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Director's Cut for Winter 2017

Here's a look at some noteworthy courses for Winter 2017 scheduling. We call them the "Director's Cut." If you have specific questions about how these courses will work with your particular degree requirements, please email your advisor.

ANTHRCUL 258 – Honors Seminar in Anthropology

Section: 001 Culture and Medicine

Instructor:  Holly, Peters-Golden

COMPLIT 241 – Topics in Comparative Literature

Section: 001 #Share: Activism and Media

Instructor:  Leigh Korey

Honors 251 – Race and Identity in Music

Section: 001

Instructor:  Naomi Andre

Honors 354 – Honors Humanities Seminar

Section: 001 History of the Symphony

Instructor:  Naomi Andre

MATH 176 – Explorations in Calculus

Section: 001 Explorations in Topology and Analysis

Instructor:  Evangelia Gazaki

PSYCH 120 – First-Year Seminar in Psychology as a Social science (SS)

Section: 004 What Makes Life Worth Living?

Instructor:  Nansook Park

RCHUMS 318 – Critical Approaches to Literature (HU)

Section: 001 Figure, Interior, Landscape

Instructor:  Cynthia Sowers

STATS 280 – Honors Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (MSA, QR/1)

Section: 001

Honors Sections Available in the Following Courses:





CHEM 210




Honors 135 Mini-Courses for Winter 2017

Link to Honors 135 in Course Guide W17.

Link to YouTube Video of course descriptions.

Honors Core Curriculum for Winter 2017

HONORS 230 | Honors Core in Social Science (SS)
Instructor: Jim Adams
What exactly is capitalism? Does it express itself similarly in all countries? In all time periods? This course will explore the many varieties of capitalism, including: merchant capitalism, religious capitalism, industrial capitalism, financial capitalism, imperial capitalism, state capitalism, welfare capitalism, crony capitalism, and global capitalism. Readings are drawn from such classics as Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. They are drawn also from the scholarly and popular works of contemporary economists, historians, and political scientists.

HONORS 230 | Honors Core in Social Science (NEW) (SS)
History of Human Experimentation
Instructor: Joel Howell
Experimenting on human beings has always raised a set of complex social, ethical, and political questions. Some of those issues have persisted over the centuries; some have been specific to a given time and place. Much of contemporary medical practice is based on knowledge created by experiments done on human beings. In this class we will examine histories of human experimentation. We will ask how people at different times and in different places answered questions about whether it was acceptable to use human beings as research subjects. We will examine which human beings were the subjects of the experiments, and what limits were placed on the conduct of the experiments. Reading assignments will include both primary source material and some of the latest scholarship on the subject. No prior background in medicine is necessary. All medical knowledge necessary to understand the case studies will be presented in class.

HONORS 231 | Honors Humanities Seminar  (HU)
The West After 1492
Instructor: Susan Scott Parrish
This course will offer you an interdisciplinary introduction to the history, and especially the cultures, of Europe and North America after Columbus’ accidental arrival in the western hemisphere in 1492. After Columbus’ landfall, the “old worlds” — as people knew them around the Atlantic Ocean — gradually died, and a challenging, disruptive “modern” world slowly came into being. Inaugurated was a vast movement of peoples, diseases, ideas, and biology across the Atlantic. Out of these movements came: European empires in the Americas; displacements and realignments of indigenous, African and European people; chattel slavery, the “triangular trade” and the invention of “race”; dramatic environmental changes; empirical science; capitalism, and the list goes on!

HONORS 231 | Honors Core in Humanities (HU)
Reasoning About Reasoning
Instructor: Sarah Buss
Everyone agrees that human beings have an amazing power to reason. This power enables us to challenge our own desires, goals, and habits of mind. It enables us to explain why things happen and to predict what will happen next. In this course, we will explore the relation between reason and faith, reason and morality, reason and science, reason and action, and more. Without the capacity to reason, it would never occur to us to reflect on ourselves, and so it would never occur to us to change how we think and live. In exploring the power and limits of reason, we will be engaging in this very process of self-reflection. Most of our guides will be philosophers. But we will also seek insight from other fields, as well as from short works of fiction and perhaps even a film or two.


