Honors SEMINARS 2015 - 2016

FIRST YEARS, FALL 2015 Seminars (HOPR 1953)

Sophomores, FALL 2015 Seminars (HOPR 2953)

Sophomores, Spring 2016 (HOPR 2953)




For First YEARS, Fall Seminars (HOPR 1953)

HOPR 1953 901 Germany and Its Immigrants: A Case Study
John Pustejovsky, Associate Professor of German, Foreign Languages and Literatures
John Jentz, Libraries/Research and Instructional Services
Fri 2 – 3:15 pm
Germany a land of immigrants? Yes, and it has been for decades. Recent refugees from the Middle East are meeting Turks, Italians, Romanians, and Bulgarians who arrived earlier.  Explore how these people are changing Germany, and how Germany is changing them. We will discuss films, books, and articles, many of them produced by Germany’s immigrants and their children.                       

HOPR 1953 902 Jazz and American Culture
William Welburn, Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion                    
Mon 4 – 5:15 pm
Jazz has been described as a “literature of the instruments,” emerging not from a single moment in American history but from legacies of musical traditions in the collective memory of African American culture and community life.  While jazz has a worldwide reach, the focus of this course will be to revisit its centrality to the development of 20th century American culture.

HOPR 1953 903 Rwandan Stories: Textual and Visual Representations of Genocide and Beyond
Sarah Gendron, Associate Professor of French, Foreign Languages and Literatures
Wed 1 – 2:15 pm
We will explore the roles that art has played in the Rwandan genocide, considering how it was used to encourage genocidal acts, to testify to them after the fact, and finally how art now contributes to reconciliation and allowing life to go on.

HOPR 1953 904 Real Fine Art: An In-Depth Look at Milwaukee Visual Arts
Deirdre Dempsey, Associate Professor, Theology
Lynne Shumow, Curator of Education & Community Outreach, Haggerty Museum of Art
Thur 11 – 12:15 pm
This HOPR class will meet at the Haggerty Museum, which will allow for regular viewings of work from the museum’s current exhibitions and permanent collection. The class will begin by looking at the work in the Haggerty’s 30th anniversary exhibitions by renowned French artist Marc Chagall and contemporary Israeli artist Adi Nes. We will discuss what is being presented, why, and how, and will also go behind the scenes to see work stored in the museum’s vaults. We will take a variety of field trips to visit artists' studios and galleries, and later in the semester will meet with Adi Nes, as well as artists from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s internationally acclaimed Arts/Industry program. The seminar will culminate with a hands-on workshop to provide students with a fun and creative experience. No prior artistic know-how or ability is required…just a sense of adventure!                                  

HOPR 1953 906 Introduction to American Sign Language
Virginia Haas Pauly, Instructor, Communication Studies
Tues 9:30 – 10:45 am
American Sign Language (ASL) is a natural language, separate and distinct from English, with a unique modality as a visual/gestural language. This hands-on seminar will introduce participants to entry level ASL, finger spelling, and beginning vocabulary.  We will also consider Deaf culture, delving into the concept of Deafness as identity. Come for a culturally and linguistically rewarding experience and “see” what is being said!                

HOPR 1953 907 Ecology & Global Substance Abuse
K. Dale Noel, Professor, Biological Sciences
Thur 4:30 – 5:45 pm
Global Substance Abuse: How biology is affected globally and locally by humans' extraction or generation of chemicals that are biological nutrients. Humans' global agricultural, mining, and industrial utilization of elements has great impact on biology.  True understanding of how biology is affected requires deep conceptual understanding of how biological cells operate.  Examples are the "dead zones" at the deltas of the earth's major rivers.   Getting a sense of what is meant by "dead" and how these zones become "dead" require fundamental understanding of cell activities such as photosynthesis, respiration, nutrient utilization, and how these processes differ in different forms of life. Students enrolled in this seminar MUST also be enrolled in BIOL 1001 where the basic relevant cell biology will be covered.

HOPR 1953 908 Political Biographies
Julia Azari, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Thur 3:30 – 4:45 pm
Political biography serves as a window into our national ideals and a mirror for what we hope and fear about ourselves. From stories about Lincoln reading by candlelight to images of George W. Bush on his ranch in Texas, we use biography to understand the character and principles of those who run for office – especially for president. In this course, we will read selections from biographies of various American political leaders, contemporary and historical- Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, culminating with a case study on the biography of Barack Obama. We will also examine biographical material about Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and the late Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA). In doing this, we’ll question common assumptions about how and why biography matters. What do we want from our leaders, and why do we want to know so much about their lives? 

