Honors Course Offerings
Honors classes are characterized by their presentation of interesting and challenging coursework in a supportive, seminar-style format where you will actively engage in the learning process through vibrant discussions. In all your Honors classes, you are expected to demonstrate aptitude in critical thinking, communication, ethical reasoning, and creative exploration of ideas. You will work toward developing these skills further through full participation in the reading, writing, and research projects that are the focus of each Honors class.
For information on our classes, use the links below
Seminar in critical reading/writing
Honors 190 is a reading- and writing-intensive course designed to introduce you to a liberal studies education. An important part of this course is your acquisition of specific skills:
- close reading
- analytical writing
- cogent speaking
- attentive listening
- critical thinking
The readings for this class, as well as the tasks required of you, have been carefully chosen and arranged in order for you to attain and enhance these skills.
Your 190 instructors come from a variety of departments and will help you to define and explore these key issues in a manner that reflects their unique training, specialties, and perspectives.
Select Spring 2015 Honors classes
No Sh*t Sherlock
HON 291, Spring 2015
Instructor Kevin Ketchner
Sherlock Holmes is perhaps the foremost hero of the post-Darwinian world. His silhouette alone is instantly recognizable, his partnership with Watson is the first bro-mance; his science of deduction which establishes the use of forensics and analysis to dismiss superstition, fear, and ignorance is a staple of primetime television from the US to Finland. Holmes, it could be argued, is the first pop icon of the modern age. The aim of this course is to consider the enduring fascination of this character and how we see community, heroes and villains, science and art through a selection of mediums that have been used to update the personae of Sherlock Holmes, including literature, graphic novels, audio renditions, television and film that reveal the detective’s place in popular culture. We can gain insight about a society from the way it reinvents and embraces a Sherlock Holmes for each new generation.
The Hero's Journey
HON 291, Spring 2015
Instructor Emily Davalos
Why do our heroes grip us? What is it about them that can rip our hearts out as well as make them soar? What is it about our heroes that opens a door for us to enter their world and travel step by step alongside them without growing weary? Join me as we analyze our favorite literary heroes in the fantastical worlds of Middle Earth and Hogwarts in our exploration of the hero’s journey in the epic tales Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. What do these tales teach us about character, love, friendship, truth-telling, heroism, justice, law, war, punishment, identity, meaning, death, and free will? Universities across the country are offering courses on Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter because, as Melinda Finberg explains, they help us “understand why we are so driven to invent stories about battling inhuman powers to learn what it means to be human” (“When Harry Potter is in the Classroom, Cameras Role”). We will also focus on language and how it brings our worlds alive for us in light of Tolkien’s languages and Rowling’s use of Latin.
HON 294, Spring 2015
Professor: Will Cordeiro
In this course we will examine the popular, award-winning AMC television series Breaking Bad from a variety of perspectives. We will closely read each episode as well as interpret and contextualize the series from a cultural studies framework. In addition, we will look at contemporary social and philosophical issues that the show brings up, including debates about drugs, gangs, family structure, disabilities, death, violence, black markets, neoliberalism, borders, morality, egoism, and the nature of good and evil. We will also examine the literary references, geopolitical background, and cinematic influences behind the show.
HON 293, Spring 2015
Professor: Ted Martinez
This class will ask the question, what happens to the human spirit and psych when we restore landscapes? Do we restore a bit of humanity when we restore our connection to the land? Readings will focus on ecological restoration, restoring wildlife and habitat and the human spirit. Field trips will be done to perform ecological restoration and experience restored landscapes. We will see firsthand if these experiences have an effect upon the psych of the course participants. Reading, discussion and learning will be done in class and in the out of doors.
The Twilight Zone
HON 294, Spring 2015
Professor: Robyn Martin
Why study the 1950s? Was it much different than any other decade? How true, really, were the stereotypical representations of conformity, consumerism, big cars, commies, atomic power, poodle skirts and Elvis?
Using episodes of the original television series The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) as a foundation for analysis, we’ll examine this decade from a historical, socio-political and cultural perspective and discover how this series informs and frames the important issues experienced in the United States and why both the series and the decade still resonates and shapes our collective thought and action today.
HON 294-2, Spring 2015
Steamboat Willie, Epcot Center, princess obsessions, FantasyLand, and animated films have been a part of our culture for generations, entertaining young and old alike. In this class, nothing will be considered sacred about the Disney enterprise as we investigate its effect on society through history, gender issues, racial issues, economics, management, corporate culture, politics, community development, and the arts (to name a few) and consider whether Disney reflects our culture or creates it. Has Disney been a positive, educational influence on our children, values, and culture? Or is it an "evil," monolithic corporation to be feared and despised, preying on an insatiable need for entertainment in pursuit of profit? Global perspectives and popular culture critiques guide this class.
...in the Wild West
HON 392, Spring 2015
Despite commonly presenting itself as objective, the creation of historical narrative is nearly always a subjective process that creates, depends upon, and upholds the values of a given culture at a given time. In 39X we will use historiographical methods to explore “the forces which have shaped the present” myth of the “Wild West,” how the myth is commonly mistaken as historical fact, and that myth’s effect on the actual peoples and communities who populate the land. Using scholarly essays, popular fiction, cowboy and cowgirl poetry, western film, opera, published diaries, newspaper articles, and the special collections Colorado Plateau archive, we will explore the making of the Wild West myth, the creation of history, and the privileged and oppressive forces that the myth both appropriates and conceals.