Honors Thesis Pathways

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What is an Honors Thesis Pathway?

Thesis pathways are structured, pre-organized thesis options that students can participate in to complete their thesis requirement.  Students will be paired with a faculty member who will serve as their thesis director.

The students that enroll in the Thesis Pathway will be part of a structured cohort course that will guide you through the thesis writing and defense process.

For more information please contact Barrettadvising@asu.edu or your Barrett Advisor.

HON Pathway Courses

HON Pathway Courses

A HON Thesis Pathway is the ability to turn select Honors seminar courses (HON 394/380/492) into your thesis!  Students have the choice of a non-thesis HON course or a two-semester (HON course and HON 493) Thesis Pathway option.  The HON course class is the same either way.  Students enrolled in HON course in the Fall and HON 493 in the Spring can expect to defend and submit their thesis in Spring. 

Both HON course and the HON Thesis Pathway course options are open to all students who have successfully completed The Human Event or History of Ideas, regardless of the topic.

To get started simply choose a HON course listed below to sign-up for the Fall semester!  As the class progresses during the semester you will have the option to join the Thesis Pathway for Spring.

Check the class schedule to see what courses still have availability.

■ HON 394 (94059): Magic and Modernity

■ HON 394 (94059): Magic and Modernity

Dr. Michael Ostling

T/Th 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM

This course explores the history, anthropology and theory of witchcraft and magic. We examine how the witch is constructed as a symbol of evil, and how this imaginary evil being comes to be associated, in witch-trials, with real, ordinary women (and some men). We engage in important controversies of contemporary history, religious studies, and gender studies, organizing our discussion around the perennial interplay between celebrations of and critiques of magic.

■ HON 394 (94058): Place-making in Middle Earth and Earthsea

■ HON 394 (94058): Place-making in Middle Earth and Earthsea

Dr. Laura Popova

W/F 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Place-making in Middle Earth and Earthsea: In this course we will use anthropologist Keith Basso’s concept of placemaking to think about the ways in which J.R.R. Tolkien and Ursula K. Le Guin create believable fantasy that reflects our own world. For example, Tolkien’s use of ruins, or archaeological places, in his most famous texts help contribute to a sense of history in Middle Earth. Just with the mention of one of these places, like Weathertop, he implies that there are stories beyond what we ultimately get to know. He was sensitive to the fact that the life of people, their beliefs and all the events that make up their history, are intimately bound up with place. Similarly, Le Guin draws on a deep anthropological tradition to create a fantasy world that mirrors unique human places, like the Trobriand Islands, to add richness to Earthsea while at the same time shifting western perspectives of what a mythical place of magic should look like.

■ HON 380 (94076): Aesthetics and Society

■ HON 380 (94076): Aesthetics and Society

Dr. Christiane Fontinha de Alcantara

T/Th 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

The politics of human beauty in the 21st century: The nature of beauty has challenged thinkers from ancient to contemporary times. If in the past philosophers believed physical appearance revealed inner qualities, in contemporary times scholars believe that beauty is historically and culturally determined whereas evolutionary scientists view beauty as an evolutionary trait that was selected for optimal mating. This course will discuss historical perspectives on human beauty that help us understand the contemporary obsession with beauty practices. From the individual to the social, we will critically examine beauty as social and cultural capital, and as a mechanism to filter social exclusion and inclusion and to activate strategies of sexism and racism, alongside discourses of femininity, masculinity and ideal bodies. Through the analysis of print and visual texts, we aim at answering the following questions: Is beauty a synonym for physical attractiveness? Is outer beauty a direct reflection of inner beauty (moral goodness and purity)? Is beauty a static concept defined by nature or is it a socio-cultural construct? How does beauty affect human relations? Why are certain places and body parts sites of beauty discourses while others are not? How do these decisions reflect the Geo-spatial economies of beauty?

■ HON 492 (94618): Gender, Sexuality, and Speculative Fiction

■ HON 492 (94618): Gender, Sexuality, and Speculative Fiction

Dr. Dagmar Van Engen

F 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

HON 492 Honors Thesis Pathway: Gender, Sexuality, and Speculative Fiction How can speculative fiction help us imagine a more livable world? How have queer and women of color feminist authors used science fiction to envision gender, sexuality, and race otherwise? Whose bodies are seen as futuristic, whose as relics of the past, and how can fantastic genres help break those stereotypes? This class will explore speculative fiction; feminist, queer, and trans theories; and the intersections between them. HON 492 is the first half of a two-semester sequence that guides students through the honors thesis process. It provides structure, support, training, and a cohort experience of writing the thesis in a workshop with others. HON 492 will consist of two parts: in the first half, students will read and discuss a few texts on the course theme to gain familiarity with common concepts and issues. In the second half, students will learn to write a prospectus, develop best practices for humanities research, and complete an annotated bibliography.

