HNR 1201: Educational Change
Dr. A. Blosser
In this course, students will hone their observation, interview, writing, and presentation skills as they become social scientists for the common good. Through extensive service in a local school, students will explore problems in the school’s community and through their research, become agents of educational change. This is a service learning course.
HNR 1202: Approaches to the Justice System
Dr. T. Dearden
Many of us desire to help others. Yet, we may wonder what is the best approach? How do I know if what I am doing has any lasting impact on people’s lives? This class explores these ideas by adopting a research approach to helping. Working with the Guilford County Reentry Council we will explore what happens to prisoners returning to society. Our service project involves reviewing programs offered to inmates and former inmates to see how/if they are being helped. By so doing we will be faced with complex questions such as: why do people commit crime? what is the purpose of the United States’ Justice System? and what programs will reduce crime and help inmates succeed? This is a service-learning course.
HNR 1203: Serving the Social (and Self-) Interest
Dr. D. Hall
This is a Social Scientific Inquiry Honors Course that focuses on the question, “How shall we serve the social interest when human behavior is often motivated by self-interest?” We will explore this question using tools from the social sciences. Students will experience the challenges voluntary associations face in the provision of public goods and services, reflecting critically on the questions regarding human behavior and the institutions that surround them. Private provision (voluntary, nonprofit, and for profit) will be compared with government provision, determining whether these approaches are complimentary or in competition for resources. This course has a service learning placement which requires a minimum of 25 service hours on projects selected for the course. Most of these service hours will be met outside our normal class meeting time.
HNR 1204: Learning to be a Mind Reader
Dr. S. Lipowski
The main topic of this course is theory of mind, which is the ability to attribute mental states (e.g., beliefs, desires) to oneself and to others. It also involves understanding that others act based on their beliefs, wishes, and goals, which may be different from ours. Students will learn how theory of mind develops throughout childhood, how it is measured, and how understanding varies by culture. Students will also learn how theory of mind is related to a variety of other topics, including autism, empathy, altruism, and religious beliefs.
HNR 1206: Social Collapse and Human Resilience
Dr. S. Rosenfeld
How do human beings adapt to a changing climate and how can societies determine their own futures are issues of tremendous importance. As we consider these issues in present times it is useful to look to the past to see if there is evidence of societies that have succeeded or collapsed in the face of a changing world. This course will examine the popular press books, Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse, as well as the response to those books, Questioning Collapse, in an attempt to resolve some of these issues. We will also draw upon original archaeological, historical, and environmental data to further contextualize these case studies. These issues are discussed from a deep historical as well as a present perspective in order to come to some conclusions about where we think human societies are headed.
HNR 1302: The Art of Never Being Wrong
Dr. A. Yanus
This section of HNR-1300 will equip students with the skills necessary to be educated consumers of the data-driven arguments that surround us daily. From public opinion data to fantasy sports statistics to consuming endless charts, tables, and graphs, we are constantly confronted with “big data”. All too often, the people who present this information to us are skilled data analysts tasked with persuading us to believe their “spin” on a issue. In this course, we will learn to approach these presentations with a critical eye. We will learn basic statistical methods that will help us to understand many of the most commonly used (and misused) tools of data analysis. We will also learn to approach others’ data with a careful eye and quantitative consciousness that will make us more informed citizens, less gullible purchasers, and more ethical producers. Students will demonstrate their knowledge and application of these ideas through a series of three unit and a culminating final project.
HNR 1304: Mathematics of Democracy
Dr. A. Graham-Squire
This course examines quantitative aspects of democracy, including methods of voting, apportionment, and redistricting/gerrymandering. Concepts will be taught through inquiry-based exploration, followed by simplified examples, and capped with real-world applications and data analysis from current and historical elections and events. While certain historical events, including laws passed and supreme court cases, will be included in the course to illuminate the context of changes to democracy, the focus will be on methods of quantifying democracy and the fairness of electoral systems.
HNR 2401: Story of Color and Light
Drs. K. Fogarty and J. Paul
What does it mean to see? In this class, we’ll use that question to probe the interplay between scientific reasoning, its discoveries, and the cultural context in which those discoveries are made. We’ll begin by exploring how the Classical world, despite a biology consistent with our own, couldn’t perceive blue, had no word for the color…until they developed the means to commercially dye fabric blue. From there, we’ll move to what it meant for the early Renaissance world to contend with the notion that we weren’t, after all, the center of our solar system, let alone the universe. We’ll return from the heavens to grapple with what it meant, upon the discovery of photographic emulsions and the invention of the photograph, for noncombatants to see the travails of modern battlefields. And, finally, we’ll end back in the sky, where our capacity to see blue (and red, too) have allowed us to begin to measure the size, speed, duration of the universe itself.
