University Honors Program

Honors Courses

Fall 2018

HONS 160:  Shakespeare’s Comedies

Goal Area 1,  - Equivalent to ENGL 191

Abartis, C.

Mondays and Wednesdays, 3-4:40 p.m.

Shakespeare is considered one of the cultural treasures of the English-speaking world.  Let us explore some of the riches of Shakespeare's works on our way to appreciating and, I hope enjoying his powerful, complex, multi-layered plays.  Shakespeare was keenly interested in love, identity, and growth; the plays explore individuals caught up in love, infatuation, and change in the world they find themselves in--relevant topics today as well.  We will read, discuss, and watch videotapes of A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595-96), Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99) and As You Like It (1599-1600).  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:  Disrupting Privilege:  Communication, Identity and Social Justice

Goal Area 1 - Equivalent to CMST 192

Anderson, T.

Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Our society is strongly influenced by differences in power and privilege based on our many social identities including (but not limited to) gender, class, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation.  In this course we will use a social science perspective – with an emphasis on communication and language – to analyze how social structures such as the criminal justice system, education, religion, family and the media shape our experiences of privilege and disadvantage.  Through readings, discussion, journaling, oral argumentation, and social media engagement we will address such topics as:  the role of language in defining and maintaining categories of race, gender, dis/ability, and sexual orientation; how the media reinforce social stereotypes; systems of power, privilege and oppression; and ally-ship and social justice.  The overarching goal of this class is an increased self-awareness of our social identities and the roles we play.

HONS 210:  Ethics of Tourism

Goal Area 9

Yu, H.

Tuesdays and 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 the 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

Goal Area 9, Diversity

Tabakin, G.

Wednesdays, 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. 

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 220:  Gravity Sucks:  Take Flight

Goal Areas 3, 10

Anderson, S.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

This course explores the science and technology behind the world of flight and space.  The journey will take students from the physics of flight to the science of navigating around the world and beyond.  Along the way we will discover everything from how an airplane can fly, the magic of jet propulsion, and from how various types of technology keeps everyone on course to the science of airports.

HONS 221:  Peace for Our Planet

Goal Areas 3, 10, Diversity

Akhaven, R.

Mondays, 2-4:50 p.m.

This course focuses on the contemporary trends that are moving humanity toward realizing a more just and peaceful world.  It analyzes how racism, nationalism, religious strife, sexism, and extremes of wealth and poverty function as the root causes of war and provides a context for empowered conversations to find effective solutions for them at the individual and systemic levels.

HONS 230:  Ceramics for Non-Art Majors

Goal Area 6

Mizuno, K.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-6:20 p.m.

This introductory 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. 

HONS 230:  The Idea of the Wild Man – or Woman

Goal Area 6

Dorn, J.

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3:15 p.m.

How do we explain the electric charge of going into the wild or encountering wild creatures?  How have cultures tried to make sense of human beings by using animals and the wild “to think with”?  This course would provide an exploration of the history of ideas by focusing on the mystique associated with the figure of the wild man for “civilized” society.  Reading Kipling’s Jungle Book, watching the film Nel, and reading tales from across several cultures we would review concepts of the human and the wild that would enable us to practice methods of studying across humanities disciplines such as history, philosophy, and literary study.

HONS 231:  Telling the Story of Genocide Hurts

Goal Area 6, Diversity

Tabakin, G.

Mondays, 5:30-8:20 p.m.

We’ve heard or seen so many stories about awful things to which we’ve stopped paying attention.  Worse, we fail to own our responsibility to act and respond.  So…PAY ATTENTION – LIVES DEPEND ON THIS (your own included).  How well we respond to such mind-boggling horrors as genocide will depend on how effectively we use the art (or craft) of storytelling.  Facts do not speak for themselves without context and voice.  We will examine the extremes of harm in the stories of genocide and the genocidal but also in terms of our personal experiences – without this empathetic awareness we cannot tell the story.  In particular we will use Jon Paul Lederach’s concept of voice and social justice (see Lederach The Moral Imagination) as we develop our voices so as to tell the story effectively and demonstrate this through performance.  It matters how we tell the story and to whom.  De te fabula narrator – Of you the story is told.

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.