About Honors

Honors Opportunities at DU

Course Offerings 2013-14

Honors Courses Winter Quarter 2014

The following Honors courses are offered Spring Quarter 2012 to fulfill University common curriculum and Honors Program Requirements.  For students who have already met university Humanities (AHUM/AISC) or Social Science ( SOCS/SISC) requirements, please contact us regarding other options.

Analytical Inquiry: Society and Culture (AHUM Foundations):

RLGS 2103-1 (CRN 4361):  Religions of China and Japan, Ginni Ishimatus, MW 2:00-3:50, TBA
Course Description:
This course introduces you to the study of religion through an exploration of the major religious and ethical traditions of China and Japan. Using lecture, discussion, and diverse readings that include translations of religious texts, an autobiography, and scholarly analyses, we will examine the historical development of religious doctrines and practices and examine how people experience them in daily life. Discussion and writing will provide the main avenues through which you will learn both to appreciate and to think critically about East Asian religious and cultural traditions. In the process, you will also learn how the study of religion differs from the practice, belief in, and advocacy of religion.

HIST 1510-1 (CRN 4814):  War and the Presidency, Susan Schulten, MW 10:00-11:50, TBA
Course Description:
This course examines five wars in American history, and the relationship of those wars to the sitting presidents. Together we explore the reciprocal influence of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson and World War One, Franklin Roosevelt and World War Two, and Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War. We will pursue questions such as: To what extent were these presidents’ reputations enhanced or damaged by their experience with war? Did the presidents control the nation’s entry into these wars? What latitude did they have in decision making, and to what extent were they simply responding to circumstances? How did they understand their position, at the time as well as in retrospect? How has the Constitution fared in these four conflicts? More generally, is it useful to compare these cases, or is each so radically different from the others that comparisons are of limited use?

Scientific Inquiry:  Society and Culture (SOCS Foundations)

ECON 1020-3 (CRN 1191):  Micro- and Macroeconomics, Yavuz Yasar, TR 12:00-1:50, TBA
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to economics, a social science that studies the workings of the economy. It has developed through argument and debate among economic theorists as well as the development and transformation of actual economic institutions. In that sense it differs from natural science, the subject of which is given and is subject to universally applicable laws. On the other hand, like the other social sciences, economics must recognize the ever-changing nature of economic theories, ideas, and institutions in the workings of the economy, just as the workings of the economy play a role in the formation of economic thought. For these reasons, an understanding of modern economies and economic theory, even at the introductory level, requires two different but related forms of historical study: economic history (the study of actual economic institutions and relations and their development), and the history of economic thought (the study of the development of economic theory itself). In addition, since the economy is only one element in a complex society, some understanding of its place among the other elements of society is necessary. Thus, it is necessary to study modern economy and economic theory from an interdisciplinary perspective that utilizes explanations from other social sciences such as psychology, sociology, political science, etc. As a result, the course aims to expose students to different lines of thought and different perspectives without suggesting who is right or who is wrong. On the basis of this understanding, the course is designed to provide an overview of the evolution of economic institutions and ideas from a historical and critical point of view. In this course, students will acquire basic tools to understand what economics is all about, why the current economic system (i.e., capitalism) is different than previous ones, how it works, and how thinkers have understood and interpreted it so far. Ultimately, this course aims to help students to understand current social and economic issues from a broad and critical perspective.

SOCI 1810-3 (CRN 4366), Understanding Social Life, Peter Adler, TR 10:00-11:50, Sturm 411
Course Description:
This course is an introduction to the discipline of sociology and to the insights it provides into the human condition. Like any discipline that has developed over a period of time, sociology includes a body of knowledge articulated in a scholarly literature. Central to this literature are a number of theories, systematic inquiries into the nature of social life and human behavior. Some of these theories are quite broad in scope, attempting to make statements about society in the most general sense. Others are narrower in the questions they pose, focusing on a particular facet of social life. From both perspectives, the major questions we will ask this quarter are: How is social order possible? Why doesn’t human interaction turn into chaos?

Scientific Inquiry:  Nature and Physical World (NATS Foundations):

GEOG 1265-1 (CRN 2471): "Global Environmental Change and Sustainability II," Donald Sullivan, MW 12:00-1:30,  TBA
Course Description:
“Global Environmental Change” is a three-quarter honors course that introduces students to the fundamental processes that govern Earth’s changing physical and biological environments. The first quarter explores the dynamic nature of Earth’s atmosphere including processes that affect weather and climate, the role of energy in the atmosphere and the causes and potential implications of global climate change.  The second is devoted to the impacts of global change on the biosphere including topics such as biodiversity, evolution and speciation, and the origins of agriculture.  The third quarter of the sequence focuses on terrestrial landscapes and environments, including changes from plate tectonics to human modifications of Earth’s land surface.

