Three students seated at a table with notebooks and pens


The Honors College (HC) curriculum offers a distinctive undergraduate experience that integrates the arts, sciences and professional fields. Students are required to take HC 1000, plus three of The HC core courses that take the place of OU general education courses.

*Honors College students majoring in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences are exempt from the College of Arts and Sciences College Exploratory requirements. (See undergraduate catalog under College of Arts and Sciences.)

Fall 2018 Core Courses


HC- 2010 Ekphrasis!: Writing Art
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Art + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T,R 3:30 - 5:17 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: Visual art and writing have been intimately connected since the time of the ancient Greeks, who gave us the term for creative writing about art: ekphrasis. From the vivid description of Achilles’ shield in Homer's Iliad to the work of contemporary authors such as Jamaican poet-laureate Lorna Goodison, writers have responded to visual art by producing their own creative-interpretive written works. In this course we will read and analyze examples of such ekphrastic writing and the works of art they are responding to, as well as producing our own written responses to works of art. Assignments will include traditional analytical writing and essays, as well as creative writing and peer-review workshops of student work. The course will also require at least one trip to a museum.

HC-2010 Illustrated Chinese Prints
Instructor: Yun Anoop Lee
Gen Ed: Art + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W 3:30-5:17 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: This course aims to explore the illustrations and other graphic elements in early Chinese prints. Photos, illustrations, and even the artistic arrangement of certain texts provide visual entertainment, highlight the subject, offer background information, suggest certain interpretation, and/or emphasize the context of the text. This course will introduce the background against which such illustrative materials have been produced and circulated, discuss their interplay with the texts they accompany, and the purposes they aim to serve, covering a wide range of topics in areas as print culture, popular culture, and urban culture. Through this course, students will have a first-hand experience with the illustrative contents in early Chinese prints and are expected to develop critical thinking of the function of the visual elements and a better understanding of the Chinese cultural history.

HC-2010 KISSTORY-History of The Band
Instructor: Nicholas Bongers
Gen Ed: Art + Writing Intensive/U.S. Diversity
Course Time: T,R 1:00 - 2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: This course focuses on the development of stardom/celebrity as a representational and organizing force, standing in for/shaping our conceptions of race, class, gender and sexuality in American society. Beginning in the 1970's the class will examine the industry of music and stardom (e.g. Hollywood) and the political, technological, economic and social impact of celebrity culture on 70’s American culture, recognizing how media and culture have evolved to contemporary American society. 2. The course will also analyze historical and contemporary examples of stars/celebrities in order to recognize how the musical band KISS functioned as both a reflection of and a shaper of social norms (race, class, gender, sexuality) within a particular historical moment.

HC-2010 Sacred Spaces
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Art
Course Time: T, R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: SACRED SPACES "We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,"; so said Winston Churchill. This is red spaces, be it a Chapel or Cathedral, a Synagogue or a Shrine, a Temple or a Teepee. Each week, this Honorê College class will study a different religious tradition, and then visit a representative sacred space of that faith in order to understand how theology informs architecture (and vice versa). The on-sight tours will reveal vividly how each representative faith is expressed through space, symbol, and stone while introducing students to some of Detroitê architectural masterpieces. Individual presentations of sacred spaces not explored as a class will conclude the semester.


HC-2020 Creative Puzzle Solving (2 Sections)
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W, F 12:00-1:07 pm AND T 5:00-8:20 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: We all want answers to the questions that puzzle us. What is the solution to a problem? How do we achieve something we want? Why is this happening? What does this mean? Life is a puzzle to be figured out, putting pieces together, in our own way. This class is adapted from a medical school seminar, but it is designed to be beneficial and interesting to students interested in the medical field (doctors, pharmacists, nurses, etc.) which increasingly emphasizes and relies upon this in the practice of medical care as well as to students who may want to gain more knowledge and skills in how we can take into consideration the way in which a problem is presented (be it in business, engineering, law, politics, etc) in order to find a better and possibly more creative solution.
Oh. And it's all about puzzles. Who doesn't love a good puzzle?

