The Honors College

Oak View Hall, Room 210
509 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester , MI 48309-4452
(location map)
(248) 370-4450
Fax: (248) 370-4479
hc@oakland.edu

Three students seated at a table with notebooks and pens

Curriculum

*Honors College Priority registration opens March 21st! See our courses below and plan early!

The Honors College (HC) curriculum offers a distinctive undergraduate experience that integrates the arts, sciences and professional fields. Students are required to take HC 1000 (which satisfies either their Art or Western Civ Gen Ed requirement), plus two other HC core courses which replace the OU Gen Ed courses in those categories. HC students will work with an HC academic adviser to create an individual plan based on background and goals. Of course, HC students are welcome to take as many additional HC Gen Eds as they would like.

*Honors College students majoring in a department in the College of Arts and Sciences are exempt from the College of Arts and Sciences Exploratory requirements. (See undergraduate catalog under College of Arts and Sciences.)

** ALL HC students should register (in both fall and winter semesters) for the appropriate Honors Aspire Section. "By registering for the zero credit Honors Aspire each semester, your transcript will be appropriately noted that you are an Honors College student in good standing. It is not a "class" with scheduled meeting times."

  • HC 1001-Honors Aspire l
  • HC 1100-Honors Presidential Scholar Aspire l
  • HC 2002-Honors Aspire ll
  • HC 2200-Honors Presidential Scholar Aspire ll
  • HC 3003-Honors Aspire lll
  • HC 3300-Honors Presidential Scholar Aspire lll
  • HC 4004-Honors Aspire lV
  • HC 4400-Honors Presidential Scholar Aspire lV
Summer 2022 Core Courses

SUMMER 01

ART

HC-2010 Contemporary Street Art
Instructor: Roberta Michelle
Gen Ed: Art & U.S. Diversity
Course Time:  T/R 5:30-9:50 pm (in person)
Term: Summer (1) 2022

Course Description: This course will examine murals, graffiti and other forms of street art created the late 20th and early 21st Century as an expression of culture and social identity.

LITERATURE 

HC-2020 True Crime: Pen and Podcast
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive

Course Time:  T/R 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Summer (1) 2022

Course Description:  In this course we will examine stories of True Crime as literature, exploring the problematic aspects of this genre as well as pursuing questions of pleasure ‘reading’ centered on the pain of others. Why do we enjoy these stories as much as we do? As we seek answers to this question, we’ll investigate the long history (stretching arguably into at least the early 1800s) of entertainment and edification arising from true tales of crime and mystery and examine the forensics of the form (In Cold Blood, with persons of interest such as Truman Capote). We will also consider the technological advancements (from the penny press to the podcast) that deliver these narratives to our doors and devices and how medium, not just perspective, plays a role in narrative. We will work to detect the social commentary and potential for awareness (if not activism) as well as the issues of victimology that can further reify (rather than rectify) racist, sexist, and similarly problematic aspects of culture. 

WESTERN CIVILIZATION

HC-2040 Divine Comedy in Visual Arts
Instructor: Caterina Pieri
Gen Ed: Western Civilization OR Knowledge Application
Course Time: M/W/R 12:00-2:05 pm (in person)
Term: Summer (1) 2022

Course Description: This course will discuss the the many social, literary and aesthetic contributions of Dante  Alighieri’s Divine Comedy through the study of the history of its representations in illustrations,  paintings, sculptures, and filmmaking.  

Students will be engaged in the analysis of works by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni  Stradano, William Blake, Gustave Doré, Auguste Rodin, Salvador Dalí, Henry Otto, Pier Paolo  Pasolini, Harry Lachman, Ron Howard, and Go Nagai.

HC-2040 Tudors of England
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Western Civilization & Writing Intensive OR Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: T/R 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Summer (1) 2022

Course DescriptionThe Tudor England course will be offered as a Summer I course.  The first half of the course, online lectures and readings, will provide historical background of the Tudor monarchy that enables the students to understand and analyze the cultural development of England. 

The second portion of this course, about two weeks in England, is designed to provide a vivid travel experience that immerses the students in English culture and encourages analysis of England’s cultural development.  Journaling and daily meetings will guide this understanding and analysis.

In London, the students and professor will be housed in flats provided by Anglo-Education.  Each single room is air-conditioned, and has an en suite private bath.  Full English breakfasts are included, but students will be responsible for other meals in London.  With central London as home base, the class will be within walking distance from tube stations and thus in close proximity to all things Tudor:  St. James Palace, Lambeth Palace, Westminster, and Whitehall.  Even Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle are but a short train ride away.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

HC-2050 The Time Capsule
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Global Perspective & US Diversity
Course Time:  M/W/R 7:30-9:35 am (in person)
Term: Summer (1)  2022

Course Description: This course addresses the fascination human beings have always had with the past and the future by leaving historical artifacts in the form of written messages and/or physical objects. We will explore examples of time capsules discovered, analyze their contents, and generate a snapshot of a particular moment in time. Our investigation will consider various elements such as location, historical context, social and environmental climate, philosophy, science, politics, style, culture, and other factors that give us insight into the human condition that produced the time capsule. Students, in turn, will create their own time capsule that captures a message for the future, using language (written or spoken), objects, and visual text (hand drawn or digital) that will reflect a profile for the year 2022.

