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2021 J-Term and Spring Courses

Registration Guidelines

Meeting times, locations, CRNs, specific section numbers, are all listed in WyoRecords under the “Look Up Classes” search function. 

Pre-Requisites: All Honors Upper-Division Classes (3000 and 4000 level) require students to have completed their COM 1 and COM 2 requirements.

Main campus Honors College fall courses will open to non-Honors College students on Monday, November 30. Non-Honors College student wishing to register for these courses need to have at least a 3.25 cumulative UW GPA and will need to request an override from the Honors College. Students should email Cass Tolman at ctolman2@uwyo.edu to make this request. Online Honors classes are open to all students.

Advising

Please reach out to the Honors Advising Team for more information and guidance when registering.

2021 J-Term Courses

HP 1200-40: American & Wyoming Government: Understanding the Institutions and Historiography of the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions
Instructor: Brian Blumenfeld
Modality: Asynchronous Online
USP attributes: V
A&S attributes: none
This course fulfills the “U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions – University (V)” requirement. Students will acquire an understanding of the U.S. and Wyoming constitutions and the structure and function of the governing institutions that both documents establish. Students will also develop research skills for analyzing historic and contemporary issues within the framework of constitutional powers and prohibitions. Using sources from diverse genres—historical scholarship, biography, music, journalism, drama—students will study constitutional historiography and learn how the politics of various historical eras have influenced the ways that historians interpret and the public perceives constitutional developments. The final unit of the course will be dedicated to tracking the evolution of civil rights under the 14th Amendment and learning about the efforts of the men and women who, as constitutional litigants, fought for freedom and equality under the law. In addition to acquiring substantive knowledge of the source materials, upon completion of the course students will gain the insights, skills, values, and the motivation for intelligent participation in our constitutional democracy.

Wyoming Flag


HP 4151-40: Film and Social Construction of Race

Instructor: Dewey Gallegos
Modality: Asynchronous Online
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
This course provides an overview of race as a socially constructed concept and the impact of popular films in American culture.  We will examine the history and the social impact of the relationship between Films produced in the United States and the populations that consume them. We will explore seminal works and review research to better understand the concepts that are being presented.

 

HP 4153-40: Environmental and Sustainability Issues in Art
Instructor: Breezy Taggart
Modality:
Asynchronous Online
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none

Environment and Sustainability Issues in Art investigates the ways in which Earth is represented and used in art as subject matter, sculptural medium, and vehicle for examining relationships between humans and nature. Topics include historical landscapes, earthworks and landart, and environmental activism.

 


HP 4151: Data Science Deep Dive

Instructor: Patrick Kelley
Modality: Asynchronous Online
Honors attributes: Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none

Students in this intensive, three-week course will explore important aspects of data processing and analysis. Students first will learn best practices for data structuring and storage, the basics of data distributions, and how to identify statistical modeling approaches that match their project goals. Collaborations among students and with the instructor will be encouraged as each student works towards a completed analysis. There will be asynchronous lectures and synchronous web-based discussions. Students must have a previously collected dataset and must be Junior/Senior undergraduates working on an Honors Capstone project.

 

2021 Spring Courses

 

HP 1101-40: First Year Seminar: Narratives of Success
Instructor: Ann Stebner Steele
Modality: Web Conferencing with Synchronous Meeting times
USP attributes: FYS
A&S attributes: none
What does it mean to be successful? How do we as individuals and a society define success? What stories do we tell about successes and our failures?  As a first-year college student, you already have and will continue to encounter many different metrics that attempt to define success for you: grades; honors and awards; degrees earned; parental expectations; peer perceptions; and the list goes on.  But how do you define success for yourself?  How will you know when you’ve “made it?”  How can you defy the expectations of others when your own goals and vision do not align with theirs?

