Fall 2010 Courses

First Year Seminars

FYS 001 (crn 2931) - Writing and Therapy

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

FYS 003 (crn 3045) - Making Sex: Representations of Sexuality

FYS 004 (crn 1119) - Modern and Experimental Poets

FYS 005 (crn 3203) – Gender and the Graphic Narrative: Comics Gone Canonical

FYS 006 (crn 1758) Middle East/South Asian Literature

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 013 (crn 4147 + 4151) - Dickens Won't Die: 175 Years of Narrative and Adaptation

FYS 015 (crn 4480) – Exploring the "Other Europe": The Balkans

FYS 016 (crn 3365 + 5136) – Reacting to the Past / The Power of Tradition, the Forces of Change: China and India

FYS 017 (crn 5188) - Food and Eating: Psychology & Politics

FYS 018 (crn 3707) - Diversity in the U.S.

FYS 019 (crn 3681) - Leadership Development: Finding your Place at Drake

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

FYS 021 (crn 5025) – Intention in the Universe

FYS 022 (crn 3303) - Drakepedia: Building a Living Archive

FYS 023 (crn 4098) - Visual Politics

FYS 024 (crn 4099) - Political Scandals

FYS 025 (crn 1163+4193 OR crn 1166+4192) - Perspectives on American Character and Society
(Learning Community)

FYS 026 (crn 2929) - Political Scandals

FYS 027 (crn 3437) – Chemistry in the Society

FYS 028 (crn 3006) – Seeing -- Believing

FYS 029 (crn 4509) - Running: Body, Mind, Sole

FYS 030 (crn 5182) - Experiencing Religion

FYS 031 (crn 3214) - "The Future"

FYS 032 (crn 5066) - Playwright, Prisoner, President: The Strange Career of Vaclav Havel

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

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

FYS 035 (crn 5176) - The Aesthetics of Care

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 038 (crn 1916) - Exploring the Portrayal of Mental Illness and Intellectual Disabilities in the Media

FYS 039 (crn 2941) - Encountering Islam

FYS 040 (crn 1891 + 5137) - Wisdom, Education, & the Art of Living: How to Make the
                                Most of Your Education and Become the Person You Want to Be

FYS 042 (crn 1670) - Comic Books and Graphic Novels

FYS 043 (crn 3209) - Women in the Bible: Mates, Mothers, Murderers and More

FYS 044 (crn 1744) - Perceptions of Illness: How We View the Sick

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

FYS 047 (crn 3691) - Making the Most of College

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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FYS 001 / CRN 2931
 
WRITING AND THERAPY

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Nancy Reincke

This course examines the ways in which writing can be therapeutic and the most effective methods for writing therapeutically.  This focus allows us to explore different functions and facets of writing; it also allows us to read about and discuss a variety of human experiences, specifically the ways in which different people make sense of illnesses from catastrophic trauma (such as war) to chronic dysfunction (such as manic depression or obsessive compulsive disorder).  Reading, writing and discussion are all thoroughly integrated in the course. 

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FYS 002 / CRN 3212

"THE FIFTIES"
TR  12:30-1:45 pm and U 4:30-7:00 (Sunday early evening viewing lab - crn 3385)
Professor Dina Smith

Continually represented as America's most "dazzling" decade, the 1950s was a period of dramatic change in American culture.   A era of intense economic growth and the beginnings of (and backlash to) desegregation, 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.

In addition to active discussion, course requirements include pre-writing assignments building toward three formal essays (5-8 pages each) as well as a lively, informative presentation on a topic of one’s choosing.  Student presentations will add a secondary level of course content, examining topics not directly covered in class. 


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FYS 003 / CRN 3045

MAKING SEX: REPRESENTATIONS OF SEXUALITY

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Jennifer Perrine

In this course, we will examine human sexual desires, experiences, and social norms. Throughout the course we will read and discuss perspectives on sexuality that challenge our assumptions about what constitutes “normal” sex. We will not only be “thinking sex” in this class; we will also be “making sex” by talking and writing about it. Thus, the course will be one in which we discuss sexuality, identity, behavior, desire, and sexualized parts of the body frankly and maturely. While we will examine a wide variety of texts that draw from the fields of history, literature, psychology, religion, film, biology, politics, sociology, and medicine, we will also explore our own narratives about sexuality and investigate and consider ways to transform cultural norms regarding sex.

