189H Seminars

Fall 2017-18

All first-time freshman students in the University Honors Program are required to take one 189H seminar in the fall semester of their first year at UNL. These seminars are intended for a generalist audience, which is to say that no special preparation is necessary: the student interested in the sciences would be perfectly comfortable and successful in a Music seminar and the student interested in art is prepared for and would benefit from a Political Science seminar.

The following course descriptions will acquaint you with each of the 189H seminars for 2017-18. Before you attend NSE, please identify at least three courses you may wish to take. Please be aware that courses required for your major will dictate your schedule and there are limited seats in each course, which means you may not be able to enroll in your first choice of Honors seminar. However, most students are able to take one of their top choices.

The Art and Responsibility of Persuasion: Ethical Issues in Marketing Communications


No.: **** Section: 001 9:30-10:45a, Tu Th
ANDN 114 Professor Nancy Mitchell ACE 8

Course description

We all try to persuade others. How can we do it responsibly personally and professionally? This course will enable you to become familiar with a variety of ethical issues in advertising and public relations and examine their impact on contemporary society. You will develop your ability to think critically about communicating messages and examine the role of persuasion in the specific context of advertising and public relations. You’ll learn about various ethical perspectives and pick up some tools that can be applied no matter what your major. For example, you’ll learn how to reframe arguments and consider the impact on your audience and society. Even though the topics will be studied through the lens of marketing communications, these skills and abilities transcend disciplines as we are all creators and consumers of information.

Street Art: Art in the Urban Environment

ARTP 189H (art theory and practice)

No.: **** Section: 001 2:30-3:15p, Tu Th
NRC 1105 Professor Sandra Williams Ace 2 or 7

Course description

• Theories that drive street art and culture (cynicism, parrhesia, detournement and joyful science, and different roles that art in the public sphere can take)

• Understanding the practices, style and struggles associated with a particular section of the socio economically disadvantaged

• Art as an act of social change that can be traced back to the single action of one person or one small idea. Artists who seek to engage the community in a radical way do so by pushing boundaries and exposing societal taboos. What is the impact of radical art? How does it challenge us to think differently about our community?

• To understand and practice the type of art that can be shared freely and to explore creating work that is disruptive

From Rashomon to Pokemon:  Narrative Play in Contemporary Art and Culture


No.: **** Section: 002 3:30-4:45p, MW
RH 104 Professor Anthony Hawley Ace 2 or 7

Course description

Using the 1950 Japanese film Rashomon and its ground-breaking narrative structure, where different characters tell different versions of a story, as a jumping off point, this seminar examines artistic innovation in story-telling and narrative form. Throughout the semester, we will read books, watch films, and look at genre-defying works of art whose unusual approach to narrative changes the way we see the world around us. How do stories shape us? How do we shape stories to fit certain realities? How do contemporary art, cinema, and literature blur the thin line between reality and fiction to create new kinds of stories? We pay special attention to works whose approach to story-telling serves as a catalyst for cultural change and ask why this is so empowering in an age where ‘telling it like it is’ seems to have new cultural and political cache. Students will also engage in experiential learning by creating works in the vein of those we study and conducting research in various fields. No previous artistic experience or talent is needed.

Great Thinkers in Genetics & Evolution


No.: **** Section: 001 8:00-9:15a, Tu Th
BEAD N176 Professor Alan Christiansen ACE 4

Course description

Students will read, discuss and write about some important ideas in genetics and evolution. We will begin with Mendel, founder of the science of genetics, followed by discussions of Darwin’s ideas on natural selection, and progressing to human genome sequencing. This will then be followed by a discussion of major innovations of evolution, such as organelles, vision, warm-blood etc. and will end with the story of human genome sequencing. Be prepared to read and discuss several books, including making brief presentations to the rest of the class, and writing a final paper. We will continuously refer to the scientific method: how hypotheses are generated, how experiments and data are used to test those hypotheses and how the hypotheses can then be refined to become our knowledge base.

Do This, Not That: Health Facts or Health Fiction?


