Honors Sections

These are courses offered through departments across campus. They count as an Honors course and fulfill the normal slot of the regular course.

AGR3303 - Genetics
  • Course: AGR3303
  • Class Number: 18442
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Kara Casy
ARH2000 - Art Apprec Div & Glob

This class introduces students to the visual arts from a global perspective in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage critically with the artistic and cultural landscape of the United States today. In particular, this course helps students master the skills necessary to analyze artworks according to the basic elements and principles of design. It also exposes students to canonical artworks from many of the world's artistic traditions, helping them appreciate how artists, both inside and outside of the United States, have engaged with art's global histories to make work that reflects the rich diversity of the American experience.

The semester is organized thematically, with each module dedicated to a single theme or issue that resonates with art from around the globe and throughout time. These modules, when combined, offer a broad and deep look at the history of global arts and the role of art in American society.


  • Course: ARH2000
  • Class Number: 19344
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Carissa Nicholson
ART2936C - Non-Majors Drawing: Honors Sketchbook


  • Course: ART2936C
  • Class Number: 17681
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Amy Freeman


CHM2051 - General Chemistry Honors

For the Spring 2024 term the Department of Chemistry is offering two sections of Honors General Chemistry 2 under the course number CHM2051. Class #21788 is reserved for students in the Honors program while class #21789 is open to all students that meet the prerequisites. To be placed in this section students must have existing credit for MAC1147 or higher. Students also have to show superior performance in CHM2045 (General Chemistry 1) or equivalent courses (CHM2095 or CHM2050) as evidenced by a ‘B+’ grade or higher. Students may also enroll in this course with credit for CHM2045 from a placement exam (AP, IB, AICE).

Both sections have the same instructor, meet at the same time, and have the same learning experience. The course meets TR-2+3 for lectures in FLI 50. The curriculum closely parallels that of the main CHM2046 courses in topics. However, the combination of a research faculty instructor and a more intimate class size will allow for additional depth in course content as well as greater emphasis on modern developments in chemistry and applications to current problems.


  • Course: CHM 2051
  • Class Number: 21788
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Leslie Murray
EGM2511 - Engr Mech-Statics

Reduction of force systems, equilibrium of particles and rigid bodies, vector methods and their application to structures and mechanisms.  Use of Python to achieve analysis.


  • Course: EGM2511
  • Class Number: 18967
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Michael Griffs
ENC3459 - Writing in Medicine


  • Course: ENC3459 - Writing in Medicine
  • Class Number: 25281
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: TBA
EUS3130 - The Other Europe

This course explores the complexities and contradictions inherent in the concept of European identity. “European Identity” is a concept whose precise meaning and definition, at the turn of the 21st century, has become the focal point for political and cultural contestation, on the level of the European Union and its individual member states, over issues ranging from European expansion, asylum and refugee politics, global capitalism, national identity, immigration, citizenship, racism, anti-Semitism, to the place of Islam within Europe.

The prominence of the question of “European identity” in contemporary cultural debates and politics derives from a number of factors. First, the concept is central in political attempts to infuse the process of the continuing political and economic integration and enlargement of the European Union with a popular sense of supra-national belonging.  

Secondly, the discourse of Europeanness, or more specifically of a “Europe of values” is incessantly mobilized in national contexts to alternately channel and contest the ever-deepening frustration over the social fallout of globalization, immigration, and the so-called “Islamization” of Europe.

The discourse of “Europeanness” presumes an essential “core” of European identity. But “Europeanness” is, and has historically been, always constructed in a relation of opposition to its various internal and external “Others.” This course critically examines the construction of “European Identity” in relation to the social and ethnic groups, regions, and religions which have been, and in some cases still are, posited as Europe’s “Other.” It explores the after effects of these constructions of Otherness on the contemporary scene of European politics. And it ultimately questions the viability of the “European Project” in the light of recent events such as the Euro crisis, the crisis in Ukraine, the refugee crisis and the rise of anti-immigrant xenophobia.


  • Course: EUS3130
  • Class Number: 29567
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Esther Romeyn
EVR2001 - Intro Env Sci

This general education course will introduce you to environmental science as an academic field to improve your environmental literacy while developing skills in scientific reasoning, interdisciplinary thinking and analysis of complex social-ecological issues. Heavy emphasis is placed on comparing international perspectives on environmental problems and solutions to highlight the important role of culture in environmental matters.  Students in the honors section will attend lecture with a larger section of the class, but you will complete an independent research project on a topic of interest at the end of the semester instead of writing a critique of an environmental documentary.


  • Course: EVR2001 - Intro Env Sci
  • Class Number: 28872
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Ryan Z. Good
MAP2302 - Elementary Differential Equations


  • Course: MAP2302
  • Class Number: 24792
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: David Groisser
MUL2010 - Experiencing Music

MUL 2010 is designed to examine music and its role in culture: how it both shapes and is shaped by social, political, national, and cultural forces. Examples from Western art music, popular music, and world music will be used to demonstrate music’s inextricable link to life in both historical and contemporary settings. No prior or concurrent courses are required for enrollment in MUL 2010, nor is any prior musical training or experience. However, it is strongly recommended that you have taken ENC 1101 or 1102, as your writing will be held to college-level standards. The HONS section is hybrid, meeting once weekly for a live discussion and completing the remaining coursework online. 


  • Course: MUL2010
  • Class Number: 22529
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Lauren Hodges
PHY2032 - Energy and Society

How will we meet our energy needs based on available resources in a way that is environmentally 
friendly, economically viable, fair, and politically attainable?
This course addresses the question of what energy usage will be in the both the short and long term 
based on availability of resources, technology, environmental concerns, economics, personal choices, 
and national and international policy. The course will provide the background in science, technology, 
the environment, natural resources, economics, and policy so that students can make their own 
decisions as to what their and the world’s energy future will be. As part of the process students will 
develop the quantitative reasoning skills necessary to make informed policy decisions and learn to 
communicate their ideas clearly.

The course starts by introducing the scientific basis for energy and reading in parallel a historical account 
of energy usage. Energy played a central role in how society developed. Many of the concerns that one 
sees now in terms of availability of natural resources and environmental impact have arisen throughout 
history. Students will develop quantitative reasoning skills by tackling energy related problems. The 
math involved is only basic arithmetic, but students will be asked to explain in writing their reasoning. 
Following this initial stage, the course will address in turn energy technologies, environment concerns 
both today and in the past, the economics of energy costs, personal choices that we make and that 
people in different countries make, national energy policies, and international policies and politics. At 
the end of the course, students will write a white paper proposing a particular energy solution that may 
be either at the personal, local, national or international level.


  • Course: PHY2032
  • Class Number: 29645
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Shawn Weatherford

Energy and Society - Syllabus

PHY2060 - Enriched Phy w/Calc 1

This is the first semester of the Enriched Physics With Calculus (Honors Physics) sequence PHY 2060-2061.  This enriched course is aimed at students with prior preparation in physics who wish to acquire a deeper understanding of the subject.  The enriched sequence covers similar material to the Physics with Calculus sequence PHY 2048-2049, but treats basic topics at a faster pace, incorporates more advanced material, and places greater emphasis on instilling conceptual understanding and on developing the ability to solve more challenging problems.  Ability to communicate and explain these concepts and their applications will also be essential.  PHY 2060 covers concepts in classical mechanics, including linear and rotational kinematics and dynamics, conservation laws, oscillations, fluids and special relativity. PHY2060 is a general education course in physics, whose learning objectives fit within the umbrella of UF’s Physical Science general education courses available at the following URL:   https://undergrad.aa.ufl.edu/general-education/gen-ed-program/subject-area-objectives/


  • Course: PHY2060 
  • Class Number: 15677
  • Day/Period: T R/6-7
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Dominique Laroche
PHY2061 - Enriched Phy w/Calc 2

Textbook: The required text is David Halliday, Robert Resnick, and Kenneth S. Krane, Physics, Volume 2
(5th edition, Wiley) ISBN: 0471401943 

Prereq: PHY 2060

Coreq: MAC 2313 or the equivalent

General Education Objectives (Physical Science): https://undergrad.aa.ufl.edu/general-education/gen-ed-program/subject-area-objectives/

A minimum grade of C is required for general education credit.

Synopsis: Second course of the enriched sequence. Electricity and magnetism, including electrostatics, Gauss's Law, potentials, vector analysis, Laplace's equation, conductors and insulators, circuits, magnetism, Maxwell's equations and EM fields in matter. 

Course objectives: To obtain a thorough understanding of electrostatic interactions, magnetic interactions and electromagnetic waves. Applications to modern technology and environmental impacts will be emphasized along with a historical perspective. In-class discussions and programming projects are expected to enhance critical thinking and interest in numerical techniques.

Student Learning Outcomes: The laws of physics are the starting point for most scientific research and engineering applications. Students taking this course obtain broad-based knowledge and experience applying these laws. Many students go on to graduate study in physics, and a considerable number pursue advanced degrees in other science disciplines, all branches of engineering and medical school. The learning outcomes students can expect to acquire through successful completion of the course are listed below along with the assignments through which the outcomes will be assessed.


  • Identify, define and describe a core fields of physics i.e. electromagnetism (Lectures, textbook)
  • Formulate empirically-testable hypotheses derived from the study of physical processes, and apply logical reasoning skills (Homeworks, Quizzes, and Exams)

Critical Thinking:

  • Formulate, solve problems and draw conclusions from data. (Extra credit programming projects)


  • Effectively and clearly communicate ideas in speech and in writing in an accepted style. (In-class discussions)


  • Course: PHY2061
  • Class Number: 15696
  • Day/Period: T R/2-3
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Amlan Biswas


PSY4930 - Special Topics in Psych: Resilience in Children w/CHC

Resilience in Children with Chronic Health Conditions is designed to provide students with (1) an overview of commonpediatric chronic illnesses; (2) an overview of resilience and how resilience-building approaches are applied to the psychological treatment of pediatric chronic illnesses; and (3) an examination of resilience theory, assessment, and promotion efforts through a review of psychological literature. A special focus will be on the interactive nature of resilience and health outcomes, with discussion on how this interactive relationship is compounded by factors such as socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, access to care, and engagement in illness management. This course serves as a 3-credit upper-level honors elective course within clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida. The early-stage developmental focus will support learning objectives that are applicable to a range of clinical and health profession degrees including public health, psychology, pre-medicine, health sciences, and early development undergraduate training programs.

After successfully completing PSY4930, the student will have:

  • Gained a broad understanding of the concept of resilience as it relates to living with a pediatric chronic illness, on the individual, family, and society levels.
  • Acquired understanding of how resilience impacts disease outcomes in common pediatric chronic illnesses.
  • Learned the role of pediatric psychologists in the clinical intervention of building resilience, with an emphasis on disease-specific evidence-based concepts.
  • Learned the role of pediatric psychologists in building resilience theory, assessment approaches based on resilience models, and resilience promotion efforts.
  • Gained a broad understanding of barriers that impact resilience in pediatric chronic illness populations, such as difficulties with access to care.
  • Acquired practice reading and critiquing scientific literature related to resilience in common pediatric chronic illnesses.


