Fall 2009

First Year Seminars

FYS 001 (crn 2931) - Writing and Therapy

FYS 002 (crn 3212 + 3385) – “The Fifties”

FYS 003 (crn 3045 + 1117) - Writing Horror/Horror of Writing

FYS 005 (crn 3203) – Gender and the Graphic Narrative

FYS 006 (crn 1758) South African Literature and Culture

FYS 007 (crn 1129) - Mother Tongues

FYS 008 (crn 3050) - Lost! (and Found)

FYS 009 (crn 1760) Me, Myself, and I

FYS 010 (crn 1133) – Encountering Nonhuman Minds

FYS 011 (crn 1733) - Who Are Your Influences?--Culture and Coming of Age in Literature

FYS 012 (crn 3047) - Pleasure

FYS 014 (crn 2935 + either 3364 or 3778)– Representations of American Identity in Recent Film & Fiction

FYS 015 (crn 2952) – Millennials and Globalization

FYS 015 (crn 4480) – Millennials and Globalization

FYS 016 (crn 3365) – Reacting to the Past / The Power of Tradition, the Forces of Change: China and India

FYS 016 (crn 2082) – Reacting to the Past / Debating Democracy: Athens on the Threshold of Democracy and India on the Eve of Independence

FYS018 (crn 3707) - Diversity in the U.S.

FYS 020 (crn 1833 + 4145) – Masculinities in Film

FYS 021 (crn 1923) – Educating You

FYS 022 (crn 3303) - Diversity Includes Everyone

FYS 023 (crn 4098) - Food History: From the Local to the Global

FYS 024 (crn 4099) - Philosophy and Fiction

FYS 025 (crn 1163 OR crn 1166) - Perspectives on American Character and Society (Learning Community)

FYS 026 (crn 2929) - Technology for Mathematics

FYS 027 (crn 3437) – Chemistry in the Society

FYS 028 (crn 3006) – Can We Agree To Disagree?

FYS 029 (crn 4509) - The History of Evil and Punishment

FYS 031 (crn 3214 + either crn 3310 OR 3311) – Space Matters: Science Fiction, Film and Literature

FYS 032 (crn 3634) - Understanding Emotions

FYS 033 (crn 3308) – Global Threats To Public Health

FYS 034 (crn 3201) - American Racism: Language, Theory, and Behavior

FYS 036 (crn 3663) - Mining the Moral Mind

FYS 037 (crn 2193) - All Rivers Run to the Sea...But the Sea is Never Full

FYS 039 (crn 2941) - History Games: Identity, Diversity, and Social Activism

FYS 040 (crn 1891) - The U.S. and the World

FYS 042 (crn 1670) - Comics: Cultural/Interdisciplinary

FYS 043 (crn 3209) - Got Spirituality?

FYS 044 (crn 1744) - Cheaper by the Dozen

FYS 045 (crn 2336) - Middle East/South Asian Literature

FYS 046 (crn 3213) - From Congress to Classroom: Challenges and Impacts of Education Policy

FYS 047 (crn 3691) - Leadership, Drake, and YOU

FYS 048 (crn 4096) - Who Wants to be a Millionaire?  Shaping Success in a Flat World

FYS 049 (crn 1362) - Intellectual Maturity and Personal Development

FYS 050 (crn 3168) - Media Literacy: From Gutenberg to Gates

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FYS001 / CRN 2931
WRITING AND THERAPY

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Nancy Reincke

This FYS explores writing about mental illness and mental health, primarily through reading, discussing and writing about mental health memoirs:  autobiographical writing by people who represent their experiences with such conditions as addiction, depression, disordered eating, mania, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and schizophrenia.  These memoirists have had to grapple with questions important to all of us, such as:  how do we make meaning out of illness or traumatic events? what is the relationship between writing and healing? what does the way we treat people with mental illness say about us as a culture? what is normal, what is pathological and who decides? 

Self-awareness is the first and, in the end, the very best treatment of all.
                                            -Amy Wilensky, Passing for Normal, 211



FYS002 / CRN 3212
"THE FIFTIES"

TR 12:30-1:45 pm AND film viewing lab on Sundays, 2:00- 4:30 pm (crn 3385)                                                           
Dina Smith

Continually represented as America's most "dazzling" decade, the 1950s was a period of  dramatic change in American culture.   A period of intense economic growth, the fifties witnessed a booming consumer culture that would linger forever in the American imaginary.  What is old was new:  television, widescreen movies, the suburb, air conditioning and even a new type of consumer: "the teenager."  Marriage and family became an integral part of this culture of consumption.  As Stephanie Coontz argues, the fifties was the first time in U.S. history when "men as well as women were encouraged to root their identity and self-image in familial and parental roles."  And, yet, the period also witnessed the growth of the military-industrial complex and nuclear weapons, by products of the Cold War.  As we will see, the home and "the nuclear family" became a safe container for Cold war fears.  To interrogate some of these cultural contradictions, we will look to the movies, literature and secondary histories that help define this era.


FYS003 / CRN 3045
WRITING HORROR/HORROR OF WRITING
TR 12:30-1:45 AND film viewing lab on Tuesdays, 2:00-4:15 pm (crn 1117)
Jennifer Perrine

In this course, we will watch a number of horror films and read the novels and stories that inspired them in order to explore what horror is and how it works, as well as to investigate the difference between written and film representations.  We will also examine texts that explore the periphery of horror--texts that, while not part of the horror genre, explore the same issues and questions that horror does or help us to understand horror from a new perspective.  These readings may include texts that help us think about how gender, pornography, romance, violence, and/or fairy tales are related to horror.