No.: **** Section: 002 8:30-9:20a, MWF
NRC 2109 Professor Gwen Bachman ACE 4

Course description

You’ve seen the ads for the fads. How to lose weight without dieting, build muscle without exercise, increase brain-power and improve sleep. In this course, we’ll explore the research behind health fads and assess the extent to which the science backs up the claims. You will learn about the process of scientific research, how scientists actually work, and how their results become the seed for popular health claims.

Communication, Stigma, and Support: Talking (and not talking) about our Mental Health


No.: **** Section: 001 12:30-1:45p, TuTh
NRC 1105 Professor Angela Palmer-Wackerly ACE 8

Course description

There has been a growing interest in improving patient support for overall mental well-being, mental health services, and mental health access. This course examines how and why we talk about mental health on multiple levels (e.g. interpersonal, family, schools, cultural, policy) and how this communication relates to our attitudes and behaviors about mental health. We’ll read and discuss how communication contributes to stigma around certain mental health diagnoses in comparison with others, as well as how communication helps to promote mental well-being. Examining and applying communication theory will be a fundamental part of this course. Assignments include in-class activities, a research paper, and a group project to deepen our understanding of the relationship between communication, support, and mental health.

How to Become Creative or Talented


No.: **** Section: 002 2:00-4:30p, Tu
TEAC 139 Professor Ken Kiewra ACE 6

Course description

Examination of creative and talented people in various domains and analysis of the psychological, environmental, social, and biological factors that lead to creativity and talent. Implications for self-growth, education, and parenting. Students read texts and articles, interview talented in-class guests, complete a book report and article summary, and conduct a small research project.

From the American Revolution to Hamilton The Musical: American Literature and Social Protest

ENGL 189H (English)

No.: **** Section: 035 9:30-10:45a, Tu Th
ANDR 116 Professor Kelly Payne ACE 5

Course description

This class examines the rich and diverse tradition of social protest literature in the U.S. Together we will read and examine social protest literature by prominent Americans from the 18th century to our present day. Along the way, we will look at writings that treat a diverse range of social movements and perspectives: from Abigail Adams bold appeal for women’s rights in 1776 to the writings of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs on their escape from slavery, from the government’s removal of Native American children from their homes and forced relocation to Indian boarding schools in the 1880s to W. E. B. Du Bois’ argument for equal access to education for African Americans in the early 20th century, from the Civil Rights movements for black, LGBT, and women’s rights in the mid-20th century to Black Lives Matter today.

Books: [N.B. this reading list may change] selections from the anthology: American Protest Literature (2008); Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852); W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk (1903); Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle (1906); Tilly Olsen’s Silences (1962); Louise Erdrich’s The Round House (2013); Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name – A Biomythography (1982); Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric (2014); and Hamilton: The Musical (2016).

Post-War British Culture: Punks and Authoritarians

ENGL 189H (English)

No.: **** Section: 040 11:00-12:15p, Tu Th
ANDR 27 Professor Guy Reynolds ACE 5

Course description

This class will introduce students to some of the most notorious British novels and films of the last seven decades, all of which center on the use and misuse of authority, and the encounters between what often seemed a very stuffy culture and rebellious outsiders who questioned its values. We will begin with George Orwell’s 1984, move on to Anthony Burgess’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and then move on to works as varied and intriguing as Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta and Shane Meadows’s film, This is England. The class will center on fiction, but there will be excursions into the worlds of film and graphic novels and theoretical writings about popular /street culture and fashion.