In this class, we will engage with a variety of narratives in the form of films, documentaries, podcasts, blogs, novels, memoirs, non-fiction books about psychology, sociology, leadership, and community – we will explore each of these narratives in relationship to what they tell us about how we define success and come to a deeper understanding our own goals and vision in the process.

 

 

 

HP 2020:  Honors Colloquium II
REQUIRED FOR ALL FIRST-YEAR HONORS STUDENTS*

*A first-year student is any student who begins at UW with fewer than 30 post high school college credit hours.  Students who earned an associate’s degree while completing their high school degree are still considered first-year students.
Instructor: Various 
Modality: Various
Honors College Attributes: Colloquium 2
USP attributes: (COM2) Communication 2
A&S attributes: none

HP 2020 is the second course in the Colloquium sequence.

The first-year Colloquium is a required two-semester sequence of courses that takes a complex topic – for example, Dreams and Reality – and explores it with readings based in the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. The courses build community in the Honors College while promoting high levels of academic achievement. In the Colloquium, students push themselves to become stronger critical thinkers. They weigh and consider multiple points of view; they develop thoughtful, well-supported perspectives on important issues of our times; and they defend their ideas in public presentations.

Colloquium is enriched with visits to UW’s Theatre and Dance department, Art Museum, Archives, and Library, and with service projects carried out around Laramie. Expert faculty from various departments give specialized lectures on relevant topics. Distinguished visiting scholars and writers meet with students to discuss their work. In all these ways, Colloquium teaches students to take advantage of the rich resources we are privileged to have at UW.

 

Magritte's The False Mirror

HP 3151-40: Power of Words
Instructor: Erin Abraham
Modality:
Asynchronous Online
Honors College Attributes: Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none

These are the kinds of questions we will ask in this course as we explore new ways of understanding the social and cultural power of words and the way we express meanings.   We will begin with an introduction to semiotics, the study of signs and sign systems as a basis for further investigation of the ways that meaning is conveyed and understood, as well as the ways it is misunderstood and contested. The majority of the course will focus on examining these phenomena in specific social and cultural contexts: myth, ideology, power, gender, and class.  Each student will choose a sign and record the ways they experience semiotics in the real world, in addition to a research project analyzing the way that sign has changed over time.  In doing so, we will gain a fuller appreciation for the way that we understand the world, interact with others, and, along the way, challenge some of the assumptions that inform those ideas.

HP 3151-01: Spielberg and America
Instructor: Susan Aronstein
Modality:
Face to Face
Honors College Attributes: Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
Spielberg is one of the most successful, and arguably the most important, directors of modern American Cinema. In this class we will examine both the causes of his cultural prominence and his works as film. In other words, this class will combine cultural studies and film studies.  We will consider the progression of Spielberg’s career--from his early “blockbuster” genre film, through his more serious mid-career films, to his bleaker post 9/11 works, as well as his reoccurring themes and concerns—history, national identity, responsibility, the role of cinema in a secular world, World War II, childlike wonder, trauma and redemption. Films will include Jaws, Close Encounters, ET, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Empire of the Sun, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, The Terminal, Munich, War of the Worlds, and Lincoln.

 

HP 3151-02: How to Think about What to Think
Instructor: Susanna Goodin
Modality:
Web Conferencing with Synchronous Meeting times
Honors College Attributes: Upper-division elective
USP attributes: (H) Human Culture
A&S attributes: none
This class, How to Think about What to Think, will explore the following questions:  Is it okay to believe whatever you want?  Can a belief be false even when it is “true to me?”  Are there standards of evaluating beliefs that apply across time, cultures, religion, and gender?  Is the scientific method the best way to acquire knowledge about world?  What are the critiques of the scientific method and how does science respond to these critiques?

 

HP 3151-41: Modes: Mass Media and Collective Consciousness
Instructor: Adrian Molina
Modality:
Asynchronous Online
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: (H) Human Culture
A&S attributes: none
This course explores the most central and critical issues of our times: Humanity, Technology, and Sustainability.  In this course, the student is the main "Text," meaning that each student will engage in contemplative education practices.  Students will examine their own lives in relationship to technology, mass media, social media, and how the cyborg-ification of our lives affects our physical, mental, and motional health, as well as our relationships with other humans.  