As we explore these various texts, we will also be exploring questions about writing:  What should writing do?  What form of writing is best suited for a particular kind of thinking?  When is a written form more appropriate than another form or art or communication?  What do we fear about writing, and why do we fear it?  Although horror is the lens through which we will approach the class, the main goal of the course is to develop ways of writing, thinking, and reading that will help to make the most of your academic work, and the primary subject of the class is really your writing and that of your classmates.  Therefore, you should expect to do some kind of short writing at least once a week, and you can also expect to write four longer critical and/or creative works, to receive feedback on that work from your classmates and from me, and to revise three of these longer works by the end of the semester.

FYS005 / CRN 3203
GENDER AND THE GRAPHIC NARRATIVE: Comics Gone Canonical

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Beth Younger

This first year seminar will explore, examine, and analyze the world of graphic narrative; that is, narratives that utilize images as well as text to convey meaning. With a primary focus on how gender is depicted, constructed, and complicated within graphic narratives, we will read, analyze, discuss and write about various graphic texts such as novels, stories, diaries, and memoirs. We will also grapple with questions of literary and social value, feminism, realism, and representation.

Primary texts may include: Understanding Comics (Scott McCloud), Funhome (Alison Bechdel), One Hundred Demons (Lynda Barry), Diary of A Teenage Girl (Phoebe Gloeckner), Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi), Black Hole (Charles Burns) and Skim (Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki).

Course requirements include weekly writing (in class and out of class), a midterm and a lengthy final essay.


FYS006 / CRN 1758
SOUTH AFRICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Melisa Klimaszewski

This course introduces students to college-level critical reading, writing, and inquiry through an intensive study of South African literature. Reading in several genres – primarily the novel, but also biography and short story – students will consider the ways in which writers use various textual forms to capture, represent, and comment upon the complexities of South African life and culture. In addition to learning about the not-so-distant historical events that occurred during the apartheid era, students will study the state of South Africa during the dismantling of apartheid and its present-day struggles. The writers we study will help us to examine the long-term effects of apartheid on race relations and economic inequity, for instance. We will also consider how the literature of this nation contributes to broader questions of what it means to form human identity, the troublesome propensity of human beings to oppress and inflict suffering on others, and the sometimes surprising methods in which suffering people survive assaults on their bodies as well as their imaginations.

Readings may include: Steven Biko's I Write What I Like: Selected Writings, J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace, Bessie Head's When Rain Clouds Gather, Nelson Mandela's The Long Walk to Freedom, Zakes Mda's Ways of Dying, Njabulo Ndebele's The Cry of Winnie Mandela, Alan Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country, and Zoe Wicomb's You Can't Get Lost In Cape Town.

Students will learn to strengthen their writing skills by paying close attention to the ways in which others write. In this way, critical reading will strengthen each student's ability to think as well as to write clearly and critically. Critical thinking can take many forms; in this course, it will mean that we practice asking incisive questions, identifying underlying assumptions that affect the way we process information, looking past the obvious, and developing insightful claims.



FYS007 / CRN 1129
MOTHER TONGUES

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Fred Arroyo

Exile, migration, and the loss of languages and ways of life are both the themes and the life-conditions of writers of the 20th and 21st Century. This First Year Seminar will take a closer look at these particulars by focusing on “mother tongues”: the complexity of writing in a new language while honoring the practices, memories, and powers of a mother tongue. To this end, we’ll begin to discern how writers imagine, compose, express, and remember what may never be lost between languages, places, or memories. On the one hand, we’ll explore the decisions writers make to feel at home in English, and thus how their writing is composed in beautiful, elegant, and powerful terms that aspire to join, remember, or invent communities. On the other hand, we’ll investigate how family, society, selfhood, and language shape their writing. Overall, we’ll create productive relations between our reading and writing, and in composing both creative and critical papers we’ll strive to make our words effective and compelling for the making of meaning.


FYS008 / CRN 3050
LOST! (AND FOUND)

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Lisa West

This Seminar will build off of the phenomenal success of the TV show Lost!  We will discuss clips of the show but most of the reading will be on related issues of what it means in today’s culture and in the past to be “lost,” either physically, spiritually or psychologically.  We will also use the concept of “lost” to start thinking about interdisciplinary knowledge.  We will spend some time with maps and orienteering equipment, we will think about “lost” as a concept, and we will look at art that celebrates finding things, or making discoveries.  We will also read about famous instances of being lost in American history, such as the Roanoke Island mystery and early Spanish explorations.  You can expect a variety of ways to think about being lost (and found) and both creative and critical writing assignments.

FYS009 / CRN 1760
ME, MYSELF, AND I

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Megan Brown

In this writing-intensive class, we will investigate several key questions about selfhood. What is a self? Are people unique, individual selves? Do people “create” aspects of themselves through social interactions? What ideals of personality, character, attitude, and appearance are celebrated (and perpetuated) in American culture? Does self-help ever work? What would it mean for self-help to “work”? In other words, how can a book or a television show change someone’s life? As we discuss these questions, we will examine some theoretical and philosophical perspectives on human individuality.   More importantly, we will engage with the concepts of self-definition and self-redefinition through reading and writing autobiographical and critical essays.