SUMMER 02

LITERATURE

HC-2020 Contemporary Romance Novels
Instructor: Susan Lynn Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature & Writing Intensive
Course Time: M/W 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Summer (2) 2022

Course Description: In this course, we’ll reconsider the Regency era and Romance genre as a vehicle for reimagining race, using Bridgerton as a text which casts characters situated within a story world not anchored to race. Set in the same period as Jane Austen’s novels, Shonda Rhimes’s adaptation of Julia Quinn’s novels could be considered Pride [without] Prejudice: her production inspires conversations about race in historical context and contemporary times while remaining silent on the same subject on-screen.  Not without the controversy of colorism, the Scandal of politics is transformed to the titles and tittilation of polite society as Rhimes examines race (and the genres of period piece, historical romance, and fantasy) as if she were in practice with Merideth Grey: and in this class we’ll deconstruct this text to see if Rhimes has discovered How to Get Away with Murder in an adaptation that is arguably as activist as Austen was in her
originals...

 WESTERN CIVILIZATION

HC-2040 NCAA and College Sports Model
Instructor: Mari Tilashalski
Gen Ed: Global Perspective & US Diversity
Course Time: M/T/W/R 8:00-9:35 am (in person)
Term: Summer (2) 2022

Course Description:  This course will cover the history of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), as well as how it currently operates within the collegiate sports model. Students will be expected to learn NCAA bylaws and how they apply to real life situations and fact patterns. Students will also be expected to develop critical thinking skills by reading current events and relating it to the material. 

 

RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP

HC-3900 Research & Scholarship 
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Course Day/Time: (Online)
Term: Summer (2) 2021
Course Description: With the support of an OU faculty member of your choice (your thesis mentor) and the HC 3900 teaching team, you will work to develop the proposal for your final Thesis project.
Fall 2022 Core Courses

FALL 2022

*List will be updated as new courses are added

ART (HC 2010)

HC- 2010 Race, Dance & Jim Crow
Instructor: Elizabeth Kattner-Ulrich
Gen Ed: Art & U.S.Diversity
Course Days/Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 am (in person class)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: Did you know Jim Crow was a dancer? In American culture, race and the art of dance is inseparable. From the arrival of the first slave ships, American dance has been intrinsically African in its roots – its rhythms and movements were passed on by generations African Americans while at the same time being appropriated by white artists. This course will explore African American performance dance beginning with its African roots and development under slavery, to Jim Crow, the original blackface dancer on the Minstrel stage, and finally to movie musicals, MTV, and contemporary surprise album releases. Students will explore the roots of dances in popular culture both past and present, from musicals like The Littlest Rebel and Hamilton, and singers and dancers such as Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé. Students will critically examine how many popular dance aesthetics and techniques used by both white and black dancers can directly be traced back centuries and will grapple the ethics of cultural appropriation.

HC- 2010 Chinese Calligraphy
Instructor: Chensi Wang
Gen Ed: Art 
Course Days/Time: MWF 9:20-10:27 am (in person class)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: This is a course for beginning Chinese calligraphy. It will teach students how to  produce Chinese calligraphy during hands-on practice in class. In addition to the history,  development, aesthetics, and appreciation of Chinese calligraphy, it also includes many  aspects of the culturally fascinating heritage of China. Each class will begin with a  lecture on a specific aspect of Chinese culture, and will then be followed by brush writing  practice. Students in this class are also expected to explore the considerable amount of  material relating to Chinese calligraphy available on the World Wide Web and study  articles and example styles online.

Literature (HC 2020)

HC- 2020 The Birth of Detective Fiction
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: Hybrid (Friday-online-Asynchronous)
Term: Fall 2022

Course DescriptionDetective fiction is one of the rare literary genres that scholars conventionally trace to a single point of origin:  Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” in 1841. But is this accurate? By doing a close analysis of select biblical texts, ancient Greek parables, popular German fiction from the early 1820’s, police narratives and autobiography from the Sureté Nationale (Paris’ version of Scotland Yard) as well as classic detective tales by authors such as Poe, Conan Doyle, and Leblanc, we will examine the question of origins. Is it possible to find a single point of origin for a literary genre and what benefit does this type of search provide?  In addition to gaining considerable knowledge of the mystery and detective fiction genre, students will also have the opportunity to be creative. The class will culminate in a final project where students will write their own detective story centered on the theme of origins or beginnings, using Oakland University as a backdrop.

HC-2020 Lost Books of the Bible
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: TR 8:00-9:47am (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: This course will feature non-canonical books that for various reasons were not recognized by the different versions of the standard Bible. We will study the texts as literature and evaluate the content, characters, plots, themes, and symbolism for classic and new interpretations. We will answer the question of how these lost, or forbidden, texts reflected the human experience which produced them.

HC-2020 Radical Ways and Personal Space
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive + U.S. Diversity
Course Days/Time: TR 3:00-4:47 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: What role does “place” play in the lives of characters?  How does changing societal structures, and political events influence the life fabric of those individuals? What avenues and roads act as cultural barriers as well as bridges in the lives of various individuals? Questions that will be considered include: How does place inform culture? What role do key individuals and events play in the creation of social norms as well as social changes? The way in which this City acted as a diverse cultural engine will be explored.  The course will fulfill the US Diversity course objective. Through examining stories (fiction and nonfiction) from Detroit, students will explore the events of people’s lives- both imaginary and real as it unfolds in various zip codes over the span of time.

