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 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
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
Harry Potter and the Muggle World
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
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
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
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.