Spring 2023

Spring 2023 Honors Seminars

Seminar registration for the spring semester will open on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at noon. Please contact Honors staff at honors@iastate.edu with inquiries.

The descriptions below indicate whether a seminar counts toward the International Perspective or US Diversity requirements.

Reference numbers for registration can be found below a few days before registration opens. You will need to copy/paste the reference number to enroll through AccessPlus. Should you try to enroll in a course that is full, you will be placed on a waitlist. If openings become available after a seminar is full, Honors staff will contact those on the waitlist.

Make sure you plan ahead and take at least two Honors courses and two Honors seminars or the number required by your college Honors committee. Don't wait until your last year to meet the requirements because you may find that you will have some scheduling conflicts. You cannot enroll in more than 2 seminars in a single semester.

Important: Attendance at Honors seminars is expected. Be sure to read the entire seminar description and requirements. Be courteous and notify your instructor in advance if you are unable to attend class.

Check back regularly for updates!

  • HON 322A: Refugees Welcome? U.S. Refugee Resettlement and Integration
  • HON 322B: Class Politics and Environmental Philosophy: From Karl Marx to Mad Max: Fury Road (CANCELED)
  • HON 322C: The Revolution Will not Be Televised:  Spanish TV-Series (CANCELED)
  • HON 322D: Food Animal Production Medicine
  • HON 322E: Becoming a Responsible Researcher: Discussion on Research Ethics (FULL)
  • HON 322F: Building a Broadway Musical (FULL)
  • HON 322G: Recyclables FOR Music (REFORM)
  • HON 322H: Pirates: Open-Minded Trailblazers or Deadly Opportunists?
  • HON 322J: Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and more - The theory & study of generations (FULL)
  • HON 322K: Islamic Spain - A Merging of Cultures
  • HON 322L: Competitive Scholarship & Personal Statement Writing (FULL)
  • HON 322M: Comedy College (FULL)
  • HON 322N: Storytelling with Data
  • HON 322P: Ethical eating
  • HON 322Q: Money Management (FULL)
  • HON 322R: Fashion Museums and Social Justice
  • HON 322T: Real-world case studies in business and entrepreneurship (CANCELED)
  • HON 322U: Exploring Environmental Issues through Documentaries (FULL)
  • HON 322V: Stories of Exploitation and Resistance: Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, and Fantasy
  • HON 322W: The Future of Reproductive Rights in America
  • HON 322Y: Understanding War (FULL)
  • HON 322Z: Gaze into the Abyss: The Monsters in Our Stories (CANCELED)
  • HON 324A: Moving Past Bodice Ripping to Shredding the Patriarchy: Romance Novels as Tools for Justice (FULL)
  • HON 324B: Music and Health (FULL)
  • HON 324C: Christianity and Science (FULL) (TIME and DATE CHANGE)


HON 322A, Refugees Welcome? U.S. Refugee Resettlement and Integration, M 9:55-10:45 (Time/Day being confirmed), Jischke 1155, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, U.S. Diversity. Reference # 4651005

About the Course: Ukraine. Afghanistan. Syria. Sudan. We hear a lot in the news about refugees: people who flee persecution in their homelands to start life in a safer place. We may see heartwarming stories about refugees being welcomed at the airport. But what actually happens after a refugee arrives in the US? With no familiar faces around, who welcomes them? In this seminar, you will learn the ins and outs of the United States refugee resettlement program, from its origin in the 1970's to its politically controversial status today. You will discover how someone becomes a refugee, how the US determines which city they settle in, and what benefits and services are available to them once they arrive. You will learn about the challenges of resettlement and compare the US resettlement model to that of other countries. You will hear stories from virtual guest speakers, dive into medical, legal, educational, and social challenges for refugees; and learn about volunteer and career opportunities with refugee-serving organizations.

