Spring FYS Offerings | St. Lawrence University First-Year Program

Spring FYS Offerings

Spring 2019 - Class of 2022 and new January students

What Are First-Year Seminars?

For current students, registration on APR2 opens Monday, November 5 at 7:00 am and closes at 11:59 pm. First years should register for their FYS course in this window. The second registration window opens on Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 am and closes at 11:59 pm; students should register for their second choice course at this time. The third and final course window opens on Thursday, November 8 at 7:00 am and closes on Thursday, December 13 at 11:59 pm; students should register for their last two courses (up to 4.75 units) in this final window.

Changes to your FYS: Registration will re-open for one day only on Tuesday, January 15, the day before spring semester classes begin, from 12 noon until 11:59 pm; this is the time  to make changes to your schedule, but only if there are seats available. After that date, all changes to FYS registrations and other courses must be completed using the add/drop form, which you will find on the Registrar's website.  No changes to FYS courses will be accepted after Thursday, January 24 at 4:00 pm, which is also the last day for Add/Drop for all classes.

Registering for courses with [CBL] designation: FYS courses with this designation include an experiential learning component known as Community Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester; on average students can expect to spend up to/at least two hours per week in the community. Click on the link to learn more about Community Based Learning. This year’s FYS courses w/CBL are: FRPG 2055CBL with Devin Farkas, FRPG 2144CBL with Adam Harr, FRPG 2111CBL with Marianna Locke, and FRPG 2125CBL with Bethany Cencer.

Registering for FYS Courses That Count As A Department Course: When reviewing the FYS course descriptions, please be aware of any courses that also count as departmental courses. If your FYS is equivalent to/counts as a SLU course, you cannot register for that FYS if you already have the equivalent course on your student record, either as residential or transfer credit. For example, students in FRPG 2107 will receive credit for PCA 107; if you have already taken PCA 107 you will not be allowed to register for this FYS, and the Register's office will remove you from this FYS on Wednesday during the break in Registration, so you will be required to register for another open FYS. Other examples are listed below. Please review the descriptions for details. 

Select another FYS course if you have already taken one of these departmental courses:
     FRPG 2137, counts as SOC 169;
     FRPG 2007, counts as FR 235;
     FRPG 2014 and 2120, count as ENG 190;
     FRPG 2129, counts as ENG 190 and is cross-listed with Public Health;
     FRPG 2144CBL, counts as ANTH 204;
     FRPG 2130, counts as HIST 110 and PHYSICS 110 and is cross-listed in European Studies;
     FRPG 2128, counts as PCA 201 and ENG 201;
     FRPG 2068, counts as PCA 111;
     FRPG 2107, counts as PCA 107; and
     FRPG 2041, counts as SSES 212.

Students may take one of these FYS courses, even if they have taken another 100 level course in that department:
     FRPG 2079, 2082, and 2134, count as a 100 level HIST course;
     FRPG 2121, counts as a 200 level Religious Studies course;
     FRPG 2012 is cross-listed with EDUC and counts for one EDUC course;
     FRPG 2122, counts as a 200 level FR course and is cross-listed with European Studies; and
     FRPG 2133, counts as a 200 level Religious Studies course.

FRPG 2134
Animals in U.S. History
Donna Alvah
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

In this seminar we will study historical examples of the use, treatment, representation, and meaning of animals in the United States.  People used animals for labor, food, fashion, decoration, sports, entertainment, scientific experimentation, and companionship.  Some animals were beloved companions and even treated as part of the family.  Others were exploited and degraded.  Animals have been featured in literature, film, art, and other cultural texts.  Animals have also been hidden away in slaughterhouses and research labs.  We will consider such questions as: What roles did animals play in the development of the United States, from colonial to recent times?  What have animals meant in American culture, and how have meanings and representations of animals varied across time and place in the United States?  We also will contemplate questions pertinent to our relationships with animals in the present, such as: What do animals mean to us today?  What rights do animals have?  Could animals be considered "persons"?  What responsibilities do humans have toward animals in any capacity?  Students will conduct focused research projects on historical or current topics of their choosing. This course counts as a 100-level History course and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2140
Green Communities: Growing a Sustainable City
Sara Ashpole
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

