Current Courses

Fall 2018


Note: All McBride sophomores must take the following two required classes.  Each course will be offered twice, in the fall and spring.  

HNRS 305:  Explorations in Modern America (Hitt)

Course Theme:  Narrative and the the Making of American Identity

Since its founding, the United States has been shaped by narratives of freedom, rebellion, and calls to action that were based on personal experiences and beliefs. These narratives in turn were questioned and derided by people who held different views, creating an ongoing dialectic within the country and its culture. We will utilize first-person narratives relating to major events in our America's history: revolution, slavery, suffrage, environmentalism, labor, religion, and more; and then seek out contemporary counterpoints to each narrative to investigate how these writers and their ideas have catalyzed our understanding of ourselves as a nation. If the self is created through story, how has the United States been created through millions of individual stories, and why do we think about our selves and the country how we do? Through research, reading, discussion, and writing, we'll attempt to discover answers to these fundamental questions about America's past, present, and future.

Schedule Listing: HNRS305, Explorations in Modern America

Registration Number: 80712
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM 
Instructor: Sarah Hitt

HNRS315: Explorations in the Modern World (Brandt)

Course Theme:  Narrative and the Puzzle of the Human Journey 

Humans are accustomed to thinking about life as a journey, one that encompasses many smaller pathways of experience. Yet often the choice of which road to take is puzzling: how do we figure out where we are, where we want to go, and why? What happens when we’re forced into a scenario that wasn’t of our design or choosing? Some of the oldest and most common stories are those of individuals trying to work through this maze of life. By reading novels and writing personal narratives, we will explore human movement—through space and through life—and use the metaphor of the puzzle to understand what compels our personal paths and the decisions we make about them that are common to all people regardless of place, time, or culture. 

Schedule Listing: HNRS315, Explorations in the Modern World
Registration Number: 81185
Class Meetings: Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM
Instructor: Melanie Brandt


Note: McBride juniors and seniors may enroll in any one of the following courses. Note that the CSM online course schedule identifies these courses by their generic titles (e.g. “Explorations in Earth, Energy, & the Environment) but each course has a specific theme listed and described below (e.g. "Communicating Across Cultures"). Occasionally, some courses may have the same time title, but will address different themes. Be sure to register for the appropriate section; double-check the instructor name(s) and registration numbers. 

HNRS430:  Explorations in Ideas, Ethics and Religion (Zhu)

Course Theme:  Science, Technology, and Confucian Ethics

The field science and technology ethics has been persistently dominated by Western ethical resources that are often derived from the idea of “autonomous individualism.” This class invites students to challenge such autonomous individualistic assumption in scientific and technological practices by employing the concepts, theories, and tools from Confucian ethics. This course leads students to experience a different way of defining, understanding, and analyzing scientific and technological problems.

Today, the Communist Party in China frequently uses Confucian ideas to guide policymaking and justify the rationality of its policies. Confucianism still has significant influence in cultures beyond Mainland China. Among the top 15 trading partners with the United States, four are the Confucian heritage cultures (CHCs). This course contributes to the global STEM education program that prepares future leaders in applied science and engineering for effectively working with people from other cultures especially STEM professionals from these Confucian heritage cultures.

Students in this class will be expected to read both classical Confucian texts such as Analects and Mencius and works by contemporary authors that examine the social, ethical, and political issues in scientific and technological domains such as biomedical science, robotics, information technology, and engineering through the lens of Confucian ethics.

Schedule Listing:  HNRS430:  Explorations in Ideas, Ethics, and Religion
Registration Number:  81376
Class Meetings:  Wednesdays, 6-9 pm
Instructor:  Qin Zhu

HNRS 435A:  Explorations in Culture, Society and Creative Arts (Lefton)

Course Theme:  Poetry Workshop:  A Poetic Guide to the World

Carl Sandburg writes in the Ten Definitions of Poetry that “poetry is a theorem of a yellow-silk handkerchief knotted with riddles, sealed in a balloon tied to the tail of a kite flying in a white wind against a blue sky.” The art and craft of poetry tethers the writer’s vision to that yellow-silk image and helps us make meaning of the phenomena we collect daily with our senses, in our conversations with others, in our connections and perplexities to the world around us.

This reading and writing intensive workshop explores the literary context of poetry with special attention placed on creating original work. We will focus on the craft—how a poem becomes a poem—while examining the tools a poet may use. Poets read differently than other people. They must read voraciously and engage in a process that simultaneously plunges them into the experience of a poem and into their own perception of that poem’s making—the artist’s craft. As a community of poets, we will follow the kite string of the imagination as place, self, identity, and experience unfolds the metaphora and our ability to carry our ideas across every imaginable sky.