HC-2020 Almost-True Stories
Instructor: Craig Smith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T,R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: Long-form narrative non-fiction--reporting of events and depictions of real people written using techniques more traditionally associated with the novel--is a literary genre as controversial as it is entertaining. This class will use contemporary critical approaches to explore several famous and fascinating
examples from the late twentieth century, each representing a different set of issues raised by this departure from conventionally objective journalism. These narratives range from character studies to (alleged) character assassinations, and from true crime sensationalism to works that have themselves been characterized as criminal exploitation of tribal peoples. We will also critique some classic and often thrilling documentary films that, deliberately or inadvertently, raise questions about what constitutes non-fiction cinema. Classes will combine short lectures, small-group discussions, and engaging classroom exercises, with one short essay and a longer writing project developed through revision.

HC-2020 King Arthur Through the Ages
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Time: Tuesday 6:30-9:50 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: The stories of King Arthur and his Round Table have been retold countless times from the early Middle Ages through the present, with each age revising the legends to fit its own fantasies, anxieties, and interests. In this course we will explore the range of narratives about and inspired by Arthur—from the early Middle Ages to the 21st century, as well as some artistic representations of the legends. As we discuss Arthur comparatively across time, genre, and medium, we will track how perceptions of the legends have changed, as well as the continuities and ongoing relevance of the legends for our present moment. Assignments will include short writing responses and longer essays, and a final creative project will enable students to practice their own creative adaptation of Arthurian characters and themes.

HC-2020 Travel Literature: Mind Trips
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive/Knowledge Application
Course Time: M, W, F 9:20-10:27 am
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: Travel literature offers a path to the world to anyone regardless of travel budget or time constraints. We will explore different regions and time periods through the writings of travellers to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Travel literature opens windows on how travellers view the other they encounter and it offers a way to consider how the traveller is viewing the world. What prejudices and preconceptions do travellers carry with them? How are they confirmed or wiped away by the worlds they encounter? How do travellers from colonizing nations regard the colonized? How do the colonized view the colonizers? Students will gain historical perspective for the genre and see how it evolves over time and with varied travellers. We will read the work of male and female travellers from the eighteenth century to the present.

Western Civilization

HC-2040 Civil War in the American Imagination
Instructor: Chriss Apap
Gen Ed: Western Civilization + Writing Intensity/US Diversity
Course Time: Wednesday 6:30-9:50 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: “You can't think seriously about this country without pondering the Civil War. The sin it
expunged, the sin it became. It's our DNA.” -E.L. Doctorow
In this course we take as our point of departure E. L. Doctorow's statement about the American Civil War as a definitive and inescapable trauma for the nation. We will explore a variety of approaches to that conflict and the legacy of American slavery, asking especially how each work to which we attend uses the Civil War to refract contemporary concerns, including issues of democracy, race, religion, civil rights, gender, and individualism. These issues will allow us to ask questions about history and literature in general. How do Americans characterize their own history? To what purpose? What does placing the action of a fiction in the historical past allow the author to say about his own time? What does it mean to be an American?

HC-2040 American Racism: Odyssey of Hate
Instructor: Ian Greenspan
Gen Ed: Western Civilization + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W, F 2:40-3:47 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: This course will consider the individuals, movements, ideologies, events and even media that have come to define the tradition of modern American racism. Standing at the core of this course will be particular historical "episodes" or "moments" of the twentieth century that have fashioned racial conflict, the culture of hate, and perceptions of otherness. In the process of this academic journey, we will acquire a deeper sense of the key racist elements that have shaped both troubled past and present of American life.

HC-2040 The United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Founding Documents as Literature
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Western Civilization + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T, R 8:00-9:47 am
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: The Constitution of the United States, its Declaration of Independence, and other national founding documents will be studied as constructed literary documents that involve a philological study of the materials as literature. Today’s students confront complex national and global situations that demand a better understanding of how literature reflects the cultural influences of past, present, and future history in the form of these founding American texts proceeding from language, through various lenses of philosophy, politics, religion, and more. This course brings pivotal documents as literary texts into a forum in which we can use literary tools and critical thinking to understand the meaning and consequences of content and context, towards
deeper understanding of human progress.

