The following 395H seminars are 3 credit hour classes. ACE credit is noted by each course (in some cases additional ACE credit may be forthcoming; contract Tamy Burnett for details). Some courses also meet College of Arts & Sciences College Distribution Requirements (ASC CDR); specifics are noted with each course. Enrollment in these courses will follow regular University enrollment procedures and occur on a first-come, first-served basis in accordance with your assigned priority registration times. If this is your final semester and you have an unmet ACE need AND you have difficulties getting into a course section with that ACE, contact Tamy Burnett ASAP.

Summer 2022

Sitcoms & Social Change

UHON 395H (ENGL)

Sitcoms & Social Change

Course description ►

Section 301 Prof. Tamy Burnett Web Conferencing, MTWRF 6:00-8:00pm
Three Week Session, May 16-June 3 Hear from Prof. Burnett! ACE 7 or 9; ASC CDR C (Humanities); Counts as 300-level English course for English major/minor; Fulfills Major Concentration requirement for English majors

An oft-overlooked genre of television is the situation comedy, more commonly called the sitcom. Among the many genres of television, sitcoms are often dismissed as “fluff,” suggesting mindless laughter and no cultural value. However, historically, sitcoms offered one of the first vehicles for scripted television to communicate changing cultural norms. As the field of television studies expands, so too must our consideration of sitcoms. Often because of their relationship to humor, sitcoms are especially well-positioned to help effect social change through minority representation on screen, engaging serious social topics through the “spoonful of sugar” approach, or even the clichéd “very special episode.” In this course, we will use theories of humor, comedy, and television studies to explore the history and significance of the genre of the television sitcom. We will focusing on sitcoms at the forefront of social change related to issues of human diversity, such as race/ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ+ identity, socioeconomic inequalities, (dis)ability, illness, and addiction. We will ground our study of these sitcoms’ role in creating and sustaining social change through historical framing of the cultural landscapes in which the various series aired, as well as considering how production elements of this art form contributed to their effectiveness as agents of social change.

Fall 2022

How Did We Get Here? From the Enlightenment to Donald Trump

UHON 395H (HIST)

How Did We Get Here? From the Enlightenment to Donald Trump

Course description ►

Section 001 Prof. Tim Borstelmann 9:30-10:45am, Tu/Th
Knoll 258 ACE 5; CAS CDR Humanities

This course will provide a one-semester overview of the historical development of the contemporary United States. We will first explore the pre-history of the country, focusing on the Enlightenment, the Protestant Reformation, European colonialism, the African slave trade, and the American Revolution. Next we will examine the creation of the powerful modern American state, digging into the processes of continental expansion, industrialization, immigration and the two World Wars. Finally, we will wrestle with key contemporary challenges, most notably the Cold War, struggles for social justice, globalization, climate change, and technological innovation. Students will write three brief papers, co-lead one week's discussion, and give an oral presentation on a research topic of their choice. This seminar offers an opportunity to examine the most important historical themes and issues of the past 500 years-a foundation for an educated citizen.

Quality TV

UHON 395H (ENGL)

Quality TV: From Buffy to Breaking Bad

Course description ►

Section: 003 Prof. Tamy Burnett 2:30-3:20, MWF
Knoll 258 Hear from Prof. Burnett! ACE 5 or 7 ; ASC CDR C (Humanities) Will count as 300-level English course for English major/minor

In this course, we will learn about and apply theories of the critical category of “quality television” in order to reach an understanding about how various production and narrative elements can contribute to the artistic quality of a scripted television show. Using the television show with the largest body of critical scholarship, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as a point of comparison, we will examine exemplar episodes from several television series that scholars generally agree qualify as “quality TV” in order to develop an understanding of this visual media art form and critical approaches to it. We will explore a variety of shows from disparate genres including, The X-Files, The Sopranos, The West Wing, Veronica Mars, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad.

You MAD Bro

UHON 395H (POLS)

"You MAD, Bro?": Mutually Assured Destruction, Deterrence and Assurance: The Politics of Nuclear Weapons

Course description ►

Section 004 Prof. Tyler White 2:00-3:15pm, Tu/Th
Knoll 150 Hear from Prof. White! ACE 6; CAS CDR Social Sciences

The nuclear weapons enterprise is unique in that it appears to be the only human endeavor that, if used, could wipe every living thing off the face of the earth. Yet nuclear weapons themselves and the doctrine that dictate their use have been credited with the dramatic drop in interstate war since 1945. States with nuclear weapons demand an unparalleled level of respect, yet obtaining and maintaining a nuclear arsenal is expensive and hazardous. Why do states seek nuclear weapons? What role do they play in the maintenance of international peace and security? Are they an effective tool or war or diplomacy? And should states have them at all? This course will dig into the history of the nuclear arms race and dissect the theories of deterrence, assurance, and mutually assured destruction. We will learn by reading, discussing, and participating in simulations.

