Seminars & Electives
|POL THRY 1050-01
||Introduction to Political Theory:Freedom, Justice, and Power|
|UNIV 2196-01||Interactive Digital Communication|
|UNIV 4198-01||Honors Independent Study|
Liberal Arts Core
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category VI - Capstone (Junior standing) – (class in the Honors Cottage)
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IVA
Course Description: A study of life on Earth, with an emphasis on how the natural world functions as a system and how living organisms interact with each other and with the world around them. The honors section will discuss major topics in ecology and evolutionary biology, and will be customized to the interests of the students. We’ll also discuss the nature of science – how do scientists (more specifically biologists) attempt to understand the natural world?
Professor Biography: Maureen Clayton has had a lifelong interest in environmental science, which began with crabbing and fishing in the Chesapeake Bay as a kid and progressed to collecting soft shell clams from highly contaminated areas of Massachusetts (she ate the crabs, but not the clams!). During her graduate and postdoctoral studies, she discovered an interest in working with students, which led her to UNI. Dr. Clayton is excited to be teaching an honors class and looks forward to discussions of how biologists view the natural world.
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IB
Course Description: This course is a survey course designed to assist the student in discovering how verbal and nonverbal communication messages function in a variety of settings--intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, and public. By studying the theory and process of communication and applying communication theory and principles to diverse real-life situations, students will have opportunities to practice and analyze communication skills in various communication contexts. In order to do this, this course involves both written and oral assignments throughout the semester.
The honors section will involve more critical analysis and discussion of course concepts, with an emphasis on both speaking and listening. At least one of the assignments will have a social issues or service-learning component, and topics for speeches will have more specific guidelines than other sections. Students will complete at least three individual speeches and one group project.
Professor Biography: Penny O’Connor (M.A.) has been a full-time member of the Communication Studies faculty since 1988. She is a former coach of the UNI Individual Events Speech team and currently serves as manager of the Oral Comm course, supervising and mentoring the graduate teaching assistants who also teach the course. She teaches a variety of courses in the department, but her primary emphasis is on the basic course, Oral Comm. She has been involved in a great number of community service activities, including serving as a volunteer for Cedar Valley Hospice for 22 years, serving as a Weight Watchers leader for 19 years, and being involved in community theatre. Her philosophy of education and life in general is that we shouldn’t waste time doing it if it is not any fun.
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category VB - (class in Honors Cottage)
Course Description: The purpose of this course is to use theory and research to understand the influences on human identity, development of self and interpersonal relationships. Emphasis is placed on obtaining valid research information and application of ideas to facilitate positive individual growth and effective interpersonal relationships.
Instructor’s translation: We will learn about things that make us “us” and how we experience relationships in good ways and bad. We will have fun. We will discuss, write, think hard, collaborate, and create. Some ideas to explore: peak experiences, gender, different abilities, how we view learning, and sexual orientation. We also will learn about relationship issues such as attraction, emotional communication, mate selection, love, jealousy, conflict, alcohol use, aggression and breaking up to name a few. We will work to make the material come alive by taking it from theory and research and applying it to everyday life. Learning will be assessed in both creative and traditional ways.
Professor Biography: Kirsten Linney (M.S.) has taught this course (in a variety of shapes and sizes) every semester since 2000. Her research interests have focused on family policy, emotional communication in marriage, observational methods and how alcohol influences the family. Her true passion and potential calling in life is teaching. She is often up late crafting something new and different to try in class. Her expectations are high, but she offers clear guidelines and frequent practice attempts to get students where they need to be. She is currently exploring how social media, technology and marketing can be used to engage students and trick them into reading things more than 140 characters. If you’ve read this far, it was 1458 characters. You are perfect for this class!