Global Perspective

HC-2050 The Journey of the Vampire
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + Writing Intensive/Knowledge Application
Course Time: T, R 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: The mythology of the vampire of the peoples of Eastern Europe and their folk and peasant cultures serves as our launching point. We evaluate their pagan and dualistic religious beliefs and subsequent Christianization. We will examine the enduring power of the vampire myth in these cultures and the transmission of the vampire myth into Western European and, later, American and international popular culture. The philosophical context of this journey of the vampire includes discussions of the definition and causes of Evil and whether it exists at all. We will consider the cultural atmosphere in Western Europe at the time of the “discovery" and exploration of the vampire (The Age of Reason, Romanticism, Progressivism). We conclude with recent interpretations of the vampire in literature and cinema created in the fertile atmosphere of modern American and international popular culture of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

HC-2050 Coffee and Conversation
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Time: T, R 3:30-5:17 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: Coffee and Conversation introduces students to the global environment of coffee use--from ancient times to current. The course focuses on how differences in economic systems, national culture, sociodemographics, and political orientations affect the use of "coffee".

Social Sciences

HC-2060 Groups, Teams and the Unwritten Rules of the 21st Century Workplace
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Social Sciences + US Diversity
Course Time: T, R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description:This course provides students with an introduction to organizational behavior and theory. Students will examine individual and group behavior as well as the organization and its relation to its environment. Through discussion of theoretical content as well as practical application of behavior choices,
students will be able to identify problems systematically, analyze natives and make sure that the preferred alternative is feasible. This course will assist students in constructing a framework for meeting the demands of diverse 21st century workplace organizations.

HC-2060 The Business of Etiquette
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Social Sciences
Course Time: M, W, F 1:20-2:27 pm
Term: 2018
Course Description: Etiquette, “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group,” changes over time and place (historically/globally). We’re told not to judge others: but we’re constantly being judged by these rules. They make a difference in how well we succeed in every situation we enter. But we're going to make “Minding your Manners” fun by examining these rules and how they've evolved from the 19th Century to ‘Netiquette,” from Table Manners to Tweets/Memes, from Letters of Introduction to LinkedIn. We’ll discover when to slurp your soup and when not to use that emoji (giving a thumbs-up doesn't always mean ‘I like that’!). We all need to know etiquette customs to succeed in our professions and interact with others from around the world—and socially, this class will give you a leg up in life and lots of fun facts to share with your friends!

Formal Reasoning

HC-2070 Latin Dead or Alive?
Instructor: Carolyn Delia
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T, R 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: This Latin course emphasizes the prominence of Latin as a basis for a large percentage of the English language. The course focuses on Latin derivatives used in the professions/careers that interest students and provides them with cognitive connections among seemingly varied and specialized terms. Students will explore the impact that Latin has on making sense of every day communication in this “do it yourself’ world. The cultural portion of the course introduces the student to a concept of “Romans Everywhere” and they begin to notice state/flag mottos, slogans, and inscriptions. Learning of the Roman contributions to law, government, architecture, etc., contributes to a student’s feelings of global heritage and connections and make antiquity a part of their personal ancestry.

Natural Science

HC-2080 Science, Technology and the Late Cold War
Instructor: Steffan Puwal
Gen Ed: Natural Science + Knowledge Application
Course Time: TBD, Check Sail for days & times
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: This course will focus on science relevant to the US and Soviet nuclear posture at the height of late Cold War tensions, 1982 - 1985. Students basic principles of nuclear weapons, their health effects, principles of nuclear winter, ballistic missiles, and lasers. Students will also learn of key events in the history of the Cold War through the use of films and lectures, including the formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Space Race, and the proposal of the Strategic Defense Initiative.

HC-2080 Darwin, Evolution and Scientific Theory
Instructor: Barry Winkler
Gen Ed: Natural Science + Writing Intensive
Course Time: T, R 8:00-9:47 am
Term: Fall 2018
Course Description: “The proper and immediate object of science is the acquirement and communication of truth.” This elegantly simple statement by the late 18th century man of letters, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, provides the starting point from which scientific discoveries, great and small, emerge. Amongst the great scientific discoveries is Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. His genius is manifest in the way his theory of evolution ties together disparate biological facts into a single unifying framework. As such, his approach is the embodiment of the scientific method: observation, replication, interpretation and verification. Drawing from the earlier ideas of Thomas Malthus, who proposed that population growth is limited by available resources, and from his own careful and extensive observations of animals and plants in Nature in different geographic and geologic domains, Darwin's theory of evolution changed dramatically the way we view the origins of species. In addition, his ideas are fundamentally linked to another great scientific discovery by Watson and Crick, namely, uncovering the double helix structure and importance of the DNA molecule. Darwin’s theory is readily accessible to any literate person who spends pleasurable time reading On the Origin of Species (which i also recognized potential difficulties with his theory. For example, he wrote, “to suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances. .. could have been formed by natural selection, seems absurd in the highest degree.” Yet, Darwin also recognized that if appropriate gradations could be found that were useful to the animal and were inherited, then the apparent difficulty would be overcome. We will explore a wide range of recent findings that capture glimpses of the gradations that appeared to have occurred during eye evolution. Students will learn that evolution is both theory and facts and, crucially, that it serves as a way of looking at the world that provides deep predictive and explanatory power.