HC-2020 Writing the Climate
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: MWF 10:40-11:47 am (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: The genre of ‘nature writing’ includes a wide array of texts from meditations on the beauty that can be found in the natural world to philosophical treatises on man’s role there. The urge to protect nature from man’s worst instincts has inspired many texts, some funny, some tragic, others transcendent. We will explore a range of texts in which writers view nature and our relationship to it. What does ‘nature’ mean? Writers reckon with the term through environmental, social, political, and even religious approaches. The class readings will include English and American writers such as the classic nature writers of the nineteenth century (Darwin, Thoreau, Muir), twentieth century (Carson, Berry, Leopold, Stegner). But, we won’t stop there - Black, Native American, Hispanic, and immigrant writers and poets (Silko, Momaday, Harjo, Diaz, Lanham, Dungy, and Kincaid) have things to say about nature too. These
texts deal with nature and (re)claiming a space in nature that society has not always tolerated.
HC-

2020 Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: MWF 2:40-3:47 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: We’re not just going to explore ‘Silly Novels by Lady Novelists’ – a phrase penned by George Eliot, aka Mary Ann Evans – but also questions of gender dynamics and fluidity in literature and life! Considering everything from characterization to costumes (and cosplay!), from authorship to avatars, from plot to personal agency, we’ll examine the social, cultural and historical context of gendered text and how technology the mediums produced and consumed impacts identity.  From the archetypal ‘Angel in the House’ to subversions of Coventry Patmore’s idealized woman/wife to Cyndi Lauper’s earworm, we’ll discover you can’t have profundity without having FUN!

HC-2020Which Witch
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive OR Natural Science or Technology + Writing Intensive
Course Days/Time: MWF 1:20-2:27 am (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: In this course we will explore depictions of witches in literature and film to consider the construction of ‘witches’ from a cultural and historical perspective and explore questions of liminality and empowerment as they are embodied in the figure of the witch. Witches are unique in that they are often depicted as being simultaneously anchored to a society (sisterhood, covens), interacting with a greater society (humans without supernatural powers), and also outside or antithetical to a structured (‘legal,’ often patriarchal) society. As we analyze literary and cinematic depictions of witches we will also explore questions of gender and how witches have both asserted and subverted conventional notions of gender through the fluidity of their depiction in text. Witches have frequently been used to explore and examine sexuality as well: shifting the transactional nature of sexuality as witches move from object to subject. This further speaks to the connectedness of witches to nature, natural events and cycles, and the environment and ecology. Yep, when it comes to witches it boils down to a lot more than a cauldron and a pointy hat! And in this class we are going to consider what witches can reveal to all of us about ourselves and our own relations to and structuring of society, race, gender, sexuality, and the environment as we track their movement over time and from one sphere to another in literary texts (novels, short stories, and film). 

HC-2020Poetry in Translation

Instructor: Dunya Mikhail
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive 
Course Days/Time: MWF 4:00-5:07 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course DescriptionThis course aims at introducing the students to poetry from a variety of countries and eras. Cultural and historical background related to the selected poems will be discussed. The poems in English translation will be selected from languages that are fairly familiar to English (e.g. French, Spanish), as well as more distant ones (e.g. Arabic, Chinese, Persian).

WESTERN CIVILIZATION (HC 2040)

HC-2040  Sports and American History
Instructor: Nicholas DiPucchio
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Days/Time: MWF 1:20-2:27 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course DescriptionJackie Robinson, Venus and Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and Miguel Cabrera. The careers of these gifted athletes not only wowed their fans and audiences—they reveal much about American society. This course surveys the role played by sports in American history, from the colonial era to the present. This course explores the interactions between sports and gender, race, capitalism, and class in American society. This course discusses topics such as horseracing and class in colonial America, Jackie Robinson’s efforts to break the racial barrier in Major League Baseball, and the U.S. Women’s World Cup victories and gender inequality. After this course, students will understand how sports have influenced—and have been shaped by—American society.

HC-2040:  Time Streams
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Days/Time: MWF 12:00-1:07  pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: How do we experience time? In this class we will explore the possibilities, positive effects, and practices of being present and mindfulness while also considering temporality as both human construct and human experience.The reification of time in Western culture has altered the abstract and lived experience of our lives through the centuries. 

From the instrumentation and measurement of time – even the manipulation of time (Daylight Saving Time anyone?!?!) – we structure the world around us according to the clock we created…and continue to create. In this class, we’ll explore the timepieces and technologies that not only tell time, but inform our sense of time. 

Since 1865, when in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it” to Burgess’s dystopic ‘rabbiting’ in A Clockwork Orange a century later we see drastic alterations in the depictions of time and its representation in literature and popular culture as the ‘clock’ as our relationship to and experience of time continues to change – though our fascination with ‘watching the clock’ never seems to wind down….

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE (HC 2050)

HC-2050 History and the Future of Chocolate
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Days/Time: TR 5:30-7:17 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: The History and Future of Chocolate introduces students to the global environment and use of Chocolate. This course focuses on how differences in economic systems, national culture, socio demographics, and political orientations affect the production as well as the use of Chocolate. This course integrates knowledge of an international commodity that has impacted people socially as well as culturally for thousands of years. Students will have opportunities to taste products from global settings and recognize how different political, environmental as well as social constructs influence the purchasing and use habits of people.