HNR 2402: Uniquely Developing You
Dr. K. Ackerman
This section will use Biological Concepts to explore characteristics that initiate within the womb and that ultimately define us as unique adult human beings. The biological fields of genetics, cell/molecular biology, and embryology will provide the backbone to understanding physical development. The impacts of these developmental cues on our daily adult lives will also be explored with ideas from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, ethics, and global inquiry. This course will be divided into six main modules, and each will explore a distinct timeframe during the first 4 months of development: 1) Gross/Physical human development, 2) Intelligence, 3) Gender Identity, 4) Skin Color, 5) Face Shape, and 6) Handedness.
HNR 2404: Neglected Tropical Diseases
Dr. T. Lyda
This course is directed at thinking about science as professional scientists do. We will work together to ask questions, design experiments, make predictions, take risks, fail, revise experiments, fail again, and keep working until we get it right. Specifically, this section will use biological concepts to explore the dynamics involved with Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). This course will combine 3 main units in lecture and lab, each will explore Neglected Tropical Diseases: 1) Getting to know the major NTDs, 2) Drug Discovery Research and 3) Global Outreach.
HNR 2501: Building and Being
Mr. J. Linn
This course is an intentional inquiry into the natures of practice, value, and experience within the realm of aesthetics. We will explore the practice of aesthetics through inquiries of building and drawing, reading and analyzing. We will discuss the value and meaning of aesthetics through collective inquiry, and discern the experience of aesthetics through reflection. In general, this is a course intended to develop your abilities in aesthetic awareness and discernment; it is not a course intended to develop your manual craftsmanship or ‘artistic’ skills, although both could evolve.
HNR 2503: Hip Hop
Dr. J.W. Turner
In HNR 2503 Aesthetic Inquiry: Hip Hop, students will consider the nature, value, and purpose of Hip Hop music in light of its context, history, production, and aesthetics. The course will focus on the sources and development of Hip-Hop from the late 1970s to the present day, with an emphasis on critical listening and interpretation. The major assignments will include song analyses, a 5-7 page research paper, and an original four-song EP created with a digital audio workstation (DAW) demonstrating specific historical styles.
HNR 2504: When do Newsletter Become Art?
Dr. E. Trauth
In this class, students will examine art as well as professional writing conventions and technologies with the aim of understanding how to best respond as writers and designers employing both artistic and visual content and information and data in professional genres. As such, students will acquire rhetorical flexibility and the ability to analyze and respond to evolving professional writing contexts. The course will guide students to compose professional information effectively and artistically, particularly in newsletter formats.
HNR 2505: Art, Protest, Persuasion, or Propaganda?
Dr. M. Malburne-Wade
W.E.B. Du Bois asserted “all Art is propaganda and ever must be.” Is that true? How do we define art? When does art become persuasion, protest, or even propaganda? Can propaganda ever be art? In this course, we will explore a variety of primary texts—novels, poems, essays, critical theory, plays, posters, film, and photography—as we define the boundaries and duties of art. Through critical analyses of written and visual texts, we will create the theories that will guide our final projects: our own creations and presentations of art, persuasion, and propaganda.
HNR 3602: (Neuro)Science Fiction
Ms. A. Walker
Have you ever wondered why the science fiction narrative remains so pervasive in our culture? Despite our technological advances, we never seem to tire of fantasies that speculate wildly beyond our own reality. We devour science fiction in literature, film, video games, and pseudoscience, our hearts pound when we watch a scary sci-fi
movie, and we delight in the telling of a good speculative yarn, even as it unravels under our scientific scrutiny. Neuroscientists tell us that our brains light up with “mirror neuron” pathways when we read, see, or hear of another person’s narrative peril. Some of our earliest memories revolve around make believe, and while we may not view ourselves as “creative” individuals, millions of us create and consume elaborate fantasy and science fiction narratives our entire lives. So how might science fiction stories help us survive? How might an examination of the theories of popular cognitive psychology and popular neuroscience enhance our understanding of the science fiction literary genre? By exploring our shared evolutionary history and the multilayered complexity of that “big brain” that makes our species unique and enables us to tell such entertaining and prescient stories, students will develop intellectual STEAM, solidifying our place as the storytelling species and proving why, indeed, we can’t live without science fiction.
