HON 101.001: Bigfoot
Luke Kellett
MWF 9:30 – 10:20 am

Traditional course (September through December)
This course explores the role that Bigfoot plays in American culture while also examining its historical, cross-cultural roots. Much of the course considers how the Bigfoot phenomenon offers a window into the complex relationships between belief, evolution, science, myth and culture. Students will consider the existing evidence for Bigfoot and come to understand those who “hunt,” study, ridicule, and celebrate this legendary creature. At a broader context, the course questions why belief in Bigfoot continues and how it may reflect our own separation from nature and our ancient, wild past.

HON 101.002: Making Things With Words
Stephen Grandchamp
MW 9:30 – 10:45 am

Traditional course (September through December)
What does it mean to publish a written work? In Making Things with Words, students will
explore small-scale and creative acts of publishing such as zines and digital films. In this way,
the course will introduce students to the principles and practices of creative publication. Working
with words and images, students will conceptualize and execute artistic projects. Readings and
class discussions will cover the history of the book, the impact of changing technology on the
reading experience, and the relationship between form and content across media. A hands-on
class, Making Things with Words will provide students with foundational skills in analog and
digital design.

HON 101.003: Human & Machine: AI Odyssey
Steve Pane
MW 3:30 – 4:45 pm
Fusion course (August through October)

This course explores the multiple shifts brought about by generative AI as it continues to reshape our society, ultimately asking us to reconsider what it means to be human. In this course, we will also look to the past to help guide our future, as we can learn from the technological upheaval created by the printing press, recorded sound, and the Internet. This course seeks to leverage AI as both a topic of study and as a tool, examining its positive and negative effects on our future in the digital era.

HON 277.001: Middle Earth and You
Paul Gies
TTh 9:30 – 10:45 am

You’re short, and your feet are covered in fur, and the thing you’re most known for is how full all your cupboards and pantries are, but somehow, when an old dude dressed in rags and a pointy hat drops by, it’s your responsibility to walk about five bazillion miles, chased by Lord knows what, under mountains, down raging rivers, and across increasingly menacing landscapes, ending up at an active volcano in the middle of a desert ruled by someone who makes Vladimir Putin look sympathetic. And it’s all because of: “a little ring, the least of rings… but a trifle.” It’s not a trifle: it’s the One Ring to Rule Them All. In this class, we will take Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, turn it every which way and shake it to see what falls out. Don’t forget your three-ring binder!

HON 277. 002 History through Games
Michael Schoeppner
MW 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
(Social Science)

This course will investigate the connections between gaming and historical analysis through two games, one digital and one role-playing, using the second half of the nineteenth-century United States as our historical home. In the first game, students will “become” historical actors in Reconstruction-era New Orleans. Whether a newly arrived German immigrant, a recently emancipated freeman, or a former enslaver, students will try to achieve “victory” for their character as they navigate the intricate and combustible issues of race, reconciliation, and extralegal violence in the wake of the Civil War. The second game is Red Dead Redemption II. Students and the instructor will engage in gameplay as a springboard to the exploration of race, gender, and regionalism during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age. While the primary purpose of the course will be to learn American history, students will also reflect on the advantages and drawbacks of gaming as an educational tool.

HON 277.003: Human Flourishing (cross-listed with PSY 277)
Joey Ka-Yee Essoe
WF 2:00 – 3:15 pm

(Social Science)
Drawing on both cutting-edge psychological research and ancient wisdom, this course explores the topics of happiness, hope, purpose, values, gratefulness, deliberate resting, resilience/anti-fragility, and forgiveness–at the community and individual levels. Throughout the semester, instructor and students will individually integrate evidence-based practices into their routines. As a group, students will design a public-facing “product”–an event, a technology, a resource–to cultivate human flourishing in our local community. The motivation is for students to build a toolkit to live a vibrant life, preparing them to serve in emotionally draining or highly competitive career paths.

HON 277.004: Addictive Behaviors and Recovery (cross-listed with REH 250)
TTh 3:30 – 4:45 pm in person or HON 277.005: online (asynchronous)
Karen Barrett

This course will provide students with an overview of the physiological and pharmacological action of alcohol and other psychoactive drugs, as well as the characteristics and classification of both street and prescription drugs. Areas of focus include the use of drugs historically, routes of drug administration, absorption, craving, intoxication, abuse, tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal. The course will include the treatment and support of people with co-occurring conditions, primarily the co-occurrence of addiction and psychiatric disability. Other addictive behaviors will be covered including internet use, sex, and gambling.

HON 322: Consumerism, Politics, and Values –Cancelled
Scott Erb
Th 6:30 – 9:00 pm
(Social Science)

This interdisciplinary course will focus on the question of how the emergence of a mass consumer society has impacted our cultural, political, and moral/ethical lives. The course integrates insights from philosophy (in particular the Frankfurt School), psychology, political science, and economics.

HON 377.001: Capital C Classical
Steve Pane
MW 2:00 – 3:15 pm

Today we tend to use the term “classical music” as a catch all for about a thousand years of incredibly varied music over a wide geographic area. This course will explore the specific era that the label was coined for–the Classical Period from roughly 1750-1820–and the three composers most associated with it: Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. One of the central concerns of this period of music was how to create compelling formal narratives within instrumental music, and the experiments of these three composers evolved into models followed into the present day. This class will emphasize the wildness of these experiments taken in context. No previous experience in music required, just a willingness to listen deeply.

HON 377.002: Secret History of Hell
Jeffrey Thomson
W 3:30 – 6:15 pm

Students will embark on a journey through the labyrinthine corridors of human imagination and cultural evolution to explore the enigmatic and multifaceted concept of Hell. Delving into various religious, philosophical, literary, and artistic traditions, students will unravel the intricate layers of belief systems and representations of the underworld. As we traverse through history, we will navigate the infernal landscapes depicted in literary works such as Homer’s Odyssey, Dante’s Inferno, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” Through textual analysis and interdisciplinary discussions, the course will explore the intersections between theology, morality, and socio-political power, interrogating the role of Hell as a mechanism of social control and ideological manipulation throughout history. Students will critically engage with philosophical inquiries into the nature of evil, suffering, and redemption, contemplating the moral implications of eternal punishment and the human capacity for transcendence.

Contact us
Honors Program
University of Maine at Farmington
125 Lincoln Street