Honors First-Year Seminars

In these highly engaging seminars, honors students develop critical thinking, communication, and research skills while forming relationships with their peers and instructor, who serves as their honors mentor.
Crowd of students at poster presentation

HNRS 190

Below is a listing of all available fall sections of HNRS 190, the honors first-year seminars for students beginning their first year of college. (A separate set of seminars for current KU students and transfers can be found further below.)

In preparation for advising and enrollment at Orientation, students should assemble a list of seminars in which they would consider enrolling; as these seminars are capped at ten students, individual sections may be full by the time a student is able to enroll.

Students are strongly encouraged to select a topic outside of their intended field of study. The goal of these seminars is to motivate curiosity and to create first connections across disciplines, as well as to form foundational skills that students will use throughout their academic careers.

Seminar Instructor: Jane Barnette
Meeting Time: W 1–2:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

This course explores the place that American witches occupy in U.S. cultural history. We will explore several tropes that circulate about witches throughout popular culture—from notions of evil “she-devils” to “sex magic,” from teenage outcasts to queer icons, as we will see, the witch remains a powerful stereotype that both empowers and degrades those who are called and/or identify as witches. We will read and review plays, musicals, drag performance, social media, films, and television episodes, as well as commentary about them.

Seminar instructor: Lauren Norman
Meeting time: Tu 1–2:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

Robust stories of the past draw on multiple disciplines, ranging from genetics through history and beyond. How we go about studying the past through the material culture people left behind is where archaeology intersects with these disparate disciplines to image the past. Over the semester, we will investigate how archaeologists create stories about the past by visiting labs, classrooms, and archaeological sites around Lawrence. Examining how, why, and who constructed past stories from material remains allows us to highlight unconscious biases in popular archaeological tales and begin re-telling these stories to achieve a more holistic narrative.

Seminar Instructor: Jennifer Gleason
Meeting Time: M 1–1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Do you get enough sleep? The answer for most people is no, yet sleep affects our hormones, mental health, cognition, immune system, and cardiovascular health, among other aspects of our well-being. We will explore the relationship between sleep and the function of our bodies, as well as fascination with sleep artist express through literature and fine arts. Some of the homework will require sleeping regularly.

Seminar Instructor: J. Christopher Brown
Meeting Time: W 9–9:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

We’re all consumers. We can’t help it. We’re animals, after all, and we need to eat and have access to water and shelter, so we consume stuff—that ultimately comes from the earth—to meet those basic needs. Ads bombard us every day telling us that consuming this or that will help solve this or that problem ABOUT our current consumption. Eat less meat and it will lead to less _______. Buy this type of plastic so that ________. Buy an electric vehicle so that_________. If we follow what the ads tell us, will the world really be “better”? To answer that, we need to figure out ways to know what our impact on the world is—on the earth and each other—when we consume, and then we also need some ways to think about what we mean by a “better” world. Take this seminar if you want to learn how approaches from natural science, social science, humanities and the arts are all needed to answer questions about sustainability.

Seminar Instructor: Prasad Kulkarni
Meeting Time: F 10–10:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Computers are all around us, from laptops, tablets, phones and watches to refrigerators, microwaves, and cars. This seminar will introduce students to the basics of computer technologies, demystify popular computer terminologies, study everyday computer applications and their societal impact. Example modules include the history of computing, computer hardware, software, networking and Internet technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, cloud computing, blockchain and digital currencies, and other contemporary topics. No coding and no expectation of prior computer and coding background or knowledge.

Seminar Instructor: Clayton Webb
Meeting Time: W 10–10:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

This course will cover the politics and history of American Empire in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. For most people, the history of the United States is a history of imperial resistance. In primary and secondary school, we learn about the struggle of the virtuous founding fathers who risked their lives to throw off the yoke of British imperialism and establish the United States as an example of democratic governance to be revered and modeled. This sanitized telling of our origins obfuscates the grizzly history of U.S. colonialism in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and across the world today. The course will be based on a reading, discussion, and analysis of Daniel Immerwahr’s 2019 book, How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States. This sober telling of the history of U.S. colonial policy provides essential perspective for understanding the contours of U.S. foreign policy today.