HNR 3605: The Cost and Value of Higher Education
Dr. W. Carpenter
This course looks to generate and evaluate radical alternatives to the dominant systems and structures of U.S. higher education. Under specific scrutiny will be the areas of recruitment, financial aid, student services, and curriculum design and assessment. Our analytical lenses will be shaped by critical theories that aggressively question the values and practices associated with grand narratives, meritocracy, capitalism, privatization, utilitarianism, and credentialing processes – with the understanding that such questioning will help alienate students from engrained and traditional ways of thinking about college and careers and encourage them to invent new ideas about what college should be. By the end of the semester, students will be able to identify, analyze, and propose changes to the ideologies and practices (good and bad) that now define higher education.
HNR 3606: The Art of Playing Around
Mr. J. Putnam
A creative research seminar into the nature and performance of immersive and non-traditional theatre. In this course, students will research the growing trend in ways of performance that shift the relation of performer and audience. Students will explore and discuss source material that examines the nature of audience desire and the ways in which theatrical performance has evolved to meet these needs. And, students will develop personal creative skills in order to test and communicate these ideas in performance.
HNR 3607: HPU LifeLines: Narrative Medicine in Action
Ms. A. Walker
Narrative medicine seeks to replace hurried and impersonal care with careful listening and empathy. All of us have stories to share, and all of us will face health choices and challenges that narrative medicine can help us navigate more effectively. Narrative medicine gives us a chance to heal each other through the simple act of storytelling. This course focuses on close reading and analysis of literary texts and addresses the ethical questions raised by narrative medicine. This course also includes a substantive Service Learning project in cooperation with the local community. These community partnerships will offer students firsthand experience as narrative medicine practitioners, leading “HPU LifeLines” creative writing workshops with residents of a local assisted living facility and middle school students at an after-school program located near campus. Students will complete a minimum of 25 hours of service with community partners and must be available during selected hours at off-campus locations.
HNR 3608: Death
Dr. J. Davis
Death is a topic that is universal, but that invokes fear, dread, and mourning. As such, it is often avoided. In this course, we will look at death as clearly and objectively as possible. We will first address the scientific question: What is death? Then we will go on to explore death in its cultural contexts, examining the portrayal of death in art, literature, and music and ultimately identifying how these factors influence our own understanding of death and, in turn, life.
HNR 3609: Origins of Anime
Dr. B. Carter
Do you enjoy anime? Do you want to know more about Japanese story telling? The “Origins of Anime” course reveals the roots of popular Japanese films and stories by engaging premodern Japanese texts (in English language translation) and modern literary theory. Throughout the semester we will pay particular attention to commonalties among Japanese premodern texts and modern stories, as well as the extent they differ due to temporal/socio/religio/political concerns. Western and Asian literary theories, especially those concerning topics of translation, replacement, negotiation with classics, and gender and sexuality will also be extensively explored. We will interpret the historic human endeavor of story telling within the contexts of time and space with a keen self-awareness of our own positions in the modern world.
HNR 1101: [Humanistic Inquiry] Criminal Minds and Bodies: Narratives of Gender, Crime, and Deviance
Dr. Ashley Dreff, Assistant Professor of Religion, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies
Dr. Nahed Eltantawy, Chair and Associate Professor of Communication
Dr. Joey Fink, Assistant Professor of History
This course will explore the relationship between stories and truth as they relate to historic, literary, and media constructions of gender and the body with respect to deviancy and crime. Students will analyze historical texts, literature, film, journalism and other forms of contemporary media with the goal of understanding the ways gender frames our understanding and consumption of the documenting, reporting, and representation of deviancy, victimhood, and criminal behavior.
HNR 1102: [Humanistic Inquiry] The Beautiful and the Good: Must Art Be Moral?
Dr. Matthew Carlson, Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Nathan Hedman, Assistant Professor of Theater and English
Dr. Claudine Davidshofer, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Our work together will entail a survey of the most penetrating insights into aesthetics and ethics in Western philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Kant), complemented by three case studies in artistic practice and reflection (Greek sculpture, Medieval Painting and Theatre, 19th-century Aestheticism) and framed by the unique socio-cultural concerns of these artists and thinkers. More, students will have regular opportunity to reflect critically on the often hidden assumptions and proclivities of contemporary American taste. Toggling between theory and practice, historical context and universal concerns, our course will enable students to build their own working theory of beauty and goodness, informed by the Western tradition but crafted for a contemporary audience.