Sanaa: The Literature & Art of Africa’s Cities


No.: **** Section: 050 12:30-1:20p, MWF
ANDR 114 Professor Nganga Muchiri ACE 5

Course description

In this course we’ll be particularly interested in pursuing a critique of the production of images that are easily recognizable as “African” – war, poverty, famine, etc. Why is Africa repeatedly approached as the “always already” known, understood, or assumed? What does it mean to “know” Africa? Do Africans have the ultimate claim to “knowing” the continent? Hence, our point of departure is inquiries that metropolitan Africa invites, or those we might raise. While our journey may help us arrive at answers, the primary focus of the class is learning how to ask profound, interesting, and creative questions that advance our understanding of the continent’s urban life. Throughout the semester, we will interrogate, and listen to, a variety of African voices. Cities in Africa offer both a high concentration of cultural production and a wide variety of individual expression. So, for instance, music will not only serve as a background to our writing exercises, but also as a primary source that we examine and read closely. Other urban voices we examine include: novels, short stories, and photography. Some of these artistic pieces echo each other, but more often than not they argue, debate, and disagree. We will analyze how these declarations borrow from each other, and continuously create novel artistic forms and genres. Finally, the course will ask students to reflect on the role of the imagination in creating, and interpreting, knowledge about an “other.”

Art and the Search for Meaning in American Life


No.: **** Section: 060 2:00-3:15p, Tu Th
ANDR 27 Professor Maureen Honey ACE 5

Course description

We will read and discuss literary and visual works on American life from the Civil War to the present day. Along the way, we’ll look at writers and artists who show us diverse aspects of American life, from survival on the frontier of Alaska via Jack London to pioneering in Nebraska via Willa Cather, from the jazz age of F. Scott Fitzgerald to recent stories of American life. We will look at visual art and poetry, fiction and memoir, the creative work of class members and prominent voices in American literature. Creativity and art will be at the center of the course, both that of students and of American artists. This is a discussion course and there will be an emphasis on writing and critical thinking. Each student will give a presentation on creativity in his or her life and construct a creative project.

Texts: The Norton Anthology of American Literature Volume II Shorter Ninth Edition; Beholding Eye by Grace Bauer; novels as yet to be decided; Across the Universe by director Julie Taymor; trips to art museums in Lincoln. Requirements: Three papers of 6 pages each; one creative project; one presentation; class visit to the Sheldon Museum of Art and the Great Plains Art Gallery.

Exploring the Digital Humanities:  How New Media are Transforming Art, History, and Literature

HIST 189H (history)

No.: **** Section: 001 9:30-10:45a, T, Th
NRC 1105 Professor James Coltrain ACE 5

Course description

New digital technologies are rapidly transforming the way scholars study subjects like history, literature, art, and archaeology. Together these innovations are called the digital humanities, and they include projects ranging from 3D virtual reconstructions of ancient cities, to digitized versions of illuminated manuscripts, to interactive museum displays. This class will investigate how scholars are using exciting technologies like social media, cloud computing, game design, and many others for cultural studies. Together we will consider issues like public access and digital property rights, crowd sourcing and online collaboration, digital preservation and standards, the role of creativity and play, the effectiveness of digital education, and the potential of newer technologies still years in the future. In addition to readings and discussion on trends and techniques in the field, students will also have the chance to create their own imaginative proposals for digital humanities projects. No programming or mathematics background is required or recommended for this class.

Love, Death, and Power in Pre-Modern Europe


No.: **** Section: 002 10:30-11:45a, MW
NRC 2109 Professor Carole Levin ACE 5

Course description

Love and Power are both often deeply desired, and have been throughout history. And Death comes to everyone, sometimes much too violently. This course uses case studies based on historical persons and pieces of literature to examine love, death, and power in various time and places in pre-modern Europe, and learn much about historical and literary concerns that still resonate today. Some of the texts and figures we study include Medea, the mythological wife of Jason, who took terrible revenge when he abandoned her; Boudicca, the Celtic Queen who fought the Roman invaders; the murderous Merovingian queen Fredegund; the scholar/cleric Abelard and his brilliant student and lover Heloise; and Lady Jane Grey, executed in the Tower while still in her teens. We will also be reading Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, Thomas More’s Utopia, and William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Assignments include in-class writing, short interpretive essays based on the readings, a 5-8 page research paper, and a creative final.

