University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Spring 2012 Honors Seminars

The listing below is tentative and subject to change.

Courses with required study tour components are listed first with the course number underlined.


Course Number Title Call Number Meeting Day/Time Instructor BoK
23SAID310H Humanitarianism: Design Thinking Across Disciplines Canceled TH 11:00am-12:20pm (tentative) M. Zaretsky HU, SE

**Canceled due to low enrollment. We expect to offer this seminar and study tour again in spring 2013. **

Students from across colleges and disciplines will combine research into humanitarianism, social responsibility and the principles of design thinking into the development of a project that will benefit a non-profit organization doing work in impoverished communities in rural Tanzania.

We will explore how the fields such as engineering, nursing, medicine, education, business, liberal arts, design and more are all critical in the development of effective and inspiring humanitarian design projects. Together, we will explore the social, cultural and technological issues inherent in the field of humanitarian design and work collaboratively to create and implement projects that will have a positive impact on communities in need. The course culminates in a required trip to Tanzania immediately following spring quarter 2012.

Application required. Learn more on the course webpage.

38HNRS348H Public Health and Infectious Diseases:  the South African Experience 408807 Wednesdays 5:30-7:50pm J. Blackard SE, NS
This course will provide students with hands-on, real word exposure to public health and infectious disease research in South Africa.  The focus will be on HIV/AIDS and include quarter-long instruction at the University of Cincinnati followed by a 2-week study tour to South Africa.

Application required. Learn more and access the application. 
15EVST609H Research in Natural Laboratories: Brazilian Amazon 409024 TH
J. Shann NS, SE

The sustainability of endangered tropical ecosystems may depend on the action of individuals who have an appreciation of their structure, function, and use. Students completing this course will be among those with the potential to influence the future, as they will have personally investigated and experienced tropical systems and the issues challenging their sustainability.

In twice-weekly class meetings, students will gain a conceptual understanding of the general ecology and people of neotropical regions through expert lectures, readings, discussions, and media. Throughout the quarter, students will work in groups on the development of projects to be conducted during a 10-day research-oriented trip on the Amazon River (Rio Solimoes) and the Rio Negro. The Amazon trip is mandatory for course participants and is scheduled to depart during finals week.  

Application required. Learn more and access the application on the course webpage.
Application deadline extended to January 30, 2012!

15HIST399H Mediterranean Roots of Western Civilization: A contemporary Perspective Canceled TH
E. Frierson,
H. Hildebrandt,
C. Polychroniou,
U. Adak

**Canceled due to low enrollment.**

The course provides an overview of the foundations of Western culture and society from the perspective of culture, society, architecture, design, fine arts and the political structures involving the regions of ancient and modern day Greece and Turkey. The ten-week, quarter-long seminar will contain lectures from four instructors representing different areas of interest and expertise.

-from an historical perspective, the course will include a focus on how human societies changed their modes of interaction through conflict and peaceable exchange at different points in time and space, challenging the so-called Islamo-Christian divide, and learning how contemporary Mediterraneans view each other and themselves in the 21st century;
-from an architectural perspective, the course will include a focus on and the built environment of buildings and cities with the inclusion of artifacts and artistic products;
-from a business perspective, the course will include a review of the evolution of international trade, the World Trade Organization, the advent of Regionalization, the concept, genesis and evolution of the European Union (EU),  the current challenges to the Eurozone, and, the evolving global economy.

The course culminates in a required study tour to Greece and Turkey.

Application required.  Learn more and access application on the course webpage. 
Application deadline extended to January 30, 2012!

15ANTH307H Reading Maya Texts: Critical Approaches to Primary Sources 406793 TH
S. Jackson DC, HP

This course undertakes a close analysis of indigenous Maya texts over time in order to engage with primary sources documenting changing Maya culture, as recorded in their own words. Texts include ancient hieroglyphic monuments, sixteenth-century Colonial documents, and modern Maya political manifestoes. Together, we develop critical approaches to primary sources.

Follow-up : During spring 2012, the class created a course wiki to share their learning about methods that they discussed and developed for critically approaching primary source texts. Please take some time to view their wiki -

15CHEM322H Chemical Aspects of Forensic Science 401142 - please see special note below about receiving permission to register.
A. Pinhas NS
Designed for honors students interested in forensic science, regardless of their majors. They will concentrate on the chemistry involved in forensic investigations. The chemistry will include analyzing auto glass, auto paint, links used in forgery, blood types, drugs, poisons, and DNA. Students will perform many tests themselves.