HC-3900 Introduction to the Thesis
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Course Time: Online
Term: Fall 2018

Winter 2019 Core Courses


HC-2010 Shakespeare’s Tragedies: Breaking Bonds
Instructor: Susan Feigenson
Gen Ed: Art + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W, F 12:00-1:07 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Each of Shakespeare’s four great tragedies breaks bonds: social, familial,
political, cultural. Hamlet severs bonds between brothers, Macbeth destroys bonds between guest
and host, king and subject, Othello nullifies the union of husband and wife, and King Lear
invalidates bonds both between siblings and between father and daughters. We will examine
these magnificent plays primarily through this lens, reading seminal essays as well as looking at
classic productions of stage and movie adaptations to see how different societies and times
reflect these plays in their own light.

HC-2010 Monuments: Text behind Statues
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Art + US Diversity/Writing Intensive/Knowledge Application
Course Time: M,W,F 9:20-10:27 am
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Monuments and statues have become the focus of controversy not only in
the United States, but at large. This course will study a variety of iconic pieces, predominantly in
the U.S., but also elsewhere, in terms of the narrative that lies within the object. We will examine
these art works in context, and consider the artistic elements that express a deeper narrative about
culture, history, religion, politics, social perception, and more. Ultimately, we will attempt to
decide the relevance of these works as, for example, free expression, propaganda, history,
doctrine, art, in terms of the narrative both hidden and revealed.

HC-2010 Mythology of Adventure
Instructor: Mary Wermuth
Gen Ed: Art + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W 3:30-5:17 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Mythology of Adventure is a myth central to who we are. Why? To
adventure suggests unusual, different experiences that excite both mind and spirit. The discoveries made enrich both inner and outer life and can serve as a central building block of a
successful career. Come adventure with sailors, hikers, dreamers. Discover how adventure has
shaped those who are willing to take the first step on an amazing and life changing journey. Then
set forth on your own adventure.

HC-2010 Design Thinking in Action
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Art
Course Time: T, R 10:00-11:47 am
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: The role of art as an aesthetic expression of experience is what will be
explored through this design thinking course. The process of design thinking is all about finding
new, never-seen before solutions couched within or as a challenge to existing cultural or historic
traditions. For example, design has been practiced for ages: statues, bridges, and automobiles, are
all end-products of design processes. Throughout history, good designers have applied a human-
centric creative process to build meaningful and effective solutions. In the course, visual artifacts
as a critical social commentary will be analyzed and discussed. With the help of theories,
methods and applications, students will be taught tools to apply to specific problems and
challenges. In this course, students will come up with and implement a team project. This project
can have a local, national, or international application. Simulations, illustrations and models to
quickly assess viability, test concepts, mitigate risks, and facilitate discussions will also be part
of the methodology used in bringing ideas into fruition. Lastly, a roadmapping process which
involves developing actionable plans that will guide teams through the complex steps of
implementing their projects will be utilized as part of the course.

HC-2010 Why Architecture Matters
Instructor: Donna Voronovich
Gen Ed: Art
Course Time: T, R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: The course is designed with several modes of learning intended to
challenge the students, while encouraging them to develop their own particular interest within
the subject matter. It incorporates a range of assignments, including; critical reading with
reflective writing; a self-directed research project with oral presentation; and an exploration of
the architecture on our own campus as a means of applying new knowledge within a familiar
environment. We will discuss the application and integration of this knowledge into the students'
own fields of study as well.


