Centennial Honors College

General Honors Courses


Please check STARS for current class locations.

68911 GH 101 - 34   BEAUTY MYTH   D. Banash   9:00-9:50 M W F  

68912 GH 101 - 35   BEAUTY MYTH   D. Banash    10:00-10:50 M W F  

Beauty Myth : (General Education/Humanities and Eng 180 or Eng 280 with a C or better) Flip through Vogue or Cosmopolitan or Glamour.  Peruse Maxim or Men’s Health or GQ.  Watch TV for an hour.  How many images of beauty do you see?  Many of us recognize that the portrayal of beauty in the media is often unrealistic and unobtainable, yet these standards continue to permeate our culture.  This course encourages you to consider why.  To help answer that question, we will study Naomi Wolf’s book The Beauty Myth that explores conceptions of beauty and their effects on people, particularly women, in Western society.  We will analyze the beauty myth that Wolf writes about and also read and discuss some contemporary responses to her argument.  Can a person use cosmetics and care about fashion without being a victim to the beauty myth?  Are there any problems with Wolf’s reasoning and methodology?  How are men affected by this myth?  These are just a few of the questions that we will pursue throughout the course.

68913   GH 101 - 51    LIT PLACE DISPL   D. Barclay     9:30-10:45 T TH

Literature of Place and Displacement:  Moving In and Moving On : (General Education/Humanities and Eng 180 or Eng 280 with a C or better) Florida, California, New York City, the Pacific Islands—all of these places have beckoned to fortune seekers, settlers, and refugees over the past several centuries.  Consequently, they have also been the sites of contest over land, power, and a place to call home.  In this course, students will explore images of place, definitions of home, and issues of displacement.  What happens when “rights” are revoked and “home” becomes an alien place?  What stories do people tell when cultures meet and communities are disrupted?  Whose land is it anyway?  In this course we will read 20th-century literature which addresses the discoveries and conflicts between immigrants and native peoples over language, law and land.  Further, we will explore how a sense of place and home is tied to a sense of self and identity.

68914   GH 101 - 91  SOC CLASS LIT   T. Helwig      11:00-12:15  T TH

Class Mobility in American Literature : (General Education/Humanities and Eng 180 or Eng 280 with a C or better)  In 1782, American essayist J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur wrote, “The rich and the poor are not so far removed from each other as they are in Europe….We are the most perfect society now existing in the world.”  And thus, from the 18th century to the present, a number of American authors, political theorists, and social commentators have helped to construct the image of America as a largely classless society, thereby frustrating our efforts to appreciate the importance of class to our everyday lives and even to perceive how class difference is represented in our national literature and culture.

     This course, designed with our university’s large number of first-generation college students in mind, will investigate how a diverse set of American authors since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the 1830s responded to America’s volatile economic climate and began to construct class identities.  From Frederick Douglass’s heroic pursuit of freedom and the rights to his own labor, to Herman Melville’s prophetic depiction of mind-numbing office cubicles, to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s poignant portrait of American idealism, to Paul Auster’s dystopic figuration of the post-industrial age, American writers can help us to see the ways that class, along with the equally important social sites of race and gender, shapes the American experience.

67780 GH 299 - 03    COFAC HON SEM     WR Howard     8:00-8:50 F         

COFAC Honors Seminar:    This will be a seminar that introduces students to the disciplines within Fine Arts and Communication:  Art, Broadcasting, Communication, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Music, and Theatre and Dance.  Focusing on an interdisciplinary theme or issue, students will learn to develop collaborative research/creative projects, drawing on perspectives from those disciplines.  Honors College permission required, COFAC students only.

68916  GH 299 - 01   INSD STATE GOV   K. Boeckelman     ARRANGED

Inside State Government : This course offers a unique perspective on Illinois state government. Team taught, students will explore the ways that state government works, and current issues facing the state.


Cyberspace Baggage: Privacy and Problems Besieging Online Information:  This online course will examine recent case law and court ordered mandates concerning the legal and ethical issues related to information privacy in a technologically savvy society.  This course will address an individual’s legal right to control the collection, use, or distribution of information about oneself held by others. Specifically, the course will review online accessibility issues, advantages and disadvantages of maintaining online identities and individual branding, and risk assessment and management through legal opinions and ongoing litigation.

This course explores the legal impact and effects of the Internet on all aspects of our lives as global citizens.  The course is designed to make the student aware of some of the existing and emerging legal and policy issues affecting privacy that arise online. Discussions and debates will be based upon legal readings, research, and videos drawn from court cases and legal scholars. The class is designed to encourage students to develop and express their own evidenced-based ideas and to cultivate a technological literacy with which to analyze and critique surveillance policies and technologies as social entities from the emerging legal perspective.

