2014-2015 Honors Seminars

HOPR 1953

HOPR 2953

HOPR 3953

HOPR 4953


HOPR 1953, Section 901: How to Change the World       
Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., fall 2014
Nicholas Santos S.J., Assistant Professor, Marketing

Can we solve social problems instead of managing them? This highly-rated seminar introduces you to Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, burgeoning fields attracting the best and brightest to develop solutions to society’s most pressing problems. As you’ll experience first-hand through interaction with experts, solutions DO exist . . . and there are examples coming right out of Marquette! Learn how you can, indeed, change the world through your gifts, interests and framework for life.

HOPR 1953, Section 902 : Shakespeare on Screen
Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., fall 2014  
Amelia Zurcher, Director, University Honors Program; Associate Professor, English

Shakespeare is everywhere.  In the last 50 years, film and television adaptions of Shakespeare have emerged on a wide variety of platforms from all parts of the globe. In this seminar we’ll watch a variety of film adaptations, from Joss Whedon’s recent take on Much Ado About Nothing to Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet and Chee Kong Cheah’s Chicken Rice War, from Kurosawa’s Ran to Pasolini’s Othello.   What is it about Shakespeare that lends itself so readily to historical and cultural adaptation?  Why is he such a culture hero all over the world?  And what can we learn about our ever-globalizing world by what that world does with Shakespeare?  This seminar requires journaling, discussing, and curiosity, but no prior familiarity with Shakespeare. 

HOPR 1953, Section 904 : Real Fine Art: An In-Depth Look at Milwaukee Visual Arts  
Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., fall 2014
Deirdre Dempsey, Associate Professor, Theology
Lynne Shumow, Curator of Education and Community Outreach

When people are asked to give their immediate reaction to the word “Milwaukee,” of course what frequently pops out is “beer,” “brats,” or “fish fry.” It isn’t often that someone comes out with the spontaneous reaction “art.” But Milwaukee is home to a vibrant, talented, and diverse community of artists, many of whom show their work on the national and international stage. This HOPR 1953 will give you the opportunity to meet several of these artists, observe their creative process, and view, firsthand, some of the most interesting art work being made in Milwaukee. Students will also see and learn about works from the Haggerty Museum’s permanent collection. Two venues will serve as the focal points for this HOPR seminar—the Haggerty Museum of Art and the Pitch Project. The Pitch Project is Milwaukee’s new arts incubator. Housed in a 45,000-square-foot warehouse on the City’s South Side, the Pitch Project will house 16 to 20 artists’ studios and a contemporary gallery that will exhibit the work of nationally and internationally recognized artists. Many of Milwaukee’s premiere artists have already moved their studio to the Pitch Project, including Jason Yi, Tyanna Buie, Will Pergl, Michael Davidson, and the photography collective Milwaukee Comma, which includes Kevin Miyazaki, Tara Bogart, Jon Horvath, and Sonja Thomsen, many of whom have had exhibits at the Haggerty.

HOPR 1953, Section 905: Children in the Media 
Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., fall 2014 
Amy Vaughan Van Hecke, Assistant Professor, Psychology

This seminar focuses on the multiple ways in which reality television shows involving children and adolescents affect our society. Students will examine one reality TV show featuring children (e.g.,Toddlers and Tiaras, 16 and Pregnant, Kate Plus 8, KidNation, 19 Kids and Counting, etc.), and will explore it via watching the show,researching practices observed in the show, and reading articles about children and parenting. Students will also spend four hours observing the behavior of a group of children the same age as in the show chosen. The class will focus on discussion and debate, and will end with individual presentations by each student. The goal of the course is to examine what is becoming an increasingly common practice – portraying children in “reality” media at early ages – and how that affects the children themselves, the ethics and morals of our exposure-oriented society, and the children watching these portrayals and incorporating this information into their understanding of the world.

HOPR 1953, Section 906: Encountering Difference
Friday, 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., fall 2014 
Karen S. Hoffman, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor, Political Science

College students are confronted with differences at every turn – different people, different cultures, different routines, different food, and so on. This class focuses onThe Poisonwood Bible, a novel by Barbara Kingsolver that tells the story of an American missionary family dealing with unfamiliarity in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. Every member of the family has a dramatically different strategy for dealing with the differences found in their new community, some inspiring and others disastrous, and we will examine and evaluate those strategies as they are useful in our own situations. This is one of those great stories that illustrates how one can find personal identity in the process of interacting with others. It also demonstrates how powerful stories can be, fictional or not, in teaching us about ourselves and the world.

