University Honors Scholars Program

Honors Courses

Spring Semester 2023


Honors 106 (1): Honors Seminar II
Steven L. Anderson
Thursday, 11–11:50 a.m.

Honors 106 (2): Honors Seminar II
Michael Gorman
Tuesday, 9:30–10:20 a.m.

Honors 106 (3): Honors Seminar II
Steven L. Anderson
Wednesday 1–1:50 p.m.

Honors 160 (1): Banned Books and Controversial Writing (Goal 1) (equivalent to English 191)
Linda Larson
Tuesday and Thursday, 2–3:50 p.m.

What makes a writer a rebel? A hero? Who should decide what we read and write? What happens when controversial writing is no longer available to readers? This course will explore these questions and more. Recent examples of books that have been banned or challenged include "Thirteen Reasons Why," which deals with teen suicide, and "George," which features a transgender character. Banning books silences voices that need to be heard. We'll use a healthy dose of skepticism as we read news feeds and other media sources, popular literature, and political discourse. We'll also add our voices to issues important to us. We'll analyze banned books and controversial ideas, develop academic writing skills with logic and other rhetorical strategies and appeals, and strengthen our voices to share our thoughts about our personal world and the greater world around us.

Honors 170 (1): Communication and Mental Health (Goal 1) (equivalent to CMST 192)
Traci Anderson
Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

This discussion-focused class examines communication as it relates to mental health and neurodiversity. Topics that will be addressed include interpersonal skills deficits among those with mental health issues, the interplay between interpersonal relationships with others and mental health/well-being, family communication dynamics as they related to mental health, use of narrative in sense-making about mental health and illness, how we communicate about mental health issues, mental health mis/representation in popular media, and the role of language in socially constructing our views of mental health and wellness. Students will complete journals, exams, a presentation.

Honors 211 (1): Changing the World (Goal 9)
Steven L. Anderson
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.

The class 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 people can change the world around them.

Honors 223 (02): Empire: Genocidal Consequences (Goals 3 & 10)
Geoffrey Tabakin
Tuesday, 2–4:40 p.m.

How often and with what horror do nations, governments, and the people they represent, abhor and condemn the genocidal actions of others while denying, justifying, and exorcising the genocidal actions of our nation, our government, and our complicity?  How vulnerable are we to the colonization of our minds so as to exonerate and justify the colonization of other – “those people”, “them”. Even though the concept of "genocide" was only first recognized in 1948 how has it been contained to limit culpability? ‘Empire’, ‘colonization’, ‘conquest’ all reference the battle for dominance and control over people, land, and territory to ensure service, bondage, and obedience but in almost every case the end of empire and colonization has left a wake of disruption and genocide as well as the genocidal. [Current circumstances and events over the last five years –2016 –2021 -- require and invite us to consider that the empire is within, that we live amidst genocide, that colonization is at home, that we participate in our own demise and against our own best interests]. As we examine current and recent genocides stemming from the history of empire and colonization, particularly in Africa, we will consider the founding of ‘democratic principles of government’ as an afterthought built on conquests and colonization, slavery and racism amidst the dismembered bodies, blighted hopes, and convenient disappearance of those who were in our way.  While looking outward to ‘those’ genocides we will reflect on the agencies of control and the colonization of the mind, building empires from within, internalized inferiority / superiority of racism , and the tools and techniques of oppression today.

Honors 230 (01): Ceramics for Honors Students (Goal 6)
Keisuke Mizuno
Monday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.–1:50 p.m.

This course is designed to introduce the Honors students to fabrication techniques in ceramics and the history of ceramic arts.  Additional focus will be given to the basic glazing techniques and the design principles of simple pottery form.  Students will write short papers and do a presentation on the ceramic arts.

Honors 250 (01): Critical Thinking in Academic Research (Goals 2 & 6)
Michael Gorman
Monday and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.

This course examines and evaluates critical reasoning in academic discourse and discussions, the construction of arguments, and the management of academic research. We will discuss and study arguments, fallacies, and evidence in academic research and current events, as well as process of conducting scholarly research.

Honors 250 (02): Society and Spectacle: Understanding Visual Culture (Goals 2 & 6)
Jeffrey Bleam
Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30–1:45 p.m.

From early photography and cinema through television and digital/social media, visual images have shaped the way we can see ourselves and relate to the world we live in. But the more we become saturated and bombarded with streaming or scrolling images in the 21st century, the harder it becomes to critically evaluate their effect upon us. This course will apply the theories of Visual Culture Studies to past and present image production to better understanding their impact on ourselves and our society.

Honors 260 (01): Social Resistance to Genocide (Goal 5)

Geoffrey Tabakin
Wednesday, 2–4:40 p.m.

Current circumstances and events over the last five years, 2016 –2021, require and invite us to consider forms of social protest as we struggle with our own complicity for and with the genocide within, the colonization of our minds, and participation in our own demise even as we recognize that it is against our own best interests.  In our world of competing events regarding what is fair, what is just, and what is just for me, things begin to swirl, and we are sucked into the maelstrom of events, rather than invited to the dance of life. We will focus on examples of how aspects of social justice and human rights have been rendered into literature, dance, music, performance and visual arts. Our adventure will be to explore the ways in which the arts address social justice and human rights and provide a space of resistance, reconciliation, and restoration. The invitation is to dance, song, and art in the service of justice.

Honors 261 (01): Are We Destined for War? A Potential Conflict Between China and the U.S.(Goal 5)
Hung-Chih Yu
Monday and Wednesday, 9:30–10:45 a.m.

The current China-U.S. relationship is turbulent and its future remains highly unusual uncertain. The rapid rise of the People's Republic China as a major political and economic power signifies a contemporary potential conflict with the existing superpower, the U.S., based on the ancient Greek history between Athens and Sparta, the Thucydides's Trap. The course provides students with an in-depth and critical analysis of issues of the potential conflict between China and the U.S. from a multidisciplinary approach, including geography, history, international relations, and political economics. The course has three parts including 1) a geographic and historical overview of the interactions between China and the U.S., 2) the framework of Chinese and American foreign policy, and 3) the economic side of China-U.S. relations. This honor course invites students to explore China-U .S. relations from a multitude of theoretical frameworks and to form their own critical views about this relationship. This learner-centered course encourages students to seek the active learning experience via readings, writing assignments, small group discussions, and the final research project.

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