HNR 1301: [Quantitative Reasoning] Graph Theory & the Science of Networks
Dr. Jenny Fuselier, Associate Professor of Mathematics
This course is a project-based introduction to the field of network science. Network science allows students to craft solutions to real-world problems arising in a variety of fields using the mathematical language of graph theory. Graph theory is the study of graphs formed by collections of vertices (or points) and edges between them. Graphs can be used to represent data in many realms, including biology, political science, travel, and social connections between people groups. In conjunction with an introduction to graph theory, students will learn methods for collecting network data, representing it in graphs and matrices, and analyzing network models.
HNR 1304: [Quantitative Reasoning] Math of Democracy
Dr. Adam Graham-Squire, Associate Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics of Democracy examines quantitative aspects of democracy, including methods of voting, apportionment, and redistricting/gerrymandering. Concepts will be taught through inquiry-based exploration, followed by simplified examples, and capped with real-world applications and data analysis from current and historical elections and events. While certain historical events, including laws passed and supreme court cases, will be included in the course to illuminate the context of changes to democracy, the focus will be on methods of quantifying democracy and the fairness of electoral systems.
HNR 2102: [Honors Elective, 2 credits] Movies to Live By
Dr. William Carpenter, Director of Honors Scholar Program
This course will teach students how to view movies critically and then respond thoughtfully to the issues and ideas they uncover. Students will place the movies in conversation with primary sources from literature, philosophy, and psychology. Movies and overarching themes will change each semester.
HNR 2403/L: [Scientific Reasoning] Domestication Syndrome
Dr. Patrick Vigueira, Assistant Professor of Biology
This course is about doing and thinking about science as professional scientists do. We will work together to ask questions, design experiments, make predictions, take risks, fail, revise experiments, fail again, and keep working until we get it right. Specifically, this section will use biological concepts to explore crop and animal domestication. The fields of evolution, genetics, and physiology will be used to explore how and why the same suite of traits are selected during domestication (sometimes referred to as the domestication syndrome). We will use historical, archaeological, and anthropological approaches in understanding how domestication shaped human civilizations and why humans have benefited from domesticating particular species of plants and animals. We will explore how domestication has changed in the last 10,000 years from trial and error approaches to modern crop and animal breeding and genetic modification. We will also explore the ethical implications of all approaches in domestication. In lab, we will conduct our own domestication and selection experiments.
HNR 2404/L: [Scientific Reasoning] Neglected Tropical Diseases
Dr. Todd Lyda, Instructor of Biology
The course uses biological concepts to explore the dynamics involved with Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). This course will combine 3 main units in lecture and lab, each will explore Neglected Tropical Diseases: 1) Getting to know the major NTDs, 2)Drug Discovery Research and 3) Global Outreach.
HNR 2503: [Aesthetic Inquiry] Hip Hop
Dr. John Turner, Assistant Professor of Music
Students confront questions about the nature, value, and purpose of Hip Hop music, with a consideration of its context, history, production, and aesthetics. Structured interactions with works of art and critical theory, as well as hands-on experiences in studios, hone students’ abilities to see from multiple perspectives, employ artistic reasoning, appreciate ambiguity, and craft interpretations. Over the course of the four units, students will create a four-song EP of original Hip Hop music.
HNR 2505: [Aesthetic Inquiry] Art, Protest, Persuasion or Pro
Dr. Gabriel Cruz, Assistant Professor of Communication
This course examines how art functions in the world, including times when art aims to persuade, when art explicitly uses or responds to socio-political moments, and when art verges on–or becomes–propaganda. We will develop our skills as readers and viewers through theoretical readings, novels, plays, poetry, films, posters, photography, and paintings. Using our new knowledge, we will create our own art, including pieces meant to respond and persuade.