As we explore these various texts, we will also be exploring questions about representation: How does language shape our understanding of sex, gender, and sexuality? How do different forms of representation (scientific studies, films, photographs, personal essays, instruction manuals, religious texts, etc.) construct sex? How does our own writing support or subvert dominant ideas about sexuality? Although sexuality is the lens through which we will approach the class, the main goal of the course is to help you develop ways of writing, thinking, and reading that will help you to make the most of your professional and personal lives.

Note: ALL students are welcome. You need not identify with any particular sex, gender, or sexuality to take this class or to do well in this class. Please also note that some of the material we will encounter in this course will contain sexually explicit verbal or visual content. You should be prepared or willing to learn how to discuss these texts with appropriate levels of sensitivity, respect, and comfort. 


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FYS 004 / CRN 1119

FROM GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS TO ANN CARSON: MODERN AND EXPERIMENTAL POETS

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Karen Bradway

*This is a creative writing course/workshop.  Description forthcoming.


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FYS 005 / CRN 3203

GENDER AND GRAPHIC NARRATIVE: COMICS GONE CANONICAL

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.


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FYS 006 / CRN 1758

MIDDLE EAST/SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.

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FYS 007 / CRN 1129

MOTHER TONGUES

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.


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FYS 008 / CRN 3050

LOST! (AND FOUND)

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.


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FYS 009 / CRN 1760  
  

ME, MYSELF, AND I
MW   12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.


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FYS 010 / CRN 1133

ENCOUNTERING NONHUMAN MINDS 

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Jeff 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. Students are expected to participate in class discussion, and to complete a number of writing assignments over the course of the semester.

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FYS 011 / CRN 1733


WHO ARE YOUR INFLUENCES?--CULTURE AND
COMING OF AGE IN LITERATURE
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.

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FYS013 / CRN 4147


DICKENS WON'T DIE. 175 YEARS OF NARRATIVE AND ADAPTATION.

TR 12:30-1:45 pm and U 2:00-4:15 (Sunday afternoon viewing lab - crn 4151)
Professor Melisa Klimaszewski

This course introduces students to college-level critical reading, writing, and inquiry through an intensive study of the works and legacy of Charles Dickens, who lived from 1812-1870.

Jay-Z and the Beastie Boys shout out to Charles Dickens, and The Decemberists regularly invoke him. Lloyd Jones, a writer in New Zealand, uses a Dickens character created 140 years ago to explore the life of a war-traumatized little girl. Gwenyth Paltrow stars in a film adaptation of the same Dickens book. The Los Angeles Times and several other newspapers report the arrest of Bernie Madoff with astonishment at his resemblance to a Dickens character. Countless television actors (plus Mickey Mouse) have embodied Ebenezer Scrooge. The staying power of Dickens (his works as well as his celebrity) is nearly unrivalled, as is the broad range of artists who have adapted his imaginative creations.

In this seminar, we will study some of Dickens’ original writings and critically analyze works that respond to, reimagine, or adapt Dickens. We will consider questions such as: What do we learn from identifying elements that persist across centuries? What do we learn from seeing what elements of Dickens’ work change over the years? What do adaptations and revisions teach us about contemporary culture, about Victorian culture, and about our own reading practices?

Assigned texts will include novels, films, and songs. Readings may include Lloyd Jones’ Mister Pip, Dickens’ Great Expectations, Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Dickens’ Little Dorrit and selections from several books of scholarship, including Gilooly and David’s Contemporary Dickens and Clayton’s Dickens in Cyberspace. Films may include Great Expectations, It’s A Wonderful Life, Scrooged, and Little Dorrit.

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. Students should expect to do substantial amounts of reading and writing for this seminar.


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FYS 015 / CRN 4480

EXPLORING THE "OTHER EUROPE": THE BALKANS
MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Stoyan Tchaprazov

What makes a state Balkan, and what are the implications of calling a state Balkan? Why call geographically European states—such as Bulgaria, Romania, or Bosnia—Balkan, and not European? This FYS will offer answers to these questions through close reading of several texts, including Bernard Shaw’s _Arms and the Man_, Anthony Hope’s _The Prisoner of Zenda_, Bram Stoker’s _Dracula_, and Ivo Andric’s _The Bridge on the Drina_. In addition to engaging in close reading and analysis, throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to write scholarly essays, to polish their writing through revision, to conduct independent research, and to participate in oral presentations of their work.