HC-2020 The Resistance: Baldwin/Lorde
Instructor: Craig Smith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive/US Diversity
Course Time: T, R 1:00-2:47 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: "The Resistance" is a term that has recently been revived in polarized
contemporary political culture and rhetoric. This course will engage with the still-exhilarating
writings of the great 20th-century African-American writers Audre Lorde and James Baldwin.
Issues of racial, ethnic, gender, and LGBTQIA+ identities, and the rhetoric deployed to combat
cultural impulses of oppression and discrimination, are the great themes that shaped their
magnificent careers. The essayist and poet Lorde, and the essayist and novelist Baldwin, are
acknowledged heroes and role models of a millennial generation of resistant African-American
and LGBTQIA+ intellectuals, whose work we will also explore. Short lectures, small group
discussions, and some film analysis. Writing assignments include one short and one longer

HC-2020 Why Read Russian Literature?
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive/Knowledge Application
Course Time: T 6:30-9:50 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Why read Russian Literature? To better understand the Russians? Perhaps,
though the idea has its critics. Russian literature is valuable reading for itself; the beauty of the
work, the universals of human experience and the intensity of those experiences as captured on
the page make them utterly readable and relevant. From sinners to saints, tragedy to comedy, the
Russians cover them all. Find out why so many Russian authors rank among the best ever and
why readers turn to their books again and again. We will cover some of the familiar names
(Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov) and meet some less familiar writers (Zoschenko, Bulgakov,

HC-2020 Rime to Rap: 21st Century Chaucer
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Literature +Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W 5:30-7:17 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: A group of people from different walks of life tell stories to pass the time
as part of their journey toward a place where they hope to find healing. This description applies equally to the plot of Geoffrey Chaucer's fourteenth-century Canterbury Tales and to the twenty- first century collection Refugee Tales, which adopts the form of Chaucer's classic work to tell stories of the contemporary global refugee crisis. This surprising connection between medieval England and our contemporary, globally interconnected world demonstrates the ongoing vitality and significance of Chaucer’s writings. In this course we will explore that connection, both by analyzing the medieval author's interests in issues of social difference, authority, and ethics, and by assessing how modern writers have continued to find inspiration in Chaucer’s stories. This course will include readings in both Middle English and modern English; instruction in readings in both Middle English and Modern English; instruction in Middle English will be provided.

HC-2020 Chinese Diaspora Literature
Instructor: Yun Anoop Lee
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensity/US Diversity
Course Time: M, W, F 8:00-9:07 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: This course aims to explore the literary works produced by Chinese
diaspora. Since the mid-19th century, millions of ethnic Chinese have emigrated to reside
overseas In recent years, Chinese diaspora has become an interdisciplinary research topic
encompassing diverse disciplines as history, sociology, political science, and so on. This course
will draw upon these studies but focus on the aspect of literature. Students will be introduced to a
selection of novels, short stories and movies produced by Chinese overseas and discuss their
common issues as settlement, adaptation, identity, and so on.
Western Civilization

HC-2040 Edwardian England
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Time: M, W, F 12:00-1:07 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: The World of Edwardian England. The PBS series “Downton Abbey";
(re)introduced the world to Edwardian England. At the turn of the century, with a new king on
the throne, England witnessed some of the most sweeping, dramatic changes known to modern
history: suffrage, crumbling socio-economic barriers, radical changes in fashion, new scientific
claims, and a world forever changed by war. This course will explore not only how the world
changed in Edwardian Britain, but also how America was shaped by it. This course studies the
social systems, monarchy and the Church of England of that time—in addition to the foods, the
fashion and the music. Evaluation will be class participation, readings, and an individual project that will be offered as a class presentation. The class will be offered at Meadowbrook Estate,
Oakland's own "Downton Abbey."

HC-2040 Mass Culture in American Life
Instructor: Christopher Dingwall
Gen Ed: Western Civilization +Writing Intensive/US Diversity
Course Time: TBD
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: This course examines the formation of mass culture as a powerful
economic system in the United States from the colonial era to the present day. The first half of
course will focus on how everyday cultural production and consumption became transformed by
industrial capitalism in the nineteenth century, and gain a handle on influential scholarly
approaches to “the culture industry” as a problem for empirical and theoretical study. The second
half will examine the impact of mass culture and measure its reach into American politics,
economy, and social life during the twentieth century, and consider how scholars and critics have
narrated and conceptualized this momentous transformation. Throughout the course, students
will assess the history and current trajectory of mass culture through vigorous classroom
discussion and by completing an independent research project.