Students must apply to this class:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdsKi8WPN8yjpUezUgHQK81Z5HLNPosw48YRGfE7tU3deCHCg/viewform

T.W. Lewis Center Thesis Pathways

T.W. Lewis Center Thesis Pathways

Start on your Honors Thesis in Fall with the T.W. Lewis Center for Personal Development. This two-semester course will meet your Honors Thesis Requirement and provide you with a level of structured support from Lewis Center faculty. Your thesis director will be the instructor of the course you enroll in, and support will be provided (if needed) for finding your second committee member. Students will be expected to have their thesis completed by the Spring.

To apply for fall 2021, watch the recorded information session here. The passcode is "LewisCenter1!". The application link is presented in the recording. After completing the application, it is your responsibility to email the instructor whose class you are interested in to schedule a meeting prior to being admitted. The earlier you submit your application, the better your chance is of being admitted to your first class choice.

 

■ HON 492 TOPIC: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY

■ HON 492 TOPIC: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY

In an advanced industrial economy, science, and technology impact our lives in increasingly intricate ways. Theses in this domain will focus on how a specific scientific/technical issue affects human beings at individual and social levels. There is substantial leeway in how this topic is interpreted, and it is meant to be as inclusive as possible. Though the thesis itself does not need to be scientifically technical, there must nevertheless be some substantive scientific/technological issue at its foundation. Both STEM and non-STEM students are encouraged to apply.

■ HON 492 Topic: Humanistic Inquiries of Culture, Politics, and the Psyche

■ HON 492 Topic: Humanistic Inquiries of Culture, Politics, and the Psyche

This seminar is for students who wish to write in a humanistic manner about traditionally social science driven topics. Questions related to studies of culture, political theory, or psychology (all broadly understood) are particularly welcome. These projects will do deep theoretical exploration to provide a philosophical interpretation of historical or current phenomena so as to better understand them in our contemporary moment.

■ HON 492 Topic: Leadership, Diversity, and Education

■ HON 492 Topic: Leadership, Diversity, and Education

Using an interdisciplinary approach to leadership, diversity, and equity, the topics of this thesis seminar will address the intersections of ability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and social class, and draw on interdisciplinary research in education and leadership to develop transformative approaches and solutions that lead to higher educational achievement for all students. Students may choose to focus on one, two, or all three areas of the topic in their thesis project. For example, students may analyze the structure of the American education system and examine historical, social, political, economic policies that promote educational equity and inclusion. Additionally, students may consider the role that education plays in fostering justice and equity in a democratic society.

■ HON 492 Topic: Humanities and Community Engagement

■ HON 492 Topic: Humanities and Community Engagement

This class is designed for students doing thesis research on projects related to humanities (topics examining any aspects of human society and culture) and seeking to engage communities in and with their work. The humanities provide tools for shaping and reflecting the complexity of lived experience and provide powerful avenues for analysis, critique, creativity, and reflection. This class also provides opportunities for thoughtful advancement and innovation  enhancing the human experience. Students will work independently or in small groups to refine research skills, craft research questions, and design thesis projects on a range of topics.

Humanities Lab

Humanities Lab

The Humanities Lab offers learning experiences in which interdisciplinary faculty teams partner with students from a variety of academic and cultural backgrounds to investigate some of the world’s most complex social challenges. Enrolled students collaborate in teams, engage with community partners, design impact outcomes that create new ways of knowing, doing and being and share those outcomes in public forums which they choose. 

Honors students now have the opportunity to enroll in select Humanities Labs to create their thesis project through a two-semester Lab experience. Students will partner with Lab faculty and receive structured support as they complete the thesis project on a topic related to their Lab’s social challenge. All Humanities Lab courses offer automatic honors credit. 

To get started enroll in one of the below Labs, and let the instructor know you'd like to work with them on an honors thesis.

■ Epidemic Emergences: (Un)Health and (In)Justice

■ Epidemic Emergences: (Un)Health and (In)Justice

Epidemic Emergences: (Un)Health and (In)Justice

Cora Fox
Jenny Brian 

Fall 2021: Monday 3pm-6pm and *Wednesday 3pm-4:15pm

In this course we interrogate the histories of epidemics and the stories that help us heal. Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic creates the potential for new reckonings and understandings of how health is supported or imperiled in human communities. Drawing from literature, disability studies, the health humanities, critical race theory, gender and sexuality studies and bioethics, we will think about the many communities impacted (in deeply disparate ways) by contagious diseases to ask how and whether we can promote health justice. This course will encourage students to research possibilities in order to imagine and build better and more just futures.

