Fall 2011

Honors Courses for Fall 2011

The Honors Track is an alternative to Drake's standard general education (AOI) curriculum. The Honors Program curriculum is continually changing, and Honors Program seminars unite the diverse interests of faculty and students to explore topics that cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines. The Program's small class size and unique subjects promote independent thinking, intellectual creativity, and the courses are writing-intensive and follow a discussion –based, collaborative inquiry format.

Course numbers and descriptions are listed below.

NOTE:

  • Students on the Honors Track should take a diversified curriculum. No more than 6 credit hours of cross-listed courses from a particular department may apply towards the Honors track.
  • Students may apply ONE summer web-course (cross-listed with Honors) towards Honors track requirements.
  • Students who participate in the Honors Learning Community (FYS 025 & POLS 001) may apply the three credit hours from the political science course toward the 15 elective hours of Honors credits for the Honors Track of the Drake Curriculum.

Please contact honors.program@drake.edu if you have any questions.

Courses are numbered as follows:

50-99: first-year students, sophomores, juniors and seniors (unless otherwise designated)

100-149: suggested for sophomores-seniors

150-197: junior-senior seminars

198: Honors Program independent study (or approved equivalent)

199: Honors Program Senior Thesis/Project

HONR 001. Honors First Year Practicum.
HONR 053. Life & Teachings of Jesus. Brad Crowell.
HONR 066. Beatles Popular Music & Society. Todd Evans.
HONR 070. Blogs & Bullets: Social Media/Change. Mahmoud Hamad.
HONR 080. Health: Private Industry/Human Experience? Andrea Kjos.
HONR 093. Human Evolutionary Psychology. Steven Faux.
HONR 101. Honors Practicum Guide Experience. Angela Battle.
HONR 103. Science in the Art of Leonardo Da Vinci. Athan Petridis.
HONR 106. Comparative Religion. Timothy Knepper.
HONR 107. Iconic Culture. Bill Lewis.
HONR 122. Language & Interpretation. Timothy Knepper.
HONR 141. Theories of Knowledge/Belief. Martin Roth.
HONR 148. Nazi & Resistance Cultures. Vibs Petersen.
HONR 153. Global Reproductive Politics. Sandi Patton-Imani.
HONR 154. American Literature to 1900. Lisa West.
HONR 155. Culture, Knowledge, Power. Vibs Petersen.
HONR 162. Urban Environmental History. Amahia Mallea.
HONR 175. South African Literature. Melisa Klimaszewski.
HONR 177. Gender & Violence. Nancy Berns.
HONR 192. Space Matters II. Vibs Petersen.
HONR 195. Women & the Law. Sally Frank.

HONORS FIRST YEAR PRACTICUM
HONR 001
1 CREDIT

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Honors First Year Practicum meets one hour per week and is designed by the Director of Honors. Two honors students of junior or senior standing will lead weekly seminars with small groups of 10 – 12 first year students interested in the Drake University Honors (DUH) program.

This course is designed as a practicum for entering first year students. Nuts and bolts information about the workings and expectations of the Honors program will be examined alongside some of the practical learning methodologies deemed critical to navigating the distinctive Honors curriculum. Students will work in small groups of 10 – 12 peers. Groups collaborate with and are guided by two experienced upper level Honors students working closely with the Director of Honors to design topics relevant to the experience. Expect to get to know the program, the university. Expect to define and apply practices of active reading, active writing, active listening and active discourse to selected themes and expect to take the initiative as you activate "responsibility for one's own learning". All individuals interested in the Honors program are strongly encouraged to take Honors First Year Practicum

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

Entering First-Year Honors students

BRAD CROWELL
LIFE & TEACHINGS OF JESUS
HONR 053/REL 053
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

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.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

This course is intended for first-year and sophomore students.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Brad Crowell is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and has taught at Drake for four years, including numerous courses cross-listed with the Honors Program. While his research interest is in the intersection between Postcolonial Theory and Biblical Studies, he has taught broadly in religious studies. He has offered courses in World Religions, Islam, Postcolonialism and the Bible, and various courses on the Scriptures of the western religious traditions.

