Previous Honors Courses

Here is a list of our previous honors courses.

Fall 2022 Course Offerings

CRN 76378 GNHN 1021, Section D01: The Graphic Novel. Honors Legacy. Online.

Instructor: Jessica Mills (jmills22@cnm.edu)

In this seminar-style course, students will read, discuss, and analyze the graphic novel as literature, beginning with the history and maturation of the medium. Students will read a curated selection of non-fiction and fiction graphic novel texts pertaining to historic, national, cultural, ethnic, and gender/sexuality issues, focusing discussion on the intersections of these issues in history, society and culture. Selected texts include The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman, Love and Rockets by Gilbert Hernandez, They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, and Octavia E. Butler’s bestselling literary science-fiction masterpiece, Kindred, in graphic novel format. There are no physical books to buy, but a membership to Comixology Unlimited is required, an approximate cost of $20 for the semester.

The essential questions this course aims to answer are: Are graphic novels capable of the same literary complexity as written books?  In graphic novels, how do both the word and the picture combine to reflect society and culture?  

CRN 75244 GNHN 22O4, Section D01: Homeless in America. The Individual and the Collective. Online.

Instructor: Vincent Basso (vbasso@cnm.edu)

In 2021, over half a million people were homeless in the United States and of the 34 million Americans who live in poverty today, roughly 10 million are at-risk of homelessness. From present day Albuquerque to nineteenth-century New York, our course looks squarely at the issue of homelessness in America and the ways that poverty, mental illness, and addiction generate social precarity. Through the study of literature, film, and social and political writings, we will assess how social inequalities contribute to homelessness and evaluate the social practices and policies affecting some of our most vulnerable citizens. The essential questions this course aims to answer are: What is the relationship between homelessness and civil society? How do writers and activists challenge poverty and stigma? What are the aesthetics of homelessness in popular culture?

CRN 76379 GNHN 2205, Section D01: Mindfulness in the Digital Era. Humanities in Society. Online.

Instructor: Julie Dunlop (jdunlop@cnm.edu)

Do you feel stressed? How much has your “screen time” increased during the pandemic? This course offers an opportunity to examine stress (and stress relief) in relationship to the digital era by exploring benefits and drawbacks of technological innovation—especially in relationship to your academic major and career path. Through writing, analysis, research, discussion, and experiential learning, we’ll move toward a deeper understanding of how technology is shaping our lives, as well as the choices we have in relating to our increasingly digitized society. Cross-pollination of ideas from different academic disciplines, cultures, and time periods will support our journey. (This class is 100% online and asynchronous; weekly work is required, with the opportunity to participate at the times that are most convenient for you.)

Spring 2022 Course Offerings

CRN 86354 GNHN 1021, Section 101: The City. Honors Legacy.

Instructor: Jaime Denison (jdenison1@cnm.edu)
Monday/Wednesday 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. on Main Campus.

Polis is the Ancient Greek word for “city”, but it denotes the organization of government and economy of the city-state. Hence, the word “politics” is derived from polis, yet we tend to think of politics as divorced from our local communities and applied to larger, “imagined” communities, e.g. nation-states or the states of the US. However, the Greek connotation of polis maintains the idea of politics as the search for the communal good that is grounded in the material and ideological practices of the city, thus resisting our disembodied conceptions that get lost in media and popular political discourse. In this seminar, we will explore this concept of the city as a crucial site of the political, where issues such as production, transportation, preservation, public space and architecture signify the values and direction of those composing the community. In Part I, we will explore the Greek concept of the polis as it emerges from two major sources of political thought, Plato and Aristotle. In Part II, we then move on to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels, and Virginia Held, who focus on political thought while maintaining the importance of the material practices and local communities that underlie ideology. In Part III, we will finish by looking at theorists who discuss the political importance of city design and local politics, and we will finish up in the last few weeks discussing the current issues facing New Mexican cities and the communal values that are implicit in these struggles (which will be the basis of your final paper).

CRN 86700 GNHN 2201, Section 101: The Rhetoric of Protest: Social Activism and the Shaping of U.S. Democracy. Rhetoric and Discourse.

Instructor: Dr. Marissa Juárez (mjuarez8@cnm.edu)
Tuesday/Thursday 10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m., Campus TBD.

Social activism has gained increasing visibility in the public sphere lately, as movements like Occupy, Black Lives Matter, United We Dream, #NoDAPL, MeToo, Never Again, and others have used public protest to call for equity, justice, and reform. In fact, in a recent article in The Guardian, journalist LA Kauffman asserts that “we are in an extraordinary era of protest,” noting that the past two years have seen unprecedented levels of civic action for social causes. As these protests become a point of contention within our social discourse, it’s important to remember that, historically, many groups and individuals have advocated for civil disobedience to effect meaningful social change within U.S. democracy. This course will explore the power of protest in the ongoing fight for equality. Specifically, students will investigate a variety of social movements and protest texts throughout history—beginning with the American Revolution and ending with texts from present-day activist movements—in order to understand the broader contexts of these messages and their lasting effects. Because protest takes place in a multitude of forms and media, the texts we explore in this class will necessarily move beyond the written word and into the realm of speech, performance, and visual artifacts. Likewise, students will compose assignments in multiple media, including rhetorical analysis, student-led discussions and presentations, posters, and manifestos.