68990 GH 299 - I38          WEALTH MGMT                 M. Brennan                ONLINE (FIRST EIGHT WEEKS)


68994 GH 299 - I39          WEALTH MGMT                 M. Brennan                ONLINE (SECOND EIGHT WEEKS)

Wealth Management:  The purpose of this course is to understand how excess money should be smartly invested in stocks, bonds, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit.  Included in the course is a discussion of internal and external factors that materially affect this “allocation of assets” decision.  How these investable assets should be spread across regular (taxable) investment accounts and retirement (tax-free or tax deferred) accounts is also addressed by the course.  Within this structure, a somewhat detailed understanding of how stocks and bonds are valued and traded is included. 

68995 GH 301 – 089    HAR REN LIT   P. Young    11:00-12:15  T TH

A Survey of the Literature of the Harlem Renaissance:  (General Education/Humanities) In the 1920s and 1930s, between World War I and the Great Depression, African American culture experienced an unprecedented florescence in literature and the arts that became known as the Harlem Renaissance.  This movement had a tremendous impact on African American culture.  In this course, we will examine the Harlem Renaissance, which centered in New York City but also reached out to other places in and outside of the U.S., including Africa and the Caribbean.  In particular, we will critically reflect on negotiations of “race” as they appear in Harlem Renaissance texts.  The texts we will discuss include novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, songs, and paintings.

68918 G H 301 - 091    MUSEUMS & SOCIETY      S. Lindquist    11:00-12:15 W & ONLINE

Museums & Society :   (General Education/Humanities) In this course we will analyze the history and significance of museums in global cultures by making virtual visits to museums around the world. We will consider topics such as the digital museum, theories of collecting, civic engagement, diversity, and audiences and outreach. The course will incorporate interactions with nationally known museum professionals to discuss current issues, practices, and career opportunities in museums. Students will create a virtual exhibit around a topic meaningful to them in consultation with the instructor.

 68998 G H 302 - 078          DEMOCRACY GAMES             E. Taylor                9:30-10:45 T TH

The Democracy Games : (General Education/Social Sciences)  This course will use Reacting to the Past simulations to explore the difficulties, dangers, possibilities and promises of democracy through a deep engagement with two pivotal moments in the development of democracy.  In the first half of the course, students will be transported to Paris in 1791, during the middle phase of the French Revolution, where they will struggle to build a new Constitution for France.  Informed by the work of thinkers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke, students will confront issues such as the role of the church in government, freedom of speech, the relationship between property and citizenship, and the legitimacy of violence as a tool for revolution.  In the second half of the course, students will leap forward to 1993, to the World Trade Center in Kempton Park, to serve as delegates in the Multiparty Negotiating Process charged with building a new constitution for post-Apartheid South Africa.  Here, they will encounter a how familiar task—constitution building—in an entirely novel set of circumstances that will build on their previous experience while also introducing new questions regarding the role of diversity and national identities, the importance of consensus building, and th establishment of a process for truth and reconciliation.  Finally, the course will conclude by asking students to identify and reflect on the themes explored during the simulations.  These themes will include the nature of and constraints on political power, the relationship between individuals, national and ethnic groups and the community, and the meaning of justice and social equality.

69003 GH 302 - 83     CHICAGO ECONOMY    T. Sadler      11-12:15 T TH

Chicago Economy : (General Education/Social Sciences)   This course tracks the growth of the Chicago Economy from the World’s Fair of 1893 to the modern-day city as a global economic and financial hub.  The seminar-style course, intended for sophomore and junior level honors students (GH 302) is reading and writing intensive, with research papers that address four themes:  (1) The Rise of Chicago from the 1893 World’s Fair—an influential economic event that had a profound effect on industry, international relations and Chicago’s self-image; (2) The growth of the city in the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth century, including the economics of:  Jane Addams and Hull House, the migration of thousands of African Americans from the south for industrial jobs, inequality, the roaring twenties, prohibition and organized crime;  (3) From different socio-economic perspectives, especially middle and low income perspectives, economic growth and diversification from the mid-twentieth century to the present that put Chicago in position to both benefit and bear the burden of the twin forces of globalization and technological change. 

