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Washington State University

Courses in the Honors College

Please note: this list may be incomplete and will be updated with new information as it is received. If you have questions about the following courses, please contact honors@wsu.edu.

A wide variety of course topics are available to Honors College students. Please check back often, as changes may occur until the semester begins. Need an appointment with an Honors College advisor? Stop by the Honors College main office in Elmina White Honors Hall 130 or phone 509-335-4505.

Course descriptions are intended to provide general information about the scope of the class, the name of the faculty member teaching it, credits, and texts. All descriptions are posted as soon as possible the semester preceding so students can consider their options and plan accordingly. Listings from previous semesters are located at the bottom of this page.

Spring 2023


HONORS 211.1
Introduction to Community Engagement

Meetings: Tu 2:55-4:10
Instructor: Jessica Perone

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Compassion in Action 

This course is required for HONORS students in the Mindfulness Emotional Social Intelligence (MESI) Certificate program. Students will be introduced to community engagement and the importance of it in their own work and life. Over 10 weeks, the class will meet once per week for 7 weeks and 3 weeks will be dedicated to participating in community engagement projects.
This is a seminar-style class. There will also be guest speakers and interactive workshops during class. Students complete readings and assignments before the class and discuss major themes or topics during class. We emphasize knowledge and conceptual gain through peer-to-peer dialogue and active learning. This course surveys critical concepts of community engagement, including but not limited to, personal wellness, equity, citizenship, human rights, advocacy and activism, civic leadership, social justice, civil discourse, social capital, education, environment, health care, immigration, socioeconomic status, and discrimination. Students will use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze and actively engage in principles and practices of community engagement through a local lens. This course also serves as an introduction to the MESI Certificate within the Honors College. This course gives the student the opportunity to grow academically, professionally, personally, and civically through participation in transformational service-learning experiences.

Required Course Materials:
Donahue, D. & Plaxton-Moore, S. The Student Companion to Community-Engaged Learning, D.M. Donahue and S. Plaxton-Moore, Sterling, VA, Stylus (2018)
This class contains a service-learning component.


HONORS 270.1
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science

Meetings: Tu Thu 9:10-10:25
Instructor: Lisa Waananen Jones

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Photography, reality, and Visual Evidence

What does it mean for a photo to be “real”? Our knowledge of the world is greatly expanded by photography, video, and visual technology that allows us to see perspectives inaccessible to the unaided human eye. At the same time, idioms like “seeing it with my own eyes” demonstrate the undercurrent of skepticism associated with trusting images beyond our own experience. Since the invention of photography in the 1800s, photos have been seen as both irrefutable evidence and inherently suspect, and the tension in this duality continues today with viral social media posts, filters and airbrushing, surveillance cameras, software-generated images, and virtual reality.

Students in this course will learn about photographs as a source and manifestation of power. We will discuss how people comprehend photos, both in the past and globally today, and investigate how ideas about what is real and truthful are influenced by both cultural norms and available technology. The reading list includes excerpts and essays by writers including Teju Cole, John Berger, Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, Andie Tucher, and John Edwin Mason. Each week, students will select photo examples on a theme to share with the class. These discussions will culminate in a final project investigating a specific visual mystery related to a photographic hoax, controversy, phenomenon, or curiosity, produced in a narrative format such as a short documentary, podcast, or magazine-style written piece.


HONORS 270.2*
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science

Meetings: W 2:10-4:40
Instructor: Phyllis Erdman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Overview of human-animal interaction research

This course is an introduction to the field of human-animal interaction research and is designed as a seminar for students from any discipline who are interested in the field of human-animal interaction. The course is designed with an interdisciplinary focus to help students explore various topics and current research related to human-animal interactions. Examples of topics include the benefits of animal-assisted interventions, how to assess animal behavior, ethics of animal research, homelessness, and pet ownership. The seminar will include lectures by various faculty, and class discussion and participation. The class will meet over zoom and will include interactions with students from Colorado State University.

*This course qualified as credit for the MESI Certificate.


HONORS 280.1*
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu Thu 2:55-4:00
Instructor: Leeann Hunter

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

literature.