TODD EVANS
BEATLES POPULAR MUSIC/SOCIETY
HONR 066
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Often referred to as the greatest rock and roll band of all times, The Beatles influence on popular music and contemporary culture is unquestionable. The societal context of the growth of Rock and Roll will serve as the framework for this course, which will chart the Beatles rapid rise to fame, their careers as a band and solo artists, and their continued impact on popular music and culture in the 21st century.

This course will provide an in-depth, record-by-record, look at the music of this extraordinary group and the unique songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Additionally, the course will explore the development of global cross-promotional marketing, as applied by the Beatles and their corporation, Apple. Designed for non-music majors, this course will help to develop critical listening skills, and demonstrate the progression of musical concepts and themes still being applied in popular music today.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

The course will be open first to sophomores. Junior and senior students may enroll once sophomores have had a chance to register.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Todd Evans is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in Electronic Media production. A self-professed "garage band rock and roller" in his youth, Evans' recent research presentations, "The Music of the Beatles and Disrupted Parental Relationships", and "Paul McCartney: Healing Wounds Through Lyrics, Images and Performance" demonstrate the timeless appeal and indefinable interest in the "greatest rock and roll band of all time."

Evans has also served as Associate Dean to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Director of the Drake TeleMedia Center, during his 27-year tenure at Drake University.

MAHMOUD HAMAD
BLOGS & BULLETS: SOCIAL MEDIA & CHANGE IN THE THIRD MILLENIA
HONR 070
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

From Wikileaks revelations to Twitter and Facebook revolutions, the role of new media in shaping global political action is one of the most discussed but least understood phenomena confronting scholars and policymakers. Most scholars and policy makers seem to agree now that social media matter. Less clear is how, when, and why. This course investigates the impact of social media in developing and developed nation, democratic and authoritarian regimes in the 21st century.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

This course is intended for sophomore-level students.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Mahmoud Hamad joined the Politics Department in the fall of 2008. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at The University of Utah and his B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Cairo University, Egypt. His teaching and research interests focus on Middle East politics, comparative judicial politics, civil-military relations as well as religion and politics. Prior to coming to Des Moines, Mahmoud taught at Cairo University, BYU, and the University of Utah. Mahmoud received a designation as Higher Education Teaching Specialist from the University of Utah in 2008. During his graduate study, Mahmoud was a Fulbright scholar twice. Mahmoud attended Brandeis University’s 2008 Summer Institute for Israel Studies. His current research projects focus on the judicialization of politics in the Middle East.

ANDREA KJOS
HEALTH: PRIVATE INDUSTRY OR HUMAN EXPERIENCE? AN EXPLORATION OF MEDICAL SOCIOLOGY
HONR 080
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

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.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course is intended for sophomore-level students.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Dr. Kjos is an Assistant Professor of Social and Administrative Pharmacy. She earned her Ph.D. in Social and Administrative Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, and her Pharm.D. from Drake University College of Pharmacy. Her research focuses on patient decision-making processes relative to medications through application of health behavior theories and marketing models, economic trends and their effects on pharmaceutical drug benefits companies, and the changing dynamic of pharmacy practice models.

STEVEN FAUX
HUMAN EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY
HONR 093
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Human social behavior will be critically examined from the perspective of modern evolutionary theory. Do people behave in ways that tend to maximize their reproductive success? The course will examine the issues critically, and will use readings to facilitate vigorous classroom discussion. Topics include: the history of the Darwinian revolution, sexual selection, kin selection, human evolutionary history, the evolution of mating systems, strategies for reproduction, and Darwinian views of "moral" behavior – specifically, altruism and cooperation.

Evolutionary psychology has generated a great deal of controversy because it uses biology as a rudimentary explanation of the differences between male and female behavior. Does such a science promote the "status quo?" Can such a science be deconstructed as a political ploy? Or, is it possible that this science represents a great advance that achieves the original goals of Freud and reveals the inner workings of the human mind?