HC-2050 The Time Capsule
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Days/Time: TR 10:00-11:47 am (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description:  This course addresses the fascination human beings have always had with the past and the future by leaving historical artifacts in the form of written messages and/or physical objects. We will explore examples of time capsules discovered, analyze their contents, and generate a snapshot of a particular moment in time. Our investigation will consider various elements such as location, historical context, social and environmental climate, philosophy, science, politics, style, culture, and other factors that give us insight into the human condition that produced the time capsule. Students, in turn, will create their own time capsule that captures a message for the future, using language (written or spoken), objects, and visual text (hand drawn or digital) that will reflect a profile for the year 2022.

HC-2050 The Art of Accessibility
Instructor: Brian Wigman
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Days/Time: M 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: An overview of international, multidisciplinary perspectives on disability and how we contextualize our understanding of differing needs through mental health awareness and advocacy across cultures and identities.

HC-2050 Vampires: The Eternal Undead
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + Writing Intensive OR Knowledge Application
Course Days/Time: TR 1:00-2:47 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: One thing about vampires that is undoubtedly undying is their everlasting popularity. One hundred years after the first vampire film, multiple other versions are heading for screens, large and small. Our study of the mythology of the vampire will begin with the peoples of Eastern Europe and their folk and peasant cultures. We will examine the enduring power of the vampire myth which grew out of pagan and dualistic religious beliefs and survived the adoption of Christianity in these cultures. We will trace the transmission of the vampire myth into Western European and, later, American popular culture. The philosophical context of this journey of the vampire includes discussions of the definition and causes of Evil and whether it exists at all. In all of our discussion we will examine how the vampire reflects the eras of its creation and continual recreation. Recent critically acclaimed vampire films have been produced by directors from Iran, South Korea, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States, indicating that the vampire continues to inspire artists and reflect modern concerns. A final creative project from students, which may be collaborative, allows them to create their own vampire in literature, film, or other genre.

SOCIAL SCIENCE (HC 2060)

HC-2060 Why do Geniuses Come in all Sizes, Shapes & Colors
Instructor: TBD
Gen Ed: Social Sciences + Writing Intensive
Course Days/Time: TR 1:00-2:47 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: In this course, students will conduct individual and collaborative research on historical and contemporary accounts of “genius” to learn more about their own and others’ creative minds and innovative futures.  Through this research, students will address and challenge the concept of genius as residing among a handful of elite individuals and, in the process of discovery, become exposed to and acquainted with a host of diverse, contemporary thinkers, doers, and practitioners.  Course assignments are designed to guide and markedly improve students’ college-level research, writing, and presentation skills and abilities.

HC-2060 Spiritual But Not Religious
Instructor: Michael Pytlik
Gen Ed: Social Sciences
Course Days/Time: TR 1:00-2:47 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description:  This  course traces the biblical career of King David, explores literary treatment of his character, examines historical and archaeological data related to his existence and development of him in western art traditions.

This course will explore the life, legends, history, archaeology, and art devoted to one of the western traditions most celebrated characters, King David.

The course will cover the textual history of David, including biblical passages, his changing reputation over time, and critical responses to his life and his actions in later works, including the Talmud, mystical texts and others.  We will address the historical existence of David apart from the biblical texts.  Students will work with a variety of texts, and will be responsible for and present portions of the biblical stories related to David, learn about translations, and ask critical questions about the texts. We will move on to other important genres of texts and learn about the ways in which David’s reputation was improved on over time.

HC-2060 Gender in China: Then & Now
Instructor: Helena Riha
Gen Ed: Social Sciences
Course Days/Time: R 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: This course provides students with opportunities to examine the interplay of gender and social expectations in traditional and contemporary Chinese society. We will explore the relationship between gender roles in China and socio-political factors that influence this relationship. We will also consider the persistent influence of Confucianism on modern Chinese gender roles. The course will address topics such as the interaction of gender and power in Chinese culture, family as a critical social, philosophical, and political construct, marriage and children as defining life achievements, the emergence of a beauty economy, and the role of women in China’s economic development.

FORMAL REASONING (HC 2070)

HC-2070 Is Democracy Dying?
Instructor: Matthew Fails
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning
Course Days/Time: MWF 12:00-1:07pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: Across the developing world, once promising trends toward more open and liberal societies have reversed course. In Europe, far-right populist movements threaten democracy’s continued vitality. Even in the United States, partisan gerrymandering and a wave of voter restriction laws threaten to curtail opportunities for meaningful electoral contestation and participation. At home and abroad, democracy appears to be in serious trouble.  This class introduces students to a set of tools designed to assess the accuracy of this
claim.

HC-2070 Faces of Faith
Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning
Course Days/Time:TR 1:00-2:47 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: The phenomenon of religion throughout the world presents itself in a diversity of human expressions.  As the course title suggests, this class will introduce students to the variety of ways people articulate and practice their connection with the sacred.  We will study how religious traditions established themselves, and how various religious traditions are adapting in the modern context.  Finally, beyond this academic study, we will meet practitioners of a variety of faiths.  This last activity is key for the course:  in addition to the professor lecturing about various faiths, the class will also hear and question a variety of differing faith practitioners—guests who will give a very human “face” to their faith.

NATURAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (HC 2080) 

HC-2080 The Brain, Reward & Addiction
Instructor: Jonathan Yates
Course Day/Time: MWF 1:20-2:27 pm (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: The neurobiological study of addiction has taught us much about the basic workings of the brain, particularly in regards to reward, motivation, and emotions.  The study of the brain can be quite imposing, especially for a non-scientist!  Therefore, this course will focus on a small number of familiar behaviors that are basic to all humans and which can be sources of great pleasure and reward. The processes to be closely studied include sexual behavior, drugs of abuse, and audition/music. Additional topics potentially to be covered include eating/satiety, ‘unconventional’ rewards (ie. shoe shopping, gambling, riding roller coasters.)  

HC-2080 Science & the Cold War
Instructor: Stephan Puwal
Course Day/Time: TR 10:00-11:47 am (in person)
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: This course will focus on science relevant to the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, with a particular emphasis on the post-WW2 period and the 1980s.  Students will learn the basic principles of nuclear weapons, their health effects, principles of nuclear winter, ballistic missiles, and lasers.  Students will also learn about the Space Race, the Moon landing, and the relevant geologic science.  Key events in the history of the Cold War will be covered through the use of films and lectures, including the formation of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, and the division of Germany.

RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP

HC-3900 Research and Scholarship
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Course Day/Time: Online (1 credit) 
Term: Fall 2022

Course Description: With the support of an OU faculty member of your choice (your thesis mentor) and the HC 3900 teaching team, you will work to develop the proposal for your final Thesis project.

Winter 2023 Core Courses

WINTER 2023

*List will be updated as new courses are added

ART (HC 2010)

HC-2010 Food & Film
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Art + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: R 5:30-8:50 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: As in life, food in film often appeals to the sensual in us. Food’s seductive qualities speak to the audience as much as they do to the characters. But, it’s not all delicious. Food in film can also move into horror; what do zombies or vampires or Hannibal Lecter like to eat? Us! Food is a potent symbol with manifold meanings that stretch across cultures and genres. Our food taste can signal belonging to family, ethnicity, or culture. Family and home can exert a strong pull through food and our early diets often shape our eating preferences for life. Gender politics often play out over the stove or table. Filmmakers look into these relationships in films, funny and serious, and dramatic and documentary genres. Class discussions will consider the films through the lens of various disciplines, especially cinema studies and food studies. We will dig in to an international assortment of films and we will even consider what the audience likes to eat while watching.

HC-2010 Art of Anatomy
Instructor: Susan Beckwith
Gen Ed: Art 
Course Day/Time: TR 3:00-4:47 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: From face structure to filters, we’re going to examine the underlying figure and the exploration of expression (literally!) in Art. We’re also going to consider the way in which life-drawing has informed the study of medicine and the understanding of anatomy, from da Vinci’s work to physicians taking figure-drawing today. From considerations of how movement is captured on the canvas to questioning depictions of the differently-abled, we’ll examine works of art in all mediums from various historical eras and cultures which focus on the body. In this class, we’ll appreciate the aesthetics and techniques of art, while also viewing art as a technology. From medical journals to museums, classification to curation, we’re going to have some fun this semester! Go Figure!

HC-2010 KISSTORY: History of the Band
Instructor: Nicholas Bongers
Gen Ed: Art 
Course Day/Time: MWF 4:00-5:07 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description:  This course is created to investigate the impact of KISS on pop-culture, music, theatrics, entertainment, and marketing from 1972 to the present day. Prerequisite: A general appreciation for music, history, pop culture, fashion, live performance, public relations, and/or marketing.

LITERATURE (HC 2020) 

HC-2020 Laboring for Better Lives: American Workers Solidarity
Instructor: Amy Pollard
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 am (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: In this course students will be introduced to the American Labor Movement from the 19th and 20th centuries through works of fiction. These works will cover real-life American labor movement events from the 19th and 20th centuries, such as the Uprising of the 20,000, the West Coast Waterfront Strike, the Triangle Waistshirt Factory fire and legacy and
the Sanitation Strike of 1968, as well as fictional labor struggles.

HC-2020 Vonnegut: No-Labels Literature
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: MWF 2:40-3:47 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: 

This semester we are going to celebrate a century of Science Fiction, Short Stories, Satire, and Slapstick -- as well as plays, essays, and even commencement speeches in which Kurt Vonnegut continues to elude all labels except perhaps that of postmodernism -- proving this man [born 100 years ago this semester] and his work to be a shifting and slippery -- one might say unstuck -- ‘subject’... 

His dystopias are full of dark humor -- you will laugh at the comedy even as you cringe at the carnage his characters cause. And you will travel to ‘fertile’ and exotic sites as he explores extinction in a way that will make you appreciate the environment like never before. [This is perhaps the one class where you’re going to learn why one might wish for a smaller brain!!! :o ]

We’re going to cast a wide net [for Kilgore Trout] and consider the cult following Kurt inspired throughout his career with the timeless nature of his words as he offered social commentary that inspires discussion -- even amongst the characters we’ll follow through his metafictions. 

Like philosophical Pilgrims (<< Billy) who become unstuck in time, we’re going to traverse texts that tackle controversy with comedy and inspire conversation. We will literally, and literarily, be Lonesome No More!! 

HC-2020 Pre-Professional Boot Camp
Instructor: Brigan Wigman
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: M 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: Creating a compelling graduate application requires not only strong academics, but also a thorough understanding of yourself and your motivations. We will look at crafting personal statements, engaging in activities, and exploring your passion for your chosen field.

