Honors College Seminars Fall 2014 hnrs 195H-001 (67624): The Examined Life: a tale of Two Fates Tuesday at 2: 00-2: 50pm Instructor: Adam Ussishkin

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City v Honors College Seminars - Fall 2014

HNRS 195H-001 (67624): The Examined Life: A Tale of Two Fates

Tuesday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Adam Ussishkin

In this course, we'll use the driving themes in "The Other Wes Moore" to examine the impact of human life on natural habitats. We'll focus primarily on two habitats: the Sonoran Desert, which surrounds our university community, and a rural habitat of the midwest known as the Tallgrass Prairie. Despite the differences between these ecosystems, we'll be able to draw important comparisons as we explore the ways in which human activity has changed their destinies. We'll also learn about ways in which we can mitigate some of the effects of human activity and how the important histories that have shaped the landscape can better inform us.

HNRS 195H-002 (67400): Reflecting on the Self and the Other

Tuesday at 11:00-11:50am Instructors: Hester Oberman and Meg Lota Brown

With the Honors College theme of the examined life as our frame of reference, we will consider how films, literary works, and belief systems represent the self and the other. In addition, we will examine our own assumptions about race, religion, and forms of social violence by looking outside the classroom. Whether participating in the exuberant street celebration of Tucson’s Dia de los Muertos or discussing the ironies of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, we will ask, “What do you believe, and why do you believe it?” With The Other Wes Moore as our point of departure, we will meet with representatives of the Tucson prison system, discuss the documentary Searching for Sugarman, and volunteer at the Primavera homeless shelter. Together, we will test Michel Foucault’s claim that “the work of an intellectual is to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking.”

HNRS 195H-003 (67376): Haunting Questions: Investigating Others and Ourselves

Wednesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Nancy Sharkey

In this Honors colloquium, we will examine how Wes Moore investigated both his own life and that of the other Wes Moore. Why was he so haunted by his namesake?  What drove his research?  What conclusions does he make about fate and free will? How did his research compare and contrast with his own memory? Students will examine how fate v. free will, luck v. randomness, memory v. fact come into play in journalistic story framing and reporting.  The class will read journalistic memoir and profiles, and students will try out journalistic techniques in their own writing.

HNRS 195H-005 (67382): The Examined Life through Public Records

Tuesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: David Cuillier

This class will examine the breadth of public records – both government and commercial – that document one’s life, from birth to death. The class will cover the history, law and philosophy of government transparency, the nuts and bolts of acquiring public records, and the issues that arise when balancing the public’s need for information with privacy and other competing interests. Students will learn more about themselves, and others around them, by walking the paper trail of life.

HNRS 195H-006 (67384): Black Life Matters
Thursday at 4:00 – 4:50pm Instructor: Monica Casper

This course explores the ways in which Black lives matter—and fail to matter—in the United States. Drawing from The Other Wes Moore, as well as selected additional materials, we will discuss why Black lives are so often framed in terms of pathology, and treated accordingly. From the origins of African American life in slavery, to chronic health and economic disparities, to criminalization and the prison-industrial complex, the course examines how some lives are structurally made vulnerable to harm and risk. Throughout, we will attend to theories and examples of racism, racialization, and inequality.

HNRS 195H-008 (67402): Illness in Pre-industrial Europe

Tuesday at 8:00-8:50am Instructor: Susan Karant-Nunn

This seminar will concentrate on the effects of illness in pre-industrial Europe, including the bubonic/pneumonic plague (“Black Death”) that swept away as much as 40% of Europe’s population in the middle of the 14th century.  Also taken up will be such diseases as the “sweating sickness,” leprosy, syphilis, and smallpox—along with any others on which students may be able to find sufficient material.  At issue will be not merely the symptoms and courses of such diseases but attitudes toward them, efforts to treat them, the roles of the various categories of medical practitioner in past ages, and the social and economic impact of epidemics.  Each member of the class will, in consultation with the instructor, select a special topic to investigate further and on which to make a report to the group as a concluding project.  The course will encourage use of the full range of interdisciplinary evidence.

HNRS 195H-009 (67856): Historical Narratives of Jewish Identity

Thursday at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: David Graizbord

This course will examine what it has meant and means to belong to, live, and experience core solidarity with Judean (A.K.A. Jewish) culture. Specifically, we will explore various ways in which Judeans/Jews have defined themselves and approached the dilemmas of being the creators and inheritors of a distinctive culture or family of cultures—one of the oldest, most widely diffused, and one whose very legitimacy has been repeatedly subjected to attack.

We will read and discuss several short documents, mostly texts written by people who define(d) themselves and are generally regarded as "Jews" (including some American University students and other young Jewish adults from the USA whom I have interviewed). The texts attempt to set and/or question boundaries between Jews and non-Jews, and/or between Jews and other Jews. Many of the texts also grapple indirectly with accusations that Jews and/or Judaism are inadequate or even illegitimate in some way. On occasion, we will also read analytical material that will (I hope) help you to place the other works in their respective historical and ideological contexts.  