Quests and Calling

Finding one’s calling in life often takes on the qualities of a hero’s journey, a rite of passage, or a spiritual quest. Using the hero’s journey, or monomyth, as a framework, this course introduces students to the processes of (1) being called on a journey, (2) seeking guidance to cross the threshold into the unknown, (3) encountering what seem like insurmountable difficulties, and (4) overcoming those difficulties to carry wisdom back to their original starting point. We use these four critical junctures in the hero’s journey to guide our reading of poetry, fiction, mythology, art, and film by authors across cultures.

 

In the interest of putting the humanities into action, we will apply these stories to our own lives, exploring our connections to the archetypes and frameworks that function at the root of what it means to be a human in search of meaning. Assignments will include a mixture of creative personal expression and critical research projects. Class activities will include regular small-group discussions, interactive workshops, personal writing, and mindfulness-based activities.

*This course qualifies for MESI credit

 

Required Course Materials:

Course Reader, available at CougPrints Plus


HONORS 280.2*
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
(online course through WSU Global Campus)

Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

course.

Creative Writing: Fiction, The Short Story

This is a creative writing course that introduces students to the art and craft of short-form fiction writing. We will read, analyze, and discuss award-winning short stories, complete writing exercises, and write two short stories while working to explore and develop short-story craft elements including characterization, point-of-view, dialogue, plot, scene and summary, setting, and the use of metaphorical language and themes. Throughout the semester, each student will have one of their short stories workshopped with written peer reviews and instructor feedback provided. No previous creative writing experience is necessary, although strong general writing abilities are required to do well in this course. This is also a MESI course where you will keep a mindfulness journal that is meant to correlate to your creative work.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Materials:
Textbooks:

1. Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, Janet Burroway, ISBN#: 9780226616698
2. Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories since 1970, 2nd Edition, Michael Martone, ISBN#: 9781416532279
3. I Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide and Journal, The Mindfulness Project, ISBN#: 9780399184444


HONORS 280.3*

Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: M W F 9:10-10:00
Instructor: David Shier

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

The Good Life

By a “good life” we might mean either a desirable life or a morally good life – or both. This class is a philosophical investigation into what it means to live a good life, as discussed by selected classical and contemporary writers and also as examined in selected films and videos.

We will emphasize ancient Greeks and Romans such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics, but we will also consider other thinkers including Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Paul Sartre, David Foster Wallace, Rebecca Solnit, Emily Esfahani-Smith, and Todd May. Our primary text will be the recent ethics book _How to be Perfect_ by Michael Schur (yes, THAT Michael Shur, the co-creator of The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, etc.) but we will also read a dozen or so short (or short-adjacent) readings from other authors.

The main project in this course is, well, YOU. For much of the course, you’ll work on refining your own view of “the good life” through our class discussions, the short essays you’ll write on films, and other short assignments. In the later part of the semester, you’ll design and complete a “theory to practice” project in which you adopt a life-improvement practice of your choice and do a presentation to the class discussing the impact of these changes.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Materials:
How to be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question_ by Michael Schur (2022), plus 4 feature films that can be rented via streaming


HONORS 280.4
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: M W F 1:10-2:00
Instructor: Cameron McGill

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Sibling Art: Poetry & Song

Do you think your favorite song could be a poem? Could your favorite poem be a song? Perhaps, though these questions may prove more difficult to answer than you initially might think. In an era of unlimited access to recorded music and the written word, the lines of the genre are blurring in beautiful ways. We will explore how these two disciplines (whose origins can be traced to the ancient world) have carved out unique artistic spaces while seamlessly influencing one another. We will study works by contemporary avatars of each discipline: those who write poems, those who write songs, and those who write both.

This course explores the art and craft of poetry and lyric writing, and seeks to answer the following questions: Where do these distinct disciplines overlap and diverge? Which craft elements and techniques are most transferable between the disciplines? Why are certain song lyrics referred to as “poetic” and their writers as poets? We will establish a groundwork of poetic terminology to aid our discussions, and seek out as Dr. Elizabeth Renker suggests, “the intersections between these sibling art forms.”

This course provides foundational knowledge and the related tools in which to begin the effective reading, writing, and analysis of poetry and song lyrics. We will focus on honing your ability to read and analyze poems and song lyrics and to understand the techniques employed by writers to achieve meaning, feeling, and resonance. Through close reading and a discussion of terminology, craft, language, and form, we will seek to broaden the scope of techniques and styles available in your own writing. Coursework will include weekly reading and writing exercises, short presentations, discussion leads, developing “blueprints” of poems and lyrics, peer review, and short craft analyses. And yes, you will write your own poems and lyrics (no previous musical knowledge is required, but if you have some, wonderful!). A final portfolio will combine your revised poems and lyrics, a revised poetry craft analysis, and a reflective letter. I aim for a fun, discussion-based, and collaborative learning environment!