  • Course: PSY4930
  • Class Number: 21672
  • Day/Period: M/8-10
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Sarah Westen
RUT3443 - War and Peace

This course introduces students to Tolstoy's epic novel of life in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century.  War and Peace is a profound meditation on the causes of war, the nature of human relationships, and, perhaps most importantly, the meaning of history itself. As we read War and Peace in its entirety, we will examine the origins of the novel in Tolstoy's early writing, and we will consider the historical, political, and social contexts of the events described: the Napoleonic Wars and the turbulent period fifty years later in which Tolstoy wrote War and Peace. Taught entirely in English. No prerequisites or knowledge of Russian required.


  • Course: RUT 3443
  • Class Number: 27533
  • Day/Period: MWF/5
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Ingrid Kleespies
SPC2608 - Introduction to Public Speaking

Theory and practice presenting public speeches, determining communication purpose(s) and adapting to organization, evidence, language and other message characteristics for designated audiences.


  • Course: SPC2608
  • Class Number: 16920
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Amy Jung
SPN3300 - Spanish Grammar/Compos 1


  • Course: SPN3300
  • Class Number: 16225
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Andrea Villa Ruiz

Quest Courses

Honors Quest 1 courses fulfill the UF Quest 1 requirement and 3 credits of General Education requirement in the Humanities. Honors Quest 2 courses fulfill the UF Quest 2 requirement and 3 credits of General Education in Social & Behavioral Science or Physical / Biological Science. Honors students who enter the program in 2023 or later may complete any section of the UF-required Quest 1 and 2 courses.

Quest 1

IDS1468 - Why Tell Stories?
  • Course: IDS1468
  • Class Number: 27074
  • MWF/5
  • Instructor: Alison Reynolds
IDS2935 - The American Idea

Essential Question: what are the primary beliefs and ideas that shaped the United States at its birth, throughout its history, and into the twenty-first century?  


  • Course: IDS2935
  • Class Number: 27014
  • Day/Period: T/8-9 R/9
  • Instructor: William Inboden
  • Instructor: James Hooks
  • Instructor: Benjamin Sasse
IDS2935 - Humans-Oil-Plants-Energy?
  • Course: IDS2935
  • Class Number: 21676
  • Day/Period: T/2-3, R3
  • Instructors: Emily Hind/Katerie Gladdys 
IDS2935 - Passing: Black, White, and Jewish

In what ways does the phenomenon of racial passing challenge and shape traditional understandings of identity, privilege, and social constructs, and how does literature and film, particularly within the context of Jewish and African American cultures, serve as a lens through which we can critically examine these complex dynamics of race and ethnicity?

Course: IDS2935

  • Class Number: 21687
  • Day/Period: T/4-5, R4
  • Instructor: Roy Holler
IDS2935 - Placing Florida

Essential Question: What is place, and how does the idea of place help us understand and write about ourselves and the lives of others?

  • Course: IDS2935
  • Course Number: 21698
  • Day/Period: T/7, R/7-8
  • Instructor: Kenneth Kidd
THE1431 - Autobiography in Literature & Performance
  • Course: THE1431
  • Class Number: 28824
  • Day/Period: T4/R4-5
  • Instructor: Manuel Simons

Quest 2

IDS2935 - Biodiversity Changing World

How are humans altering the number, relative abundance, and distribution of species on Earth via changing land use, urbanization, globalization, and climate change and how are these changes impacting ecosystem services and the human experience?


  • Course: IDS2935
  • Class Number: 24895
  • Day/Period: T/5-6, R/5
  • Instructor: Jennifer Weeks
IDS2935 - Climate Change Economic Impacts
  • Course: IDS2935
  • Class Number: 24289
  • Day/Period: M/7-8, W/7
  • Instructor: Michelle Phillips
PHY2032 - Energy and Society

How will we meet our energy needs based on available resources in a way that is environmentally friendly, economically viable, fair, and politically attainable?


  • Course: PHY2032
  • Class Number: 29645
  • Day/Period: T/4, R/4-5
  • Instructor: Shawn Weatherford

(un)common arts

These one-credit courses are discussion-oriented, seminar courses centered on a performance or an exhibit.

IDH2952 - Music and healing in Sub-Saharan Africa

How can music heal?  Change the world?  Unite an increasingly divided world?  This course will focus on and explore how musicians in Sub-Saharan Africa use their music and their platform to promote healing in their society.  Healing in this instance is defined broadly to include the use of music in healing medical practice, reducing stigma associated with medical conditions such as blindness, calling attention to disease epidemics, public health education, community building, social activism, general wellbeing, reconciliation and healing after war, changing stereotypes about Africa, ending apartheid, providing inspiration,  and others.  Course activities will include  discussions, readings, listening to and learning about musicians and musical styles past and present, and attending a concert at the Phillips Center.


  • Course: IDH2952
  • Class Number: 29893
  • Day/Period: M/6
  • Instructor: Nina Stoyan-Rosenzweig

Music and Healing in Sub-Saharan Africa - Syllabus

IDH2952: Musical storytelling with Taylor Swift and other iconic female artists

…Ready for it? In this class, students will fearlessly jump then fall into 13 gorgeous weeks of discussing Taylor Swift’s discography, with a focus on her evergreen songwriting, and draw parallels between Swift’s enchanting lyrics and works by other famous female masterminds such as Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, and Dolly Parton. Each week, students will be expected to keep their eyes open and read closely in order to listen, reflect, discuss, and write on themes like old flames, infidelity, aging, and double standards. Students will collaborate with their peers to annotate lyrics, analyze themes, and participate in class discussions all too well. Students will write 2 online discussions posts: an introduction and an analysis of themes. Students will have the best day seeing On Your Feet!, a musical about Gloria Estefan. At the end of the semester, students will have a marvelous time working with a partner to create a final project of their choosing. 


  • Course: IDH2952
  • Class Number: 30037
  • Instructor: Melina Jimenez
  • Peer Instructors: Caroline Carter/Karina LaRubbio


Students enrolled in the course should check Canvas or contact the instructor for the syllabus.

Other inquiries about the course syllabus should be directed to Dr. Melissa Johnson.

IDH2952 - Protest!: A History of Social and Political Protest Graphics

This course will take a look at political cartoons throughout American history. The class works from the text Protest!: A History of Social and Political Protest Graphics. Political Cartoons have always been an exploration of freedom vs. propaganda and political art has continually challenged society. Each week we will examine a particular time in history and the political cartoons/art representing it. We will explore symbolism, satire, analogy, and irony. Essential questions include: Do the cartoons still have the same impact they did when they were created? Are there new forms of political cartoons/modernized methods? What are the different types of protest/unrest? Can you think of any contemporary art propaganda?


  • Course: IDH2952
  • Class Number: 29891
  • Day/Period: M/3
  • Instructor: Patricia Takacs

Political Cartoons - Syllabus

IDH2952 - The Roots of American Music: Blues and Beyond

The lectures, readings, and videos explore the origins of American music through the Mississippi Delta and its movement to Chicago and beyond.  The course examines how Delta Blues and its offshoots not only constructed our current music scene but also the social fabric of our culture.  Class instruction includes field trips to local blues shows.

Dr. Ed Kellerman has taught The Roots of American Music: Blues and Beyond for the past six years in the Honors College. He is a professional guitarist and ethnomusicologist on Delta and Deep South blues, folk, and country blues genres. In retirement, Dr. Kellerman continues to research the origins and spread of American roots music throughout the US and world.


  • Course: IDH2952
  • Class Number: 27178
  • Day/Period: R/6
  • Instructor: Ed Kellerman

Blues and Beyond - Syllabus


IDH2952 - Talk About the Passion: Bach, Hippies, & Jesus Christ Superstar

From its inception as a concept album in 1970 through its Broadway debut and numerous revivals up to the present day, Jesus Christ Superstar has proved to be one of the most durable musicals of the late 20th century. At every step, the show has inspired both accolades and controversy. In this course, we will examine the historical and musical roots of this work as a venerable artistic form, as well as the evolving spiritual meanings attached to it over the centuries. We will look at the Counterculture movements of the 1960s that inspired Jesus Christ Superstar, and the roles that rock music played in both the movements and the musical. Finally, we will explore analogous religious/dramatic/musical expressions in other cultures and traditions. The centerpiece of this UnCommon Arts course will be attending a performance of the 50th Anniversary production of Jesus Christ Superstar on March 12 in the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.


  • Course: IDH2952
  • Class Number: 29892
  • Day/Period: W/8
  • Instructor: Charles Pickeral

Talk About the Passion - Syllabus

IDH2952 - TextStyles: Life's Common Threads

“teks-“ is a Proto-Indo-European root word that means “to weave” and “to fabricate” (Oxford English Dictionary). The terms “text” and “textile” are linked from this ancient root; these terms and related language (e.g. thread, weave, yarn, stitch) are used in both the context of communication and the context of the fiber arts. As with language, humans use textiles to create useful, practical items, but humans also use them to express experiences, emotions, and identity. Students in this course will learn about the textile arts through art and craft. Students will learn about methods and processes of textile arts, the connection of fiber arts to composition and communication, the relationship between textile arts and the self, and the relationship between textile arts and community. The class will include guest speakers from the local textile arts world to see how these topics are applied in art and in craft. Students will create a textile art project throughout the semester and present it at the end of the semester. 

Dr. Coenen studies communication as an intersection of language and identity. She is currently expanding her interests to further explore composition in terms of the fiber arts. She has been faculty in the UWP since 2014 but taught at UF as a graduate student and adjunct since 2000. Outside of academics, she hikes and sews.



  • Course: IDH2952
  • Class Number: 29955
  • Day/Period: R/3
  • Instructor: Jennifer Coenen

TextStyles - Syllabus

(un)common reads

These are discussion-oriented, one-credit seminar courses centered on a book.

History + Biography

IDH2930 - Aristotle's Rhetoric: How to use an ancient text to excel today in personal Style and Persuasion skills

Course teaches students how to construct persuasive arguments and to write with style. The assignments are designed to enhance the students ability to communicate for work and on social media.  After over two millennia, Aristotle's The Rhetoric is still the greatest guide to learn how to persuade others.

Prior to joining the Hamilton Center, Howard Lidsky was on the faculty of the Honors College of the University of Missouri teaching Rhetoric and Law related classes. Also while at Mizzou, he taught multiple undergraduate classes in the Mizzou Political Science Department.

Prior to entering university teaching in 2018, Lidsky practiced law in Gainesville, Florida for more than twenty years and was Florida Bar Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law. During his law practice, Lidsky represented many clients in highly publicized trials including most notably a successful murder defense in the 2010 Hawthorne Cold Case trials. Lidsky served as an assistant state attorney in Florida’s 19th Judicial Circuit.

