Fall 2022 Honors Scholars Seminars

A list of all Fall 2022 Honors Scholars Seminars offered through the University of Louisville Honors Program.

Fall 2022 Seminar Offerings

Positive Leadership without Authority


HON 441-03 / MGMT 490-01
Professor Ryan Quinn
M, 2:30-5:15 PM

Leadership is one of the most compelling—and most confusing—topics in business, political science, education, sociology, psychology, or other fields of social science and professional life. One reason why the concept is confusing is because we confuse leadership as a social process with leadership as a hierarchical position of authority. However, many observers argue that people in hierarchical positions of authority often fail to lead: they manage (well or poorly), but they do not lead.    

In this class, we take the idea seriously that leadership is different from management. Together, we will conduct a research project on how people lead without authority, and what makes that leadership positive. To do this, we will follow the lead of one of the great organizational scholars, Karl Weick, who observed that everything that happens in organizations also happens outside of organizations, and that if we choose wisely the places in which we look, we will often see organizational phenomena more clearly if we look in the right place outside of organizations. Therefore, in the study we perform in this class, we will examine when teenagers lead, even when those teenagers have no formal authority, and when they lead with virtues such as courage, kindness, integrity, or humility. We will read and discuss research literature on leadership in organizations, and we will contrast what we read with the data we collect from teenagers’ stories outside of organizations. If the research we conduct in this class goes well, then the professor will also publish what we learn, and give credit to the student participants for their contributions when the book is published. Students in the class will also practice leading without authority.    

In addition to Honors credit, students may use this seminar in lieu of MGMT 460 (i.e., counting it toward any CoB majors or minors for which 460 would apply). 

This course fulfills requirements in the Social Sciences or the College of Business.


Click the title to hear Professor Clark speak more about this topic!

HON 331-05 / HON 341-05
Professor Arielle D. Clark
TTh, 2:30-3:45 PM

Entrepreneurship is a one-of-a-kind journey: create your own business, be your own boss, and watch a dream of yours come to life. But where do you start? And what happens when you’re a marginalized entrepreneur? 

In this seminar, you will bring a business idea, a business concept, or a random concept; and we will create your own business. Along with practical information (such as how to register your business), we will also cover the different, essential pieces of entrepreneurship (such as customer discovery, knowing how to pivot, and completing a business model canvas). While learning about the entrepreneurship process, we will also cover barriers that marginalized entrepreneurs face, from funding to how generational wealth gives unfair advantages. We will cover how racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, fatphobia, etc., affect entrepreneurship success and how to overcome these barriers. 

At the end of the semester, you’ll have a completed business plan, knowledge of the barriers regarding entrepreneurship, general knowledge on how to start a business, and access to resources to overcome gatekeeping and barriers. 

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.


Environmental Justice

Click the title to hear Professor Darst speak more about this topic!

HON 341-04 / HON 351-04
Professor Tim Darst
MW, 4:00-5:15 PM

Low-income communities and people of color are disproportionately impacted by pollution and other environmental issues.  Poor and vulnerable populations are impacted first and hardest by environmental problems.  This course will explore the history of environmental injustices in our city, county, and around the globe, and look at current cases.  We will look at some of the causes and possible solutions to this pervasive problem.  We will explore the impacts of environmental problems on human health, and their intersection with poverty, race, and socioeconomic status.  This course includes a tour of sites in our city where you will see (and smell) first-hand what some residents experience on a daily basis. 

This course fulfills requirements in the Social Sciences or Natural Sciences.  

Jerks, Liars, and Cheats: What We Can Learn From Difficult Behavior

HON 431-02 / HON 441-02
Professor Kandi Walker
TTh, 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM 

In this course, we identify and examine the underbelly of human behavior paying close attention to how people can behave in difficult ways and how challenging behavior can provide opportunities for immense learning.  We will identify relational challenges, personal challenges, and cultural challenges surrounding people behaving in less than ideal ways.  Some topics we will cover include: Is cheating always bad? Is a small lie helpful or hurtful? Is cursing appropriate (and if yes, by whom, what words, and what context?)?, Why do we hurt the ones we love? How do we navigate interactions when people are constantly on their phones?  This class will cover material that explores how people behave in ways that are sometimes inconsiderate, difficult, challenging, disruptive, and unconventional.

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.

Mission and Marketing

Click the title to hear Professor Bobbitt speak more about this topic!

HON 431-01 / HON 441-01
Professor Eddie Bobbitt
T, 4:00 - 6:45 PM

Should nonprofits utilize advertising to further their social impact? Is it appropriate for 501(c)(3) public charities to spend resources on marketing at the expense of programming? The answer is YES! Marketing is the way that we determine what our clients and our supporters need. In this course, we will examine how you can collaborate with various media platforms to communicate your organization's message and further its mission. Just like the for-profit world, nonprofit marketing includes advertising, promotion, public relations, and customer relationship strategies. This seminar will explore each of these areas through the lens of nonprofits here in Louisville. We will specifically use one nonprofit as a case study to see how marketing efforts are implemented to improve the lives of families impacted by pediatric cancer.   

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.