CRN 86481 GNHN 22O5, Section D01: Body, Consciousness, and Death. Humanities in Society and Culture.

Instructor: Rinita Mazumdar (rmazumdar@cnm.edu)
Monday/Wednesday 9 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Real Time Online via Brightspace (Zoom).

In this seminar we will explore the concepts of Body, Consciousness, and Death. Students will read articles pertaining to the concept of consciousness as theorized in the works of  Descartes, Darwin, Freud, Jung, Heidegger, Denette, Dreyfus, Derrida, Sankhya, Patanjali, Mandukya Upanishads, and The Tibetan Book of Dead. The purpose of these readings is for the students to be familiar with how important thinkers conceived of the body and its relation to consciousness in different disciplines. In addition, students will read articles from modern medical science and Eastern medicine on the concept of consciousness and death. Through these readings students to be familiar with how the concept of death vary with culture and compare and contrast these ideas with the discoveries in modern sciences. We will conclude the seminar with thoughts on how to apply these concepts in our modern lives by synthesizing thoughts from the thinkers that we have studied.

CRN 86428 GNHN 2207, Section 101: “Memories of Past and Future”: Speculative Poetry from Medieval to Modern. Fine Arts as Global Perspective.

Instructor: AJ Odasso (aodasso@cnm.edu)
Tuesday/Thursday 1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. on Main Campus.

Speculative poetry has been defined as a genre of verse focusing on fantastic, mythological, and science fictional themes.  Often labeled “fantastic” or “slipstream,” it is distinguished from other poetic genres and movements by its subject matter; form plays little to no part in its classification.  While many 19th-century Romantic poets used retellings of myths and folklore as an angle for the exploration of alternative viewpoints and social issues in these accepted narratives, poets during the Middle Ages—worldwide—frequently utilized similar approaches and used non-traditional viewpoints (up to and including inanimate objects and sentient birds, as seen in the anonymous Exeter Book Riddles and Farid ud-Din Attar’s Conference of Birds) to explore their subjects.  Although speculative poetry’s emergence as a genre is often cited as having occurred during the 1960s-1970s (with the emergence of such publications as Asimov’ Science Fiction and the founding of the Science Fiction Poetry Association [SFPA] by Suzette Haden Elgin), these themes and approaches in literature have been with us for much longer than we think.  Beginning with the genre’s influences and origins in the verse of the Middle Ages, this writing-intensive course will explore how speculative poetry continues to foster self-expression through fantastic discourse, unexpected viewpoints, and exploration of realms often requiring suspension of disbelief.

Summer 2022 Course Offerings

CRN 94298 GNHN 1021, Section DO1: The Legacy of Fantasy.

Instructor: Megan Abrahamson (amegan@cnm.edu)
Online

Fantasy, a popular genre today for books, films, television, and games, is one of the oldest storytelling genres. Why have we always enjoyed stories where gods, elves, and magic interfere with human lives? This course will chart the historical depth and breadth of fantastic genres, from creation myths and supernatural epic poetry to medieval romances and early modern English drama, and there from fairy tales to modern and postmodern fantasy novels, films, graphic novels, and games. We will explore how fantasy has been used for a variety of purposes beyond just telling a fun story, such as explaining how the world works, understanding the nature of the soul and death, marginalizing people who are different from us, escaping the confines of everyday life, and even learning more about it.

Fall 2021 Course Offerings

CRN 77731 GNHN 1021, Section 201: The Legacy of Power in the Novel in English. Honors Legacy. (Hybrid)

Instructor: Chris Prentice (cprentice1@cnm.edu)

In this class, we examine four novels' depictions of power and its extraordinary influence on the lives of individuals as well as the course of world events. In Gulliver's Travels, Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea, and The White Tiger, we meet an incredible cast of characters: talking horses, religious fanatics, scrappy social-climbers, mysterious fortunetellers, imprisoned dreamers, Bangalore entrepreneurs, Byronic heroes, and mad scientists. These novels are separated by hundreds of years and widely diverse cultural contexts. They take us from the political upheavals of the European Enlightenment to nineteenth-century feminism, from the 19C transatlantic slave trade in the Caribbean to today’s dog-eat-dog capitalism in India. For all their differences, these novels share a primary focus on the interplay between lesser and greater powers, between individuals, groups, nations, systems, and even species. As we read these novels, we will build our knowledge of what they contain—history, aesthetics, philosophy, economics, biography, and more—all the while honing our own analyses of power.

Note: The format of the course is hybrid: We meet once a week in person, on Montoya Campus, Tuesday 3-4:15 p.m. The rest of the class is taken online. 

