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Fall 2019 Courses

With immediate effect, students are required to take a Non-Western, which may be at either the 2000 or 3000 level. Students are also required to take two upper division courses (these can be two 3000, two 4000 or one 3000 and one 4000-level course)

A 3000-nonwestern cannot double dip as an upper division course but it could serve as an upper division if you have another non-western.



FALL 2019

First Year Seminars

HP 1101-01: FYS Calling BullS#!% In a Science-Driven World, Instructor: Patrick Kelley, CRN: 16560

Meeting Times: MWF 9:00-9:50AM

Science depends on thoughtful collection, analysis, and interpretation of quality data. If not handled responsibly and transparently, data can yield bull$#!% science. Our primary goal will be to learn to identify bull$#!% in our scientific environment, namely in the publication, reporting, interpretation, and application. During this course, we will seek out, define, and quantify the amount of scientific bull$#!% (relative to non-bull$#!%) in an attempt to understand if the rate of accumulating bull$#!% is causing irreversible damage to science. We will work to investigate the nature of mistakes, obfuscations, and other types of bull$#!% in science and its reporting. We will explore topics such as publication bias, meta-analyses and multiple working hypotheses, statistical traps, data blinding, as well as the increased focus on Big Data and data visualizations that impact how people view the scientific process. We will engage with scientific articles, topic reviews, and popular press articles and spend much time thinking about the data that surround us (e.g. social interactions, movement patterns of students and other animals, instructor behavior, eating habits) to understand what data are. Students will design and execute original research on data bull$#!% and present this work as a conference-style poster. Students will be exposed to data processing (to gain an understanding of basic data informatics, i.e. what it means to collect and organize data. Students will gain an appreciation for formal scientific research as well as an understanding of how scientific research careers develop.


HP 1101-02: FYS Walk Across the World, Instructor: Dr. Lori Howe, CRN: 17473

Meeting Times: MWF 11:00-11:50am

As an interdisciplinary course with a focus on problem-based learning, we will use films as jumping off points to spur discussions and research on topics of great meaning and interest to you, exploring how other nations are dealing with problems as universal as climate change and as local as preservation of dying, indigenous languages.  We will watch 4 films over the course of the semester, films that open windows on major problems in serious need of attention and solutions. Each of you, based on your interests, majors, and potential study-abroad opportunities, will work with two other students to examine one of those problems and the current, real-world approaches to those problems. Team-based, problem-based learning means that your group members will combine the knowledge and technology of your disciplines to create fresh, dynamic ideas and potential solutions to these problems. The benefit of interdisciplinary inquiry is that you may find yourself working with people from very different disciplines, and the union of your disciplines may well yield ideas that would be impossible to conceive for any single discipline.


American and Wyoming Government

HP 1200: American and Wyoming Government, Instructor: Brian Blumenfeld, CRN: 17476

Meeting Times: TBA, Meets (V) Wyoming and American Government

This course focuses on reading American and Wyoming political documents in an historical and interdisciplinary context, and extends the discussion to the present day, situating what we know about America as a political nation, Wyoming as a political state, and ourselves as people and citizens within both our founding political documents and the history of interpretations and extensions of those documents.


Non-Western Courses

HP 2151-01: NW Modern Japanese Society and Culture, Instructor: Noah Miles, CRN: 12178

Meeting Times: TR 11:00-12:15pm, Meets (H) Humanities and A&S Global Core

This course is designed to introduce Japanese society and culture.  The class will take a thematic approach to the study of Japan.  We will integrate history and literature from the Jomon to the Edo periods, covering a diverse range of topics including: language development, the introduction of Buddhism, poetry, classical and modern literature, traditional arts and holidays concluding with the development of popular culture.


Upper Division Courses

HP 3151-01: MDS Democracy, Instructor: Dr. Harvey Hix, CRN: 14881

Meeting Times: TR 1:20-2:35pm

We live in a democracy.  A class of UW Honors students, asked if that sentence is true or false, surely would agree unanimously that it is true.  But the same group of students, asked what that sentence means, just as surely would disagree on very many important points.  If “democracy” is “rule by the people” (its etymological sense), then who are the people who are ruling?  (I didn’t get to vote when I was 17, but I get to vote now, so I wasn’t one of the people the day before my 18th birthday, but I was the day after?)  Who gets to decide who “we the people” are?  (If one person says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and another says, “Build that wall,” who decides between them?)  Are “we the people” really ruling?  (Women can vote now, but the list of 40+ U.S. Presidents includes no women: are women actually ruling, or only nominally so?)  If “democracy” is not a natural kind or Platonic form (“democracy” couldn’t have existed before there were people, or before the big bang, could it?), if it’s a constructed concept, then who got to (gets to) construct it?  (If we think what we’re doing now is democracy, but the U.S. “Founding Fathers” wouldn’t have thought so, are we still doing democracy?  If another nation calls itself a democracy, but its practices look nothing like ours, is it a democracy because its people say so, even if we wouldn’t agree?)  And so on.  In this class, we will read and think together about such questions, toward enriching our understandings of democracy.