Required Course Materials:

Addonizio, Kim, and Dorianne Laux. The Poet’s Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.


HONORS 280.5
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu Thu 1:30-2:45
Instructor: Colin Criss

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Introduction to Un-American Poetry

Poetry has existed in the cultural context of “America” for as long as we’ve had any understanding of the word. For centuries, poet after poet, and poem after poem, has been derided as “un-American.” And poet after poet, and poem after poem, has resisted being called “American,” has protested the label. These poems and poets have persisted on the margins of the dominant culture. This will be a literature survey course–not of American poetry, but of the poems that changed American poetry by refusing to fit in.

Our reading will stretch across centuries, leading to a deep investigation of what poetry is now. Our writing will focus on defining, diagnosing, and implicating “America” by way of these poems, and on understanding the lineage of these poems across history and into the present.

Required Course Text:

To be determined. Will include an anthology of poems, and two contemporary books of poems, along with supplemental poems provided on Canvas.


HONORS 290.1
Science as a Way of Knowing
Meetings:
M W F 2:10-3:00
Instructor:
Richard Gomulkiewicz 

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

How Science Works

Most people imagine modern science as a branch of knowledge that uses “the scientific method” to achieve clear-cut goals. They likewise presume that science involves logical thinking, advanced technology, precision, and lots of data, and that, in the end, it proves absolute facts about our world. Of course, these popular notions are only partly correct at best and some are simply wrong. The main goal of this course is to provide a general understanding of how science actually works. We will answer the following questions:
• What are the goals of science and how are they determined?
• How is science practiced?
• How does science progress?
As we answer these questions, we will learn about the philosophical, psychological, historical, and social aspects of science. This will reveal the central role of uncertainty in science and show how science is more a creative and collective endeavor than a rigid set of methods for understanding the world.

Required Course Text:
Theory and Reality (2nd edition) by Peter Godfrey-Smith. ISBN# 9780226618654
The Meaning of It All by Richard P. Feynman. ISBN# 9780465023943


HONORS 290.2
Science as a Way of Knowing
Meetings: Tu Thu 10:35-11:50
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

Man or Woman’s Best Friend? The Co-Evolution of Homo sapiens and Canus lupus familiaris

In this course, we will examine the origins of Canus lupus familiaris, the domestic dog. In recent years, researchers have taken a keen interest in our dog companions for a variety of reasons. I am a “dog person”, but as an evolutionary biologist, the wealth of research on domestic dog evolution and artificial selection for the over 200 American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized dog breeds fascinate me. The gray wolf, Canis lupus, is well supported as the precursor to the domestic dog. We will examine if a single wolf stock with introgression/backcrossing was responsible for C. lupus familiaris (i.e. domestic dogs arose then backcrossed with wolves) or if there were multiple origins of domestic dogs from many wolf stocks. We will also investigate the ancient and recent breeds, including the date of origin of the domestic dog, i.e. divergence time between the grey wolf and domestic dog using a molecular clock as one data source. We will also delve into one of the most important relationships in the history of man, the co-evolution of Homo sapiens and C. lupus familiaris, beginning with the ancient relationship between early humans and wolves, C. lupus. Our studies will include selection for canine morphological and behavioral traits and how artificial selection in breeding results in deleterious mutations over time, i.e. inbreeding depression. Other topics will be discussed, including feral dog populations, dog social behavior, domestic dog use in modern medicine, and elucidating human mental illness from dogs (e.g. obsessive-compulsive disorder), among many others. According to one researcher…. without the human-dog relationship, society would never have advanced.

Texts/books are not required in this course. We will read and discuss the current and seminal peer-reviewed literature on each topic and diverse media types will also be assigned, e.g. documentaries, videos, and podcasts.

This course requires oral discussion as a major portion of your grade, which is derived from your class participation. You will be challenged to develop creative and critical thinking, information literacy, and oral communication skills in this course. If you are not comfortable in this type of learning environment, this course is likely not a good fit for you.


