Centennial Honors College

General Honors Courses

Summer 2021
Fall 2021
Fall 2021 Honors FYE Courses

SUMMER  2021

65860 GH 299 - I23          SCAND CRIME FIC            J. Hancks             ONLINE

Scandinavian Crime Fiction:   Fifteen years before Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series (2006) captivated readers around the world, the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Iceland) were well on their way to becoming the world’s premier source for the crime fiction genre. This course examines some of the best Scandinavian crime fiction novels of the past twenty years. It includes a discussion of how and why a small region on Europe’s periphery has become a global literary epicenter, how authors infuse Scandinavian politics and culture and the unique Scandinavian landscape into their work, and how Scandinavia has been represented by Anglo-American filmmakers in BBC and Hollywood dramatizations of the blockbuster novels

 66244 GH 299 - I38          WEALTH MGMT                 M. Brennan            ONLINE              

 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. 


FALL 2021

62499   GH 101 - 51         LIT PLACE DISPL              D. Barclay             9:30-10:45 T TH

62500   GH 101 - 52         LIT PLACE DISPL              D. Barclay             12:00-1:15 T TH

Literature of Place and Displacement:  Moving In and Moving On : (General Education/Humanities and Eng 180 or 280) 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.

62501   GH 101 - 33         FILM POP CULTURE          R. Ness             2:00-2:50 W F AND 4:30-6:45 M

Film and Popular Culture : (General Education/Humanities and English 180 or 280) This course will survey the ways in which film changed popular culture throughout the world. As a visual medium, film was one of the first universal art forms, and a powerful force in shaping a world that was coming to understand itself as more than a collection of nation-states. Through film, the world of the twentieth century opened up, as, for instance, the films of Charlie Chaplin were screened and loved everywhere in the world in the 1920s. This course will investigate how the medium of film and the institutions of cinema created a new, shared language for the world. While that language was primarily visual, everywhere in the world people were also writing about film: philosophers, art historians, sociologists, scientists all had much to say. Just as revealing, too, are the ways in which film was written about and talked about by journalists and, most importantly, ordinary people, the fans. We will pay special attention to how people write about film. Film writing reveals changing technologies, social contexts and norms, and provides both scholars and ordinary fans a vehicle to assess, celebrate, and contest the emerging meanings of modernity.  Over the course of the semester, our goal is to understand how film played a pivotal role in creating a new and unprecedented popular culture, and we will enter into that culture as writers ourselves.

62498 GH 101 - 96           KING ARTHUR                     M. Sinex             1:00-1:50 M W F

King Arthur : (General Education/Humanities and Eng 180 or 280) “King Arthur in Our Time” has been designed for students seeking ENG 180 or 280 credit. This class will introduce you to some of the notable retellings and interpretations of Arthurian material drawn from literary works and the visual arts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Recognizing the importance of Malory’s Morte Darthur as an inspiration for nineteenth-century poets, we will read selections from it as we encounter the poetic treatments of Morris and Tennyson. The course will also provide you with opportunities to use film treatments and contemporary fiction in your written work since many students first encounter Arthurian themes and characters in films and in computer games. We will read works illustrating several genres (e.g. poetry, novel) and study book illustrations (Doré) and paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites. The works selected will illustrate the Arthurian Revival of the nineteenth century.

62507 GH 299 - 03           COFAC HON SEM              STAFF             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.

66094 GH 299 - 28           SEE INVISIBLE                  M. Boley            3:00-3:50 W

Seeing the Invisible : This course is designed to help students understand the nature of scientific reasoning and develop their skills in applying scientific reasoning to a number of practical problems.  The common thread to the problems examined in this course will be determining the nature of the unseen connections between phenomena.  The students will learn the role of theoretical models used to explain the causal relationships between physical phenomena.  They will learn how to build these models, how to test them and how to evaluate them.  They will use these skills to evaluate the validity of various conclusions that claim to be scientific.  Students will also compare scientific reasoning to other types of knowing, and explore whether scientific reasoning is appropriate in other, non-scientific, contexts.