Honors Seminars

HONORS 251 | Honors Core in the Humanities (HU)
History of the Symphony
Instructor: Naomi Andre
Punctured by revolutions, the 19th century was an era marked by social, political, and economic unrest. From the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, through the multiple rebellions in 1848, the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, and the instability that led to the First World War, the spirit of revolution ran strong in the 19th century. This course looks at the evolution of one of the premiere musical genres of the 19th century—the symphony—within the larger context of its time. How do the early beginnings that emphasize a strict adherence to musical form reflect the social upheaval brought on through the French Revolution? In a time of strong juxtapositions, how does the symphony articulate the aesthetics of the sublime and the beautiful, the monumental and the miniature, the public and the private, the individual and the nation?In this class we will examine the symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Brahms, Mahler, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and William Grant Still. Attention to musical form and style, composer biography and placement in music history, and contemporary musicological methodologies will be presented in a way that engages those from all musical backgrounds.

HONORS 354 | Honors in the Humanities (HU), Also Race & Ethnicity Req (RE)
Race and Identity in Music
Instructor: Naomi Andre
This course explores the parameters of racial and ethnic identities in music. From the discourse surrounding exoticism and Orientalism, to the effects of evocative instrumentation, the use of dialect, and foreign subjects, the focus of this class is to understand how racial and ethnic difference can be portrayed musically. Musical case studies will be drawn from the nineteenth century through the present with a strong emphasis on the genre of opera. Central questions to be raised are: how is racial/ethnic difference expressed musically? Who is representing whom? What is the intersection between the original performing context and our understanding of these works today? This course encourages interdisciplinary dialogue. Readings will be drawn from post-colonial and cultural studies as well as musicology.

Departmental Honors Courses for Winter 2017

We've combed the Course Guide to create a list of departmental Honors courses, but this list is organic. If you find a class we've missed, please let us know. As always, it's best to check with the department with specific questions.

[Alphabetical by subject.]

Departmental Honors Courses Winter 2017

ANTHRBIO 201 – Introduction to Biological Anthropology (NS)

Section: 001 (LEC), Sec 009 (DIS) LSA HNRS

Instructor:  John C. Mitani

What is the material basis of evolution? How have humans evolved? Why do humans behave in the manner that they do? This class seeks answers to these enduring questions. The course will be divided into three parts, emphasizing the processes that have shaped human evolution and how these have produced who we are.

ANTHRCUL 101 – Introduction to Anthropology (SS, RE)

Section: 001 (LEC), Sec 006 (DIS), 038 (DIS) LSA HNRS

Instructor:  Abigail Dumes

This course introduces students to the four subfields of anthropology: cultural anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and biological anthropology. It emphasizes a set of fundamental concerns: the nature of culture, human variation and universals, cultural relativism, and how the study of evolution and pre-history inform our understanding of what it means to be human. Specific topics include primate (monkey and ape) behavior, evolution, and the concept of race; the origins of agriculture and the rise of social complexity; language and culture, kinship and family, sex and gender roles, ethnicity, and religion; and the emergence of the world system, culture and political economy, and globalization. This course is intended to help students develop a coherent view of the essential concepts, structures, and intellectual methods that characterize the discipline. It stresses the unifying principles that link the subdisciplines and thereby create anthropology's comprehensive, holistic world view. Students are taught new ways of learning and thinking about the world's many designs for living in time and space. The course prepares students to integrate and interpret diverse kinds of information, to evaluate conflicting claims about human nature and diversity, and to think critically. Required readings include an introductory text and several paperbacks.