Lidsky graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1992 and received a BA in history from the University of Virginia in 1990.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29959
  • Day/Period: R/3
  • Instructor: Howard Lidsky

Aristotle's Rhetoric - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The True Story Behind Oppenheimer and the Making of the Atomic Bomb

We will explore the broader true story behind the popular Christopher Nolan movie Oppenheimer through Richard Rhodes' Pulitzer Prize winning contemporary history book The Making of the Atomic Bomb. It describes the personalities of the scientists who discovered the reactions that made the bomb possible. It also shows the impact of other historical events such as World War 1 and the Nazi rise in Europe on the development of atomic energy. It is not only a story about the scientific discoveries, but also about the events and personalities that affected the development of the bomb. This course is intended to provide the student with an opportunity to express their understanding of this work in written and oral communication. Discussions regarding content will be centered around the implications of intended actions of individuals and groups as well as unintended consequences of historical circumstances.

Prof. Kyle C. Hartig, is an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, member of the Florida Institute for National Security (FINS) at the University of Florida, and Joint Appointee with Savannah River National Laboratory. Before coming to UF, he spent a year as a Post-Doctoral Scholar at PNNL contributing to remote sensing research in support of two NNSA funded ventures. Dr. Hartig earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) at the University Park, PA campus, which was funded in part by the Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellowship Program supported by DHS. He received his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Oregon State University (OrSU). He has held a number of positions within the Federal Government concerning Counterproliferation and Intelligence topics, and has authored a number of high-level internal publications. His areas of specialization includes remote sensing, nuclear nonproliferation/counterproliferation, nuclear security, and
nuclear policy.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29902
  • Day/Period: M/2
  • Instructor: Kyle C. Hartig

The Making of the Atomic Bomb - Syllabus


IDH2930 - Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington

In this course we will be reading the exciting new history of Washington D.C. from a queer perspective. Students should expect to learn about the intricacies of American government when sexual orientation becomes involved in our understanding of the U.S. political system. The book ranges from the Cold War to the present and has deep resonances in our current moment. Students will learn about how archival research and queer historical methodologies lead to fresh understandings of the past.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29900
  • Day/Period: W/4
  • Instructor: Noah Mullens

Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Secret History

Author Donna Tartt is best known for her most-recent novel, The Goldfinch (2013), which garnered numerous literary awards, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. But it is her debut novel, The Secret History (1992), that has become a cult classic, and continues to generate the most interest among readers.

The Secret History is an inverted detective story, where readers are exposed to a murder in the opening pages. Readers are told about the victim, the murderers, and their means, but their motives remain a mystery. The story is told by protagonist Richard Papen, a first-year student at small-but-elite Hampden College in Vermont. Coming from a working-class family, Richard feels out of place at Hampden until he meets a mysterious group of five wealthy and eccentric students—Henry, “Bunny,” Francis, and Charles and Camilla (twins)—that share his interest in classics (i.e., Greek, Latin). Richard is elusive about his working-class background, but over time, Henry and his group grow to accept Richard into their fold. But when the rest of the group—without Richard—attempts to translate their academic interests into ritual practice by recreating an ancient Dionysian rite deep in the Vermont woods, the story takes multiple unexpected turns.​

The Secret History’s broad themes include envy, guilt, isolation, manipulation, social class, and the link between beauty and terror. The purpose of this course is to expose readers to a modern murder mystery masterpiece set in a college town and written by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who was a student herself at the novel’s outset. Attendance, participation, reactions papers, and leading group discussions will determine grades. Reaction papers will focus on plots and themes that are present in the book. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30071
  • Day/Period: M/10
  • Instructor: Gregory Webster

Secret History - Syllabus


Science (Non-Health) + Science Fiction

IDH2930 - Alchemy of Air

The Alchemy of Air: A Jewish Genius, a Doomed Tycoon, and the Scientific Discovery That Fed the World but Fueled the Rise of Hitler’ by Thomas Hager.

From the back cover of this book: “A sweeping history of tragic genius, cutting-edge science, and the Haber-Bosch discovery that changed billions of lives—including your own. At the dawn of the twentieth century, humanity was facing global disaster: Mass starvation was about to become a reality. A call went out to the world’s scientists to find a solution. This is the story of the two men who found it: brilliant, self-important Fritz Haber and reclusive, alcoholic Carl Bosch. Together they discovered a way to make bread out of air, built city-sized factories, and saved millions of lives.

But their epochal triumph came at a price we are still paying. The Haber-Bosch process was also used to make the gunpowder and explosives that killed millions during the two world wars. Both men were vilified during their lives; both, disillusioned and disgraced, died tragically.

The Alchemy of Air is the extraordinary, previously untold story of a discovery that changed the way we grow food and the way we make war–and that promises to continue shaping our lives in fundamental and dramatic ways.”

One does not have to be an expert in history or in chemistry to read and appreciate this book. Its author, Thomas Hager, a veteran science and medical writer knows how to tell dramatic stories about world-changing discoveries. His books have earned national recognition, including in 2017 the American Chemical Association's top writing award, the Grady-Stack Medal for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public.

After reading the book students will be familiar with the Haber-Bosch process, what it is, how it was developed, and its effects on world history in the 20th century and beyond. They will also be familiar with the lives of the two main protagonists in the story, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch. Moreover, students will understand the implications of ‘fixed nitrogen’ on modern agriculture, industrial chemistry, and our environment.

During the first half of the semester we will read and discuss the book in student-led discussions. The second half of the semester will be dedicated to students’ own research on a topic of their interest related to the book. Each student will have the opportunity to share their insights with the rest of the class in a ~15-minute presentation.


Alchemy of Air - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Calculus Gems. Some of the nicest proofs in Calculus

In this class, we will cover these facts and some of the most beautiful and surprising arguments from the history of Calculus. These are beyond the scope of regular Calculus classes, but are within the reach of anyone with a good understanding of Calculus II. Sometimes we will provide some historical context as well.

Our book will be the classic book of George F. Simmons, Calculus Gems.

Ideally, students registering for the class should have already completed Calculus II, though in some cases, it is acceptable if the student takes Calculus II in the same semester.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 20802
  • Day/Period: M/7
  • Instructor: Miklos Bona

Calculus Gems - Syllabus





IDH2930 - Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human

In this course, we'll read "Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made us Human", which weaves together information from paleontology, molecular biology, anatomy, cultural history, and more. This books seeks to understand how and why we find certain foods tasty and how that has shaped our biological and cultural histories. During weekly discussions, students will learn about what shapes our perception of flavor and how biologists and anthropologists leverage information from different fields to ask questions about our past.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 27233
  • Day/Period: T/3
  • Instructor: David Blackburn

Delicious - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Existential Physics: A Scientific Approach to the Meaning of Life, Free Will, and Consciousness

"Are we living in a computer simulation?" "Does quantum entanglement imply that telepathy is possible?" "If energy cannot be created or destroyed, can someone truly die?" "Does Einstein's theory of relativity mean that the past is not real?" "Do we possess free will, or are our actions predetermined?" If you have ever asked yourself these questions, this course is made for you! Physics comes closest to providing answers to these compelling inquiries that have fascinated humanity since the beginning of time. While science and spirituality are often portrayed as mutually exclusive, Sabine Hossenfelder in "Existential Physics" presents a different perspective. As a renowned physicist, Hossenfelder delves into what we do and do not know about the human condition and the universe within the realm of modern physics. Join us as we unravel the fabric of reality, ponder the mysteries of existence, and embark on a journey of intellectual discovery that promises to reshape the way you view the universe and your place within it.

My name is Audrey McAnally, and I am a rising senior from Orlando, FL. I am majoring in anthropology while pursuing the pre-med track, and I intend to study psychiatry in medical school. I have a passion for utilizing spirituality and self-awakening as tools to facilitate the healing of both physical and mental afflictions, which I hope to incorporate in my future practice. In my free time, I enjoy weightlifting, reading, meditating, and exploring new kava bars! 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29901
  • Day/Period: W/9
  • Instructors: Kim Holton/Audrey McAnally

Existential Physics - Syllabus


IDH2930 - Howl's Moving Castle: How the Ordinary Subverts the Extraordinary

Sophie, a young hatmaker living in the town of Market Chipping, suddenly finds herself turned into an old woman by the infamous Witch of the Waste. Running away from her home, she seeks the help of a mysterious wizard named Howl by entering his notorious moving castle. Hijinks ensue! Each week students will be expected to read the assigned section and supplementary material in order to participate in class discussion. Students will write 2 online discussions posts: an introduction and an analysis of themes. At the end of the semester, students will work with a partner to create a final project of their choosing. We will also discuss the Studio Ghibli film adaption at the end of the semester.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29297
  • Day/Period: R/10
  • Instructor: Melina Jimenez
  • Peer Instructor: Julianna del Canal

Howl's Moving Castle - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

HeLa cells are one of the oldest and most commonly used human cell line. Even though the utility of this cell line is vast and important, the history behind how the cells were isolated and used is a bioethical conundrum. Science, medicine, and technology have progressed significantly because of the use of HeLa cells and with this progress have come ethical questions. The intent of this course is to focus on the biological, medical, technological, and ethical issues surrounding HeLa cells.


Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Syllabus



IDH2930 - Psychedelic Neuromedicine

This course is based on the book How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence by Michael Pollan, which presents a review of the use of psychedelic drugs throughout human history, including in religious practices in various cultures and the US countercultural movement of the 1960s. The course will require a mature perspective on drug use. Students can expect to participate in frank discussions around the effects of psychedelic drugs under a variety of conditions. The course does not in any way advocate the casual use of psychedelic or other drugs.

Honors students interested in subjects as far-ranging as spirituality, therapeutic treatments, the history of medicine, brain neurotransmitters, psychiatric illnesses, and consciousness should find something of interest in this course. 

The class will be structured around weekly discussion of the book and students will be evaluated based on class participation and two 1200-word papers.

Regan Garner (rlgarner@ufl.edu) is an Associate Director in the Honors Program where she coordinates internal scholarship programs. Ms. Garner works closely with the UF International Center’s offices of International Student Services and Study Abroad and was named UF’s International Educator of the Year in 2016. 

Dr. Lou Ritz (lritz@ufl.edu) is on the faculty of the Department of Neuroscience in the McKnight Brain Institute, a former director for Clinical Neuroscience which is taken by second year medical students, and the director of the UF Center for Spirituality and Health (www.spiritualityandhealth.ufl.edu). Dr. Ritz was selected by Honors students as the 2018 Honors Professor of the Year. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 24330
  • Day/Period: W/9
  • Instructor: Regan Garner
  • Instructor: Louis Ritz

Psychedelic Neuromedicine - Syllabus


IDH2930 - The Doors of Perception

The study of plant medicines including psychedelics for medicinal rather than recreational use is not 
new. In the early 1960s the “Harvard Psilocybin Project” worked with legal “magic mushrooms” and 
other substances to explore the possibilities of the psychedelic experience on the mind, brain, and body 
of the human subject. These researchers were each significantly inspired by one particular text: The 
Doors of Perception, written by Aldous Huxley. Published in 1954, Huxley’s literary illustration of his 
experience is the primary content of the writing. This book informed the initial goals of researchers 
including Richard Alpert and Timothy Leary into the psychological benefits possible through the use of 
psychedelics. These goals have been the subject of numerous research studies since 1960, and continue 
today at centers including John’s Hopkins and the University College London (UCL). 