HNRS 195H-010 (67375): The Examined Life: Reflections from Abroad

Thursday at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: John Willerton

Our seminar will entail a series of reflections on the modern, 21st century, “examined life,” drawing upon the experience and thinking of other nation-states.  I am very interested in the central notions of “happiness” and well-being” in the contemporary era, and I very much champion awareness of – and tolerance and empathy for – the ideas and experiences of other peoples.  As a cross-national comparative political scientist, my professional focus is on the politics of other countries, especially Russia.  Our seminar will draw upon short readings and information from a diversity of countries, including Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Lebanon, Russia, China, Bhutan – and the United States – as we collectively reflect over the evolving human condition and the modern “good life.”  Beyond engaging in what I anticipate will be dynamic and enriching weekly discussions, we will have a number of short, take-home essay assignments as we engage important aspects of that “good life” – and from a cross-national, comparative perspective.  I am sure our class will include participants with a diversity of life experiences, and I trust we’ll plug our own experiences into our group deliberations as we engage an array of interesting nation-states.

HNRS 195H-012 (67416): Human Rights in the Middle East

Thursday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Christian Sinclair

This course, Human Rights in the Middle East, provides students with a working knowledge of human rights issues in Middle Eastern contexts. We will first consider the term “right” and its various interpretations by regimes in the region by examining debates over political and civil rights vs. socio-economic rights and the development of those rights over time. What are the legal underpinnings of rights afforded by the state? What are the cultural considerations? We will highlight minority rights, freedom of expression, linguistic rights, and women’s rights. The course will also look at the Arab Spring and democratization in the region, asking what role human rights played in triggering the "Spring" and how the revolutions have changed the human rights landscape.

HNRS 195H-013 (67714): Destiny: Make it, Take it, Break it, or Fake it

Wednesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Robert Schon

This class will examine human attitudes toward destiny from ancient times to the present. Why are some people resigned to accept the hands they are dealt, while others are restless and ambitious, constantly striving to improve their lot? To what degree is human destiny predetermined? What do people do to fulfill or alter their destinies? Are their choices a matter of personal character or the circumstances that surround them? We will explore these questions through group discussion and close readings of ancient texts, modern literature, and scientific studies of human behavior.

HNRS 195H-014 (67649): Histories of Social Mobility and Inequality

Wednesday at 9:00-9:50am Instructor: Kevin Gosner

In The Other Wes Moore, the Honors College common read for 2014, Wes Moore examines forces in family and community life that shape the choices all of us make as we build a life for ourselves. His work raises questions about the potential for individuals to overcome the obstacles and challenges posed by poverty, racial prejudice, and inequality. Historians, and other social scientists, are fascinated by these same questions. In this class, we’ll use oral history, documentary film, photography, and other sources drawn from different academic disciplines to explore the historical forces that shape dynamics of social mobility and inequality in the United States and other parts of the world.

HNRS 195H-015 (67655): An Examined Media Life: Investigating Media Representations

Thursday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Jennifer Aubrey-Stevens

In this seminar, we will consider the nature and implications of media representations of social groups. The seminar is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of content analysis.  Students will work in teams to further investigate the nature of representations of social groups of their choosing.

HNRS 195H-016 (67847): Science and Society: Opportunities and Implications

*Course meets every other Wednesday at 5:30-7:10pm, starting August 27th Instructor: Kevin Bonine

In this class we will discuss the role of science in society and how differential access/exposure to the fruits/byproducts of scientific progress influences our daily routines, future opportunities, and overall quality of life. The first portion of each bi-weekly meeting will comprise the instructor and enrolled Honors students. The latter portion of each meeting will include invited members of the local community joining the discussion. Readings: The Other Wes Moore, along with other readings and media content available online.

HNRS 195H-017 (67767): The Examined Life Through Word Puzzles
Mondays at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Richard Ruiz

In this course we will explore a wide range of topics focused on themes and clues embedded in word (mainly crossword) puzzles. We will identify major words/themes in The Other Wes Moore, this year’s common reading; these will then be used as a basis for discussion and assignments on the theme for the year—“The Examined Life.” A major purpose of the course will be to investigate how words can serve as catalysts to stimulate our thinking on issues of great consequence to our lives: social justice, poverty, co-existence, intimacy, citizenship, globalization, sports, politics, and others. We will learn a lot of linguistics, and we will do a lot of crossword puzzles.

HNRS 195H-018(67828) : Leadership for Business

Wednesdays at 4:00-4:50pm Instructor: Pamela Perry

The number one attribute that business recruiters look for in new hires is leadership.  This course will explore business leadership and provide hands on experiences that will put your leadership skills to work.  You will exit the course with a robust resume sure to be noticed for internships and future employment.

HNRS 195H-019 (67907): The Examined Life: Youth, Families and Communities
Mondays at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Patricia MacCorquodale

What factors influence youth as they make their journey through life? How do families, schools, and communities foster youth journeys? In what ways are they barriers to success? How does the web of race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, gender and sexualities influence youth identities and interactions? This course will use a sociological lens to examine youth in the context of families, schools and communities and identify social actions, policies and programs that reduce structural inequalities and promote social justice.