HOPR 1953, Section 907: Issues in American Immigration
Wednesday, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, fall 2014
Louise Cainkar, Associate Professor, Social and Cultural Sciences

More immigrants came to the United States in the past ten years than in any prior decade in American history and they are changing the face of the United States. Most of these 14 million “new Americans” come from Latin America and Asia, many of them practice religions uncommon to American society, and nearly one third of them have no papers. Through film, news, and literature, this class looks at some of the challenges these immigrants face as newcomers to a society historically defined by whiteness and Christianity.

HOPR 1953, Section 908: Person, Politician, and President: An Assessment of the Biography and Leadership of Barack Hussein Obama
Tuesday, 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., fall 2014 
Julia R. Azari, Assistant Professor, Political Science

Presidential biography is all around us. From stories about Lincoln reading by candlelight to images of George W. Bush on his ranch in Texas, we use presidential biography to understand the character and principles of those who hold the nation’s highest office. In Obama’s case, both his critics and his supporters articulate their views by drawing on his personal background and history: his multi-cultural origins, his struggle as the child of a single mother, his connections to his Kenyan father and his Kansan grandparents, his experiences as a community organizer and a Harvard Law student. These experiences often stand in for the values – positive and negative – associated with our first African-American president.   While the Obama presidency has inspired young voters, African Americans, and many others in the United States and the international community, the forty-fourth president has also engendered significant backlash including both vigorous policy debate and overtly racist comments, such as remarks about the president “shucking and jiving.” Obama’s celebrity presidency has proven to be one of the most polarizing in American history.

This course explores the Obama presidency through the lens of biography and leadership. We will examine how the American public came to know Barack Obama before his election to the presidency in 2008, and how the stories (true and apocryphal) about his pre-presidential life have informed public understandings of his decisions in office. The subject matter we will cover goes beyond simply understanding our current moment in history, however; presidential biography serves as a window into our national ideals and a mirror for what we hope and fear about ourselves.

HOPR 1953, Section 909: J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Thursday, 5 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., fall 2014 
William Fliss, Archivist and Curator of the J. R. R. Tolkien Collection, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Raynor Memorial Libraries

Did you know that Marquette University owns the original manuscripts for J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings? In this seminar we will read these classic works and use the manuscript collection to study Tolkien’s writing process. Students will grow to understand how Tolkien developed his stories and how much revision he undertook before they were published. In addition to our engaging discussions of these iconic works, students will enjoy access to one of the world’s great literary manuscript collections, and they will emerge from the semester with a deeper understanding of archives.

HOPR 1953, Section 910: The Art of Failure 
Monday, 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. , fall 2014  
Leah Flack, Assistant Professor, English

“To be an artist,” Samuel Beckett once noted, “is to fail, as no other dare fail…failure is his world and to shrink from it desertion, art and craft, good housekeeping, living.” This seminar will take Beckett’s proposal seriously and will read plays, novellas, stories, poems, and novels from the past two centuries that are preoccupied with aesthetic, practical, psychological, political, personal, and existential failures of various kinds. We will read these texts in dialogue with a select number of examples drawn from other disciplines, such as physics, visual art, anthropology, and cognitive science. In our work together, we will discuss how these narratives of failure respond to different dominant cultural discourses that champion success. We will seek to understand how these paradoxically ambitious artists, who dare to fail boldly, might help us to see with fresh insight the inner logic of various success-obsessed cultures, including our own. Students will be led through a brief study of failure as it relates to their major or to a major intellectual interest. Seminar participants will work with the instructor to create a collaborative, lively environment in which all are encouraged to develop and clarify their own independent responses to the course texts and themes.

FALL 2014 HOPR 2953

HOPR 2953, Section 901: Exploring Spirituality and Mindfulness at the Margins
Thursday, 6:30 – 8:10 pm, fall 2014
Anthony Peressini, Associate Professor, Philosophy 

In this course we will investigate the notion of spirituality and its relationship to theology, religion, psychology, ethics, and philosophy in general.  As part of the course, we will engage in a meditation practice as a way of experientially exploring the questions of spirituality in a non-religious mode.  Because the orientation of this course will be philosophical and questioning, not religious and believing, it may be especially suited to those who are questioning their own beliefs about religion and spirituality.

HOPR 2953, Section 902: Contemplative Practices; Comparative Traditions and their Practices
Monday, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., fall 2014
Alan Madry, Professor, Law

This seminar will compare a variety of contemplative practices from different world traditions, explore the ways in which these traditions understand the highest goals, the meaning of human life and how their characteristic contemplative practices are adapted to promote the achievement of those goals. We will discuss a number of classic mystical texts from the Catholic tradition, Hinduism and Buddhism.  Classes will include guided meditation.