Currently there are many changes happening in the American healthcare system that have “expanded 
mental health” as their broadly defined target. In particular, the ongoing approval of certain plant 
medicines, including psychedelics, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States 
signals the significant momentum to find remedies for treatment resistant forms of mental illness, 
including depression and anxiety. Recent national conferences convened by the Multidisciplinary 
Association for Psychedelic Science (MAPS) have included speakers ranging from the NFL quarterback 
Aaron Rodgers to John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods. Dr. Smith has been participating in these 
conference proceedings and will bring the current, unfolding events in this healthcare and research 
landscape to the Uncommon Reads discussions. 

This Uncommon Reads will consider the methods and modeling in Huxley’s book. The course is being 
convened by Dr. Craig Smith. Dr. Smith is in his thirteenth year at UF and has been teaching sections of 
Uncommon Reads since 2012. Dr. Smith is the Chief Culture Officer for Control-Z, LLC; a healthcare 
startup focused on helping patients with formerly treatment-resistant forms of depression and anxiety. 
He is the former Director of Culture for Column Health, LLC which served eleven different municipalities 
in the State of Massachusetts with humane, accessible treatment methods for addiction. Led by these
experiences, Dr. Smith will guide group discussions with Uncommon Reads students to explore the Doors 
Perception in the context of contemporary healthcare developments in the United States.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29908
  • Day/Period: T/4
  • Instructor: Craig Smith

Doors of Perception - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Drug Addiction

Drugs by themselves are neither good or bad – it is ultimately how they are used that will lead humans to label them as such. Oliver Grundmann, PhD, has researched both synthetic and natural drugs with mind-altering effects for over a decade. Those who have been used for hundreds of years as part of traditional medicine and rituals are often mis- or abused in modern society. Others are solely intended to either create a fantastic escape from reality or get the user hooked to cause a substance use disorder. Numerous personal accounts and the scientific literature are a testament to this growing problem of what is commonly called “addiction”. But there is more to it as seen through the eyes of a researcher. Accompany Dr. Grundmann as he discusses the landscape, effects, and impact of drugs on the individual and society.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 25094
  • Day/Period: M/5 Online
  • Instructor: Oliver Grundmann

Addiction - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Empathy in the Health Professions

Empathy is a multifaceted construct that is considered a highly effective tool in healthcare. Empathy in relation to patient care may be defined as "the ability to understand a patient's pain, suffering, and perspective, combined with a capability to communicate this understanding and an intention to help." It is viewed as an important element of professionalism in medicine, and it is believed to positively impact both physician wellness and patient outcomes. More recently, however, with health professions education and the health care system having become very reliant on computer-based diagnostic and therapeutic technology, students' and practitioners' vision about the importance of human connection and empathic engagement in patient care has unfortunately become more limited. Given the findings that medical students tend to develop a certain cynicism as they progress through their medical education and empathy erodes in medical school and postgraduate medical education, it is timely and important to pay serious attention to enhancing and sustaining empathy in the health professions education and patient care. Jean Decety, Ph.D., has spent over 35 years of his life dedicating his research to the topic of Empathy in Health Professions, which has contributed greatly to this field of social and behavioral sciences. In this book, Dr. Decety discusses various sociological and neuroscience perspectives on empathy, as well as empathy's evolutionary and neuroanatomical histories. In this course, we invite you not only to become a better physician in the future but also to become a better human. Through the course of the semester, we will better understand how to feel for others while becoming more professional pre-health students. After all, "you couldn't love something you didn't understand" (Forrest Carter, p. 38).


Empathy in the Health Professions - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Exploring Women's Health Through Patient Narrative: Reading Ask Me About my Uterus

This course is designed to explore women’s health and patient narratives through the a close reading and discussion of a personal memoir from a woman struggling with undiagnosed endometriosis and her issues with advocating for her own health with disbelieving providers. Students who participate in this course will discuss, the following topics in depth:

·         Issues of the unique challenges and concerns of women regarding their health, particularly their reproductive health,

·         The use of patient narratives as tools for processing and advocating for women’s health,

·         The difficulties of navigating the health care system, and

·         Gender disparities in healthcare and women’s fraught history with the medical establishment

Mary Edwards, MLIS, EdD is an Associate University Librarian in the UF Health Science Center Library (HSCL), where she has worked since 2004. Mary is a reference and liaison librarian who liaises with a number of clinical and research departments in the Colleges of Medicine and Public Health and Health Professions.  As part of her liaison duties Mary collaborates on instruction and research with faculty from her departments as well as pursing her own research interests in instructional design, online teaching and learning, distance education, program evaluation, and new literacies including media, digital, and information. She has taught in UF Health Science Center’s interprofessional education program since 2011 and currently teaches in both the first-year course “Putting Families First” and the second year course “Interprofessional Learning in HealthCare”. Her previous Uncommon Reads course focused on topics including African American cooking and southern culture, graphic medicine in the context of death, dying, and grief, and modern healthcare.

Lauren Adkins, MLIS, is the University of Florida Health Science Libraries Librarian Liaison to the College of Pharmacy and the departments of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in the College of Medicine. She obtained her MLIS from the University of South Florida in 2014. Her prior experience includes working as a Medical Librarian for Moffitt Cancer Center Biomedical Library and as a Reference Librarian for the University of Tampa Macdonald-Kelce Library. Previously she has co-taught courses on multiculturalism in healthcare and African American cooking and southern culture. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 28647
  • Day/Period: R/7
  • Instructors: Mary Edwards/Lauren Adkins

Exploring Women's Health - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Hot Zone: An exploration of diseases and society

Emerging infectious diseases have brought devastation to populations around the globe. This course will explore a fictional story of a newly emerged disease that is plaguing the United States. We will be reading the book “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston, which chronicles a team of scientists and soldiers that are mobilized to stop an infectious disease that has appeared in Washington, D.C. We will discuss the similarities and differences between our lived experiences with disease and the fictional story presented in the book. We will pair this literary endeavor with the National Geographic miniseries.


The Hot Zone - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Man and Microbes

This is the third time that I will be teaching this course based on the book “Man and Microbes” by Arno Karlen. This is a wonderful book, and, I feel, a very timely one to read and to base a course on, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. It describes the history of humanity as viewed through the prism of epidemics and pandemics. The book deals with question of how diseases arise, frequently jumping from animals to humans, how they evolve and why. The book also places the disease as a central actor in history. It is a written by an erudite, who is not only a writer but also a scientist. The book is written in a clear and easy language, making it a page-turner, despite sometimes gruesome details that are inevitable considering the subject matter. The book is very affordable and is available from Amazon for $15 new, and numerous used copies are also there for sale for as low as $2. I greatly enjoyed teaching this course in the spring of 2022, and it seems that all 14 students enrolled in the course also enjoyed the experience (based on student evaluations).


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 24994
  • Day/Period: W/6
  • Instructor: Andrei Sourakov

Man and Microbes - Syllabus


IDH2930 - Neurotheology: Our Brain on Spirituality

This course is based on the book Neurotheology: How Science Can Enlighten Us About Spirituality by Andrew Newberg. Dr. Newberg is a academic physician specializing in neuroradiology. The book explores the role of neurological mechanisms of the brain during spiritual and religious experiences. The author considers brain structure and function, brain pathologies such as epilepsy and stroke, myths and rituals, free will, psychedelic experiences, near-death experiences, the default mode network, and transcendent, mystical experiences that may take us beyond the brain.

Honors students with interests in brain functions, spirituality, religion, psychology, neurology, medicine, and/or mystical experiences will find this course of interest.

This course is a student-centered discussion class. The final grade will be based on two 1200-word reflection essays and on class participation.

Dr. Lou Ritz (lritz@ufl.edu) is on the faculty of the Department of Neuroscience within the McKnight Brain Institute and the College of Medicine. Dr. Ritz is the former director of Clinical Neuroscience, a course taken by second year medical students. He is the director of the University of Florida Center for Spirituality and Health (www.spiritualityandhealth.ufl.edu) and was selected by Honors students as the 2018 Honors Professor of the Year.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30025
  • Day/Period: W/10
  • Instructor: Louis Ritz

Neurotheology - Syllabus

Society + Culture + Politics

IDH2930 - The Case for Conscience

Toleration, freedom of conscience, and liberty are foundational values in contemporary society. However, only a few centuries ago these concepts were controversial and widely rejected. Why was there once such a fear of these revolutionary ideals? What arguments were given to defend them? When answering these questions, scholars often turn to the Enlightenment philosopher John Locke as the forefather of toleration. However, three years before Locke’s famous Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), a French Protestant by the name of Pierre Bayle had already published most of the same arguments in his Commentaire Philosophique (1686), translated into English as the Philosophical Commentary (1708). Unlike Locke, whose concept of toleration excluded Catholics and atheists, Bayle applied his theory of toleration universally to include any citizen, regardless of their beliefs. In his day, Bayle was a leading figure of the Enlightenment, renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge and penetrating skills in critical reasoning. Unfortunately, today, almost no one has heard of Bayle and his defense of liberty, freedom, and tolerance. In this class, students will engage in an ‘uncommon read’ of a great and influential of figure, through a critical examination of the English translation of Bayle’s Philosophical Commentary in its historical and intellectual context.

James Hooks is Assistant Director and Lecturer for the Hamilton Center. His research explores the relationship between religious thought and political ideas in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. He is also interested in applying these early modern concepts to contemporary debates in political philosophy about civility, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and toleration. His doctoral thesis at the University of Oxford argued that the Huguenot philosopher Pierre Bayle (1647-1706) significantly influenced the debates on religious toleration in early eighteenth-century England. His dissertation was funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. At Oxford, he was a founding member and editor of the Journal of the Oxford Graduate Theological Society, the President of the Oxford Graduate Theological Society, and a tutor for the Faculty of Theology and Religion. Publications: “Pierre Bayle and Richard Simon: Toleration, Natural Law, and the Old Testament in Bayle’s Commentaire Philosophique,” History of European Ideas (2022). “Le christianisme laïc de Pierre Bayle.” Dossiers des annales de droit (2021). For his next publication, he is undergoing a research project exploring the newly discovered marginalia in the Mary Astell collection in Pepys Library in Cambridge University, looking at Astell’s engagement with early modern French Cartesianism. https://hamilton.center.ufl.edu/people/center-based-faculty/james-hooks/


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29298
  • Day/Period: W/7
  • Instructor: James Hooks

The Case for Conscience - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Dostoevsky's Devils: The Psychology and Morality of Revolution

On November 21, 1869, Sergei Nechaev, a prominent anarchist, murdered a young Russian student who had been a member of his movement. Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote a novel, Devils, based on this event. By turns hilarious and haunting, Devils provides a glimpse into the revolutionary mind. The story gives a blistering account of the transition from liberal idealism to revolutionary nihilism in nineteenth-century Russia. And it examines the role that ideas play in politics, culture, and society. Like Nietzsche, Dostoevsky explored the ways in which the death of God might affect morals and politics. He asked: what are human beings capable of? If we tear down existing institutions, what do we put in their place? Dostoevsky foresaw how revolutionary movements might evolve into totalitarian rule: Shigalov, the revolutionary theorist in the novel, makes the chilling claim, “Starting with unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism.” In this class, students will engage in a close reading of Dostoevsky’s masterful novel. Alongside Dostoevsky, we will investigate the morality and psychology of revolution.