Kirsten Linney (M.S.) has taught this course (in a variety of shapes and sizes) every semester since 2000. Her research interests have focused on family policy, emotional communication in marriage, observational methods and how alcohol influences the family. Her true passion and potential calling in life is teaching. She is often up late crafting something new and different to try in class. Her expectations are high, but she offers clear guidelines and frequent practice attempts to get students where they need to be. She is currently exploring how social media, technology and marketing can be used to engage students and trick them into reading things more than 140 characters. If you’ve read this far, it was 1458 characters. You are perfect for this class!
Course Description: This course is an introduction to the study of the humanities and the notion of cultural literacy. The central question will be what it means to be civilized, which will embrace not only social and political institutions but also literature, art, architecture and music. We will further endeavor to understand some of the more important social, economic, political and cultural elements that constitute the (hi)story of the West. By examining a variety of cultural artifacts in an effort to understand the societies that produced them, we thereby gain insight into the peoples who inform our own ideals of civilization today.
We will approach these fundamental issues in two ways: (1) by discussing the more prominent figures, events, ideas and values which have shaped the cultures of the West up through the end of the Middle Ages (up to the end of the 14th century); and (2) by examining some of the most influential and enduring literary, philosophical and religious texts written during these centuries. In our examinations of primary texts, we will focus largely on the depictions of heroes and heroic acts as determiners of civilization; i.e., we will look at specific heroes as a mirror of a society’s self-image, priorities, cultural goals, etc. Moreover, we will strive to understand how and why this heroism is celebrated and commemorated, as well as the cultural and civil prowess of the society that birthed these heroes (eg., in literature, song, art, and so on), as a way to better understand ourselves as inheritors of these ideals.
My interdisciplinary, discussion-based approach to the material in this class challenges students to think more critically about the material as well as think more broadly about the sweep of human history. Rather than organizing the course around lectures, I create a discussion question for each class designed to synthesize the material from the day’s reading. Students then analyze the question in small groups, after which we discuss the findings as a class. Students comment time and again that they enjoy this approach to the class structure and ultimately understand the material better this way.
Professor Biography: I am professor of Medieval literature in the Languages and Literatures department, and my work encompasses English, French and Scandinavian traditions. I love to look at the way that literature and history intersect, especially the ways that we can use literature as a lens to examine how and why people think and act the way that they do, to gain unique insight into the motivations of the people and events that shaped history.
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IIA - (class in Honors Cottage)
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IIA - (class in Honors Cottage)
Course Description: This course surveys the development of Western Civilization from the beginning of the Renaissance in 1300 to the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789. We will survey the history and sample the literature of the Renaissance, the Age of Absolutism, and the Enlightenment. The honors section will be conducted on the basis of active class participation. Student presentations on a variety of subjects and discussions of issues and texts will augment formal lectures by the professor. Also, each student will have at least one individual tutorial with the professor.
Professor Biography: The course is taught by Jay T. Lees of the history department. His specialty is medieval Germany. Lees teaches classes on English, German, and medieval history, as well as specialized courses on women in the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and Shakespeare as a historian. He is also director of the University of Northern Iowa Summer Study Abroad Program in Italy, where he teaches a course on Sacred Space. Lees is the recipient of the Class of 1949 Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2004, as well the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Award for Outstanding Teaching for 1996 and 2004.
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IIB - (class in Honors Cottage)
Course Description: In this course we will explore together the history, religions, and cultures of the contemporary Middle East. We will also examine the history of the West’s involvement in the Middle East from the birth of the United States to the recent wars there. Because the Middle East is currently undergoing great social change and political transformation, I will make adjustments to this syllabus, whenever necessary, to include coverage of current affairs. Much of the class will consist of student discussions and debates about past and current events in the Middle East. We will also watch numerous short, and a few longer, films about the Middle East that will expose you to the numerous religions and cultures in this part of the world. I plan to devote part of the course to the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as well as the background of the events of 9/11 and its aftermath. After this class you should have a basic understanding of the religious and cultural diversity of the Middle East and some insight into the role this part of the world will continue to play in the future of the United States.
