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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

2011-2012 Courses

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Fall 2011

Honors students choose which courses and sections they would like to take during each semester.To make an informed decision, students review their general education needs, and their prerequisites for their major. Honors general education courses help students fulfill their general education and diversity requirements.

First Year Experience (FYEX 100) 1 Credit, Dr. Corley
Mondays at 4 p.m. or 6 p.m.   

Gen Ed 12

This course supports the development of student success skills, such as reading, writing, and speaking; helps students gain intellectual confidence; builds in the expectation of academic success; and provides assistance in making the transition to university life. The course provides an orientation to the mission and core competencies of the Honors Program, and strengthens the interaction and sense of community among first-year honors students. Students will analyze and categorize leadership, research, and global citizenship themes, identify appropriate learning goals, and develop an e-portfolio for their use in the Honors Program.

Art History Survey I (ART 260) 3 Credits, Dr. Eimen
T/H, 12-1:15                                                     

Gen Ed 6 and 8

This is the first half of a year-long survey course that is designed as an introduction to the history of art. No previous knowledge of art history is necessary to succeed in this course. Throughout our studies, we will travel around the globe as we study works as diverse as ancient cave paintings, Egyptian pyramids, Roman statuary, and temple, mosque, and cathedral architecture. The material—covering a span from the Paleolithic era through the fourteenth century—is simply too vast to be comprehensive, so the course is designed to introduce you to key masterpieces, monuments, and moments in the history of human civilization. In addition, some specialized vocabulary and discipline-specific methods of study are included as an introduction to the academic discipline of art history. Our main emphasis will be to consider artistic development as we seek to understand the past through its archaeological and art historical record. The honors section of the course includes a class visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a research paper on the debate regarding arts repatriation, and a research/response paper on the topic of authority/leadership in art and architecture. Students will complete the course with the possibility of two papers to select for their portfolio.

Intro to Ethics (PHIL 120W) 3 Credits, Dr. Cooke 
T/TH 9:30-10:45                                                        

Gen Ed 1C, 6 and 9

Ethical thought gets started with two simple, but vital, questions: What must I do? How should I live? This course investigates the efforts of philosophers to provide compelling answers to these questions and others. Interpersonal and intercultural disagreements about ethical values lead many people to conclude that ethics is nothing more than personal opinion, or nothing more than self-justified cultural norms. We will see that both of these views should be rejected—and in part for surprising reasons related to the importance of toleration and mutual understanding. The heart of the course looks at the three main ethical theories in the Western tradition: consequentialism, which claims that the right action is the one that produces the best results; Kantian ethics, which claims that our basic moral duty is to respect the dignity of rational beings; and virtue ethics, which argues that living the best sort of life possible requires cultivating the right sort of character. We will make use of these theories to examine a number of issues, including the ethical responsibilities of affluent nations to the developing world, the ethical character of leaders, and the distinction between cultural practices and trans-cultural ethical values. As this is a writing intensive course, students will write 3 short papers on assigned topics, and one long paper on a topic of their choice.

Perspectives in Mathematics (MATH 110) 3 Credits, Dr. Martensen
MWF, 1-1:50                            

Gen Ed 4

This course is designed to be a survey of mathematics and its relationship to society, showing its development and evolution to meet the needs of humanity. In particular, we will approach the topic of leadership through the study of fairness in decision making. We will explore questions such as how resources can be divided fairly, what voting procedures lead to equitable representation and how to assess the degree to which the decisions of one organization/nation can pass risks to another. Mathematics is a wonderful tool for addressing these concerns. It is often able to explicitly answer questions such as those above, but more often is able to demonstrate that true fairness" is not obtainable and difficult choices must be made that may favor one party's interest over another. During the semester, we will see the many ways in which Mathematics is applied in society as well as obtain an appreciation for the language and logical structure of Mathematics. We will cover many topics throughout the semester to emphasize the large variety of areas in which a mathematical point of view can be applied. Our attempt is to gain a flavor for the rich application and the need for such a point of view. However, you will be asked to study one topic in a fair amount of depth. That endeavor will include outside research on a topic of global concern to society and will culminate on a presentation to the class. The resulting presentation could be included in your portfolio for the Honors program.

Performance and Social Change (HONR 401) 3 Credits, Dr. White
T/Th 2-3:15

This class is designed to teach students to identify instances of injustice and promote social change through theoretical analysis and performance techniques. The course includes discussion of theories of oppression, power and privilege, specifically as they appear in the social categories of race, class and gender. Students study the theory and techniques associated with Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed Methods. The course is designed to build toward a final performance project in which the students will develop and perform a forum theatre production confronting an injustice they have identified as present in the Mankato community. The performance will be presented in the community and open to the public.