FYS010 / CRN 1133
ENCOUNTERING NONHUMAN MINDS

TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Jeffrey Karnicky

Can birds think? Do dogs have emotions? Do plants have a mind? Is the earth itself alive? This seminar will focus on answering these questions, and others, as we explore the world of nonhuman consciousness and intelligence. Starting with Thomas Nagel’s famous question “What is it like to be a bat?”, we will investigate, through reading and writing, the multiple ways that minds can be understood. We will read essays and fiction and take a field trip to the Des Moines Zoo. Students are expected to participate in class discussion, and to complete a number of writing assignments over the course of the semester.

FYS011 / CRN 1733
WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?--CULTURE AND COMING OF AGE IN LITERATURE

TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Tim Bascom

We each grow up in a particular time and place, surrounded by a particular community, and this culture shapes us.  If we move or make a major relational change, another culture starts to have its effect.  In turn, we shape those around us, helping to redefine their cultures.  We are influenced and we have influence. 

In this course we will read coming-of-age stories from different genres and backgrounds, looking for universal themes as well as individual characteristics.  We will write about our own coming-of-age experience comparatively, taking into account factors such as geographical locale, ethnicity, religious beliefs, economic status, and gender.  Each student will seek out an author who represents a personal home culture, writing about that potential new “influence.”  And in the end each student will write a longer autobiographical essay that acts as a window on his or her own culture, revealing how personal identity is forged in response to a particular time and place and group of people.


FYS012 / CRN 3047
PLEASURE

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Craig Owens

This FYS asks students to reflect upon their experience of pleasure, investigating the way their personal experience, cultural background, and upbringing have helped shape their tastes and preferences. Students in this course will write about the sensory and psychological experiences of pleasure, and will also explore the opportunities writing itself offers for reexperiencing and reflecting upon past pleasures. In short, this course asks participants to consider the relationship between writing, memory, and experience. Participants in this course will write and frequently revise a total of about 20 pages, will engage in daily discussions, will take part in presentations, and will conduct independent research. This course fulfills the FYS requirement in the Drake Curriculum and a lower-division elective for the English and Writing majors.


FYS014 / CRN 2935   
REPRESENTING AMERICAN IDENTITY IN RECENT FILM & FICTION

MW 12:30-1:45 pm AND  film viewing lab R  7:30- 9:45 pm (crn 3364) OR F 1:45-4:15 pm (crn 3778)
Jody Swilky

In this course you will investigate through reading and writing how recent film and fiction have represented American identity—in terms of race, gender, class, and sexuality-- and the effects of these cultural works on yourself and other readers and film viewers. Examining selected films and fiction from  psychological and sociological perspectives, you will consider both the conditions in which these texts were produced and their impact on readers/viewers. You will explore questions such as how does a  text represent individual and group identity? How does the text serve to reinforce dominant notions of group identity? What broader social conditions does it reflect? How do your own views coincide or conflict with this representation?  How does it present alternatives to
prevailing perspectives on these issues in contemporary American society?



FYS015 / CRN 2952
MILLENNIALS AND GLOBALIZATION: STUDYING GENERATIONS AROUND THE WORLD

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Darcie Vandegrift

This course asks several questions.  What does it mean to be part of a generation?  Are you a Millennial?  How are young adult generations affected by globalization and their national circumstances?  We will compare how popular literature, sociology, and global studies answer these questions.  Students will work towards a comparative (more than one country) answer to these questions through reading, discussion, research, and writing.  Each student will learn about what it means to be part of a generation, the social position where history and personal experience intersect.

In the transition from high school to college, we have many opportunities to decide how we will structure our new lives.  This course encourages students to think about their identity as a generation as it relates to their adjustment to habits of university life.  Interspersed with our study of global generations will be how the current generation of college students approaches issues of community service, personal success, relationships, and work.

 

4480 crn / FYS 015
MILLENNIALS AND GLOBALIZATION: STUDYING GENERATIONS AROUND THE WORLD

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Darcie Vandegrift

This course asks several questions.  What does it mean to be part of a generation?  Are you a Millennial?  How are young adult generations affected by globalization and their national circumstances?  We will compare how popular literature, sociology, and global studies answer these questions.  Students will work towards a comparative (more than one country) answer to these questions through reading, discussion, research, and writing.  Each student will learn about what it means to be part of a generation, the social position where history and personal experience intersect.

In the transition from high school to college, we have many opportunities to decide how we will structure our new lives.  This course encourages students to think about their identity as a generation as it relates to their adjustment to habits of university life.  Interspersed with our study of global generations will be how the current generation of college students approaches issues of community service, personal success, relationships, and work.