     This course will use a variety of approaches to help students develop a well-rounded perspective of all the considerations that go into making scientific conclusions.  There will be readings from the main text for the course:  “Understanding Scientific Reasoning” by Giere, et al., supplemented by readings from the popular media and other sources.  There will be one in-class experiment related to the detection and analysis of the properties of non-visible electromagnetic radiation.  There will be an independent study project and in-class presentation for the final.  There will be a final term paper in which students will draw on their experiences in doing the group project to bring together the ideas and concepts required to see the invisible. 

 66136 GH 299 – I05         PRES LEADERSHIP           M. Abraham            9:00-9:50 T online         

  The President’s Leadership Class :  The purpose of the course is to analyze elements of leadership,  reveal opportunities for leadership, develop techniques and tools to prepare to become a leader, and learn tips for applying for prestigious national and international scholarships.   The course will include guest lectures by noted community and campus leaders, discussions of leadership essays and books, and recommendations from faculty and staff on how to succeed in obtaining scholarships and other significant recognitions.   Students will also be provided information about honorary societies, study abroad, service learning and other high impact learning opportunities, and opportunities for community and governmental internships.

66104 GH 299 - I38          WEALTH MGMT                 M. Brennan            ONLINE              

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. 

62508 GH 301 – 071        MELODRAMA                    W. Knox             11:00-11:50 M W F

Melodrama: Stage, Screen, and Society : (General Education/Humanities) Melodrama, an often-undervalued genre in courses in literature, theatre, and film, has been a powerful force in shaping not only contemporary entertainment but also American culture.  Beginning its focus in the 19th century with the popular stage and continuing beyond 20th century film and television, the course will conclude with the substantial role played by melodrama in shaping tastes and values.  From the human struggles in repopulating the continent to the culture wars of today, melodramatic representations have revealed the best and worst of American character by means of an ever-expanding repertoire of emotion-enhancing acting, setting, and special effects.  The course will examine 19th century plays, works of early modernists, the American musical, film noir, Cold War television, and contemporary social commentary films, television, and stage.  The goals of the course include learning the terminology and characteristics of melodrama, applying these concepts to examples from reading and viewing, extrapolating the intended power of these words and images, and analyzing the import of this power in transforming concepts of American self and society.  Often represented as excessive in scripting and theatricality, melodramatic works also trace artistic and social confrontation with issues of the American psyche: What is the meaning of a “happy ending” over time? 

62509 G H 301 - 87          FREEDOM & RESP            G. Pettit             9:30-10:45 T TH

Freedom and Responsibility: (General Education/Humanities) The course explores philosophical questions related to free will and responsibility.  Since many honors students may have had little or no background in philosophy, the course includes a broad introduction to the methods and tools of philosophy.  We then apply those tools to the topics of free will, determinism, and responsibility.  The course primarily focusses on an investigation of the reasons why free will is important, arguments against the possibility of free will, and how free will may be possible.  We will examine various concepts of free will and concerns related to determinism and indeterminism.  We will also investigate how either determinism or indeterminism may cause one to question the existence of free will, and some arguments that free will of the kind many people think exists is not even possible.  Toward the end of the course, we consider how free will is related to responsibility.  Of primary concern are the metaphysically necessary features that must exist in order for one to be morally responsible for their actions.  We will investigate how potential epistemic and metaphysical limitations on a person may limit their moral responsibility, and also consider briefly the ramifications for legal responsibility.

 65073 G H 302 - 75          POWER & CONTROL         P. McGinty             2-3:15 T TH

Power and Control in Human Societies :  (General Education/Social Sciences) Borrowing insights from across the social sciences, this course investigates the conceptual linkages, contradictions, and controversies among (and between) classical, modern, and contemporary social scientific theories and writings on the nature, form, and organization of power and forms of control in human societies.  Students are encouraged to thoroughly investigate: the assumptions on which theories of power are based; the logical ends of each line of thought; and the implications for each line of thinking on social scientific conceptions of human interaction and relationships.