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FYS 016 / CRN 3365 + 5136


TRADITION AND CHANGE

MW   12:30-1:45 pm and Fridays eportfolio lab,  11:00-11:50 a.m.
Professor Elizabeth Robertson

Debating Democracy examines two different cultures, Athens in 403 BC and India in 1946, at points of constitutional crisis and compares their ideas and debates on how to establish democracy and unity, national identity and authority, and 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 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 on the promise and dilemmas of establishing truly democratic societies through a pedagogy known as “Reacting to the Past.” “Reacting to the Past” seeks to introduce students to major ideas and texts by using a “role playing” format to replicate the historical context in which these ideas acquired significance. That is, I will not lecture or even conduct discussions while the “games” are in session. You yourselves will debate, discuss, and forge policies and you will write persuasively, in role and out of role, exploring major issues and perspectives.

Drake ePortfolio lab. This First Year Seminar includes registration in an electronic portfolio lab. In the lab experiences upper division students will be guided by your instructor to help you reflect on the purpose of your education and your pursuit of meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship as called for by Drake’s mission. The lab will provide the opportunity to enhance your skills in college-level writing and critical thinking as well as introduce you to identifying and evaluating information resources. For participation in the lab, you will be provided with a five-year license for Internet-based portfolio software that you can use throughout your college career to archive your papers and projects and to develop both personal and professional portfolios of your work.


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FYS 017 / CRN 5188

FOOD AND EATING: PSYCHOLOGY & POLITICS
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Catherine Gillespie

We will explore food and eating through the twin lenses of psychology (thoughts, feelings, and behaviors) and politics (power relations, institutions, and ideas). Course material will span normal and disordered eating, industrial food production, and global hunger. Questions to be addressed include: What is normal eating? Is it true that you are what you eat? What is food security and who has it? Is agricultural sustainability even within our reach? What is our responsibility toward ending domestic and global hunger?

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FYS 018 / CRN 3707

DIVERSITY IN THE U.S.
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.


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FYS 019 / CRN 3681

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: FINDING YOUR PLACE AT DRAKE

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Jan Wise

How do you become a leader?  Is it simply by being elected or selected?  Or by doing the “right thing?”  This seminar takes a look at leadership for a changing world — creating a vision and developing a team.  You will reflect on the key events and people that have shaped and influenced your leadership experiences.

You will interview campus leaders about their leadership style and the lessons they have learned as leaders.  Your writings will reflect on the five leadership tenets at Drake — Leadership: depends on relationships, is everyone’s responsibility, can be developed, is inclusive and is practiced in accordance with high standards of ethics and integrity.


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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)
Professor 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.


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FYS 021 / CRN 5025

INTENTION IN THE UNIVERSE
MW
  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor David Courard-Hauri

Descartes famously said “I think, therefore I am,” using his awareness of consciousness to prove his own existence: conscious thought and decision-making are among our most immediate and concrete of experiences. And yet, many scientists believe that our choices and free will are illusory: elementary wave/particles interact in ways that do not appear to leave room for volition or what we think of as conscious thought. In this seminar, we will investigate some of the most revolutionary scientific ideas of the last 100 years, such as relativity, quantum mechanics, chaos theory, and brain chemistry, both for their own sake and to ask whether there is room for conscious intention in the modern scientific worldview. We will look to philosophy, literature, and poetry for evidence in our investigations. This course is designed for non-science majors who nonetheless enjoy science; those who have a firm foundation in science from high school will be able to participate successfully in the course.

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FYS 022 / CRN 3303

DRAKEPEDIA: BUILDING A LIVING LEGACY
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professors Susan Breakenridge and Claudia Frazer

Which Drake building was bombed by terrorists in the 70’s? What returning Drake student booked a ticket on an ill-fated ocean liner called the Titanic?   This seminar engages students in conducting basic historical research of and for Drake University. The class will work as a group to create Drakepedia, which will live on as a permanent and public resource. Students will uncover long-forgotten stories as they navigate the fundamental issues of historical research and writing, conduct oral histories, and explore Drake’s Special Collections and the University Archives.


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FYS 023 / CRN 4098

VISUAL POLITICS
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Ralph Siddall

This course will focus on the ways cultural meanings are constructed in the visual images of political campaigns and/or protests. Combining academic journal articles, political/visual blogs, and other, topical readings that may arise, students will gain an understanding of the shifting nature of public perceptions, and the consequences of the same.


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FYS 024 / CRN 4099

POLITICAL SCANDALS
Staff
MW  12:30-1:45 pm


Description forthcoming.