From the Waldorf Astoria to German Hip-Hop:  German-American Encounters from 1776 to the Present


No.: **** Section: 003 12:30-1:20p, MWF
NRC 1105 Professor Alexander Vazansky ACE 5

Course description

German speakers had been part of the European settlements in North America since their early days. In the 17th and 18th Century groups such as the Swiss Mennonites, the Amish, the Moravians, or the Dunkers fled religious persecution. During the 19th Century, many Germans tried to escape economic or political hardship by coming to the United States. The first German language newspaper on North American soil was published in Philadelphia in 1732. By 1894 about 800 German language journals and newspaper were being published in the United States with close to 3 million German-born immigrants living in the United States, many of them in Nebraska. Given these large numbers of emigrants it is not surprising that America figured greatly in the German imagination. German intellectuals and writers of the late 18th Century were fascinated by the newly created United States born out of revolution and Enlightenment ideals. Letters and accounts from German immigrants during the 19th century gave rise to the image of the United States as the land of opportunity. Germans also became enthralled by tales of the American West. In the 20th Century, the United States loomed even larger in the German imagination. Defeating Germany in two World Wars the United States became the political, economic, and cultural model for postwar Germany. American consumer and popular culture has left a lasting impression in Germany. This class will trace German-American encounters from the founding of the Republic to the present, from the legacy of German immigrants in the United States to the continuing impact of American pop culture on Germany in the 21st Century.

Freedom of Expression & the First Amendment


No.: **** Section: 001 2:00-3:15p, TuTh
ANDN 114 Professor John Bender ACE 5

Course description

Americans cherish the right to say what they think — but they also value other things such as justice, privacy, decency and fairness. Sometimes freedom of expression collides with one of those other rights we value, leading to some interesting and complex conflicts. The right to express ourselves is specifically delineated in the First Amendment and interpreted in hundreds of laws and court cases since the U.S. Constitution was written. This seminar examines the benefits - and costs - of freedom of expression in various parts of American culture. The course stresses that the right to freedom of expression applies to all citizens, not only to the media. Students will be expected to do frequent writing in various formats and to make occasional oral presentations.

A World of Music

MUNM 189H (Music)

No.: **** Section: 001 2:30-3:45p, MW
WMB 109 Professor Tony Bushard ACE 7 or 9

Course description

Music making is one of the most important creative processes experienced by people throughout the world. In this class we will explore various types of music made across the globe and how each culture incorporates music into their daily lives. In addition, we will examine the role of the ethnomusicologist and the various ways in which ethnomusicology contributes to our understanding of music. In order to investigate these diverse topics more thoroughly, we will read and discuss texts that engage the music from (for instance) economic, political, social, racial, and gender perspectives. Further, we will experience the music itself through a variety of interactive and participatory media. The class will culminate with a musical ethnography project and presentation wherein students will have the opportunity to explore music making in the greater Lincoln community.

Music in Film:  From Birth of a Nation to Star Wars: The Force Awakens


No.: **** Section: 001 3:30-4:45p, Tu Th
NRC 2109 Professor Laura Damuth ACE 7

Course description

Film is one of our most prominent and influential art forms, yet many of us take the musical soundtrack for granted. This class will study the use of music in film from the silent era (1920s) to the present and focus on the expressive and formal function that film music serves, either as sound experienced by the protagonists, or as another layer of commentary to be heard only by the viewer, or some mixture of the two. Composers studied will include: Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Danny Elfman, John Williams, and Howard Shore. We will be listening and viewing films that rely upon a range of musical styles, including classical, popular, and non-Western. This course is intended for any major, although some basic knowledge of music is helpful.

Psychology of Music


No.: **** Section: 002 9:30-10:45a, TuTh
WMB 9 Professor Robert Woody ACE 7

Course description

Throughout time, human beings have been fascinated with music. Research in the psychology of music has uncovered much regarding how musicians acquire the ability to convey emotional intentions as sounded music, how listeners perceive it as feelings and moods, and how this powerful process relates to social and cultural dynamics. This course addresses these broad themes, giving specific attention to topics such as: development and learning, motivation, expressivity and artistic interpretation, creativity, performance anxiety, listener preferences and emotional response, and the roles of music in society.