HC-2020 The Poetics of Childhood
Instructor: Peter Markus
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: M 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: Childhood is more than just a time in our lives, it is also both a physical and emotional space. A kind of geography. Or map. Call it the old neighborhood. A place to go back to, through the power of memory, through our imaginations, through the words of other writers. Joan Didion writes, “A place belongs to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively, wrenches it from itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it so radically that he remakes it in his own image.” In this writing-intensive course, we will look to other writers, to their stories (both true and made up) and poems, too, to help us locate and ground the stories (both fiction and non-fiction) and the poems that are ours to write.

HC-2020 Women and War
Instructor: Carol Hart
Gen Ed: Literature + Writing Intensive
Course Day/Time: TR 10:00-11:47 am (in person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: Women and their experiences of war are as old as war itself, think about Lysistrata and Iphigenia from classical literature. Until late in the twentieth century, waging war was generally considered the arena of men, but, in fact, women have never been able to sit out conflicts. Whether as mothers, sisters, and wives of combatant soldiers, or as fighters themselves, women have been engaged in war. They have often taken on the enemy in different ways than men, but behind the lines as spies in both World Wars, on the frontlines as nurses or journalists, or on the home front as factory workers and single parents, wherever they were, women took part by choice or necessity. Even before they were legally able to enlist in regular armed forces, women have also fought as combatants, sometimes as themselves, other times, incognito. The stories of women at war have been written by themselves and historians, authors, and journalists and stretch across time, place and culture. 

WESTERN CIVILIZATION (HC 2040)


HC-2040 Edwardian England

Instructor: Randall Engle
Gen Ed: Western Civilization
Course Day/Time: MWF 12:00-1:07 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: The PBS series “Downton Abbey” (re)introduced the world to Edwardian England.  At the turn of the century, with a new king on the throne, England witnessed some of the most sweeping, dramatic changes known to modern history:  suffrage, crumbling socio-economic barriers, radical changes in fashion, new scientific claims, and a world forever changed by war.  This course will explore not only how the world changed in Edwardian Britain, but also how America was shaped by it.  This course studies the social systems, monarchy and the Church of England of that time—in addition to the foods, the fashion and the music.  Evaluation will be class participation, quizzes, readings, and an individual project that will be offered as a class presentation.  The class will be offered at Meadowbrook Estate, Oakland’s own “Downton Abbey.”


HC-2040 The Immigrant Experience and the American Dream
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Western Civilization & U.S. Diversity
Course Day/Time: T/R 3:00-4:47 pm (In person
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description:  Through a learner directed approach, students will choose a “problem” whether it is programmatic, technological, or social—that is a problem faced by Immigrants.  Through this project, students will acquire practical experience and skills that lead to their engagement as citizens. This course will both provide knowledge as well as first-hand experience with how immigrants navigate and establish their new ( or not so new) social identity within American society.  

HC-2040 Biography of E-MC squared
Instructor: Doris Plantus
Gen Ed: Western Civilization 
Course Day/Time: MWF 8:00-9:07 am (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: This course studies the history behind the people and events that led to Einstein’s iconic equation. Because it uses the eponymous text of the course title, the approach is to understand the meaning of the equation as it is shaped by people who contributed at various points to its eventual (mathematical) expression. Students will learn the various direct and indirect implications of history and scientific advancement that culminated in one of the most important discoveries of our time.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE (HC 2050)

HC-2050 Using Design Thinking to Address Global Topics
Instructor: Roberta Michel
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Day/Time: TR 5:30-7:17 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: This course introduces students to how Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, energy and food production, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between society and the environment.

Differences in economic systems, national cultures, socio-demographics, and political orientation affect the way water is utilized and sustained. Thru design thinking, students will work on one of three global projects (Water Scarcity; Water borne Disease; or Ocean Pollution). The plan is for students to partner with a sponsoring global organization and learn about a particular region: climate, culture etc… and then come up with ideas to address the problem.  

HC-2050 Dynamics of Cultural Etiquette
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + Writing Intensive + U.S. Diversity
Course Day/Time: T/TH 1:00-2:47 pm (in person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description:  Etiquette, “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group,” changes over time and place (historically/globally). 

We’re told not to judge others: but we’re constantly being judged by these rules. They make a difference in how well we succeed in every situation we enter.

But, in this class, we’re going to make “Minding your Manners” fun by examining these rules and how they’ve evolved from the 19th-Century to ‘Netiquette,’ from Table Manners to Tweets/Memes, from Letters of Introduction to LinkedIn. We’ll discover when to slurp your soup and when not to use that emoji (giving a thumbs-up doesn’t always mean ‘I like that’!).

We all need to know etiquette customs to succeed in our professions and interact with others from around the world—and socially, this class will give you a leg up in life and lots of fun facts to share with your friends!  

HC-2050 French Films: American Remakes
Instructor: Bernadette Donohue
Gen Ed: Global Perspective + U.S. Diversity
Course Day/Time: T/TH 5:30-8:50 pm (in person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: France has a rich history of filmmaking, which Americans are often unaware of. Some French films do make it on the international stage, but many more are known because Hollywood has produced an American version. From comedies to thrillers, many films have been remade over the decades. In this class, students will watch both the French version (with subtitles) and the American remake analyzing both and drawing out cultural commentaries on both societies.