Schedule Listing:  HNRS435A:  Explorations in Culture, Society and Creative Arts
Registration Number:  82037
Class Meetings:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:30-4:45 pm
Instructor:  Toni Lefton

HNRS435B: Explorations in Culture, Society and Creative Arts (Pass)

Course Theme:  Irish Literature and Culture

Such are the themes of Irish Literature, both ancient and contemporary:

Mysticism and myth and magic and music

Saints and superstitions and soldiers and storytellers

Politics and poverty and poetry and pagans and St. Patrick

Religion, revelry, repentance, romance, rebellion, and revolution

Legends and lyrics and liars and lilting melodies

Ballads and blessings and Britain and betrayals and bombings

Famines and feuds and fiddles and farms and fanaticism

Dancing and druids and demons and domination

Reverence for all things natural and supernatural

5th Century:  St. Patrick

“I bind unto myself today the power of Heaven,

The light of the sun, the brightness of the moon,

The splendor of fire, the flashing of lightning,

The swiftness of wind, the depth of sea,

The stability of earth, the compactness of rocks…

… I invoke today all these virtues

Against the spells of witches and wizards and druids…”

Early 20th century:  William Butler Yeats

“I made my song a coat

Covered with embroideries

Out of old mythologies…”

Texts to be studied:   Jonathan Swift, “A Modest Proposal”                                     

                   Lady Gregory, Myths and Legends

                   William Butler Yeats, The Collected Poems

                   James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

                   Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes

                   Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture

                   Andrew Byrne: Bobby Sands, 66 Days: Documentary film.

                   Perhaps other works and genres as well

Schedule Listing:  HNRS435B: Explorations in Culture, Society, and Creative Arts

Registration Number:  82038

Class Meetings:  Mondays 5:30-8:30 pm

Instructor:  Rose Pass

HNRS 445: Explorations in Science, Technology, and Society (Battalora)

Course Theme: Let's Go Global!

In this course we will embark on a global journey exploring science, technology and society through the “hot topic” theme of Climate Change.  We will research the science behind Climate Change, analyze existing climate change resiliency, technology, and innovation, and identify societal impacts of climate change.  Our roadmap will take us on side-trip adventures with the United States (US) and International environmental regulatory frameworks, the United Nations (UN) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the US Patent and Trademark Office, and the Circular Economy.  Based on learning at these road stops, students will work in teams to examine how engineering decisions based on science and technology affect society.  After circling the globe, Teams will prepare and present an environmental and social impacts plan that describes sustainable development during each phase of the engineering project lifecycle and identifies risks and mitigation measures.  Finally, we will meet back at our original point of departure to synthesize and discuss our recommendations going forward to address Climate Change through science, technology, and society.

Schedule Listing: HNRS445: Explorations in Science, Technology, and Society
Registration Number: 81375
Class Meetings: Thursdays, 1:00-4:00 PM
Instructor: Linda A. Battalora, JD, PhD

HNRS 476:  Community Engagement Through Service Learning (Osgood)

Course Theme:  International Service Learning for Nepal

Are you inspired to help others as you help yourself grow and mature as a citizen of the world?  In this course you will do both as you “learn by doing” in a non-traditional classroom about: aid, development, and the role of international service; Nepali history and culture; leadership, and much more!  In addition, students will join the local non-profit organization– Hike for Help – to work on a service project in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal on their winter break service trip, which will be determined by local government officials.May be used as an HNRS 400-level elective or to fulfill the Honors Practicum Requirement.

Schedule Listing:  HNRS476 Community Engagement Through Service Learning

Registration Number: 81430

Class Meetings:  Thursdays 3:30-6:30 PM
Instructor:  Rachel Osgood

HNRS 405:  McBride Practicum

The McBride Practicum requirement is an experiential learning program that is explained in detail on the Practicum page of the McBride website.  Typically this course is taken in conjunction with another 400-level McBride seminar.  Although this course runs much like an “independent study” there will be several recurring meetings over the course of the semester, at times set to work with students’ schedules.  The time listed below is a “place holder” time.  

Schedule Listing: HNRS405: McBride Practicum
Registration Number:  82033
Class Meetings: Mondays, 6:00-9:00 PM
Instructor: Rachel Osgood

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Last Updated: 05/16/2018 12:10:25