HOPR 1953 909 Comedy and Philosophy
Jennifer Marra, Teaching Assistant, Philosophy
Fri 2 – 3:15 pm

We will take a philosophical look at comedy by considering cultural (race, gender, etc.), political (satire, parody, etc.), and ethical implications (when jokes hurt, etc.), as well as discussing the nature of knowledge, belief, and perspective as it relates to comedy. Comedic figures and organizations of study will include, but are not limited to, Louis CK, Tina Fey, Dave Chappelle, Steve Martin, Saturday Night Live, Key and Peele, The Daily Show, The Nightly Show, and The Colbert Report. When possible, we may also have visits from local comedians.          

HOPR 1953 910 Myth and Modernity
Leah Flack, Assistant Professor, English
Wed 12 – 1:15 pm
How and why have some of the most cutting edge writers, artists, film makers, and graphic novelists in recent years used ancient myths? Students in this seminar will be asked to think critically, imaginatively, and collaboratively to answer this question. We'll read ancient myths as recorded by Homer, Ovid, and others alongside contemporary works such as Derek Walcott's Odyssey: A Stage Version, the Coen Brothers' O Brother Where Art Thou?, Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, and Margaret Atwood's Penelopiad. Our work will help us to account for the crucial role myth continues to play in the modern imagination.                                              

HOPR 1953 911 The Structure of Conversation
Steven Hartman Keiser, Associate Professor, English
Tues 12 – 1:15 pm

Conversation is work!  We greet, introduce topics, question, respond, wait our turn, interrupt, apologize, forgive, listen, laugh, and say good bye (among many other speech acts).  How do we negotiate talk so successfully without thinking about it?  Why is conversation so hard for computers? This seminar will be a linguistic exploration of the scripts we perform in real life and in movies and TV.     

HOPR 1953 912 J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
William Fliss, Archivist and Curator of the J. R. R. Tolkien Collection, Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Raynor Memorial Libraries
Wed 4:30-5:45 pm
Did you know that Marquette University owns the original manuscripts for J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings?  In this seminar we will read this classic work and use the manuscript collection to study Tolkien’s writing process.  Students will grow to understand how Tolkien developed his epic story and how much revision he undertook before it was published.  In addition to our engaging discussions of this iconic work, students will enjoy access to one of the world’s great literary manuscript collections, and they will emerge from the semester with a deeper understanding of archives.                

For sophomores, FALL 2015 Seminars (HOPR 2953)

HOPR 2953 903 Kyudo: Japanese Archery as an Art of Self Reflection
Michael Wert, Associate Professor, History
Wed 9 – 10:40 am     
“The spark that results from flint hitting iron" -- This description of how the arrow leaves the bow is just one of the many frustrating, beautiful, and fulfilling teachings in kyudo, the Japanese art of archery.  More than simply a Japanese martial art, kyudo is a study in self-reflection.  The physical, mental, and emotional training in this course acts as a unique intervention in daily college life.

HOPR 2953 904 Career, Community, and Social Entrepreneurship
Nicholas Santos, S.J., Assistant Professor, Marketing; Jeremy Eudaly, Career Services; Felisa Parris, McNair
Wed 3:30 – 5:10 pm
The first 3-week unit of this seminar will focus on career discernment, using several tools to help sophomores identify their strengths, their vocational goals, and the kinds of work, and workplaces, that will best suit them.  In the second unit, which will conclude before fall break, students will receive an intensive orientation to Marquette’s neighboring community (including field trips).  The second half of the seminar, on social entrepreneurship, will build on the knowledge students have gained from the first half, guiding students both individually and in teams to build community-based projects.

HOPR 2953 905 The Art and Science of Creativity
Timothy Cigelske, Director of Social Media, Office of Marketing and Communication
Mon 5:30 – 7:10 pm

Where does innovation come from? What made Steve Jobs, George Washington Carver and Lady GaGa think different? This cross-disciplinary course examines how new ideas emerge in a range of fields, from jazz to engineering. Students will dissect research that explores the nature of creativity, including concepts from psychology, neurobiology and the social sciences. We will also examine the routines and practices of famous innovators in fields such as writing, engineering and entrepreneurship to see how creativity can be applied in different contexts. Throughout the semester students will be encouraged to explore how they can develop their own creativity through travel, field research, experimentation and journaling.