HNRS 195H-022 (67962): Our Own Personal Soundtracks

Tuesdays at 2:00pm-2:50pm Instructor: John Pollard

What is your “personal soundtrack” and how do you use it to alter your mood and change your conscience experience? Put more simply, what are you listening to, why are you listening to it, and how are you listening to it? Technology has completely transformed how we acquire, experience, archive and listen to music. Music is a part of most of our daily lives and it is quite common to accentuate your day with a personal soundtrack. One could argue that the introduction of the Sony Walkman in 1979 was one of the most transformative events in modern times. The changes that technology has brought to the listener and consumer have equally affected the artists who create, produce and deliver music. As the musicologist Joanna Demers noted about modern music, “…transformative appropriation has become the most important technique of today’s composers and song writers”. What is meant by the “transformative appropriation” of music? The role of technology on music has also imposed broader sociological implications. We now can isolate ourselves within our world. How has this “Walkman effect” transformed us sociologically and physiologically? This colloquium will focus on exploring these questions as well as how the relationship between music and technology has altered our daily lives, society and possibly our biology. We will also analyze modern music in order to better understand the musical genomics of what we listen to. In addition to discussions and readings we will share music, so you have to be open-minded and ready to broaden your audio horizons. What is your personal soundtrack and how do you use it to alter your mood and change your conscience experience? Let’s explore this!

HRNS 195H-023 (67971): Chess, Leadership and Business Strategy
Wednesdays at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Anjelina Belakovskaia

Chess has been long known as a game developing critical thinking, logic and analytical abilities. Professor Belakovskaia - 3-time US Women's Chess Champion and a former executive with a Fortune 500 Company - will explore how the skills acquired through chess are applicable to business world, helping managers, executives and CEOs to come up with creative business strategies, plan numerous moves ahead and find unexpected, yet brilliant tactics to gain advantage in today's highly competitive business environment. Some prior chess playing knowledge is required (knowledge of rules and ability to play a game). Also, the desire to improve in chess and interest in business and leadership are essential.
The class will start from discussing basic chess strategies and quickly advance into complex pattern recognition, creative thinking and problem solving. While working on enhancement of chess playing skills, business case studies will be introduced and creative thinking will be required to analyze situations, brainstorm, and come up with creative solutions. Through mix of competition and collaboration, students will experience personal growth, develop confidence and leadership skills and strategically position themselves to make better moves in chess, business and life.
HNRS 195H-025 (68107): Reading the New York Times

Wednesdays at 9:00-9:50am Instructor: Katherine Morrissey

The "unsettling coincidence" of two articles in his daily newspaper drew Wes Moore into the journey that resulted in The Other Wes Moore. What sparks an examined life? In this seminar we’ll use the New York Times, a national "paper of record," to explore our own linkages of past and present. You will be required to subscribe to and read this daily newspaper (student discounts are readily available). Our weekly discussions will center on selected articles and sections; we will also reach back in time to trace some of the unfolding issues and topics through historical research and visits to local archives. Along the way we'll develop our analytical skills, explore our curiosities, and deepen our roles as intellectually engaged and informed citizens.

HNRS 195I-001 (67508): Unlocking the Mysteries of Sleep

Wednesdays 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Charles Higgins

In this seminar we will explore what is known about sleep and delve into the many unknowns. Virtually every psychiatric disorder is strongly correlated with disturbances of sleep. Is disordered sleep the cause of these psychiatric disorders, or the effect? Is it possible to diagnose psychiatric disorders by looking at patterns of sleep over the long-term? Is it possible to objectively measure the effectiveness of psychoactive medications by looking at sleep instead of just asking patients subjective questions? Could a measure of the quality of sleep lead to a metric of general health? Could chronic monitoring of sleep at home give physicians sufficient data to help diagnose what's wrong with patients that they currently can’t help? In the past, sleep in the brain has been primarily measured using noninvasive EEG arrays, but we will also look at some exciting new data measuring sleep using electrocortiography arrays. The Higgins laboratory is currently engaged in an ongoing human subject study that focuses on looking at how people sleep in their homes, not in clinical or laboratory settings, and we are gathering interesting data of a type never seen before. Results from this new study will also be discussed as part of the seminar.

HNRS 195I-002 (67387): Food Safety

Thursday at 10:00-10:50am Instructor: John Marchello

This course content covers: Food Safety Issues Regarding Meat, Poultry, Fruits and Vegetables, Dairy Products and Sea Foods with an introduction to hazard analysis and critical control point programs.

HNRS 195I-003 (67389): Natural Disasters and Social Justice

Wednesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Randall Richardson

Many disasters, from earthquakes and tsunamis to volcanic eruptions, are a direct consequence of plate tectonics. We will look at the plate tectonics behind recent disasters, as well as climate change issues. Our exploration will include at least Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the 11 March 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In addition to the plate tectonics and climate change, we will look at the social justice issues behind the disasters. For example, why are more than 300,000 people still homeless four years after the Haiti earthquake, while Japan’s recovery has been much smoother? How did socioeconomic status affect disaster relief in Hurricane Sandy? Our exploration of the social justice issues surrounding these ‘disasters’ will be guided by the quote of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, “Today's disasters owe as much to human activities as to the forces of nature. Indeed the term 'natural' is ... increasingly misleading." We will also consider any natural disasters that occur during the semester, as almost always happens. Class format will focus on student presentations and active student engagement.