HONORS 290.3
Science as a Way of Knowing
Meetings: M W F 3:10-4:00
Instructor: Michael Allen

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

History of Western Astronomy

This course is about the history of the scientific method as illustrated in the history of western astronomy from the ancient Greeks to Galileo. We will learn how the incomplete method of investigation of the ancients allowed a false model of the celestial realm to propagate forward in time. We will learn about the tension between empiricism and contemplation. We
will make a particular study of the Galileo affair, capped by a dramatic reading of Brecht’s 15-scene play, “Life of Galileo”.

This fast-paced course is driven by student seminars interspersed with interpretive discussion and historical readings.

Students are graded upon in-class engagement, short weekly assignments, a seminar, a few reading quizzes, a final exam, and an essay.

Required Course Text:

Life of Galileo, by Bertolt Brecht (Penguin edition trans. Willett) ISBN 978-0-14-310538-1


HONORS 298
Global Leadership
Meetings: W 3:10-5:00
Instructor: M. Grant Norton

Prerequisite:  Must be an Honors student; by permission only.

The Honors Global Leadership Program focuses on leadership in a global context in areas that include the demands of world trade, concerns for the environment, and the advancement of technology.

 


HONORS 370.1
Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences
(online course through WSU Global Campus)
Instructor: Breanna Miller

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 270 or ECONS 198.

Everyday Life in 20th-Century Eastern Europe

Throughout the 20th century, Eastern Europe experienced dramatic changes and upheavals – from violent conflict to new states and borders, and regime change and collapse. In this class, we will explore how these upheavals shaped the experiences and daily lives of individuals and communities throughout the region. In case studies spanning from World War I through the collapse of communism, students will consider both changes and continuities in the dynamics of political involvement, labor, economic conditions and housing, social relationships, material culture, fashion, sport, language, and even identities. In doing so, we will consider both similarities and differences in the daily lives of different social groups, as well as the relationship between macro-level historical conditions, and micro-level experiences.

Required Course Text:

None


HONORS 370.2
Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences
Meetings: Tu Thu 1:30-2:45
Instructor: Vilma Navarro-Daniels

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 270 or ECONS 198.

Crossing PathsBetween the Public and the Private

“Most films are more faithful to sociology in establishing the context of their plot
than in unraveling the plot itself”
– Nicholas Demerath

HONORS 370-02, Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences, is a course that interweaves analysis of cinematography and culture in film to reveal how societies respond to contemporary issues in a global context.
HONORS 370-02 is taught in the discipline of Film Studies, an interdisciplinary field that integrates knowledge of cinematography, visual arts, history, literature, music, theater, politics, economics, gender, and race to promote a greater understanding of film as a cultural product. In other words, in this course, students will learn how film interpretation requires the exercise of what has been called “sociological imagination.” Why? Because cinema introduces the viewers to cultural, social, economic, and historical realities beyond their own personal realities and experiences as culturally, socially, economically, and historically situated human beings. Therefore, as viewers, we need to learn that any narrative is constructed within a social context, which is reflected in and by such narrative. Films as socially and culturally built narratives may support hegemonic points of view or, conversely, they can challenge, subvert, and destabilize those perspectives.
In this course, students broaden and deepen their knowledge of film by exploring cinematic traditions outside of the United States. Through the study of films from a variety of countries (Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Morocco, and South Africa), students will develop a “cinematic vocabulary” to discuss film and gain a sense of film as a text with visual, auditory, and semantic elements key to comprehending its deeper meaning. By applying these analytical and interpretative strategies, students will understand film as a medium that embodies the society and culture in which it was produced.
As this course focuses on films produced in twelve different countries, students will critically learn about the complexities of social, cultural, and political changes experienced by a variety of people around the world. Through the eyes of a group of characters of diverse ages, races, nationality, languages, religious beliefs, gender, social class, culture, and ideology, students are invited to look at other societies in a totally new way, letting the film protagonists “take” them to their homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, towns, and cities, places where students will “meet” the characters’ families and friends, but also the potential enemies and dangers that surround them. Through these fictitious personas, students are introduced to worlds that, perhaps, they do not even suspect may exist. Students learn about the interaction between the social and the individual, the public and the domestic realm, the historical and the transcendental, and the dynamics between political constraints and intimacy. In brief, students are invited to witness the lives of others, their struggles, and fears, but also their dreams and hopes.
This course includes comedy as well as historical, political, religious, animation, and coming-of-age films, among other genres.
Students will become active participants in the film viewing experience, rather than mere spectators, by developing the skills to achieve a more discerning “reading” of films produced outside their own social and cultural contexts, exploring the familiar in otherness (and vice versa). Students will be able to differentiate and value the cultural diversity represented in these films, and, therefore, re-interpret the place of the self as an identity culturally situated. They will study and analyze representative films from different cinematic traditions, considering the historical, social, and political context in which they were produced, and how this context is represented in these films.
Students are expected to spend 1.33 app. weekly hours per credit to this course (4 hours per week) besides their attendance and active participation in class.