 


FYS016 / CRN 3365
REACTING TO THE PAST / THE POWER OF TRADITION, THE FORCES OF CHANGE: CHINA AND INDIA
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Elizabeth Robertson

The Power of Tradition examines two different cultures, China in 1589  and India in 1945 at points of  crisis in leadership and compares their ideas and debates on how to preserve unity, national identity and authority, and yet accommodate changing views of social and economic justice. What are the sources of power of those who govern the society, and what constraints exist on that power?  How are the demands of the community (political, religious, or class) balanced with a growing sense of individual liberty? What tensions exist because of differences in wealth and status and attitudes toward economic inequality? Students will explore these questions and come to reasoned conclusions about how  traditional structures of authority are or are not maintained in the face of challenges from new ideas. Class is conducted not through lecture or discussion but  through an elaborate role-playing  pedagogy known as "Reacting to the Past." "Reacting to the Past" seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts by replicating the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. Students read classic texts, set in particular moments of  intellectual and social ferment, which inform the roles they are assigned. "Confucianisn and The Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor" introduces students to the suppleness and power of Confucian thought. The game unfolds amidst the secrecy and intrigue within the walls of the Forbidden City , as scholars struggle to apply Confucian precepts to a dynasty in peril. "Defining a Nation:India on the Eve of Independence. 1945"  is set at Simla in the foothills of the Himalayas, where the British viceroy has invited leaders of various religious and political constituencies to work out the future of Britain's largest colony.

After extensive reading and preparation, each class member will take a "role" in each game, in order to debate, discuss and forge policies relevant to the historical crisis. Students will write persuasively, both in role and out of role, exploring and reflecting on major issues and perspectives.



FYS 016 / CRN 2082
REACTING TO THE PAST / DEBATING DEMOCRACY: ATHENS ON THE THRESHOLD OF DEMOCRACY AND INDIA ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
John Burney

In an era when the United States looks to lead the development of democracy in the world it is important to understand the difficulties that surround creation of a democratic state. How do you define democracy? What role is given to the people? How do you define citizenship in the face of cultural, ethnic, religious, and economic divisions? This course will look at the original development of democracy in ancient Athens and compare it with the development of one of the most diverse democracies in the world, India. Students will place themselves first in Athens in 403 B.C. and then in India in 1945 and debate the key issues through the voices of contemporary figures in order to seek an understanding of the larger challenges facing democratic development. Through research, writing, and oral presentations we will recreate the past in order to better consider the nature of democracy, how it is formed, and how multiple political and cultural contexts determine the realities of its political practice.

FYS018 / CRN 3707
DIVERSITY IN THE U.S.
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Sandra Patton-Imani

This course focuses on the various ways in which race, gender, class, sexuality, disability, and age, along with other aspects of identity shape the lives and experiences of people living in the U.S.  We will examine the complex relationships between the construction of personal identities, the material realities of people's lived experiences, cultural and ideological meaning systems, movements for social change, and social institutions.  Thus, we will draw on anthropological, sociological, media, and literacy sources and perspectives in attempting to understand how meanings of "self" and "other" are constructed, maintained, and subsequently, internalized by each of us in particular ways, depending on our "social location."  The construction of personal and group identities will be explored in the context of social meanings of "Americanness," homogeneity, and diversity.  We will explore such texts as diaries, autobiographies, film and television, and ethnographies as sites of identity construction and reformulation, considering how people's lives have been written for them, and how, in turn, individuals have articulated their own senses of self.


FYS020 / CRN 1833
MASCULINITIES IN FILM

MW  12:30-1:45 pm AND film viewing lab on Mondays 3:30-5:45 pm (crn 4145)
Joseph Schneider

This course asks students to view, discuss, and write about roughly 14 popular films as a way to consider and think critically about masculinity and gender in society.  Additional readings supplement this work.  The aim is to think in new ways about what it has meant and means to "be a man" (and a woman) in North American culture.  Readings are drawn from a range of disciplines, but primarily from cultural studies, film studies, sociology, and gender studies.  Students are required to lead weekly discussions of these films and to write short papers that draw aspects of the films and readings together.  Students are expected to attend one film lab for viewing the films each week and attend two class meetings a week.


FYS021 / CRN 1923
EDUCATING YOU

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Charlene Skidmore

This seminar will explore a range of issues in higher education that directly affect college students, such as teaching and learning styles, the value of general education courses, academic integrity, admission policies, and faculty tenure.  Reading materials will include essays, articles, short stories, plays and film. Students will write and revise regularly in response to assigned readings and their own educational experiences.


FYS022 / CRN 3303
DIVERSITY INCLUDES EVERYONE

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Susan Breakenridge

As globalization increases, our population is becoming more diverse. Do you have an understanding of other cultures and customs? Do you know if you have any hidden bias? How would you react to being discriminated against based on your race, gender, or age? This course will focus on the different points of diversity (race, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc) AND will promote tolerance. Students will be introduced to guest speakers representing diverse population for the purpose of interaction and discussion. Students will be expected to fulfill frequent writing assignments; read and respond to scholarly research; and participate in class discussions.


FYS023 / CRN 4098
FOOD HISTORY: FROM THE LOCAL TO THE GLOBAL

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Amahia Mallea

Why is corn ubiquitous in the American diet?  How did that apple convince you to eat it?  What is the history of the hamburger?  What are the environmental and health costs of industrial agriculture?  How does a burrito connect you to the community and world?  These and other questions will whet our appetites for understanding our historical and personal connections to food systems.  Course readings will vary widely over time and place as we examine food from cultural, ecological, economic and political perspectives.  We will broaden our general knowledge of food from the local level (Victory Gardens and the Drake community garden) to the global level (spice trade and coffee) and return to consider how both levels intertwine (Iowa cornfields).  This course is writing and discussion intensive and integrates field trips. 