HNRS 195I-004 (67390): Life...Examined: biodiversity, the tree of life, and the human journey

Wednesday at 3:00-3:50 Instructor: Elizabeth Arnold

"As buds give rise by growth to fresh buds, and these, if vigorous, branch out and overtop on all sides many a feebler branch, so by generation I believe it has been with the great Tree of Life, which fills with its dead and broken branches the crust of the earth, and covers the surface with its ever-branching and beautiful ramifications." In On the Origins of Species, the great biologist and philosopher Charles Darwin described the interrelatedness of life on earth using a tree-like metaphor that provides the basis for evolutionary thinking today -- and speaks to a cultural iconography long shared by ancient cultures worldwide. In this course we will use the 'tree of life' as a roadmap to explore biodiversity and address its many relationships to the human species. How many species exist on earth? What factors shape biological diversification? How has biodiversity shaped the human journey -- from our earliest origins to our global dynamics, our modern-day medicine, and our cultural perspectives? And how can we use the tree of life to better plot a course for human sustainability? These topics will be addressed through readings and lectures centering on ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, human cultures, and Darwinian medicine; class discussions, and hands-on experiences with the world-class biodiversity resources available on the UA campus.

HNRS 195I-005 (67386): A Taste of Engineering for Non-Engineers

Monday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Tribikram Kundu

In this colloquium, students who are thinking of becoming engineers as well as those who are not necessarily pursuing a degree in engineering will be given a taste of engineering. In the class we will discuss what different engineering fields do, show videos of famous engineering projects around the world. The students will be brought to some engineering laboratories to give them an idea about what engineers do. Guest professors from different engineering departments will talk about their departments. After this colloquium some students might be motivated to pursue a degree in engineering while others might decide that this is not something that they want to do in their career. The purpose of this course is to help the students to make an informed decision about the engineering career.

HNRS 195I-006 (67439): Technology and Society

Monday at 4:00-4:50pm Instructor: Michael Marcellin

The Honors College theme for this year is “The Examined Life.” This theme fits well with the common reading book The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore. In addition to this book, class discussions will focus on issues surrounding the benefits and drawbacks of technology in modern life. Technology and its role in society are topics of great current interest. The course will include discussions on innovations in electronics, communications, transportation, and healthcare, as well as the effects of technology on the environment.

HNRS 195I-007 (67543): The Science of Baseball

Monday at 4:30-5:20pm Instructor: Ricardo Valerdi

America's pastime is a wonderful laboratory for understanding concepts in physics, biology, and psychology.  The common language to explain these phenomena is mathematics.  In this seminar we will explore unique characteristics of baseball such as the trajectory of a baseball in flight (via geometry), center of mass of the batter (via mechanics), and sabermetrics (via statistics).  Recent movies such as Moneyball (2011) and 42 (2013) have popularized social issues in baseball.  We will discuss the implications of these movies on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and the impact that baseball can have on academic achievement of secondary school students.

Previous knowledge or amazing physical ability are not required.  However, part of this seminar will involve detailed analysis of the Arizona Science of Baseball curriculum (http://baseball.engr.arizona.edu/) being developed for elementary and middle schools.  Students will be expected to be active participants in the discussions, make contributions to the Science of Baseball Curriculum, and present their observations at the end of the semester.  Guest speakers will supplement the discussions and a field trip will enhance our analysis of baseball.
HNRS 195I-008 (67645): Self from the Perspective of the Brain

Tuesday at 3:30-4:20pm Instructor: Lynne Oland

Starting with The Other Wes Moore, we’ll explore the idea of self from the perspective of the brain.  What do we mean by the self?  Is it merely a neural construct, and if so, how does that affect how we think about ourselves and those around us?  How do two, or more, selves interact, and how does interaction with others, or our environment for that matter, affect our sense of self?  How does a sense of self develop and what are the neural underpinnings of “self”?  How malleable is that self over the course of a lifetime?  Are there situations that might lead to loss of a sense of self, and what does that mean from the brain’s point of view?  We’ll explore these and many other questions raised in the course of our discussion and readings.

HNRS 195I-009 (67890): The Examined Life: Profiles in Curiosity

Tuesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Don Mccarthy

Do the people behind great technical breakthroughs of the past share any personality traits? Is curiosity a dominating trait? We will examine the lives of historic scientists, engineers, and inventors and search for common denominators underpinning their successes. Our journey will parallel the modern story of two contemporaries as portrayed in the book The Other Wes Moore. The results of our study are likely to influence our personal choices regardless of career direction.

HNRS 195I-010 (67681): The Examined Life: Chance, Persistence, and Dreams

Tuesdays at 9:00-9:50am Instructor: David Galbraith

Life is a journey of self-discovery, and is characterized by decisions and choices of varying consequence. Some choices are obviously important at the time they are made. Others less so. Yet others take on significance as time passes. In many cases, these choices can have unexpected and transformative consequences. Inspired by The Other Wes Moore, this colloquium will explore examples of transformative decisions, using guest speakers and distant learning technologies, with the aim of exploring the different ways in which these individuals recognized, categorized, and prioritized their choices, what impacts these choices had, and how these choices may have led to a deeper understanding of humanity and about our fragile planet.

HNRS 1951-011 (67832): Nurture vs. Nature

Monday at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: Indraneel Ghosh

We will begin the course with a discussion of the common reading The Other Wes Moore from the perspective of how our social environment shapes our lives while also considering the often taboo topic of how nature or genes may potentially shape our lives. We will read and discuss the evidence for and against the nurture versus nature debate. I hope that everyone comes in with a willingness to work hard and vigorously debate all topics with an open mind.

