HONR Courses

Below is a listing of the Spring 2018 HONR course offerings. Click on the course name to view a description of the course. Please note the HONR 199 courses are for first and second-year students only; HONR 299 and 399 courses are open to all high ability students. A 3.0 GPA or higher is required to register for these courses.

Click here to download a print-friendly PDF of our Spring 2018's HONR course offerings.

Click here to download the schedule of our Spring 2018's HONR 19902 course offerings.

Click here to see all of the Study Away programs.

HONR 199

HONR 19900, Section 002, CRN 18104, Beyond Afghanistan

Instructors: Dr. Elizabeth Brite
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and times: T/TH 3:00-4:15
Room: HCRS 1054

Brief Course Description:

The War in Afghanistan is now the longest running war in American history, lasting 13 years with roughly 38,000 U.S. personnel still on the ground as of the beginning of this year. This represents a monumental event of cultural engagement, and yet how much do we as American citizens really know about this far-off place and its people? Afghanistan and its Central Asian neighbors – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kirghizstan, western China – are distant, difficult to access places with foreign-sounding names and equally foreign peoples and customs. Yet they also make up a strategically important part of the world with a profound ability to affect our lives. This region is a geographic epicenter that sits between the world powers of Russia, China, Iran, and South Asia, providing a volatile conduit between the cultures of the West and those of the East. Numerous travelers, scholars, ambitious kings, and would-be rulers have recognized for millennia the importance of Afghanistan and Central Asia as the heart of the Eurasian landmass and have sought to control its cultural and material resources. In the modern age, these countries continue to impact our politics, our economy, and our worldview. In this course, we will learn more about Afghanistan and Central Asia through the study of its history and its people. The goal of the course is to build students’ general knowledge about the region, in order to provide a more sound foundation for understanding recent geopolitical events in this part of the world.

HONR 19903, Section 001, CRN 68910, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Writing:

Dr. Megha Anwer
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 10:30am - 11:45am

Room: HCRS 1054

Brief Course Description:

This course will initiate students into a culture of writing and critical thinking through a study of James Bond and his world of international espionage. The primary goals in the classroom will be twofold: first, to equip students with productive and empowering strategies that break down the writing process into a series of doable steps. The repeated practice of these strategies will facilitate students to employ words effectively, with confidence. By the end of the course students will have crafted and developed their own voice, their unique way of thinking and expressing ideas. It is impossible, however, to write effectively without reading and thinking critically. This is why our writing exercises will focus on “sexy spies.” Using James Bond as the central figure we will investigate the “007” franchise – Ian Fleming’s Bond novels and cinematic the renditions of Bond – from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig. In analysing the rhetoric and thematic underpinnings of the Bond universe – its women, villains, bosses and secretaries, the sleuth’s prized gadgets and cars – we will explore the relationship between the words we produce and the worlds we inhabit.

This course meets the university core requirement for written communication and *may* be used as a substitute for English 106 or 108. Please consult your primary advisor

HONR 299

HONR 29900, Section 018/019, CRN 23392,23393 Jazz

Dr. Jason Ware
# of Credit Hours: 2
Days and Times: T/TH 9:00am - 10:15am

Room: HCRS 1066

Brief Course Description:

Jazz artists “speak to each other in the language of music.” In Jazz, we will explore the nature of this artistic conversation with many of its cultural influences, geographical variations, and temporal iterations. Throughout our time together we will interrogate varying facets of the social impact such a conversation facilitates. Furthermore, we will explore the musical language of jazz with its power to make collective performance stronger both within and beyond music. And we will investigate the ways in which this artists' talk became the "talk of the town" and country as a medium through which people could break from dominant cultures. We will make sense of and process our journey by creating our own metaphorical jazz ensemble, featuring the complex and layered textures of our lives as inspiration for the note and lyric. You do not need to be a musician to take this course.

This course meets the 2nd 8 weeks of the semeseter (March 5 - April 27, 2018). In addition to the lecture, there is an online component for this course.

The Honors College is also offering a spring break trip to New Orleans (see below). Students can take either course or both courses.