Required Course Text:
Honors-370-02-Flyer-Spring-2023.docx


HONORS 370.3
Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences
Meetings: Tu Thu 12:05-1:20
Instructor: Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 270 or ECONS 198.

The Global Food System

Raj Patel notes, “Global hunger and obesity are symptoms of the same problem.” The “stuffed and starved,” he maintains, “are also linked through the chains of production that bring food from fields to our plate.” Barry Estabrook points out, “the life expectancy of a migrant worker in the United States is only forty-nine years, about the same as that of a person living in equatorial Africa.” And regarding access to clean water, Anna Clark conveys, “Monthly water rates [in Flint] were among the most expensive in the country, and yet 42 percent of residents lived below the federal poverty level.” Using a case study framework, we will examine the modern global food system (including access to clean water) to understand the various issues, ironies, and inequalities embedded within it.

Required Course Text:

1.) Patel, Raj. 2012. Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Revised and Expanded Edition. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House. (ISBN# 978-1612191270)
2.) Estabrook, Barry. 2018. Tomatoland: From Harvest of Shame to Harvest of Hope. Third Edition, New and Revised. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. (ISBN# 978-1449489533)
3.) Clark, Anna. 2019. The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy. New York: Metropolitan Books. (ISBN# 978-1250181619)


HONORS 380.1
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings:
Instructor:

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 280.


HONORS 380.2
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu Thu 9:10-10:25
Instructor: Colin Criss

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 280.

Poetry exists in all parts of the inhabited world. People, wherever they are, make poetry. In this course, we’ll read widely across modern and contemporary international poetry, and think carefully about the cultural contexts of those poems. We’ll read simultaneously from an anthology of international poetry, and from a contemporary anthology of Native poetry from nations within the present-day United States. We’ll think about how place is established in poetry, and how place is dismantled in poetry. We’ll think about the translation of poems–something that is both impossible and necessary.

As we progress through the semester, each student will select a poetic tradition not adequately covered by our course. They will purchase a book, during the semester, that has been translated into English from that poetic tradition, and begin to learn the history of poetics in that tradition and the basic questions of poetic translation from the original language.

Required Course Text:
The ECCO Anthology of International Poetry; ed. Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris.
New Poets of Native Nations; ed. Heid E. Erdrich.
One book of translated poetry to be determined during the course.


Honors 380.3
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: W 1:30-4:00
Instructor: Phil Gruen

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 280.

The Global Palouse

Our Palouse region is popularly imagined as a remote landscape of rolling hills embedded with rich soils that permit the seasonal growth of wheat and lentils. It is this–yes. But too often, the image stops there; the Palouse is broadly understood for its picturesque attributes but rarely for its emergence following conquest; its people (and those who have been historically excluded); its natural systems; its political landscape; its extractive economies, its processes of production and distribution (and their environmental consequences), and its global impact.

This course will cover the Palouse in a variety of manifestations: from campus to town to city; from culture to place to race. In effect, we will learn to read the Palouse as a landscape that is global as well as local, helping us better understand this remote region we call home—if only for a few years.

The Global Palouse will be a seminar-style, discussion-based “flipped classroom” course. Lectures will accompany active student participation and presentations (individual and group), often within the same class session. Active, informed, and energetic involvement will account for the majority of the semester grade.

A selection of articles, chapters, videos, podcasts, and/or documentaries will accompany weekly or bi-weekly themes or topics. Every effort will be made to ensure that course materials are provided free of charge.


Honors 380.4*
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      (online course through WSU Global Campus)

Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 280.