While the above controversies will receive active discussion, the primary focus of the course will be to determine what science can tell us about our prehistory and how that prehistory might reveal something about our behavior now. The goal of this class is to address the question: Is there such a thing as "human nature?"

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

This course is directed to life science majors and Honors Program students at the sophomore or junior levels. Prerequisite: An introductory psychology course or biology course.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Dr. Steven Faux received the Madelyn Levitt "Teacher of the Year" award in 2005, and the A&S "Teacher of the Year" award in 1995. Also, he was a former Director of the Honors Program. His areas of expertise include cognitive neuroscience, sensation & perception, and evolutionary psychology. To relax he plays chess and the piano (neither of which he claims expertise).

ANGELA BATTLE
HONORS PRACTICUM GUIDE EXPERIENCE
HONR 101
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course gives junior and senior level Honors students the opportunity to craft effective leadership skills to mentor small groups of 10 – 12 first year students enrolled in the Honors 001 First Year Practicum. Students collaborate in pairs as co-guides on development and implementation of curriculum, service and social activities for assigned first year groups. Co-guides will work closely with the Director of Honors to develop individualized curriculum for assigned groups to reflect the collective goals of sharing the nuts and bolts information of the Honors program and its strong community; initiating active learning, active reading, active discourse and active responsibility for one's own learning (developing intellectual curiosity) – methodologies recognized as critical to navigating the Honors curriculum. Co-guides have the opportunity to be independent thinkers, thoughtful leaders and effective communicators.

Students interested in becoming Honors Practicum Guides must complete the Honors Practicum Guide Application. Applications should be submitted via e-mail to honors.program@drake.edu by Friday, March 25.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

Sophomore, Junior, and Senior students who have been active in the Honors Program

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Associate Professor Angela Battle teaches all levels of painting in the Department of Art and Design and is the Director of the Honors Program. She holds the terminal degree of Master of Fine Arts in Painting form the University of New Mexico and with a bachelor's degree in biology, her professional interests in the intersections of art, nature and science are reflected not only in her own beeswax paintings but in the teaching of such courses as Microcosm/Macrocosm (a art and natural history course) and an interim term offering of landscape art and travel.

ATHAN PETRIDIS
SCIENCE IN THE ART OF LEONARDO DA VINCI
HONR 103
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Leonardo da Vinci was one the greatest geniuses of all times. A true Renaissance Man he excelled in the arts, the sciences and technology creating new directions in anything he worked on. A self-taught thinker and artist he managed to create works of unrepeatable beauty and complexity and ideas in multiple sciences that were often two hundred or more years ahead of his time. Even though his art masterpieces are very widely admired and some of his technological innovations have fascinated the imagination of youths everywhere his fundamental science work has not been known very well. In particular, it took the attentive investigation of scientists and engineers to reveal its width and depth. As an example, drawings that were previously thought to be random dwindling turned out to represent elaborate mathematical transformations. The most remarkable aspect of da Vinci's enormous body of work is that his art served his science and his science was educated by his artistic aesthetics. He did not consider them separate. In fact, they were two parts of the same relentless endeavor to discover truth and beauty in everything natural and human. Leonardo's diverse thought encompassed human and other animal anatomy and physiology, plant morphology, geology, mechanics, optics, waves, fluid dynamics, civil (town and canal) engineering, ballistics and mathematics. In all these fields his discoveries were depicted in specialized drawings but, remarkably, his "pure art" was often a tour-de-force of scientific information (for example, the "Virgin of the Rocks" is an impressive study in geology).

The course intends to present Leonardo's work as a unified, trans-disciplinary, to use a modern term, fashion. It will be inquiry-based and student driven. Each class will begin with a 15-minute presentation by a student (or two students) that will be followed by an hour of discussion guided by the instructor so that it remains focused. Two meetings (one week) will be dedicated to a special topic with a reading assignment from the major book. Each presentation will cover a subtopic. The weekly topics will follow the structure of the major text in a chronological sequence based on Leonardo's biography with cross-chronological investigations in the end. The subtopics for each meeting will be determined dynamically by the discussion in the previous meetings.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course will be appropriate for students in their sophomore year and beyond.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Dr. Athan Petridis is a theoretical particle and nuclear physicist. His research currently focuses on time-dependent relativistic quantum mechanics and non-extensive statistics. He uses computational and mathematical techniques. He has been a member of the PHENIX collaboration that discovered a new state of matter known as the Quark-Gluon Plasma that existed at the beginning of the Universe. He has taught 15 different courses at Drake University. He is also actively involved in music, poetry, philosophy and drawing.