Seminar Instructor: Darren Canady
Meeting Time: M 12:30–1:45 p.m. (10 sessions)

Students in this seminar will explore how the works of a variety of performing artists unlock unique, compelling, and varied methods of interrogating identity, gender, race, and culture. The course, offered through a special partnership between the Mellon Foundation and KU’s Lied Center of Kansas, will introduce students to a diverse slate of guest artists while also engaging the ways performing arts and social justice intersect.

Seminar Instructor: Mary "Meg" Kumin
Meeting Time: F 12–12:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Our world is filled with problems to solve, complexities to understand, and unknowns to discover. While domain knowledge is critical for progress in any field, creativity is at the heart of history’s greatest innovations. And today’s grandest challenges — climate change, social injustice, deadly disease — demand creative solutions.

Fortunately, everyone has creative potential. The human brain is wired to generate ideas and find hidden connections. Best of all, research shows that creativity can be taught, practiced, and cultivated. This class provides a dedicated space for free and transformative exploration — a recess break for the mind. Students will challenge assumptions, take risks, fail, barter, imagine, prototype, improvise, and dream. In other words, they’ll gain a toolkit of techniques to scaffold their mind for creative potential and a world of possibilities.

Seminar Instructor: Thom Allen
Meeting Time: Tu 1–1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This course explores the principles and practices of tactical urbanism and creative placemaking, and the critical role of community engagement in successful urban interventions. Students will learn about different methods for engaging community members in the planning and design process, and explore the ways in which these approaches can build social capital and promote more equitable, sustainable, inclusive urban environments. Through case studies, guest lectures, and hands-on projects, students will gain a deep understanding of how architects, planners, and designers can use tactical urbanism and creative placemaking to address urban challenges and create more vibrant, livable cities. 


Seminar Instructor: Benjamin Rosenthal
Meeting Time: Tu 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

Culture Out of Bounds opens up and challenges the very premise of institutions of culture and power through the work of cultural producers/artists and theorists. In a robust an engaging discussion-based course, students will work together to redefine and dismantle their expectations for what art and culture is, and how it engages the world(s) they know. Negotiating the fringe, and puncturing the edges, this collective understanding/debate will result in a contribution to the Honors symposium that will likely challenge its premise and format in provocative ways. Can we really distance ourselves from the "Institution" as we know it? We will see...

Seminar Instructor: Andrea Meyertholen
Meeting Time: F 1–1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Once upon a time, fairy tales were not the Disneyfied children’s stories we know and love. To be sure, the original tales as published in the 19th century by German siblings Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm do not always end so happily ever after. Set in a world of torture, mutilation, and abandonment, the grim reality of our favorite tales would disturb small children and parents alike. This course delves into the darker side of fairy tales as we re-discover the Grimm classics, revisit our favorite fairy-tale films, and uncover the hidden cultural messages that continue to shape our behavior, gender roles, and desires today. We will develop our skills for college coursework through class projects which involve finding fairy tales in our everyday lives, evaluating fairy tales in visual media, and making one’s own modern-day fractured fairy tale … that may or may not end happily ever after.

Seminar Instructor: Anne Patterson
Meeting Time: Tu 1–2:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

Through readings, simple drawings, and photo assignments, we will see the world anew: learning how to visualize what we see in our memories, and our present. The course will begin with reading ‘Invisible Cities’, the classic collection of essays by Italo Calvino as a way of seeing cities through a different lens and continue through exploring the ubiquitous world of drawing and digital photography. This honors seminar will take the students out of the classrooms and into the built environment of campus.