62510 G H 302 - 81          CITIZEN POLITICS             J.  Lee             11-12:15 T TH

Citizen Politics :  (General Education/Social Sciences)This course is intended to guide students to examine critically the question of why ordinary citizens behave the way they do in politics. The course will cover four key topics on the politics of ordinary citizens—public opinion, political psychology, political participation, and voting behavior. Specifically, students will have the opportunity to analyze the following questions:

  • How do ordinary citizens make sense of politics, form opinions on issues of the day, and take part in the political process?
  • How can people arrive at political decisions while equipped with limited political information and capabilities to process that information?
  • Why do people participate in politics as much, or as little, as they do?
  • Why do different groups of people—in particular, different racial, ethnic, and gender groups—have different political preferences?

Students will also deal with the question of how best to ascertain the will of the people, if it exists.  In so doing, the course will provide a solid ground on which students may probe and understand the nature and characteristics of the principle of popular rule—the ultimate foundation of American democracy.

62512 G H 333 - 01          INDEP STUDY                    L. Oden                                                                                             

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.

62513 G H 444 - 01          IND SR RESEARCH           L. Oden

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.

 63210 COMM 241H-25     INTRO PUB SPKG             D. Zanolla             11-12:15 T TH

 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 GH course for satisfying graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

 62315 CS 114H - I04        INTRO COMP SCI              J. S. Covert            ONLINE

 Introduction to Computer Science : (General Education/Mathematics) Introduction to computer algorithms, problem specification, correctness, computer structure, sets, truth tables, functions, and iteration. Presentation of basic principles of a current programming language. Credit cannot be given for CS 114 after or in the same semester as credit is given for CS 214. Credit cannot be given for CS 114 and CS 211 or CS 212 or CS 201. Counts as GH course for satisfying graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

 62164 ECON 351H - IO1  GLOBAL POVERTY           S. Ghimire             ONLINE

 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 GH course for satisfying graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.

62187 FIN 101H - I01  FIN HEALTH     S. Gray     ONLINE

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 GH course for satisfying graduation requirements for Honors Scholar status.


The following FYE sections count as Y classes for the University-wide First Year Experience, and are open only to first year Honors students.  Please contact Krista Skien (KE-Skien@wiu.edu) for permission to register for these classes.

64577 Anth 110Y - 03      INT CULT ANTH                 H. McIlvaine-Newsad                           9:30-10:45 T TH 

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology : (3) (General Education/Social Sciences or Multicultural Studies) Survey of basic concepts and approaches of anthropology to the study of human beings.  Study of worldwide cultures from prehistoric to the present. 

62150 Econ 100Y – 01     INTRO ECONOMICS          T. Sadler            11:00-12:15 T TH

Introduction to Economics : (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) Introduction to economics with emphasis on application to contemporary social issues. Core concepts include price theories, money and banking, national income accounts, economic fluctuations and growth, and international economics, with special applications in criminal activity, health care, and environmental quality. Not open to students who have already completed both ECON 231 and 232.

63989 Phil 100Y – 02       INTRO TO PHIL                  G. Pettit            9:00-9:50 M W AND ONLINE

Introduction to Philosopy : (3) (General Education/Humanities) An introduction to some of the fundamental problems and major theories in philosophy.  Topics may include the existence of God, knowledge and skepticism, the nature of mind, free will and determinism, and the nature of ethical reasoning.

64387 Pols 122Y – 08      AMER GOV & POL             E. Taylor            12:30 – 1:45 T TH

American Government and Politics : (3) (General Education/Social Sciences)  Development, organization, powers, limitation, and practical problems of the governmental and political system of the United States.

64604 Soc 100Y – 28       INTRO SOCIOLOGY          P. McGinty            9:30-10:45 T TH

Introduction to Sociology : (3) (General Education/Social Sciences) Basic sociological concepts and studies in such areas as culture, social organization, personality, family, and community.

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