Professor Biography: Kenneth Atkinson is a Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago (M.Div.) and Temple University (M.A., Ph.D.). His books include I Cried to the Lord, Judaism, and most recently Queen Salome: Jerusalem’s Warrior Monarch of the First Century B.C.E. He has received awards for scholarship, teaching, and a medal from the U.S. government for his public service. Atkinson has held several other jobs before entering academia, including employment as a biblical archaeologist, a full-time traveler, a factory worker, a kibbutz laborer, and a soldier in Cold War Berlin. You can learn more about him and his recent professional activities by visiting: http://northerniowa.academia.edu/KennethAtkinson
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IIIB
We will read key primary texts by some of the most important Western philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and Friedrich Nietzsche. This, at least, is what is planned, but we will likely read and discuss more or less of a particular philosopher depending on the interests of students in the class. Topics dealt will include some or all of the following: rationality, knowledge, ethics, theology, civil liberties, political and economic philosophy, and potential difficulties inherent in the history of Western philosophy as a whole. Assignments will include written worksheets intended to guide you through the each of the reading assignments, a few quizzes, a final paper, and a final exam. Since this in an Honors section, class meetings will be devoted as much as possible to discussion of the texts and philosophical issues that they raise; there will also be occasional lectures by Prof. Boedeker on the more difficult material.
Professor Biography: This is my 14thyear teaching Philosophy and Humanities at UNI, where I came after studying in Chicago, Germany, and Belgium. Besides Humanities II, I have taught “Philosophy: Basic Questions”, “History of Philosophy: Renaissance through Enlightenment”, “Philosophy of Language: Wittgenstein”, “Phenomenology and Foucault”, and “Knowledge and Reality” at UNI; as well as “Phenomenology and Existentialism”, “Symbolic Logic”, “Philosophy of History” at Northwestern University; and :Contemporary Moral Problems” at Northern Illinois University. Generally, I expect that most of the learning that students do in my courses take place in class. You’ll find out class meetings to consist of a pretty flexible mixture of lecture, discussion, and work in small groups, occasionally interspersed with viewing a film or two. My own research is broadly divided into two areas: philosophy of language and logic, especially that of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), the founder of what’s known as “analytic” philosophy; and phenomenology, the description of structures of human experience, especially as found in the writings of Martin Heidegger (1889-1976). I also have a strong interest in the history of philosophy from ancient Greece to the modern day, especially German philosophy since the late 18th Century.
*Fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category VB
Course Description: The American Republic has lasted more than 200 years, despite radical changes in society, technology, and the world context it is situated in. While there is considerable consistency in the ideas behind American government, situational pressures have required constant adaptation. Developments and events of the last few years such as the internet, 9/11 and the ensuing war on terror, and the recent recession have presented challenges to American politics. In this class, we will look at both the historical origins and contemporary manifestations of American democracy, political institutions, and the public itself. Specific topics will include institutions of government, political participation, civil rights and civil liberties, the mass media and public opinion, elections and representation, and governance in the internet age. We will be going into particular depth on political campaigning (with a focus on the 2012 election) and congressional gridlock.
Classes will be in the lecture discussion format, with considerable discussion. Each student will be responsible for leading class for a portion of one day. There will be two reflection papers, and 3 exams.
Professor Biography: Justin Holmes is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. He earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He has been at UNI since 2008, after previously teaching at the University of Minnesota and Gustavus Adolphus College. Holmes' research and teaching focuses on Public Opinion, Voting Behavior, Political Communication, and Political Psychology. Recent projects include studies of the psychology of the impact of negative information on presidential approval, a study of how citizens form opinions about intervening in foreign conflicts, an examination of how campaigns and interest group use new media to mobilize supporters, and a study of the role of emotion in citizens' political participation. During election season, Holmes' is a frequent interviewee on both local and national media.