Seminar Instructor: John Colombo
Meeting Time: Tu 4–4:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

It is a common notion that the events or conditions that we experience early in life have long-lasting effects on health and development. This seminar will examine the biological bases of the importance of early experience, including the history of the prenatal origins of the concept of "critical periods," evidence for fetal programming of metabolism and health, and the mechanisms through which early environment shapes brain structure and function. In addition, we will examine the way in which these concepts interface with social policy.  The seminar should be of interest to students with interests in medicine, behavior, education, and public health.

Seminar Instructor: Lin Liu
Meeting Time: M 9–10:15 a.m. (10 sessions)

Currently, coal, oil, and natural gas account for most global energy consumption. Global energy demand is expected to grow in the coming decades, with fossil fuels remaining the primary source. Rising world energy consumption creates political and social tensions. For example, a large fraction of current geopolitical tensions arises from issues originating in energy supply and consumption. In the meanwhile, much emphasis has been placed on climate change and environmental protection. Any change in the energy policy will inevitably ripple out with the physical world. Some of those ripple effects are enormously positive, while others are not. Through this seminar, we will develop a better understanding of how the energy policy changes given new technological progress, economic growth, and development, along with the rising energy demand coming from developing countries.

Seminar Instructor: Justin Blumenstiel
Meeting Time: M 10–10:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This course seeks to outline how evolutionary warfare between hosts and parasites - at all levels - has resulted in a tremendous diversity of mechanisms for "Genome Hacking." By Genome Hacking, we mean: altering the code of life by processing, manipulating, altering or breaking nucleic acids. Organisms have been hacking the genome of their hosts and parasites since the dawn of life. Now, humans can exploit these tools to enable genetic manipulation. The history of molecular genetics is filled with examples of how humans have exploited these ancient genome hacking tools for their own purposes. We will spend two class periods on each of the following genome hacking tools: CRISPR, Restriction Enzymes, Transposons, Viruses, RNA interference.

Seminar Instructor: Yvonnes Chen
Meeting Time: Th 2:30–3:20 p.m. (15 sessions)

Mindfulness has entered into the American mainstream lexicon with its share of attention in media coverage. Headlines from “Meditation exercise helps students focus,” “Enjoy a party with yoga and color” to “Everyone has time to meditate” underscore how much mindfulness practices have been integrated into our daily lives. Further, mindfulness-based practices have been touted as a modern-day panacea that prevents and reduces stress and depression as well as improves social and emotional wellbeing. But what is mindfulness? Does it really work? How is ‘mindfulness’ popularized in our society and in the mainstream media?

Seminar Instructor: Harry Swartz
Meeting Time: W 4–4:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Travel has the power to enrich our lives, broaden our horizons, make us question our worldviews, and demonstrate both the diversity and commonality of cultures. At the same time, the multitrillion-dollar global tourism industry has the capacity to change the traditional character of communities, drive up cost of living for locals, harm the environment and promote neocolonialism. How do we reconcile these two sides of the coin? How can we explore our world in an ethical manner? This course will confront the inherent tensions in global travel and encourage critical thinking about positionality and impact, while also introducing students to on-campus resources dedicated to help them engage with cultures both within and beyond our borders. 

Seminar Instructor: Carter Higgins
Meeting Time: W 12–12:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This seminar will examine India's engagements with global flows (migrant and traveling communities, commodities, art forms, food, religion, science and technology, economic governance, political forms, health/wellbeing, etc.) before and after "globalization" proper — the creation of an integrated world market since the '80s/'90s. It will also treat India both as a receiver and a transmitter of such global flows.

Seminar Instructor: Bruce Hayes
Meeting Time: W 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

As recent examples such as Dave Chappelle’s Nextflix special, “The Closer” illustrate, humor can be divisive and offensive. Debates surrounding comedy and humor point to underlying cultural assumptions and values. Using theories on humor to help guide our discussions, this seminar will take a deep dive into French humor and comedy from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This will allow students to compare their own values and cultural assumptions with those from another country and from different historical periods. An important question we will examine is the following: What is it about humor that rankles and disturbs, troubles and problematizes (or pokes fun at) the status quo? What is it about humor can leave people feeling uncomfortable? These and other questions will inform our discussions throughout the seminar.