In order to maintain a balance of science/engineering majors and non-science majors in this course, students must have permission from Jen Lile (a University Honors academic advisor) in order to register. Contact Jen ( -- please click on this link or type in the address rather than use the UC directory or your contact list) on the day in which your registration opens (beginning at 6 am) to express your interest. Students will receive permission and/or be placed on a waiting list in the order requests are received; confirmation will be sent by email, with further instructions for registering for the class.
15ENGL382H Auschwitz Testimony: Reading and Writing on Holocaust Literature 408782 MWF, 1:00-1:50pm G. Weissman HU
How do Holocaust survivors bear witness to events that are oft-described as unspeakable, unimaginable and unrepresentable? We examine the rhetoric of testimony through memoirs and works of autobiographical fiction authored by survivors of the Nazi genocide, focusing on the varieties of literary approaches taken to render this reality.
15HIST397H The Merchant of Venice in Historical Perspective 409193 TH 9:30-10:45am M. Raider HP, DC

This course examines William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (c. 1596) in historical and cultural perspective. It explores the place of the Jews in premodern Christian European society and the backdrop against which Shakespeare composed Merchant. A close reading and in-depth study of the play serves as a vehicle for examining the social, economic, and political status of the Jews in the early modern period. In addition to analytic literature, the course also investigates significant primary sources. Film versions of Merchant will be used to illustrate the play’s iconic status in Western theatrical tradition and raise questions about the complexity of Jewish stereotypes, artistic representation, and historical reconstruction. The course includes a daylong workshop with ensemble members from the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

15INTR397H Sex and Gender: Insights from Biology, Film and Literature 408848

Thursdays, 5:30-8:15pm

B. Dziech,
M. Fox
Designed for both males and females, this course will link science and the humanities to encourage more holistic, objective and educated discussion and debate about gender issues. It will include experiential learning and will relate current research on neurobiological differences between the sexes to analyses of male and female characters in representative film and literature.
15PHYS396H Superhero Physics 404791 TH
D. Mast NS, QR
Students will investigate the laws of physics by looking at the powers portrayed by superheros in films and literature. Extensive use will be made of films in order to use the excellent visual graphics they contain. Students will "create" their own new superhero as well as a competing super villain.
15POL397H War and Peace in Asia 408847 MWF 9:00-9:50am D. Mistry DC, SS
This class examines war and peace in contemporary Asia. It covers the conceptual issues of civil war and international war, and the causes of war and peace, and applies these concepts in examining conflict in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, China-Taiwan, and the Koreas.
18EDST380H Multicultural Perceptions of Nature 409080 TH
A. Wight SE
This course explores multicultural perceptions of nature. Different cultures and religions have their own unique assumptions about humans and nature. A fifteenth century priest and a modern ecologist operate under distinct paradigms that affect their actions. We examine how social-cultural foundations affect human relationships with the Earth and discuss alternatives.
38HNRS210H The BIG Honors Course: Becoming Impossibly Good Section 001 - #409034

Section 002 - #409035
Section 001 - Wednesdays 3:00-5:20pm

Section 002 - Tuesdays 6:00-8:20pm
T. Gilmore DC, SE

Trans-disciplinary Collaboration: Inquiry to Innovation Seminar

In a global world, being smart and working hard isn't enough. Through collaborative learning experiences, students will be able to demonstrate clearly—precisely and convincingly—constructive, effective and transformative solution-oriented outcomes for problems brought by a client or user group.

Students will:
-Identify and distinguish differences between types of collaboration
-Perform as a constructive and effective member of a trans-disciplinary team
-Appraise opportunities to create new perspectives for problem-solving
-Conduct qualitative, quantitative and archival research
-Synthesize research and ideas to develop initial concept prototypes
-Justify solutions based on market and societal inquiry

20ENVE395H Think Global, Act Local 402501 TH 3:30-4:45pm M. Lu SE, NS
Think Global, Act Local: Understanding Global Climate Change through Community Engagement

Provides an overall understanding of climate change: data from both sides, the pollutants and sources of global warming, the global and local impacts, and preventive actions. Includes seminars by speakers from local communities and field trips. Laboratory on making biodiesel from waste sources.

