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; contact 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.

Spring 2024 - January Pre-Session

a diversity group with a light bulb, brain and gears above their heads


Regulating the Global Human Population

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section PW1 2:00pm-4:00pm, MTWRF
Zoom Dr. John DeLong ACE 6

This seminar is designed to foster an understanding of the processes driving changes in the size and age distribution of the global human population. We will strive to understand how predictions about the future size of the global human population are made and how biological, social, geographic, and economic factors combine to influence fertility, mortality, and migration of humans. We will look at historical patterns and processes of migration and population dynamics, cover the demographic transition and questions about its permanence, the role of economic development and energy in fertility and mortality patterns, and how the number of people on the planet might influence the way socio-economic system works.

As we go through these topics, we will learn about fundamental concepts from demography (e.g., life tables), biology (e.g., life history and population dynamics), sociology (e.g., cultural norms), and economics (e.g., development and tragedy of the commons). We will consider the globe as a complex system that must be fueled by energy use and ask how that energy use influences the processes that regulate the human population. Assignments will include weekly readings from the primary literature. Exercises will include making life tables for humans, calculating growth rates, and projecting/forecasting future population size.

Spring 2024 - Regular Semester

sitcom on tv screen with blank quote bubbles


Quality TV

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section 001 10:30am-11:20am, MWF
Knoll 258 Dr. Tamy Burnett 5 or 7; CAS CDR Humanities; Counts 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.

film strip and musical notes


American Film Music in a Suburban Age (1950-present)

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section 003 11:00am-12:15pm, Tu/Th
WMB 109 Dr. Tony Bushard ACE 7

The most familiar entertainment icons and storylines from the 1950s and 60s remain potent signs that continue to resonate within contemporary American society and culture. In recent decades, the entertainment industry has capitalized on this trend with films and television shows that take a look back on the 1950s and 1960s with a mixture of nostalgia and criticism. In this class, we will explore how the central concerns of the Fifties and Sixties—and resulting treatment in the motion picture media—can be examined and understood through the music of the time period. Through a focus on the films' soundtrack and scoring (both then and now) as well as engagement with appropriate primary and secondary texts, we will discover that specific television shows and films offer a more nuanced vision of community and conformity than is usually recognized, revealing much about our own current social anxieties.

cartoon portrait of  William Shakespeare with no eyes and pages flying out of a book


From Presidents to Protest: Leadership and Change in the United States

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section 005 9:30am-10:45am, Tu/Th
Knoll 258 Dr. Patrice McMahon ACE 8; CAS CDR Social Science

How has peaceful social and political change taken place in the United States? We argue through thoughtful leadership, strong public institutions, and grassroots support. This interdisciplinary three-credit Honors course is designed to encourage students to think about social and political change in the United States through the lens of public service and civil society (or change from official individuals and institutions or through unofficial, nongovernmental channels). This course is specifically designed to allow students to consider different pathways to fomenting change by examining leadership models and the decisions of individuals and groups. In doing so, it draws from different but adjacent disciplines and literatures on leadership development, American history and politics, civil society, and social movements. We use both historical and contemporary moments and issues to help students learn about how public servants (our so-called grass tops) and other leaders and groups in civil society (the grassroots) have come together to inspire peaceful change in the United States. A central goal of this class is to provide students with both a toolbox and a context for understanding why and how leaders make decisions, emphasizing the difficulties of making ethical choices, as well as the range of variables that influence the decision-making process and resulting outcome.

vote signs on a pile of coins with dollar signs and hands raised in the air


Capitalism and Democracy in the 21st Century

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section 006 3:30pm-4:45pm, MW
Knoll 258 Dr. Wes Peterson ACE 6 or 9

At the end of the 20th Century, many believed that a combination of liberal democracy with free-market capitalism, a socio-economic system sometimes referred to as democratic capitalism, represented the best way to manage modern societies. The 21st Century has not been kind to this understanding as authoritarian regimes have multiplied around the world and economic, environmental, and geo-political challenges have led to conflicts and uncertainty. There is broad agreement that climate change and inequality are among the top global issues faced by humanity today. Climate change is the leading edge of a set of inter-related environmental challenges that includes declines in biodiversity, pollution, deforestation, and increased weather-related disasters. Inequality can take many forms such as disparities in income and wealth across different social groups as well as discrimination based on personal characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, or sexual orientation. Furthermore, climate change and inequality are themselves interdependent as the negative effects of climate and environmental disturbances inevitably fall heaviest on those who are poor or members of social groups suffering from prejudice and intolerance. A key question is whether democratic capitalism as presently constituted is up to the task of confronting these issues or whether there will need to be significant changes in the way societies are organized if the current challenges are to be overcome. The purpose of this seminar is to explore that question with an emphasis on alternative approaches to achieving a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future.

a diversity group with a light bulb, brain and gears above their heads


The Vietnam War: What Is It Good For?

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section 008 MWF 11:30-12:20pm
Knoll 258 Dr. Don Beahm ACE 6 & CAS CDR Social Sciences

This course is an examination of the U.S. involvement politically, militarily, and historically in the Vietnam War. We will explore various conceptions of how the U.S. became engaged in the war, how politics played a major role in what foreign policy objectives were being pursued through the war, why the military fought the war with the strategies they developed, and what the historic and political ramifications were for the U.S., Vietnam, and the world in the aftermath of the war. Attention will be paid to how the lives of Americans were affected by the war.

Diversity in Sports Culture


Diversity in Sports Culture

Course description ►

No.: XXX Section 011 12:30pm-1:45pm, Tu/Th
Knoll 258 Dr. John Shrader ACE 9

Sport is one of the few places in American society in which we find a confluence of race, gender, class, economics, politics, commerce, and popular culture. To study sport is to take a close examination of who we are and what we stand for as Americans and citizens of the world. We will use this broader context to study race and sport, in its historical and contemporary understanding. We will examine issues among a variety of institutions, including college and professional sports, the media, the sports business, and fans.