 

FYS025 / CRN 1163 AND CO-REQUISITE POLS 001 / CRN 4193

PERSPECTIVES ON AMERICAN CHARACTER AND SOCIETY (LEARNING COMMUNITY)

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

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


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FYS 026 / CRN 2929

POLITICAL SCANDALS
Staff
TR  12:30-1:45 pm


Description forthcoming.

 


FYS027 / CRN 3437

CHEMISTRY IN THE SOCIETY

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.


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FYS 028 / CRN 3006

SEEING - BELIEVING
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Ted Lyddon Hatten

This course will offer an opportunity to explore the connection between seeing and believing. Is seeing believing? Is our vision limited by what we believe? Are our beliefs limited by what we can see? What do beliefs look like? Since religion has a long history of turning to the visual arts to express its beliefs, this interdisciplinary journey will lead us to the intersection of art and religion. We will examine visual manifestations of belief through architecture, sculpture, painting. We will consider the distinction between sacred and profane through writing assignments focused on space, objects, and time. Our discussions will be shaped by the books: Religion, Art, & Visual Culture , ed. by S. Brent Plate, The Sacred Gaze , by David Morgan, and For the Time Being , by Annie Dillard.

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FYS 029 / CRN 4509

RUNNING: BODY, MIND, SOLE
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor David Senchina

Running is a sport unto itself but also integral to other sports such as soccer, lacrosse, rugby, football, and baseball/softball, to name just a few.  Even more Americans enjoy running as a regular recreational activity.  It takes many forms including recreational and competitive, short and long distance, on flat-surfaced and cross-country.  In this FYS, we will examine running from three main perspectives: body (the biology of running), mind (the psychology of running), and sole (running in a global, social, and economic contexts).  The courses emphasizes scientific aspects of running, including the history of its study, understanding how and why we run, current research techniques and philosophies, and the ability to think critically, logically, and rationally about literature on running or marketing claims about running-related sports products such as running shoes.  Students will regularly be engaged in writing about running through multiple contexts, such as their own experiences inside and outside of class, as well as in response to others’ writings on running.


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FYS 030 / CRN 5182

EXPERIENCING RELIGION
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Jennifer Thompson

What is religion and how do people experience it? This course explores these questions from many different vantage points, with readings about witchcraft in contemporary England, Buddhist meditation in Thailand, the meanings and practices of food and eating among American Protestants, and other topics. Students will do participant-observation in religious settings around Des Moines and write descriptively as well as analytically. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe several different understandings of religion and religious experience, and discuss what unites and distinguishes them.

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FYS 031 / CRN 3214

"THE FUTURE"
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Sarah Hogan

For many of us, a reference to “the future” immediately conjures up visions of robots, spaceships, flying cars or conveyor-belt sidewalks—the stuff of classic sci-fi imagery. Some probably tend less toward this high-tech future, and instead imagine a dystopian society or the desolate, post-apocalyptic landscapes of films like The Road or I Am Legend. But what if we were to treat the future in slightly more realistic, global terms, focusing especially on probable near-future scenarios in order to help us prepare for the contours and crises of the next half-century? Throughout the semester, this will be our task as we read a number of essays and book excerpts by authors who analyze contemporary cultural, economic, environmental, and technological trends (sometimes through the lens of fiction) but then use this knowledge of the present in order to make rationally-based predictions about the problems and opportunities our world is likely to face in the coming decades. We’ll review recent debates about global poverty and inequality and the impending energy, food, financial and climate crises, while also examining some of the potential solutions that have been proposed for these problems.  We will also consider the representation of the future in two recent films, Avatar and Children of Men. Our questions about the future will inspire us to speculate, debate, and mainly, write, while learning how to evaluate ideas knowledgeably and critically. Obviously, the future is an unstable, unreliable object of study; but forces in play right now are so massive and present humanity with so many dangers and opportunities that it behooves us, both as individuals and as a species, to imagine better futures and think clearly about the tasks ahead.

FYS 032 / CRN 5066

PLAYWRIGHT, PRISONER, PRESIDENT: THE STRANGE CAREER OF VACLAV HAVEL
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Kieran Williams

This FYS will introduce students to the life and work of Vaclav Havel, one of the world’s leading public intellectuals (ranked no. 4 in a 2005 global survey, and still in the top 25 in 2009) and the only one from a formerly Soviet-controlled country. Born in 1936 into a Czech family connected to the arts, politics and business, Havel spent most of his early years marginalized by the Communist regime. In the more relaxed 1960s he became internationally renowned for his plays, and then in the 1970s and 1980s for his opposition to authoritarian government. During that time he flourished as a political essayist, and suffered as a political prisoner. A leading figure in the revolution of 1989, Havel served as president of the Czech Republic until 2003. He continues to speak and write on a wide range of topics and has returned to playwriting. The seminar will use his translated plays, essays, speeches and memoirs to explore questions of power, responsibility, identity and the (mis)use of language.