HC-2050 Cartography, Computing & Covid
Instructor: George Milne
Gen Ed: Global Perspective
Course Day/Time: TR 1:00-2:47 pm (In person)
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: This course will introduce students to the principles of cartography, thematic mapping, spatial analysis, and Geographic Information Software (GIS). There will be an emphasis on the methodology behind visualizing and mapping epidemiological, political, and environmental data. The students’ experience will culminate in an individual research project based on a topic of their choice which they will each present via Environmental Sciences Research Institute’s (ESRI) StoryMap platform. 

SOCIAL SCIENCE (HC 2060)

HC-2060 Creativity & Intelligence
Instructor: TBD
Gen Ed: Social Science OR Knowledge Application
Course Time: T/R 10:00-11:47 am (Online)
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description: What is intelligence?  What is creativity?  What constitutes creative or intelligent thinking?  How do we measure them?  Can one exist without the other?  What function(s) do these ideas serve in society?  The purpose of this course is to try to answer these and similar questions by examining creativity and intelligence as psychological constructs.  Throughout the semester, we will explore current and historical theories of human creativity and intelligence, characteristics of creative and intelligent people, barriers to creative and intelligent output, and cultural variations in the way we think about these concepts.

HC-2060 Standardized Patients for Clinical Simulation
Instructor: Stephanie Vallie
Gen Ed: Social Science OR Knowledge Application
Course Time: R 8:00-9:47 am (In person)
Term: Winter 2022

Course Description:  This course will provide learners with an opportunity to gain insight on clinical nursing simulation and the integration of high-fidelity models to support student success in a clinical setting. Emphasis will be placed on the model of human fidelity in the safe and non-threatening environment of simulation. Learners will be afforded the opportunity to earn class credit as a standardized patient in the OU SON simulation lab.   *Nursing majors are welcomed, but not required.

Formal Reasoning (HC 2070) 

HC-2070 Latin: Dead or Alive?
Instructor:
 Carolyn Delia
GenEd: Formal Reasoning
Course Time:
TR 1:00-2:47 pm (In person)
Term:
Winter 2023

Course Description:  This intriguing Face -to-Face course has three areas of emphasis: Latin language, Roman legacy to Western civilization, and a survey of the history of the Roman Empire
and its global impact.
An understanding of the Latin language contributes to the understanding of the syntax,
grammar, and usage of the English Language. Latin derivatives are used in the
vocabulary of many professions and careers and provide cognitive connections among
seemingly varied terms. Since almost three-quarters of English words are derived from
Latin, knowledge of Latin vocabulary contributes to a growth in English vocabulary and
thus, reading comprehension.
The historical and cultural portions of the course and its exploration of the Roman
legacy contributes to feelings of global heritage and makes antiquity a part of personal
ancestry. The course explores the beginnings of democracy, law, architecture, the
struggles for citizen equality and the basis of many modern-day customs, holidays and
traditions.

HC-2070 Logic: It's Just so Logical
Instructor:
 Carolyn Delia
Gen Ed: Formal Reasoning
Course Time: 
TR 3:00-4:47 pm (In person)
Term: 
Winter 2023

Course Description: This eye-opening and practical Logic course is a non-mathematical, introductory course which demonstrates that being "logical"; is immensely important and achieved through definite patterns of thinking. The course presents the types of logical reasoning, forms and rules, and practical applications. The text is the knowledge base but examples and exercises will come from the various disciplines and careers which require the use of logical reasoning.
    --Induction: prediction - weathermen, profilers, etc.
    --Deduction: observation – concerning society, environment, government, law and politics
    --Abduction: inference - medical diagnoses, detective cases, etc. (via TV programs) Common fallacies will be explored. Students will identify the existence of logical reasoning in daily situations, will gather examples of arguments from their course work and daily life encounters and evaluate their validity. Students will become more proficient at formulating arguments for use in their courses, persuasive presentations or writings, and negotiations or proposals needed in their interactions as citizens and career professionals.

Natural Science & Technology (HC 2080) 

HC-2080 Astrobiology: Life in the Universe
Instructor: TBD
Gen Ed: Natural Science and Technology
Course Time: M 5:30-8:50 pm (Online
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: Astrobiology is the scientific field that studies the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. Astrobiology seeks to answer some of the largest questions known to man, such as “Where did we come from?” and “Are we alone in the Universe?” These fundamental questions of life have been asked for millennia by scientists and philosophers alike, yet largely remain unanswered. Now, thanks to technological advancements and ongoing mission efforts by global space agencies such as NASA, we have the means to pursue answers to these questions like never before. Due to the broad nature of these questions, astrobiology is necessarily an interdisciplinary field that encompasses many fields of science including geology, biology, chemistry, planetary science, astronomy, psychology, sociology, and more. This course will introduce students to astrobiology and its various subfields, with a specific emphasis on the geologic record of Earth, and how studying our planet’s ancient past and the life that dwelled there can be used to help us search for life elsewhere in the Universe. Other topics will include the properties of planetary bodies that allow for life to flourish as well as discussion on ongoing astrobiology-focused missions by NASA and other space agencies, especially on Mars.

