HONR 001: Honors First Year Practicum, 1 credit hr.
All First Year honors track students are strongly encouraged to enroll in an honors course, either a three-hour honors seminar and/or the one-hour Honors Practicum. The Honors First Year Practicum is a one credit course designed to introduce first semester students to the Honors community. Each section of the course is led by two upper class Honors students who facilitate discussion in class and work to keep members of the class informed about and involved in Honors Program activities. The Director of the Honors Program serves as instructor of record for both the upper class Honors students (Practicum Guides) and the first year honors students.
|Instructor: Jennifer McCrickerd||Crosslist: None|
HONR 053: Life & Teachings of Jesus, 3 credit hrs.
Jesus was the founder of the world's largest religion and one of the most controversial figures in religious history. "Life and Teaching of Jesus" is an analysis of the early Christian writings with the objective of studying the life and message of Jesus. This exploration will use the tools of historical, anthropological, sociological, and literary scholarship to investigate Jesus and the early Christian communities that produced the literature about him within their historical, cultural, and religious contexts.
|Instructor: Dale Patrick||Crosslist: REL 053|
HONR 078: Grief and Loss, 3 credit hrs.
In this course, students will learn how narratives of grief are constructed, experienced, debated, politicized, and pathologized. We will examine various aspects of grief including cultural difference, social policing, media portrayals, and theoretical debates. Students will learn how tragedy and grief are used to sell politics and products and what implications this has on individual and cultural understandings of loss.
|Instructor: Nancy Berns||Crosslist: SCSS 171|
HONR 079: Dwelling & Belonging, 3 credit hrs.
This course explores the idea, experience, representation, and feeling of home as a site of intimate belonging and of social status. As a place or places where we locate personal identity as well as public values, home may serve as a complex origin of memory, joy, pain, loss, and longing. For some, home is a real or imagined sanctuary of privacy, intimacy, or luxury, while others fine it a source of deprivation, repression, or abuse. Drawing on theories, philosophies, and critiques of diverse versions of home from different times and spaces—from 14th century palaces in Venice to 21st century shacks in South Africa —we will examine the cultural, historical, material, and political dimensions of this key place of everyday life. Drawing on a wide variety of beautifully evocative and painfully divisive writings about, and images of, dwellings from architecture, art, literature, and law, we will personally and critically reflect on the ideals and structures that place and displace residents in the individual, familial, and communal homes that anchor our relations to our selves and to each other.
|Instructor: Joan Faber McAlister||Crosslist: SCSR 134|
HONR 080: Medical Sociology, 3 credit hrs.
This course applies sociological principles to health, illness, and health care. In order for students to fully develop an understanding in this context, a variety of perspectives will be explored and critiqued including that of patients, providers and society. This draws on foundational disciplines at the broader level and frames them into the biomedical experience. For example, sociological constructs of age, gender, ethnicity, and social class; psychosocial aspects of personal illness experience, historical and political perspectives of dominance, regulation and governance of providers and health care organizations will be the multidisciplinary topics covered. Other topics may include but are not limited to: history of 'western' medicine, models of illness, stress and well-being, social stratification of illness, health demography, medicalization and de-medicalization of illness, disability, and patient-provider relationships. A combination of reading, discussion, reflective activities, and paper/project composition will be used to facilitate comprehension of the course material. May be used as part of Sociology or Anthropology major/minor/concentrations.
|Instructor: Andrea Kjos||Crosslist: Sociology concentration|
HONR 096: Recurring Narratives: Storytelling, 3 credit hrs.
Humans tell stories, whether in archaic pictograms, long- sung ballads, or today's morning news. This class will explore the stories that are told and retold, because they resonate with some deep need or common fear, fulfill some wish or dream. In fact, we will explore that assertion--about why we tell--and listen to-- the same stories over and over. What does that say about us? About our culture?
|Instructor: Lee Jolliffe||Crosslist: None|
HONR 100: Paths to Knowledge, 4 credit hrs.