HOPR 2953, Section 903: Yoga Philosophy and Practice
Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.fall 2014 
John Su, Professor, English

In this course, students will study the fundamental practices of yoga. Yoga is a blanket term describing a wide variety of practices that are both very old and relatively recent. In the process of studying, the goal is to open up to pedagogical styles that might be less familiar to students in the American educational system. By the end of the semester, depending on the level of commitment to and engagement with the course, students should be able to: 1) practice yoga asanas as part of a daily discipline, and to describe your personal experiences with these practices; 2) articulate how yoga resembles and differs from other contemplative practices that have emerged from other traditions, both Christian and otherwise; 3) critically examine personal experiences in light of an ongoing contemplative practice.

HOPR 2953, Section 904: Sex, Faith and Culture
Monday, 4 p.m. to 5:40 p.m., fall 2014
Kathy Coffey-Guenther, Associate Vice President of Mission and Ministry

Come and join a learning community that seeks to study and articulate healthy sexuality and healthy sexual decision-making among college students. Research and discuss differing elements of hook-up culture on Marquette’s campus and in the larger culture. Explore how faith, values, race, ethnicity, religion, geography, orientations and identities, etc. all intersect to inform and influence notions of healthy sexuality in our lives.

HOPR 2953, Section 905: Research
Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. to 7:10 p.m., fall 2014
Jeanne M. Hossenlopp,
 Vice Provost for Research/Dean, Graduate School

Course Description: The course, developed especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) students and others interested in undergraduate research at Marquette, will introduce students to research across disciplinary boundaries and to research partnerships between university and other community entities.  Part of its purpose is to equip Honors students to begin research early in their academic careers at Marquette. 

SPRING 2015 HOPR 2953 

HOPR 2953: My Friend Nellie:  Dog as Window into Cultural Psychology
Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 1:40 p.m., spring 2015
Ed de St. Aubin, Associate Professor and Assistant Chair, Psychology

Dr. de St. Aubin and his Weimaraner dog Nellie will co-teach this course.  Dogs exist on every continent and in nearly every culture of the world.  By using the “custom-complex” mode of inquiry, we will examine the function and meaning of dogs within various cultures in order to learn about the larger societal dynamics that define these groups of people.  We will also examine the differences and commonalities of cultures as these relate to human-dog relations. I have published work on both Japanese and Mexican-American cultures that rely heavily on this custom-complex methodology.

HOPR 2953 The Spanish Mystics
Wednesday, 3 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., spring 2015
Anne Pasero, Chair and Professor of Spanish, Foreign Languages and Literatures

This course will study the Spanish Mystics, beginning with St. Ignatius and focusing especially on his autobiography and Spiritual Exercises, and then proceeding to St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, examining both their lives and literary works.  Students and professor will then work together to relate the course content to the students’ spiritual lives at appropriate intervals throughout the semester. Doing this study and exercise over an entire semester will allow the course participants time for thought, reflection and discussion.  One month will be devoted to the study of each of the three saints, with time during each segment for the exploration of spiritual practices.  This course will be taught in English but some passive knowledge of Spanish would be helpful.  All texts are available in English translation.          

HOPR 2953: Video Game Culture
Tuesday, 3 p.m. to 4:40 p.m., spring 2015
Gerry Canavan, Assistant Professor, English

This course is a survey of the burgeoning academic field of game studies, with a focus on the history and reception of video games. We will begin with Pong and work our way forward to the present, considering along the way the fraught ethical and political debates that have accompanied the rise of video games as multi-billion-dollar popular entertainment. Are video games addictive? Are they bad for children? Are they bad for adults? Are they a waste of time—or, to paraphrase Steven Johnson, do “bad” video games turn out to actually be good for you? We will also consider pop culture treatment of video games and gaming culture in film, literature, and journalism, as well as recent documentaries like The King of Kong. Over the course of the semester students will research a final presentation on a game of their selection, attending to the game's form, content, social context, and critical reception.


HOPR 3953, Section 901: Slavery and its Legacy in the Literature of the Americas
MWF 1 p.m. to 1:50 p.m., fall 2014
Julia C. Paulk, Assistant Professor, Foreign Languages & Literatures

Did you know that the last country in the American hemisphere to abolish slavery was Brazil?  While it was the last to do so, Brazil ended slavery very shortly after Cuba and just two decades after the United States.  Various countries in the Americas are united by a history of slavery and a body of literature that addresses the struggle to overcome both slavery and racism.  In this course, we will read key works of fiction from the US, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Brazil that portray slavery and attempt to confront its terrible legacies in the nations of the Americas.