For sophomores

Spring 2016 HOPR 1953 (1 credit, s/u)

HOPR 1953 901 Honors Research Seminar
Amelia Zurcher, Associate Professor, English
Wed 12- 1:15 pm
Description forthcoming

spring 2016 Seminars HOPR 2953 (2-credit, S/u)

HOPR 2953 901 Narrating Freedom: Gender & Mass Incarceration
Anthony Peressini, Associate Professor, Philosophy
Wed, 3 - 4:40 pm

This seminar approaches traditional philosophical questions in a nontraditional way, including: the nature, limits and conditions of human freedom; free will vs. free action; in what sense is gender real and how is it related to biology; how gender conditions freedom; how (gendered) individuals are related to societies/communities; how our societies and communities limit and make possible both freedom and gender; how incarceration, freedom, justice (including especially restorative justice) and gender are related; and whether and how capitalism depends on and fosters incarceration.  Other nontraditional aspects of the seminar will include employing narrative techniques and practices, in particular the possibility of nontraditional media for a final project (e.g., podcast), and mindfulness techniques/practices to explore senses of freedom and as a tool for listening and learning in general. NOTE: The weekly seminar will consist of students from Marquette University (MU) and women from the Milwaukee Women’s Correctional Center (MWCC), and will meet on alternate weeks at MWCC and at MU. Enrollment is by application; contact anthony.peressini@mu.edu for an application. Preference will be given to sophomores who have not yet taken HOPR 2953.

HOPR 2953 902 Contemplative Practices; Comparative Traditions
Alan Madry, Professor of Law
Tues, 4- 5:40 pm
The first goal of this seminar is to learn a simple practice of meditation that provides a uniquely deep and orderly restful state to the body and an equally deep and silent experience that results in greater awareness, centeredness, contentment, and equanimity.  Second, we will explore a variety of contemplative traditions including how these traditions understand the highest possible state of human life and how contemplative practices contribute to the achievement of those states.  Third, in reading texts from these traditions, we’ll think about how to read and understand complex texts that describe rich but unfamiliar cosmologies.  And, finally, we’ll give some thought to how critically to evaluate the cogency of these narratives. 

HOPR 2953 903 Knowledge and Self in the Practice of Martial Arts
Michael J. Monahan, Associate Professor of Philosophy
MW 10 - 10:50 am
Students will learn and practice some of the beginning elements of a traditional Korean martial art, and use this practice to aid their exploration of some of the fundamental philosophical questions regarding the nature of identity, the relation between mind body, and knowledge. How does one relate to one’s body in the course of taking up the practice of martial arts? How does a change in our relation to our physical being change our sense of identity? What can martial arts study teach us about the distinction between the the mental and the physical? What does it mean to know a certain movement or aspect of the martial art, and how does that compare to knowing that the earth is round, or 2+2=4? Through practice, reflection, reading, and discussion both inside and outside of the class, students will take up these and related questions.

HOPR 2953 904 Dance History and Cultural Expression
Cathleen Ott Thompson, Digital Media and Performing Arts
MW 9 -9:50 am
This dance history class focuses on the sociological, spiritual, and political influences on dance and art throughout the ages.  The study begins in prehistoric times and proceeds through an analysis of Ancient Greece and Rome, Middle Ages in Europe, 19-20th century Russia, and 21st century American dance.  The course covers one chapter a week (*1 hour of reading per week) as well as a dance studio exploration of movement styles, customs, and dances that correspond with each era.  No dance experience is required, but students will be moving for 1/2 of each class.

HOPR 2953 905 Introduction to Yoga Philosophy and Practice
John Su, Professor, English
Tues, 4 - 5:40 pm
In this course, we will explore the fundamental practices of yoga. In 21st century America, yoga is equated with pretzel-like stretching practices; however, such āsana or posture practice represents only one of the eight “limbs of yoga.” Yoga is an exciting phenomenon to study because it refers to practices that are both very old and relatively recent. During the semester, we will explore some of the foundational philosophical texts of yoga; contemporary scholarship on potential physical and mental health benefits of practice; cultural analyses of why America became obsessed with yoga in the late 20th century (now spending several billion dollars a year on it). We will also develop a regular āsana practice together utilizing some two dozen foundational poses. So, come both to relax and challenge yourself, and to learn and laugh together!