About the Instructor: Summer Awad is a second-year MFA student in Creative Writing and Environment. Summer spent four years (2017-2021) working as a case manager at Bridge Refugee Services, a refugee resettlement affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee. During these four years, Summer worked primarily with refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially those with particular barriers to self-sufficiency such as chronic medical conditions. Through her work, Summer acquired a working proficiency in Congolese Swahili and gained a deep understanding of the federal, state, and local challenges to refugee resettlement and integration. She has since completed an eight-week intensive Critical Language Scholarship program in Swahili. Summer has a B.A. in Literary Activism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition to this seminar, she teaches Speech Comm 212: Foundations of Public Speaking. Summer is working on a book of creative nonfiction essays about her work with refugees for her MFA thesis.


HON 322B, CANCELED Class Politics and Environmental Philosophy: From Karl Marx to Mad Max: Fury Road, R 5:30-7:20pm, Jischke 1155, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 4652005

About the Course: Although more than a hundred years have passed since Karl Marx made industrial manipulations of nature central to his critique of capitalism, questions of class and race remain at the heart of contemporary debates in environmental philosophy. In this seminar, we will explore the history of environmental political philosophy, examining films and philosophic texts that interpret environmental inequalities as extensions of social inequalities like class, race, and colonialism. After reading Murray Bookchin’s “social ecology” and his seminal critiques of Malthusianism and eco-fascism, we will study the fictional embodiments of these criticisms in the 2015 film, Mad Max: Fury Road. Other texts will include excerpts by Nick Estes, Berta Cáceres, Naomi Klein, Andreas Malm, and Amitav Ghosh, as well as the 2012 film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. We will end the seminar by weighing criticisms of class-centered environmental ethics by philosophers like Hans Jonas.

About the Instructor: Dr. Zachary Calhoun is a Lecturer in the English Department. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from Tulane University and an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment from Iowa State University. He has taught courses in existentialism, fiction writing, public speaking, and the history of philosophy. He worked in a professional hydrogeology laboratory, he served as the Assistant Director of an environmental nonprofit in New Mexico, and he has published research articles on environmental ethics and the history of philosophy, as well as short stories and poems in literary journals. Originally from New Mexico, his fiction is set in the American Southwest.


HON 322C,CANCELED The Revolution Will not Be Televised: Spanish TV-Series, M 1:10-2:00, Pearson Hall 3113, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 4653005

About the Course: Did you watch Netflix's Money Heist? Elite? Or the recent Poison? In this seminar, you will critically navigate through major Spanish TV series produced in this century. We will use the tv series as a springboard for engaging in interdisciplinary learning and discussion.
Along with discussing the topics that tv series arise, you will sharpen your critical analysis skills and have the opportunity to learn the strategies of reading these cultural artifacts. We will examine these productions as reflections of the society which created them and consider what functions tv fiction served in a global context. Previously to each meeting, we will watch two TV series episodes and read an article. Each meeting will consist of a brief lecture and students' presentations followed by a discussion.

About the Instructor: Xavier Dapena joined Iowa State’s faculty as an assistant professor in 2021, after receiving his Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies and Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. For the academic year 2019-2020, Dapena was selected as a Mellon Research Fellow by the Wolf Humanities Center. Based on his dissertation, he received the Provost Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Innovation Research Award from the University of Pennsylvania and the international grant, the Lucy Shelton Caswell Research Award, from The Ohio State University. His research projects have inspired several peer-reviewed articles published in journals and edited volumes, and guest lectures in different universities such as Princeton and the University of California, Los Angeles.

He is co-editing a volume titled The Political Imagination in Spanish Graphic Narrative and working on his first book project, “Nobody expects the Spanish Revolution”: Graphic Narrative in Contemporary Spain.   


HON 322D, Food Animal Production Medicine, R 3:40-4:30, VMFS 1252, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4654005

About the Course: Food Animal Production Medicine will explore variability of opportunities available to food animal veterinarians. Focus will be on how food animal veterinarians are an integral part of maintaining the health and wellbeing of production animals to provide a safe and wholesome food products. Topics will include animal health, production management, welfare and antimicrobial usage. The seminar will be discussion oriented on topics relevant to current production practices.