Seminar Instructor: Celka Straughn
Meeting Time: F 11–11:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

Museums are considered trusted cultural institutions. Why, and perhaps why not? This course will look beyond surface displays and into the “cracks” to examine some of the ways museums function and for what purposes. We will also explore some of the ways those inside, outside, and at the threshholds of museums can open up museums as civic spaces for building community. Class sessions will include site visits to campus museums and other cultural organizations.

Seminar Instructor: Lisa Friis
Meeting Time: W 4–5:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

Is your dream to make a difference in the lives of patients through a medical product you invent? In our seminar, we will discuss basic concepts of technology entrepreneurship in the medical device field that will help make that dream more likely to come true. You will learn techniques to determine if your idea will meet the needs of patients, payers, and providers. We will also discuss the ethics of medical product development and learn from case studies. Finally, we will talk about how you should prepare to reach out to a KU faculty about getting involved with their research and learn some skills that will help make you more successful in working on research.

Seminar Instructor: Mohammad Reza Dastmalchi
Meeting Time: Tu 1–2:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, exploring its capabilities, limitations, and applications across different fields. Students will learn about the important practices in design and development of VR environments, and will explore the potential of VR as a tool for creative integration and knowledge application. The course provides students with opportunities to collaborate with one another and learn from hands-on experiences. Additionally, the course creates a platform for students to participate in discussions with professionals in order to learn more about career opportunities in the VR industry.

Seminar Instructor: Ward Lyles
Meeting Time: W 10–10:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

What makes a place livable? This seminar will use Lawrence as a laboratory to explore answers to this question. We will learn about local businesses, educational institutions, government programs, and non-profit organizations working to enhance the experience of getting familiar with your new community. We'll have opportunities to experience books, beverages, bike trails, baked goods, birding spots, bands, and more, in addition to good company. Our local explorations will help us understand how to create communities that are compassionate, equitable, and sustainable. Guest speakers, field trips, and group discussions will empower students to get engaged on and beyond campus.

Seminar Instructor: Araceli Masterson-Algar
Meeting Time: M 3–3:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This course addresses Kansas history through the Mexican/Chicanx experience. In addition to readings and guided discussions, students will explore how KU venues (Kenneth Spencer Research Library, Spencer Art Museum) open a window to understand Kansas’ Mexican histories. The course also entails direct collaboration with local Latinx communities. 

Some of the underlying questions to learn and reflect on Kansas history include: How do we construct the historical subject? Who inhabits our cities and towns? What are the processes influencing the ability of a variety of subjects to move and access space? Why is cultural expression key to unveil the histories that make up the spaces where we live and work?  These questions require a larger reflection on the interrelation between access to space (to national, state, local histories), our ability to be and to become, and social hierarchies of class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity and ability.

Seminar Instructor: Paul Scott
Meeting Time: F 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (10 sessions)

Monsters are part of the fabric of our lives. There is no culture, tribe, or society without its monsters. This class delves into the notion of monstrosity and what constitutes a monster, looking at imagined monsters (horror), fictionalized versions of human monsters (the serial killer and Mafia boss), supernatural monsters (zombies), and possible monsters (extraterrestrials) across a range of media (TV, movies, literature). Particular emphasis will be paid to the deep subversive potential of monsters to challenge the status quo and prevailing attitudes to gender, sexuality, and authority. As well, we’ll discuss the differences and convergences to be found between different cultures. We will analyze some recent reconfigurations of monsters, such as rational zombies, sympathetic serial killers, and friendly aliens, and unpack their meanings. Another important factor will be the consideration of what is humanity, what defines humanness, and why monsters matter.