 Labs for "Global Environmental Change and Sustainability II":      

CRN 2472 — GEOG 1265-2: Donald Sullivan, R 10:00-11:50, Boettcher West 16
CRN 2473 — GEOG 1265-3: Donald Sullivan, R 12:00-1:50, Boettcher West 16
CRN 2474 — GEOG 1265-4: Donald Sullivan, R 2:00-3:50, Boettcher West 16

 If accepted for the major or minor sequence in Biology, Chemistry or Physics, AP or IB credit might also satisfy some or all of your honors natural science requirement. Geography majors should take Honors GEOG. Students can also fulfill their Honors natural science requirement by taking full-year sequences starting with the following courses:

BIOL 1010: Concepts in Biology – Physiological Systems, restricted to Biology majors and minors (beginning AY 2012-2013, a two-quarter sequence that begins Winter quarter); or the Biology Individualized Option, which concludes with General Ecology)
CHEM 1010: General Chemistry
PHYS 1111: General Physics 1
PHYS 1211:  University Physics (which begins Winter quarter; correquisite Math 1951) 

Please note:  classes formerly classified as NATS are named according to respective departments and will not count toward Honors credit.  Only the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics sequence numbers listed above can count toward the Honors requirement.

Advanced Seminar (CORE: Writing Intensive):

ASEM 2666-1 (CRN 2508):  Murder in America, Lisa Pasko, TR 4:00-5:50, Sturm 433
Course Description:
Lethal violence in the U.S. is a constant and complex social problem that far exceeds that of other developed nations. As an example, the homicide rate in London is one-tenth of New York City’s, while Sydney’s homicide rate is less than 5% of what Los Angeles experiences. What is going on in America? Are we "built" for murder and what does that mean? How have homicide rates changed over the decades, and why do we have such an on-going fascination with lethal violence? In order to examine these queries as well as other facets about homicide, this course will cover: (1) the definitions, scope, causes, and historical trends of murder in America over the last century; 2) an in-depth case study investigation into why the murder rate dropped dramatically in New York City in the late 1990s; 3) past and current sociological/cultural, biological, and psychological explanations for lethal violence, including a concentrated look at serial, mass, and spree killers, school shootings, and mothers who kill; 4) crime policies and techniques aimed at reducing lethal violence; and 5) media representations of homicide defendants and victims. Overall, students will think critically about why the U.S. homicide rate is high and what policies can be actualized in order to reduce murder in America.

ASEM 2670-1 (CRN 3191): Development in Latin America, Rafael Ioris, TR 2:00-3:50, TBA
Course Description:
This is a writing-intensive interdisciplinary advanced seminar course centered on examining the protracted efforts made by several countries in the Latin America in order to promote different projects of economic and political development. The course is designed to students of various fields and disciplines (such as Political Science, History, Sociology, Anthropology, International Relations, Business, Economics, etc.) who commonly share an interest in studying the theme of national development and in seeking a better understanding of the problems, challenges, and alternatives for social improvement in the Latin American region and/or in developing societies in general.  Among other topics, we will analyze the incorporation of Latin American countries into the international economy and the consolidation of its local oligarchic regimes (circa 1880s to 1930s); the importance of populism and elite pacts (of the 1940s and 1950s) for the promotion of industrial programs; the process of radicalization of the left, the democratic breakdowns and the ensuing military rule (of the mid-1960s and 1970s); the transitions to democratic rule (1980s); the implementation of market-oriented reforms (1990s); and the current challenges for democratic consolidation, social equality, and poverty alleviation. 

Our central goal is to understand whether these various projects represented in any way as process of change, innovation, and social inclusion in the historical evolution of Latin American or whether the path of historical continuity and economic exclusion was the norm of development promotion in the region.

Honors Seminars

HNRS 2400-1 (CRN 1932): Che Guevara, Matthew Taylor, M 4:00-5:50, MRB 1
Course Description:
Che Guevara’s spirit lives on. Upon the murder of Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1967 the Che myth grew and spiraled beyond control, especially beyond the control of Western governments. Millions around the world mourned and continue to mourn his passing. The face of Che adorns millions of t-shirts around the world and revolutionary movements adopt Che Guevara’s image as the symbol of their struggle for freedom. Moreover, scholars flock to the Che Guevara Studies Center in Havana. The list is long. In short, we see the image of Che everywhere, but what do we really know about this young man from an aristocratic Argentine family who, at the age of thirty-sex, left behind all of his accomplishments (including important positions in the revolutionary Cuban government) and family to try and save the world with his dream of a tri-continental revolution? In this seminar we will begin to understand Che Guevara and how he came to fight for change and then go on to symbolize revolution. To understand Che we will read some of his writing and what others have written about him. The goal of this seminar is to understand the man behind one of the most popular and easily recognized images of the last 100 years. 

