HONR 3010 and HONR 3020: Science Communication in an Alt World (DSC or DHA)
Section 001, CRN 12952 (HONR 3010, DSC) 12953 (HONR 3020, DHA), 3 credits
Professor Katie Potter and Dr. Jennifer Peeples (TR 9:00-10:15 in LLCA 110)
In 1986, philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt had little idea that his essay’s opening remark—“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit”—would be so prescient to 2017. Examples of the growing confusion between fact, opinion, and complete fabrication are rampant in public discourse. At the same time, the scientific journals where most research is published are becoming less accessible to the general public due to the high cost of subscriptions and their often jargon-heavy language. Through readings, interviews, experiments, and data analysis, we will examine historical and present-day examples of evidence being accepted or disputed in the face of corporate, political, or theological opposition. This course will give students the tools to think skeptically—to recognize fraudulent or fallacious information, and to generate, understand, and communicate factual information. As a final project, you’ll use these tools to reach diverse audiences in your community, teach scientific literacy, and (hopefully) effect positive change.
HONR 3020 and HONR 3030: Before Bears Ears: Public Lands, Utah, and You (DHA or DSS)
Dr. Kerin Holt and Dr. Judson Finley
We all live in the west—a region uniquely shaped by public lands. In Utah, over 70% of the state is public land, and over the past five years, there has been increasing debate over how best to define, manage, and use our public lands. You may find these debates complicated and combative, involving varied perspectives, experiences, and motives that can be tough to negotiate. This course offers students an opportunity to understand better and to engage more fully in the public land debates through a case study of Dinosaur National Monument. Dinosaur National Monument has a rich history, acting not only as a repository of a vast dinosaur fossil record, but also as home to diverse Native American cultures, subject of various explorations and adventurous river rafting expeditions, source of lucrative oil, gas, and mineral developments, and site for visual art, literature, and storytelling. Less well known is the role Dinosaur National Monument played in shaping the modern environmental movement during the 1950s. This interdisciplinary Think Tank course brings together varied approaches—anthropology, archeology, history, literature, environmental studies, political science, and cultural studies—to explore the ways that the monument has been used, developed, and protected throughout its history. As part of the course, we will take a four-day field trip to Dinosaur National Monument, where we will engage in fieldwork and service activities to apply directly to this national monument the ideas and skills we learn in class. Through a hands-on, multi-disciplinary approach, students will leave the course with a solid grasp of the important issues facing public lands in the west and confidence in their ability to contribute to these debates as we move into the future.
HONR 3020 and HONR 3030: The Politics and Aesthetics of Space (DHA or DSS)
Dr. Marissa Vineault and Dr. Jessica Lucero
Questions about space—geographical, political, cultural, and/or social—are central to our contemporary world. How we occupy and think about space shapes how we engage with local, regional, national, and global communities. Space can foster or hamper individual potential across a variety of identities (e.g., gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, ability, and class), and it can also advance or hinder social, economic, and environmental justice causes. In this course, we will explore how contemporary social concerns (from 1960 on) have both catalyzed collective, community-based action and inspired aesthetic visualization and intervention by artists. Students will study how space has been used to marginalize groups of people, and, conversely, how marginalized communities can take back space through collective efforts and political processes. You will learn to assess how artists build communities, create voices, and claim space through visual culture. Together, we will create a responsive learning environment that values diversity and difference and connects students’ own lived experiences to a larger understanding of structural and socio-political conditions that oppress and liberate communities. Students will engage in community-based, interactive projects, such as Inside Out and PhotoVoice, as well as ‘zine making and a capstone “pop-up exhibit,” in order to develop an understanding of the critical connections between the visual arts and community organizing. The aim of the class is to help you understand the role of art and visual culture in community growth and development so that you can engage with, develop, and organize your own community spaces now and in the future.