Spring 2016 HOPR 1953 (1 credit, s/u)

HOPR 1953 901 Honors Research Seminar
Amelia Zurcher, Associate Professor, English
Wed 12- 1:15 pm
This seminar, designed particularly for sophomores and juniors who have not yet done independent research in their fields, will prepare students to write and support them in writing research proposals. Topics will include developing and writing proposals, finding and working with faculty mentors, literature reviews, ethics in research, and research presentations. This seminar is not required for application for Honors or other research stipends on campus, nor is funding from any source guaranteed to participants in this seminar, but the seminar’s purpose is to help students become competitive applicants for internal and external funding and fellowships. Students in disciplines that do not tend to do research in labs are warmly welcomed. If you are not in the University Honors Program and are interested in this seminar, please contact the instructor at amelia.zurcher@mu.edu.

spring 2016 Seminars HOPR 2953 (2-credit, S/u)

HOPR 2953 901 Narrating Freedom: Gender & Mass Incarceration
Anthony Peressini, Associate Professor, Philosophy
Wed 12- 1:40 pm

This seminar approaches traditional philosophical questions in a nontraditional way, including: the nature, limits and conditions of human freedom; free will vs. free action; in what sense is gender real and how is it related to biology; how gender conditions freedom; how (gendered) individuals are related to societies/communities; how our societies and communities limit and make possible both freedom and gender; how incarceration, freedom, justice (including especially restorative justice) and gender are related; and whether and how capitalism depends on and fosters incarceration.  Other nontraditional aspects of the seminar will include employing narrative techniques and practices, in particular the possibility of nontraditional media for a final project (e.g., podcast), and mindfulness techniques/practices to explore senses of freedom and as a tool for listening and learning in general. NOTE: The weekly seminar will consist of students from Marquette University (MU) and women from the Milwaukee Women’s Correctional Center (MWCC), and will meet on alternate weeks at MWCC and at MU. Enrollment is by application; contact anthony.peressini@mu.edu for an application. Preference will be given to sophomores who have not yet taken HOPR 2953.

HOPR 2953 902 Contemplative Practices; Comparative Traditions
Alan Madry, Professor of Law
Mon, 4- 5:40 pm
The first goal of this seminar is to learn a simple practice of meditation that provides a uniquely deep and orderly restful state to the body and an equally deep and silent experience that results in greater awareness, centeredness, contentment, and equanimity.  Second, we will explore a variety of contemplative traditions including how these traditions understand the highest possible state of human life and how contemplative practices contribute to the achievement of those states.  Third, in reading texts from these traditions, we’ll think about how to read and understand complex texts that describe rich but unfamiliar cosmologies.  And, finally, we’ll give some thought to how critically to evaluate the cogency of these narratives. 

HOPR 2953 903 Knowledge and Self in the Practice of Martial Arts
Michael J. Monahan, Associate Professor of Philosophy
MW 10 - 10:50 am
Students will learn and practice some of the beginning elements of a traditional Korean martial art, and use this practice to aid their exploration of some of the fundamental philosophical questions regarding the nature of identity, the relation between mind body, and knowledge. How does one relate to one’s body in the course of taking up the practice of martial arts? How does a change in our relation to our physical being change our sense of identity? What can martial arts study teach us about the distinction between the the mental and the physical? What does it mean to know a certain movement or aspect of the martial art, and how does that compare to knowing that the earth is round, or 2+2=4? Through practice, reflection, reading, and discussion both inside and outside of the class, students will take up these and related questions.

HOPR 2953 904 Dance History and Cultural Expression
Cathleen Ott Thompson, Digital Media and Performing Arts
MW 9 -9:50 am
This dance history class focuses on the sociological, spiritual, and political influences on dance and art throughout the ages.  The study begins in prehistoric times and proceeds through an analysis of Ancient Greece and Rome, Middle Ages in Europe, 19-20th century Russia, and 21st century American dance.  The course covers one chapter a week (*1 hour of reading per week) as well as a dance studio exploration of movement styles, customs, and dances that correspond with each era.  No dance experience is required, but students will be moving for 1/2 of each class.

HOPR 2953 905 Introduction to Yoga Philosophy and Practice
John Su, Professor, English
Tues, 4 - 5:40 pm
In this course, we will explore the fundamental practices of yoga. In 21st century America, yoga is equated with pretzel-like stretching practices; however, such āsana or posture practice represents only one of the eight “limbs of yoga.” Yoga is an exciting phenomenon to study because it refers to practices that are both very old and relatively recent. During the semester, we will explore some of the foundational philosophical texts of yoga; contemporary scholarship on potential physical and mental health benefits of practice; cultural analyses of why America became obsessed with yoga in the late 20th century (now spending several billion dollars a year on it). We will also develop a regular āsana practice together utilizing some two dozen foundational poses. So, come both to relax and challenge yourself, and to learn and laugh together!

NOTE: the HOPR 3953 and HOPR 4953 are interchangeable

Spring 2016 HOPR 3953 (3 credit; graded)

HOPR 3953 901 The Origin and Nature of the Universe
Jame Schaefer, Associate Professor, Theology
John Karkheck, Professor Emeritus, Physics
T/Th 2- 3:15 pm
The origin and nature of the universe are complex subjects that defy compartmentalization into any one discipline, and reckoning the human place in the universe brings added complexity. Participants in this seminar will investigate these subjects mainly from the perspectives of Physics and Theology, with a bit of Philosophy and History. You will probe the methodologies of these disciplines, examine their ways of knowing, identify their contributions, and recognize their limitations. All this aims to prepare you for integrating the disciplines to form a more substantive and intellectually satisfying understanding of the universe, the human place within it, and God in relation to all. Experience with physics is not assumed, and mathematics is minimal. Completion of Introduction of Theology is assumed.

Spring 2016 HOPR 4953 (3 credit; graded)

HOPR 4953 901 Introduction to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
William Hirsch, Visiting Assistant Professor, Physics
TTh 3:30 - 4:45 pm
Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity updates Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity to the modern age.  Shockingly, the theory shows that gravity, in a sense, is not really a force, but a property of space itself.   The theory not only explains a number of phenomena previously unexplained by Newtonian gravity alone, but also unveils the large scale structure and evolution of the universe.   After learning new, powerful mathematical techniques students will study obits in the universe, the bending of star light due to the presence of massive objects creating a “natural telescope”, and mathematically model the evolution of the universe from the big bang until its present state and beyond.  In addition, bazaar yet interesting topics will include the physics of the inescapable black hole, interstellar shortcuts through space, and time travel.  Note: Prerequisites PHYS 1003/1004 or PHYS 1013/1014 and Calculus 1 and 2.

HOPR 4953 902 Physics of Finance
Benjamin Brown, Professor, Department of Physics
MWF 9 - 9:50 am
The course explores stock market trading and risk management techniques based on forces in the stock market. These include psychological phenomena as well as the effect of time, volume, volatility, and open interest on price. Technical aspects of the market will be emphasized and various indicators will be examined and evaluated in detail. Stock market derivatives are fully explored as a means of limiting risk and maximizing gains for virtually every type of market. Students will practice-trade throughout the course using the techniques learned in the class.


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