About the Instructor: Grant Dewell, DVM, MS, PhD. Beef Extension Veterinarian and Associate Professor. Dr. Dewell provides research based education to Iowa beef producers and veterinarians to meet today's challenges. Dr. Dewell conducts research on infectious diseases of cattle and cattle behavior and welfare..


HON 322E, Becoming a Responsible Researcher: Discussion on Research Ethics, F 11:00-11:50, Jischke 1155, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4655005

About the Course: Research Ethics is a surprisingly engaging and thought-provoking discussion class despite its boring title. Part of the course involves thinking about do's and don't in conducting research - using real-life case studies to help you prepare for the temptations as well as the rewards of a research career. But we mostly talk about about how you'd like to navigate your research career. We'll emphasize using the power of "soft skills" - including ethical principles - to hep you become the kind of researcher you'd like to be. 

About the Instructor: Mark Gleason is a 37-year ISU professor of plant pathology. He has led RCR courses for ISU graduate students every semester since 2009. He has also taught the ethics course online for his professional society and in person in Serbia, China, and Costa Rica. In addition, he teaches 3 other graduate/undergraduate courses at ISU.


HON 322F, Building a Broadway Musical, W 6:00-6:50pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4661005

About the Course: Do you ever get the urge to break out into song? Throw on your tap shoes and dance it out? Do you make musical references your friends don't understand? Then this is the place for you! Fans of last year's From Hollywood to Broadway seminar will love this new approach to deep-diving into the Broadway musical. We'll study the ins and outs of plot structure, score, character development, technical elements, and marketing. From classics like West Side Story and Into the Woods, to modern classics like Hamilton, Six, and Hadestown, we'll study it all. And once we know all there is to know we'll get to work trying it for ourselves. As a class we'll work together to create our very own musical. You can try your hand at anything from writing lyrics to designing costumes to creating a budget for our show. The goal isn't to create something performance-ready, but rather to try out the techniques we've learned in order to better understand the musical creation process. This class is for all skill levels. No previous experience necessary. All that's required is an enthusiasm for learning about musicals, and a willingness to be bold and creative.

About the Instructor: Emily Golden recently completed her MFA in the Creative Writing and Environment program, and is now a lecturer for the English department. She has a BA in Theatre and English from Willamette University and prior to coming to Iowa State was pursuing a career as a playwright and dramaturge. She has had plays produced all over the country and for the past several years has worked writing movies for Lifetime. After the rollicking success of her honors seminar last year (From Hollywood to Broadway) she is very much looking forward to another opportunity to explore the fun, fanciful, frightening world of musical theatre.


HON 322G, Recyclables FOR Music (REFORM), W 1:10-2:00, Hoover 1322, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4664005

About the Course: You will enjoy learning engineering, business, and art in this course. We will discuss and demonstrate the innovation in sustainability. You will gain interdisciplinary knowledge on sustainability and hands-on experience of plastic recycling by turning campus plastic waste into music instruments through 3D printing. Beyond the technical understanding, you will also learn the concept of life cycle analysis and how to carry out business planning. We will give everyone a chance to create your own entrepreneurial ideas using our new recycling platform and help build a more sustainable future.

About the Instructor: This course is co-taught by Prof. Shan Jiang from Materials Science and Engineering and Prof. Lingyao Yuan from Information Systems and Business Analytics at Ivy College of Business. The course is also sponsored by a recent VentureWell Course & Program Grant. Both professors are award-winning teachers and well-published in their own fields.


HON 322H, Pirates: Open-Minded Trailblazers or Deadly Opportunists?, W 3:20-5:10, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 4668005

About the Course: Have you watched every "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie? Are you a fan of the series "Our Flag Means Death"? Or maybe you're a secret "Goonies" groupie. Do you wonder what Atlantic piracy in the 1600s and 1700s--the so-called Golden Age of Pirates--was really like? It was during this time that pirates who left or escaped their old lives created a society that was far ahead of its time in fostering equity and acceptance. But many were also killers. Let's explore this fascinating dichotomy.