Creative Writing: Memoir & Creative Nonfiction

In this creative writing course, we will examine the role of memoirs and personal narratives in shaping and defining how we see and experience the world. Through readings and analysis, discussion, and a variety of in-class writing exercises and essay/memoir writing work, we will explore the following questions: As global citizens, how can we represent our own experiences and stories through creative writing in a way that is universally understood and felt? How do we (and the authors we read) define/explore/write about the issues that trouble or fascinate us? What are we (and the authors we read) struggling to make sense of or understand about our own lives and the world around us? Throughout the semester, we will work on developing the basic craft elements of creative nonfiction and each student will have one of their essays “workshopped” with written peer reviews and oral feedback provided. No previous creative writing experience is necessary, although strong general writing abilities are required to do well in this course. This is also a MESI course where you will keep a mindfulness journal that is meant to correlate to your creative work.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Text:
Required Texts:

1. Tell it Slant, Third Edition, Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola, ISBN#: 9781260454598
2. Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, Judith Kitchen, ISBN#: 9780393326000
3. Now Write! Nonfiction, Sherry Ellis, ISBN #9781585427581
4. Into Nature: A Creative Field Guide and Journal, The Mindfulness Project, ISBN#: 9781615194803


HONORS 390.1

Case Study: Global Issues in Sciences
Meetings: M W F 11:10-12:00
Instructor: Raymond Quock

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences: Mental Health

Mental health is a state of psychological well-being in which people realize their own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and are able to contribute to their communities. Mental disorders interfere with these functions. The topics in this course will 1) provide a scientific background in mental disorders and the psychopharmacology of drugs used in their treatment; 2) discuss the societal impact of mental illness, and 3) analyze trends in addressing the burden of mental disorders.


HONORS 390.2
Case Study: Global Issues in Sciences
Meetings: M W F 1:10-2:00
Instructor:  Samantha Noll

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

Reality+ Technology: Philosophy in the Age of AI

In this course, we will look at several important philosophical issues that have arisen in the wake of recent technological advancements. In our age, it is undeniable that human beings are technological creatures. Smartphones connect us to the world, no matter where we are. Social media and gaming environments immerse us in global social communities. Devices like Amazon’s Alexa can act as a personal assistant, ordering pizza and groceries and even calling for help in an emergency. Artificial intelligences (or AIs) are increasingly making complex decisions that impact our lives. Even today, AIs have advanced to the point where they can identify malignant tumors on CT scans, give legal advice, approve loan applications, and even drive our cars. These are all examples of how Techné, or artful craftsmanship, increasingly enhances our experiences, fulfills our desires, and broadens our abilities, as a society and as individuals. Yet, even with almost unlimited knowledge at our fingertips, we still struggle with questions of meaning, such as what does it mean to live a good life?

 

This class will explore key questions that we grapple with today, as technology transforms our lives. These include: What is technology? Do we control technological innovation or does technology in some sense control us? Does our entanglement in a technological world hinder or help us in communicating with one another? We will reflect on these questions while studying several texts in the philosophy of technology from both the Continental and Analytic traditions. Our discussions will span topics in the ethics, politics, and metaphysics of technology.

Required Course Text:

1.) Nguyen, C. T. Games: Agency as Art (Thinking Art). (Oxford University Press, 2020).

2.) Ramge, T. Who’s Afraid of AI? Fear and Promise in the Age of Thinking Machines. (The Experiment, 2019).

3.) Scharff, R and V. Dusek. Philosophy of Technology: The Technological Condition an Anthology. (Wiley Blackwell, 2014)


HONORS 390.3

Case Study: Global Issues in Sciences
Meetings: Tu Thu 12:05-1:20
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

The Catastrophe of Man

Imagine living in a future dystopian Earth following the consequences of cataclysmic climate change, disease, food shortages, extinction, de-extinction, bioterrorism, GMOs, and class stratification. The world is reliant on genetically/bio-engineered products, including foods, human organs, medicines, genetically engineered plants and animals, and even beauty treatments generated and marketed by large corporations (the Corpsey Corps), who employ scientists and all the required personnel necessary to market these products. These employees live well in secure, guarded compounds. The remainder of the human population persists outside these pristine, fenced areas at various income levels in the Pleeblands at personal risk. A bio-engineered worldwide plague breaks down the entire infrastructure, killing most Homo sapiens. One man remains, who believes he is the last human, and he becomes guardian to a new, genetically engineered, “human” species known as the Crakers, designed to succeed under Earth’s hostile conditions. In this course, we will explore many issues raised by Margaret Atwood in “Oryx and Crake”, with genetics/bioengineering and climate change at the core of our discussions, all at the scientific, economic, social, and ethical levels.

