Honors gives students the opportunity to take classes that are interesting, engaging, and thought-provoking. Find out which current courses will suit your schedule and look through past courses to see the diverse array of topics that Honors has covered.
HON 272-01 (12878): Class In America
- (3cr.), ES: SS, US Diversity
- MoWeFr 11:00AM - 11:50AM - David - Columbia B321D
“This was probably the most interesting course I’ve taken to date.”
“Most critical thinking I’ve ever had in a class.”
“It’s like I see the world through different glasses now.”
“Everyone should take this class!”
We hear lots of talk about race and gender, but what role does socioeconomic class play in affecting one’s place in the world and one’s life experiences? Together we’ll explore class in contemporary America, from rags to riches, by examining scholarly work, popular culture, and the world around us through service-learning. And, more significantly, we’ll examine how Americans think—or don’t think—about class.
HON 291-01 (12850): Speculative Fiction: Defining a Genre
- (3 cr.), ES: HUM
- TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM - Kirby - Columbia B321C
“Speculative fiction” is a term first used in 1947 by Robert Heinlein in his talk “On the Writing of Speculative Fiction.” Heinlein seems to use the term interchangeably with “science fiction,” but over the years writers and readers have questioned how much these terms overlap and how much they identify related but separate genres. Speculative fiction is usually seen as a cousin of science fiction, a cousin who is a little more familiar, a little less (literally) outlandish. A kind of middle step between stories set in the recognizable present/world (mainstream fiction) and those set in the completely unfamiliar/alien world (science fiction). It is a slippery genre to define, and in this class we’ll see what kind of definition we can shape. We’ll look at how this genre handles questions of culture, history, ethics, society, politics, technology, and all those thorny questions of humanity. Because, of course, every story about another world, or another history, or another future, is a story about our world and our history and our future.
HON 291-02 (12857): The American Musical
- (3 cr.), ES: HUM
- TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM - Hill - Columbia B321D
The musical has been a cultural force in America for over a century. Despite all the song and dance, musicals give our culture interesting social commentary on politics, history, diversity, and identity. Originally performed through theater, musicals now reach broader audiences through film, television, and even video blogs. In this course, we will study the history of American musicals and answer why they are a great medium for social commentary. We will discuss, watch, and read about such pivotal musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), West Side Story (1961), Cabaret (1972), Rent (2005), Hairspray (2007), Les Miserables (2012), and La La Land (2016).
HIST 220HON (16606): History of North Dakota: Women's Hockey, Higher Education, and the University of North Dakota Budget
- (3 cr.), ES:HUM
- TuTh 2:00-3:15PM - Caraher - O’Kelly 310
Between 2015 and 2017, the University of North Dakota experienced a series of seemingly unprecedented budget cuts. These resulted in a flurry of media coverage, cut programs, transformed priorities, and—perhaps most predictably—outrage from students and faculty alike. Faculty and staff lost jobs, academic, athletic and student programs were cut or modified, and campus life became punctuated by the news of the latest cuts, public fora, and discussions.
This course will explore the complex series of decisions, assumptions, and expectations that led to the 2015-2017 budget cuts at the University of North Dakota. Along the way, we'll think critically about the history of higher education, the history of UND, and how complex institutions make decisions, execute plans, and respond to crises. We will explore these issues through a wide range of readings, projects that allow us to dig into various sources and data related to the cuts, and guest lectures from various people involved in the cuts.
In the end, we will produce a short guide for your fellow students (and maybe the general public) that explains what happened, how it happened, and why we should all care! (Let’s call it: A Student's Guide to the UND Budget). While budgets, higher education, and UND do not seem very fun or interesting, I promise you that this course will be fun. It'll be a subversive riot! Come and join the party!
LANG 380HON (TBA): Global Gateways: The Multiple Faces of Polygamy
- 3 (cr.), ES: A, HUM
- MoWeFr 12:00-12:50PM - Fleshman - Merrifield 303
“Sister wives” “Co-husbands” “Brother from another mother” “Sister from another mister”
Why do these topics titillate, confuse, fascinate, disgust? This course will touch upon Judeo-Christian, Koranic, Hindu, and indigenous perspectives of the practice, encouraging a better understanding of where, why, and how polygamy is/was practiced. Through analysis of a wide range of fictional and non-fictional texts, including reality TV, we will examine how the practice of polygamy impacts social and cultural identity, and how polygamy shapes the human experience .
HIST 328HON (16536): Historical Perspectives on Human Rights
- (3 cr.)
- TuTh 12:30PM - 1:45PM - Campbell - O'Kelly 228
Human Rights is one of the most celebrated and controversial ideas in our contemporary world today. This course will take a historical approach to explore why and how the concept of human rights has changed over time. Discussion-oriented, the course is based upon readings that integrate European, African, Latin American, and North American perspectives.
ART 100HON (TBA): Introduction to Sculpture
- (3 cr.) ES: FA
- MoWe 2:00PM - 4:30PM - Luber - Hughes TBA
Let’s get creative! This is an introductory course to sculpture materials, process, and concepts. No prior knowledge or creative talent required, just an adventurous spirit!
HON 292-01 (12860): BYSR: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
- (1 cr.) ES: SS
- We 2:00PM - 2:50PM - David - Columbia Hall B321D
MacArthur Genius recipient Matthew Desmond’s book caused a stir even before it was released. It’s regarded as a game-changer for housing policy, poverty studies, and economics, and a fascinating read to boot. This Harvard sociologist pulled off a rare feat of simultaneously producing groundbreaking academic research and writing an engaging bestseller as he followed eight families in Milwaukee facing eviction. See why Evicted has recently won so many of the biggest awards in nonfiction, including the Pulitzer.