 

FYS024 / CRN 4099
PHILOSOPHY AND FICTION

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Timothy Knepper


Although fiction often serves as a point of entrée into the practice of philosophy, few philosophers philosophize in a fictional form.  This FYS seeks to examine why this is the case and if this should be the case.  Its leading questions are therefore as follows: Is fiction an inherently flawed or limited vehicle for philosophizing? Does fiction open up possibilities of philosophizing that aren’t available in non-fiction? Does a non-fictional style of philosophizing obscure the so-called fictional nature of philosophy?  Readings will include works of philosophical fiction such as Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being and Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, works of fictional philosophy such as Plato’s Phaedrus and Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and maybe also works that challenge the distinction between philosophy and fiction.

 

FYS025 / CRN 1163 AND CO-REQUISITE POLS 001 / CRN 4193
PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN CHARACTER AND SOCIETY (LEARNING COMMUNITY)

MW 12:30-1:45 pm AND co-requisite course on TR 12:30-1:45 pm (crn 4193)
Denise Oles

What are the "habits of the heart" that move Americans, the beliefs and practices that shape the character of its citizens and give form to the American social order?  Beginning with de Tocqueville and continuing through Bellah et al., numerous observers have developed analyses that suggest political equality and individualism are fundamental traits of American culture.  In Democracy in America, Volume II , Tocqueville argues that "Democracy has destroyed or modified the old relations of men to one another and has established new ones."  How is this new social order doing in the early 21st Century?  In 1985, during the height of the Ronald Reagan era, Bellah et al. published Habits of the Heart:  Individualism and Commitment in American Life.  In the preface, they wrote:  The central problem of our book concerns the American individualism that Tocqueville described with a mixture of admiration and anxiety.  It seems to us that it is individualism, and not equality, as Tocqueville thought, that has marched inexorably through our history.  We are concerned that this individualism may have grown cancerous--that it may be destroying those social instruments that Tocqueville saw as moderating its more destructive potentialities, that it may be threatening the survival of freedom itself.  Bellah et al. are raising the question of "community" in the United States. And since they wrote their book 21 years ago, the growing diversity and seeming fragmentation of American society has made their concerns even more compelling. Is it possible for community to exist in a society that emphasizes radical individualism?  What are the individual's responsibilities to fellow citizens, to his/her city, state, or nation?  These and other questions will be explored in this course.

Students who register for Perspectives in American Character and Society must also register for POLS 001 (Arthur Sanders) The American Political System, taught by Professor Arthur Sanders.   Professors McAlister, Oles, and Sanders will coordinate course readings and assignments to tie together themes developed in the two classes.  Students signing up will also be housed on the same floor in a residence hall.


FYS025 / CRN 1166 AND CO-REQUISITE POLS 001 / CRN 4192
PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN CHARACTER AND SOCIETY (LEARNING COMMUNITY)

MW 12:30-1:45 pm AND co-requisite course on TR 12:30-1:45 pm (crn 4192)
Joan McAlister

What are the "habits of the heart" that move Americans, the beliefs and practices that shape the character of its citizens and give form to the American social order?  Beginning with de Tocqueville and continuing through Bellah et al., numerous observers have developed analyses that suggest political equality and individualism are fundamental traits of American culture.  In Democracy in America, Volume II , Tocqueville argues that "Democracy" has destroyed or modified the old relations of men to one another and has established new ones."  How is this new social order doing in the early 21st Century?  In 1985, during the height of the Ronald Reagan era, Bellah et al. published Habits of the Heart:  Individualism and Commitment in American Life.  In the preface, they wrote:  "The central problem of our book concerns the American individualism that Tocqueville described with a mixture of admiration and anxiety.  It seems to us that it is individualism, and not equality, as Tocqueville thought, that has marched inexorably through our history.  We are concerned that this individualism may have grown cancerous--that it may be destroying those social instruments that Tocqueville saw as moderating its more destructive potentialities, that it may be threatening the survival of freedom itself."  Bellah et al. are raising the question of "community" in the United States. And since they wrote their book 21 years ago, the growing diversity and seeming fragmentation of American society has made their concerns even more compelling. Is it possible for community to exist in a society that emphasizes radical individualism?  What are the individual's responsibilities to fellow citizens, to his/her city, state, or nation?  These and other questions will be explored in this course.

Students who register for Perspectives in American Character and Society must also register for POLS 001 (Arthur Sanders) The American Political System, taught by Professor Arthur Sanders.   Professors McAlister, Oles, and Sanders will coordinate course readings assignments to tie together themes developed in the two classes.  Students signing up will also be housed on the same floor in a residence hall.


FYS026 / CRN 2929
TECHNOLOGY FOR MATHEMATICS
MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Luz DeAlba

The goals of this FYS are to introduce students to a wide variety of technology resources useful in the analysis and communication of mathematics. Specifically, the pedagogy will seek to advance students' knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Geometer's Sketchpad, Mathematica, and Maple, and to improve their writing skills. If time permits, an additional unit on mathematics typesetting with Latex will be introduced. The use of this technology will be based on basic mathematical topics, and will seek to promote critical thinking. The use of computer technology will allow students to experiment, and to communicate mathematics effectively.


FYS027 / CRN 3437
CHEMISTRY IN THE SOCIETY

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
John Gitua

This course explores the impact of chemistry in our society. Chemistry is a fundamental science, a human activity and an integral aspect of our economic as well as political climate. In the process of looking at some (in)famous examples of such scientific achievements (impacts), we will explore:

a) The basic scientific issues dealt with in our daily lives, our society “environment” and on a global level.

b) Could chemistry be of more value to the society than it is today?

c) What is the future relevance of chemistry in our society?