Additionally, this is a topics course that may explore any of the following: the development of collective consciousness; historical uses of propaganda; functions of mass media; the functions of corporate media vs independent media; how mass media affects public opinion; journalism and ethical considerations; pop culture's relationship to American values and standards; the nature of news coverage and news filters; access to media and social justice concerns; functions of art and entertainment; critiques of mass media and pop culture; alternative forms of media; futurist perspectives on human consciousness; ecological and environmental concerns; and real-time developments in technology. 
 

HP 3152-02: Eastern Thought and American Culture
Instructor: Tyler Fall
Modality:
Face to Face
Honors College Attributes: 
Honors Non-Western, Upper-Division Elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
This course traces how ideas and philosophies from India, China, and Japan have become a part of American Culture.  We will cover a range of topics, including Transcendentalism, Theosophy, Vedanta, the Beat Generation, the Counterculture, Zen and Guru scandals, and the more recent rise in popularity of yoga and mindfulness meditation.  Among our central questions:  Why has American culture been selectively receptive to Hindu, Buddhist, and Daoist ideas?  How does American interest in these ideas reflect the larger social and cultural context of American life?  What happens to these ideas as they are folded into American culture?  What sort of controversies and scandals have these ideas generated?  

 

HP 3152-01: Exile and Migration
Instructor: Nina McConigley
Modality:
Web Conferencing with Synchronous Meeting times
Honors College Attributes: 
Honors Non-Western, Upper-Division Elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
The poet Amit Majmudar says this, “You’ve come of age in the age of migrations./ The board tilts, and the bodies roll west./ Fanaticism’s come back into fashion,/ come back with a vengeance./ In this new country, there’s no gravitas,/ no grace…” This class will focus on the literature of migration and exile. From the Book of Exodus to Ovid’s Poetry of Exile, writers have long examined what it means to leave one’s country, to migrate to the unknown. In earlier centuries, living in a state of exile was a common experience for many writers and

intellectuals. Diaspora has also been a recurring feature of human history since the dispersal of Jews from the Middle East, of Africans during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, or of the Irish during the time of the Great Hunger. In the past two centuries, millions have migrated from their homelands to work or resettle or find refuge in far-away countries with cultures very different from their own. How do human beings come to terms with such conditions and transformations in their lives?

We’ll look at how these migrations shape characters into new territories and internal spaces. What does migration and exile mean to us and others? Any journey that has a geographical and social repositioning asks people to reconsider themselves, to examine not only the self, but the other.  The texts for the class will be from all over the world.

 

HP 3152-01: Inuit Environmental Dilemmas
Instructor: Joslyn Cassady
Modality:
Web Conferencing with Synchronous Meeting times
Honors College Attributes: 
Honors Non-Western, Upper-Division Elective
USP attributes: 
none
A&S attributes: (D) Diversity in the United States
The Arctic is experiencing rapid environmental change due largely to human activities in the south. Three of the processes that are creating the most dramatic changes in Arctic ecosystems are climate change, the northern flow of industrial toxins and intensified resource exploration and extraction. This course focuses on how these three processes are affecting the livelihood of roughly 160,000 Inuit living in Siberia, Alaska, Canada and Greenland. By focusing on Inuit strategies and engagements, this course will dispel enduring misconceptions of northern peoples as passive victims of outside forces while simultaneously examining the considerable challenges that they face in maintaining control of their lives and land. Ultimately, I hope this course raises awareness about how our own lifestyles are exacerbating environmental injustices and culture change in the Far North.  