This course will meet off campus at the Environmental Studies Living Laboratory; transportation will be provided. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. As the urban population grows, so does the demand on urban resources and the impact from energy, water, waste, air, and food. The ecology of urban systems considers the interactions of living and nonliving components and ecological planning seeks a restorative footprint.  Often food resources are overlooked when designing cities and supporting healthy diverse communities. A broken food system endangers our environment and our health. Sustainable cities incorporate food—how it is grown, distributed, consumed, and disposed of—into the urban design.  Eating locally and food-growing projects are rapidly evolving movements in urban settings. This course will explore sustainable communities and examine alternative food systems in cities from around the globe that are shortening their food chains, taking food security into their own hands, and bridging cultures. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2137
Fake News, Real Facts?: Sociological Critiques of Mass Media
Steve Barnard
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Sociological thinking requires calling into question the structures, practices, and assumptions that are taken for granted in everyday life.  When applied to media, this means asking questions such as: Who controls our media?  What factors shape how information is produced, distributed, and interpreted?  To what extent are we manipulated by the news and views on our feeds?  In this seminar, students will learn to use theories and evidence from sociology and communication to examine the role of media in democratic societies.  After an overview of contemporary media systems, including both traditional publishers and digital platforms, we will examine some common (mis)conceptions about media bias and effects.  We will then turn our attention to the use of these tools for persuasion and propaganda.  Finally, we will use what we learn to conduct original, critical analyses of media texts and technologies. This course counts as SOC 169 and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2079
“We hold these truths…”?: The American Struggle to Define and Achieve Economic Justice
Larry Boyette
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Equality.  Life.  Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.  Government by the consent of the governed.  What is the relationship between these fundamental American political values and beliefs, as embedded in the Declaration of Independence, and the values and beliefs that have shaped our economic structures and theory: property, self-interest, efficiency, entrepreneurship?    Exploring the tensions between these sets of values will be our project.  We’ll conduct a number of case studies: deindustrialization today in Massena NY, slavery and freedom in colonial America, the sharp turn in economic thought in recent decades towards free-market ideals and globalization and the relationship between this trend and growing inequalities of wealth and of political influence.  We’ll rediscover “lost” American economic thinkers like Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who sought to understand women’s exploitation, and Henry George, who wondered why greater economic production and efficiency should produce progress, but also poverty.  We’ll meet Owen D. Young, one of SLU’s most distinguished graduates and an internationally celebrated business leader, by exploring the vast collection of his papers deposited here. Through this work we’ll develop the research skills, questions, and context to facilitate your own research on issues of interest to you that involve the ongoing struggle to reconcile our political and economic values. This course counts as a 100-level History course and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2124
Biomimicry: Using Nature as a Model for Contemporary Design
Matt Burnett
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

This course will emphasize the research, analysis, and exploration of natural patterns and systems as a model for contemporary design.  After researching recent biomimicry developments in industry, the sciences, and other fields, students will employ several design media (including but not limited to: drawing, photography, digital modeling, and 3-D printing) as an analytical method in their investigations of nature’s “systemness.” In the words of Dr. Janine Benyus, after 3.8 billion years of research & development, nature knows what works, what is appropriate, and what lasts. The course culminates in a semester-long design project and presentation. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2007
Paris, Ville Lumiere
Roy Caldwell
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m. (time corrected)
Class size: 16

Mes chers amis, faisons ensemble un FYS en français!   This FYS, conducted entirely in French, studies the culture and history of Paris.  We will examine not only how the city appears in literature and film, but also how the urban space grew and changed across the two millennia since the first inhabitants settled on the Ile de la Cité.  Maps, paintings, sketches, and other historical documents will be consulted. We will work on a variety of other texts as well: prose fiction, lyrics (poetry and popular song), films, and histories.  If you’ve taken French 201, or have a strong background in French from high school or a year abroad, and have a comfortable fluency in French, this class is for you. This course counts as FR 235, qualifies students for the SLU Program in France, fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements, and counts as a LANG course toward completing the DIV requirement.

FRPG 2125CBL
Cultivating Community through Amateur Music-Making [CBL]
Bethany Cencer
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Since the Middle Ages, amateur musicians are known to have had a significant impact on musical culture. In this course, we will study how amateur music activities led to developments in music education and concert life. We will begin with the basic question, “What is an amateur musician?” and learn how the divide between amateur and professional musician emerged. Through working with archival sources, we will witness firsthand the ways in which gender and socioeconomic status played a large part in determining choice of instrument, learning method, and place for musical activities. Ultimately, we will consider the extent to which amateur musicians participated in community building in the past, and how they continue to do so today. To fully experience this, students will be placed in an organization in Canton or a nearby locale, and will use music (vocal or instrumental) as the mode for interacting with community members. Examples include schools, daycares, boys and girls clubs, assisted living homes, or organizations supporting individuals with disabilities. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements. This course includes an experiential learning component known as Community Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester. On average students can expect to spend at least two hours per week in the community.