Also new frontiers in science from current magazines, newspapers as well as “internet” will be discussed.


FYS028 / CRN 3006
CAN WE AGREE TO DISAGREE?

TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Dennis Goldford

In this philosophically oriented First Year Seminar we will explore the question of what it means for people to disagree in matters of moral, religious, and political concern.  When two people disagree about such matters, is one necessarily right and the other wrong, or is each legitimately entitled to his or her own opinion?  If I were teaching mathematics, for example, most people would agree that I could legitimately fail a student who insisted that, in a base-10 system, 2+2=5.  If, on the other hand, I were teaching politics (as I do), most people would agree that I could not legitimately fail a student for nothing other than holding a political (or moral or religious) position opposed to my own.  Why do we generally accept that both of these points are true?  What are the presuppositions of disagreement (and thus, necessarily, of agreement)?  How can reasonable people hold drastically differing and opposed beliefs in matters of politics, morality, and religion?  Additionally, is conflict grounded in misunderstanding, and thus illusory, or is conflict grounded in understanding, and thus real?  We will explore these and related questions in a text-based, discussion-oriented, and writing-intensive seminar format.  This FYS is not a current-events debate course, but instead a very academic, text-based study of the ground of disagreement in such issues as the nature of truth and moral standards.

FYS 029 / CRN 4509
THE HISTORY OF EVIL AND PUNISHMENT

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Trisha Olson

This class focuses upon the intellectual history of the nature of evil and of punishment in the western European tradition (which includes peoples on the continent of Africa and Asia).  We are not concerned with the purpose of punishment or making judgments about who is historically evil.  Rather, we are asking ontological questions from within an historical context.  Rather than a survey, this class attends to various traditions of thought in seven discreet historical periods: roughly, 1100-800 B.C., 100-300 A.D., 700-900 A.D., 1300, 1500, 1800, and 1960-2000.  We will travel widely beginning in Persia and ending our journey in America.  Along the way, the class will be introduced to formal logic, the classical art of rhetoric, and modes of analysis, argument, and exposition.  The reading is varied, and the majority is from primary sources.  We will also watch a few films, listen to a bit of music, and ponder a bit of art.  Aside from considering a subject of profound importance to the human experience, the aim of the class is to aid students in discovering their own gifts for thinking, speaking, and writing with passionate rigor and rigorous passion.

 


FYS031 / CRN 3214 AND CO-REQUISITE VIEWING LAB
SPACE MATTERS: SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND LITERATURE

MW 12:30-1:45 pm AND either film viewing lab on Fridays, 4:30-6:45 pm (crn 3310)
or Sundays, 5:00-7:15 pm (crn 3311)
Vibs Petersen

Science fiction has only recently been admitted to academia as a genre worthy of occupying intellectual space and energies.  Similarly, the fact that we negotiate our world in gender-specific ways has also been acknowledged only in the last couple of decades.  In the following weeks, we shall investigate science fiction novels, short stories, and movies.  We alternate watching and reading by-weekly.  We shall examine the relevance the material may have to various historical contexts, and how it relates to us as men and women, and to the genre as a whole.  We will be employing gender as one of the primary filters through which ideas of space and the future is sifted, both by us in the classroom and by the creators of the movies and novels on our syllabus.


FYS032 / CRN 3634
UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Heidi Lepper

Rage, sadness, fear, elation, love, hate – it is hard to imagine life without felt and expressed emotion. While emotions can be both fulfilling and baffling, emotions are extremely important to our lives as human beings. Throughout history, philosophers, artists, and scientists have attempted to understand and depict emotions. This FYS will begin with an overview of the historical roots to the study of emotion and end with an overview of disorder of emotion. In between the beginning and end, we will look at contemporary research into the brain, the nervous system, and the psychosociocultural development of emotion. Throughout the semester we will be thinking about how our beliefs and values are related to our emotions, why different people have different emotional responses to the same events, why we respond emotionally to works of art like poetry, music, films and paintings, and what goes on in the brain when we feel the emotions, and whether, and if so how, scientists and philosophers can explain our emotions.


FYS033 / CRN 3308
GLOBAL THREATS TO PUBLIC HEALTH

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Jane DeWitt

People around the world share the risk of many of the same global health challenges.  Globalization and cultural, economic, political and societal changes have influenced the spread of disease and other threats to health worldwide.  Students will explore the scope of current and future threats to public health; such as AIDS, avian flu, the emergence of new and more virulent infectious diseases, growing resistance to antibiotics, the threats of bioterrorism and the effects of climate change on health.  Students will develop an awareness of the characteristics of today's world that have increased global threats to health.  At the same time, students should be able to separate the facts from the fear surrounding these issues, and understand the potential for response and prevention.


FYS034 / CRN 3201
AMERICAN RACISM:  LANGUAGE, THEORY, AND BEHAVIOR

R 5:00-7:50 pm
Homer Hill

This course will offer students an opportunity to examine the history, and culture of what has been euphemistically described as "race relations" in American culture.  Students will be challenged to consider their personal beliefs and prior education regarding the role of race and the legacies of slavery in shaping both American cultural attitudes and behavior. During this seminar students will interrogate language, ideas, and concepts that often influence collective and individual behavior within cultural frameworks defined by Racial exclusion (White and Everyone Else theory).