 

HP 3152-40: Taboo: Sacred and Forbidden
Instructor: Erin Abraham
Modality:
Asynchronous Online
Honors College Attributes: Honors Non-Western, Upper Division Elective
USP attributes:
(H) Human Culture

A&S attributes: none

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 3153-01:Modes: Writing Animals
Instructor: Kate Northrup
Modality:
Face to face
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: (H) Human Culture
A&S attributes: none

Our worlds are not the only worlds. We live with and beside the non-human animals: pronghorn, Swainson’s hawks, lap dogs, mountain lions straying through town, pine beetles, Mourning Cloaks, drowned kittens, nighthawks overhead, raccoons in the kitchen, Mountain Whitefish.  How do we sound these worlds?  And why? To what ends?  Writers have long looked to and imagined the non-human, but how do we do that?  How do we write (and think) that which we name but may not be able to fully know?  In this course we will consider (through class discussion of assigned readings, independent research, writing exercises and semester-long creative writing projects) ways of thinking / representing non-human animals and our relationships with them. In this course, we will approach and mind those relationships.

We will be considering a range of creative work: stories, poems, essays, short videos, dramatic monologues, paintings, photographs.  Of each creative piece we will discuss the questions that we read as driving the piece, and the questions the piece raises for us.  It’s not possible for me to know our questions now, ahead of time, but some possible questions, or rather, some of my own questions:  How do we look at non-human animals?  How are we looked at?  How do non-human animal and human animal lives intersect?  What boundaries have been erected historically and why, to what end?  How are our lives shaped by non-human animals?  How are non-human animals lives shaped?  What responsibilities do humans have?  What causes for joy, what concerns?

 

HP 3153-40: Art and Culture of Hip-Hop
Instructor: Adrian Molina
Modality:
Asynchronous Online
Honors College attributes: 
Upper-Division Elective
USP attributes: (H) Human Culture
A&S attributes: (D) Diversity in the US
This course is an inter- and multi-disciplinary course inspired by human culture.  This course explores a culture and form of music that hundreds of millions of people throughout the world identify with.  Hip-Hop was born in the South Bronx, NY in the early 1970s, where African-American, Latino, and immigrant populations were essentially cast off as a result of the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway, white flight into the suburbs, and the politics of abandonment.  Hip-Hop music and culture has now spread throughout the world, and regardless of whether the discussion is about mainstream gangster rap or socially and political conscious Hip-Hop, this emerging field of study has broad, cultural, social, political, and economic implications.  Students will research, explore, discuss and write about American historical music influences, the history and development of hip-hop, the various artistic elements of hip-hop, hip-hop as a culture,  hip-hop journalism, and hip-hop’s influence on American society.  Using hip-hop as an academic tool, students will also explore the following issues: race relations, racism, sexism and misogyny, class struggle, urbanization, pan-ethnicity and ethnic/cultural diasporas, civil rights era activism, post-civil rights Black and Latina/o community leadership, activism through art, globalization, the commodification of art and culture in corporate America, the perpetuation of racism and sexism through mass media, alternative forms of cultural media, the poetics of hip-hop, and communication through musical form.  

HP 4151-01: Ancient Texts and Modern Imagination 
Instructor: Paul Bergstraesser
Modality:
Web Conferencing with Synchronous Meeting times
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: (H) Human Culture
A&S attributes: none
In this class, we’re going to talk about big ideas from big books written a long time ago. And then we’ll investigate how our contemporary world has sharpened (or dulled) those same ideas. Be prepared to read Homer’s Iliad, an epic about the Trojan War. And then get ready to explore war through the lens of modern short stories and poetry. We’ll read about the suffering of mortals under the wrath of the gods in the plays of the Greek dramatist Euripides—and then watch those gods come to life in current movies. You might find enlightenment as we read The Bhagavad Gita, but you also might experience “freedom from the known” in the work of Jiddu Krishnamurti. I’m looking forward to a semester of smart discussion and deep reading—come along!  