HNRS 195I-012 (67679): Complex Systems: What Ants, Brains, Traffic, and Markets Have in Common

Monday at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: Anna Dornhaus

Complex systems are composed of many interacting units, such as ants in an insect colony, organisms in a food web, or robots in a swarm. Some of these systems are evolved or engineered to solve problems (such as human organizations, or gene networks). How do such decentralized, self-organized groups function? We will talk about similarities and differences between these widely varying examples, and what general insights we have gained from studying complex systems. We will also talk about careers in science, and how you can start yours now; you will learn how to write a simple program for an individual-based simulation that can be used to study complex system behavior.

HNRS 195I-013 (67651): Sleep and other Brain Oddities

Thursday at 4:00-4:50pm Instructor: Alan Nighorn

Ever wonder why we sleep or whether animals sleep? In this seminar we will explore what we know and what we don’t know about the phenomenon of sleep.  We will also discuss other topics about normal and abnormal brain function including learning and memory and drug addiction.  Along the way we will discuss how find out more information on your own. We will also examine how the process of research in neuroscience happens and how you can get involved.  

HNRS 195I-014 (67708): Preparation for Writing and Presenting a Scientific Manuscript or Talk

Monday at 12:00-12:50pm Instructor: James Field

The purpose of this course is to prepare honor students on how to organize in order to write a scientific manuscript as well as prepare students to make an oral presentation. The course will teach students how to organize data and their thoughts to prepare for a creating a manuscript or a talk. Students will be taught to select data, prepare the data for presentation, and develop a general and focused narrative for the manuscript. With the narrative selected, students will be taught to develop hypotheses. Students will learn to research the literature to find evidence to provide a theoretical framework for their manuscript and to provide supplemental support for the findings from the data that either support or reject the formulated hypotheses. The course will aide students in generating an overall outline and detailed outline within sections to structure their manuscript or oral talks. Lastly, the course will provide basic guidelines to help students with strategies in writing paragraphs and sentences used in technical writing. The overall goal of the course is to enable students to independently make a draft of a scientific manuscript or prepare a competitive scientific talk.

HNRS 195I-015 (67871): Digital Divide – Evolution of High Technologies and Impact on Social Advancement
Wednesday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Jerzy Rozenblit

The evolution of high technologies has led to dramatic changes in work paradigms, outsourcing, lack of a skilled labor force, and serious employment challenges in the developed world. This Honors seminar will explore those issues. Several case studies will be used as the basis for class lectures. We will discuss how digital technologies, Internet, and ubiquitous communications have impacted domestic and global study and work patterns, and whether those changes have had positive or negative outcomes for our daily life and access to goods and services. “Will technologies be the great social equalizer?” is the question that will run as a core theme for the seminar.

HNRS 195I-016 (67970): Agriculture and Society

Tuesday at 3:30-4:20pm Instructor: Sean Limesand

Class discussions and reading materials will be on aspects of agriculture that shape or are shaped by societies. Topics will span from livestock production systems to genetic engineering and environmental impact to human health. Current events and recent develops in agriculture will be incorporated into the class room presentations.   

HNRS 195I-017 (67759): “Should We Make Science Fiction Real?”

Wednesday at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: Richard Ziolkowski

In an attempt to respond to funding sources, scientists and engineers often push the envelope of what is safely doable. Would you have detonated the first atomic bomb when some scientists thought it would form a wormhole and swallow the Earth whole? The LHC (large hadron collider) was activated recently despite similar concerns. Nanotechnology holds great promise, but what happens if the materials used pose health risks? Should we go solar or nuclear to power our everyday needs? Genetically engineered and modified plants and animals could feed the world. What are the pros and cons? We will explore some recent technology thrusts and the difficult decisions that scientists and engineers, along with you as a consumer and voter, must make to determine if these science fiction dreams will become a reality. 

HNRS 195I-018 (67777): Survival Skills for Freshmen Students

Tuesday at 3:30-4:20pm Instructor: Paul Blowers

The transition to university from high school offers opportunities and challenges that parallel the theme of living and examined life in The Other Wes Moore. This course will introduce you some of the skills that will make it easier for you to be successful as a student and an engineer, both here at the University and after you graduate. We will discuss and implement different strategies of becoming efficient learners so you can get good grades while maintaining a healthy life balance. We will also talk about ways of becoming involved in undergraduate research projects, internships, and volunteer positions so that you will be able to find a satisfying job when you graduate.

HNRS 195I-019 (67646): Responsible Citizens of the 21st Century

Thursday at 4:30-6:10pm Instructors: Margaret Briehl and Dennis Ray

*This course will only meet the first half of the semester, from August 25th through October 15th. The colloquium will explore what it means to be a responsible citizen in the 21st century. Class discussions will address the question of how scientific advances and human ingenuity can best be applied to solve the grand challenges facing our planet. Possible discussion topics are: feeding 9 billion people in 2050; balancing energy demands against harm to our planet from energy consumption; and achieving social justice while preserving individual freedom in a democracy.