Why, for example, does the Office of Management and Budget and the Census Bureau persist in categorizing Americans by race? What does race really mean and how does it influence our individual and collective behavior? What does "Teaching Tolerance" suggest? Why is our visual media and colloquial language dominated by racial stereotypes and metaphors? Why does race "sell"? Why do we persist in dividing human beings by race? Why not a single-race theory? Why do we persist in promoting dominant-subordinate imagery? What are some of the keys to understanding one another at a human level (outside the limiting boundaries of Race)?

Students will address visual and written texts that identify and interrogate these questions. We will question whether and why American slavery serves as the basis for a number of lasting perceptions and presumptions about Black (African) Americans within American culture.  Examples include texts from the American slave experience, both from slaves and slave holders, contemporary television advertisements, newsreels and footage from the American Civil Rights Era, as well as the instructor's own oral history collection and lived experience.



FYS036 / CRN 3663
MINING THE MORAL MIND

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Martin Roth

We are moral evaluators: every day, each of us judges what ought or ought not to be done, what is permissible or forbidden, what is good/right or bad/wrong.  Furthermore, these evaluations are intimately connected to what we choose to do, including the way we choose to treat others.  But how do we arrive at our moral judgments, and how do such judgments influence our decision making? Drawing on work from philosophy, experimental psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, this course will attempt to shed light on these questions.  In addition, we will consider the implications of our growing understanding of moral psychology for various social, educational, and legal policies that concern the regulation and (re)formation of human behavior.  Students will be required to analyze and synthesize material from many academic disciplines, as well as reflect critically on their own moral evaluations. 


FYS037 / CRN 2193
"ALL RIVERS RUN TO THE SEA...BUT THE SEA IS NEVER FULL"

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
 Jim Laurenzo

Our work in this FYS will center around intense discussion, research and application of ideas relating to the wisdom literature of the Bible.  This literature offers a wide perspective on ourselves as human beings, our world as created and (in part) being created by us, and God. The book of Ecclesiastes calls us to question and reflect and even challenge.  The book of Psalms has been called the world's greatest prayer book.  The book of Proverbs offers a worldly wisdom that often surprises.  And Job's long debate urges us to ask and discover life's meaning.  Crucial to all these biblical texts is our interpretation and application of them.  This course is intended for students who (e.g., the Jacob story in Genesis) can learn to struggle with the text through critical reading, researching, and application of these important ideas.


FYS039 / CRN 2941
HISTORY GAMES: IDENTITY, DIVERSITY, AND SOCIAL ACTIVISM
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Jennifer Harbour

This course is intended for anyone who wants to explore the limits and possibilities of "identity" in our society.  In the first few weeks, we will spend a significant amount of time thinking about self-identity and how that plays a role in our culture, our history, our understanding of the world around us.  Is identity a matter of nature or nurture or both?  How have ideas about identity and diversity changed over time?  How have famous, infamous, and just plain old people identified themselves in a certain historical context and why does it matter?  Does it matter who people are or say they are?  Why?  Isn't "real" history only about what happened?  The course will be taught by a historian, and will therefore have a fair amount of reading in American history, although the major part of the semester will be spent in an intensive discussion and writing about your evolving understandings of identity, diversity and social justice.  Seminar members should expect a lot of talking, writing, reading, and interaction with the instructor in an engaging learning environment. Students should come prepared to deal with "big" questions -- some of which have no obvious or "real" answers -- and to share ideas with one another.  This course will make us all think about "who we are" and where we want to "show up" when our histories are written. 


FYS040 / CRN 1891
THE U.S. AND THE WORLD
M  7:00-8:15 pm AND
W  12:30-1:45 pm
David Skidmore

When should the United States use force in pursuit of its foreign policy goals? Should the U.S. act unilaterally or only in cooperation with other nations? Is the promotion of democracy abroad a legitimate foreign policy objective? Should Americans embrace globalization or seek to tame the forces of global economic integration? These are among the many difficult questions that confront Americans as we navigate an increasingly complex international environment under the leadership of a new president. With the aid of a series of visiting foreign policy experts, this FYS will examine the debate over America's global role.

 

FYS042 / CRN 1670
COMICS: CULTURAL CURRENCY AND INTERDISCIPLINARY TOUCHSTONE

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Sean Stone

This course aims to look at the history and development of comics throughout the world but then to apply many of the known stories and concentrations of comics, in a comparative way, to a wide variety of interdisciplinary topics.
Comics have arguably had a more profound effect on 20th century society than any traditional or modern form of media.  Comics in turn are deeply affected by a myriad of cultural influences.  Current events, history, religion, politics, science, economics and a host of other factors are reflected in comics.

While this course will likely not have a single required textbook to purchase, readings will come from a variety of sources potentially including but not limited to:

Buhle, Paul.  2008.  Jews and American Comics:  An Illustrated History of an American Art Form.  New York: New Press: Distributed by W.W. Norton.

FYS043 / CRN 3209
GOT SPIRITUALITY?