As Alana Semuels writes in The Atlantic (3/28/18), “Like many of America’s biggest cities, Chicago has thrived in the globalized world—at least on a superficial level…But this prosperity isn’t filtering down to (everyone because)…the legacy of segregation has made it difficult for poor families to gain access to the economic activity in other parts of the city…”; (4) Chicago as a city of neighborhoods or local economic engines:  including Hyde Park (University of Chicago), the West Loop (corporate and tech sector), and Pilsen (inhabited originally by Czech, Italian, Polish and German immigrants and now Hispanics, working class, gateway for immigrants, and now gentrification). 

The point of the course is to address why Chicago is a tale of two cities: It routinely ranks in the top ten of the most economically integrated global cities, but neighborhoods of underrepresented and segregated residents, especially low-income, are unable to access the education and job opportunities that provide economic opportunity.

67781 GH 333 - 01     INDEP STUDY    L. Oden     ARRANGED 

Intensive study and writing on interdisciplinary topics to be approved by the Honors College director and faculty supervisors.  Students must have upper-division status.  Permission of Honors College required.

67782 GH 444 - 01    IND SR RESEARCH     L. Oden        ARRANGED

Intensive research and preparation of an interdisciplinary senior honors thesis or project report.  Topics to be approved by the Honors College director and faculty supervisor. (Note: students working on senior theses should use course numbers available in their major departments. GH 444 can be used if no departmental course number exists.) Permission of Honors College required.

66996 ANTH 395H-01       GENDER & ENVIR      H. McIlvaine-Newsad       9:30-10:45 TTH

  Gender, Race & Environment : (General Education/Multicultural Studies)  Students in this course will explore research, scholarship, and fictional works on the relationship among gender, race, and the environment from an ecofeminist perspective. The first part of the course will examine the various schools of ecofeminism. The main part of the course will explore the relationship between women in the developing world and their environment.  The course will conclude with consideration of the impact of women, feminists, and ecofeminist writings on the local and global environmental movements.  Counts as General Honors course towards graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

66540 COMM 241H-25     INTRO PUB SPKG     S. Hill    10:00-10:50  M W F

68759 COMM 241H-26     INTRO PUB SPKG    D. Zanolla     11-12:15  TTH

Introduction to Public Speaking : (General Education/Communication Skills) Students in this honors class will receive the same amount of speaking experience and practical instruction as in other sections but will engage in a more intensive development of those speeches.  Each student will give three major speeches.  The first will be an informative visual presentation, the second will be an argumentative presentation, and the third major speech will be a persuasive presentation.  Students will also deliver some minor, upgraded speeches.

       The course has two objectives.  The first is to have the students master the practicalities of public speaking.  They will learn and put into play the canonical principles of invention, organization, style, memory and delivery, and will do so in both informative and persuasive situations.  The second objective is to introduce students to the richness of rhetorical theory.  The section will be conducted in such a way as to promote both goals simultaneously.

      Speeches will be critiqued by the instructor and the class according to the principles outlined in the texts and discussed in class.  With the exception of the days devoted to giving speech assignments, class will be conducted as a seminar and workshop.  Students will be expected to have read the material assigned and be prepared to raise issues about the readings.  Discussion will follow the students' reactions.  Counts as General Honors course towards graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.  

67123 ECON 351H - 001  GLOBAL POVERTY     S. Ghimire      2:00-3:15 M W

  Global Economic Poverty Issues (General Education/Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues)This course on global economic poverty utilizes economic principles to define, examine and analyze the scope and breadth of underlying poverty-related policy issues in developing and developed countries. Students in this course will learn to not only define and evaluate international measures of economic poverty but also gain greater appreciation for the underlying causes of global poverty and the intricate interconnections between different cultures and countries across the globe. The tools learned in this class and subsequent discussions will help our students better navigate and understand the often-unfamiliar world around them.  This course provides writing opportunities with revision possibilities to better develop students’ critical thinking skills.  Counts as General Honors course towards graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

67146 FIN 101H - I01  FIN HEALTH     S. Gray   9:00-9:50 M W

Financial Health:  (General Education/Human Well-Being) Develops strategies for achieving and maintaining well-being through personal finance skills. Topics include well-being as it relates to cash management, credit management, sources of educational funding, rental agreements, basic investments, taxes, insurance, financial math, and career planning. Cannot be applied towards meeting the requirements for the Finance major or minor. 2 sh. Counts as General Honors course towards graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

66748 REL 111H-01 WEST RELIGIONS   A.R. Carr   9:30-10:45 TTH

  Western Religions : (General Education/Humanities or Multicultural Studies) (Global Issues) A comparative introduction to the “religions of Abraham” –Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—with attention to historical development, scriptures, beliefs, practices, and diverse cultural expressions.   Counts as General Honors course towards graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

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