Beatles

UHON 395H (MUSC)

The Beatles

Course description ►

Section 005 Prof. Scott Anderson 3:30-4:45p, Mo/We
Knoll 258 ACE 7

The Beatles are arguably the most important rock band in the genre. Their music has been at the center of the discussion of popular music and culture for over forty years. The class will be divided into three style periods. The first style period covers the Liverpool to Hamburg experience and the early pre-Rubber Soul albums. The second style period covers Rubber Soul through Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The third style period covers The Beatles (The White Album) through Yellow Submarine, Let it Be and Abbey Road with further discussion of Apple Corp and each of the group’s first solo albums. We will approach their output thematically and trace it through engagement with American Popular Music, religion, politics and fame.

The Dark Side of Children’s Literature

UHON 395H (ENGL)

The Dark Side of Children’s Literature

Course description ►

Section: 009 Prof. Laura White 8:30-9:20am, MWF
Andrews 114 Learn about the class from Prof. White! ACE 5; ASC CDR C (Humanities) Counts as 300-level English course for English major/minor; Fulfills Recent Lit or Concentration requirement for English majors

This course will explore the origins and development of children’s literature, with an emphasis on the dark and irrational elements of the genre, starting with the punitive tales of Mrs. Sherwood (the father of the family takes the children to see a gibbet with a body hanging on it) and the often ghastly fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm. Children’s literature is a genre which mostly came into being in the nineteenth century; we will focus on this literature's mirroring of such transatlantic cultural concerns as the nature of childhood, the threats of modernity, gender's obligations, imperialism and "other worlds," the child’s relation to nature and animals, the role of modern science (especially Darwin), and religion. Texts will be mostly British, but we will also read some foundational European texts (e.g., by Hoffmann, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Anderson) and some key American children's literature (e.g., Tom Sawyer, Little Women, The Emerald City of Oz).

Climate change

UHON 395H (GEOG)

Living with Our Changing Climate

Course description ►

Section 010 Prof. George Limpert 10:30-11:20am MWF
Knoll 150 ACE 4

This course reveals the impact that each of us has on the climate. With this understanding, comes choices and actions for a more sustainable future. Earth’s climate is inherently variable, but is currently changing at rates unprecedented in recent Earth history. Human activity plays a major role in this change and is projected to do so well into the future. By incorporating the latest science, this course elaborates on this human interaction with the climate system along with how climate variations affect humanity. The primary issues examined in this course include the human and ecosystem vulnerabilities to climate change; the role of energy choices in affecting climate; the actions humans can take through adaptation, mitigation, and policy to lessen vulnerabilities and, the psychological, political and financial reasons behind climate change denial.

The course will use on-line sources to acquire the most recent and most accurate information about our changing climate. Students will be given short challenge questions in each class period and then discuss their responses as a group in each of the following class periods. Guest speakers will be invited to bring “real life” climate change research into the classroom. There will be time for the students to discuss climate change issues with these guest speakers as well as within the group itself.

Students will identify, early on in the course, what aspect of our changing climate is of most interest to them. The students will then embark on a semester long research project on their chosen topic. We will set aside time every few weeks to have each student update their research efforts with the rest of the class. Details on the format of the research project will be handed out several weeks into the course. In-class discussion will be a very important aspect of this course as the students learn how to debate the relevant issues, frame scientific arguments and learn to work as a group toward common goals. Although there is no textbook in this course, the instructor will be providing a copy of the book “The Thinking Person’s Guide to Climate Change” to each student. Students will be requested to choose a chapter or a topic in this book and then later on in the semester give an “elevator speech” summarizing the key concepts that they learned and hopefully stimulating student discussion and debates on key issues.

The science of kids

UHON 395H (PSYCHOLOGY)

The Science of Kids: Critical Issues in Developmental Psychology

Course description ►

Section 011 Prof. Anne Schutte 3:30-4:45pm Tu/Th
Burnett 121 ACE 6 & CAS CDR Social Sciences

This class will examine current issues in theory and research in developmental psychology (e.g., nature vs. nurture). The course is an intermediate level study of developmental issues. We will also learn about theories and methods of developmental psychology.

By the end of the semester, you will have developed:

  1. Critical thinking and understanding in key selected topics in developmental psychology.
  2. Basic knowledge about cognitive, social, emotional, moral, and cultural development.
  3. An understanding of the roles of biology, families, media, peers, and other developmental agents.
  4. Learn to conceptually integrate and apply developmental knowledge to real world issues.