The 21st Century Scholar/Artist:  Digital Music Creation


No.: **** Section: 003 12:30-1:45p, TuTh
RH 17 Professor Brian Moore ACE 7

Course description

In areas of musical and artistic creativity, digital media has become an important aural and visual palette for expression. The ability to be creative and communicate in an expressive and compelling manner are also important skills in today's world. The iPad has transformed both the process and product of musical creation. This seminar seeks to (1) understand the expressive aspects of music as an art form through learning to compose and create original music, (2) develop and equip students with the skills and knowledge to use personal and multimedia technology within the context of musical and artistic creation and scholarship, and (3) be an active participant in the research/creative process of the development and deployment of new technologies. NOTE: This seminar requires each student to have access to an Apple iPad. For those enrolled students that do not have an iPad, one will be made available for checkout as well as access to creativity software/hardware for music production, graphic design, and video production.

Exploring Music & the Arts in Today's World

musc 189H (music)

No.: **** Section: 004 12:30-1:45p, Tu Th
WMB 114 Professor Jackie Mattingly ACE 7

Course description

This seminar will consider and discuss the nature and function of the arts in today’s society. The course will examine the creative process through a variety of disciplines including music, dance, theatre, and art. Each of these areas will be addressed through the required reading materials and assignments. In addition to traditional class lectures, the class will tour several arts establishments including the Lied, the Sheldon Museum of Art, as well as visiting several sculptures across campus. Throughout the course, we will address questions such as: What should the arts do for us? Who should support the arts? What are the economic, political, historical, and social influences on the arts? What role do we as an audience play in the arts? No previous musical or artistic knowledge or experience is necessary to take this course.

Current Issues in American Politics


No.: **** Section: 001 9:30-10:20a, MWF
OLDH 538 Professor John Gruhl ACE 6

Course description

An examination of current and controversial issues in American politics. The first half of the seminar will focus on the size and role of our government, pitting small-government advocates against big-government advocates--those who want to cut government programs versus those who want to continue or expand them. We'll examine the debates between conservatives and liberals and between Republicans and Democrats. We'll compare the policies of recent presidents, including those by President Obama and some by President Trump. The second half of the seminar will focus on the polarization of American politics and political parties. Why are we so polarized today, and what are the consequences? In this context, we’ll look at the 2016 presidential election and events since then. We'll also look at the phenomenon of fake news. For most students, the information presented in class and in the readings will be eye-opening. Even so, the course will be a serious examination of these issues--not simply a "current events" class that discusses the latest headlines or argues hot-button issues. The reading will be substantial, and the writing will entail a series of short papers based on the reading. The course will include lectures and discussions, and all students will participate with questions and comments.

Where the #$@%! am I?”: An Introduction to the Study of Spatial Cognition


No.: **** Section: 001 11:00-12:15p, Tu Th
BURN 232 Professor Mark Holden ACE 6

Course description

Spatial cognition is a broad field, covering topics such as remembering locations, orienting ourselves in space (such as when you come up from an underground train), and navigating. But it also includes thinking about spatial relations on a smaller scale – such as a chemist imagining how molecules of different 3D shapes will interact, or an architect planning a building. This course will briefly cover some of these aspects of spatial cognition, as well as topics such as neuroscience, individual and group differences (e.g. differences between men and women, or cross-cultural effects), cross-species comparisons, and even how we can improve our own spatial skills – by playing video games!

He Said, She Said: The Psychology of Gender


No.: **** Section: 002 8:00-9:15a, Tu Th
NRC 2109 Professor Abigail Riemer ACE 6

Course description

Whether you realize it or not, your sex and gender likely play a significant role in your everyday life. Relying on psychological science, this course will help you understand and critically examine the ways in which sex and gender are defined and enacted at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, and societal levels. Topics will include gender differences and similarities, gender stereotypes and sexual objectification, gender development, sexism, gendered violence, sexual identity (e.g., LGTBQ), gender in the workplace, and health. Current “hot” topics (e.g., transgender prejudice, women’s underrepresentation in STEM, men’s risk-taking behaviors, the glass ceiling in politics) will be discussed.