This is an interdisciplinary course focusing on different modes of reasoning and inquiry (i.e., "paths to knowledge") in the sciences and the humanities. It should help us to better navigate our way through an increasingly information- and knowledge-saturated society. In pursuing this aim, we will explore the modes of reasoning and inquiry that are typically employed in the production of various forms of knowledge. Among the questions we will examine are: Why do we seek knowledge? How is knowledge created? How should we judge the value and validity of knowledge claims? How should society make decisions about the uses to which knowledge is put? In seeking answers to these questions, we hope to hone those critical and analytical skills that will allow us to become sophisticated producers/consumers of creative output.
|Instructor: Jennifer McCrickerd||Crosslist: None|
HONR 104: American Philosophy, 3 credit hrs.
A study of the central texts and ideas of American philosophy from transcendentalism in the nineteenth century to pragmatism in the twentieth, readings will include but not be limited to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William James, John Dewey, W.E.B. DuBois, Nelson Goodman and Catherine Elgin.
|Instructor: Jennifer McCrickerd||Crosslist: PHIL 109|
HONR 114: Religions of DSM: Buddhism, 3 credit hrs.
This course serves as an introduction to a particular religious tradition with an emphasis on how that tradition is practiced in the greater Des Moines area. Among the course requirements are frequent site visits to a local religious community and the facilitation of digital stories by and about that religious community.
|Instructor: Leah Kalmanson||Crosslist: REL 114|
HONR 121: Comparative Religion, 3 credit hrs.
This course serves as both an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of comparative religion and an exercise in the interdisciplinary practice of comparative religion. (Note that comparative religion does not rate and rank religions but rather identifies and explains the similarities and differences between religions.) The introductory component of the class considers the strengths and weaknesses of several different models and methods of comparing religions, while the practical component takes up the actual comparison of a number of different religions with respect to the theme of "ineffability," the class will also produce multidisciplinary notion that divine beings or mystical experiences transcend our ability to speak about them. (Optimally, the class will also produce multidisciplinary explanations of these comparisons.) The class is designed to accompany The Comparison Project, Drake University's public program in comparative religion. This means that the religions the class compares and the writings the class reads will be determined by the programming of TCP, and that the scholars who participate in TCP will visit our classroom. Assignments include frequent reading responses and four five-page papers.
|Instructor: Timothy Knepper||Crosslist: REL 121|
HONR 128: Minds, Brains, and Computers, 3 credit hrs.
What is it to "have" a mind? Are minds, "things"? If so, are they physical things? What is the relationship between your mind and your brain/body? Can computers think, feel, and be conscious? Might you be a computer? In this class we will critically evaluate a variety of answers to these questions and the arguments given for those questions. We will start by examining some traditional approaches to the relationship between mental and physical phenomena, including dualism, logical behaviorism, mind/brain identity theory, and functionalism. Next, we will consider the nature and locus of intentionality and consciousness and how the phenomena of intentionality and consciousness may bear on theories about the mind/body relationship. We will also examine the "common-sense" appeal to beliefs, desires, and intentions in explaining human behavior and explore whether and/or to what extent those explanations can be illuminated, supplemented, revised, or undermined by empirical science. Finally, we will look at some recent work on mind, embodiment and action, and consider the extent to which this work provides an alternative to the traditional accounts of the mind/body relationship. Our discussion of these issues will be informed by the arguments of prominent philosophers, as well as theoretical and empirical developments in psychology, computer science and neuroscience.
|Instructor: Martin Roth||Crosslist: PHIL 130|
HONR 138: Constructing Normal, 3 credit hrs.
This course will explore social, cultural, individual, and structural definitions of "normal" and "abnormal" in the United States. We will consider the issue through a range of interdisciplinary sources including media, literature, ethnography, history, science, and public policy. The course will address such issues as disability, sexuality, gender, race, and socioeconomic status in an attempt to understand how social definitions of normality shape our views of ourselves and others, as well as how they are implicated in the maintenance of power relations. We will consider the ways understandings of normal are contested and shifting in the contemporary United States at individual community, cultural and structural levels of society. Students will be required to conduct original research as part of research groups focusing on various aspects of normality/abnormality. Students will write several short papers throughout the semester that draw on course readings as well as their research projects. At the end of the semester they will revise relevant short essays for inclusion in their larger research papers.
|Instructor: Sandra Patton-Imani||Crosslist: SCSS 150|
HONR 146: Restorative Justice, 3 credit hrs.