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FYS033 / CRN 3308

GLOBAL THREATS TO PUBLIC HEALTH

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.

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FYS034 / CRN 3201

AMERICAN RACISM:  LANGUAGE, THEORY, AND BEHAVIOR

R 5:00-7:50 pm (note: this is an early evening class on Thursdays)
Professor 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.

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FYS 035 / CRN 5176

THE AESTHETICS OF CARE
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Leah Kalmanson

Perhaps you’ve wondered whether art should have moral value, whether artists should be held to ethical standards, or whether artists should be censored for immoral work. But have you ever wondered whether morality has aesthetic value, or whether ethical actions might also be called “beautiful” or perhaps “artistic”? In this course, we will explore the latter set of questions. We will learn about various conceptions of morality through a contemporary field known as care ethics, which asks about the differences between justice and caring and examines the moral issues that arise in doing caring work, such as nursing. We will also learn about various conceptions of beauty through the tradition of Japanese aesthetics, which treats beauty as fleeting and sees beauty in what is old, broken, or irregularly shaped. Finally we will bring these two fields together to explore new territory—the aesthetics of care. We’ll aim to leave the course with a deepened understanding of what it means to care for other people and what it means to appreciate the beauty in caring.


FYS036 / CRN 3663

MINING THE MORAL MIND

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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. 

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FYS 037 / CRN 2193

"ALL RIVERS RUN TO THE SEA...BUT THE SEA IS NEVER FULL"
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Jim Laurenzo

This course centers around the research, the discussion, and the application of ideas and interpretations relating to the wisdom and prophetic literature of the Bible.  This literature, within the Bible, offers a wide perspective on ourselves, as human beings, and our world as created and being created by us (in part) and God.  The Book of Job is both a long poem and an important debate which urges its readers to ask and discover life’s meaning.  The Book of Ecclesiastes calls us to question and reflect—and even challenge.  All the books of the prophets are word of God in human words reflecting how human life is to be lived.

Crucial to all these biblical texts is our interpretation and application of them.  This course intends to struggle with these texts through critical reading, researching, discussion, and application of these important ideas.

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FYS 038 / CRN 1916

EXPLORING THE PORTRAYAL OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES IN THE MEDIA
TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Anisa Fornoff

Stigmatization of mental illness and intellectual disabilities is readily apparent in the media today. This class will focus on identifying and dispelling the myths of these diagnoses and gaining an understanding of the true nature of these conditions. Students will view select media and work in small groups to present information to the class regarding the diagnosis criteria and accurate presentation for the condition portrayed in the film. Individual writing assignments will consist of reflection papers and papers that compare and contrast the portrayal of the conditions. By the end of this course, students will have acquired general knowledge of the history of the treatment of mental illness in this country, defined intellectual disability and conditions leading to disabilities, discussed the impact of media on the stigma of mental illness and intellectual disability, and be introduced to supportive resources available both on campus and throughout the community.

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FYS 039 / CRN 2941

ENCOUNTERING ISLAM
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Brad Crowell

In recent years Islam has become one of the most debated and contentious religions, but it is also the fastest growing of all of the world religions.  For many Muslims it is a religion of peace and submission to the will of God, yet many in the west perceive of Islam as religion that oppresses women and declares jihad. "Encountering Islam" will approach the religion on its own grounds - we will read some of the religion's sacred text, the Quran, engage in some of the most controversial debates, and meet some local practicing Muslims. The course will also examine the arguments of those who are critical of Islam, both from within the Muslim tradition and scholars who have spent years charting the trajectories of modern Islam.


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FYS 040 / CRN 1891+ 5137 

WISDOM, EDUCATION & THE ART OF LIVING:

  How to Make the Most of Your Education and Become the Person You Want to Be
TR 12:30-1:45 pm and eportfolio lab Fridays, 10:00-10:50 a.m.
Professor Jennifer McCrickerd

In its mission statement, Drake University takes on the admirable task of, among other things, "provid[ing] an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments and responsible global citizenship."  It is noteworthy that Drake is aspiring to provide the environment in which these other lofty goals will be accomplished.  Also worth noting is that all the environment in the world isn't going to be successful in promoting anything in anyone if those in the environment aren't making the most of said environment.