Social Psychology of Inequality


No.: **** Section: 001 9:30-10:45a, Tu Th
HENZ 109 Professor Colleen Ray ACE 9

Course description

This course will provide a selective overview of the field of sociological social psychology with a special emphasis on social inequality. We will review key social psychological concepts (e.g., the self, identity, schemas) and apply contemporary theories (e.g., expectation states and implicit biases) to understand how and why inequality persists in the US. We will pay close attention to how inequality is created, reproduced, and resisted during face-to-face social interactions. We will examine the unique mechanism of inequity across different social groups, such as race, class and gender.

Popular Culture & Social Justice

wmns 189H (women's and gender studies)

No.: **** Section: 001 8:30-9:20a, MWF
NRC 1105 Professor Tamy Burnett ACE 9

Course description

From movies to the nightly news, from comic books to social media, from music to novels, popular culture is full of stories about how our actions and attitudes define us and how we might understand and contribute to creating a more just society. These narratives impact how we think about our roles as scholars and citizens who consume, participate in, and even create popular culture. In this course, we will examine how systems of privilege are represented in popular narratives and what lessons we take away—consciously or unconsciously—from the popular culture we are exposed to on a daily basis. We will pay special attention to how gender intersects with different forms of identity, such as race/ethnicity, sexuality, socioeconomic class, nationality, religious/spiritual identity, and/or (dis)ability. We will further consider how social (in)justice is depicted in popular narratives and how the process of consuming these stories impacts our understanding of our place in the world and what it means to be an active, engaged citizen.

Gender & the Law in America

WMNS 189H (WOMEN's and gender STUDIES)

No.: **** Section: 002 5:30-8:15p, Tu
NRC 2109 Professor Joann Ross ACE 9

Course description

This course is designed to give students a better understanding of the legal system and its fluidity as applied to gender, which we will discuss in terms of biology, gender identity, gender politics, and sexual orientation. By reading and discussing major court decisions, feminist and queer legal theory, and historical and contemporary accounts, we will explore how important gender has been to the development and enforcement of the law and evaluate the ways in which the law has treated men and women differently during this nation’s history. Topics may include marriage, property ownership, voting rights, education, employment, citizenship, jury service, reproductive freedom, parenthood, and violence against women. In addition to the topics selected for weekly reading and discussion, students will have the opportunity to do in-depth research on a topic they find particularly interesting, culminating in a research paper that is related to the subject of gender and the law.

From Zika to Flint, Michigan: Case Studies Exploring Global Public Health and Environmental Justice

ENVR 189H (environmental studies)

No.: **** Section: 001 11:00-12:15p, Tu Th
NRC 1105 Professor Christine Douglass ACE 8

Course description

As the global population grows, and our world becomes increasingly interconnected via processes of globalization, our social and natural worlds are becoming further interwoven. International travel creates a pathway for previously limited outbreaks of disease to spread. The internet creates a pathway for the illumination of once hidden social and ecological crimes. This course will explore contemporary public and environmental health case studies from around the world through the lens of environmental justice. Environmental justice involves the fair and equal treatment and involvement of all people in efforts to care for and access environmental resources. We will investigate current cases of environmental concern in urban areas, remote indigenous communities, local and international law, and the development of local and international public health practices and collaborative efforts.

Issues in Human Rights, Past and Present

POLS 189H (political science)

No.: **** Section: 002 12:30-1:45p, Tu Th
CBA 108 Professor Julia Reilly ACE 6

Course description

This course has three parts. First, an introductory survey of the major theories and debates about human rights, ancient and modern. The second two parts explore how these ideas inform contemporary human rights issues and policies in the international community (part 2) and in individual countries, with a particular focus on the United States (part 3). This course emphasizes the contested nature of human rights, the complexities of international human rights regime, and what it means to look at issues through the lens of human rights.