 

 

HP 4151-02: Marketing Manhattan
Instructor: Kent Drummond
Modality:
Face to face
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none

After the Twin Towers fell, many predicted that New York City was finished. The destruction – both physical and psychic – was so widespread that it was difficult to envision a path by which Manhattan could return to its place as the financial and cultural center of America. Almost 20 years later, however, the city is back: cleaner, safer, and more tourist-friendly than ever. Now, another crisis – Covid-19 – confronts New York, with no immediate end in sight. This class poses several questions regarding these events. First, how did the sites, monuments, and experiences of New York (places like Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, Wall Street, and Central Park) come back after 9/11? Second, how have these sites been affected by the coronavirus? And third, can the lessons learned from 9/11 apply to Covid-19? To answer these questions first-hand, we will take a five-day field trip to Manhattan itself. [NB: The trip to Manhattan is entirely dependent upon the University’s approval. However, even if the trip will not take place, the course will still be offered.]     

 

 

HP 4152-01: Seminar: Diplomacy and Negotiation
Instructor: Christopher Rothfuss
Modality:
Face to face
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: H (Human Culture)
A&S attributes: G (Global Awareness)

This course will focus on the development and practical application of diplomacy and negotiation skills, with extensive use of real-world role-playing scenarios.   Students will learn negotiation theory and techniques, and will be able to apply them through simulated bilateral and multilateral negotiation exercises.   Students will also learn how to operate in a diplomatic setting and as part of a delegation.  This course is primarily experiential and should prove to be stimulating and exciting for the participants.

HP 4152-02: History of Disease
Instructor: Donal O’Toole, Lenae Laegreid
Modality:
Face to face
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
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 4153-02: Mind, Memory, and Spirit: Exploring Creativity in the Arts and Sciences
Instructor: Ann McCutchan
Modality:
Web Conferencing with Synchronous Meeting times
Honors College Attributes: 
Upper-division elective
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
A creative mind enables us to make new combinations from familiar information, to link seemingly unlike elements, and to seek syntheses. Creativity is also dependent upon memory, which is genetic and social as well as personal and experiential. Spirit – the basis of emotions character, and spiritual insight -- also plays a role. This course will explore the nature of creativity in science and art, examining the different requirements for discovery in various disciplines, while demonstrating commonalities underlying the creative process for, say, the physicist or statistician, to the poet, composer, or visual artist.

In addition to reading and writing assignments, the course includes visits from guest speakers in disparate disciplines who will discuss the creative process underlying their work in scientific research or the arts.  Students will keep a journal of responses to the speakers’ presentations and to the assigned readings, building materials for a final essay on what they have learned about creativity, especially as applied to their own major area of study.

Texts will include Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Creating Minds: An Anatomy of Creativity Seen Through the Lives of Freud, Einstein, Picasso, Stravinsky, Eliot, Graham, and Ghandi, by Howard Gardner. The course includes a collaboration with Relative Theatrics and its production of Erin Considine’s new play Riding Bicycles in the Rain.

 

 

HP 4976: Independent Study
DOES NOT COUNT TOWARDS HONORS-COLLEGE UPPER-DIVISION ELECTIVES
Instructor: Student must identify faculty mentor and receive approval from faculty mentor and the Honors College
Honors College Attributes: none
USP attributes: none
A&S attributes: none
Why might you take an Honors independent study?  Register for one if you need the structure to help you complete your senior capstone project, if you need additional upper division elective hours to graduate, if you need additional hours to be a fulltime student in any given semester, or if you have been working with an instructor on a particularly interesting area for which there is no designated course. You can take up to 3 credit hours of an Honors independent study per semester for up to a total of 6 hours overall. 
You don’t need to sign up for an independent study to complete the senior capstone project.  Please note that these hours do not meet any specific requirements towards your degree or your Honors minorThey do not count towards the required Honors upper division electives.

Contact Us

The Honors College

Guthrie House

1200 Ivinson St.

Laramie, WY 82070

Phone: 307-766-4110

Fax: 307-766-4298

Email: honors@uwyo.edu

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