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UNIVERSITY HONORS

HNRS-300
Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Usually offered every term. Prerequisite: permission of University Honors program director.

HNRS-300
001H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

Music and the Mind

This course explores the mental mechanisms by which music is created, listened to, and ultimately enjoyed. The course connects recent advances in psychology, neuroscience, music, and evolutionary biology to understand the sophisticated cognitive systems underlying this universal human art form and explores questions including how our brains convert raw sound waves (essentially molecular vibrations in the air) into meaningful musical concepts such as dance beats, catchy melodies, and consonant chords, and why there are no human cultures where music isn't made.

HNRS-300
002H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

The Idea of Nature

The terms nature and natural are basic concepts that shape modern attitudes about food, recreation, politics, and ecology; yet they remain notoriously difficult to define. This course surveys the historical evolution of philosophical thinking about nature from ancient to modern sources, along the way exploring some of the main differences between Euro-American ideas about nature and their counterparts in Islamic, Indigenous, and East Asian cultures. The central focus of this seminar style course is the role that ideas about nature have played in modern political philosophy (i.e. natural rights, natural reason, and the state of nature posited by Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, and many others).

HNRS-300
003H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

Advanced Writing: Creative Nonfiction

In this intensive prose writing course, students define, study, write, and revise examples of "creative nonfiction," a broad term that encompasses many different forms of composition. Those forms invite both the use of memoir and the kinds of research that provide the foundation for literary journalism. The class spends time on generative writing exercises and in workshops in which students sharpen the ability to consider critically both their own work and their classmates'.

HNRS-300
004H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

The American 1990s: Scandal, Conflict, and the Internet

This course looks at a decade defined by a remarkable variety of decisive moments and developments, including the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web and the spectacle of the impeachment of a U.S. president. The 1990s were further defined by spasms of domestic terrorism, by war and genocide, by a robust domestic economy in the decade's second half, and by innovations in cinema and popular culture. The course includes off campus research at the Library of Congress and 1990s-relevant exhibits at the Newseum.

HNRS-300
005H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

Nicaragua: The Unfinished Revolution

This course focuses on Nicaraguan history and its deep connection to, and dependence on, the United States; the U.S. support of the Somoza dictatorship; the Sandinista Revolution of 1979; the Contra War of the 1980s; Daniel Ortega's ascension to power; the alternative trans-oceanic canal; why Nicaragua has been largely immune to the gang violence that is bleeding other Central American nations; and, finally, how all this is covered by Western media. Note: An optional Honors Study/Travel trip to Nicaragua during spring break, HNRS-040 001H, is available for an on-site learning experience based on topics covered in class.

HNRS-300
001H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

Oral Histories of the Civil Rights Movement

This course surveys 1960s civil rights movement figures and instructs students in oral history techniques. Students conduct a tape-recorded interview with a 1960s civil rights figure to construct an oral biography.

HNRS-300
002H
UNIVERSITY HONORS
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Honors Colloquium in Arts and Humanities (3)

Dying, Death, and Afterlife

How do we die? What happens when we die? Is there something after death? These questions have inspired the human imagination like few others. This course examines texts from a variety of religious traditions-as well as philosophical, personal, and scientific accounts-of the dying and after-death experience, tracing the contours of how humans have navigated and imagined our mortality across different cultures. Students explore how depictions of the passage through the end of life, and then visions of both eternal comfort in Paradise and unceasing punishment in Hell, reflect the religious and philosophical anxieties about what it means to live.