HC-2040 Movies and Mortality
Instructor: Ben Bennett-Carpenter
Gen Ed: Western Civilization + Writing Intensive/US Diversity
Course Time: T, R 8:00-9:47 am
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: In this course, "Movies and Mortality", students will explore
transformative experiences people have in regard to life and death -- through film. Students are
introduced to the development of disciplinary and interdisciplinary views on the rhetoric, idea,
and imagery of mortality, particularly as that rhetoric/idea/imagery has evolved in Western
civilization, with a focus on 20th and early 21st century North American and European
documentary and fiction films, in conversation with the global scene. Class sessions will vary,
including time for short lectures, class discussions, screenings of documentaries and fiction
films, and active analyses of film experiences. Sources include Ariès, Western Attitudes toward
Death (1974); Gianetti, Understanding Movies (12th edition, 2010); Bennett-Carpenter, Death in
Documentaries: The Memento Mori Experience (2018); and other select texts, clips, footage, and
complete films.

Global Perspectives

HC-2050 Science Fiction: East and West
Instructor: Mingming Liu
Gen Ed: Global Perspectives + Writing Intensive/US Diversity
Course Time: T, R 3:30-5:17 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: What is Science Fiction? What is science when it is fictionalized? Do
aliens or cyborgs connect up or serve as metaphors for real-life issues? What are the differences
when distinct cultural traditions envision their encounter with the Other? This course explores
Science Fiction in an East-West comparative framework, ranging from the grotesque to the
sublime, from the apocalyptic to the transcendent, from the human to the posthuman. It is
organized as a historical study of Chinese Science Fiction -- from the present-day boom with the
Hugo Award winners to its inception at the beginning of the 20th century -- juxtaposed with
similar pieces from other traditions, such as the Anglo-Saxon, the Asian American, and the
Sinophone. We examine how ideas like "Self-Other," "East-West," and "American Dreams vs.
Chinese Dreams" are constructed and reconstructed under different socio-political and techno-
scientific contexts, and how the genre of Science Fiction provides reflection on reality, and
conveys hope or despair for the future.

HC-2050 How Eight Met Eight Million
Instructor: Han Zhang
Gen Ed: Global Perspectives + Writing Intensive/Knowledge Application
Course Time: Wednesday 5:00-8:20 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: "How Eight Met Eight Million?” For ten years between 1966 and 1976,
eight million people were only allowed to access eight revolutionary model plays in China. A
trans-media genre, opera film, which quickly rose up to the establishment under the auspices of
the Communist Party after 1949, helped achieve the consummation. This course investigates the
opera films as both a cultural practice and political apparatus in socialist China from the 1940s to
the post-Mao era. The course intends to familiarize students with the genre and the history of the
period by resituating Chinese Communist cultural production within a larger global narrative of
cold war as well as the interaction among international communist community. It also aims to
foster more nuanced critical readings on the formal integration of the traditional Chinese
theatrical performance and western cinematic art, and how the discursive artistic expression
reflects on the emotional affect and political impact.
Social Sciences

HC-2060 Shakespeare’s Medieval Ed.
Instructor: Gania Barlow
Gen Ed: Social Sciences + Writing Intensive
Course Time: M, W 3:30-5:17 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Shakespeare's Medieval Education: Before there was Shakespeare, there
was a robust, energetic, bawdy, and socially conscious tradition of medieval theater in England.
Despite the tendency to think of Shakespeare’s time as the moment English culture was born
from the “Dark Ages,” the work of Renaissance artists was heavily inspired and influenced by
their medieval predecessors. The course will illuminate the importance of theater in the so-called
“Dark Ages" by assessing its surprisingly modern concerns with community, ethics, and
authority, as well as by exploring the influences of those medieval concerns and theatrical
practices on the theater of Shakespeare's day and of our own. Assignments will include textual
analysis as well as more creative approaches to thinking about theatrical productions. This course
will include readings in both Middle English and modern English; instruction in reading Middle
English will be provided.