CRN 76977 GNHN 1021, Section 1O1: The Legacy of Gender Trouble. Honors Legacy. (Face-to-face)

Instructor: Megan Abrahamson (amegan@cnm.edu)

This class explores the nature of femininity, masculinity, and gender-nonconformity from the Ancient world to today. What does it mean when we teach children to “be ladylike” or “act like a man,” and what power do biology, anthropology, and social constraints have on how we present our own gender? How has masculinity been discussed, historically, by women, and how do men write and think about femininity? How have our present-day biases inflected our interpretations of the past? Do we still need Feminism? What is the legacy of gender that we have inherited from history, and how does it differ across cultures?

Note: This class will meet in-person, T/R 3-4:15 p.m. on Main Campus.   

CRN 76974 GNHN 22O4, Section D01: Disaster and the Nation State. The Individual and the Collective. (Online)

Instructor: Vincent Basso (vbasso@cnm.edu)

Our course traces the ways that disaster has shaped modern states and societies. Through readings in literary fiction, autobiography, and essay, and applying a variety of critical methods, we examine the ways global writers and activists address disasters that range from endemic poverty to the consequences of unmitigated industrialism, war, disease pandemics, and environmental catastrophe. Questioning why impoverished and marginalized people are often more at risk of being the direct victims of disaster, our course evaluates the risks and rewards disaster poses to the nation state and assesses the ways writers and activists push back against the political and socioeconomic conditions that exacerbate social problems and environmental calamity. From the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 to COVID-19, our course analyzes the ways disasters fundamentally structure the modern world. 

Summer 2021 GNHN Course Offerings

CRN 92772 GNHN 1021, Section D01: The Utopian Legacy. Honors Legacy (Online)

Zachary Cannon (zcannon@cnm.edu)

This course follows the 500-year legacy of the idea of utopia as it evolves from political tract to fiction, from the depiction of utopian ideals to dystopian fears. We’ll look at philosophical/political tracts, novels, films and contemporary culture as we analyze the development of utopia from a blueprint of an ideal society to a structure for describing social calamity and handbook for resistance. We’ll start with More’s Utopia and end with Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games series and the deployment of its symbols of resistance in protests as far away as Thailand and Myanmar.

Spring 2021 GNHN Course Offerings

CRN 83754 GNHN 1021, Section D01: Legacies of Foodways: A Global Look at Food and Culture. Honors Legacy (Online)

Instructor: Jessica Craig (jcraig15@cnm.edu)

The consumption of food is not merely a human biological need, but also a means of defining ourselves, both in the past and today.  Like all aspects of culture, the sharing of food creates cohesiveness and unity among a given community.  This course will explore the influential role food has played in shaping human governance and power, economy, religious practice, and gender roles. We’ll also examine modern foodways, paying careful attention to issues of identity, food security, and health. We will address the issues of globalization, immigration, and human labor as it’s related to food.  We will explore the social norms of food preparation, food sharing, and food consumption.  We will identify and look to better understand food taboos and other rules that govern cultural ideologies surrounding what we eat and how we eat it. 

CRN 84325 GNHN 2201, Section D01: Writing the Environment: The Nature of Nature. Rhetoric and Discourse (Online)

Instructor: Rebecca Aronson (raronson@cnm.edu

 In this class we will explore environmental writing. Reading selections will include reportage, journals, and non-fiction personal essays, as well as poetry and a few films, with particular focus on Native American, African-American, and women writers. We’ll examine how people have observed, interacted with, romanticized, feared, measured, and reported on the natural world, while also thinking about our own stances towards our environment, through analytical and creative work. Come explore the nature of nature! 

CRN 84024 GNHN 2205, Section D01: Mindfulness in the Digital Era. Humanities in Society (Online)

Instructor: Julie Dunlop (jdunlop@cnm.edu)

Do you feel stressed? How much has your “screen time” increased during the pandemic? This course offers an opportunity to examine stress (and stress relief) in relationship to the digital era by exploring benefits and drawbacks of technological innovation—especially in relationship to your academic major and career path. Through writing, analysis, research, discussion, and experiential learning, we’ll move toward a deeper understanding of how technology is shaping our lives, as well as the choices we have in relating to our increasingly digitized society. Cross-pollination of ideas from different academic disciplines, cultures, and time periods will support our journey. (This class is 100% online and asynchronous; weekly work is required, with the opportunity to participate at the times that are most convenient for you.)

CRN 83938 GNHN 2207, Section D01: Dance as Diplomacy. Fine Arts as Global Perspective (Online)

Instructor: Bridgit Lujan (blujan8@cnm.edu)

In this course students will explore how dance serves as a cultural ambassador around the world.  Dance performances, videos, and images of dance influence peoples’ beliefs about a culture and a nation’s politics and values.  In this course students will explore how different styles of dance (ballet, jazz, flamenco, hip-hop) have influenced world views and served to increase harmony across nations through live performance and recorded media.  Students will do readings, observe videos, and participate in discussions.  This is not a movement class however there is an occasional movement component that gives students the opportunity to participate in embodied exploration of simple movements of each dance style to create reflective writings.