Seminar Instructor: Nathan Wood
Meeting Time: Tu 2:30–03:20 p.m. (15 sessions)

What can a study of the adoption of trains, electric streetcars, bicycles, and automobiles teach us about the ways we will get around in the future? This course will explore the historical and cultural problems of mechanized transportation in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, paying particular attention to questions of social class, gender, race, and environmental impact.

Seminar Instructor: Misha Barybin
Meeting Time: M 3–3:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Think about stereotypical public perceptions of the word “chemical” and the word “nuclear”… Have these terms slipped into the “dirty word” lexicon of our society? Does combining the two “evils” (i.e., NUCLEAR CHEMICALS) magnify the fear? In this seminar, we will examine the historic origins of chemo- and nuclear phobias with the initial goal of uncovering what fuels bad press and sensational headlines. While objectively acknowledging The Bad and The Ugly, we will try to reclaim The Good meaning of both words. In addition to all the nerdy science behind Nuclear Chemistry, among the topics discussed will be “The Radium Girls,” residential radon and radon spas (mines), chemical and nuclear warfare, carbon dating, the future of nuclear energy, as well as fundamentals of modern diagnostic imaging and nuclear medicine. The students will debate geopolitical, socioeconomic, environmental, human health, and a few other implications of Nuclear Chemistry.

Seminar Instructor: Kathryn Conrad
Meeting Time: Tu 2:30–3:45 p.m. (10 sessions)

At the end of 2022, Open AI released ChatGPT free to the world. OpenAI’s large language model added a new element to the conversation about artificial intelligence, already the subject of public discussion with the rise of Midjourney and other generative AI visual image programs. The pace of AI development has been dizzying this year—as have the questions and controversies around it.  In this class, we will read and discuss some different views about artificial intelligence that have influenced its development and animated the current conversation as well as the ethical and legal issues that emerge from AI training and deployment. We will explore some fictional representations of AI. And we will experiment with a variety of different generative AI platforms in the classroom in order to see not only what they can and can’t do but what they might tell us about ourselves and our relationship to technology.

Seminar Instructor: Anne Kretsinger-Harries
Meeting Time: Tu 1–1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

What is the difference between persuasion and propaganda? In this seminar, students will explore the history of propaganda and mass persuasion and learn to analyze the public messages they encounter in their daily lives. We will consider historical and contemporary examples from the worlds of advertising, entertainment, politics, war, social movements, monuments, memorials, and popular culture. We will also explore persuasion and propaganda on campus, including a visit to the Spencer Museum of Art.

Seminar Instructor: Tim Hossler
Meeting Time: W 12:30–1:45 p.m. (10 sessions)

Through readings, discussions, chats with guests, image analyzation, and simple photo-making assignments, we will look at the role images play in society and culture. Our course will begin with reading 'On Photography', the classic collection of essays by cultural critic Susan Sontag, and continue by examining the ubiquitous world of digital photography.

Seminar Instructor: Ray Mizumura-Pence
Meeting Time: M 2–2:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Despite scattered, infrequent signs of progress, disabled people remain largely underrepresented, misrepresented, and erased from television and movies. I believe first-year Honors students would benefit from and bring unique perspectives to a seminar that surveys televisual and cinematic disability portrayals and provides training in critical cultural text literacy. To facilitate a relatable learning experience we will focus on current and recent productions, but students will also become knowledgeable about how Hollywood and independents have lensed disability in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Seminar Instructor: Colin McRoberts
Meeting Time: F 1–1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This course examines the culture of conspiracy theories in the United States: why otherwise reasonable people fall for them, the harm (and occasionally the good) that they do, and how individuals and society might be able to push back against their spread. The course begins with a survey of historical and contemporary conspiracy theories, such as Flat Earth, QAnon, anti-vaccine hysteria, and the rise and fall of Alex Jones. Students will then examine leading theories about how people become ensnared in false and failing beliefs, drawing from experts in psychology, communications, and behavioral economics. Finally, students will explore and criticize various models for responding to the spread of conspiracy theories, from individual approaches based on negotiation techniques to large-scale societal strategies, and propose their own approaches as a final project.