38HNRS356H Special Topics in Landscape Architecture: Vegetated Roofs 409202 MW 11:00am-12:20pm V. Russell NS, SS
This seminar will study the feasibility and design of green roofs for public buildings, taking into account the context, structure, interior and exterior programming, and options in green roof design and installation. Students will be exposed to the environmental, economic, and social benefits of vegetated roofs and their role in sustainable design.  The research component of the seminar will be to develop feasibility studies, exterior and interior programming, and preliminary design schemes for a vegetated roof(s) in location(s) in Cincinnati. Students will work with local practitioners and members of the Cincinnati community. Students will actively participate in the construction of a new vegetated roof when possible, if construction schedules coincide.
38HNRS360H Global Studies 405083 Mondays
6:30-8:50pm (recently changed)
R. Templeman DC, SS
Students will learn about the concept of global competence. Global competencies include: (a) global knowledge (b) empathy and appreciation (c) the ability to learn cross-culturally and (d) the ability to perform in cross-cultural situations.
38HNRS384H Urbanism: Observing the City 407256 TH 12:30-1:50pm
(Class will be held at the Niehoff Studio on Short Vine St.)
F. Russell DC, SE
This interdisciplinary seminar will be focused on the city of Cincinnati as a case study, introducing essential urban, social and action theories and methods relevant to understanding cities. Research in precedents and theory of urban observation will form the basis for seminar work. This includes work of 19th and 20th century writers, artists, film makers, and designers. Students will conduct primary and secondary data collection, observation, and research in physical, functional, and social infrastructure to better understand how these concepts apply at different scales to the region, city and district. Analysis will consider relevant large scale systems in function and form concerning land uses, movement, the environment, the economy, society and culture, and other issues relevant to community development and quality of life. Documenting and illustrating these findings will be a key outcome of the seminar.
38HNRS389H Creative Power 405081 Thursdays
K. Kannikswaren FA, DC

This course is a hands-on experience in the domain of creativity. In a combination of lecture/discussions and a hands-on group project, the class will harness its collective creative potential and work towards a finished product in the form of a quarter-end performance/presentation. It is often in the world of art and performance that there are no self-imposed borders. Innovation thrives in such a borderless paradigm. This is a paradigm that can easily be extended to other disciplines such as engineering, business, public policy and art administration.

Through the process of identifying and distinguishing certain key distinctions and working as a group in creating a presentation that has an impact on the University, honors students will carry the lessons learned from this course into other walks of their career.

*Rehearsal for the performance will take place during the week leading up to the performance. Time and day TBA.
*Students must also be available for the end-of-quarter performance, which will take place during the final class meeting time. 

**There will be a required course fee payable at the beginning of the quarter. This will cover supplies and other expenses related to the performance. The amount is expected to be $15-20; final amount TBD.

see below
Live Well Collaborative studio
see course numbers below
MWF 12:00-1:50
see below

Live Well Collaborative studios are open to juniors and seniors of all majors with an interest in creating product and service innovations for the 50+ age segment. Students work with faculty and corporations to conduct research and develop ideas within an interdisciplinary environment encompassing design, engineering, business, medicine, anthropology and social science. Projects have already been completed for P&G, General Mills, Hill-Rom and Citigroup. 

Class sessions are not a standard classroom lecture format, but rather a time for company presentations, group work, and faculty/student collaboration. Work will also be completed outside of the class. Students will not have tests or individual assignments but will be graded on contributions made on the final project deliverables to the company sponsor.

The sponsor for the Spring Quarter project is Boeing. Students must receive permission from instructors to register for the studio (LCB: Ralph Katerberg, or DAAP: Sooshin Choi, Students may register for 22MKTG595 or 23INDL441.

Studios take place in the lower level of the Turner Innovation Center, which is near campus on the corner of Daniels and Vine.

Students can register for 3-4 hours of credit (depending on what fits into a student's schedule). For students who entered the honors program in or after Autumn 2007: Completing one quarter of Live Well Collaborative fulfills one honors experience. For students who entered the honors program before Autumn 2007: The number of special topics hours awarded is determined by the number of academic credits earned.

 Please visit  Live Well Collaborative's website for more information.