HP 3151-02: Literature in Medicine, Instructor: Dr. Michelle Jarman, CRN: 17502

Meeting Times: TR 1:20-2:35pm

This course explores how literature and memoirs have grappled with illness, disease, and disability, paying particular attention to the perspectives of doctors, nurses, patients, families, and communities in shaping meanings of diagnoses, health, and access to care.

Drawing from novels, short stories, poems as well as memoirs by physicians, nurses, and those impacted by health systems, this course aims to bring literature and medicine together through narrative. Throughout, we look to these texts to complicate and enhance binary notions of health/illness, normality/disability, and doctor/patient perspectives. 


HP 3152-01: MDS Taboo: Sacred and Forbidden, Instructor: Dr. Erin Abraham, CRN: 14882

Meeting Times: MWF 1:10-2:00pm, Meets (H) Humanities


This course explores new ways of understanding the role of taboos in different historical, social, and cultural contexts. We will begin with an introduction to the concept of taboo in the social sciences as a basis for further investigation of the ways ideas about the sacred and forbidden inform our expectations and cultural understandings.  The majority of the course will focus on examining these ideas in relation to five general categories: food and sacrifice, body modification, sex and sexuality, the mind and body, and death.  In doing so, we will gain a fuller appreciation for the way that these ideas influence our understanding of ourselves, our communities, and the world while challenging some of the assumptions that inform those ideas.


HP 3152-02: MDS People of the Arctic, Instructor: Dr. Joslyn Cassady, CRN: 12507

Meeting Times: TR 11:00-12:15pm


This course focuses on the lives of indigenous peoples residing throughout the Arctic. Special attention will be paid to the Saami of Norway and Sweden, Eveny of northeast Siberia, Iñupiat of Alaska and Kalaallit of Greenland. Although the course will begin with an overview of Arctic prehistory, the majority of the course will focus on contemporary social realities of indigenous Arctic communities. Issues addressed will include shamanism, healing, subsistence and animal rights, colonialism, suicide, substance abuse, and industrial contamination. Indigenous peoples representations of their own lives and land will be highlighted. Together we will develop anthropologically-informed understandings of concepts such a “cultural survival”, “traditional knowledge” and “food security”. My hope is to rupture stereotypes of northern peoples while simultaneously conveying their struggles for self-determination and autonomy in a rapidly globalizing world.


HP 3152-03: MDS DNA in Our Society, Instructor: Dr. Heather Rothfuss, CRN: 17475

Meeting Times, TR 1:20-2:35pm, Meets (PN) Physical and Natural Science Requirement

DNA Forensics, Genetic Sequencing, Genetically Modified Organisms, Stem Cell Research… We hear these phrases daily in the news, movies and on television, but few people, including lawmakers, understand the technologies, their implications or applications.  

This course will discuss these three controversial topics involving use of DNA technologies in our societies.  The student is not expected to have a background in biology.  Each topic and the underlying chemistry and biology will be discussed in depth.  In addition, we will compare and contrast the information available about each topic from the standpoint of political, mass media, and scientific journal publications.  The student can expect to learn the science behind these issues, and to explore their current and potential applications, good and bad. 


HP 3153-01: MDS See Movies, Touch China, Instructor: TBA, CRN: 17404

Meeting Times: TR 6:10-8:40pm


This is a 3-credit course which seamlessly combines classical and contemporary Chinese cultures through prominent films, and short literary and modern Chinese media (drama, TV, etc). All of the audio-video materials will be discussed in their historical context. Film selection will include modern movies on historical and current Chinese figures. In the class, students will explore the myriad of transformations of China’s history and culture from antiquity to the present and will explore and seek to understand the Chinese historical and modern mindset. Background readings and documentaries will provide basic historical narratives. Class discussions will focus on Chinese representations of cultural, social, and political change.  There will also be an introduction of traditional Chinese arts and etiquette.  There are no prerequisites for this class but a familiarity with Chinese history, knowledge of China, or film studies will be helpful.