FRPG 2119
Discrimination in Labor Markets
Brian Chezum
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

“Are questions about the economic status of women and minorities important?  They certainly are if you are a woman or a member of a minority group.  That covers a lot of people.  Even if you are not, I should think that any decent and curious person would want to know the facts about group differences in economic outcomes and then understand why things happen as they do.” Thus wrote Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Solow as he introduced the book Race and Gender in the American Economy.  In this course we will examine the differences in economic outcomes (the “facts”) across groups.  As we become aware of the facts, we inquire into explanations of our observations allowing us to consider “why do things happen?”  By developing analytical tools to help us understand why these differences exist, we will study how various public policies, both actual and potential, may impact the observed outcomes.  While it is not required, it is highly recommended that you have taken some introductory economics course as a foundation for this First Year Seminar. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2126
Grassroots Media for the Next Generation
John Collins
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Independent, grassroots media spotlight stories, voices, and struggles that are too often absent from daily news reports dominated by official sources and narrow political debates. Equally important, grassroots media can help promote a deeper form of democracy by giving ordinary people an active stake in the work of producing media and seeking social justice. Grassroots media work, in other words, is an essential form of information activism. In this seminar, students will conduct research on influential grassroots media platforms, the challenges they face, and the models and strategies that have made them successful and sustainable. Then, building on what they have learned, students will work collaboratively to create a detailed set of recommendations for improving the work of Weave News (www.weavenews.org), a St. Lawrence-based grassroots media project focused on underreported stories. Active involvement in the Weave News on-campus organization will be a key element of the seminar. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2127
New Orleans at 300: Encountering the City in Fiction and Film
Bob Cowser
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Since its founding three centuries ago, New Orleans has been praised and damned as America’s “exotic other.”  The Big Easy is arguably America’s most unique city, in terms of climate and geography but also with regard to its rich ethnic and cultural confluence, birthing traditions in cuisine, music, and lifestyle unlike anywhere else in the world. Students in this seminar will be introduced to the city’s history and have the opportunity to research an aspect of the culture that most interests them: music, food, literature, nature and the environment, and more. This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2082
Is the Hijab Dangerous?: Thinking about Gender and Sexuality in the Contemporary Islamic World
Howard Eissenstat
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Feminist scholarship has long taught that "the personal is political." Nowhere, however, is this more true than the contemporary Middle East, where gender rights, sexuality, and even the most basic elements of women's clothing are all hotly contested and debated. In Iran, it is illegal for women to walk with their hair uncovered. In Saudi Arabia, it is illegal for women to drive. This class aims to explore why and how gender and sexuality have become so central to broader societal debates in the contemporary Middle East. Why has the hijab, or head covering, become so central to both Western and Middle Eastern discourses about women in the Middle East? How do gender identities change over time? What does it mean to fight for LGBT or women's rights in the context of a Middle Eastern society? The class will be research based, but also include scholarship, films, and literature aimed at giving the student a sense of the sheer diversity of Middle Eastern experiences. This course counts as a 100-level History course and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2142
Know Your Constitutional Rights
Diane Exoo
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

What provisions of the U.S. Constitution allow us to live as we please, to worship flying spaghetti monsters if we wish, to publicly express political opinions, to be free from discrimination, to expect equal protection under the law, to have our vote count, and to keep government out of our personal and private lives? Are these freedoms absolute, or can the government regulate in ways that restrict our constitutional freedoms? This course is designed to develop critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills through legal analysis of U.S. Supreme Court cases. Students will be required to apply their research and writing skills by submitting a final essay analyzing the political, social, and legal impact of a Supreme Court case involving civil liberties/rights. Critical speaking skills will be honed by bi-weekly oral presentations of assigned Supreme Court Cases and an oral presentation of the student’s final paper.  Field trips include observing a criminal trial at the St. Lawrence County Courthouse and a trip to a NYS prison to speak with convicted felons. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2010
How to Like It: Depictions of Happiness in the Modern Age
Josh Exoo
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

“The purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear,” so says the Dalai Lama. But what makes him so sure? And what is happiness? Like pornography, do we just know it when we see it? What are the myriad definitions of happiness that flood a modern consumer, and how can we separate truths from fictions? How can a force so universally desired still be so elusive in the modern world? This course will investigate all these questions via various depictions of happiness in philosophy, literature and film. How do competing definitions of happiness complement or contradict one another? Most importantly, which definition is right for you? Students will examine the role of happiness in their own lives as well, and hopefully come away from the course with a better understanding of themselves.  Media depicting happiness will include Buddhist philosophy, fractured modern novels, news media, commercial advertising, and sexually provocative cinema. This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2055CBL
What’s So Great About Outdoor Education, Huh? [CBL]
Devin Farkas
Tuesday 10:10-11:40 a.m.
Thursday 10:10 a.m.-1:10 p.m.
Class size: 16

In this FYS students are expected to engage in non-traditional classroom exercises, many of which will take place outside during the winter months. The term Outdoor Education (OE) has been applied to a wide range of programs including international service learning expeditions, white water rafting trips, high ropes course sessions, and geology field trips, among others. Advertising pamphlets are littered with terms like character building, leadership, and environmental stewardship. A perceptive critic, however, might wonder: how does an environmental steward reconcile the carbon footprint of transporting their class great distances; does cheering-on a peer to climb higher instill confidence or just strengthen the imperative to listen to peer-pressure; or, what does taking students outside offer that the classroom does not? This class will give students first-hand experience with current OE practices, and current practices in more traditional education through volunteering in local schools. These first-hand experiences will bring relevance to the current literature critiquing the strengths and issues with OE. This FYS is equivalent to a 100 level Outdoor Studies course and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements. This course includes an experiential learning component known as Community Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester. On average students can expect to spend at least two hours per week in the community.