HNR 2510: [Aesthetic Inquiry] Autobiographics
Dr. Melissa Richard, Instructor of English
This course considers what feminist scholar Leigh Gilmore terms “autobiographics,” life narratives that highlight the construction of the self as a complex act, particularly for individuals belonging to historically / culturally marginalized groups. In other words, the texts we encounter purposely call attention to self-representation as a performance that troubles easy distinctions between “truth” and “fiction.” Along the way we also have to consider questions about the nature of autobiography as a generic category, how (and, more importantly, who) shaped and institutionalized the qualities of texts defined as autobiographical. We reflect on issues such as the working of memory and the tension between invention and disclosure, and we examine texts that blur and taunt generic boundaries. These texts include Oscar Wilde’s prison writings, particularly De Profundis; Nora Krug’s recent graphic novel of reckoning with Nazi connections in her family’s past, Belonging; Kiese Laymon’s powerful memoir Heavy, which contends with race, education, addiction, and abuse (written as a letter to his mother); and Maggie Nelson’s hybrid (auto)biography of her aunt’s murder, Jane. We’ll also look at autobiographics in photographs, art, and film by artists like Robert Mapplethorpe, Frieda Kahlo, and Natalia Almada. We’ll consider how music, especially popular music, performs a generational and cultural sense of self. Course assignments and projects include weekly class blogs and open group-led discussions centered on the texts and theories of interest to students, a presentation on music that has defined students / their generation, and a multi-modal autoethnography where students create and / or gather a set of artifacts and genres that tell a story from their family or community histories.
HNR 3601: [Scholar Seminar] Who Am I?
Dr. Tony Kemerly, Professor of Exercise Science
We will work together to build a conception of self that draws on your individual experiences and your scholarly research. Who are you? What has your world imparted to you? How has it affected the person who sits in this room today? Your understanding of who you are is basic to your thought processes and fundamental to the world and the way you think about it. Therefore, in order for us to expand our conception of self, we will combine publications related to understanding the self with texts from popular culture, specifically the works of Joss Whedon and his “Whedon-verse”. Such a combination enables us to examine the behaviors of others to whom we can relate, as the characters within the Whedon-verse are undergoing many of the same life changes and experiences that you are right now.
HNR 3607: [Scholar Seminar] HPU LifeLines (SL)
Dr. Allison Walker, Instructor of English
Unleash your inner artist with the 4 HPU Lifelines! (1) Increased Empathy: foster friendships with kids and elders in our community. Through the development of narrative medicine and creative arts therapy techniques, students will nourish their own empathic abilities while providing tangible health benefits to middle school kids and Alzheimer’s patients. (2) Hands-on Art Therapy – no prior experience needed. Have you ever wondered why you feel better after creating something? You don’t have to be a professional to reap the benefits of creativity. In this class, you’ll get to experience arts therapy first hand because you’ll be the one leading the therapy sessions. (3) Amazing People – Operation Xcel and Pennybyrn. This class partners with two nonprofit organizations located five minutes from campus. Hang out with Operation Xcel and shoot some hoops. Learn about life 100 years ago when you chat with a Pennybyrn resident. Both groups have amazing stories to tell. All they need is someone like you to listen! (4) An Extraordinary Resume – service learning sets you apart. This is a kind of class that changes you. Forever. Some former students went on to Ivy League graduate schools, thanks, in part, to their HPU LifeLines experiences. Others continued their work in mentored URCW projects and published both scholarly and creative pieces in peer-reviewed journals. This is a Service Learning course.
HNR 3613: [Scholar Seminar] Politics of Prosecution
Dr. Scott Ingram, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice
Does the President have the right to do whatever he wants to do with the Department of Justice? Can he order someone prosecuted? Can he order a case dismissed? Today’s news headlines are littered with the intersection of politics and criminal prosecution. This course examines the relationship in-depth and from a variety of perspectives. Students will spend the first third of the class learning about the prosecutor’s powers and how politics should or should not influence prosecutorial discretion. For the remaining two thirds of class, students will create their own podcast episodes examining real life incidents of politics and prosecution.
HNR 3614: [Scholar Seminar] Ideal Community
Dr. Robert Moses, Assistant Professor of Religion
The course probes questions of inclusion, exclusion, and the challenges of diversity by examining various ancient religious and secular communities and associations. The course will investigate the entrance requirements, initiation rites, membership practices and rituals, internal governance, and community rules for various ancient groups and associations, probing questions of exclusivity and inclusivity in each group’s model for community. The course will wrestle with issues concerning the benefits and drawbacks of inclusive and exclusive communities and how the boundaries each community creates may result in exclusion. In other words, the course will examine how attempting to create an inclusive community can itself result in exclusivity. The course will draw on the tools and resources provided by the study of these ancient communities— Greco-Roman and movements growing out of Judaism: Qumran sectarians and the early Christians—to address contemporary discussions and debates concerning diversity.
HNR 3700: Methods, Proposals, & Planning
Various Honors Faculty
First part of a year-long cooperative project which investigates and proposes a solution to some aspect of a larger issue or problem. Student teams create a problem statement, explore inquiry methods, and complete a project proposal.