Seminar Instructor: Luciano Tosta
Meeting Time: Th 11–11:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

The enslavement of Africans and their descendants marked a tragic period of the shared history of the Americas. Slavery and its aftermath remain a significant topic of discussion for the understanding of current race relations, economics, and politics throughout the hemisphere. Informed by historical, anthropological, and cultural studies readings, this course will look at selected films and novels from different American countries to discuss the varied ways in which that part of world history is portrayed in them, as well as to identify how they inform us about the past and present.    

Seminar Instructor: Mary Klayder
Meeting Time: W 4:30–5:20 p.m. (15 sessions)

Students will engage in three genres of creative writing: fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. For each genre, a specialist in the area will introduce the genre, then students will write and participate in workshops with other members of the class and with an honors semi- nar assistant in each workshop group. They will also visit readings here on campus and in Lawrence and read professional samples of the genres they write. The hope is that they understand the relationship of the genres within creative writing.

Seminar Instructor: Sean Gullickson
Meeting Time: W 2–2:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Some 226.6 million people in the United States regularly play video games. That’s over two thirds of the population. Internationally, approximately 2.77 billion people are “gamers” of one sort or another. Video games themselves continue to be divisive, with detractors calling them escapism at best and promoting violence and hate at worst, while advocates see video games as valuable cultural products and the next frontier in storytelling. This honors seminar will explore the many cultural facets of video games with the aim of better understanding their role in our society and what it means to be a “gamer.” We will look at the cultural phenomena of Fortnite and “gamergate,” explore open worlds and virtual sandboxes, read games as narratives and see how they measure up with more traditional media, discuss the ways in which games can both divide and unite us, and more.

Seminar Instructor: Brian Donovan
Meeting Time: M 2–2:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This seminar uses the life and career of Taylor Swift as a mirrorball to reflect on large-scale processes like the culture industry, celebrity, and fandom, and the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary American life. We will explore several core topics within cultural sociology including the construction of authenticity, symbolic boundaries and gate-keeping, fandom and fan labor, and celebrity politics. We will also use recent controversies and legal conflicts involving Swift to examine questions about intellectual property, copyright, and the economics of creative industries. This seminar is organized into thirteen topic areas that roughly match Swift’s career from a breakout country music superstar to her 2023 Eras Tour.

Seminar Instructor: Mauricio Gómez-Montoya
Meeting Time: Th 3–3:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This class will be a critical analysis on the impact of sports in society, particularly viewing sports as a political venue. Through dialogue, the class will analyze themes such as race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, among other political identities, through the lens of sport. The class is titled #StickToSports: Politics & Sport in honor of the infamous hashtag telling athletes to be silent on their political opinions and simply play to entertain. This class will critically analyze themes related to social identity, power, privilege, and oppression.

Seminar Instructor: James Blakemore
Meeting Time: W 1–1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This course will survey selected scientific and technological breakthroughs that have shaped our modern world, considering the advancements themselves and their sometimes unintended environmental, political, or personal consequences. Focus topics could include plastics, energy technologies, commercial aircraft, etc. We will draw on knowledge from fields beyond science, however, in order to showcase interdisciplinary perspectives on success and failure in human endeavors. In-class discussions and opportunities for personal reflection will serve as a platform for students to formulate their own definitions of success and failure. In this context, our class goal will be to inspire creativity and foster innovative thinking as students embark on their unique university journeys.

Seminar Instructor: Kyle Camarda
Meeting Time: M 11–11:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This seminar will discuss how technological advancements drove the geopolitical crises that defined the Cold War.  From spy planes to mass communication systems, different technologies affected nearly every decision made by the superpowers.  We will discuss how access to technology changes the way governments, companies and individuals behave in the context of a global conflict.