*3 credit hour – Requires sophomore standing
**Two semester sequence fulfills Liberal Arts Core requirement for Category IA & IB
Course Description: The Honors section of this two-course single-year sequence integrates written, oral, visual, and electronic communication in a study of the topic Food Matters. Using the common read, The American Way of Eating and other supplementary readings to guide discussion and assignments, students will explore the problems involved in the growing, harvesting, preparing, and selling of food in the United States during the first semester. The second semester will be spent exploring and participating in finding and implementing real-world solutions to these problems. Students will be asked to consider how their own experiences have been impacted by food and their experiences with it in a variety of writing and speaking genres. (Credit earned for both Fall & Spring semesters of UNIV 1059 satisfies Liberal Arts Core 1A and 1B; credit earned for UNIV 1059 for the Fall only satisfies neither LAC 1A nor 1B. Prerequisites: neither LAC 1A nor LAC 1B previously satisfied.)
Professor Biography: Dr. April Chatham-Carpenter is a Professor of Communication Studies at UNI. She teaches and researches in the areas of first-year experience, integrated communication (writing and speaking), family communication, conflict management, and autoethnography. She serves as an administrative fellow in the office of the Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs at UNI, overseeing a variety of initiatives for that office. One of those initiatives is the newly developed Cornerstone first-year course, which is a writing and speaking-intensive 6 hour equivalent to College Writing/Research and the Oral Communication Course.
HONORS SEMINARS AND ELECTIVES
Course Description: Do “freedom” and “justice” really mean anything, or are they merely impressive sounding words, to be manipulated in the rhetoric of politicians? This course proceeds on the assumption that political ideals such as freedom, justice, and democracy are not only meaningful; they are essential to a decent political system. We sometimes take the meanings of these ideals for granted, however. This course explores the meanings of two of the most important political ideals (freedom and justice) as well as power (a reality, not an ideal). We consider the ideas of thinkers ranging from Socrates to Martin Luther King, Jr. on justice, and from JS Mill to Betty Friedan on liberty, in addition to many others.
As a political theory class, this class is not primarily about facts. Instead, it is about ideas—about understanding the possible meanings of “the facts.” Therefore it will emphasize class discussion and writing, rather than lectures and tests.
Professor Biography: Ana Kogl is an Associate Professor in the department of Political Science. She receieved her PhD in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland in 2002. She has taught at UNI since 2003. In addition to teaching political theory courses, she has published research on the politics of place and the political theory of Hannah Arendt. She is currently working on research on the political economic thought of Aristotle, and on the political economy of motherhood and work. A Californian by birth, she now lives in Waterloo with her husband, two sons, and one cat.
*3 credit hour seminar – Requires sophomore standing
Course Description: Interactive Digital Communication (COMM 2555) will give you a solid foundation in creative digital production skills and creative problem solving, and essentially prepares you for the 21st century communication world. You'll learn Photoshop to manipulate digital images; HTML, CSS, and the content management system WordPress to begin mastering the design and coding of websites; After Effects to get a taste of motion graphics and animation; and emailer services such as MailChimp to understand some of the most popular visual tools for business and organizations. Most of all, you will get to work on a client project (for the unbelievably talented Dmitri Vorobiev) to get a "real world" taste of web development and design. This is very much NOT just a skills class though. You will be learning about visual design theory, color design theory, and graphic design history; these are powerful visual communication strategies so you can further amplify your ability to articulate and digitally communicate important ideas.