TIM KNEPPER
COMPARITIVE RELIGION: ONE GOD FOR ALL?
HONR 106/PHIL 151/REL 151
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course serves as both an introduction to the academic, interdisciplinary field of comparative religion and an exercise in the 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 first third of the course functions as an intensive crash course in the religions of the world with respect to some comparative topic. (This year's topic is ultimate reality: What is ultimately real or true in the religions of the world? Can these different ultimate realities possibly be one and the same?) The second third of the course turns to the field of comparative religion itself, examining several recent theories and methods of comparison as well as their critics. The final third of the course asks students to draw on these theories and methods in formally comparing the religions of the world with respect to the comparative topic. (Students will be divided into six groups, each of which will represent one of the world's religions during a classroom interreligious dialogue.) Assignments include frequent one-page reading responses, two five-page papers, and a research/dialogue journal.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Trained as a philosopher of religion, I am currently working on two projects relevant to this course: the future of the philosophy of religion as thoroughly comparative field of inquiry, and the cross-cultural comparison of linguistic "expressions of inexpressibility" (saying that something—e.g., God or an experience of God—cannot be said).

BILL LEWIS
ICONIC CULTURE
HONR 107/SCSR 134
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course will address various kinds of "icons" that embody cultural ideals and express cultural tensions in their (inevitable) internal tensions. Iconic Culture will explore the range of uses of cultural icons such as monuments—like the Statue of Liberty or the Vietnam War Memorial, famous persons who represent some principle or ideal—George Washington, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, photographs that have come to stand for a time or place or idea—raising the flag at Iwo Jima or standing in front of the tank in Tianamen Square, and potent terms or phrases in political discourse—liberty, equality, and family values. In this course, we will explore the range of uses of cultural icons such as these to provide a broader sense of social and historical context.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

Open to all years.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

William Lewis is Associate Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of the Study of Culture and Society. He is a founding faculty member for the Paths to Knowledge course and he has offered numerous honors courses, including currently the Perspectives on American Character and Society Learning Community. He received his M.A., Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Speech Communication and his B.A. from Macalester College.

TIM KNEPPER
LANGUAGE & INTERPRETATION
HONR 122/PHIL 151
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course will serve as an introduction to a number of different theories or approaches to language in the Continental and Pragmatic philosophical traditions as focused through the theme of textual interpretation. Among the theories or approaches to be considered are hermeneutics (Gadamer), deconstruction (Derrida), semiotics (Eco), and neo-pragmatism (Rorty). Particular consideration will be given to the "debates" both between Gadamer and Derrida and between Eco and Rorty on the limits of textual interpretation. (Do texts have meanings? Do texts have more and less accurate meanings? Can texts mean just anything? Is there a limit to the plausible range of meanings that a text can have?) Assignments include frequent one-page reading responses and two papers of moderate length.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Although trained as a philosopher of religion, my research frequently takes me into the philosophy of language (broadly construed), particularly when searching for linguistic tools for the analysis of religious texts. Among these tools currently rank several semiotic staples—topics and isotopies, overcoding and undercoding, to name but two.

MARTIN ROTH
THEORIES OF KNOWLEDGE/BELIEF
HONR 141/PHIL 126
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

What can I know, and how can I know it? In this course, we will consider a number of significant issues in the theory of knowledge (also known as epistemology), including the criteria of meaning and truth, the possible objects and types of knowledge, the nature justification, the sources of epistemic authority, the relationship between perceiving, reasoning, and believing, and the problem of skepticism. Along with using traditional philosophical methods of analysis, our investigation will be informed by the methods and results of sociology, psychology, and biology.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Prerequisite: one philosophy course

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Martin Roth has taught several courses on general philosophy of science, as well as courses on philosophy of psychology and philosophy of evolutionary theory. His primary research interests are in the philosophy of cognitive science, theory of knowledge, and the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience.

