HONR 299: Human Re-design — In this three-credit course, students explore how nineteenth-century sciences and culture 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. In addition to this theme, the course focuses on developing research and critical thinking skills necessary for larger, interdisciplinary projects. 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.