Professor Biography: Bettina Fabos is an Associate Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Northern Iowa. Her work revolves around digital culture, digital visualization, and digital photo archiving, and she is very involved in UNI’s new Interactive Digital Studies Program (the first program of its kind in the State). Currently Bettina is working on a photo history of Hungary, 1848-1956 that is part interactive chronology, part graphic novel, and part photomontage. She is also in the process of creating FORTEPAN IOWA—a photo archive of downloadable, high-quality photos taken by amateur Iowan photographers and featuring everyday life in Iowa, 1900 to present. With a background in media production and media literacy pedagogy, Dr. Fabos has written extensively about the role of the U.S. media in democracy. Specifically, she is the author of Wrong Turn on the Information Superhighway: Education and the Commercialization of the Internet (Teachers College Press, 2004), and the co-author of the leading introduction to mass communication textbook, Media and Culture (Bedford/St. Martin’s), which is used in mass communication survey classes across the country. Fabos is also an award-winning documentary producer and a former print reporter. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, an M.A. from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. from Oberlin College. While earning her doctorate at the University of Iowa, she received both a four-year Iowa Presidential Fellowship and a Spencer Fellowship.
2:00-4:50 M – (class in Honors Cottage)
*3 credit hour seminar – Requires sophomore standing
Course Description: This intensive seminar will investigate Western art and music, from c. 1850 to present. We will especially consider how art and music have challenged and changed social conventions and played roles in on-going social, political, and historical critique and commentary. Class will be a mix of lecture, viewing, listening, and
discussion, punctuated by experiential learning in museums and concert halls. It is team-taught by art history professor Dr. Elizabeth Sutton and School of Music instructor Hunter Capoccioni.
Professor’s Biography: Dr. Sutton's BIO: In my research, I specialize in the visual, intellectual, and economic cultures of the sixteenth and seventeenth century Netherlands. My research interests include the role of prints in Dutch exploration and trade, particularly to West Africa and the Atlantic; visual culture and economics; theories of intercultural encounters and exchange; and the role of images in Western epistemology. I am particularly interested in visual culture of early modernity because it relates so closely to contemporary culture.
I believe that students who have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of past and present cultures through those cultures' visual record become more critical and empathetic members of society. Students of art and visual culture gain awareness of and are invested in the creative diversity of human cultures. Ultimately, my goal as an educator is for students to appreciate the diversity of humanity, and to be inspired to explore and be critical of their society's visual production, and their own creativity and thoughts. The skills required for the critical study of visual culture are necessary in all subject areas. Communicating effectively in written and verbal form, thinking critically, adapting, and solving problems creatively are skills needed not only in the academic world, but in all areas of life.
More info on Dr. Sutton can be found on her website: http://www.uni.edu/esutton/
Dr. Capoccioni's BIO: II consider myself an artist/scholar. As a double bassist, I perform in a wide variety of contexts around the state of Iowa. I am also the Artistic Director of a summer music festival here in the Cedar Valley called "Cedar Valley Chamber Music". As an instructor at UNI I teach several non-major music courses and am interested in how to communicate the arts in an academic language. It is difficult to discuss music in words as many musical concepts attempt to speak to us where words fail. However, taken in their totality, the arts are an amazing snapshot of the emotions of a particular time and place. They speak to a universal human condition of expression that consistently defies political, economic, and social pressures of conformity and censorship.
*2 credit hour seminar – 1st year scholars only
The Honors Thesis is the final step towards earning a University Honors designation from the University of Northern Iowa. The thesis gives Honors students the opportunity to explore a scholarly area of interest with the guidance of a faculty member. It is intended to serve as the culmination of the Honors experience.
The thesis provides you with experience in research as well as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. While the process may at times be challenging, it will also be rewarding. You will enhance your knowledge of the chosen topic and further develop your research or creative skills. The final product should leave you with a sense of pride and accomplishment for what you have attained.
Students wishing to register for Honors Thesis must meet with Jessica to discuss course requirements and have their registration holds removed. Call Brenda at 3-3175 to make an appointment.
The purpose of independent study is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in an educational experience beyond what is typically offered in the classroom. Students must be prepared to exercise a great deal of independent initiative in pursuing such studies. Honors students may receive independent study credit for research projects of their own or those shared with faculty members, certain internship opportunities, or some types of work or volunteer experiences.
Students wishing to register for Honors Independent Study must meet with Jessica to discuss course requirements and have their registration holds removed. Call Brenda at 3-3175 to make an appointment.