HC-2060 Human Bones: Past and Present
Instructor: Dorothy Nelson
Gen Ed: Social Sciences + US Diversity
Course Time: M, W, F 1:20-2:27 pm
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Covers basic anatomy and physiology of the human skeleton, then traces
the changes in the skeleton from the earliest human ancestors to modern populations.
Controversies over what the different types of hominin fossils represent will be evaluated.
Differences in bone health among modern populations from different geographic regions will
also be discussed, in the context of biocultural adaptation as an alternative to "racial"
explanations. An overview of how knowledge of variations in the skeleton is applied in forensic
anthropology cases will be provided.

Formal Reasoning

HC-2070 Logic: It’s just so Logical
Instructor: Carolyn Delia
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning + Writing Intensive
Course Time: TBD
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: This is a non-mathematical based introduction to formal logic which
attempts to show that being “logical” is immensely important but only achieved through definite thinking patterns. The course presents the types of logical reasoning, forms, rules, and practical
application of argument formation and evaluation. The text will provide the knowledge base but
the exercises and projects will come from various disciplines/careers and include various types
of logical reasoning from logic puzzles and exam problems to critical reading, argument
formation, panel discussions, and debates. Various fallacies will be explored. Students will be
able to recognize the validity of arguments they encounter in their course work, career work,
advertisements and product/services offers. Students will become more proficient at formulating
arguments for use in their courses, persuasive presentations or writings, and negotiations or
proposals they may need as individuals with a personal life and career professionals.

Natural Science

HC-2080 From the 1800s to #Insta
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Natural Science
Course Time: T, R 3:30-5:17
Term: Winter 2019
Course Description: Travel can be a means of both social and scientific discovery. Finding
yourself in any new environment opens new worlds to you—from the perspectives of those
inhabiting that space to a broader understanding of your own culture and yourself. You don't
need to travel far to explore these worlds: we're going to do it from campus and in cyberspace.
Because travel writing is a way of mediating the intersection of two worlds, we're going to
examine how new media and social media allow for this exploration. We're going to ‘travel to
worlds of our choosing to learn more about others and ourselves. This class is about discovering
new worlds and coming to a better understanding of human nature and t physical world around
us through the context of ‘travel' (including gaming, VR/MR/AR, blogs, and #Insta/Twitter).
This is a class about how you can create new worlds for yourself and others.


HC-3900 Introduction to the Thesis
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Course Time: Online
Term: Winter 2019

Independent Study

HC-4900 Independent Study
Instructor: Dr. Harper
Course Time: TBD
Term: Winter 2019



The Honors College foreign language requirement may be fulfilled by choosing one of the following 4 tracks:

  1. Foreign language proficiency: Completion of, or proficiency in, foreign language courses through level 2150.
  2. Foreign language and cultural experience: Two semesters of the same language on campus in partnership with a study abroad experience of at least 6 weeks in a non-English-speaking country.
  3. Foreign language diversity: Two semesters each of two different languages for a total of four semesters.
  4. American Sign Language: Three semesters of American Sign Language (COM 1500, COM 1501, COM 2500) and ALS 1101.


  • Meet with an Honors College Academic Adviser at least once a year for an HC progress plan
  • Attend one Honors College event per year
  • Attend Research and Scholarship Day presentations once per year (fall or winter)
  • Complete community service requirement—10 hours per year of one sustained service
Thesis Info

All HC students must produce an Honors Thesis, ie: independent project of scholarly or creative achievement. Most often, this activity is carried out in the student's major area of study, e.g., biology, English, economics, business, engineering. The student, together with a faculty sponsor/mentor, develops a proposal of the project, submits it to The Honors College Council for approval, and carries out the work.

There is wide latitude regarding the nature of the projects, since it is recognized that substantial differences exist across disciplines. The end result is a written thesis – which could also include a creative performance, dance recital, engineering project, or another type of creative activity. The proposal must be approved by the mentor and The Honors College Council.

*Current students, please see espace for deadlines, forms and details

Thesis Deadlines:

For students graduating in Fall:

  • September 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • October 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College

For Students Graduating in Spring:

  • January 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • February 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to The Honors College

For Students Graduating in Summer I:

  • February 15th- Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • March 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College

For students graduating in Summer II:

  • May 15th - Final Thesis submitted to Mentor for revisions
  • June 15th - Final Revised Thesis (including checklist) submitted to the Honors College