuesday/Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (co-requisite with HONS 106, Section 01 Wednesdays, 11-11:50 a.m.)

Goal Area 2 and 6

"Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating."  Koffi Annan  How do you use information?  Do you understand its power?  This course examines the critical thinking necessary to assess information and the ability to distinguish fact from fiction.  We will discuss and study arguments, fallacies, and evidence as we look at current events, mainstream controversies and academic/scholarly research.

Testimonials:

  • At the beginning of the semester I almost expected this class to be redundant but the class was challenging and I actually learned a lot
  • Expanded my critical thinking skills; better able to analyze sources
  • I learned about critical thinking in academic research; playing games/watching videos that tied in what we were learning about at that time

HONS 250 –Philosophy of Video Gaming

Hartz, C.

Goal Area 2 and 6

Mondays, 2-4:30 p.m.

The growth and popularity of video gaming has set the stage for a host of issues that are just beginning to be explored.  In this course we'll be looking at several of them including:  What are my responsibilities to other gamers?  Is killing video game characters wrong?  What kinds of moral dilemmas do video games explore?  Could non-player characters become sentient?  What is my relationship to my avatars - are they parts of me?  Do avatars have a reality apart from the player?  Could it become possible to live in a video game?  Would it be good to live in a video game?  Are we living in a video game?  Gamers and non-gamers alike are welcome!

HONS 250 - Critical Thinking in Academic Research

Quinlan, J. – Monday/Wednesday, 2-3:15 p.m. (co-requisite with HONS 106, Section 03 Mondays, 11-11:50 a.m.)

Goal Area 2 and 6

"Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating."  Koffi Annan  How do you use information?  Do you understand its power?  This course examines the critical thinking necessary to assess information and the ability to distinguish fact from fiction.  We will discuss and study arguments, fallacies, and evidence as we look at current events, mainstream controversies and academic/scholarly research.

HONS 250 - Critical Thinking in Academic Research

Gorman, M. – Monday/Wednesday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (co-requisite with HONS 106, Section 04 Tuesdays, 11-11:50 a.m.)

Goal Area 2 and 6

"Knowledge is power.  Information is liberating."  Koffi Annan  How do you use information?  Do you understand its power?  This course examines the critical thinking necessary to assess information and the ability to distinguish fact from fiction.  We will discuss and study arguments, fallacies, and evidence as we look at current events, mainstream controversies and academic/scholarly research.

HONS 261 – Changing the World and You

Anderson, S.

Goal Area 5 Diversity

Tuesday/Thursday, 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Students and the instructor will work together to identify a unique list of events, developments, and people from around the world that have shaped or changed the course of modern history.  The identified list of events, developments, and people and the past, present, and possible future impacts (social, economic, cultural, diversity, etc.) will be explored through discussions, debates, and activities.  Explored information will be related to how the individual student can change the world around them.

Examples of Past Honors Courses

HONORS 230-Seminar in Rock Music
An advanced study of the philosophy, practice, and aesthetics of Rock Music, 1950-present.

HONS 250 - Harry Potter and Philosophy
Do you have fond memories of reading Harry Potter as a child?  Did you enjoy the Harry Potter movies?  Now is your chance to think reflectively and critically on those experiences. 

HONS 263 - Gender & the Body
This course examined key issues around the gendered body.

HONS 260 – Exploring Happiness
Discovering ways to improve your overall state of well-being.