Recent Courses

HONR 299: Space-time! —  Following a science, technology, and society (STS) model, the course focuses on how developments in astronomy, transport technology, geology, painting, photography, physics, and philosophy over the last two centuries have altered our sense of space and time. In addition to emphasizing interdisciplinarity through an STS model, the course also promotes inquiry-based learning by way of creative writing practices, allowing students to engage complex ideas from new perspectives and expand their imaginations.

HONR 299: Homegrown — What does it mean to be from a place? How does our hometown shape who we are?  In HONR 299: Homegrown, students utilize creative writing, ethnographic fieldwork, archival research, and service-learning to explore the role of place in individual and community identities. Course projects focus on City-as-Text walkabouts in the Greater Lafayette Area, as well as creative non-fiction assignments that allow students to reflect on their own experience with place and community. Students also help run a creative writing workshop through a local after-school program. In this way, they support the local community by helping area youth develop their imaginations, their writing skills, and their own sense of community.

HONR 299: Human Re-design —  In this three-credit course, students explore how nineteenth-century sciences and literature created a shockingly modern conception of the human. That is, they uncover the common beliefs about the human – what we are, how we function, and what is our place in the world – and how these beliefs changed radically when people began to be dissected on the operating table, or analyzed on the psychologist’s couch. Students read and discuss works from the newly emerging fields of biology, physiology, sociology, psychology, and criminology, along with literary works that engaged these sciences. Like the era itself, students utilize various perspectives – including their own diverse backgrounds and disciplines – to create a more nuanced and complete conception of the human.

HONR 19902:  Play  —  In this single-credit, first-year course, students explore the evolution of ‘play,’ including playthings and games, as this concept changed over the last three centuries. Not only do students begin to recognize play as a significant, adaptive capacity that drives human development, but they also discover the importance of play to culture and everyday life. For the final project, students work in groups to create a game whose theme and mechanics will promote real-world proficiencies while also encouraging players to think more critically about larger social systems.

HONR 19901:  Mind —  A university education aims to enrich the mind, but what, exactly, is the mind? This class explores the cultural history of the mind from Descartes to present day cognitive science; along the way, students learn how differing views of the mind had radical implications on cultural practices, including education. In addition to sounding the psyche’s mysterious depths, this course uses the theory it teaches to promote creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.  For the final project, students create a “mind on college” model, which uses a physical, metaphorical representation of the mind to demonstrate to a general audience the the mental implications of a particular college condition.


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