SANDI PATTON-IMANI
GLOBAL REPRODUCTIVE POLITICS
HONR 153/SCS 150
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

This course will explore reproductive practices, policies, and politics throughout the world. We will consider local practices of human reproduction and production--the bearing and raising of children--in a transnational context, exploring the ways power relations shape social practices of family formation across the globe in varying ways. We will consider this issue through a range of interdisciplinary sources including media, literature, ethnography, history, and public policy. The course will address such issues as sexuality, birth control, pregnancy, abortion, adoption, and child rearing in the context of particular social and cultural traditions as they are affected by global power relations.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

This course is intended for sophomore level or higher.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Sandi Patton-Imani is an Associate Professor of American Studies in the Department for the Study of Culture and Society. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, a Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park, and is currently teaching Sociology and Women's Studies. Her previous teaching experience includes: Women's Studies and African American Studies, Macalester College; Women's Studies, University of Minnesota; Women's Studies, University of Maryland College Park; Women's Studies University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Afro-American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park.

LISA WEST
AMERICAN LITERATURE TO 1900
HONR 154/ENG 152
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

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 magazine/newspaper writings by Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Fanny Fern.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course is intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have completed of at least one English course or have permission of the instructor.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Dr. Lisa West is an Associate Professor in the Department of English. She received her BA in English and Environmental Studies from Williams College and a PhD in American Literature from Stanford University. Her primary interests are in early American literary culture, 18th and 19th century women writers, nature writing, and writings on "place". In her courses, students can expect an interdisciplinary focus, exposure to popular writings of the past, and a dedication to the close reading of texts through a variety of methodologies.

VIBS PETERSEN
CULTURE, KNOWLEDGE, POWER
HONR 155/SCS 110
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The last two decades of the twentieth century witnessed a variety of challenges to conventional disciplinary thought and practice in the humanities and the human and social sciences of western scholarship. Many of these involved a critical rethinking of usual understandings of culture, knowledge, and power, at the least. This course aims to introduce students to themes, questions, and ways of reading, writing, and speaking that may be loosely referred to as post-thought, analysis, and criticism that has constituted a major part of this challenge. Influences from French post-structuralism, cultural Marxism, feminism, psychoanalytic criticism, postcolonial studies, queer theory, critical race theory, and science/knowledge studies will be reviewed. Students will be asked to consider the emergence of these critical perspectives and practices relative to established and dominant ways of thinking and writing/speaking defined by existing disciplinary knowledge inside as well as outside the academy.

The following themes/perspectives will be central in the course:

  • The Importance of Discursive Practice
  • Reality as Socially Constructed
  • Reflexivity and Knowledge
  • Understanding Power
  • Difference
  • Theory as Resource for Activism
  • Ethics of Activism

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

This course is intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Vibeke Rützou Petersen was born in Denmark, and received her Ph.D. in German Studies from New York University. She came to Drake University in 1993 as the Director of Women's Studies. She is the author and editor of three books, and teaches courses in German studies, film studies and women's studies. She serves as department Chair for the Study of Culture and Society.

GLENN MCKNIGHT
AFRICA/ATLANTIC SLAVE
HONR 161/HIST 161
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
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 that 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.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course is intended for Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
"When people consider issues of globalization, they often ignore the role Africa and Africans play in the world economy and in global politics; they consider Africa as marginal to processes of globalization. I don't think this is correct and part of my goal in teaching about Africa is to dispel that notion. Recently, myself and some colleagues from the College of Business took a group of Drake students to Uganda on a study abroad course. Once there, students became very aware of the impact of global forces on Uganda and its people and the impact Ugandans have in return. What's interesting is that this same dynamic exists historically in terms of Africa's relationship with the world - a dynamic that is very apparent, ironically enough, in the history of Atlantic slavery." –Glenn McKnight