HON 292-03 (15222): Generation Me
- (3 cr.) ES: SS
- MoWeFr 10:00AM - 10:50AM - Hill - Columbia B321D
Born in the 80s and 90s, the “Entitlement Generation” or Millenials are tolerant, confident, open-minded, and ambitious but also disengaged, narcissistic, distrustful, and anxious. But they are also reshaping schools, colleges, and businesses all over the country. The children of the Baby Boomers are not only feeling the effects of the recession and the changing job market—they are affecting change the world over. In this class, we will explore texts that show how “Gen Me-ers” have shifted the American character,redefining what it means to be an individual in today’s society.
HON 293-01 (12851): Sustainable Cities
- (3 cr.) ES: MST
- TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM - Park - B321D
What will cities of the future look like? By 2050, our cities will be home to most of the projected 3 billion more people on our planet – a planet with rapidly dwindling resources. What role can cities have in providing a sustainable future? What is sustainability and is it even achievable? How will creating/recreating urban environments improve the emotional and physical quality of life for its residents? In this class, we will explore possibilities for reimagining current and future urban environments through an interdisciplinary lens. We will consider practical planning needs, new technologies, political landscapes, and how cities can define what it means to be human. This class will involve theoretical as well as hands-on projects within the City of Grand Forks in our journey towards a more sustainable community in our own backyard.
HON 391-01 (12853): Words + Image: Graphic Novels and Comics
- (3 cr.) ES: HUM
- TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM - Kirby - Columbia B321C
What do you get when you combine words and images?
- Memoir, history, and ethical dilemmas
- Something kids like and of which grown ups are suspicious
- An art form that bends time and narrative even better than film
- Superheroes, political revolution, dinosaurs, and cute cats
You already know the answer (all of the above).
Visual storytelling – despite being part of humanity’s communications toolkit since prehistoric cave paintings – often gets relegated to being just for kids or too “low brow” for serious consideration. However, the synthesis of word and image on the page opens up possibilities unavailable to either prose or film and provides alternate explorations of ideas, history, emotions, and narrative. No wonder that the graphic novel, as a form, has been on a steady rise since the mid 1980s!
In this class we’ll look at some of the works that sparked the modern graphic novel revolution, we’ll learn about how comics work, and we’ll read works that stretch our expectations of the genre. Come discuss the form, the function, the pleasure, the challenge, and the meaning of something that continually transcends the box in which it is put.
HON 392-01 (15223): BYSR: Why? Explaining the Holocaust
- (1 cr.) ES: SS
- MoWe 12:00PM - 12:50PM, 01/08/2018 - 03/02/2018 - Hill - Columbia B321D
Despite the outpouring of books, movies, museums, memorials, and courses devoted to the Holocaust, a coherent explanation of why such ghastly carnage erupted from the heart of civilized Europe in the twentieth century still seems elusive even seventy years later. Numerous theories have sprouted in an attempt to console ourselves and to point the blame in emotionally satisfying directions―yet none of them are fully convincing. As witnesses to the Holocaust near the ends of their lives, it becomes that much more important to unravel what happened and to educate a new generation about the horrors inflicted by the Nazi regime on Jews and non-Jews alike.
Why? dispels many misconceptions and answers some of the most basic―yet vexing―questions that remain: why the Jews and not another ethnic group? Why the Germans? Why such a swift and sweeping extermination? Why didn’t more Jews fight back more often? Why didn’t they receive more help? World-renowned Holocaust historian and professor Peter Hayes brings a wealth of scholarly research and experience to bear on conventional, popular views of the history, challenging some of the most prominent recent interpretations. He argues that there is no single theory that “explains” the Holocaust; the convergence of multiple forces at a particular moment in time led to catastrophe.
HON 292-02 (12856): BYSR: Minimalism
- (1 cr.) ES: SS
- MoWe 1:00PM - 1:50PM , 03/05/2018 - 05/03/2018 - Hill - Columbia B321D
In this class, we will read Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus as well as other supplementary texts that explore a philosophy that gets us past valuing material things so we can make room for life’s most important things—which actually aren’t things at all. In addition to reading texts about minimalism, we will also watch Minimalism: A Documentary (2015) and TINY: A Story about Living Small (2013).
Honor Sections in Other Departments
ENGR 201HON - section 7 (9905) 3 credits - Bjorgaard
- MWF 11:00AM - 11:50AM - CEC 205
COMM 110HON - section 26 (10662) 3 credits - ES: Oral Communication- Serber
- Tu 11:00AM - 11:50AM - Columbia 1350, TuTh 2:00PM - 2:50PM - Columbia 2300D
ENGL 130HON - section 52 (16535) 3 credits - ES: Comm - Staff
- TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM - Merrifield 114
BIOL 151L - 12 (9596) 1 credit - ES: MST - Carmichael
- Tu 4:30PM - 6:30PM - Starcher 125
The Independent Study Form is for students wishing to complete an Independent Study with the Honors Program. To begin, students must develop a one-two page project proposal wherein students describe:
- The nature of the study.
- The student's goals in undertaking this independent research.
- The amount of written work the student intends to complete.
- The texts to be used.
- The course's proposed credit hours.
The proposal must then be approved by the faculty representative who will work with the student on this project and the Honors Program Director.
Check out past courses that Honors has offered to see how Honors is different - no boring lectures here.