HNRS 2400-2 (CRN 4558): Migration and Diaspora Narratives, Maik Nwosu, M 12:00-1:50, TBA
Course Description:
We will examine the movement and resettlement of people from one locality to another – especially across borders. Focusing on different regions of the world – Africa, Asia and Oceania, Europe and America, we will study the nature and consequences of migration from historical, socioeconomic, and literary (or artistic) perspectives. Because the movement of people includes the relocation of memories, we will closely study migration and diaspora narratives, which provide insights into a contemporary phenomenon that references the earliest history of humanity. 

HNRS 2400-3 (CRN 2201): Engaging the Bard I: DU Students and the DPS Shakespeare Festival, Shawn Alfrey, R 3:00-5:00 MRB 1 and on site at Carson Elementary School
Course Description:
In this course DU students will work with the students and program of the Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival. Originally begun as a way to support DPS efforts in literacy and enrichment, the Festival takes place every May in the Galleria and on the grounds of the Denver Center for Performing Arts. It involves around 5000 DPS students and has been a model for school districts from San Diego to Germany. DU students will work with a group of elementary students as they master a scene and then perform it at the Festival. The course is offered both winter and spring quarters to meet the needs of the DPS students, whose semester runs from January through May. Those taking the course in the Winter quarter will choose and edit the scene, help cast students and help students understand the play and block it. Those taking the course in the Spring will see them home, including the actual performance at the Festival. In addition to working with the Carson students, coursework will include readings and discussion regarding Shakespeare’s text, the role of Shakespeare as a focus of cultural value, and the history and purpose of mass education.

HNRS 2400-4 (CRN 3450): Mind of a Leader, Karen Loeb, W 10:00-11:50, TBA
Course Description:
This course is intended to explore advanced topics in Leadership by examining the relation between human development and leadership behaviors that extend beyond a single occupational or professional domain. Howard Gardner’s book, Leading Minds, will serve as primary text, in which he explores this relationship, as documented in the stories of eleven well-known 20th century leaders. Some of these leaders were direct, some indirect, some innovative, some visionary, some domain-specific, some national leaders. This approach differs from the classical approaches of psychology personality theorists who study leadership behaviors or traits as well as more recent conceptions of transactional and transformational models of leadership which promote a focus on the interactions between leaders and followers. Gardner’s model, instead, emphasizes the connection of the minds of leaders and followers through the compelling narratives that leaders convey. In this course, students will also critically examine the applicability of Gardner’s model to 21st century leaders who head nations, who work for women’s rights in Muslim countries, who campaign on behalf of indigents’ rights in South Africa and India, and who expose public policies that restrict opportunities for minorities and women.

HNRS 2400-5 (CRN 3452): Pets, Partners or Pot Roast, Gary Brower, W 2:3:50, MRB 1
Course Description:
“Fish are friends, not food” is the mantra of Bruce the Shark’s 12-step program in Finding Nemo. He wants to counter the impression that sharks are just “mindless eating machines”. Are humans simply “mindless ‘eating’ machines?” “Pets, Partners or Pot-Roast?” seeks to address this question. This is not a course about vegetarianism. Nor is it about animal rights, per se. It is about human morality and ethics. It is an opportunity to engage the question of whether or not humans are simply mindless consumers, users, or abusers, of animals—the emphasis on “mindless”. More specifically, it is engaging in a conversation about moral consistency and ethical consistency . . . or inconsistency, as the case may be. The world’s religious traditions, and the disciplines of philosophy and science will form the backdrop as we consider issues such as: wildlife and the environment, animals in research, service animals, animals as livestock, animals as pets, and animals as food. Throughout the course we will be asking the questions of “WHERE do we draw the line” on certain issues (e.g., which animals have souls; when is research on animals permissible; how much should we spend on Fido’s health, etc.), as well as “HOW do we draw that line”—that is, what informs our decision-making (‘public good’, logic, science, personal morality, religion, etc.), especially as different authorities provide, and advocate for, contradictory positions? 

HNRS 3991-0 (CRN 1650), Honors Independent Study
For projects under the guidance of DU faculty that you would like to work on for Honors credit, to be approved by the Honors Program.


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