Aaron Alexander Zubia is Assistant Professor in the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida. Previously, he was Postdoctoral Fellow with The Tocqueville Program in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. In 2019-20, he was a Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. Aaron specializes in the moral and political philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment and the American founding. His current research focuses on the thought of eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume. His book, The Political Thought of David Hume: The Origins of Liberalism and the Modern Political Imagination, will be published in Spring 2024 by the University of Notre Dame Press. His scholarly work has appeared in Hume Studies and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. He has also written in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, First
Things, Law & Liberty, Washington Examiner, and Public Discourse. He is the winner of the first annual Hume Studies Essay Prize for his paper, "Hume's Transformation of Academic Skepticism," and he was a runner up for the Jack Miller Center's Excellence in Civic Education Award in 2021. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29627
  • Day/Period: T/5
  • Instructor: Aaron Zubia

Dostoevsky's Devils - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers is an essential text for understanding the US Constitution and the American tradition. It is also a pivotal work in the context of world history and a classic in Enlightenment political thought, grounded in the philosophy of Montesquieu and David Hume. While the Federalist Papers has acquired a reputation as a masterpiece of American literature, the work originated as a series of 85 newspaper articles, written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, and published in 1787 and 1788 to promote ratification of the Constitution of the United States. This course will engage with all 85 essays that make up the Federalist Papers over an entire semester. It will seek to examine them as historical documents rooted in their own time and place, and as contributions to political philosophy which illuminate key terms of modern politics such as republicanism, federalism, factionalism, separation of powers, and checks and balances.

Max Skjönsberg is Assistant Professor of Humanities in the Hamilton Center. His educational background is in London, with his BA and MA from QMUL and UCL (2012-13), and his PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2018). Between 2019 and 2022, he was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Liverpool, and between 2022 and 2023 a Leverhulme EC Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and a College Research Associate of Emmanuel College. He has also lectured in politics and history at the University of York and the University of St Andrews. His first book – The Persistence of Party: Ideas of Harmonious Discord in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2021) – treats the concept of political party in eighteenth-century political thought and practice, the time when parliamentary parties first emerged as stable features of politics. He is also the editor of Catharine Macaulay’s Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2023). His research articles have appeared in the Historical Journal, the Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, History of Political Thought, Intellectual History Review, Parliamentary History, the European Journal of Political Theory, and elsewhere. In 2021, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29671
  • Day/Period: T/7
  • Instructor: Max Skjonsberg

The Federalist Papers - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Hate U Give: The Choice I Make

“I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?” This excerpt from the multiple award-winning book The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas’ debut young adult novel, sparks imperative conversations about the structures and systems of society. She was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement to write this book, speaking her truth through realistic fiction. An overview of this book, written by Thomas herself, states: “Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.” The Hate U Give is poignant, evokes vivid imagery, and calls for social action. Thomas’ story offers opportunities to engage in often challenging, but necessary, conversations. The instructor of this (Un)Common Read course, former English Language Arts (ELA) teacher and current UF Literacy Education PhD candidate, seeks to engage students in using literature to think through and beyond their own realities, to study the implications of multimodal storytelling, and to utilize young adult literature as a means for eliciting more complex text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections. In addition to a critical and dialogic analysis of the text, students will make their own associations to various modes of communication as a means for self-expression. Finally, the class will also view the movie, The Hate U Give, and engage in a critical analysis of the textual choices made by both the author and the film producer.

Michelle Commeret is a PhD candidate and graduate teaching assistant at the University of Florida in the College of Education: School of Teaching & Learning. She is in her third year of her PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction, specializing in Language and Literacy Education and her current research interests include the preparation of preservice teachers for equity pedagogies, mentorship and professional learning for emerging ELA teachers, and multiliteracies. A former elementary and middle school English Language Arts teacher, Michelle is passionate about her role as an instructor in higher education to equip her students for transformative lifelong learning.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30082
  • Day/Period: W/5
  • Instructor: Michelle Commeret

The Hate U Give - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Gang Leader for a Day

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for someone to be part of a gang? Are the depictions on T.V. accurate or is it an entirely different experience? Gang Leader for a Day tackles these questions and more. The book follows Sudhir Venkatesh, the author and researcher, as he infiltrates a renowned Chicago gang for seven years. Through his detailed ethnography, we get to learn about the inner workings of a gang, a gang’s relationship with its community, how gangs may be beneficial or detrimental to their communities, and the pros and cons of an ethnography itself. 

The goal of this course is not only to acquire a deeper understanding of gangs and their impacts, but to also understand the use of different research methods, debunk common misconceptions the public may have about gangs, and recognize the social, political, and economic conditions that influence gang formation and behavior. 

Assignments for this course will include attendance, participation, debate, role play, journal reflections, and a final project. The instructors are also hoping to schedule a virtual Q&A with Dr. Venkatesh to provide students the opportunity to ask questions and hear more about his experience conducting research for the book. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29121
  • Day/Period: T/8
  • Instructor: TehQuin Forbes
  • Peer Instructor: Jasmyne Nelson

Gang Leader for a Day - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Understanding the Modern State: the Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes's masterpiece, Leviathan, is arguably the most influential work of political theory ever written. Appearing after the bloody English Civil War and the execution of King Charles I, it was a work of brilliance, controversy, and influence. Through a close reading of Leviathan, this course will explore Hobbesian themes of perennial relevance: state sovereignty, natural rights, human equality, the definition of freedom, and the relationship of politics and religion.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29637
  • Day/Period: T/4
  • Instructor: Jeffrey Collins

Understanding the Modern State - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Machiavelli's The Prince

Machiavelli may well be the most widely known name in the history of philosophy, thanks to the enduring association of his name with the kind of moral and political outlook or philosophy he explicated in 1532 in his most (in)famous work, The Prince. The influence of this book made “Machiavellian” a household word, even 500 years later, for someone who is manipulative, deceptive, and ruthlessly pragmatic in the pursuit of power. And not just a household name: in psychology “Machiavellianism,” narcissism, and psychopathy comprise the so-called “dark triad” of personality traits.

In this course, we will read The Prince, the primary source of Machiavelli’s enduring cultural and intellectual influence. This short book, often considered “the most famous book on politics ever written”—though also “the most infamous”—is why Machiavelli is credited as the “founder of modern political science,” and it is why you reading this probably know his name already.

Together, we will read and discuss Machiavelli’s presentation of his distinctively modern moral and political philosophy in The Prince. This is a philosophy in which the classical notion of “virtue” is reconceptualized to have virtually the opposite of its traditional meaning, in which the notions of “necessity” and “fortune” and the understanding of how one ought to respond to circumstances are rendered radically amoral, even ruthlessly pragmatic—and in which Machiavelli recommends one morality for “the great” (princes, rulers, “the elite”) and another for “the people” (the masses).

In weekly 50-minute class discussions, we will explore and critically analyze Machiavelli’s ideas and arguments, as well as explore relevant connections across the history of philosophy. For example, we’ll consider the perennial figure of the “moral skeptic,” from Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic to David Hume’s “sensible knave,” and from the Marquis de Sade to the “Masters of Suspicion” (Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud). We’ll also explore connections beyond philosophy, like considering the clinical figure of the psychopath in psychology and psychiatry as an empirical instantiation of the moral skeptic, examining contemporary domestic and international politics in light of Machiavelli’s philosophy, and more.

Allen Porter is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida. Before joining the Hamilton Center, he was a John and Daria Barry Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the James Madison Program in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He holds a B.A. in German from Princeton University, a M.A. in Philosophy from Tulane University, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Rice University. His primary research interests are bioethics, continental philosophy, and political philosophy.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29633
  • Day/Period: W/5
  • Instructor: Allen Porter

Machiavelli's The Prince - Syllabus


IDH2930 - The Origins of Totalitarianism

Written after the Second World War, The Origins of Totalitarianism is possibly the century's most brilliant account of what totalitarianism is and how it reached its apogee under two regimes: the USSR under Joseph Stalin and Germany under Adolf Hitler. Hannah Arendt's evaluation of these regimes certainly is one of the most penetrating ever written. But Origins is also an argument against seeing totalitarianism as a historical set-piece. Rather, it remains a persistent temptation in modern times. The book tells how European nations fell apart in the 19th and 20th centuries, precisely at the moment when they became more developed and democratic. This movement uprooted human beings from prior constraints, making it easier for totalitarian ideologies to take hold. So Arendt's historical narrative is a disquieting account of the inherent weaknesses of mass democracy. Moreover, Arendt is attentive to the disturbing plasticity of the human condition. She describes how totalitarianism transforms human beings and provides incisive psychological accounts into the nature of isolation, loneliness, and evil.

Our reading of Origins will be multidisciplinary in method and scope as we draw insights from history, political science, philosophy, and sociology to understand Arendt's arguments. We'll also examine how her arguments have been used in more contemporary settings, assessing the extent to which they are faithful to her concerns.