We will be using an approach called Shared Inquiry/the Socratic Method. Two students will develop a “Basic Question” based on a topic derived from the novel, which you will present to your peers. The two student facilitators can only ask questions to maintain the discussion, as the remainder of the cohort discusses the facilitators’ questions originating from the basic question.

This course requires oral discussion as a major portion of your grade, which is derived from your class participation. You will be challenged to develop creative and critical thinking, information literacy, and oral communication skills in this course. If you are not comfortable in this type of learning environment, this course is likely not a good fit for you.

 

Black Box Warning: The novel contains language that might be offensive to some students (R-rated).

 

Required Course Text:

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. 2004.
Publisher: Anchor, Reprint Edition
ISBN-10: 0385721676
ISBN-13: 978-0385721677


HONORS 390.4
Case Study: Global Issues in Sciences
Meetings: Tu Thu 1:30-2:45
Instructor: M. Grant Norton

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

What a Load of Rubbish 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris that extends for more than 1.6 million square kilometers. The majority of the debris is plastic waste that finds its way from land-based activities into the ocean. In this course, we will look at the following questions:
1. What is plastic?
2. Why does so much of it end up in the ocean or in landfills?
3. Why doesn’t plastic biodegrade?
4. How can we reduce our consumption and disposal of plastic?
By completing a “plastics inventory” at the beginning and at the end of the course students will identify how much plastic they use and what might be some possible alternatives. A group project performed throughout the semester will examine how cities in the United States and around the world deal with waste.
The course will also look at issues related to the extraction of critical minerals such as Coltan (a source of tantalum), which is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo and fueled a vicious armed conflict, and nickel, which is mined in Guatemala creating an environmental nightmare in the surrounding Mayan villages. These metals, and many others, are essential components of our modern technology. We will look at why we need these materials, are there more sustainable alternatives, and what role, if any, recycling plays.


HONORS 398.1
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
(online course through WSU Global Campus)

Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.

This is a seminar-style course with the purpose of assisting and supporting each participant in completing his/her Honors thesis proposal. In the course, you will generate an Honors thesis topic, formulate your thesis question, identify a thesis advisor, and prepare your thesis proposal. We will discuss ways to structure your thesis, perform research, and evaluate the information you obtain in relation to your chosen topic. During the course, we will discuss and constructively support and critique projects as they develop in the proposals. Each student will present their proposal to the class, and submit a complete proposal—including title, introduction, research question, methodology, and annotated bibliography—as a final product. S/F grading.


HONORS 398.2
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
Meetings: W 10:10-11:00
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.

This seminar-style course is designed to assist and support you in the development and completion of your Honors College thesis proposal. The course prepares you to successfully complete your final thesis research and presentation requirements of the Honors College. We will perform a step-wise process in the completion of your proposal, from generating preliminary ideas, finding suitable thesis advisors, and submitting a thesis draft, which I thoroughly edit from Introduction through Conclusions to assist in your successful completion and submission of a quality proposal. During the course, each thesis proposal will be constructively criticized during collaborative peer review sessions. You will give a 10-minute formal presentation on your proposal in class. Your peers will provide feedback on your proposed research following the presentation. At the end of class, your final thesis proposal will include a Title, Introduction, Research Question/Hypothesis (or Creative Project), Materials and Methods (Methodology), Expected Results derived from your preliminary literature review, Conclusions, and Bibliography/References. You are graded as S/F in this course.


HONORS 398.3
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
Meetings: W 12:10-1:00
Instructor: Robin Bond

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.


HONORS 398.4
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
Meetings: Tu 10:35-11:25
Instructor: M. Grant Norton

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.

This seminar-style course is designed to assist and support each participant in the development and completion of the Honors College thesis proposal.


ENGL 298
Writing and Research Honors

Multiple Sections, see courses at schedules.wsu.edu


Current and Previous Semesters

Information about courses from previous semesters is also available: Fall 2022, Summer 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2021, Summer 2021, Spring 2021, Fall and Summer 2020, Spring 2020,Fall 2019, Summer 2019, Spring 2019, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Summer 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2016.