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"Crash Course" videos from Honors 231C

Apr 9, 2015

Special thanks to first-year Honors student Spencer Peters for allowing us to share his wonderful final project. He insists we recognize the great work of his student collaborators in Winter Quarter 2015 Honors 231 C and provided this description to help us understand the work.

What is the “Honors 231 Crash Course”? 

Sacred Cow

First off: Honors 231 C refers to a class called “Bull of Heaven and Earth: From the Paleolithic to the Chicago Stockyards.” It’s a hard class to pin down, but Honors 231C focused on how different cultures viewed and lived with animals, specifically cattle. The first week of classes, we watched a documentary on cave art, which offers an interesting lens into how prehistoric humans thought about animals before domestication. But the documentary wasn’t quite as interesting as it could be—it was very slowly paced and soporific. So I actually wrote my first paper on how the documentary could be turned into a modern piece of YouTube edutainment—a Crash Course, after the popular YouTube series of the same name. When I got the paper back from our professor Dr. Walker, written across the bottom was “Maybe a final project idea?”

At the time, I thought that was crazy. But as the course progressed, tracing one exciting thread through time and cultural space, I realized the course itself made terrific Crash Course fodder. Furthermore, my classmates had been giving interesting presentations—could these be condensed into Crash Course episodes? With Dr. Walker’s input and lots of help from my awesome classmates, the Crash Course idea evolved into the videos below. They don’t quite capture the entertaining quality of the YouTube masters, but I think they cover a lot of really interesting material.

Click Here to browse the Honors 231 C YouTube channel