Harcourt Press edition (1971)



  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29853
  • Day/Period: W/4
  • Instructor: Nathan Pinkoski

Origins of Totalitarianism - Syllabus


IDH2930 - Paradise Lost

No work of Western literature approaches the ambition, scope, and cultural resonance of John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The last true epic poem, Paradise Lost reimagines the foundational myth of Adam and Eve from the Book of Genesis in a narrative that also includes the fall of Lucifer and his rebellious fellow angels, the Creation and destruction of the world, and all cosmological and scientific knowledge as it existed in Milton’s time. Every page of Paradise Lost displays Milton’s dizzying mastery of classical and biblical mythology, but they also show the result of his penetrating investigation into the foundational questions of gender, politics, and religion. While in Paradise Lost Milton sets out to “justify the ways of God to men,” he also famously creates the first sympathetic portrait of the Devil in Western literature, prompting William Blake to declare that Milton was “of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” Milton’s famously idiosyncratic, difficult, and grand poetic style exerted enormous influence on generations of writers after him, as did his pathbreaking decision to write his great epic without rhyme. All this makes Paradise Lost a necessary rite of passage for any student of literature but also a vital resource for anyone grappling with the most basic questions of how to live a worthy human life. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 27242
  • Day/Period: M/2
  • Instructor: Clay Greene

Paradise Lost - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Photography Changes Everything: Examining photography's impact on society and our lives

"Photography Changes Everything" explores the many ways in which photographs package information and values, demand and hold attention, and shape our knowledge of and experience in the world. Students will read through this book together, having weekly discussions about various photographs and their corresponding essays.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30135
  • Day/Period: T/4
  • Instructor: Lisa Lundy

Photography Changes Everything - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Did the Protestant Reformation give rise to modern capitalism? Max Weber's "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"

How did capitalism develop? Max Weber's book *The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism* (1905) is undoubtedly one of the most influential and controversial answers ever given to that question. The book argues that modern capitalism's central economic values have their roots in religious ideas about salvation that developed during the Protestant Reformation. While some historians, economists, and sociologists view Weber’s argument as a brilliant explanation of the rise of capitalism, others see it as deeply flawed and misleading. In this class, we will read *The Protestant Ethic* and articles by some its most important critics, and we will continue the debate that has raged for more than a century. Was Weber right? Did religious ideas give rise to capitalism?

Karl Gunther is a historian who teaches and writes about the religious and intellectual history of medieval and early modern Europe. Before joining the Hamilton Center at the University of Florida as an Associate Professor of Humanities, he taught for fifteen years in the Department of History at the University of Miami. His first book, *Reformation Unbound: Protestant Visions of Reform in England, 1525-1590* (Cambridge University Press, 2014) was a finalist for the Royal Historical Society’s Whitfield Prize and the Runner-up for the American Society of Church History’s Brewer Prize. He is currently completing a second book about responses to error during the English Reformation and working on a third book about biblical commentary and heterodox belief during the reign of Henry VIII. He is a former President of the Southern Conference on British Studies.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29673
  • Day/Period: W/7
  • Instructor: Karl Gunther

Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Superman Smashes the Klan

As film adaptations of graphic novels like Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, Black Panther, and The Avengers maintain popular culture ubiquity, superhero narratives continue to have prominence in public discourse. But what do historical and contemporary superhero stories reveal about silences and single stories related to identity and society? More than images on pages, superhero graphic novels serve as texts that can open up critical conversations about vital socio-political realities.

This course will utilize Superman Smashes the Klan by Gene Luen Yang (Author) and Gurihiru (Illustrator) as a vehicle for exploring questions such as: How do stories influence our understanding of the world? Who gets to be a superhero? And what identities are centered in superhero narratives? The intersection of identity and society will be discussed further through supplemental superhero narratives such as Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel, and Black Panther. Depending on student interests, we’ll also discuss superhero narratives through collaborations with community institutions, such as The Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations at UF Law and Covey Comic Book Collection in UF’s Special Collections (pending approval). Additionally, this course will function as a potential school university partnership with P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School students who are also reading superhero narratives as a method for investigating inequities and injustices. There will be opportunities for dialogue across groups to facilitate different identities and perspectives on the potential of superhero stories.

Superheroes can do more than save the world. Their stories create opportunities to challenge the status quo by centering experiences, ideas, and concepts that are often marginalized in broader society. Our end goal will be to contemplate how we can call in, challenge, and change socio-political realities through engagement with superhero narratives. No previous knowledge of superheroes or comics is required. This course is particularly important for undergraduates as they navigate how their identity further develops within a diverse campus community and society where they can use their voice as a positive asset for social reform.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29717
  • Day/Period: M/8
  • Instructor: Jon Mundorf

Superman Smashes the Klan - Syllabus

IDH2930 - True/False: Media Literacy, Public Discourse, and the Self

True/False is a class about media literacy: how we make sense of the constant stream of “content” we receive. Entertainment and media streams of all kinds are among the chief industries of our society. All forms of public discourse somehow get reduced to that which will tantalize and, ultimately, that which will sell. Our all-access media streams flow to us in a full range of devices from smartphones to laptops to flat screen tvs to billboards. They are a constant flow of information, opinions, emotions, stories, images, and sounds that often feel like an overflow. Infuse these inputs with various ideological perspectives and marketing-savvy techniques, and it becomes too much to take in and make sense of. What we are often left with is a wholesale inability to decipher and process all the information, leaving us “media illiterate”. In spite of all this, we still find ourselves harnessed to the informational streams and devices in ways that create challenges for our humanity. What does it mean to seek a better way of relating to the world of information and to each other?

Todd Best is a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences where he works as an Academic Advisor and teaches. A long-time instructor of Uncommon Read courses, he has taught on issues ranging several areas of the humanities and social sciences, including on the topics of media literacy, higher education, ecological literature, the self, and the common good. He received a master’s degree in religious studies from the University of Florida, focusing on religious pluralism and educational philosophy.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 27215
  • Day/Period: W/9
  • Instructor: Todd Best

True/False - Syllabus

Business + Economics

IDH2930 - Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating

What do dating apps and economics have in common? Apparently, a lot more than it seems. Paul Oyer’s Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating shows how we can apply various topics in economics – search, signaling, adverse selection, cheap talk, statistical discrimination, thick markets, and network externalities – to the use of dating apps.

The goal of this course is to examine the applications of these topics with a more modern perspective, given the normalized use of dating and hookup apps like Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr, and others. With any luck, this course may increase students’ awareness of those relevant economic principles the next time they go to swipe right or left.

Final grades in this class will be determined by in-class participation, weekly discussion posts, and an end of semester project. The instructors also hope to schedule a virtual Q&A with the author, Dr. Oyer, where students will have the opportunity to ask, and have answered, thought-provoking questions about the text. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30295
  • Day/Period: R/4
  • Instructor: TehQuin Forbes
  • Peer Instructor: Melanie LeTourneau

Economics and Online Dating - Syllabus



IDH2930 - The Thousand and One Nights: Storytelling Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad, and Faraway Lands as World Literature

A mastery of Oriental storytelling, the Arabian nights encapsulates time-valued ideas regarding good life and virtues that force the common good. From Aladdin to Ali Baba and Sinbad, students will embark on a journey of discovering the pearls of the orient spanning from the middle earth to the far east. 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29716
  • Day/Period: T/9
  • Instructor: Emrah Sahin

Arabian Nights - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Fractured Fairy Tales-Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly

Through a close reading of Jennifer Donnelly’s novel, Poisoned, and a discussion of the elements of theme, character development, and perspective, this course will explore the features of a fractured fairy tale.

Jennifer Walsh Ph.D. Student, Reading and Literacy Education Graduate Teaching Assistant School of Teaching and Learning College of Education University of Florida


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29887
  • Day/Period: T/6 Online
  • Instructor: Jennifer Walsh

Fractured Fairy Tales - Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Man of Many Troubles: A Graphic Odyssey

Homer’s Odyssey, a story of homecoming for Odysseus, one of the heroes of the (in)famous Trojan War, has solidified itself in the literary and cultural conscious of American society. Despite the work’s millennia-old tradition, the Odyssey has much to offer to the modern reader in its numerous (re)translations and adaptations. Every translation has an inherent goal to reach specific audiences through its language register, genre, etc. In this course, we will read Gareth Hinds’ 2010 graphic novel reimagination of Homer’s Odyssey. Through a close reading of the visual and literary aspects of the story in comparison to popular verse English translations of the work, we will examine the unique medium of the graphic novel as well as compare it to children’s literature versions of stories in the Odyssey.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29888
  • Day/Period: M/9
  • Instructor: Anthony Smith

The Man of Many Troubles - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief: Making a Classic

During the course, students will critically consider how different stories appeal to different audiences; comparing modern audiences, audiences decades ago, and audiences in Ancient Greece, and contrasting the expectations of these audiences. Students will also assess the impact that the Percy Jackson series has had on popular culture, young readers, interpretations of Greek myths and traditional values, and since-released literature. By analyzing the standards of classical literature and debating what it takes for a book to be a "classic," students will determine what qualities of a modern classic The Lightning Thief may, or may not, have.

Keelyn Fife is a senior at UF majoring in Political Science and Geology. I grew up reading the Percy Jackson series, which led to an interest in the classical myths, as I know it has for many people of our generation.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30123
  • Day/Period: M/10
  • Instructor: Dr. Andrew Nichols
  • Instructor: Keelyn Fife

Percy Jackson-Making a Classic Syllabus

IDH2930 - The Science of Stories: Finding Wonder, Comfort, and Meaning in Literature

Literature is ubiquitous, yet its relevance is continuously questioned. What is it about literature that has caused countless individuals spanning various times and places to feel certain that it could improve life? Is literature still relevant? Why do we teach literature when so few people read literature as adults? In this course, we will seek the answer to such questions. Using Angus Fletcher's book Wonderworks as a jumping-off point, we will discuss literature's effect on individuals while also making space to discuss how cultural context determines one's notion of literature and reaction to it. Students will be encouraged to understand affective involvement with text as the foundation for deeper analysis, and will be given the opportunity to practice this themselves. We will ask questions about the need for literature in society, and if other genres of written text or other modalities might provide the same benefits. We will debate the role of literature in shaping our understanding of concepts such as justice, courage, forgiveness, and wisdom. Ultimately we will make a determination about the relevance of literature in the 21st century.

Geoff Kellogg is a doctoral candidate and graduate assistant in the School of Teaching and Learning within the UF College of Education. His research focuses on the teaching of literature, specifically how K-12 English instruction connects to the practices of literary experts working at the postsecondary level and how a study of literature may help students to find purpose. Prior to enrolling at UF, Geoff taught secondary English and History for seven years in his hometown of New York City.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 30081
  • Day/Period: F/5
  • Instructor: Geoffrey Kellogg

Science of Stories - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Shakespeare's Macbeth and the Problem of Evil: the Supernatural in Medieval Scotland

In this course we will delve into Shakespeare's 1605 play set in eleventh-century Scotland that depicts the life of a Christian warrior who becomes his kingdom's ruler and bloody tyrant. Macbeth is a man trapped in a Scotland torn by conflicting values: a savage warrior culture set against the ideals of a saintly Christian virtue. Shakespeare's fascination with characters' thoughts and actions is deeply rooted in the ways those characters grapple with the demands of their political and social cultures. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth live in a land of warlords and holy men, in an early-medieval Scotland characterized by belief in a natural order suffused with witches, angels, devils, spirits, and other beings bridging the gulf between God and man. The course will focus on close and intentional reading of the play. We will read selections out loud in class as we discuss textual cruxes and confusing moments. Additional source readings will be provided on Canvas, including selections from Holinshed's Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland; James I's Daemonology; Xenophon's Hiero, and medieval miracle plays influencing the "porter" scene, among others. Requirements: short weekly discussion posts on Canvas, one discussion leader assignment, and one 5-6 page final paper.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29695
  • Day/Period: W/5
  • Instructor: Jill Ingram

Shakespeare's Macbeth - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Tiny Little Details: A Close Reading of The God of Small Things

Arundhati Roy's first novel burst onto the global literary scene when it won the Booker Prize in 1997. It is loosely based on Roy's childhood in a Syrian Christian community in the state of Kerala in India. Its American reviews were overwhelmingly positive, but it was immediately contested in India on charges of obscenity for its graphic celebration of sexuality in a mixed-caste relationship and its frank discussion of the hypocrisy of many clashing groups in Kerala culture, including religious leaders, Marxists, Christians and Hindus. In this course we will engage in a leisurely reading of a complex novel, examining its themes and structure, as well as the issues and claims that swirl around it. Trigger alert for child sexual abuse.