HP 4152-01: SM Nanotechnology, Instructor: Dr. Chris Rothfuss, CRN: 12703

Meeting Times: W 3:20-5:50pm

Cancer cures, space elevators, quantum computers and stain resistant ties... nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the control, manipulation and fabrication of matter at the molecular scale – about 1 to 100 nanometers – to take advantage of unique physical phenomena.   It is estimated that by the year 2015 nanotechnology will account for over $1 trillion in the global marketplace.  The US Government invests $1 billion per year on nanotechnology research and development.  Nanotechnology is seen by many as the next great technological revolution. So what does all that mean?  What will nanotechnology do for me?   How will it influence the world of the future?  What research is being done today? This course will take a broad look at the development of nanotechnology; including the history, the science, the applications, the social and political impacts, and its influence on the future. All majors and disciplines are welcome!


HP 4152-03: SM Disease in History, Instructor: Donal O’Toole, CRN: 16229

Meeting Times: TR 8:10-9:25am

People make history, but seldom under conditions of their own choosing.  In contrast to the optimistic view that history is the inexorable march of progress, there is another perspective: it also has negative or ambivalent drivers such as climate change, zealotry, class and other forms of warfare, and racism, among others.  A seldom-discussed factor is the historical role in human societies of infectious disease in humans, livestock and wildlife.  This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the role several major and some minor diseases played as drivers in history or for social change, progressive and regressive. It is aimed equally at students of history and at science majors.


HP 4152-04: SM Disney Discourse, Instructor: Dr. Susan Aronstein, CRN: 17250

Meeting Times: M 4:10-7:00pm, Meets (H) Humanities

A two-part course evaluating Disney film, television, merchandise, and theme parks as cultural phenomena. In the first part of the course, students view early Disney film, and television to determine how they help construct and re-tell American history and identity. The second part of the course is focused on Disneyland as a persuasive entity, culminating with a trip to the park during which students perform independent research that incorporates a reading of the park through the lens of material and cultural rhetoric. 


HP 4152-05: SM Chinese Medicine and Models of Healthcare, Instructor: Chris Dewey, CRN: 17299

Meeting Times: 6:30-9:00pm, PREREQUISITE: Completion of Anatomy or Physiology


On offer here is a class that examines Traditional Chinese Medicine as an integral component of contemporary models of health care. Students will learn from a practicing Chinese Medicine clinician about evidence-based practice, the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine, its modalities including acupuncture, how it is used to treat disease, and the diagnostic tools we use in a clinical setting. Students will also participate in a typical client intake and observe a full acupuncture treatment. Together we will examine what it means to use Chinese Medicine in service of the consumer’s journey to wellness. The nuanced and abstruse lexicon used by practitioners in any branch of health care, combined with the ways in which Eastern and Western care paradigms differ from each other, can be confusing and alienating to both practitioners and consumers alike. The course will help to dispel the confusion and division that can exist between seemingly different models of health care and demonstrate the value of integrated medicine to health, healing and wellness.


HP 4990-01: TPS Undergrad Education Research, Instructors: Dr. Janel Seeley, Dr. Rick Fisher,

CRN: 17446, Meeting Times: MW 2:45-4:00pm  Meets Comm3 requirement

This course invites you to be a partner in studying and promoting strong undergraduate learning experiences. In the class, you’ll learn about a variety of methods for gathering good information, making sense of that information, and using that information to drive meaningful change. More specifically, the Fall 2019 section of HP 4990/ENGL 4600 will focus on inquiries related to improving UW students' first-year experiences and their writing, speaking, and digital communication activities in classes and across campus.

The course will include four units that will build your skills with key approaches to qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis (e.g., survey methods, interviews, descriptive statistics, and qualitative analysis). It will also include a unit on ethical research conduct, exploration of previous studies, and readings about strategies for promoting organizational change.

The fall class will culminate in student development of research, analysis and/or action projects.  Students will work directly with faculty and staff to explore and plan potential projects.

The course is open to any interested students (regardless of major), especially those with an interest in studying writing and communication activity, creating positive learning environments, and working closely with faculty to design and pursue meaningful projects.  

Contact Us

The Honors College

Guthrie House

1200 Ivinson St.

Laramie, WY 82070

Phone: 307-766-4110

Fax: 307-766-4298


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