AMAHIA MALLEA
URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY
HONR 162/HIST 170/ ENSP 150
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

From geologic time to the present, the physical world has played a role in the history of cities, nations and the world. This course introduces the ways that the environment has been influential in shaping past human experience, as well as how humans have in turn shaped the environment. Themes include the interconnectedness of people and nature, health (ecological and social health are environmental issues), and the link between local and global. The course balances the physical (rocks, conservation and ecology) and the cultural (ideas, perceptions and images) environment. Likely topics: historicizing post-Katrina New Orleans; Midwestern flooding; urban planning; and campus sustainability.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:

This course is intended for Juniors and Seniors.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:

Professor Mallea's interests include Great Plains and West, 20th century American grassroots reform, food, agriculture and globalization, and film as social history. Her current research focuses on urban, environmental, and public health history of the Missouri River.

MELISA KLIMASZEWSKI
SOUTH AFRICAN LITERATURE
HONR 175/ENG 174
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course is an intensive study of twentieth-century literature from South Africa. Reading primarily novels, students will consider the ways in which writers use fiction to capture, represent, and comment upon the complexities of South African life and culture. We will, of course, spend a substantial amount of class time learning about apartheid. In addition to learning about the not-so-distant historical events that occurred during the apartheid era, we will consider the state of South Africa during the dismantling of apartheid and its present-day struggles. The writers we study will help us to examine the long-term effects of apartheid on race relations and economic inequity, for instance. We will also consider how the literature of this nation contributes to broader questions of what it means to form human identity, the troublesome propensity of human beings to oppress and inflict suffering on others, and the sometimes surprising methods in which suffering people survive assaults on their bodies as well as their imaginations.

The course will help students learn to sharpen their critical thinking skills, analyze literary texts in detail, incorporate relevant historical information into written analyses, and conduct research in a specialized area of study. Critical reading skills are a key element of critical thinking in this course. Students will closely analyze textual details as they build strong critical analyses in class discussion, written assignments, and exams. Students should expect to do substantial amounts of reading, writing, and revision for the course.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Melisa Klimaszewski received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego and did her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan. She comes to Drake after teaching at DePauw University. With specialties in nineteenth-century British literature and culture, critical gender studies, and the literature of South Africa, Dr. Klimaszewski teaches a wide range of courses. Likewise, her publications are varied. She has co-authored Charles Dickens, one of the inaugural biographies in Hesperus Press’s Brief Lives series, and she has edited several of Dickens's collaborative Christmas numbers, including the forthcoming Another Round of Stories by the Christmas Fire. Her publications also include journal articles on nineteenth-century domestic servants. Currently, Dr. Klimaszewski is completing a biography of Wilkie Collins for the Brief Lives series and pursuing a book-length project on Victorian nursemaids and wet nurses. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, being near large bodies of water, listening to Marvin Gaye, and watching Michigan football. She claims to run for exercise.

NANCY BERNS
GENDER & VIOLENCE
HONR 177/SCSS 177
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course examines gender and violence, including the social construction of the problem, interdisciplinary theoretical explanations, and the social and cultural contexts. In this course, we will explore how media, politics, and popular discourse impact policy for intervention and prevention, and individual understandings of gender and violence. Some specific themes include the discovery and conceptualization of gendered violence, such as how definitions, measurements, politics, and language affect the understanding and response to the problem. Students will discuss how particular research questions and theoretical assumptions impact social policy, political agendas, and overall understanding of gender and violence. We will explore the lived experience of gender and violence from the perspectives of victims and perpetrators. Lived experience will be examined in context of the intersections of gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, religion, and culture. Interdisciplinary explanations of gender and violence will be studied. And students will explore the social and cultural responses to gendered violence (and lack of response). Topics will include victim blaming, attitudes towards gendered violence, media images of violence, and the backlash against the battered women movement. We will also learn about programs and institutions that are involved with intervention in and/or prevention of cases of abuse and violence.