HONR 29900, Section 009, CRN 17709, Jazz IN NOLA

Dr. Jason Ware
# of Credit Hours: 2
SPRING BREAK trip to New Orleans, LA
March 10-18, 2018

“Jazz happened in America...” and in this course we’ll investigate the social, economic, and intellectual conditions that influenced it’s inception and growth. We’re heading to New Orleans for our place-based investigation. While we’re there, we’ll access oral histories, photos, and scores within Tulane’s Hogan Jazz Archives to get a sense of how jazz developed in New Orleans. Our time in the archives will lay a foundation for understanding black sub-cultures that developed in the South in response to oppressive life circumstances, and that ultimately lead to the unique musical system we call jazz. We’ll take a guided tour of the city to get a picture of the economic and social history embedded in the built environment. The tour will provide a visual context for the narratives we’ll hear and experience during our time in NOLA. You can count on plenty of live music performed by busking street performers and in sought after venues such as the Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro and Preservation Hall. We’ll frequent the Audubon Park via the St. Charles streetcar for necessary conversations and debriefing sessions during which we’ll discuss the improvisatory nature of jazz as an intellectual endeavor and a way of life. Of course we’ll participate in varying social rituals germane to New Orleans jazz culture such as second line parades. And what would a trip to New Orleans be without sampling the food on offer at legendary places such as Dooky Chase’s Restaurant and the various eateries in the French Quarter? This will be a whirlwind trip over spring break 2018, and an experience you won’t want to miss.

HONR 29900, Section 006, CRN 17701, SPACETIME!

Instructors: Dr. Adam Watkins
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: MWF 2:30pm – 3:30pm
Room: HCRN 1145

Brief Course Description:

This course will boldly go where no course has gone before, providing students the chance to explore strange new ideas about space and time. Want to write a sequel to Interstellar or your own episode of Star Trek? Want to see how our idea of spacetime has evolved in response to religion, philosophy, and physics? Want to hear Purdue scientists talk about science fiction that matters to them?

To study spacetime requires that we engage a variety of perspectives from the past and present. In that sense, HONR 299: Spacetime! is deeply historical and philosophical in its approach. The course also takes an active interest in creative processes behind scientific thought. To that end, students will explore how arts and symbolic thought have played significant roles in scientific discoveries, including Einstein’s. Students will also practice creative modes of inquiry firsthand, as course projects will be based in creative writing practices. [Note: projects will be assessed on critical and creative thinking, not artistic quality.]

HONR 29900, Section 010, CRN 18191, IM/MORTALITY

Dr. Zahra Tehrani
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Room: HCRS 1054

This interdisciplinary course introduces you biological, psychological and social theories of aging to provide foundational knowledge regarding how and why we age. Given new medical technologies, is it possible that humans will stop aging together? Would that be desirable? What would it mean to be “immortal,” and why do are we drawn to the idea? The biological question of lifespan opens up to (and is informed by) issues of population, resources, policy, family dynamics, and personal well-being. Do you want to live forever? What would the world be like if we did?

HONR 29900, Section 011, CRN 18194, DA VINCI

Instructors: Dr. Dino Felluga
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Room: HCRN 1143

Brief Course Description:

This course explores the transition from the medieval period to the Renaissance across multiple disciplines, thus laying out how much of what we take for granted today about technology or about the human subject were implemented in this rich period, especially in Italy. The focus for the course will be that most famous Renaissance man, Leonardo da Vinci. We will also address advancements of the period in engineering, architecture, biology, astronomy and governance. We will clarify how new forms of scientific investigation were made possible because of changes in thinking about time, space, law, governance, and the human subject during this time period, all supported by the fact that Italy was the most important center for printing before the Roman Catholic Inquisition began heavily censuring such publications. This exploration will help students also to think about the analogous changes being effected by technology in our current postmodern period, as well as the advantages of cross-disciplinary thinking.

