Honors Program

COR110: The Global Experience. Dr. Steve Braye. Core (Fall)

Green Day's words, "Don't want to be an American Idiot," reflected contemporary America in important ways.  Yet how do we avoid this fate, being an American Idiot?  In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will think beyond the media, for ourselves, examining and re-examining our beliefs and assumptions in significant ways.  We will use our time together to get outside the lines, to question our views of the world in new and challenging ways.  What are your views on contemporary slavery?  Are we implicated in the death of Sudanese in the Sudan?  What do we think about such global issues, and, more importantly, how do we decide what to think about these issues? So often, we concentrate on what we know, the accumulation of material, rather than the perspectives we bring to this material.  No matter how old we are, we tend to see things the same over and over, forgetting to recognize how different people, or just different perspectives, can lead us to enact different realities.  This course will challenge us to achieve something better.  We can gain new perspectives that enable us to change both the world around us and ourselves.  We can examine new ways of thinking and see what these ways can offer us.  Finally, we can decide what we want to accomplish in our world and use these ways of seeing to help us develop innovative ways of acting in the world.

HNR 242 A- Cultural Approaches to Health Communication. Dr. Lucinda Austin, Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist Society or Expression (Fall)

What is health communication and what does it have to do with anthropology? The goal of this interdisciplinary course is to cultivate students’ ability to think critically about the culture concept and how it translates into health communication practices. Students will be introduced to a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives that inform the study of culture-based approaches to health communication, including applied anthropology, health communication theory, international public health, and biocultural anthropology. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: describe the importance of cultural approaches to the practice of health communication; identify the important ethical dilemmas intrinsic to applying the cultural concept in health communication messages; compare the advantages and disadvantages of various types of “culture-based” communication theories and strategies; and construct culturally appropriate, evidence-based health communication messages. This course, which combines leading edge theories from health communications and critical theory from anthropology, will prepare students from many majors to navigate culturally complex issues within their own fields of study.

HNR 274 - Building Better Communities with Civic Technologies. Derek Lackaff. Society (Fall)

From top-down government initiatives to grassroots community projects in Alamance County and elsewhere, the Triangle area has become a hub for empowering citizens and enhancing civic engagement. Technologies are being leveraged to increase public participation, improve access to government, promote effective local journalism and information sharing, and improve the accountability and responsiveness of public institutions. This course will introduce key concepts of open governance and e-government, e-participation, and democratic deliberation. Our exploration will be historical (looking at how these functions were performed in other times and places), theoretical (focusing on how different writers have conceived of civic engagement, public participation, and social capital), technological (understanding how the affordances and uses of different kinds of technology enabled them to achieve one or another of these goals), and applied (seeking future models for how citizens and policy makers might collaborate to better meet the political needs of our times). We will also consider how emerging social media practices may be altering our conception of democracy, government, citizenship, and community.

HNR 279 - Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenthood. Cindy Fair. Society (Fall)

This course examines the topic of childbirth from biomedical, psychosocial, cultural, and historical perspectives. We will explore assumptions about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood by critically analyzing factors that influence the social construction of birth and, in turn, how these dynamics affect maternal and infant health. In particular, students will evaluate the factors that contribute to the high rates of maternal and infant mortality in the US compared to other high-resource countries and propose evidence-based strategies to ameliorate a childbirth-related problem. Partially fulfills Society requirement.

HNR 140 – Inquiry in Istanbul. Dr. Mike Carignan, Dr. Lynn Huber. Civilzation or Expression (Winter Term)

Istanbul has been a cultural crossroads for millennia. In light of this, the course uses the city of Istanbul itself as a classroom, encouraging students to explore the city as a site of historical and religious significance and to investigate the contemporary relevance of this city to East and West. Students will learn how to employ specific academic modes of inquiry to frame and inspire their curiosity, and identify major historical and cultural forces that shape life and identity in Istanbul. Along with faculty and local experts, students will explore and examine a number of sites, including: the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan’s Palace, the Blue Mosque, ancient cisterns, the Grand Bazaar, Theodosian Walls, and participate in an excursions to the city of Ankara and to the ruins of Ephesus. Students may also have the opportunity to consult with students and academic professionals at Koc¸ University, a world-class institution outside of Istanbul. Partially fulfills Elon Core Curriculum requirements in Civilization or Expression. First Year Honors Fellows Only.

HNR 139 A – Bioethics Dr. Yuko Miyamoto. Non-lab science (Spring)

The focus of the course is to introduce and teach the basic biological processes and to dicuss the ethical issues encountered in our daily lives.  Whether the scientific application comes across in a meal made with genetically modified foods, from a vaccination, or a therapy to treat a disease, it is difficult to escape the impact science has on our lives. Understanding how the biological processes work at the basic level and how they enhance our lives is important to make knowledgeable choices. Students will gain an understanding of the basic biological processes and discuss the ethical issues related to the use or application of technology in the course.

HNR 137 A –  Intellectual History. Dr. Mike Carignan. Civilization (Spring)

This course is designed to provide students opportunities to critically understand the historical nature of our own important ideas by examining the ways in which ideas have evolved through the last 300 years of European history.  In order to understand the major, modern intellectual movements—Enlightenment,  Romanticism, Developmentalism, Fin de Siecle, Modernism, Existentialism, and Deconstruction—we will read classic works ranging from philosophy to history and literature from the major figures who have asked and/or responded to the very deepest questions that have captivated modern, Western civilization. Threading many of the movements will be the enduring themes of freedom, critique, historical consciousness, the “death” of God, and the inescapable disappearance of certainties.  Writers include: Kant, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley, Darwin, Nietzsche, Kafka, Freud, Sartre, Camus, Derrida, and Borges.

HNR 241 A-Modern Families. Dr. Larry Basirico, Dr. Judy Esposito. Society (Spring)

This interdisciplinary course will explore modern families from a variety of social science perspectives. Theories, concepts and scholarly research from Human Service Studies and Sociology will be used to understand the emergence of the diversity of contemporary families in US society, the issues and interpersonal dynamics within students’ families of orientation and future families of procreation, the relationship between other social institutions and contemporary family life, and ways to approach problems within families.

HNR 237 A- Life in the Universe. Dr. Tony Crider, Dr. Anthony Weston. Non-lab science or Expression (Spring)

This course is a wide-angled exploration of contemporary thinking about life and intelligence beyond Earth. We explore astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, both in scientific terms and against their cultural and philosophical background. What are the main arguments for and against extraterrestrial life and intelligence? What might extraterrestrial life or intelligence be like? What is the probability that we could discover either within our galaxy? How might such a discovery change our understanding of ourselves and the universe?