This Lab offers general studies humanities credit (HU) and The College's Science and Society credit is also available. 

■ Aging in American Culture

■ Aging in American Culture

Aging in American Culture

Aaron Guest
Mary Fitzgerald
Eileen Standley

Fall 2021: Monday and Wednesday 10:30am-11:45am and *Monday 9:00am-10:15am

American culture has become obsessed with a decline ideology of older age – an ideology emphasizing the social and cultural exclusion of people as they age. Yet, older adulthood is increasing a larger part of the life course. Indeed, the majority of the life-span could not be considered ‘older’ age. This Lab investigates what it means to age in American culture. Through examining our bodies and selves, it will encourage students to explore how our interaction with the environment affects our embodied understanding of the aging process.

This Lab offers general studies humanities credit (HU) and The College's Science and Society credit is also available. 

■ Food, Health, and Climate Change

■ Food, Health, and Climate Change

Food, Health, and Climate Change

Joni Adamson
Rimjhim Aggarwal

Fall 2021: Tuesday and Thursday, 10:30am-11:45am and *Tuesday 1:30pm-2:45pm

This Lab will explore how the intersections between the humanities, narratives and economics inform us about the connections between food systems, climate change, and the health of humans and the planet. As a final deliverable for the course, students will work with food system stakeholders to develop alternative visions of the future of food, and explore the narratives, policies and actions needed to get us there.

This Lab offers general studies humanities credit (HU).

■ Designing the Future University

■ Designing the Future University

Designing the Future University

Chris Boone
Cheryl Heller

Fall 2021: Tuesday and Thursday, 3pm-4:15pm and *Thursday 1:30pm-2:45pm

The course will envision how universities can be redesigned to better prepare individuals and groups to create the future we want, adapt to unforeseen challenges, respond to and contribute to social change, and embed justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion as core operating principles in higher education and beyond.

■ Humanizing Digital Culture

■ Humanizing Digital Culture

Humanizing Digital Culture

Diana Ayton-Shenker
Tim Summers

Fall 2021:  iCourse, Session A (this course may require work into session B)

Lab participants consider how digital culture is (re)shaping human identity, and how humankind attempts to humanize digital culture. An ArtScienceTech lens offers interdisciplinary inquiry and creative platforms to engage with cutting edge initiatives in humanizing digital culture (HDC) through digital identity enterprises, XR and net-native art experiences, experimental publishing, and other innovations.

This Lab offers general studies humanities credit (HU).

Other Unique Thesis Pathway Opportunities

Other Unique Thesis Pathway Opportunities

In addition to the opportunities mentioned above, the follow are other unique opprotunities you can explore.

■ Founders Lab

■ Founders Lab

Do you want the invaluable experience of an honors thesis based on applying the principles of entrepreneurship by starting you very own venture?

This fall we invite you to join a unique team-based, experiential Barrett honors thesis/creative project designed to empower honors students to ‘find their inner entrepreneur’ and launch a new business. Supported by a community, participants will take an opportunity and design and apply unique marketing and sales strategies, as well as business & financial models.

Approximately 100 students, in teams of 3, will design and launch a new user-centric business, culminating in a spring demo day/thesis defense.  

You do not need to be currently cultivating your own idea or start up to participate!

All majors welcome! Open to Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors.

Program Logistics

  • This program is only for Barrett, The Honors College (from any major or campus) and will result in an honors thesis project for submission by April 2022.
  • Thesis credits will be taken: Fall 2020- WPC 492 and Spring 2021- WPC 493 for a total of 6 honors thesis credits.
  • There will be required group meetings each semester with a schedule determined by the thesis director, Jared Byrne.
  • 2nd committee members will be provided, while all students are required to submit a Thesis Prospectus to Barrett, The Honors College fall semester 2021.
  • Full commitment and participation is expected for both fall and spring of the 2020-2021 academic year.

For more information, and to apply for participation, Click Here!

Questions? Contact Jared Byrne

■ InnovationSpace

■ InnovationSpace

The InnovationSpace program provides students with a unique opportunity to develop and prototype solutions to real world challenges. Using the Integrated Innovation model, teams of top students from across the university research, develop, prototype and refine product concepts. InnovationSpace is a class so please expect to have to register for a 5 credit hour class to participate in one of the projects.  Barrett Honors students have the option to turn this two semester project into a thesis.  

This project is open to all majors, and your thesis committee is provided for you.

For more information on the projects:  https://design.asu.edu/innovationspace

Click here to start the application