Dr. Felluga is offering a Spring break trip, "daVinci in Italy", which can be combined with this course. Students can take either or both courses. Click here for more information

HONR 29900, Section 012, CRN 18207, Animals, Society & Education

Dr. Nadine Dolby
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 10:30am-11:15am

Room: HCRN 1143

Brief Course Description:

This is an exciting time to learn about the changing role of animals in society. Everyday, there are fresh insights into our understanding of animals: we are learning that they are more like humans than we knew before! This class will look at how humans are socialized to relate to animals; the different roles of animals in human society and education (for example, as companions, food, and entertainment); animal welfare and animal rights; and the current science of animal sentience, cognition and emotion.

HONR 29900, Section 013, CRN 18331/18536, Superheroes & American Culture

Dr. Diane Facinelli
# of Credit Hours: 2
Days and Times: M/W 1:30pm-2:45pm

Room: HCRN 1143

Brief Course Description:

Superheroes and American Culture examines the historical and social influences on and effects of superheroes as a part of American culture. Materials examined mainly will consist of superhero comic and graphic novels with references to other media along with critical texts. Students will analyze and discuss works, looking at such things as visual rhetoric, history, philosophy, religion and science.

This course meets the 2nd 8 weeks of the semester (March 5- April 27, 2018) In addition to the lecture, there is an online component for this course.

HONR 29900, Section 014, CRN 18491, Underground Networks

Dr. Pete Moore
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 1:30pm-2:45pm

Room: HCRN 1076 [Steam Lab]

Brief Course Description:

This course will examine radical forms of social life that emerge within, yet in opposition to, oppressive institutions. In the decade following the Second World War, social critics in the United States grew increasingly pessimistic about the structures governing modern life. Such seemingly innocent matters as mass-media, consumerism, and bureaucracy, were interpreted as instruments of authoritarian control. In the first section of our course, entitled Engineering Consent we will study these reports on state- sponsored conformity, building a backdrop for understanding the motivation to depart from the mainstream. Our second section, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, will explore the role print and small, independent presses played in fostering communities of resistance. For this we will consider three developments: the rise of alternative news media, the proliferation of avant-garde poetry, and the production of feminist zines (small-circulation, self-published magazines). Engaging with the do-it-yourself spirit of underground publishing, the format of our class will shift from seminar discussion to hands-on workshop, as we will become media archeologists, learning the craft of letterpress printing in order to better understand the art and science of dissent. Our final section, Hacking the Undercommons, will consider the ways in which the internet has continued the project of small-press printing. We will examine the case of Wiki-Leaks, the drive for digital anonymity, and the shared curation of Black Lives Matter. In addition to regular seminar meetings, students can anticipate excursions to research libraries in Chicago, which hold relevant materials in their special collections. All assignments will feed into the final project, which calls on students to create their own underground text, be it a zine, newsletter, poster series or some as yet to be classified form.

HONR 29900, Section 016, CRN 18595, Sports & Politics

Dr. Dwaine Jengelley
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 9:00am-10:15am

Room: HCRN 1143

Brief Course Description:

Sport is much more than a pastime. It is also a force and a forum, which governments, interest groups, and individuals use to advance political causes or make statements for change. Take, for example, the 1994 Rugby World Cup in South Africa, when Nelson Mandela, the recently elected president of South Africa, used this sporting event as an opportunity for nation building. The raised fists of John Carlos and Tommie Smith at the 1968 summer Olympics were a statement against racist policies in the United States, and the international stage gave these athletes a global audience to see/hear their message. Many scholars describe China's hosting of the 2008 Olympics and Brazil's hosting of the World Cup in 2014 as debutant balls for these rising global powers. In this course, we will examine the relationship of politics and sports. Through a case study approach, students will analyze how sporting events and sports overall serve various actors' political agendas.

HONR 29900, Section 017, CRN 18766, Media Revolution

Dr. Michael Johnston
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: MWF 1:30pm-2:20pm

Room: HCRS 1076 [STEAM Lab]

Brief Course Description:

This course will focus on the long arc of media history, from scrolls to manuscripts to early print to the digital. The main thrust of the class would be both learning the technical history of the various media, and then engaging in case studies of particular examples of each form of media.