Students will be better prepared to:
1. Recognize and explain violent and abusive strategies.
2. Shape social policy for violence intervention and prevention.
3. Critically read research and discourse on violence.
4. Understand what factors contribute to violence, including interdisciplinary explanations of violence that go beyond the individual level of explanation.

INTENDED AUDIENCE
This course is intended for juniors and seniors who have had an entry-level course in Sociology or Anthropology.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Nancy Berns is an associate professor of sociology. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Berns teaches courses on gendered violence, social problems, media constructions, criminology, and restorative justice.

ERIC SAYLOR
MUSIC & POLITICS
HONR 178/MUS 119
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This class will examine different ways in which music and politics intersect and interact. This will involve the study of many topics, including (but not limited to) reception history (i.e., ways in which music may be intentionally or unintentionally politicized by audiences), legal directives (particularly censorship laws and conventions), how patronage may determine how and what kind of music is written, ways in which music helps articulate facets of identity (including racial, religious, gender, or national identity), how music may act as a socio-political critique, and the role of music as propaganda.

Since this is a seminar course, students should expect to participate extensively in discussion of the readings, assigned listenings, and topics under discussion each class period. Students will also be assigned a series of short papers over the course of the term that considers the readings or subjects for the week in greater depth. A final project/presentation will also be required, in which students will find examples of the issues discussed over the course of the term in contemporary society, and explain the issues surrounding their manifestation. We will be looking at works from both the western art tradition (particularly opera) and various popular streams including excerpts from the following texts, among others:

  • Running With the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, Robert Walser
  • Selections from Music and the Politics of Culture , ed. Christopher Norris
  • Music in the Third Reich , Erik Levi
  • Selections from National Music and Other Essays , Ralph Vaughan Williams
  • On Socialist Realism , Abram Tertz [Andrei Sinyavsky]
  • Swing Changes: Big Band Jazz in New Deal America, David Stowe
  • Parental Advisory: Music Censorship in America, Eric Nuzum
  • "Islam and Music: The Legal and Spiritual Dimensions," Sayyed Nasr, in Enchanting Powers: Music in the World's Religions, ed. Lawrence Sullivan

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course is intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. There are no prerequisites.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Eric Saylor is Associate Professor of Musicology and Music History. His area of specialization is twentieth-century British music, with particular interest in how composers' conception of nation affects the way they write and the way others perceive their music. Dr. Saylor is not a political scientist, but he knows a few, and holds various and sundry opinions on the nature of politics and culture that will likely get him into trouble one of these days. He was awarded the 2004 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award for the College of Arts and Sciences.

VIBS PETERSEN
SPACE MATTERS II
HONR 192/SCS 150
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course is the result of a collaboration between five students who participated in the premiere of the 1996 FYS, entitled Space Matters: Readings in Science Fiction taught by Dr. Vibeke Petersen. Together, they developed a Senior Seminar where theoretical issues could be explored in depth and with more sophistication.

The material for the course consists of visual and literary science-fiction as well as theoretical texts. The purpose is an investigation into the representation of gendered, raced, sexed, and classed subjectivities in an electronic age. We shall pursue the formation of such subjectivities in the realm of cyber-punk, feminist utopian, or general dystopian SF discourse and our examination will be guided by current questions from eco/scientists and feminist/historians of science about human-ness, genetic engineering, ethics, and ecology. Moreover, the texts pose questions about alternatives to a Euclidean space, whether the future is uninhabitable, manifestations of spirituality, and the treatment of post-nuclear holocaust stories, among others.

On a more general level, we shall discuss why a particular text was created at a particular time, what relevance it may have (had) to various historical contexts, and how it relates to us as men and women, and to the genre as a whole. We will be employing gender, sexuality, race, and class as the primary filters through which ideas of space and the future are sifted--both by us in the classroom and by the creators of the movies and novels.

INTENDED AUDIENCE
This course is a senior seminar. Junior or senior class standing, or instructor permission, is required.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Vibeke Rützou Petersen was born in Denmark, and received her Ph.D. in German Studies from New York University. She came to Drake University in 1993 as the Director of Women's Studies. She is the author and editor of three books, and teaches courses in German studies, film studies and women's studies. She serves as department Chair for the Study of Culture and Society.