FRPG 2097
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”: Reassessing the 1970s in the United States and Canada
Neil Forkey
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Gil Scott-Heron’s 1970 poem and song—“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”—expressed Black rage as well as criticized consumerism and the Nixon presidency.  His phrase is also an apt phrase to characterize the uniqueness of the Seventies. To some, the decade merely filled the gap between the idealistic Sixties and the shallow “Big Eighties.” However, a reassessment of the Seventies yields a different story: consider the contributions of the anti-war movement to ending the Vietnam War.  As well, the period saw the evolution of Black Power, Feminism (including Title IX legislation), Gay Liberation, the American Indian Movement, and Disability Rights activism. Language laws in French-speaking Canada sparked a cultural renaissance in Québec and New Brunswick.  Women’s reproductive rights in both countries were established.  Earth Day was born.  So, too, was the microprocessor.  Free agency revolutionized labor-management relations in baseball and other sports.  In hockey, the 1972 Canada-Soviet Union Summit Series became the stuff of sport legend and promoted the sport as Canada’s national game.  In introducing students to primary and secondary sources—including music and film—from this decade, they will be encouraged to take up a research question that investigates how the Seventies influenced subsequent generations, including their own. This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2121
Jesus: Biblical and Post-Biblical Interpretations of the Most Interesting Man in the World
Tom Fraatz
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

In the reign of Emperor Tiberius, the Roman prefect of a backwater province executed a Jewish peasant brought to him on charges of insurrection. Today, two billion people around the world revere him as the savior of the world. Two billion more consider Jesus of Nazareth to be a moral figure worthy of emulation and respect. In the first half of this course we will examine the biblical accounts of who Jesus was and why he mattered in the first and second centuries CE. Far from speaking with a unified voice, the early Christians held dramatically different options about why a simple carpenter from Galilee had cosmic significance. In the second half of this course, we will examine the post-biblical lives of Jesus as understood by Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and non-religious authors. No previous experience with the Bible is expected, though students should come prepared to read and analyze the Bible critically and historically, not as a devotional text. This course counts as 200-level course in Religious Studies and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2012
What Does It Mean to Be Educated?
Jeff Frank
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

In this course we will take part in the interesting—and often very contentious—conversation provoked by a seemingly simple question: What does it mean to be educated? Across cultures and time thinkers and writers have responded to this question in very different ways, and a major goal of this course is to assess the quality of these responses while also developing our own way of addressing the question. The course will help us develop a deeper appreciation for the study of education, and it will empower us to find our own voice in this tremendously important conversation. To this end, each student will pursue a research project of their own choosing related to key themes from the course. This course is cross-listed with Education, can count for one course in any of the Education minors, and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2014
Growing Up Victorian
Sarah Gates
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10-11:40 a.m.
Wednesday 3:00-4:00 PM
Class size: 16

Some social historians claim that the notion of “childhood” as a special period distinct from adulthood has its roots in Rousseau and developed fully during the 19th century.  In this course we will be exploring this idea through literature and social history, looking at many kinds of texts that focus on children and the raising of children during the Victorian period.  We will be reading two Victorian children’s novels (Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess), some children’s poetry and shorter stories, and two novels written for adults whose tales are centered on a child growing up in the midst of the Victorian world (Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations).  To understand the context of these stories, we will conduct and share research projects in various aspects of Victorian culture. This course counts as ENG 190 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2122
Literature and Film of the Global Francophone World
Alessandro Giardino
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

In this FYS we will work on francophone writers, artists and filmmakers who have contributed to shaping the imagery of 4 areas of the world: the Maghreb (specifically, Morocco and Algeria), the Middle East (specifically, Lebanon & Iran) Canada (specifically, Quebec and Ontario) and the Far East (specifically, Vietnam and Japan). Through novels, short stories and films, we will examine the influence of French culture and French foreign policy on the conflicted history of each one of these regions or areas, as well as on their unique cultural and artistic profile. By particularly focusing on the identitarian struggles shared by Francophile local writers and French foreign travelers and/or French residents of these lands, we will explore the ideas and affections generated by an "in-betweenness" of cultures, languages, gender identities, and sexual orientations. Class material is in English. Films are often in French with English subtitles. Students have the option to read and write in French, upon the instructor’s approval. This course is cross-listed with European Studies, counts as a 200-level French course, and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2123
What Is An Image? or Through the Looking Glass: The Weird World of Images
Thomas Gokey
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