HNRS 195I-020 (67800): Biomedical Ethics and Health Policy

Tuesday at 5:00-6:40pm Instructor: Gail Burd and John Hildebrand

*This is a dynamically dated class, and will only meet 8 times during the semester. The professors will notify students at the start of the semester of which weeks the course will meet. This honors colloquium will focus on contemporary and historical issues in biomedical ethics as it relates to health laws and policies and biomedical research.  Topics that may be discussed include: access to organs for transplants, death and dying, reproductive health policy, public health and vaccination policies, gene therapy, use of stem cells in research, health care policies, health insurance, informed consent, and scientific misconduct.  Class sessions will discuss the book Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (required “textbook”) and chapters and articles in other books and publications, as appropriate for the topic.  Students will participate in debates and role playing, discuss case studies, give group presentations, discuss assigned readings, and do some short writing assignments.  Class will meet Tuesdays from 5-6:40 PM in the Honors dorm - Arbol de la Vida A117; the first class will meet August 26th and during selected Tuesday during the rest of the fall semester.

HNRS 195I-021(67831): Microbes Rule!

Tuesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Patricia Stock

In this seminar, we will discuss how microbes are essential for all life on Earth. Microbes are everywhere, and they do a lot of good for human health and the health of animals and plants. In fact, disease-causing microbes makeup only a very tiny fraction of the millions of types of microbes. The focus of the seminar will be on beneficial partnerships between microbes and other organisms and their role in the evolution of life on our planet. Relevant scientific articles will be selected for debate in class and for improving skills for oral communication. Students will also have hands-on experience in lab demonstrations.

HNRS 195I-022(67866): Human Physiology in the Desert: how do we survive?

Wednesdays at 12:00-12:50pm Instructor: Cindy Rankin

The Arizona Sonoran desert presents formidable challenges to the human body. This colloquium will explore various physiological mechanisms, commercial products and on-going research investigating new ideas to help us all live successfully here in Tucson. A Saturday field trip to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will also be included.

HNRS 195I-023 (68133): Feeling the Pulse of the Planet

Wednesdays at 9:00-9:50am Instructor: Malcolm Hughes

Our knowledge of our home, this small blue planet, has grown enormously in recent decades. This is the result of massive advances in how we see the Earth, how we measure its vital signs and how we handle its complexity. Our ways of thinking, feeling and expressing ourselves about the Earth have changed too. Our ability to observe and understand the metabolism of the planet continues to expand at an amazing rate. We will use readings from Elizabeth Kolbert’s 2007 book ‘Field Notes from a Catastrophe’ to set the context for our explorations, which will include readings, online materials, discussions, and visits to the laboratories of scientists working at the forefront of exploring the workings of our home planet. These activities will give us a basis to ask the questions, ‘What does this mean for me, and for the life I look forward to?’, and ‘How can a better understanding of these matters empower me as a citizen and in my chosen profession?’.

HNRS 195I-024 (68342): Reaching out to others through Math and Science
Wednesdays at 11:00-11:50 Instructor: Bruce Bayly

Prof Bayly is active in math and science outreach to communities lacking strong traditions of higher education. Participants in this seminar will become familiar with the materials in Prof Bayly's program, perhaps learning some math and science that is new to them. They will also participate in one or more outreach events with organizations serving at-risk youth, learning about the challenges faced by the young Wes Moores of Tucson.
HNRS 195J-001 (67394): A Speaker of Culture

Wednesdays at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: Wenhao Diao

The goal of this seminar is to introduce students to the relationship between identity and language. We begin by looking at how children of the same language learn different ways of speaking, writing, and ultimately ways of being. We then switch our focus to youth and examine how they creatively use language to reflect and shape various identities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, sexuality). Following that, we examine identity in foreign language learning and teaching practices. How does language learning affect who we are? We will also interview multilingual speakers on campus (e.g., language instructors) to find out their perspectives and stories. Finally, we return to the question of name and identity (the two Wes Moore’s) and discuss name and naming in different languages. What does it mean if we obtain a different name when we learn another language? Does it change who we are? Throughout the semester, students also share and analyze their own stories of language learning and use, and reflect on their experience of being and becoming a speaker of culture.

HNRS 195J-002 (67396): Exploring Virtual Environments

Mondays at 10:00-10:50 am Instructor: Bryan Carter

This course explores a variety of virtual environments. Often when one considers what a virtual environment is, the definition gravitates towards 3D immersive worlds, gaming, and simulations. This course, however, expands that definition to include multi-party video conferencing systems, group audio conferencing as well as the traditional gamut of virtual environments. You will become comfortable navigating these worlds, researching within and about them, and discerning which environments are most appropriate for various situations.

HNRS 195J-003 (67395): The Films of Luc Besson

Wednesday at 9:00-9:50am Instructor: A-P Durand

This course concentrates on Luc Besson, one of the most celebrated contemporary French directors.  Besson pursues a successful career as director, scenarist, and producer in France and in Hollywood since the 1980s.  His most recent films, such as Taken/Taken 2, Colombiana, or The Lady are distributed worldwide.  The course analyzes Besson’s films and pays special attention to the evolution of his career between two languages, two countries, and two cultures. In addition to viewing required films, students will also read some of the most important texts dealing with Besson. Therefore, the goals of this course are to provide students with:

1 – Presenting and analyzing Luc Besson’s career as film director, writer, and producer;

2 – Learning the various approaches one may take to interpreting a film;

3 - The ability to think critically;

4 - An understanding and application of the interdisciplinary aspects attached to the study of cinema;

5 - Exposure to intellectual curiosity and lifelong learning;

6 - Exposure to new ideas and cultures;

7 - The ability to think independently, to make informed analyses/choices and to take initiative.