About the Instructor: Amanda Knief is the director of Iowa State University's Lectures Program and the university's parliamentarian. She received her B.S. in Journalism and Communication from Iowa State and her J.D. from Drake University Law School. She worked as legislative counsel for the Iowa Legislature before working in Washington, D.C. as a nonprofit lobbyist, nonprofit legal director, and analyst for the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service. Amanda is mildly obsessed with pirates and spends every Sept. 19 talking like a pirate.


HON 322J, Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and more - The theory & study of generations, F 1:10-2:00, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4678005

About the Course: The idea that people can be grouped into generations based on their birth year, and that  differences in behaviors and attitudes exist between generations, has taken hold in popular culture. Research comparing generations is also common in a variety of fields, from public opinion research, to health science, organizational science, marketing, user experience research, and more. But do generations and generational differences actually exist? In this seminar we'll learn how the answer is both yes...and no. We'll discuss the origins of the theory of generations (from sociology), how and why the concept of generations became popular, and how generations are best understood as fuzzy social constructs. This seminar is especially recommended for anyone interested in doing research while in school or as a career. For all, you'll come away with a nuanced understanding of different research paradigms (positivism, constructivism) and ability to vet the next attention-grabbing headline you come across about Gen Z.

About the Instructor: Debra Kumar is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Iowa State, where she teaches courses for the Human-Computer Interaction graduate program. Previously, she was a Sr. Staff UX Researcher at Google, where she worked for 11 years. She spent several of those years focused on understanding youth ("Gen Z") and their needs and preferences when it comes to technology -- which is what caused her to first deep-dive into the fascinating world of generational theory. Debra is also a proud graduate of Iowa State (B.S. in Computer Science and Psychology), where she was a full participant in the Honors program including being a Freshman Honors Program leader and doing an Honors project.


HON 322K, Islamic Spain - A Merging of Cultures, MW 12:05-12:55, Pearson Hall 3149, 1 Credit, First half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 4679005

About the Course: Spain’s unique culture is the product of the meshing of many different earlier cultures. Beginning with its ancient foundations under Roman and Visigothic rule, Spain developed in a very distinct way from other nations of Europe due to its long Muslim presence beginning in 711. Although 1492 marks the official end of the Reconquista and eight centuries of Muslim occupation in most history books, the legacy of Muslim culture endures to this day through language, technology, architecture and art which impacted both Spain and the European Renaissance as a whole. Likewise, Spain’s unique geographical proximity to North Africa continues to bring Spain’s culture into contact with the Muslim world. In this course we will explore the historical and modern impact of Islamic culture on Spain to better understand how elements of Islamic culture have been infused into modern Spanish culture, and explore modern issues related to the interactions between Spain and the Muslim world.

About the Instructor: Erik Ladner is an Associate Teaching Professor of Spanish at Iowa State University. Dr. Ladner received his BA in Spanish and French and his MA in Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa. He later received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. Dr. Ladner has studied and researched abroad in several locations in Spain and has traveled extensively in France, Mexico and Brazil. In 2016, Dr. Ladner traveled the length of the Camino de Santiago, hiking the final two weeks of the Camino Francés from León to Santiago de Compostela and offered an Honors Seminar on the Camino de Santiago in 2017. In 2017 he traveled to Andalucía and Morocco, and returned there with students in May 2018. He has offered an Honors Seminar on Islamic Spain related to this course in 2018.


HON 322L, Competitive Scholarship & Personal Statement Writing, T 9:30-10:20, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4680005

About the Course: Applying for a nationally competitive scholarship, professional school opportunity, or graduate school admission takes meticulous planning and clear objectives. Applicants interested in these programs should begin early and familiarize themselves with the application process for each award. This course will help you prepare materials to a prestigious scholarship, professional school, or graduate program. We will work together over the course of the semester to help you identify specific opportunities and devise a plan to develop your application. You will work collaboratively with peers to research potential programs, develop your plan of action, and create an application package. By the end of the semester, you will have all the necessary components of an application to the opportunity of your choice.