From cave paintings to Snapchat, humans have always shared images. In this class we will consider all kinds of images including fine art, advertising, surveillance footage, x-rays and icons. Some artists and thinkers have emphasized the materiality of images and treat them like things in this world. Others have insisted images are more like magic windows to other worlds. This tension will provide a frame for our exploration. We will study the images scientists sent on the Voyager spacecraft to communicate with aliens and the “spirit photographs” used after the Civil War to communicate with the dead. We will ask questions like why, after the Mona Lisa was stolen, did thousands of people flock to the Louvre just to stare at the empty space on the wall where it used to hang? What were they expecting to see there and what can that teach us about what we hope to see every time we look at images? Through readings, classroom discussion and the occasional studio art exercise, students will conduct research into a question which captures their imagination. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2129
Literary Journalism, Food Production, and the Environment
Paul Graham
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

This FYS surveys recent literary journalism—a genre that blends traditional journalistic techniques, such as reportage and research, with novelistic techniques, such as characterization and narrative—about the impact that conventional agribusiness in America has on the environment and public health. What are the hidden costs of cheap, abundant food supplies? What is the hidden cost of eating in a foodscape where it is “always summer somewhere”—and who pays most of that cost? In the last decade, literary journalism has emerged as an especially powerful way of answering these questions. This course counts as ENG 190 and as an elective in the Public Health minor and fulfills the FYS, EL, and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2110
Technology: Benefits and Consequences
Rob Haney
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Since the Industrial Revolution, new technologies have transformed the functioning of human society, and this process accelerated after the Second World War. Technological advance has become an accepted feature of modern life, and new technologies are rapidly assimilated into the workplace, and into the home. While the benefits of technology are often apparent to those who use them, the consequences or costs are often not considered, or even well understood at the time of adoption of a given technology. This course will focus on a deep consideration of a series of technological advances, from plastics to fracking to gene editing. Students will learn to understand the science behind these new technologies, they will contemplate the benefits that accrue from them, and they will also reflect on whether there are negative consequences for society or on the environment due to their use. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2144CBL
Childhood Across Cultures: Little Angels and Devious Devils [CBL]
Adam Harr
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Do humans have an “instinct” to adore and care for children? Do children everywhere go through the same developmental stages? When does childhood begin and end? How should caregivers speak to a child? When and how is it appropriate for children to behave as sexual beings? Different cultures and historical periods exhibit a range of ways of imagining and enacting the early stages of human life. In this class, we will treat this diversity as a vast experimental laboratory for understanding the malleability of the human condition. By examining case studies of childhood across a variety of cultures and gaining first-hand experience with children living in the North Country, we will explore the question of what is natural and what is cultural about our ideas of childhood. This course counts as ANTH 204 and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements. This course includes an experiential learning component known as Community Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester. On average students can expect to spend at least two hours per week in the community.

FRPG 2120
Introduction to Black Science Fiction
Alvin Henry
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

Wakanda. Vibranium. This nation-state and transitional rare-earth metal, respectively, effortlessly entered the lexicon of the modern world. Vibranium manages potential and kinetic energy and Wakandan technology outpaces any other on Earth. With such advancement, why does Wakanda remain unrecognized by the world and why does science create the possibility of a new, empowered black culture? What is at stake in reconceptualizing black society and black lives in the realm of the imagination? We will answer these questions by analyzing a range of texts that compose black speculative and science fiction. We will read foundational novels, adaptations, and short stories as well as a Black Panther comic. In doing so, we will explore the contours of Afro-Futurism, its transformations over time, and why it appeals to those in social justice advocacy. Assignments will include critical essays, a research project, oral communication projects, and the creation of your own science fiction story. This course counts as ENG 190 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2062
For the Greater Good: Satire and Dystopian Fiction
Rebecca Jewell
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Satirical works often illuminate pressing issues, encouraging audiences to examine those issues with new perspectives. Works of dystopian fiction, portraying chilling visions of society gone wrong, can also be read as satires—the nightmarish worlds they feature lead us to question our own society and imagine both the best and worst humanity has to offer. In this course, we will read a variety of works, including Fahrenheit 451, Fight Club, and This Perfect Day, and watch films such as Brazil, Gattaca, Idiocracy, and V for Vendetta to examine the function of satire. Through our exploration of the topic, students will develop their research skills and refine their oral communication skills. This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2022
Confronting Islamist Terror
JJ Jockel
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10-11:40 a.m.
Tuesday 7:00-8:00 PM
Class size: 16