ANTHRCUL 258 – Honors Seminar in Anthropology

Section: 001 Culture and Medicine

Instructor:  Holly, Peters-Golden

In this seminar, we will examine the ways in which health and illness are both constructed out of, and interpreted within, cultural settings. Focusing on Western biomedicine, we will discuss a broad range of illness experiences - from schizophrenia to cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder to asthma, Tourette's to Alzheimer's, among others - to address a number of questions currently central to medical anthropology. Topics may include (but will not be limited to) the meaning and alteration of self and personhood in illness; the ways in which medical knowledge is produced and imagined, the culture of science and technology, immunity and risk, illness narrative, and social and historical views of the body.

BIOLOGY 171 – Introductory Biology:  Ecology and Evolution (NS)

Section: 002, 004 (LEC), Sec 200, 201 (DIS) LSA HNRS

Instructor:  Robyn J. Burnham

BIOLOGY 171 is a one-term course in ecology and evolutionary biology that, together with BIOLOGY 172 and 173, collectively form the introductory biology course unit.

The primary aims of BIOLOGY 171 are:

1.     to provide factual and conceptual knowledge concerning the origin and complex interactions of the Earth's biodiversity

2.     to give an integrated overview of biological organization including genes, individuals, kin groups, populations, species, communities, and ecosystems

3.     to engage with biological hypotheses dealing with prominent current issues such as human evolutionary origins, emerging diseases, conservation biology and global change

4.     to develop critical-thinking and writing skills.

Topics in BIOLOGY 171 are divided among three primary areas:

  • Mendelian genetics and evolutionary processes
  • Biodiversity, organismal biology
  • Ecology

BIOLOGY 172 – Introductory Biology – Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental (NS)

Section: 002, 004 (LEC), Sec 200, 201 (DIS) LSA HNRS

Instructor:  Steven Clark

BIOLOGY 172 is a one-term course in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology that, together with BIOLOGY 171 and 173, collectively forms the introductory biology course sequence.

The aims of BIOLOGY 172 are:

  • to provide factual and conceptual knowledge of how cells, organs, and organisms work; and
  • to develop scientific hypothesis-testing and critical-thinking skills.

COMPLIT 241 – Topics in Comparative Literature (HU)

Section: 001 #Share:Activism and Media

Instructor:  Leigh Korey

As new forms of media and new ways of engaging with that media alter the way we live our daily lives, they also affect how we connect with others and how we enact social and political change. This course will explore the new and changing forms activism and social engagement have taken in this current century. We will look at social issues ranging from events that affect us here on the U of M campus, to broader issues in the US, to matters that extend beyond and across national borders. We will be focused on understanding the dynamic relationships between activism, engagement with media, and systems of power, particularly along lines of race, gender, class, religion, and ability.

Throughout the course, we will consider the ethics of care in a global context. How and why do different causes garner different reactions, and what are the structures of power behind those reactions? How do different types of media elicit these reactions? How can media be empowering and help us deconstruct power differentials? Alternatively, when does media reinforce negative stereotypes, incite violence, or inhibit progress?

We will consider a variety of primary sources, ranging from novels like Adichie’s Americanah, to contemporary blog spaces like “Jezebel,” “4chan,” “Everyday feminism” to TV shows and film. We will also engage with theoretical work on social engagement, activism, and media, including writing by Pierre Bourdieu, Sherene Razack, and Beretta Smith-Shomade.

INTLSTD 101 – Introduction to International Studies (SS)

Section: 001 (LEC) Introduction to International Studies, 003 (DIS) LSA HNRS

Instructor:  Greta L. Uehling

This is the introductory core course for the International Studies major at the University of Michigan. The course explores human rights, human development and human security in historical and comparative perspective using multiple disciplinary approaches. The curriculum is divided into six modules that cover:

  • globalization;
  • international relations and organizations;
  • human rights and humanitarianism;
  • global environment and health;
  • human development; and
  • culture and identity.

LATIN 231 – Roman Kings and Emperors

Section: 001, 002

Instructor:  Deborah Pennell Ross

Great Romans in Latin prose and poetry is an intensive Honors section which covers the LATIN 231 material in half semester and includes an introduction to Vergil's Aeneid in its second half. Students who have completed successfully the Honors section can start accumulating credit towards a concentration/minor in a Classics-related field by enrolling into a 300-level LATIN course or higher for the last term of their language requirement.

