Honors Seminars Fall 2013
HON 400H-1001: Instructional Leadership
Instructors: Maria Jerinic, PhD and Tiffany Schmier
This seminar is substantive introduction to peer techniques effective in leading university-level students in self-motivated exploration of the world of knowledge. Restricted to Honors College students accepted as peer instructors for HON 105.
HON 400-1002: The History of Human Rights
Instructor: Michelle Tusan, PhD
This course explores the history of the idea of human rights from its earliest origins to the present day. We will focus in particular on the response of the West during the nineteenth and twentieth century to acts of genocide, war and colonial conquest through a series of case studies taken from Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Students will be expected to participate in weekly discussions of the readings, take a midterm and write a final paper on a topic of their choice relating to the main themes of the course.
HON400-1003: Russian Society and Culture
Instructor: Dmitri Shalin, PhD
The course is an overview of major transformations that Russian society has undergone in recent years. The discussion centers on the cultural roots of glasnost and perestroika and examines the problems Russian people face in their attempt to overcome the nation’s communist legacy. Video materials, audio sessions, and intensive discussions are incorporated into class sessions. During the course of the semester students conduct an online dialogue with students at a Russian university. The Russian potluck dinner is held in the second week of November, with sampling of music popular in contemporary Russian youth culture. The course requirements include a mid-term, a final paper, and a special assignment. The class does not require knowledge of Russian language.
HON 400-1004: Principles and Practice of Psychotherapy
(pre-req. PSY-101 or HON200AH or AP Psy Credit)
Instructor: Cortney Warren, PhD
This course is designed to acquaint students with the basic principles of psychotherapy. Through lectures, demonstrations, small-group discussion, activities, presentations, and videos, students will learn a variety of theoretical models underlying the process and practice of psychotherapy. Specific course objectives include the following: (1) to provide students with a venue to promote increased self-awareness, self-exploration, and self-discovery; (2) to expose students to a variety of ethical and professional issues associated with psychotherapy; (3) to show students what the process of psychotherapy “looks like” and explore some common misconceptions about therapy; (4) to provide students with basic information about some of the most prominent psychotherapeutic theoretical orientations including psychoanalytic, Adlerian, Existential, Person-centered, Gestalt, Behavioral, Cognitive-behavioral, Feminist, Family systems, and Integrative perspectives; and (5) to present practical information about graduate school for students with a continued interest in psychotherapeutic careers.
HON400-1005: Faces of Las Vegas: From Desert Frontier to Global Crossroads
Instructor: David Schwartz, PhD
This course will investigate the many faces that Las Vegas has presented to the world, drawing on historical, literary, and cultural sources to illuminate the evolution in how Las Vegas has evolved since its origins as railroad division point. The “faces” include frontier (ranching/mining district to struggling small town), atomic future (from the heyday of the Nevada Test Site in the 1950s/60s to the more recent Yucca Mountain project), personal liberty (from “quickie” divorce to “what happens here stays here”) and neon metropolis (urbanization, suburbanization, and tourism in the context of the West).
Readings include articles from history, philosophy, and cultural studies; novels; short stories; and serious non-fiction writing about Las Vegas.
HON400-1006: Sustainability Issues for the 21st century
Instructor: Alfredo Fernandez
Exploration of sustainable development issues (e.g. energy production and consumption, water supply, food provision, etc.) emphasizing the use of metrics to understand/develop appropriate technological/policy solutions.
HON 400-1007: Secret Lives of Technology
Instructor: Julian Kilker, PhD
How many times today have you taken digital photographs? Surfed the web? Used your mobile phone? Every time you do any of these actions, you are interacting with a technology that has been designed, marketed, and modified, and will be eventually discarded by people. This course uses the lifecycle metaphor to analyze key socio-technical stages in the “lives” of technologies. You’ll use important research frameworks to examine a wide variety of current and emerging technologies from the perspectives of (1) design and development; (2) marketing and diffusion; (3) user resistance and modification; and (4) obsolescence. We explore the practical and theoretical implications of these interactions in ways appropriate for students from a wide variety of disciplines. Fortunately for us, Las Vegas is an excellent research location for this topic: Students in past versions of this course have studied the Pinball Hall of Fame, Cirque du Soleil’s KA backstage, the Neon Boneyard, and the Atomic Testing Museum.
HON 400-1008: From Vietnam to Afghanistan: The Perils of U.S. Intervention in Small, Seemingly Weaker Countries
Instructor: Joseph A. Fry, PhD
This seminar will contrast and compare U.S. diplomatic and military interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We shall examine the international and domestic political considerations that led to the interventions, the nature of the fighting and the soldiers’ experiences, the efforts at nation building, the reasons for success or failure, the experiences and treatment of American veterans, and the effects on U.S. foreign policy and standing in the international community.
Hon 400-1009: Instructor: 60’s Film and Society
Instructor: Jay Coughtry, PhD
This course uses films (as well as writings about films) as sources to investigate a specific historical period, the 1960’s. The approach is primarily reflective. We are interested in what American commercial or Hollywood films reveal about the tumultuous period, that is, how filmmakers have consciously and unconsciously been affected by the defining events and mood of the period, a cultural era with roots in the 1950’s that matured during the liberalism and radicalism of the 1960’s.
HON 400-1010: America and Lincoln
T 2:30 – 5:15pm
Instructor: Michael Green, PhD
This seminar will examine the life, times, and impact of Abraham Lincoln--the man and the issues. The main focus will be on Lincoln's views of and connection to slavery, but also to the other issues that divided 19th century America and how he has shaped and been a crucial part of the 20th and 21st centuries as well. Students will be expected to read several books, contribute to discussion, and learn first-hand about primary and secondary research.
HON400-1011: Criticism, Social Science, and Human Nature.
Instructor: Todd Jones, PhD
Humanities scholars have often claimed that one can learn a tremendous amount about human nature from studying literature and other arts (usually through a method of scholarship called “criticism.”) But understanding human nature is also the natural province of the social sciences. Do the social sciences and the humanities give us complimentary understandings of human nature? Or are they competitors? Can we really learn about the nature of love from Romeo and Juliet? Or should people interested in understanding love be studying the articles of Helen Fisher? In this seminar we will
do a thorough investigation of the question of what we can and can’t really expect to learn about human nature from the study of literature and other arts.
HON 400-1012: Acting for a Living
Instructor: Clarence Gilyard
What does acting have to do with where I'm going? Quo Vadis? And since we’re on the subject, let’s just be HONEST about what we want out of life. After all, in the words of the great now deceased Polonius, "To thine own self be true…” Once you leave UNLV you are going to do and be whatever and whomever you like. Right? Are you able to articulate those two? How do you project yourself manifesting the two? The road to where you want to go in your life seems to lie in the arena of your chosen field of study. Yet you may have questions about such matters as goals, obstacles, excellence, integrity, values, happiness, relevance…This course will use the rubrics of classic Stanislavski actorstraining, and draw striking relationships between how the acting artist's process creates an effective character and how the artist in you creates an effective future master of the universe. In the words of the great now deceased Shakespeare, creator of Polonius, "All the worlds a stage…"