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Jennifer Harvey

It is not uncommon to hear someone say of herself: "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual."  But, what is spirituality and what does it mean to "be spiritual"?  Is spirituality innate in the human experience or something learned and cultivated?  When and where do we experience our spiritual nature?  Is the claim to a non-religious spirituality particularly characteristic of today's generation of college students?  We attend to intellectual development during the college years.  To what extent should spiritual development be a focus of the college experience?  And, finally, is there any significance to the claimed shift away from religion -- the phenomenon with which spirituality has most often been associated in the past?  What is lost in such a shift and what is gained?  In this course we will explore these questions.  Our focus will be wide-ranging--from inquiry into recent studies on today's college student population's understanding of their own spirituality to explorations of the relationship between spirituality and sexuality.  The intention is that students come away with a multi-faceted, nuanced understanding of a variety of interpretations of spirituality in human life.  This course will be interdisciplinary in nature.


FYS044 / CRN 1744
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Debra Bishop

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Does just anyone have what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur? Does it require creativity, imagination, drive, luck, or some other talents? We will investigate the ups and downs in the lives of some past and present entrepreneurs.  Using various methods such as readings, video, research and observation we will consider people such as Henry Ford, Frank and Lillian Gillbreth (the book Cheaper by the Dozen is based on their life) Walt Disney, Bill Gates and others. We will try and discover if there is an entrepreneur inside each of us.


FYS045 / CRN 2336
MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Karen Bradway

In this course, using the lens of postcolonialism, we’ll examine a nexus of  issues –-including, but not limited to exile, occupation, colonization, religion, race, war, trauma, and poverty -- in countries of the Middle East/South Asia. Emphasis will be on how global politics has impacted and continues to impact these regions, to include the critical impact [politics has] on the daily lives of the very real people who live in them. Significant attention will be given to exploring complexities of the Israeli-Arab conflict; considerable attention also will be given to understanding the role of political Islam in the region.  How U.S. foreign policy intersects with these and other topics will bear continued scrutiny. At a minimum, students should gain a better understanding of contemporary political crises in the region.

FYS046 / CRN 3213
FROM CONGRESS TO CLASSROOM: CHALLENGES AND IMPACTS OF EDUCATION POLICY

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Rachel Boon

Are children still left behind in K-12 schooling?  Did you take out loans or receive government grants to pay for college?  Does it matter if students in China are better at math than American students?  Policies address these issues and more at the federal, state or local level.  The educational system is important from social, economic, and global perspectives today and is a critical issue for voters and politicians alike.  The impact of education policies is broad as they shape how, when, and which students learn.  In this course, we will discuss education policy particularly in the context of the social impact of public policy in education and also from a standpoint of policy process.


FYS047 / CRN 3691
LEADERSHIP, DRAKE, AND YOU

TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Sentwali Bakari

This seminar is about a leadership process that can be learned with discipline and practice.  Increasingly, successful leadership is less hierarchical and authoritative and more based on a process of inclusiveness and empowerment. The leader's position or status matters less than the working relationship and team s/he is able to cultivate. Students will explore traditional and contemporary leadership theories and models, and articulate the difference between leadership and management.  Students will construct a personal vision through awareness of self and others, teamwork, integrity, group dynamics, and campus involvement, inclusive leadership and community service. They will also be asked to communicate their powerful vision in the context of working effectively with others in a culturally diverse and complex changing world.

A particular writing and presentation focus for the seminar will be to research a female leader from a social movement, national political party, health and human services, education, spirituality or business, and reflect on the context in which the individual rose to leadership, the individual's leadership approach/style, and lessons students can learn about leadership from this individual.  A second focus of writing will be on the impact of key events that have shaped and influenced her/his own leadership experiences such as critical incidents, individuals, role models, mentors, or travel experiences.


FYS048 / CRN 4096
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? SHAPING SUCCESS IN A FLAT WORLD

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Thomas Westbrook

Success may come to you by winning the lottery or a game show. Success may also come from understanding the forces shaping our world in the 21st century. Learn the top ten forces defining life and work. Discover the most sought after mental qualities that will define career success (hint, most of these qualities can not be measured by the SAT or ACT). Learn how to harness the challenges of the 21st century to your career advantage. We will achieve this through reading Thomas Friedman, Daniel Pink, Howard Gardner and others' ideas, debating if there is an American dream or a global dream, and discovering how green careers may be the best way to earn lots of green dollars! Oh yeah, we will approach the class so we will learn as much from each other as you will from me.

FYS049 / CRN 1362
INTELLECTUAL MATURITY AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Wanda Everage

In this seminar, intellectual (cognitive) development and psychosocial theories provide the context for examining the many challenges students encounter during their years in college. Academic and social aspects of the collegiate experience affect the changes and choices associated with intellectual and personal development. Students will review the literature and relate research findings to their current learning environment, particularly salient will be the first-year experience. The readings, class discussions, writing assignments, and attendance at selected campus events will reflect an emphasis on critical thinking.  Students will also examine the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and explore the influence and interrelationship between intrinsic motivation and quality of effort relative to the academic experience.


FYS050 / CRN 3168
MEDIA LITERACY: FROM GUTENBERG TO GATES

TR 12:30-1:45pm
Gary Wade

This seminar will explore the development of the mass media, concentrating on popular culture's interaction with its audience through historical, social, political, and technological advances from Johann Gutenberg (the reputed inventor of the printing press) to Bill Gates (Microsoft, Inc.)

Students will learn to effectively and efficiently interpret and deliver media messages from a cultural perspective, increasing understanding of the mass communication process.  The course seeks to help students become more skilled and knowledgeable consumers of media content.

 

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