The Honors Forum is a 3-credit hour course required for graduation from the honors program. The topic, instructor, and meeting time change each semester to accommodate student schedules and interests. The class is discussion-based and students provide input into class activities.
The course combines an emphasis on specific content and skill development in interaction, analysis, synthesis and conflict resolution. Students develop points of view concerning various issues and topics, articulate and defend those points of view, and challenge others as they make alternative judgments.
A Change is Gonna Come – The Role of Music in Social Justice
Music provides an emotional and educational experience that has the potential to shape an individual’s values, actions, and worldview. This Honors forum class will analyze the role of music in describing, promoting, and influencing social action movements. Critical reflection and discussion of music and lyrics will be used to examine topics such as class, civil rights, politics, war, hegemony, and more. When relevant, class discussions will include an analysis of record or CD covers, background of songwriters, historical context of the songs, stereotypes associated with various types of music and the portrayal of persistent issues over time.
15 Minutes of Fame – The World of Celebrity and Its Role in Culture
This course will explore the many facets of celebrity culture and how it reflects the values and beliefs of the broader society. Students will investigate how celebrities are produced and developed, and how they are represented and marketed by the media and publicity industries. The course will include discussions of movie and television stars, musicians, sports and political figures, the effects of fame, and the cultural functions served by celebrity and celebrity consumption. This interdisciplinary course will incorporate sociological, historical, psychological, economic, and media aspects of celebrity culture.
Previous Honors Forum topics:
Kansas City: From Cowtown to Uptown, Fall 2014
Cultural Practices Surrounding Death and Burial, Spring 2014
The Evolution of Technology, Fall 2013
China: Why We Should Care, Spring 2013
Campaign 2012: Rhetoric, Reasoning, and Reckoning, Fall 2012
Our Place at the Table: Food in United States History and Literature, Spring 2012
Archaeology of Disasters, Fall 2011
Nonverbal Communication, Spring 2011