MATH 176 – Explorations in Calculus (MSA, QR/1)

Section: 001 Explorations in Topology and Analysis

Instructor:  Evangelia Gazaki

This course is an Inquiry-Based version of Honors Calculus I and II (such as Math 185/186) and provides the necessary preparation for Multivariable Calculus (Math 215 or the honors version, Math 285). A student who has had some exposure to calculus (e.g., AB or BC in high school, or Math 115) will be well-prepared for this course. The majority of class time will be spent working in groups and presenting ideas and solutions to problems.

MATH 186 – Honors Calculus II (MSA, QR/1)

Section: 001

Instructor:  Hanna L. Bennett

 Most students take calculus in high school, and it may seem that there isn't much new to learn. The goal of this course is to develop the familiar concepts of calculus using a more rigorous and theoretical approach. In particular, with its emphasis on how to use appropriate mathematical language, this course lays a solid foundation for future math courses, and is suitable for students intending to pursue a major in mathematics, science, or engineering who desire a more complete understanding of the underpinnings of calculus. This sequence is not restricted to students enrolled in the LSA Honors Program. This course is a continuation of Math 185.

MATH 285 – Honors Calculus III (MSA, QR/1)

Section: 001, 002

Instructor:  Luke David Edholm

The sequence Math 185-186-285-286 is an introduction to calculus at the honors level. It is taken by students intending to major in mathematics, science, or engineering as well as students heading for many other fields who want a somewhat more theoretical approach. Although much attention is paid to concepts and solving problems, the underlying theory and proofs of important results are also included. This sequence is not restricted to students enrolled in the LSA Honors Program.

PHYSICS 160 – Honors Physics I (NS, QR/1)

Section: 001

Instructor:  Dragan Huterer

PHYSICS 160 covers the fundamental principles of mechanics using a modern perspective. It emphasizes the applicability of these laws in systems ranging from binary stars to nuclear collisions. This class will be different, and more interesting, than any physics course you have taken yet.

The goals of the course are:

1.     Application of fundamental principles to a wide range of systems, i.e., from nuclei to stars (unify mechanics)

2.     Integrate contemporary physics (atomic models of matter, relativistic dynamics)

3.     Engage students in physical modeling (idealization, approximation, assumptions, estimation)

4.     Integrate computational physics (now a partner of theory and experiment) into problem solving

PHYSICS 161 – Honors Introductory Mechanics Lab (NS)

Section: 001

Instructor:  Wolfgang B. Lorenzon

PHYSICS 161 is a three-hour weekly laboratory designed to accompany PHYSICS 160.

This lab introduces students to the core concepts of physics, namely careful observations, both quantitative and qualitative, followed by comparison with appropriate mathematical models that serve as the basis for descriptive interpretation. Course material is focused on developing a good understanding of the concepts and principles of Newtonian mechanics while providing sophisticated experiments for demonstrating the validity of these fundamental paradigms.

PHYSICS 260 – Honors Physics II (NS, QR/1)

Section: 001

Instructor:  Jeffrey John McMahon

PHYSICS 260 is a continuation of PHYSICS 160 and introduces the theory of electromagnetic phenomena. This course will introduce you to:

1.     The deeper physical meaning of the concepts

2.     A rigorous mathematical approach, using vector calculus when applicable

3.     Problem solving including computer use

4.     Contemporary applications

If you like physics and math, appreciate the deeper meaning and derivation of concepts and equations, and if you like to do problems, you are in the right course.