Asking the Right Questions and Finding the Best Answers:  Philosophy, Politics, and Economics - WR

Click the title to hear Professor Bunck speak more about this topic!

HON 436-75 / HON 446-75
Professor Julie Bunck
W, 5:30 - 8:15 PM

This course combines the study of philosophy, politics, and economics.  Students will read and reflect on great and useful works of philosophy, economics, and political theory.  The study of philosophy develops analytical, critical, and logical skills that enable students to attempt to pose the genuinely important questions and explore the best answers to them.  Why be moral? How can we know what is moral and what is not moral?  The study of politics allows us to reflect on what constitutes the most defensible and moral regime, the proper relationship between the state and citizens, the centrality of culture, and the appropriate functions of government.  Finally, economics teaches us about the free exchange of goods and services, the demands of consumers, the appropriate control and allocation of resources, and the globalization of the market.  This course combines these sets of ideas and covers in depth such topics as the individual in the state of nature, political authority, markets, paternalism, liberalism, libertarianism, equality, and justice. 

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences. 


Coping with Conflict and Gaining Negotiation Skills 

Click the title to hear Professor Fowler speak more about this topic!

HON 431-75 / HON 441-75 / POLS 530-(section TBD)
Professor Mike Fowler
Th, 5:30 - 8:15 PM

This active-learning course intensively explores the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict resolution using a series of engaging, realistic, and challenging simulations provided by the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. In carrying out the simulation(s) assigned for each class, students first review general and confidential information for their roles, while reading about negotiation issues, tactics, and strategies. Then, they get to practice an array of practical negotiation skills, learned in class and in the assigned readings, that highlight a host of important issues. The first simulations are designed to illustrate certain fundamental dilemmas and principles and to start the class thinking analytically about the negotiation process. Over time, as skills and confidence grow by leaps and bounds, the negotiations become even more interesting and increasingly complex. They eventually place the students in the position of negotiators handling multi-party, multi-issue scenarios that occupy entire class sessions. The most popular simulations in past years have involved the invitation to a university campus of a controversial speaker, a sexual harassment issue concerning a ballet dancer, a celebrity wedding at a Colorado resort complicated by covid issues, a salary dispute concerning an aging opera singer attempting a comeback, and the post-9/11 redevelopment of the World Trade Center site. On any given night, your role might be that of the attorney for a doctor facing possible criminal charges in a small town dispute, or the representative of a church in a wealthy neighborhood looking to rent space to one providing mental-health services. You might portray a corporate CEO in a dispute over the delayed introduction of a new prescription drug, or a member of a task force considering coastal flooding and climate change in a seaside town. One night you might come up to speed as the president of a labor union launching into collective-bargaining talks; the next class session you might be representing a Native American tribe interested in safeguarding its fish resources on a large lake used for commercial and sport fishing. This course offers students an excellent opportunity to learn about resolving conflicts through negotiation, while vastly improving their own negotiation skills, a critically important attribute in many professions.

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or Political Science major/minor.


Triumph at the Falls

Click the title to hear Professor Wicks speak more about this topic!

HON 341-06 / HON 351-06
Professors David Wicks & Russ Barnett
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

The Falls of the Ohio National Wildlife Conservation Area, managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is central to understanding the significant role the Ohio River has on the development of Metro Louisville and the region. Through in-class lectures and eight optional Ohio River field trips by canoe, bike, and our feet, the class will explore the art, culture, and the environment as well as the current/future use of the Ohio River below the falls. Large Park and interpretive initiatives are underway to transform the Ohio River into an outdoor recreation and ecological hub for its entire 981 miles. The class will use multimedia (videos, photo exhibits, research reports, Arc GIS story maps) to document and share ideas for and stories about the Falls of the Ohio Conservation Area and the surrounding community outdoor initiatives.     

Field trips supported by River City Paddlesports will be mainly on Sundays.  

August 28, Sept. 4, 5, 11, 18, 25, Oct. 2, and 9 are the field trip dates. Students are expected to participate in at least 5 of the field trips or make other arrangements for alternative field work in advance.

This course fulfills requirements in the Social Sciences or Natural Sciences.

Politically Engaged Youth in American Culture - WR

Click the title to hear Professor Chandler speak more about this topic!

HON 436-08 / HON 446-08 
Professor Karen Chandler
TTh, 9:30 - 10:45 AM

Images of imperiled children are often central to media reports and political parties’ rhetoric about social problems, including border crises, racial or ethnic conflict, poverty and crime. Whether fueling social reform or supporting efforts to preserve cultural norms, representations of child endangerment and suffering are powerful reminders of human vulnerability and measures of societal need. Just as important, however, are the representations of youth agency and activism that we will study in this course. Literature, film, television and popular music have long been rich in images of children’s and teen’s power. And scholars of childhood have argued that these images are not necessarily fanciful, because it is not uncommon for young people to make decisive, productive choices in their own lives, inspire their associates, and contribute to larger social and historical movements. This course will examine the concept of the politically engaged and knowing youth through a range of theoretical writing, literature and other media. Authors may include nineteenth-century figures such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frances Harper, as well as later writers such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Julia Alvarez, Kelly Yang, and Henry Jenkins. We will explore assumptions and beliefs informing these images and narratives of empowered youth and consider what they contribute to U.S. culture. In addition to engaging with assigned readings and related texts, requirements for the course will include class discussion, short writing assignments, and a final research project.