HC-2080 Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies
Instructor: Steffan Puwal
Gen Ed: Natural Science and Technology
Course Time:TR 10:00-11:47 am (Online
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: This physics-based course will cover the science and history of cancer therapy and medical imaging.  We will focus on the causes of cancer, modes of tumor growth and malignancy, medical imaging tests, and therapies for the treatment of cancer, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery, small molecule inhibitors, hormone therapy, and vaccines.  We will pay particular attention to radiation, radioactive decay, and radiation biology.  A history of cancer will be explored with the book Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, and the Ken Burns documentary based on this book.

RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP

HC-3900 Research and Scholarship
Instructor: Susan Lynne Beckwith
Course Day/Time: Online (1 credit) 
Term: Winter 2023

Course Description: With the support of an OU faculty member of your choice (your thesis mentor) and the HC 3900 teaching team, you will work to develop the proposal for your final Thesis project.

Language

FOREIGN LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT

The Honors College foreign language requirement may be fulfilled by choosing one of the following 4 tracks:

  1. Foreign language proficiency: Completion of, or proficiency in, foreign language courses (including Sign Language) through level 2150.
  2. Foreign language and cultural experience: Two semesters of the same language on campus in partnership with a study abroad experience of at least 6 weeks in a non-English-speaking country.
  3. Foreign language diversity: Two semesters each of two different languages for a total of four semesters.
INVOLVEMENT

INVOLVEMENT

Honors College students complete an average of 10 hours of involvement per year.  Anything outside of course related work can be counted and involvement can be undertaken fall, winter or summer semester.

The 4 categories of Involvement are:

  • Honors College
  • OU
  • *Humanitarian
  • Professional

* Humanitarian service qualifies students to apply and be recognized for one of our yearly Humanitarian Awards

-Graduating Seniors, with significant Humanitarian service over their time in The Honors College, will qualify for our cumulative award, presented at the HC Graduation ceremony.

Thesis Info

All HC students must produce an Honors Thesis, ie: independent project of scholarly or creative achievement. Most often, this activity is carried out in the student's major area of study, e.g., biology, English, economics, business, engineering.

In our Research & Scholarship course, HC 3900, the student, together with a faculty sponsor/mentor, develops a proposal of the project and submits it to The Honors College Council for approval.  Work on the final thesis is carried out between student and mentor and is due the semester the student graduates.

There is wide latitude regarding the nature of the projects, since it is recognized that substantial differences exist across disciplines. The end result is a written thesis – which could also include a creative performance, dance recital, engineering project, or another type of creative activity. The final thesis must be approved by the mentor and The Honors College Council.

*Current students, please see the HC Student Info Site for deadlines and details.

Transcript

Peace by with you, Jamal’s father. Welcome. How is your health? Sit down, sit down.

My name is Salwan Georges and I’m currently a photo intern at the Detroit Free Press. My thesis project focused on the struggles that the Iraqi refugees faces coming to a new country. Walking around the places like this and it just, it just brought memories back to me and I wanted to share that with other people that sometimes they see it from the outside but they don’t really see what’s inside.

When I first started I thought like each story is gonna be like the same but ya know like all the refugees they, they gonna you know tell me that they struggle all about like, some of them like ya know I was, I was surprised to find out like each person had a different story and different perspective on the situation in here and back home. Like some people said they’re very happy they’re here. Some people they said they’re happy but they wish to go back. Some people don’t wanna go back, you know i just saw all type of you know opinions and it’s not about just taking photos it’s about getting the stories and, and the best way for me is just to get to know the people you know so I can, I can get the best out of them.

I was looking for, of course, memories. I was looking for interesting stories. I was looking for characters, you know? That’s what I love. Each, each person I talk to is different. Each person has their own, own job they did back home and their own history and you know they share and tell you everything you need.

I’m very proud of my project and this project is very close to my heart because it shows the struggle of my people and I’m very happy with the, like it makes me proud to see how much, how much like you know achievement it, it, it brought to me personally and to my family as well.

Undergrad research is very important for students because going deep about the subject will help you understand it better so that’s why the research is very important because it could lead you to other things. You know, like I started, you know, doing my project then it lead my a job, you know? So doing, doing the research will open doors for you and especially with the Honors College and a connection and the fun they help you. It’s definitely, definitely worth it.


Transcript

So this is a close-up of a lens from a mouse eye and I’ve performed about one hundred and fifty or two hundred of these dissections over the course of my work here. Well my name is Nathan Spix, I’m a junior here at Oakland University. I’m majoring in biochemistry. I’ve been involved in undergraduate research here for about a year and three months.

My research is focusing right now on a disease called retinopathy of prematurity, which is a disease that affects prematurely born infants, especially those that are receiving oxygen treatment and that oxygen actually causes cells in the retina to degrade and can affect vision, can even cause blindness in some severe cases.

Well one of the big problems with this disease I’m studying is that a lot of the children who have it will end up being myopic or nearsighted and so this machine is measuring whether the mice that have this treatment are actually myopic or not. And it’s using this infrared camera on the left side and analyzing the reflection off the cornea to get that information from the mouse.

My work in the research lab has made me really comfortable with reading publications, research papers and that sort of thing and I think that just helps me be a lot more fluent in the scientific language and that helps me as I’m going through classes to understand what I’m learning quicker and to retain it better I think. I’ve been really happy with my research experience at Oakland. I feel like the emphasis that Oakland places on undergraduate research has been a big benefit to me and I’ve learned so many things from this lab. I’ve discovered a passion for research that I really didn’t know I had before I started working here.