About the Instructor: Dr. John Milstead received a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from Michigan State University. His research analyzes the intersection of race, citizenship, and gender in nineteenth century Mexico. To fund this work, he has applied to a number of nationally competitive awards. He is a Fulbrighter who has worked with many successful applicants in his role as the Coordinator of Nationally Competitive Awards. In his free time, he enjoys exploring regional cuisine and testing delicious recipes.


HON 322M, Comedy College, M 6:10-8:00pm, SICTR 2206, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4681005

About the Course: In this seminar, you will learn to be funnier. Humor is not a mystical process of divine intervention granted by the Comedy Gods to just a chosen few. There are tricks, techniques and theories that, when studied, can make a person funnier. When put into practice, these skills can help with self-confidence, public speaking and communication skills. While some reading and watching of stand-up routines is required, the majority of the class focus will be on creating and sharing original humor with your classmates. The seminar culminates in a live comedy showcase where you will share your new-found humor skills with the world.

About the Instructor: Gavin Jerome has been a professional entertainer for well over 20 years. He has worked with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser and Steve Harvey. For the past decade, Gavin has provided humor workshops for companies and associations nationwide. His extensive standup comedy experience plus many years of leading workshops on humor in the workplace make him most qualified on creating and sharing comedy. Peter Orazem, University Professor of Economics, has been a student of Gavin’s, and has served as the Teaching Assistant for all ISU Comedy College classes. He performed at the first American Economics Association standup comedy session in San Francisco.


HON 322N, Storytelling with Data, M 3:20-5:10, Carver 0184, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 4687005

About the Course: We are inundated with data every day; so much so that in just 2022, it is estimated that we will create and consume 94 zettabytes (94,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) of information in a digital format. But, unless we can take all those data, transform them into information – something our human brains can understand – they’re meaningless.

The need for public understanding of data (and what they’re associated with) is massive, but raw data doesn’t make a good story… which is where this course comes in. In this course, we will discuss what data are, what makes a good story and how to tell one, and how to transform data into something that is both relevant and accessible to audiences.

This is not a data science course, nor is it a data visualization course (though we will discuss both and do some visualization). It is a course that about taking information and putting it together in a way that helps an audience understand or do something. It is about telling stories.

About the Instructor: Matthew D. Pistilli, PhD, has been at Iowa State since 2016, and currently serves as the director of the Office of Assessment, Research, and Divisional Effectiveness in the Division of Student Affairs. For over 20 years, Matt has focused on creating and assessing conditions and environments that positively affect college student success. A recognized expert in learning analytics, Dr. Pistilli has published and presented internationally on the implementation of analytics in higher education and the ethics of data use. He grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish and psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University, a master's degree in college student affairs and counseling from Purdue University, and a doctorate in higher education administration, also from Purdue.


HON 322P, Ethical Eating, W 12:05-1:55, 255 Bessey Hall, 1 Credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 5111005

About the Course: “Ethical Eating” explores the ethical implications of the food choices we make. For example, if we choose to eat meat where does that meat come from, under what conditions were the animals raised and what are the environmental consequences of animal production? What are our ethical obligations with regard to the welfare of animals? What are our ethical obligations to the workers who process our food and to the environment? What are the concerns with industrial agriculture? Do farm subsidy programs create a food system that promotes consumer and environmental health? The objective of the course is to increase awareness of the stories behind the foods that are available for us to eat. With knowledge of those stories we can begin to apply an ethical framework to the choices of what foods to eat. The seminar will consist of readings for each week followed by a discussion, viewing of several videos, discussion with visiting speakers, a possible field trip to a farm, and a presentation by each participant on the ethical issues associated with a particular common food item. The course will end with a potluck meal at the instructors’ home.

About the Instructor: John Pleasants teaches Environmental Biology, Human Biology and General Biology. His research is in the area of the environmental effects of GMO’s, particularly with regard to monarch butterflies. This will be the 13th year I have offered this course. It has been a great learning experience for me and for the students. The diversity of students in the class, particularly the participation by students in majors involving production agriculture and food science, has provided different perspectives and produced lively discussions.