HNRS 195J-004 (67514): Examining Life through Language and Language through Life

Friday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Andrew Carnie

This course will examine two broad themes within the study of linguistics. First, language is the lens through which we often measure ourselves and our cultures and societies. We will investigate the idea that language shapes how we perceive the world and how it shapes our ideologies about the nature of things both abstract and concrete and most importantly how we use it to define ourselves. Turning the question on its head, we will also look at the way our experiences, our education, our biases and our beliefs shape the way we analyze language and grammar. Topics may include:  language and cultural identity, language and ideology, what's a language and what's a dialect,  the great eskimo snow hoax, the myth of grammatical "rules", the notion of primitive languages and complicated languages, and the scientific method as applied to language. 

HNRS 195J-005 (67391): Genetics or Environment or Just Bad Luck
Tuesdays at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: Cecile McKee

Asking why people are different, author Wes Moore says “it’s hard to know when genetics or environment or just bad luck is decisive.” This colloquium will explore nature-nurture issues with language first – a system whose development in children shows effects of both influences. We’ll end the semester as Moore does his book, focused on choices people can make.

HNRS 195J-006 (67393): Ancient Greek Origins of ‘The Examined Life’ in Myth and Philosophy
Wednesdays at 12:00-12:50pm Instructor: Bella Vivante

Inscribed over the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi were the words "Know yourself," an idea elaborated in Socrates’ philosophy that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Together these two maxims suggest the importance of self-examination in ancient Greek culture while the poetry presents memorable examples of mythic figures characterized by profound self-examination. In this colloquium we will examine some highlights of ancient Greek poetry, drama and philosophy for the ways they present the concept of “the examined life.” A worthy and enjoyable pursuit!

HNRS 195J-007 (67760): Examining Poetry Examining Life
Thursdays 10:00-10:50am Instructor: John Melillo

In this honors seminar, we will read, listen to, and critically engage with contemporary poetry. Particularly, we will think about the ways in which poetry interprets and imagines what “the good life” is or could be. What are the current vocabularies and densities of utopia? We will make extensive use of UA’s Poetry Center, as well as many other campus resources available for the investigation of poesis.

HNRS 195J-008 (67557): Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar

Wednesday at 11:00-11:50am Instructor: Norman Austin

This seminar will be an introduction to the cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome through a study of the two greatest figures of those cultures, Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. The seminar will investigate the biographical facts, in so far as they can be ascertained, the sources for the historical evidence, the cultural environment in which they lived, and their influence in their own time and on the political thought of Europe and the United States. In particular, Alexander’s imperial mission will be considered in its relation to the development of Christianity. Students will write two term papers, which will require some research, one on Alexander and one on Caesar, and five brief papers (1 page each) on selected topics relevant to the longer papers.

HNRS195J-009 (67558): Russian Authors Writing Alcoholism

Tuesday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Teresa Polowy

As part of the field of alcohol and literature studies, this course focuses on the portrayal of alcoholism in Russian texts: literary fiction, film, song. The course will look at several 20th century prose texts by Russian authors in which is embedded literary discourse on alcohol addiction. This is an area of interest, research and publication for Dr. Polowy, the course instructor, who always learns so much from her students in this course.

HNRS 195J-010 (67747): Themes of Self-Definition in African Film and Fiction

Tuesdays at 3:30 – 4:20pm Instructor: Phyllis Taoua

This seminar will allow student to explore the theme of self-definition, in a personal and meaningful way. Students will read two novels, C. N. Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus (2003) and N. Farah’s Knots (2007), and watch two films, Ousmane Sembène’s Faat Kiné (2001) and John Boorman’s In My Country (2004). These contemporary works raise compelling questions about how we define ourselves as people by the choices we make even in situations where social injustice can create real obstacles. Students will have the option of writing a story or making a video that explores the theme of self-definition.

HNRS 195J-011 (67749): The Roaring 1920s: Germany's Raucous Interwar Years

Wednesdays at 11:00 – 11:50am Instructor: Barbara Kosta
The Weimar Republic refers to the period between the First and Second World Wars in Germany. It was a time that was driven by the passion to invent, explore, change and entertain; it was the time of Germany’s Roaring Twenties. The city of Berlin was considered the quintessential modern European city, the place of the most radical experimentation in the visual and performing arts, in mass entertainment and theater, in literature and architecture, in politics and notions of gender behavior and sexual liberation. The Weimar Republic, more specifically Berlin, was viewed as the laboratory of modernity. Political and social upheaval, the dramatic growth of an urban population, technological advancements, and cultural innovation turned it into a dynamic metropolis and one of the most interesting cities in Europe We will look at avant-garde movements like DADA, Expressionism and modernism, discuss changes in notions of art and film, the emergence of the modern woman and fashion and explore technological innovations. Through literature, visual culture and film, we will explore these exciting and uncertain years.
HNRS 195J -012 (67755): Sandals and Togas: Ancient Rome in Film and Fiction

Monday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Cynthia White

Rome occupies a central place in the topography of American cultural and political self-identity. Roman literature, art, political structures, business, and commerce were studied and emulated by our founding fathers, and the legacy of the grand Roman imperium still grips our imagination. In this course, we will study the reception of ancient Rome in film, historical fiction, short stories, television, and video games, and interpret the impact of ancient Rome on American identity and perspectives.