Restorative justice is a perspective that views crime as a harm against people and the community, which needs to be addressed through the involvement of offenders, victims, and the community. This course provides an introduction to the principles and practices behind restorative justice. A restorative justice movement has been growing dramatically globally in the past couple of decades. Along with this growth come many challenges, pitfalls, and critics. The course is designed to allow students to struggle along with the experts in trying to navigate the opportunities and challenges, the success stories and the pitfalls that accompany restorative justice programs. In the process, students will explore questions about justice, crime, imprisonment, punishment, rehabilitation, forgiveness, and the purpose of a legal system. The course relies heavily on international perspectives to learn about these issues. Prereq. one Sociology course or consent of instructor.
|Instructor: Nancy Berns||Crosslist: SCSS 146|
HONR 154: American Literature to 1900, 3 credit hrs.
In this American Literature course, we will read some "classics" and famous authors alongside a broader exposure to popular print culture. We will focus on several popular genres-- the captivity narrative, the slave narrative, the sketch, magazine writing and the historical romance- as we assess what people were reading in the past. Discussion will focus on issues of "value" and appeal to readership as well as questions about how we read the material today in relation to how it was perceived in the past. The class will also spend a significant amount of time on short research projects, in which groups will investigate primary documents, like lists of property on slave plantations, nonfiction on household management, and tour guides, to explore the connections and differences between what we call "literature" and other kinds of writing. Readings will include Hobomok by Lydia Maria Child, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, writings by Hawthorne, Irving, and Melville and magazines/newspaper writings by Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Fanny Fern.
|Instructor: Elisabeth West||Crosslist: ENG 152|
HONR 158: Phenomenology & Existentialism, 3 credit hrs.
Phenomenology and existentialism are arguably the only truly innovative philosophies developed in the twentieth century. They both came about as a reaction to what was perceived as the overly abstract and theoretical nature of philosophy as it had developed up to that point. The "founder" of modern phenomenology, Edmund Husserl, believed that philosophy had become too far removed from everyday existence, where life, as human beings live it, really takes place. He tried to evolve a philosophical method which would tear away the layers of abstraction and return us to an appreciation of "the things themselves." This course will try to recapture the excitement of "discovering existence" which permeated German philosophy early in the century. We will trace the development of phenomenology and existentialism from its precursors, namely Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, through to its "new beginning" in the work of Edmund Husserl, to its flowering in the influential teachings of his student, Martin Heidegger. Along the way, we will also read selections from Heidegger's most influential students, including Hans- Georg Gadamer, Hannah Arendt and Emanuel Levinas. We will conclude with essays from the French existentialists Sartre, Camus, and Merleau-Ponti. This course is appropriate for Juniors and Seniors with some prior experience in philosophy and a serious interest in thinking.
|Instructor: Leah Kalmanson||Crosslist: PHIL 110|
HONR 161: Africa/Atlantic Slave Trade, 3 credit hrs.
The immense growth of slavery and slave trade research in the last quarter century has made examinations of unfree labor a major issue for world research. Studies of Atlantic slavery have generated the bulk of that research, and as a result have challenged many traditional perceptions of that trade and its associated system of slavery. However, despite the unquestioned value of these recent analyses, most of these studies have looked at Atlantic slavery from the American side of the ocean. Consequently, the African nature of Atlantic slavery has often lacked close scrutiny. This course has two goals: 1) to root Atlantic slavery and its trade in its African context, and 2) to help incorporate recent research findings into popular understandings of the Atlantic trade. The major argument of this course is that one cannot know why the Atlantic trade happened as it did nor how Atlantic slavery developed as it did without understanding the context which produced the people who were sold into slavery. Therefore, the course looks at the influence political, social, economic, and cultural factors in Africa had on the making of slavery and the slave trade both in Africa and the Americas. In doing so, the course will challenge students to rethink their own notions of Atlantic slavery as they analyze and critique the ideas encountered in this course.
|Instructor: Glenn McKnight||Crosslist: HIST 161|