 HON 322Q, Money Management, R 4:10-6:00, Gerdin 3164, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 5113005

About the Course: This course is designed to help students acquire sound money management skills. It will include a series of seminars featuring experts in the field of finance. Students will have an opportunity to interact directly with finance professionals and also learn from their lectures. The objective of this course is to help students learn to effectively manage student loans and credit card debt, create balanced budgets, develop good saving habits, identify profitable investment options, and follow proper risk management strategies. The last 30 minutes of each session would be open to discussions and questions.

About the Instructor: Dr. Shoba Premkumar is a Teaching Professor at Ivy College of Business- Finance Department.


HON 322R, Fashion Museums and Social Justice, R 3:40-4:30, Morrill 0017, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 12, US Diversity. Reference # 5117005

About the Course: In this seminar, you will explore the intersections of fashion museums and social justice by engaging with historic objects in ISU's Textiles and Clothing Museum. You will learn about the oppressive history of fashion museums, decolonization, social justice issues, and how to study and interpret objects through a social justice lens. We will have curators, fashion museum directors, and/or fashion history scholars from across the globe as guest speakers who will discuss how they have challenged the status quo in their work through exhibitions, research, and other outputs. Through this seminar, you will be exposed to material culture methods through a hands-on approach using objects of your choice from our 8,500 object collection. You will also have an opportunity to mount your object in one of our museum galleries (Mary Alice Gallery; LeBaron Gallery; Donna Gallery) or in a digital exhibition, create an interpretive label, and participate in an exhibition opening that is open to the public.

About the Instructor: Kelly L. Reddy-Best is an associate professor in Apparel, Merchandising at Iowa State University and the curator and director of ISU’s Textiles and Clothing Museum. In her research she examines the interrelationships of dress, identity, consumption, regulation, and the fashion system. All of her work is rooted in a social justice lens. She has taught courses across the apparel curriculum in design, product development, merchandising, culture, and history.


HON 322T, (CANCELED) Real-world case studies in business and entrepreneurship, T 11:00-12:50, Gerdin 3164, 1 Credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 2968005

About the Course: You will learn how to approach real-world case studies in several functional areas in business: marketing, information systems, finance, strategy, ethics etc. with specific focus on the start-up/entrepreneurial ecosystem. By learning from local entrepreneurs, business professionals, and investors, you will develop both knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for anyone wanting to start their own business, invest in a
startup company, or work for a larger organization in a strategic capacity.

About the Instructor: Kate Lyon is a General Counsel who works with startup and innovative companies to integrate legal thinking into corporate culture. In addition to her General Counsel role, Kate has built, grown, and exited numerous companies in the consumer and manufacturing space. She has extensive investing and capital raising experience with venture firms across the country. Currently, she is co-founder and COO of a SaaS startup based in Chicago.

Doug Moore is an Iowa transplant originally from Erie, Pennsylvania. Doug serves as President of Ames Seed Capital, Iowa’s oldest community-based venture fund. He is also active in Iowa’s biofuel industry, having served on the Lincolnway Energy Board of Directors, and was also involved in the Dupont cellulosic ethanol project in Nevada for several years. He served recently on the Story County Planning and Zoning Commission, and is a current Franklin Township Trustee.

Valentina Salotti is the associate dean for academic affairs and diversity at the Ivy College of business and associate professor of finance. Valentina's research interests are in banking and  corporate finance with specific focus on market anomalies and capital markets regulations.


HON 322U, Exploring Environmental Issues through Documentaries, Online, 1 credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 2977005

About the Course: In this online seminar we will explore current issues related to overpopulation, overconsumption, industrial livestock production, climate change and species extinction. We will analyze these issues through award-winning documentaries, online lectures, readings, online discussions, and final group projects. You will gain a better understanding of some global environmental problems, learn how to reduce  your ecological footprint, and practice your critical thinking skills via documentary critiques.