Dr. Jeanne Ewert is a faculty librarian based in Library West, where she supports the Department of English, as well as interdisciplinary film and folklore studies. She has taught three previous courses in the Honors College, and for 17 years taught in an International Baccalaureate program. Her research speciality is narrative studies, within the framework of global literatures in English.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29631
  • Day/Period: T/3
  • Instructor: Jeanne Ewert

God of Small Things - Syllabus


IDH2930 - How to Live Well: Reading Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics

What does it mean to live well as human beings? In this course we will explore this question through engagement with Aristotle’s classic work, the Nicomachean Ethics. This text is arguably the greatest philosophical account of the ethical life. Interestingly, however, it begins not with a discussion of our moral duties but with a reflection on the human quest for happiness. Aristotle says that everything we do seems to seek some ultimate end, and most people would agree that what we seek is happiness, and they “suppose that living well and doing well are the same as being happy” (I.4, 1095a18-19). But people disagree in their understandings of happiness. Some think it consists in pleasure, others in honor or social status, others in wealth or in some combination of these elements. Aristotle’s bold thesis is that true happiness is found rather in the life of virtue, where this includes both the virtues of character (courage, temperance, generosity, justice, etc.) and the virtues of intellect (practical wisdom, theoretical wisdom, etc.). More specifically, the claim is that virtue is constitutive of our happiness (that is, virtue is its own reward), where happiness is understood as a normatively higher, noble, more fulfilling form of life. 

We will consider Aristotle’s argument for this thesis, known as the “function argument,” which maintains that the good of something is found in performing its function or characteristic activity well, and for human beings this means that our good is found in living well as rational social animals, which Aristotle fills out through his accounts of the virtues of character and the virtues of intellect. We will explore these accounts and how he thinks these virtues can be acquired. We will also consider the role of luck in human well-being, examining Aristotle’s view that while virtue is necessary for happiness it may not always be sufficient. Furthermore, we will explore the problem of weakness of will (or lack of self-control) and how this can be addressed. Additionally, we will explore how our good is tied to the good of others through examining Aristotle’s account of the role of justice and friendship in human well-being. Finally, we will examine and assess what to many contemporary readers seems like Aristotle’s most controversial claim, namely, that contemplation is the best, most fulfilling activity in human life. In exploring all of these ideas, we will be concerned to consider their relevance for our lives today.    

David McPherson is Professor of Philosophy in the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida. He has previously held positions at Creighton University and the University of Colorado Boulder. McPherson works in the areas of ethics (especially virtue ethics), political philosophy, meaning in life, and philosophy of religion. He is the author of The Virtues of Limits (Oxford University Press, 2022) and Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2020), as well as the editor of Spirituality and the Good Life: Philosophical Approaches (Cambridge University Press, 2017). 


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 29748
  • Day/Period: R/4
  • Instructor: David McPherson 

How to Live Well - Reading Aristotles Nicomachean Ethics - Syllabus

IDH2930 - Journal 29

Journal 29, by Dimitris Chassapakis, is a collection of original, escape-room-like puzzles centered around the mysterious disappearance of a team of excavators working on a confidential project. The book requires readers to submit solutions online in order to receive “keys” that they need to solve some subsequent puzzles. Students in this course will engage with the book through frequent collaborative puzzle-solving. They will also discuss elements of good puzzles, the importance of diversity on puzzle-solving teams, the role of a storyline in puzzle-based games, and the ways in which puzzle-solving and logic connect to careers in a wide range of disciplines. Additionally, students will use their experiences with the puzzles in Journal 29 to create their own themed puzzle book game as a class.


  • Course: IDH2930
  • Class Number: 27248
  • Day/Period: M/4
  • Instructor: Kristen Apraiz
  • Peer Instructor: Jae Sarner
  • Peer Instructor: Aszti Chadzynski 

Journal 29 - Syllabus

Interdisciplinary Courses

These courses are interdisciplinary in nature and often team-taught.

IDH3931 - Anthropology in Tanzania

This course is designed for students who are interested in learning more about Tanzania, especially those who are considering participating in the Summer B 2024 UF in Tanzania study abroad. The course will meet one time per week, in person. Content will include an overview the social and economic structure of Tanzania, cultural norms and customs, and some basic Swahili words and phrases. Given that Dr. Strong will be conducting research in Tanzania during much of the semester, she will join weekly via zoom.

If you are interested in taking this class, please complete this short google form. Space in this course is limited , but we will accommodate as many interested students as possible. Note that you must be signed into your UF G Suite account to access the form.

Dr. Adrienne Strong 

Dr. Strong is a medical anthropologist working primarily in Tanzania. Her research interests coalesce around the conditions and dynamics of care in biomedical health facilities. This started as an interest in maternal mortality in hospital settings and has come to include scholarly interests in obstetric violence, gendered dynamics in the nursing profession and care provision in biomedical settings, health system financing in ethnographic perspective, accountability, pain management practices, as well as care theories and empirical/everyday ethics. Since 2020, she has also been working with physicians at UF Shands on projects related to patient experiences and access to health care, further extending her interests in health inequities, patient-provider interactions, and the dynamics of healthcare in biomedical settings.

Meredith Beaupre

Meredith is the pre-health coordinator for the UF Honors Program. She received her B.S. and M.Ed. from UF and has been working in student services for over 14 years. In her current role, she works with students of all levels who wish to pursue a health profession and focuses on helping students build up the competencies and skills needed to be quality healthcare applicants and practitioners. Cultural competence is something she feels strongly about and seeks to improve opportunities for students to gain the experiences that will strengthen this area. She and Dr. Strong have worked together to develop and lead the UF in Tanzania study abroad program.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 29974
  • Day/Period: T/3
  • Instructors: Adrienne Strong/Meredith Beaupre

Anthropology in Tanzania - Syllabus

IDH3931 - Law and Literature

This course will look at potential legal issues in certain literary texts–texts that are not ostensibly about the law but that nevertheless do involve legal issues.  The focus of the course will entail analyzing these legal issues, researching positions on them, and writing persuasive legal briefs in support of these positions.  Students will perform mock trials, evidentiary hearings, and depositions both during and at the end of each unit and present the arguments made in their legal briefs before a live jury.  Texts for the class include: Miss Julie (August Strindberg), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson), “A Mother” (from Dubliners, James Joyce), Ethan Frome (Edith Wharton), A Doll’s House (Henrik Ibsen), and Dirty Work (Larry Brown).


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 30098
  • Day/Period: MWF/8
  • Instructor: Bernard O'Donnell

Law & Literature - Syllabus


IDH3931 - Making Place in Gainesville: How Creative Practices Shape our City

What role do arts and creativity play in the formation of “place” and the way we value different areas and cultural goods within our city? Who decides and who benefits when the arts are incorporated into economic and community development strategies?

This 3-credit, hands-on Honors course will address these questions and others by engaging local artists, business owners, and other  creative stakeholders in Gainesville. Through a series of workshops and guest speakers, students will develop their own “creative toolkit” that includes skills such as design thinking, sketching and visual communication, mindfulness and ways of seeing, problem solving and creative ideation.

As a culminating project, student groups will pair with local creative stakeholders (business owners, artists, and organization leaders) to put their creative toolkit to a real-world application by generating a proposal tailored to address an expressed need or challenge faced by the stakeholders. The proposals will be presented in an open-to-the-community forum at the end of the term.


Summer B

  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 20651
  • Day/Period: MTWRF/3
  • Credits: 3
  • Instructor: Michael O'Malley

Professional Development

These courses are aimed at developing skills that will help students over their career.

IDH3931 - Cultivating Leadership Potential: A Framework for Excellence

Strong leadership can make the difference between a high-performing team with people who enjoy what they do and a low-performing group where people are unhappy and frustrated.  It can be the difference between making an impact or not.  This course is designed to create a framework for understanding leadership, how it functions, what excellence in leadership looks like, and how to cultivate that leadership excellence in oneself.   Students will learn what great leadership looks like and have an opportunity to explore ways to develop their own leadership.  The insights and skills learned in this class can help students be better leaders now as well as prepare them to lead more effectively as they grow and advance in their careers.

Soon after completing his doctorate at Boston University, Bob Parks moved to Gainesville, Florida, and discovered that his passion for learning and teaching was guiding him toward helping people develop the skills they need to be successful in their jobs. After working as a technical trainer, he joined UF and has been teaching courses in management and leadership development at UF for two decades.  He currently serves as the senior director for Training and Organizational Development at UF.  In this role, he leads a fantastic team, conducts leadership workshops and year-long leadership development programs for faculty and staff across the university, and facilitates strategic planning processes for departments and colleges at UF.  He is a certified executive coach and executive coach master trainer and is passionate about helping leaders cultivate their leadership potential.  

  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 29246
  • Day/Period: W/9
  • Instructor: Robert Parks

Leadership Development - Syllabus


IDH3931 - Digital Logic with Minecraft Redstone

In this course we will explore the concepts of digital logic and how those concepts can be applied to create digital components using redstone in the game Minecraft. We will discuss the behavior of various redstone components in Minecraft and how this behavior can be leveraged to create redstone circuits that function the same way as real life electrical circuits. Students will learn fundamental computing concepts and will see how simple digital components can be used to create machines with complex behavior. The course will focus on implementing these ideas in Minecraft and will demonstrate how it is possible to build a computer using Minecraft’s redstone circuits. Students are not required to have any previous knowledge of digital logic or computing concepts but experience with Minecraft or similar games is recommended.

Matthew Cohen is currently a Master’s student in the college of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is a recent UF alumni who graduated with a bachelors in Computer Engineering from UF in Spring 2023. Currently, Matthew works as a graduate research assistant in a lab led by Dr. Jie Fu that focuses on intelligent and (semi-)autonomous systems through the integration of control theory, machine learning, and formal methods.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 29960
  • Day/Period: M10
  • Instructor: Jeremiah Blanchard
  • Peer Instructor: Matthew Cohen

Digital Logic with Minecraft - Syllabus


IDH3931 - Effective Communication in a Digital World

Using various forums, technology provides a convenient method for people to communicate with each other locally and worldwide. This course will analyze the impact of digital tools and social networks on interpersonal communication, and present information to help students effectively communicate in a digital world, improve communication skills, and expand their professional network.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 24650
  • Day/Period: R/8
  • Instructor: Renee Clark

Effective Communication in a Digital World - Syllabus

IDH3931 - How to Study the World: Liberal Arts Education as a Lens

What, exactly, are we talking about when we talk about a liberal arts education? What is the meaning and value of a liberal arts education? How might we understand the specific value of disciplines and degrees in the liberal arts and sciences - beyond an extracted skills set? In this seminar style class, we will examine a range of resources for unpacking what is involved in and what we seek in a liberal arts education. Note: of course, this class applies to disciplines housed in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, but additionally, we intend to explore how other disciplines benefit from a liberal arts framing.