PHYSICS 261 – Honors Electricity and Magnetism Lab (NS)

Section: 001, 002

Instructor:  Andrew D. Tomasch

PHYSICS 261 is a three-hour weekly laboratory designed to accompany PHYSICS 260. This lab introduces students to the core concepts of physics, namely careful observations, both quantitative and qualitative, followed by comparison with appropriate mathematical models that serve as the basis for descriptive interpretation. Course material is focused on developing a good understanding of the concepts and principles of Newtonian mechanics while providing sophisticated experiments for demonstrating the validity of these fundamental paradigms. The analytical techniques require high school level algebra and some familiarity with statistical measures of significance, procedures common to any scientific, technical, or medical area of inquiry. Although not an academic requirement, it is assumed that the students will have some basic skills in using a computer at the level of a word processing program or similar application task.

PSYCH 120 – First-Year Seminar in Psychology as a Social science (SS)

Section: 004 What Makes Life Worth Living?

Instructor:  Nansook Park

This first-year seminar addresses the topic of what makes life worth living. This course will draw on positive psychology as well as allied work in various disciplines to address these common themes of the good life. In this seminar course, students will learn about the science and art of life worth living by examining research findings as well as specific practices that build and promote happy, healthy and meaningful life.

PSYCH 270 – Introduction to Psychopathology (SS)

Section: 040

Instructor:  Nestor L. Lopez-Duran

This survey course will introduce students to key issues in the contemporary scientific investigation of psychiatric disorders and psychological distress. It will provide a foundation for the critical examination of our current understanding of the bio-psycho-social causes, phenomenology, and treatment of the major psychiatric disorders and related mental health problems. Participation in both weekly lectures and sections will best prepare students for 3-4 exams and possible writing assignments.

STATS 280 – Honors Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis (MSA, QR/1)

Section: 001

STATS 280 will provide in-depth discussion of models and methods that are appropriate to specific situations, criteria for selecting among them, their strengths and weaknesses and their conceptual footing. Interactive learning will be emphasized in lectures and the laboratory module. During the lab, students will learn to use modern statistical software for visualization and data analysis, and carry out the computational parts of lab assignments.

STATS 280 includes derivations of basic statistical results such as expected values and sampling variances using techniques from pre-calculus mathematics. Students will also be expected to master quantitative relationships such as scaling relationships between variances, sample sizes, and standard errors

Definition and summary of univariate and bivariate data, distributions, correlation, and associated visualization techniques; randomization in comparative studies and in survey sampling; basic probability calculus, including conditional probabilities, concept of random variables and their properties; sampling distributions and the central limit theorem; statistical inference, including hypothesis tests, confidence intervals; one sample and two sample problems with binary and continuous data, including nonparametric procedures; analysis of variance; simple and bivariate regression; simple design of experiments; chisquare and rank-based tests for association and independence.


Honors UROP for Winter 2017

Honors UROP W17
Instructor: Sophie Hunt
Email Letter of Interest & Resume:

Which residence halls and houses have you lived in? Do you know who they were named for? If these people were important enough to have buildings named after them, why don’t we talk more about them? And how do we decide when and why to change the name of a building?


Debates over the names of buildings have appeared on our own campus and across the nation in recent years. But we know very little about the people honored in the naming of our residence halls. The Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies and the LSA Honors Program seek a team of students to research people for whom residence halls are named.  Our purposes in this project are to make contributions to the permanent history of the university and to support conversations about historical commemoration at UM.  

The research team will have three main objectives:

1)     To create histories of the people for whom the university’s residence halls are named using manuscripts, newspapers, and other primary sources at the Bentley Historical Library and other archives in Ann Arbor. These histories will be published in an online encyclopedia associated with UM’s bicentennial. (It will be up to the research team to decide whether these will be essays or some other form of publication.)

2)     To present this research in LSA Bicentennial Theme Semester classes.

3)     To prepare materials for a series of conversations about historical commemoration hosted by the LSA Honors Program during the Fall 2017 LSA theme semester, the Future of the University. This research will include gathering information about debates over building names in other places, and reading scholarship on public history and memory.

By participating in this project, students will gain experience in archival research, in writing for online publication, and in presenting before various audiences.  Students will make permanent contributions to the knowledge of university history. They will also have the chance to use their own research and the work of professional historians to contribute to national conversations about historical commemoration.

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