About the Instructor: Lidia R. Skrynnikova is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. She has taught all levels of undergraduate courses including Animal Ecology and Wildlife Management, Introduction to Renewable Resources, Foundations in Natural Resource Policy and History, and Controversial Issues in Natural Resource Management. She also developed new courses for WLC and NREM: Environmental Issues in Modern Russia, Influential Environmental Thinkers in Russia and the U.S., and Seminar on Social Justice and Environmental Sustainability.


HON 322VStories of Exploitation and Resistance: Magical Realism, Speculative Fiction, and Fantasy, W 9:55-10:45, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17. Reference # 3552005

About the Course: Speculative fiction – a broad genre that encompasses science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, magical realism, and other literary forms incorporating non-literal elements – provides a way to understand and reimagine the very real social and political problems we face in our present moment. Through reading, we learn to envision and respond to our own possible futures. In this class, we will read and discuss three novels that deal with incorporate both real and fantastical histories, and themes related to colonialism, slavery, and queer politics. We will also read social science research about how stories affect politics. Ultimately, our goal is to think about our roles as protagonists in our own worlds.

About the Instructor: Amy Erica Smith is a professor in the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on public opinion, the environment, and religion and politics in Latin America, and especially Brazil. In her spare time, she is both a novelist and a member of the Ames Community School Board.


HON 322W, The Future of Reproductive Rights in America, F 9:55-11:45, Morrill 1030, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, US Diversity. Reference # 3675005

About the Course: This seminar will explore the status of reproductive rights in America. You will learn about the history and definitions of reproductive rights, reproductive justice, and reproductive health; the intersectionalities of race, gender, nationality, etc. within these concepts; and the legal and political ramifications of reproductive rights on individuals, including federal and state legislation. Guest speakers and most content areas will be chosen based on your interest.

About the Instructor: Dr. Alissa Stoehr is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She teaches a variety of courses, including Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, Gender and Sexuality in American Popular Culture, and Human Trafficking.


HON 322Y, Understanding War, W 1:10-2:00, Pearson 3119, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 3725005

About the Course: “What is it like to be in a war zone?” “What challenges civilians face when they are trapped in a war”

The seminar will examine the daily life in wartime and the social effects of war. How do people live in extreme conditions? Through study cases and living experiences students will be able to better understand the “chaos of war”. We will examine the Geneva Convention and other Human Rights documents to raise awareness about war crimes against civilians. We will also explore the role of the media in conflicts. Student will be able to better understand the sided, biased or impartial role of the media. They will learn to read behind the superficial or general information presented in some media. At the end of the seminar students should be able to understand the reality of war and its effect on society. War is not just a video game between the good and the bad.

About the Instructor: Jean-Pierre Taoutel, Teaching Professor of French and Arabic, has been teaching at ISU since 1999. He holds an M.A and a D.E.A in French literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France. He has taught several Honors seminars. Jean-Pierre enjoys traveling and he has been in 48 countries.


HON 322Z, (CANCELED) Gaze into the Abyss: The Monsters in Our Stories, MW 2:15-3:05 *NEW DAY/TIME*, Jischke 1151, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 8334010

About the Course: What monsters lurk in the dark corners of human imagination? What do they reveal about our own inner fears or desires? What heroic ideals do we aspire to emulate? Can we truly have monsters without heroes? In this seminar, you will critically analyze the rhetoric used to construct monsters and heroes in media spanning a millennia of human storytelling. You will understand the works' unique historical contexts and learn about the building blocks of heroism and monstrosity that have spanned years and cultures.

About the Instructor: Michael Wettengel is a Lecturer in English at Iowa State University. He received his MA in Literature in Fall 2018 at Iowa State and his MFA in Creative Writing & Environment, also at Iowa State, in Spring 2021. His creative and research focus on how elements of modern speculative fiction, particularly horror and fantasy, have roots in the fears, hopes, monsters, and heroes from our past.