Al-Qaeda successfully recruited U.S. citizens over the internet to carry out deadly attacks on our soil: the 2009 massacre at Fort Hood and the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon. A Somalian based affiliate of al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab, radicalized U.S. citizens, many from Minnesota, to become suicide-bombers in their fight against the African Union. Presently, the news is focused on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who using social media such as YouTube and Twitter, has recruited over 100 U.S. citizens to join their fight. This seminar will examine how the United States, its allies, and its friends are confronting Islamist terror. The instructor will himself pick the first two books to be read and then will select a number of other books and readings in consultation with the students. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2130
Books and the Scientific Revolution
Karen Johnson
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Many historians consider Western scientific thought to have emerged in its modern form during the period from roughly 1500 to 1700 CE.  This coincides with the rapid growth of printing in Western Europe.  In this course we will examine the connection between scientific thinking and the printed word.  We will study changes in scientific thinking in this period by reading primary texts from the fields of anatomy and physiology, astronomy, and physics and contextualizing these ideas with concurrent social, economic, and religious changes. We will also have the opportunity to examine some original editions of natural history and natural philosophy texts in our library’s Special Collections to help us understand how the technology of printing contributed to the development of so many of the scientific ideas we accept today. This course counts as HIST 110 and PHYS 110, is cross-listed in European Studies and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2128
Introduction to Journalism Studies
Juraj Kittler
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

Would you like to became the next big name in investigative journalism, or is your goal just to polish up your writing and oral communication skills? In this class, we will practice both. In the first seven weeks, we will study a particular writing style pioneered by the news media. It has no space for cheap clichés—it emphasizes accuracy, clarity, and efficiency. After this, we will transform our classroom into a newsroom with regular editorial meetings and real deadlines. We will be researching various newsworthy topics, brainstorming their coverage, drinking gallons of coffee, interviewing sources and writing compelling news reports. The best stories produced in this class will be picked up and printed in The Hill News and their authors will have an opportunity to join the editorial board of our student newspaper. Other students will still be able to put the acquired writing or oral communication skills to good use, regardless of the academic path they decide to follow. This course counts as PCA 201 and ENG 201 and fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2111CBL
How Commercial Sport is Both the Destroyer and Redeemer of Our Communities: The Phoenix Effect [CBL]
Marianna Locke
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

For-profit corporations have standardized and administered modern sport, leisure, and recreation as a commodity. Consequently, division exists between the emancipatory potential of sport—its capacity to revitalize a community—and its function as a product for social consumption—its capacity to financially enrich investors. This dichotomy further complicates the relationship between commercial sport and recreation enterprises and communities. Does commercial sport have the potential to renew itself—like the mythical legend of the Phoenix, to rise from its ashes into a new form of life? This seminar will challenge students to move beyond dialogue and to produce concrete solutions to this question. And in so doing, this course will continue to cultivate your critical thinking, writing, and communication skills as well as introduce students to developing research competencies. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements. This course includes an experiential learning component known as Community Based Learning (CBL). The CBL component will require students to participate in a community placement, outside of class time, on a weekly basis throughout the semester. On average students can expect to spend at least two hours per week in the community.

FRPG 2136
It’s a Bug’s Life
Tristan McKnight
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

“Insects won’t inherit the world; they already own it,” said Tom Eisner. Insects are the most successful animal life forms on this planet and an age-old source of fear and fascination. In this seminar we will study the ecology of arthropods, some of the common misconceptions we have about insects, and how bugs have been represented in literature and film, from Kafka’s Metamorphosis to movies like Men in Black. What can bugs teach us about human nature, sexuality, or intelligence? How should we approach alien ideas? Will insects replace hamburger as our source of protein? Students will learn how arthropods routinely intersect our lives for better and for worse as they develop skills for research, analysis, synthesis, and communication through written, oral, and artistic media. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2139
Mindbugs and Blind Spots: The Psychology of (Hidden) Prejudice
Mark Oakes
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

For as long as people have formed social groups, prejudice has existed. For nearly as long, scholars have thought and written about prejudice. The focus of this course will be on how psychologists understand this construct, exploring the ways that prejudice remains, for the most part, hidden despite its capacity to guide behavior. In addition to psychological research, we will look to artistic, cinematic, and literary depictions of inequality. The intersection of these disciplines will help illuminate topics such as the origins and persistence of prejudice, experiences of those targeted by prejudice, and techniques to reduce prejudice. Although scholars have focused on race and gender, we will also consider prejudice based on sexual orientation, age, ability, and appearance. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2113NL (no lab)
World of Plants
Aswini Pai
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM (time corrected)
Class size: 16