HOPR 3953, Section 902: Feminist Theology
TTH 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., fall 2014
Gretchen Baumgardt, Instructor, Theology

This course will introduce students to the development of Christian feminist theology and current trends. We will explore theological questions and categories (e.g., an understanding of God through Scripture, Christian tradition, social justice, etc.) through the lens of women’s experience. Readings will include texts written by “First World” (including the voices of African-American, Latina, and Asian-American women) and “Third World” theologians.

SPRING 2015 HOPR 3953

HOPR 3953 Philosophy of Perception
Mon/Wed 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., spring 2015
Corinne L. Bloch, Assistant Professor, Philosophy 

Do we believe what we see – or see what we believe? Is color in the object, or is it in the eye of the beholder? What can we learn from optical illusions? Is reality the direct object of our perception, or do we perceive only a representation of reality? This course will discuss these and other questions in the philosophy of perception. We will explore some classical texts in the philosophy of perception and examine them in light of recent developments in cognitive science. The interdisciplinary nature of the course makes it ideal for students who are majoring in philosophy, psychology or biological sciences.

FALL 2014 HOPR 4953

HOPR 4953, Section 901: Modern Revolutions 
Mon/Wed 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., fall 2014
Barrett McCormick, Political Science, Professor

Modern Revolutions asks if, when and how people can overcome injustice and make the world a better place.  We will examine a series of revolutions going back to the American, French and Haitian Revolutions and going forward to the Arab Spring.  Topics include the injustices revolutionaries faced, the tactics adopted by both revolutionaries and regimes, the impact of violence and the outcome of revolutions.  Students will do original research and present their findings to the class. This class is cross-listed with Political Science and will also count as a class from that department.

HOPR 4953, Section 902: Autism Spectrum Disorder’s Impact on Families and Society
Mon/Wed 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m., fall 2014
Norah Johnson, Assistant Professor, Nursing

This course offers an introduction to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that expresses itself with great variability in social, communication, and behavioral symptoms.  The course focuses on the impact of the growing prevalence of autism spectrum disorder on families (parents, siblings, grandparents) and society (health care providers, teachers, law enforcement officers, and others). The explicit goal of this course is to help students begin to recognize how diagnostic criteria, education policy, family support interventions, and insurance impact families of children with ASD as well as society as a whole. 

SPRING 2015 HOPR 4953

HOPR 4953 Crime and Punishment in English Fiction
T/Th 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., spring 2015
Melissa Ganz, Assistant Professor, English

From thieves and murderers to bigamists and terrorists, criminals have long figured prominently in English fiction.  In this course, we consider the centrality of crime and punishment to the novel tradition, while exploring the ways in which novels can help us understand the causes and consequences of illicit acts.  Our investigations take us through all the major subgenres of criminal literature, from Newgate fiction to sensation and detective fiction to modernist parodies and revisions.  We pay particular attention to the implications of criminality for literary form, while sampling recurring debates about the effects of reading and writing about vice.  Along the way, we consider topics including the value and limits of transgression; the origins of the human capacity for evil; the role of gender, class, and race in the criminal imagination; and the relationship between law and literature.  Authors include Charles Dickens, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, and Margaret Atwood.

HOPR 4953 Soviet Perspectives on the Cold War
MWF 8 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., spring 2015
Alan Ball, Professor, History

This readings-and-discussion course explores Cold War themes from Soviet points of view, including those of Party leaders, Red Army officers, KGB agents, nuclear physicists, dissidents, ordinary citizens, and a prima ballerina. As much as possible, we will read works by Soviet participants themselves—not just memoirs and political documents, but also selections from popular Soviet periodicals (the equivalent ofSports IllustratedLife Magazine, and Ladies’ Home Journal, among others). As we make our way through the semester, topics likely to catch our attention include summit diplomacy, the nuclear arms race, espionage, war scares, Soviet culture, the Olympic Games, propaganda, and dissent.

HOPR 4953, 903 Computer Applications for the Theatre
TuTh 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. 
Stephen Hudson-Mairet, Chair, Scenic Designer, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, Digital Media and Performing Arts 

This is a theatre design class in which the students will use computer software to design scenery, lighting, and costumes. Students will work with digital drafting software, desktop publishing software, lighting software, iPad rendering and painting software, and 3d modeling software.

The first half of the semester the students will participate in a digital bootcamp, learning the techniques of digital technology to design scenery, lighting and costumes for the theatre. In the second half of the semester, the class will be given a play to design. The class divides into teams and develops the comprehensive and cohesive design for the show. The class will work with a faculty director to develop the design elements for a fall '15 Marquette Theatre mainstage production. Students do not need to be accomplished designers to take the class, but having an interest in design doesn’t hurt. This is a hands on, active learning course with an interesting and invigorating dynamic.

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