Honors Course Offerings

Honors classes are characterized by their presentation of interesting and challenging coursework in a supportive, seminar-style format where you will actively engage in the learning process through vibrant discussions. In all your Honors classes, you are expected to demonstrate aptitude in critical thinking, communication, ethical reasoning, and creative exploration of ideas. You will work toward developing these skills further through full participation in the reading, writing, and research projects that are the focus of each Honors class.

For information on our classes, use the links below (links for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 Honors class descriptions will be active as of Thursday, January 18, 2018)

Honors class 
HON 29X class
HON 39X class
Other HON class
Spring 2018follow this linkfollow this link follow this link 
Fall 2017      follow this link follow this linkfollow this link 
Spring 2017     follow this linkfollow this link     follow this link 
Fall 2016follow this linkfollow this linkfollow this link 
Spring 2016     follow this linkfollow this linkfollow this link 
Fall 2015follow this link  follow this link
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Fall 2014follow this link  follow this link
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Fall 2013     follow this link follow this linkfollow this linkfollow this link
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Fall 2012follow this linkfollow this linkfollow this link 
Spring 2012follow this linkfollow this link   


Honors Colloquium

HON 190 

Course description

Honors 190 is a reading- and writing-intensive course designed to introduce you to a liberal studies education. An important part of this course is your acquisition of specific skills:

  • close reading
  • analytical writing
  • cogent speaking
  • attentive listening
  • critical thinking

The readings for this class, as well as the tasks required of you, have been carefully chosen and arranged in order for you to attain and enhance these skills.

Your 190 instructors come from a variety of departments and will help you to define and explore these key issues in a manner that reflects their unique training, specialties, and perspectives.

Select Spring 2018 Honors classes

Fierce Food in the Arts: A Journey Through Humanity’s Use of Food as a Creative Medium

 HON 291

Gamin Summers
Humans need food to live, yet we do not always associate food with mere survival. In this course, we will examine ways food is used as a medium for communication and creative expression. Renaissance still-life food paintings convey status and wealth. Food writing uses elaborate descriptions to make a reader’s mouth water (or stomach churn). Food in literature and film connects us to characters, cultures, and memories. Food is hilarious as a device for comedians or songwriters, or it inspires self-examination and change in documentaries. Food is even weaponized in a food fight. We will explore artistic works, writing, film, fashion, and music about food, including music using food as instruments. We will even work with food to express ourselves! 

Harry Potter and the Muggle World

HON 291
Tammy Mielke
This course focuses on gaining a greater understanding of Harry Potter as literary and cultural phenomena. This course studies the critical discourse that has emerged over the last decade or so as it relates to the novels and other cultural and artistic manifestations. This series is explored in terms of its broader social and political implications.

Way Out West: Cultural Studies of the American West

HON 292
Rob Wallace
Cowboys, Indians, shootouts, horses . . . but also punk rockers, beat poets, aliens, and detectives. This course will investigate various archetypes of Western culture as well as figures not usually associated with the American West. From the Mexican/American borderlands, to the Pacific Rim, to the high desert, to the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, we’ll analyze a shifting set of histories and mysteries that remain central to how the U.S. views itself and how the world views the U.S.!

Now You See Them, Now You Don't

HON 294

Robyn Martin
Societal motivations and reactions to unknown anomalies, like UFOs, Bigfoot, and the Bermuda Triangle, among others. Analyzes reports of unknown objects and creatures globally, and the controversies that surround them by studying the historic and current attitudes worldwide toward some of these phenomenon, including the scientific community, search/proof organizations, the “lunatic fringe,” charlatans, the entertainment industry, and the press, and the reasoning behind the continuing societal need to believe in an unknown.

The Mystery of the Brain

HON 293

Melissa Schonauer
Who, really, is in control of our decisions, behavior and emotions? Is it our logic or our instinct (the more developed part or the more primitive part of ourselves)? Which is more important for our success in life, intellectual or emotional intelligence? And how does the brain function and sort through constant information in order to guide us through life? In this class, we will explore these questions by looking into neuroscience, anatomy, psychology, and, of course, ourselves.