Ever since computers became part of our regular lives, people have been predicting numerous deaths: the death of the book, newspapers, libraries, literacy, or the ability to focus on something complex for more than a minute. Whenever new forms of media arise, there is a contest with older forms, and as a result, ways of reading and communicating change. This course will study this process, looking at forms of media throughout history, from inscriptions in stone, to scrolls, to manuscripts, to early print, to the digital.

In this course, you will get hands-on experience with primary sources here at Purdue. In the unit on manuscripts, for example, you will work in the archives of HSSE library, examining our four medieval manuscripts. In the unit on early printing, you will undertake hands-on work with the printing press that now lives in the STEAM Lab, producing your own printed sheets. The course will conclude with a unit on the digital, where we will engage with exciting new scholarship on digital texts. At the end of this course, you will be better positioned to understand the developments that gave rise to platforms like Twitter and Reddit.

HONR 399

HONR 39900 Section 002, CRN 21316, Educated Guesswork

Dr. Maxim Lyutikov
# of Credit Hours: 1
Days and Times: M/W 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Room: HCRN 1143

Brief Course Description:

In this multidisciplinary course students will learn how to make basic estimates in every day life. Emphasis will be on using basic physics to understand complicated systems. Examples will be selected from everyday life, properties of materials, weather, geophysics, biomechanics, acoustics, planetary science, astrophysics, and even mathematics.

Most technical education emphasizes exact answers. If you are a physicist, you solve for the energy levels of the hydrogen atom to six decimal places. If you are a chemist, you measure reaction rates and concentrations to two or three decimal places. In this course, student will learn complementary skills. They will learn that an approximate answer is not merely good enough; it's often more useful than an exact answer. Students will first learn to identify the main ideas and the important principles when they approach an unfamiliar problem, because these ideas and principles structure their understanding of the problem.

HONR 39900 Section tba, CRN 21562/21564, Serious Games

Dr. David Whittinghill
# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times:

  • T 3:30 pm – 5:20 pm Lecture
  • TH 3:30pm-5:20pm Studio

Room: KNOY 304

Brief Course Description:

Serious games are games that use the idioms and conventions of gaming to direct behavior and/or learning toward the fulfillment of some “real world” goal. Serious games therefore require competence with the technologies of game development, paired with the tenets of behavioral psychology, teaching and learning principles, along with domain knowledge in the area of the “real world” problem being addressed. Serious game development is therefore inherently multidisciplinary. Students will:

  1. be directed through a number of projects that will develop a core technical competency with a commercial game engine
  2. exercises focused on the mechanics of operant conditioning
  3. will be expected to explore a problem domain of that pertains to their individual’s interests, passions, goals, etc.

As game development is an applied discipline, this course uses an active learning approach that minimizes passive lecture time in favor of guided in-class exercises, extensive lab assignments, independent research, and group ideation and collaboration. Student grades are based on completion of individual assignments with the bulk of their grade derived from the quality of a complete serious game students design and develop as well as an accompanying research paper.

Enrollment in this class is by invitation, in order to create the right mix of disciplines and skills. Students from every major are invited to apply. To apply: email honors@purdue.edu with your name, major, level, and a short list of skills and/or qualities you would bring to the course. Subject heading: Serious Games Deadline: Wednesday, October 18 , 2017

HONR 39900, Section 001, CRN 18767, AUTISM SPECTRUM

Dr. Brandon Keehn
Dr. Mandy Rispoli
Dr. A.J. Schwichtenberg

# of Credit Hours: 3
Days and Times: T/TH 10:30am – 11:45am
Room: HCRN 1145

Brief Course Description:

This interdisciplinary course will address multiple areas of autism-related knowledge including human genetics, cognitive and neurological models, clinical diagnosis, treatment options, and media portrayals. Each week students will watch videos of seminal research in the field of autism (or media portrayals of autism) and will read autism- related research findings. In-class discussions will build on this multimedia base and students will leave with a foundational understanding of autism-related research in neuroscience, social sciences, education, and clinical practice. This course is designed for undergraduate sophomores, juniors, and seniors.