HNRS 195J-013 (67806): Magic in Literature

Monday at 4:00-4:50pm Instructor: Thomas Willard

Some of the world’s most enduring poetry is based on myths: stories of gods and heroes that convey the values of a culture. While reading extracts from famous essays about the nature of myth—essays written by anthropologists, psychologists, literary critics, and cultural historians—we will read selected myths from the greatest collection of Greek and Roman mythology, the Metamorphoses of Ovid, written in the early years of the first century A.D. Then we will turn to some myths of our time, whether found in the entertainment media or in social and political discourse. Expect to write or collaborate on a short (1-2 page) essay each week and to make or contribute to class presentations on myths and the common reading. Assigned text: Ted Hughes, Tales from Ovid.

HNRS 195J-014 (67868): Filming Difference: The Films of Iciar Bollaín

Wednesday at 1:00-1:50pm Instructor: Malcolm Compitello

This class provides offers students the opportunity to examine the films of the award-winning Spanish film maker Iciar Bollaín. Her films weave together the lives she examines throughout her work to form a riveting portrait of the issues that individuals confront in the complex society of the end of the 20th and first decades of the 21th Century. A careful examination of the lives of the individuals and the social networks in Bollaín’s award winning films Hi, Are You Alone? (1995) Flowers from Another World, (1999) I Give You My Eyes (2003) Mataharis (2007) and Even the Rain (2010) suggests strategies for surmounting the issues that form our existence as individuals, families, communities and nations and also let one see how gender, racial and ethnic identities all play into this process. Class discussions will permit students to explore how Bollaín’s films challenge commonly held perceptions about the structures that help shape the human condition. It will also allow participants to examine how film makers tell stories and weave together meaning visually.

HNRS 195J-015 (67869): Can Literature Change Lives?

Wednesdays at 3:00-3:50pm Instructor: Adele Barker

We know about Wes Moore because one of the two men with that name sat down and wrote this book. And we have become his readers. But after that what happens? What effect do books have on our lives and can literature do anything other than provide us a brief avenue of escape from our work-a-day worlds? Are we expecting too much out of literature to ask that it make us better, more whole, more reasonable and compassionate human beings? Sometimes the act of reading can be linked to our very survival or to the way we face our death. We will through discussion delve into the role that literature plays in our lives both here in the US. and cross-culturally.

HNRS 195J-018 (68322): Examining Ancient Lives
Mondays at 10:00 – 10:50 Instructor: Robert Groves

"The Other Wes Moore" demonstrates the fascinating and complex web of influences that helps shape modern lives, but the lives of the ancient world were no less complex or fascinating. In this course, we'll tackle the problem of how to reconstruct ancient lives: What were people like? What made them that way? How did they live? What are roles do fate, choices and genetics play? How (much) can we understand the lives of Mythological Kings, Greek generals, Roman Emperors, an Egyptian Pharaoh, and the people too often left in the shadows: women, slaves, sexual and cultural minorities, and the poor.

HNRS 195K-001 (67401): Music in Pop Culture, Movies, and Television

Monday at 3:00-3:50pm Instructor: Moises Paiewonsky

This colloquium will survey instances in pop culture utilizing musical masterworks and/or musical devices employed by master composers. The course will cover media ranging from blockbuster Hollywood films to television shows to commercial jingles. Through this survey, students will be exposed to music and composers they did not know they knew! The class will serve to clarify what makes some of these masterworks and composers so great that they have withstood the test of time; and how these elements can help us to clearly define what the differences and similarities are between art and entertainment – what is aesthetic? Class meetings will be centered around listening, viewing, and discussing. Occasionally, studies, observations, and discussions will be supplemented by field trips to relevant concerts, events, and clinics.

HNRS 195K-002 (67512): Design and Chance

Thursday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Karen Zimmerman

We will get to examine how both design and chance operations are in place in our daily lives in all sorts of ways.  Short reading prompts from figures such as John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, and games will help us engage with the topics. Thru these experience we will be able bring out some observations on how we operate in life thru chance and design.   

HNRS 195K-003 (67680): Understanding Creativity

Wednesday at 3:00-3:50pm Instructor: Kelland Thomas

Creativity is an essential component of human intelligence. Philosophers and cognitive scientists have tried to understand how the human mind creates new ideas and things, while researchers in Artificial Intelligence have tried to model creative processes with computers in order to understand how computers might think like us. We will discuss issues in both human and computational creativity. Readings by Marvin Minsky, Douglas Hofstadter, Irving Singer, and others.

HNRS 195K-004 (67743): A Nation Considered: The United States as Idea and Image

Wednesday at 2:00-2:50pm Instructor: Sarah Moore

This course, "A Nation Considered: The United States as Image and Idea," takes the idea and the images of a nation not as a given or as being transparent in meaning, but rather the result of deliberate consideration about who and what a nation is.  The United States will be our case study, as it were, and we will select a key image each week, supported by different texts from the respective time periods.  These images will provide the visual texts with which we will consider how the United States has imagined its past, national identity, unique characteristics, and projections into the future.

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