How to Study the World - Syllabus




IDH3931 - Introduction to Law @ Levin

Who gets rights?  What is property and how do you transfer it?  Can you contract anything?  What does it mean to be harmed and then made whole?  What are constitutions?  This course is dedicated to exploring these questions by introducing students to legal investigations at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law.

Spend spring 2024 meeting with and listening to Levin Law faculty talk about what they teach and study.  This one credit course has no exam.  Instead, it invites you to explore law in the classroom, seek it out in readings, and blog about what you find.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 27160
  • Day/Period: W/4
  • Instructor: Bernard O'Donnell

Intro to Law at Levin - Syllabus

IDH3931 - Personal & Professional Growth Strategies

In this course, students will be guided through a semester of intentional reflection along two axes: the personal and the professional. Bettering our personal selves betters our professional output. Likewise, professional development can improve some aspects of our personal lives. As a class, we’ll think meaningfully about these axioms through readings, in-class discussions, and at-home exercises. Some of the topics we’ll cover in this course include self-assessment and goal setting, networking and relationship building, emotional intelligence, time management as work-life balance, and more.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 30114
  • Day/Period: W/8
  • Instructor: TehQuin Forbes

Growth Strategies - Syllabus

IDH3931 - Pre-Health Application Process

Are you applying in the spring for your health profession program? This course is focused on supporting students who are applying for the next cycle. Only students applying in this upcoming cycle are eligible to take this course.

If you are interested in taking the course, please complete this short google form. Space in this course is limited, but we will accommodate as many interested students as possible. You must be signed into your UF G Suite account to access the form.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 29646
  • Day/Period: M/3
  • Instructor: Meredith Beaupre

Pre-Health Application Process - Syllabus

Signature Experiences

Signature Seminars offer opportunities to work with UF's top faculty in their research areas of interest.

IDH3931 - Artificial Intelligence Applications for Psychiatry

Psychiatry grapples with complex challenges that arise from the intricacies of the human mind, requiring innovative computational analysis techniques to better understand and address these issues. This course will focus on ways in which AI can be used to understand the etiology of psychiatric conditions and predict their onset. Students will be provided with a high-level overview of a variety of machine learning methods for medical data. In addition, a foundational understanding of neurobiology and clinical psychiatry will be offered to contextualize the computational techniques. While a background in math or engineering is not obligatory, a comprehension of calculus and linear algebra will be useful.

Bio: Mihael Cudic is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Precision Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He received a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida, graduating summa cum laude. He went on to pursue a D.Phil. at the University of Oxford where he explored computer vision applications for visual neuroscience through the National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. His goal is to further employ multi-modal and semi-supervised deep learning methods to predict the onset of psychiatric disorders and investigate their underlying causes, with a specific focus on suicidality. Other interests of his include linguistics and philosophy. Lab page: https://www.massgeneral.org/psychiatry/research/precision-psychiatry/team 

Prerequisites: Background in calculus and linear algebra will be useful

This course is online.


  • IDH3931
  • Course Number: 30214
  • Day/Period: T/4
  • Instructor: Mihael Cudic

AI Applications for Psychiatry - Syllabus



IDH3931 - Bench to Market in Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine creates an opportunity to lessen pathological processes, repair injured or congenitally defective tissues and organs for patients with conditions that are incompletely addressed. Academic Centers and Private sectors are trying to address these issues by exploring several complementary approaches, including tissue rejuvenation, tissue or organ replacement, rescue and repair, with the ultimate goal to improve patient health. This course is one of a two-course Program (courses can be taken in any sequence) that is focused on evaluating a complex multistage process of conveying innovative ideas that originate in the academic laboratory to regular clinical use. Each week a different faculty member from the University of Florida, or a visiting lecturer from a national regulatory agency as well as various industrial partners, with specific expertise in the field, will give a lecture on topics critical to the regulation, development, financing, and implementation of regenerative medicine technologies. Students enrolled in the 2-credit class will also be required to review appropriate literature prior to each lecture and expected to actively participate in an interactive discussion during class. 

The one credit option of the course is the LECTURE PORTION OF THE CLASS ONLY. Students registered for the one credit option will have the opportunity to attend guest lecturer presentations for the first hour of the class.


One Credit

  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 25136
  • Day/Period: M/7
  •  Credits: 1
  • Instructors: Katelyn Bruno, Dmitry Traktuev

Regenerative Medicine - Two credits

Regenerative medicine creates an opportunity to lessen pathological processes, repair injured or congenitally defective tissues and organs for patients with conditions that are incompletely addressed. Academic Centers and Private sectors are trying to address these issues by exploring several complementary approaches, including tissue rejuvenation, tissue or organ replacement, rescue and repair, with the ultimate goal to improve patient health. This course is one of a two-course Program (courses can be taken in any sequence) that is focused on evaluating a complex multistage process of conveying innovative ideas that originate in the academic laboratory to regular clinical use. Each week a different faculty member from the University of Florida, or a visiting lecturer from a national regulatory agency as well as various industrial partners, with specific expertise in the field, will give a lecture on topics critical to the regulation, development, financing, and implementation of regenerative medicine technologies. Students enrolled in the 2-credit class will also be required to review appropriate literature prior to each lecture and expected to actively participate in an interactive discussion during class. 

The two-credit option includes BOTH THE LECTURE PORTION AND THE DISCUSSION PORTION. Students registered for the two-credit option will have the opportunity to attend guest lecturer presentation for the first hour. This will be followed by an hour long “round table discussion” with the guest speaker in which students can ask any questions that pertain to the field. Students enrolled in the 2-credit class will also be required to review appropriate literature prior to each lecture and actively participate in an interactive discussion during class.


Two Credits

  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 25137
  • Day/Period: M/7-8
  • Credits: 2
  • Instructors: Katelyn Bruno, Dmitry Traktuev

Regenerative Medicine - Syllabus


IDH3931 - Can't Teach This: A Policy History of What Can and Cannot be Taught in Schools

What public schools teach plays a central role in developing the foundation for civic engagement, common understanding, and a functioning democracy. In the past several years, the content taught in K-12 schools has become a point of contentious political debate. From legislation banning the teaching of critical race theory to that which influences what books are included in school libraries, many states have enacted new policies that shape the content children and youth are exposed to in school. These policies are sometimes controversial, contested, and politicized; yet, such public policy debates over what should be taught in schools are not new. 

This seminar explores the policy history of what can and cannot be taught in public schools. It examines how contemporary debates over the content and curriculum of schooling may be informed by the study of similar arguments in prior times. Through guest speakers, debates, and policy analysis, students will explore topics such as the teaching of religion, biology and evolution, climate change, and sexual education among others. Students will probe the legal, social, and political factors that have shaped the content of public schools, examine policies and laws that guide standards and curriculum decisions, and, ultimately, consider how an understanding of these historical policy debates over what is taught in schools can inform the decisions facing education policy today.


  • Course: IDH3931
  • Class Number: 30127
  • Day/Period: F/3
  • Instructor: F. Chris Curran

Can't Teach This - Syllabus

IDH3931 - Honoring the Ocean

Honoring the Ocean is an interdisciplinary, experiential-based, multi-institutional course for honors students. As part of the experience, students will engage in a 7-week spring online course focused on sustainability and the ocean from a humanistic lens with honors faculty and honors students from across the state; the course culminates in early March with a complementary overnight stay aboard a Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) research vessel for the adventure of a lifetime.  Additional information and photos can be found on the course application (access via UF Google account) and here.  The deadline to apply is November 12.

Uncommon classrooms are courses designed around unusual topics with cities, places, and natural landscapes serving as experimental classrooms.

These courses are application-based. Students that are selected to participate will be registered for a 1-credit course and are responsible for tuition (financial aid may apply). Details about additional fees associate with each course are provided in the description. Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the location of the course.

Wentworth Travel Scholarships are available to support costs, up to $500. Students that provide proof of financial need as part of the application may be eligible for additional funding.

IDH3931 - Honors Uncommon Classroom: Past Indigenous Cities of the Midcontinent

This Uncommon Classroom focuses on archaeological cultures of the midcontinental United States during the emergence of cities and complexity during Mississippian period (AD 900-1500). During the course, students will explore and conduct experiential investigations of archaeological sites documenting how the sites have been used in the past and the histories of past inhabitants of North America. The course includes trips to three archaeological sites: Cahokia Mounds State Historic site, the largest pre-columbian archaeological site north of Mexico outside of present-day St. Louis, MO; Dickson Mounds, a major archaeological site in Lewistown, IL, and Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, a smaller regional archaeological site overlooking the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Through comparing these archaeological sites, students will be able to see differences in community organization and lifestyles from the big city (Cahokia) when compared to how people’s lifeways are influenced and negotiated outside of the city center. 

Cost for this course is estimated to be $1,000 including lodging, activities, transportation in Missouri, breakfast, and lunch. The course will begin late afternoon on Monday, March 11, and conclude on Thursday, March 14th. All backgrounds and disciplines are welcome. Applications will be accepted until January 11th and will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  


Location: St. Louis, MO

Dates: March 11-14, 2024 

Instructor: Anthony Farace

Past Indigenous Cities of the Midcontinent - Syllabus


IDH 3931 - Honors UnCommon Classroom: San Diego Marine Conservation

Marine ecosystems compose more than three quarters of the world’s animal biomass and cover more than two thirds of the planet’s surface. Conservation of these ecosystems is robust and multifaceted, practiced by professionals in academia, industry, non-profit, and government settings, each of which has unique approaches to protecting the oceans. Visit San Diego, a global capital of marine conservation practice, to explore and compare the ways that marine conservation is practiced today, from classic science to technology to policy making. Explore Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of California-San Diego, the Birch Aquarium, and Cabrillo National Monument; and engage in laboratory tours, equipment demonstrations, observing wildlife captures or surveys, and hands-on time at coastal tide pools. 

Cost in San Diego is estimated to be $1,600 including hotel, breakfast, welcome dinner, all entry fees, behind-the-scenes tours, and local transportation. Applications will be accepted until noon 1/11/24. All Honors students in good standing will be accepted and enrolled in the course until capacity is met.

Location: San Diego California

Dates: March 10-14, 2024 

Instructor: Ryan Good and Natalia Teryda


Marine Conservation in Practice - Syllabus


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