American environmentalist Thoreau once said, “Show me a seed and I will show you hope.”  But plants signify so much more than mere hope.  Plants have catalyzed human civilizations through agriculture, induced the great opium wars, healed with their medicines, intoxicated with alcohols, given visions with hallucinogens, and even triggered colonization of the tropics by seducing Europe with spices.  Armadas in search of green gold sailed the oceans on ships made of trees. All of these examples illustrate how dependent humans are on plants, connected to them in myriad ways.  Plant species and communities also form the warp and weft of nature, weaving together various aspects of biodiversity in an ecosystem, connecting insects, birds, animals, and fungi by providing nectar, foliage, fruit, detritus, and habitat.  However, we rarely think about plants unless we dabble in gardening or grow and harvest crops. Through this course, we will examine the amazing diversity of plants and their cultural and economic importance as sources of foods, fibers, dyes, medicines, poisons, and intoxicants.  It will look at the role of plants in nature and human society while examining how anthropological activity has impacted plant species.  We will read from textbooks and literature about how plants have historically influenced human societies and how botanical explorers have sought out plants at grave risk to life and limb.  Students can choose to research an individual plant species or group of plants through biological, historical, socio-cultural, economic, and folklore literature. This course fulfills the FYS and EL general education requirements.

FRPG 2131
Curation for Change
Melissa Proietti
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Almost everyone has been to a museum or an art gallery at some point in their lives. But have you ever thought about the process behind putting together the exhibit? In this course we will examine questions of accessibility: Who gets to curate these shows? Whose voice gets heard and whose gets left out? We will also examine the world of critical curation and look at shows and gallery spaces that have challenged the status quo of the world of museums and galleries. This will be linked specifically to the urban art movement and the ways in which some artists have altered the concept of gallery through a use of public space for artwork. This course will include a production component in which the class will work together to collaboratively curate a space in the Brush Gallery as part of a show at the end of the semester. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2132
Everyday Artifacts: Exploring History through Family
Nicole Roche
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

This FYS will consider the many ways families “do” history: from keeping family trees and telling family stories to passing on well-worn recipes, photographs, and other treasured family “artifacts.” Through our course readings, discussion, journal-keeping, and research, we will work to uncover what our means of tracking and enacting history reveal about us and our personal and familial identities. Small research-based assignments throughout the semester will lay the groundwork for a cumulative research project that asks you to situate your personal and family history within the context of other histories, including local, national, and world histories. We will conduct both primary research, such as consulting family artifacts and interviewing family members, as well as secondary research through newspaper records, digital archives, and other local/campus resources to explore, interrogate, and contextualize our family histories. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2068
Speak Up!: Rhetoric and Public Speaking
Allie Rowland
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

What makes someone a good speaker? Why do Americans report fearing public speaking more than they fear death? How did Barack Obama's skilled oratory influence his presidential campaign? Why are oral communication skills among the most desirable skills on the job market? This course provides an introduction to public speaking rooted in the rhetorical tradition. In addition to researching, constructing, and delivering speeches, students will learn the principles of rhetorical analysis and critique. This course counts as PCA 111 and  fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2105
Selling Out: Exploring Music and Capitalism
Fritz Schenker
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

To some music fans, describing a performer as a “sell out” is the worst insult they can imagine. After all, they argue, what seems worse than commercial interests influencing the artistic process? This insult has not always stung, however, and many musicians reject the idea that “selling out” is necessarily bad: don’t performers also have to eat, support their families, and pay rent? This course explores the changing ideas about the supposed divide between creativity and money, the artificial distinction between personal expression and financial concerns.

We will examine the concept of “selling out” through a close examination of a variety of sources, including text, sound, and video. We will explore topics such as the idea of the musical “genius,” the rise of the popular music industry, issues of racial authenticity, and music in advertising, among others. The course will also include studies of controversial moments when musicians switched from sacred to secular genres or crossed over from a niche style into pop. You will explore some of the major questions raised by our discussions through a series of short papers, ending in a final research paper. Formal music training is not required. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2141
Extreme Physiology and Medicine
Alex Schreiber
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

What happens to the body and mind at the limits of human endurance? How do humans acclimate physiologically to extreme environments, such as Mt. Everest, Antarctica, the Sahara Desert, the ocean depths, and space? This course investigates how geographic exploration has transformed modern medicine and our understanding of how the human body is capable of surviving extreme duress. You will learn core principles of cardiovascular, respiratory, water balance, and stress physiology by studying human performance under adverse conditions. You will learn the physiological basis of conditions like hypothermia, high altitude pulmonary edema, decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, and dehydration, as well as how to treat these. This course is designed for students interested in the health sciences. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2133
The Knight and the Dragon
Kathleen Self
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