FALL 2015 HOPR 4953 seminars

HOPR 4953 901 New Religious Movements in the 20th Century
Christopher (Shaun) Longstreet, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning
TTh 11 – 12:15 pm
The 20th Century saw the rise of many new religious movements. Participants in this course will examine several different emergent belief communities (e.g. UFO religions, American charismatic traditions, apocalyptic Buddhism, and Wicca). Along the way, we will continually ask three questions through a critical lens: what is religion as a social and cultural phenomenon?  What prompts a community to start a new religion? And how are these traditions presented in the media? Exploring the subject together, we will develop a more deeper sense of the human religious impulse, be better at engaging people with very different world views, and have a more sophisticated approach to how societies react to difference.

HOPR 4953 902 Lights, Camera, Activism
Eric Kowalik, Instructional Designer, Libraries/Research and Instructional Services
MW 4 – 5:15 pm
Kony 2012 is just one example of how video can empower people and effect social change. This course will provide an understanding of the basic history of the video medium as a tool for social change, expression and examine various examples of activist filmmaking. Through various assignments, students will develop the needed skill set to produce and screen a 3 to 5 minute issue based video on a topic of their choosing.

HOPR 4953 904 Philosophy of Medicine
Katherine Rickus, Assistant Professor, Philosophy                
TTh 2 – 3:15 pm
Important philosophical questions relating to medical practice and research are by no means limited to ethics. In this innovative new course we will reflect philosophically on questions that enhance our understanding of what contemporary medical practice means, involves, and implies.  What do terms such as “health”, “disease”, “normality”, “disability” and “function” mean, in medicine and how do we determine who is healthy and who is not? Is addiction a disease? Are personality disorders illnesses? How do we define “life” and “death”? Is medicine an art? These questions are not only of interest in their own right, but are often key to developing clinical protocols and foundational claims in applied ethics. Topics on medical technology, feminist perspectives on medicine, and social critiques of the power of the medical profession will provide philosophical opportunities to inquire about the impact of medicine in society and politics. This course will cover material relevant to interests in health and allied health professions, biomedical research, social science, and health service users. The course instructor is both a philosopher and a practicing doctor.

Spring 2016 HOPR 3953 (3 credit; graded)

HOPR 3953 901 The Origin and Nature of the Universe
Jame Schaefer, Associate Professor, Theology
John Karkheck, Professor Emeritus, Physics
T/Th 2- 3:15 pm
The origin and nature of the universe are complex subjects that defy compartmentalization into any one discipline, and reckoning the human place in the universe brings added complexity. Participants in this seminar will investigate these subjects mainly from the perspectives of Physics and Theology, with a bit of Philosophy and History. You will probe the methodologies of these disciplines, examine their ways of knowing, identify their contributions, and recognize their limitations. All this aims to prepare you for integrating the disciplines to form a more substantive and intellectually satisfying understanding of the universe, the human place within it, and God in relation to all. Experience with physics is not assumed, and mathematics is minimal. Completion of Introduction of Theology is assumed.

Spring 2016 HOPR 4953 (3 credit; graded)

HOPR 4953 901 Introduction to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity
William Hirsch, Visiting Assistant Professor, Physics
MWF 2:00-2:50 pm
Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity updates Sir Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity to the modern age.  Shockingly, the theory shows that gravity, in a sense, is not really a force, but a property of space itself.   The theory not only explains a number of phenomena previously unexplained by Newtonian gravity alone, but also unveils the large scale structure and evolution of the universe.   After learning new, powerful mathematical techniques students will study obits in the universe, the bending of star light due to the presence of massive objects creating a “natural telescope”, and mathematically model the evolution of the universe from the big bang until its present state and beyond.  In addition, bazaar yet interesting topics will include the physics of the inescapable black hole, interstellar shortcuts through space, and time travel.  Note: Prerequisites PHYS 1003/1004 or PHYS 1013/1014 and Calculus 1 and 2.

HOPR 4953 902 Physics of Finance
Benjamin Brown, Professor, Department of Physics
MWF 9 - 9:50 am
The course explores stock market trading and risk management techniques based on forces in the stock market. These include psychological phenomena as well as the effect of time, volume, volatility, and open interest on price. Technical aspects of the market will be emphasized and various indicators will be examined and evaluated in detail. Stock market derivatives are fully explored as a means of limiting risk and maximizing gains for virtually every type of market. Students willpractice-trade throughout the course using the techniques learned in the class.


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