Course Descriptions

Course descriptions for the Spring 2018 University Honors (UH) classes are posted below. (Watch for updates!) Refer to WINGS Express via the WINGS portal for a complete listing of all Honors courses, including days, times, and locations.

Spring 2018

UH 2010-01, Latin America: Magical & Real (Rubin)

Latin America is a very real and very magical place with a rich literary and cinematographic history. This course will explore the "magic" of Latin America, from famous literary movements like "magical realism" to often mythologized figures like Ernesto Che Guevara. At the same time, the course will examine a number of "real" issues facing Latin America, including crime, immigration, and poverty. Readings will include short stories and poems in translation, as well as current news and feature articles. Films will include feature length selections and documentaries. (UH 2010 satisfies the Arts/Humanities Element in the Core curriculum.)

UH 2010-90, 21st Century Games & Play (Roach)

In 1938, anthropologist and game studies scholar Johan Huizinga asserted that "culture arises and unfolds in and as play.” Games and play have existed throughout history, and the renewed interest in studying them has been driven, in part, by changes in technology. In an increasingly digital world, games and play offer keen insight into our culture. Throughout the course we will consider topics such as: 

-Games as texts
-Video game evolution
-Tabletop games
-Unstructured play (cosplay, memes, etc.)
-Play as a mode of writing
-Gamer culture
-Work versus play
-Game theory and creation

The goal of this course is to examine games and play from a number of angles, using a variety of lenses from across the disciplines. We will write about games, research games, and make games, all with the goal of cultivating meaningful academic discourse about games and play in our culture.

This course is NOT just for hard-core gamers; casual gamers, Candy Crushers, cosplayers, and tabletop fans are all equally welcome here. The urge to play is in all of us, and this course aims to explore what that means about our current cultural moment and about the capacity and limits of our humanity. (UH 2010 satisfies the Arts/Humanities Element in the Core curriculum.)

UH 2020-01, Political Leadership (P. Leonard) 

This course is a study in leadership, leaders, and characteristics and traits of those who emerge as leaders in the profession of government and politics. The lessons learned can be applied to all facets of life. (UH 2020 satisfies the Social Science Element in the Core curriculum.)

UH 2020-02, Health & Disease: Our Culture & Society (Rodgers) 

This course will explore the disease and its historical effect upon religion, exploration, war, politics, the economy, and other social and cultural aspects of our world. We will also look at modern disease and its effect upon these social and cultural matters, and in turn how these same social and cultural aspects affect the course of disease and human health in our world. (UH 2020 satisfies the Social Science Element in the Core curriculum.)

UH 2020-90, Decision Making (Morrisette)

Decision making is an integral part of our daily lives, ranging from the relatively simple--shall I have Coke or coffee?--to the complex and seemingly insoluble--how can we reduce the rate of violent crime in the U.S.? Regardless of one's area of interest or expertise, difficult decisions must be made. This course provides an introduction to the concepts of decision theory, systems analysis, and rational analytic techniques of decision making, as well as an exploration of non-rational theory and processes. Students will analyze the process and the assumptions that underlie the process from several viewpoints and disciplines: rationality, incrementalism, analytical reasoning, and complexity and chaos. (UH 2020 satisfies the Social Science Element in the Core curriculum.)

UH 4000-01, World Wars in Modern Memory (Carrafiello)

What is the collective memory of World War I and World War II in the west? How and why are these conflicts remembered differently? How and why have these memories been shaped and transformed since these conflicts? We will look at a variety of sources, including literature, memoirs, oral histories, films, documentaries, and museum exhibits as we seek to answer these questions.

UH 4000-02, Mental Health & Society (Twill)

This class will include an intensive study and discussion of media (novels, movies, TV, short story) in relation to specific mental health disorders. Through the lens of contemporary media, the class will revolve around discussions of the disorders, their symptoms, how they are portrayed (or not) through specific characters, how they’re diagnosed, the positives and negatives or such classifications, the prevalence of disorders in contemporary media, and what this says about our society as a whole.