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (HONR 401) 1 Credit, Dr. Corley
M, 8-8:50

This course provides a brief overview of the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Territories. The course will focus on the historical development of the conflict, including Zionism and Palestinian nationalism, the Arab-Israeli wars, and the Palestinian intifadas. Students will be able to understand the various perspectives of Israelis and Palestinians, and the role of the United States in the history of the conflict and the peace process. Students’ research, short essays, and class presentations may be used as evidence of leadership, research, and global citizenship competencies for their honors portfolios.


Leaders of Tomorrow 0 Credits, Mr. Yunkers

In its third year of existence, this seminar is a collaboration between Greater Mankato Growth, Inc., and Minnesota State Mankato Student Activities. This seminar features semi-monthly events that expose students to conceptual and practical leadership skills. Students will also have numerous opportunities to interact with Mankato's business leaders and to learn about several area businesses through a student membership to Greater Mankato Growth's Young Professionals Organization. Further, Minnesota State Mankato Adventure Education Faculty will assist in teamwork and leadership training. Students can continue to take the seminar for as many semesters as desired. They will emerge from each seminar with a greater understanding of, and exposure to, leadership concepts.

Spring 2012

Public Speaking (CMST 102) 3 Credits, Dr. Treinen
Gen Ed Category 1B
T/TH, 9-10:15, AH 311

This is an introductory course in the theory and practice of public speaking. The skills you will develop in this class include analyzing the speaking situation, choosing appropriate topics, conducting research, organizing ideas, utilizing evidence, delivering speeches effectively, and developing the ability to critically listen. As the primary purpose of this course is to allow students to improve their oral communication ability, you should not expect much class time will be spent in lecture or discussion of the reading assignments, but will instead be spent on the application of those readings to the practice of public speech. Not only will you acquire a series of tools for public speaking, but also you will learn the importance of a number of more general compositional skills such as critical analysis, drafting, peer evaluation, and revision. The particular way that we will undertake these tasks will focus on developing your rhetorical sensibility and engaging what it means to be a speaker by taking seriously the task of joining a public conversation and becoming a responsible public advocate. 


World Dance in Cultural Perspective (DANC 225) 3 Credits, Dr. Kerr-Berry                

Gen Ed 8 and 11, Purple Diversity Course
T/Th 12:30-1:50, PAC 106 with some lab days in HC N225

This course explores world dance forms from multiple perspectives. It is organized around a series of overlapping themes and includes several master classes with dance artists from around the globe. The course is founded on the premise that dance is an embodiment of culture in very specific ways, yet, universal in expression. In taking this course, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between dance and culture. They will understand both the universality of dance, as well as its cultural specificity. They will grasp a better understanding our global society through their study of world dance forms. And students will grapple with multiple and complex social issues that confront humanity on a global level. Specific projects include a social immersion project, and global women’s issue paper, and attendance at a Twin Cities World Dance concert.


World Civilization, 1500-Present (HIST 171) 4 Credits, Dr. Odinga                                          

Gen Ed 5 and 8, Purple Diversity Course
M/W 10:00-11:50  MH 212

This course provides students with an understanding of human interactions as people were brought increasingly into contact with one another after 1500. Our focus will be on broad historical processes revolving under the themes of encounter, cross-cultural interaction and global interdependence. The goal of this course is to examine how our globalized present is deeply rooted into our globalized past. The topics covered in this course include: the age of exploration, the trans-Atlantic trade, 18th century political revolutions, industrial capitalism and imperialism, world wars, and contemporary globalization world. The emergence of these broad historical events and processes was closely linked to the creation of the modern world system that took shape out of cooperation and conflict among and between people as they were drawn into the world economy. Global people’s experiences of the past as they both created and confronted the modern world are thus central to an understanding of our own place in it. We begin this course by exploring “our globalized” present through a variety simple hands on exercises based on our observations of our surrounding, and by asking and answering questions aimed at linking our “globalized present with “our globalized past.” We will read and analyze a variety of secondary materials, primary documents, watch film documentaries, engage expert speakers, research, and writing with the goal of understanding how our present is deeply rooted into our past.

Research Methods Seminar (HONR 401) 3 Credits, Dr. Stark
Mondays, 3-5:30 in WC B133

This Research Methods Seminar course will give you an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in conducting different kinds of research both individually and in teams, and learn to apply research to understanding and solving real-world problems. You will collect, summarize, and present information related to understanding leadership and global citizenship in the specific context of your choice. Specifically, you will observe human behavior and create and administer a survey to learn more about your topic. Finally, you will create a research proposal to address a real-world problem related to the honors competencies of leadership and/or global citizenship. Along the way, you’ll learn more about methods of conducting good-quality and ethical research, and become familiar with many of the debates and controversies that can arise throughout the research process.