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.


“City Upon A Hill” – Utopian Visions and Realties in America

Click the title to hear Professor Fuller speak more about this topic!

HON 331-01 / HON 341-01
Professor Roy Fuller
TTh, 1:00 - 2:15 PM

Recent years have seen an influx of dystopian literature and films offering alternative realities even darker than the darkest realities of American life. But beginning with the earliest European settlements to more modern political rhetoric, the United States has been the setting for utopian ideals and realities that have inspired political leaders and movements, religious and secular communes, even our national sense of self-identity. This course will examine both the promises and realities of utopianism as seen in the American experience. While some political utopianism can be seen as fantasy or mere political rhetoric, many religious and secular communes were founded to live out utopian visions. Whereas most of these groups were small and short-lived, their impact on American culture lives on and continues to reverberate in political movements from progressivism to isolationism. The following questions will be explored: What has been the impact of utopianism in the United States? What accounts for the appeal of these groups? How have these groups impacted the broader American society? How have they evolved over time? Is utopianism dead or does it continue to inspire and if so, how, and where? 

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.

TV Criticism of the Paranormal

Click the title to hear Professor Smith Jones speak more about this topic!

HON 331-02 / HON 341-02
Professor Siobhan Smith Jones
MW, 2:00 - 3:15 PM

This course will provide you with the necessary critical tools to reflect upon and understand the gratifications scary television texts provide viewers. In addition, you will critique the assumptions that these texts put forth about you, others, and the world around you. During the semester, we will develop a more thorough and critical understanding of the ways in which paranormal/horror television programs make meanings by studying the theories and methods for examining these programs, the audiences who watch them, and the culture in which television programs are produced and viewed. We can’t do this without also taking into account who produces these horror(fying) texts, who their (assumed) target audiences are, who the texts represent, and the authenticity of these representations. My hope is that you will become more thoughtful, engaged, critical television viewers. 

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.

Sherlock Holmes - WR

HON 336-01 / HON 346-01
Professor Michael Johmann
TTh, 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

With the sole exceptions of Santa Claus and Count Dracula, Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed more times in film and on television than any other fictional character.Played by actors ranging from Basil Rathbone to Benedict Cumberbatch, Holmes has not only survived attempts by his own author to kill off the character as early as 1893 but has lived to fight Nazis, defeat Jack the Ripper, reside simultaneously in London and New York, and use digital messaging to taunt the police.This class will explore the publishing and media phenomenon that is Sherlock Holmes, who first appeared in print in 1887.Beginning with the novels and short stories, we will examine the fascination with the character among his earliest Victorian readers, which extended onto the Victorian stage and even into silent film during Doyle’s lifetime.With the coming of sound in the 1930s, we’ll explore the ways in which Sherlock, along with his friend and biographer John Watson, become the model for Batman and Robin, along with other superheroes, during the golden age of comics and are transformed from their Victorian origins into patriotic Britons fighting against Hitler’s spies and saboteurs during World War II.We’ll examine the return to a traditional depiction of the great Victorian detective in the Granada Television productions of the 1980s and early 90s starring Jeremy Brett, and his emergence as a 21st century crime solver living in today’s London in the BBC series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.Along the way, we will consider some of the other characters and types of fiction created by Conan Doyle that either mirror his greatest success or starkly contrast with the Holmes universe.We’ll examine the development of both the literary detective and the detective story genre inspired by Holmes which dominates so much of contemporary fiction and media and try to answer the question:why does such an egotistical, arrogant, cocaine-addicted Victorian continue to fascinate us?  As one of Sherlock’s adversaries, Irene Adler, famously puts it:“Brainy is the new sexy”.Be sure to bring your pipe and deerstalker hat.

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities or the Social Sciences.

Psychology of Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism – WR

HON 436-09 / HON 446-09 / PSYC 414-(section TBD)
Professor Yara Mekawi
MW, 2:00 - 3:15 PM

Racism is a significant social problem that has persisted throughout generations and across the world. Regardless of what field you are in – including psychology, medicine, or law – racism plays a fundamental role in understanding inequity. Better understanding race, racism, and anti-racism from a psychological perspective can shed light on how to reduce social inequalities. In this class, you will work toward 1) Better understanding what race, racism, and anti-racism mean in both historical and contemporary contexts; 2) Understanding how racism intersects with other interlocking systems of oppression; 3) Identifying different types of racism occurring at multiple levels of analysis and articulating potential maintenance factors of racism; 4) Better identifying biases and internalization of oppressive ideologies that may influence your work/interactions with individuals from marginalized groups; 5) Becoming more familiar with the theoretical and empirical literature on race, racism and anti-racism; 6) Overcoming barriers to writing and discussing racism effectively; and finally 7) Thinking critically and creatively about how psychological research and practice can be used to promote social justice.

This course fulfills requirements in the Humanities, Social Sciences, or Psychology major/minor.