The goal of this first year seminar is to prepare you to make the most out of your college years.  To prepare you so that in 20 years you will look back on and agree that you spent these years of your life well and in ways that made it possible for you to live the next 20 and 40 years in ways that you continue to appreciate. We will spend our time this semester looking, broadly, at what it means to be wise, how one might have a good life and how to make the most of your college years  so that you are more likely to actually end up, at some point in your life, more wise and more likely to have a good life.

To this end, we will read and have lots of discussion about your past, future, your on-going college experience, philosophy, literature, social science and a bit of material from various other fields.

Drake ePortfolio lab. This First Year Seminar includes registration in an electronic portfolio lab. In the lab experiences upper division students will be guided by your instructor to help you reflect on the purpose of your education and your pursuit of meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship as called for by Drake’s mission. The lab will provide the opportunity to enhance your skills in college-level writing and critical thinking as well as introduce you to identifying and evaluating information resources. For participation in the lab, you will be provided with a five-year license for Internet-based portfolio software that you can use throughout your college career to archive your papers and projects and to develop both personal and professional portfolios of your work.

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FYS042 / CRN 1670

COMICS BOOKS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.

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FYS 043 / CRN 3209

WOMEN IN THE BIBLE: MATES, MOTHERS, MURDERS, AND MORE
MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor Trisha Wheelock

This class will explore the depiction of women in biblical literature and in social and cultural contexts of both ancient Israel and the Mediterranean world.  We will consider the roles women play within biblical narratives, the presentations of femininity and feminine in biblical traditions, and the legal/ethical precepts related to the status of women. We will read both biblical texts and secondary literature. In addition, we will reflect on the influence of these texts on the lives of women and men in the church and question their significance for life in the twenty-first century. Goals of the course include: gain familiarity with biblical texts concerning women in their social and cultural contexts, explore and use the tools and methods of biblical interpretation, reflect how biblical women both operated within and challenged the expectations placed on them, analyze various methodological streams of biblical interpretation, and question how – or if – biblical texts concerning women should impact contemporary church life. No prior knowledge of Jewish and Christian canonical texts is assumed. Writing assignments include weekly reading journals, two reflection papers, a research paper, and a group project.

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FYS 044 / CRN 1744

PERCEPTIONS OF ILLNESS: HOW WE VIEW THE SICK
TR  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor John Rovers

This course is intended for all majors, not just health science majors.  In this course you will learn to:

  • Distinguish between various methods used to describe the sick and the healthy and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Discuss what society wants from the sick and what the sick want from society.
  • Articulate your personal response to disease and understand why you had the response you did.
  • Decide whether or not you believe that the common metaphors for disease are or are not useful constructs for both patients and providers.
  • Reach a personal conclusion for how you believe the "science" part of health care is best related to the "care" part of health care.

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FYS046 / CRN 3213

FROM CONGRESS TO CLASSROOM: CHALLENGES AND IMPACTS OF EDUCATION POLICY

MW 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.

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FYS 047 / CRN 3691

MAKING THE MOST OF COLLEGE
MW  12:30-1:45 PM
Professor Kelli Pitts

This class is a sneak preview of the next 4 years of your life! Topics will examine why college is worth more than a piece of paper (your degree). The course will cover various aspects of higher education, including student services, the history of higher education, and the sheer dollars and cents of college. General themes will focus on enhancing the college experience and understanding a liberal arts education and student development theories. Students will gain insight about the benefits of college and how to utilize their resources to be successful.

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FYS048 / CRN 4096

WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE? SHAPING SUCCESS IN A FLAT WORLD

MW  12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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.

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FYS049 / CRN 1362 + 5138

INTELLECTUAL MATURITY AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

MW 12:30-1:45 pm and eportfolio lab Fridays, 11:00-11:50 a.m.
Professor 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.

Drake ePortfolio lab. This First Year Seminar includes registration in an electronic portfolio lab. In the lab experiences upper division students will be guided by your instructor to help you reflect on the purpose of your education and your pursuit of meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship as called for by Drake’s mission. The lab will provide the opportunity to enhance your skills in college-level writing and critical thinking as well as introduce you to identifying and evaluating information resources. For participation in the lab, you will be provided with a five-year license for Internet-based portfolio software that you can use throughout your college career to archive your papers and projects and to develop both personal and professional portfolios of your work.

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FYS050 / CRN 3168

MEDIA LITERACY: FROM GUTENBERG TO GATES

TR 12:30-1:45 pm
Professor 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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