The knights of the round table, the grail, damsels in distress, and the world of chivalry…these continue to enchant and to entice readers, gamers, screenwriters, and their audiences today.  The medieval stories of King Arthur were popular in their own day being told and retold over centuries in many languages. Current day retellings continue to translate, adapt, and interpret the stories of Arthur, the Round Table, and the Grail, though they make significant and telling changes to those stories.  We will read some of the medieval stories of Arthur and his court, such as Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur and Chretien de Troyes’ Perceval and post-medieval adaptations of Arthurian legend in fiction and film.  We will also consider why these stories remain fascinating to modern audiences as part of a broader attraction to the medieval in the Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, and similar products. This course counts as a 200-level Religious Studies course and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2138
Understanding Music
Paul Siskind
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

Despite the cliché, music is not a "universal language!”  Throughout history, music has played different roles in different cultures and meant different things to different people.  This makes music a surprisingly challenging topic to understand, to describe in mere words, and to research and write about.  This course will explore various facets of what music “means” and how music “works," including:  Why did music evolve in human cultures?  How does music stimulate our emotions?  Are folk music, popular music, and "classical" music actually different from each other?  We will explore these questions through learning about the various elements within music; through listening to a wide variety of musical styles; and through researching musical topics of your own interest.  Previous experience in performing music or reading music notations are not necessary for this course; the only prerequisites are open ears and an open mind. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2072
The Science of How and Why We Sleep
Pamela Thacher
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM
Class size: 16

Students will learn about the biological and psychological foundations of sleep. In examining these topics, we will first learn about the brain structures and their inter-connections with respect to sleep, and current theories about the purpose and process of sleep. We will also talk about sleep disorders and their relevance to our lives. We will learn about the various techniques used to collect information about sleep, including sleep diary data, "actigraph" data, hormonal profiles, and dream reports, to better understand the phenomenology of sleep. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2107
Beginning Acting: Investigation, Inference, and Imagination
Jen Thomas
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

“Beginning Acting: Investigation, Inference, and Imagination” is an introduction to the work that goes into creating a character. Students will begin the course with critical self-reflection on how their bodies, voices, and behaviors impact how the world interprets and receives them. The three major projects include: a partnered open scene allowing students to establish and develop a creative world, a scripted partner scene from a contemporary play which allows students to research the character and the world of the play before bringing the character to life, and a solo monologue performance from a contemporary play which showcases the personal self-awareness and research skills developed over the course of the semester. Coursework includes traditional research, creative physical and vocal work, solo and partnered performance work, and critical self-reflection. This course counts as PCA 107. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2041
Sports and Gender: Breaking Traditional Boundaries
Elisa VanKirk
Tuesday and Thursday 10:10 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Class size: 16

This class will aim to break down and look at traditional gender roles within sports.  How do our attitudes about male and female athletes reflect culture? Are men, women, boys, and girls trained differently within athletics? Are the different genders taught to look at competition, performance, and achievements in different ways? We will also look at the history of sex roles and gender within American sports.  How did Title IX affect women and men in sports? Why are so many sports stars linked to violence? How are gender roles in sports perceived in different countries (for example, field hockey is played by men around the world, but by women in the US)? What is the history of women and sports? Lastly we will look at the media and its role in winning and losing as well as in gender. Through readings, class discussion, oral presentations, research, current news, and films we will explore these issues. There will also be an opportunity to research a gender issue in sport that interests you.  Students will expand on their topic throughout the semester culminating in a final paper. This course counts as SSES 212 and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2135
The Urban Revolution
Eric Ziegelmayer
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00-2:10 PM [time corrected]
Class size: 16

Orbital images of nighttime Earth provide visual confirmation of the centuries-long processes associated with urbanization and its planetary influence. In 1900 11 cities held populations over one million. By 1950 there were 86; in 2016 there were 436, and by 2030 the UN estimates there will be 558—60% of the population will be urban. Cities provide fundamental social, political, economic, and ecological structure for humanity. Deploying insight and methodology from diverse sources, this seminar explores the influence of this demographic revolution upon sustainable development, climate change, global security, culture, human rights, and much more. Course work will include group work culminating in an oral presentation, a directed research paper, and a journal. Course outcomes include improving critical thinking and research skills, along with refined written and oral communication.  Students are encouraged to consider how the urban revolution intersects with their intended majors and career intentions. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.


For January entrants - contact your advisor Elun Gabriel, who will assist you with registering for your spring classes, including your FYS course, if one is required.  Use this link to go back to the New Laurentian GuideYour online forms are due no later than Monday, December 17, 2018, and other forms that require your signature must be received five days prior to your arrival on campus.  You will be notified of your housing by the Residence Life office before you arrive on campus. Keep watch of your SLU email for more information. If you have any questions during the holiday break, please contact Sarah Barber.  The First-Year Program office will reopen on January 2, 2019.