HON 324A, Moving Past Bodice Ripping to Shredding the Patriarchy: Romance Novels as Tools for Justice, T 5:10-6:00, Pearson Hall 2131, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, US Diversity. Reference # 5365005

About the Course: The romance genre is a billion dollar industry that outperforms all other book genres. It’s also a genre that centers the experiences, interests, and pleasure of women and people from marginalized spaces. How does a book with a guaranteed happily ever after serve as a tool for justice? This discussion-based seminar will dive into where romance novels hit the mark, where they fail, and how one of the largest segments of publishing industry has the power to change minds, hearts, and structures.

About the Instructor: Dr. Denise Williams-Klotz is the Interim Director in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, has worked in higher education doing social justice education for over a decade, and is a romance novelist with her seventh novel, "Love and Other Flight Delays," published by Berkley Romance in spring 2023. She’s been interested in romantic and social justice happily ever afters since she wrote her first story in the 2nd grade. Emily Wilcox is the assistant director for First-Year Programs in the University Honors Program and has been enthusiastically reading romance novels for several years. She is always looking forward to working with Dr. Williams-Klotz after they were Undergraduate Assistants for ISU's Honors Program in 2003.


HON 324B, Music and Health, R 11:00-11:50, Music room 125 (Estes), 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, International Perspectives. Reference # 5366005

About the Course: How does the creative power of sound and/or music contribute to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health?  How are emotions and rationality connected? How does the mind/brain of a musician differ from that of a non-musician? How can musicians/composers prevent injury and encourage health of themselves and others? What is the work of musicians-physicians and music therapists? We will ask many questions, and investigate international practice, theory, and history from ancient times into the 21st century, including case studies in health care centers, home and university environments, and of musicians creating with musical instruments. We will explore the interrelationship of music and health via field experiences, discussions, readings, recordings, and research presentations by guests and class members.

About the Instructor: Dr. Miriam Zach, Ph.D. is a musicologist, organist, harpsichordist, pianist, author, and professor. She is the inaugural Charles and Mary Sukup Artist in Organ teaching organ, harpsichord, and music history courses at Iowa State. She is also Director of Music-Organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Founder/Creative Director of international festivals of women composers (iwclib.org), and enjoys playing chamber music as a member of the Alachua Consort. From 1996-2016 at the University of Florida she taught interdisciplinary Honors Music and Health, undergraduate and graduate Music History, organ, and harpsichord, and was Professor of the Year 2000-01. She co-edited the book Resonance: Essays on the Intersection of Music and Architecture (2007), recorded the CD Hidden Treasures: 300 Years of Organ Music by Women Composers (1998) in Princeton University Chapel, and can be heard on Pipedreams National Public Radio (2007, 2010, 2013), and Organ Historical Society Kaleidoscope of Colors (August 8, 2021).


HON 324C:Christianity and Science, T 11:00-12:40, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, January 17-March 21, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspectives. Reference # 5373005

About the Course: Religion and science are two of the greatest cultural and intellectual forces that influence mankind. They are generally interested in different aspects of reality. Science addresses “how” questions while religion answers “why” questions. However, an area of common interest is the origin and history of life. This seminar will explore the interaction and boundaries between science and theology in this area of common interest. Topics and questions addressed included: • Are Christianity and science friends or foes? • The nature and limitations of science. • The history of life on earth: The views from science and the Bible • What about human origins? • Does science and/or evolution rule out God? • Can something about God be known from nature? We will explore these topics through the writings of well-known scientists and theologians with expertise in these areas. Class time will generally be spent discussing weekly reading assignments.

About the Instructor: Ann L. Smiley is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and is also on faculty in Neuroscience. She directs the Neuromotor Control and Learning Research Laboratory studying how the brain controls movement, specifically in Parkinson’s disease and, currently, in Developmental Dyslexia. As a teacher, she has a passion to engage her students to think, integrate, and question. One question worth examining is one’s personal worldview. This course provides input for this process. In her personal examination and questioning, she has found science and the Christian faith to be compatible.