VIBS PETERSEN
NAZI & RESISTANCE CULTURES
HONR 148/SCS 150
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
"How could it have happened here?" is a questions that has frequently been posed about Germany. Germany has arguably been the dominant country in western musical development since the sixteenth century and has witnessed an extraordinary flowering of literature, philosophy and the visual arts. In fact the country has been referred to as "das Land der Dichter und Denker" (the land of poets and thinkers). "How could it have happened here" is a major historical and philosophical question, which we cannot expect to answer in the present course but it will lie behind everything we do. We will therefore investigate what happened to German culture from January, 1933, when Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the German Reich to May, 1945, when Allied forces secured Germany's unconditional surrender in WWII. Implicit in the very concept of this course is that culture matters, and we, in the U.S., are not used to think of ourselves as a particularly "cultural" nation. However, culture mattered overwhelmingly when the Nazis came to power seventy years ago. An important subtext is that art and politics could not be separated (for Hitler, himself a failed artist, politics was an art). And this course will deal with the Nazi assault on the German culture and with the response to the resistance to that assault. Films and literary texts both from and after the period are the media through which we will examine the issues. This will be a seminar with common production of knowledge through discussion of assigned material. It is the goal that we emerge from the semester with a deeper understanding of a historical period, which is a momentous marker in the Western world. We will probe the connections between culture and politics, try to come to grasps with fascist cultural philosophies and last, but not least, learn how resistance can be exercised to and under a tyrannical and deadly regime.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course is intended for juniors and seniors.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Vibeke Rützou Petersen was born in Denmark, and received her Ph.D. in German Studies from New York University. She came to Drake University in 1993 as the Director of Women's Studies. She is the author and editor of three books, and teaches courses in German studies, film studies and women's studies. She serves as department Chair for the Study of Culture and Society.

SALLY FRANK
WOMEN & THE LAW
HONR 195/LAW 304
3 CREDITS

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This seminar reviews how sex role understandings have affected various aspects of the law, including criminal law; abortion and fetal protection; family law; and lesbian and gay rights. Standards of review for laws that discriminate on the basis of sex as opposed to other kinds of discrimination also are discussed, as is the issue of how women are treated in courts today with an eye toward students' future practice as lawyers.

INTENDED AUDIENCE:
This course is intended for juniors, and seniors.

INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION:
Sally Frank, Professor of Law, studies Women's Rights and also brought and won a landmark sex discrimination case against Princeton University and its all-male eating clubs. Her publication "Eve Was Right to Eat the 'Apple': The Importance of Narrative to the Art of Lawyering," Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, is a re-examination of the Eve narrative that proposes criminal defenses that Eve might have used. Professor Frank organizes and provides representation for survivors of domestic violence, and she is an activist with peace organizations.

HONR 198
HONORS INDEPENDENT STUDY
1-3 credits or approved equivalent
Preliminary agreement form must be signed prior to registration. Please click here to access the Honors Independent Study agreement form.

HONR 199
HONORS SENIOR THESIS
3 credits or approved equivalent

A preliminary agreement form must be signed by a faculty advisor and the Honors director prior to registration. Those interested in Honors Senior Thesis should contact the Honors office at (515) 271-2999 or honors.program@drake.edu. The Assistant Director of Honors or Honors Director can sign the preliminary agreement for your Honors Senior Thesis. Please click here to access the instructions and forms for Honors Senior Thesis.

Once enrolled in Honors Senior Thesis, students should prepare a 1-2 page proposal summary and submit it, with the appropriate form, to the faculty project mentor and the Honors Program Director for their signature and approval. The Honors Senior Thesis contract must be submitted to the Honors office by the third Friday of the semester. Students will be asked to present their findings at a student/faculty forum held prior to the student's graduation.

University News
August 21, 2014
The Comparison Project at Drake University will kick off its 2014–2015 programming with a meditation workshop on Saturday, Sept. 6 from 9 a.m.–noon.
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