Seminar Instructor: Marike Janzen
Meeting Time: Th 11–11:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at the end of 2020 there were 82.4 million people in the world who had been forced to flee their homes due to violence or economic crises. In this seminar, we will examine the multiple causes, consequences, and implications of this record high number of displaced persons. Our investigation will center on multiple facets of the question: Who is a refugee? That is, who are the people we call refugees? Where do they come from? What is the legal definition of the category of “refugee,” and why does it matter? How do we, and how should we, depict the experiences of refugees when leaders around the world are working to make it more difficult, and dangerous, for people to cross national borders?

Seminar Instructor: Brittnee Carter
Meeting Time: W 10–10:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

This seminar focuses on the many roles that women play in the origins and escalation of domestic political violence, war, and terrorism and insurgency.  It will include an exploration into the roles women serve in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts in domestic and international conflict.  This course will primarily explore the intersection of gender, broadly speaking, and political violence and will examine gendered explanations of social, political, and economic contexts that generate conditions for the sexual division of labor surrounding political conflict processes.

HNRS 195 

Below is a listing of all available fall sections of HNRS 195, the honors first-year seminars for students joining the program after one or more semesters at KU or another institution.

Seminar Instructor: Katie Batza
Meeting Time: M 1:00 – 1:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

This seminar will be exploring ways that food (farming, cookbook creation, meal making and sharing, caring for the sick, etc) is integral to building community and propelling politics big and small, particularly in more marginalized communities. We will examine how the act of growing, cooking, and sharing food heals, nourishes, builds, protects, funds, and galvanizes communities. We will explore examples ranging from ceremonial religious bread breaking to LGBTQ potlucks and from soup kitchens for striking workers to the thriving food traditions in Native and Black communities. Texts and assignments will include cookbooks, literature, historical texts, discussions of health and nutrition more broadly, and maybe a little food sharing of our own.

Seminar Instructor: Michele Casavant
Meeting Time: W 2–2:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

By examining science fiction this course will help you become more critically aware of the society and culture in which you live. Through analyzing popular culture, such as film and television, you will gain a better understanding of certain ideologies and beliefs that are experienced and expressed by many Americans. We will try to answer the basic question: Where does science fiction suggestion we are heading? As it creates a future world, what does it tell us about our current situation, our current cultural anxieties, and common inequities? Is a utopian or dystopian world created? Are these worlds truly futuristic, or heavily reliant on contemporary beliefs or stereotypes?

Seminar Instructor: Stephanie Zelnick
Meeting Time: Tu 3–3:50 p.m. (15 sessions)

Have you ever wanted to perfect your composure and accuracy in any situation? Have you felt like your finest work has been compromised by nerves or a lack of adequate preparation? In the world of classical music, performers must consistently combine precision and inspiration, often under tremendous pressure. This seminar explores the "behind the scenes" discipline, preparation, and techniques used by classical musicians. Classes will consist of Zoom meetings with a diverse array of highly successful performers and class discussions.

This seminar is for anyone that wants to enhance their preparation and delivery for interviews, lectures, and presentations. By learning from great musicians, stage fright and lack of adequate preparation can become a thing of the past. Everyone can master the art of effective and consistent performance.

Seminar Instructor: Sarah Crawford-Parker
Meeting Time: W 11–11:50 a.m. (15 sessions)

By examining science fiction this course will help you become more critically aware of the society and culture in which you live. Through analyzing popular culture, such as film and television, you will gain a better understanding of certain ideologies and beliefs that are experienced and expressed by many Americans. We will try to answer the basic question: Where does science fiction suggestion we are heading? As it creates a future world, what does it tell us about our current situation, our current cultural anxieties, and common inequities? Is a utopian or dystopian world created? Are these worlds truly futuristic, or heavily reliant on contemporary beliefs or stereotypes?