Spring FYS Offerings

For current students, registration on APR2 opens Monday, November 7 at 7:00 am and closes at 11:00 pm. First years should register for their FYS course in this window. The second registration window opens on Tuesday, November 8 at 7:00 am and closes at 11:00 pm; students should register for their second choice course at this time. The third and final course window opens on Thursday, November 10 at 7:00 am and closes on Friday, December 16 at 11:00 pm; students should register for their last two courses (up to 5.00 units for FY students and up to 4.75 units for other class years) in this final window. Check APR for class times.

Changes to your FYS: You can make changes to your courses on APR 2.0 until Friday, December 16 at 11:00 pm. APR will reopen on January 17, 2023 from 12 noon until 11:00 p.m. (EST) for all students to make schedule changes before classes start.  No changes to FYS courses will be accepted after Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 4:30 pm, which is also the last day for Add/Drop for all classes. You can find more details about the add/drop process on the Registrar's website.

Registering for courses with (CBL) designation: FYS courses with this designation include an experiential learning component known as Community-Based Learning (CBL).  Community-Based Learning (CBL) expands the walls of the classroom to include the community beyond SLU. Students in CBL courses actively engage in their learning by spending two hours a week outside of class time in a placement with one of our community partners. Students then connect their community placement experiences with course content.  Click on the link to learn more about Community-Based Learning. This year’s FYS courses w/CBL are: FRPG 2148CBL with Karen Gibson and FRPG 2198CBL with Camilla Ammirati.

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 2068 will receive credit for PCA 111; if you have already taken PCA 111 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 2068, counts as PCA 111;
     FRPG 2156, 2181, and 2206, count as PHIL 100;
     FRPG 2193, counts as ENG 245DIV;
     FRPG 2194, counts as GS 101;
     FRPG 2201, counts as an equivalent to Asia/Film/History 232;
     FRPG 2203, counts as ENG 231;
     FRPG 2208,
counts French 3000;

     FRPG 2209, counts as PCA 127; and
     FRPG 2211, counts as GS 101.

Students may take one of these FYS courses, even if they have taken another 100 or 200 level course in that department:
     FRPG 2079, 2082, and 2183, count as a 100-level HIST course;
     FRPG 2172, counts as an elective in ANTH;
FRPG 2179 is cross-listed with EDUC and can count for one course in the EDUC Studies minor;
     FRPG 2183, counts as a 100-level Canadian Studies and 100-level HIST;
     FRPG 2192 is cross-listed with Outdoor Studies;

     FRPG 2208 is cross-listed with European Studies, counts as a 200-level French course (upon instructor's early approval), counts as French 3000;
     FRPG 2210, counts as an ESP towards the Environmental Studies and Sciences major; and
     FRPG 2212, counts as a 100-level History or a 100-level Asian Studies course.

FYS Courses Spring 2023

Food Roots and Futures w/CBL
Camilla Ammirati

Food traditions and food sovereignty. Chomping cheese curds at the county fair and smuggling turmeric across the world in a lipstick tube. What do these things mean and what do they have in common? How do they come about, and where do they take us? How do food traditions relate to food system sustainability? In this course, we’ll examine food traditions and cultures, including your own and those of others around the North Country and beyond, in order to consider how people connect to their past, negotiate their present, and secure or imagine their future through food. Through reflection on your own experience and research into varied food cultures and practices--and the workings and sustainability of the underlying food systems they depend on--we’ll consider the roots, roles, and politics of these meaningful foods as well as the ways that continuing, losing, or transforming treasured food traditions can take us forward in different ways as individuals and larger communities. 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. Students can expect to spend two hours per week at their assigned placement site. Please note: travel time to and from the site is not included and is moderate for placements beyond the Canton community. Students do not need a vehicle to participate in CBL classes. This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2210
Urban Green
Sara Ashpole

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 environmental planning seeks a restorative footprint. Students will develop a research project examining both the built and social system of sustainable urban environments.  For example: climate resilient cities, smart cities, biophilic design or alternative urban food systems. The course prepares students for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Associate Certification (sustainable design, construction and operations standards). Urban Green will explore sustainable urban design by integrating planning research and fundamentals with an online gaming design platform City Skylines. This course is Speaking Intensive and counts as an ESP towards the Environmental Studies and Sciences major and fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2079
"We hold these truths…"?: The American Struggle to Define and Achieve Economic Justice
Larry Boyette

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, free markets, efficiency, entrepreneurship?  Exploring the tensions between these sets of values will be our project, a project we’ll conduct by engaging in analysis of present issues –reparations, disparities in schools; money’s influence in politics and the courts; inequalities of income and wealth; the winners and losers of globalization and financialization -- while also seeking to understand schools of economic thought that influence our analysis, or that have not directed our attention to the economics of these issues.  We’ll rediscover strands of once influential and particularly American economic thought, now largely “lost.” Charlotte Perkins Gilman placed women’s economic marginalization at the center of her social analysis; Henry George, the most widely read American economist of his time, challenged ways of thinking about property that yielded great productivity but also increased poverty.  We’ll meet Owen D. Young, SLU grad and celebrated business leader who wrote that he looked forward to the day when the workers hired the managers, and explore primary research by working in his papers deposited in our archives. Through this work we’ll develop the research skills, and context to facilitate your own research on issues, contemporary or historical, 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 2192
Raise Your Voice: Non-Dominant Narratives of Wild Spaces
Anna Carpenter

Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams argues that environmental issues are social justice issues. She explores what it means to be connected to the land, our communities, and our identities through language, story, and social activism. In this class, we will read literature from Terry Tempest Williams and other authors of traditionally underrepresented communities to explore the often-untold histories and stories of non-dominant voices in outdoor recreation and the environmental movement. We will explore what it is about the wilderness that makes many of us feel more in touch with ourselves and our world. You will gain an understanding of what voices have paved the way for land management and outdoor recreation in the United States and how power and privilege have excluded certain communities from accessing the outdoors. Throughout the semester, students will research and present on the intersection of identity and nature. As much as possible, we will be spending time outside and exploring the natural world. This course is cross-listed with Outdoor Studies and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2205
Madness, Mayhem, & Murder: Mental Health through Media
Ashley Clover

Defining Madness through society and its depiction in art and film. Students will learn about how the definition of madness has changed throughout the years and how this has changed the treatment of people. The students will also practice their own self-care while researching current media trends in mental health and its personal effects on the students. Multiple cultures will be discussed.  This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2211
Globalize Your Mind! Understanding Global Political Economy
John Collins

This seminar offers a crash course in understanding globalization and global political economy: what they are, where they come from, and how they are driving many of the social changes, political conflicts, and activist movements we see around us today. The course’s basic goal is to help students globalize their perspective and learn to ask critical questions about processes that connect the local and the global. Using case studies, we will examine the basic concepts and vocabulary in the political-economic analysis of globalization, such as free trade, capital accumulation, international division of labor, neo-liberalism, privatization, structural adjustment and sustainable development. Students will research how their own home communities are connected with these processes. We will also explore opposition movements that have formed during the globalization era, such as those emerging from anticolonialism, labor activism, environmentalism and feminism. This course counts as GS 101 and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2199
True Crime: Research the Central Park Five / Central Park Jogger Case
Bob Cowser

We will examine various versions and representations of the event: traditional journalistic accounts in mainstream and tabloid media; the 2012 Ken Burns film documentary; the 2019 Ava Duvernay dramatic mini-series about the case, “When They See Us”; Joan Didion’s eerily prescient 1991 essay “Sentimental Journeys”; the survivor’s own memoir. We will consider esoteric questions about sorts and kinds of nonfiction(s) but also broader questions of phenomenology and social justice. How should we tell this story? Which version or genre gets us closer to truth, for instance? Does it matter that more people will watch the Netflix drama than the PBS documentary, though the former may provide less 'information' than latter? What difference does the author’s identity make when we assess a text’s authority? To whom does truth belong? How in the world did this happen, how was justice ever so badly miscarried, and what do we do now? This course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2191
The Culture of Surveillance
Ryan Deuel

The word “surveillance” often conjures up George Orwell’s dystopian world in 1984, where a totalitarian government had obliterated intellectual and political freedoms and kept an ever-watchful eye on its citizens. Today, mass surveillance certainly exists in the United States, everything from local traffic cameras to federal agencies monitoring our electronic communications. Edward Snowden revealed just how much the U.S. government knows about us. Yet, there are other kinds of surveillance that we often fail to recognize. These include corporate surveillance and the surveillance we do to ourselves. We use social media to keep track of our friends and family, let Alexa do our shopping, and rely on smart devices to monitor nearly every aspect of our daily lives. In turn, we readily hand over valuable information to Big Tech and advertisers every time we go online. Orwell could never have conceived of such a future. Students in this course will learn about the Culture of Surveillance through readings, videos, and discussions, and they will be invited to question why they should care about surveillance themselves. Students will develop a research project that explores the wide-ranging effects of surveillance on people’s daily lives, come to recognize the impact of various surveillance practices on our society, and become familiar with tools that can help them better secure their personal data and protect their individual privacy. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2082
Is the hijab dangerous? Thinking about Islam, Gender, and Sexuality in the Modern Middle East
Howard Eissenstat

Feminist scholarship has long taught that “the personal is political.”  Nowhere, however, is this truer than in the contemporary Middle East, where gender rights, sexuality, and even the most basic elements of women’s clothing are all hotly contested and debated.  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?  Student led discussions will comprise a major component of the class and are aimed at allowing students to explore areas of interest as well as take a leadership role within the classroom.  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 2010
How to Like It: Depictions of Happiness in the Modern World
Josh Exoo

"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 2183
Defending the North American Environment: A History of Community Action in Canada and the United States
Neil Forkey

The dire warnings of climate change can leave a person feeling helpless and with little hope of affecting positive change for our own times and the future. What difference can a single individual make to assure the long-term stability of our natural environment? Although singular actions are important, history provides examples of successful collective action; of communities recognizing an environmental problem and taking action to address it. Canada and the United States share a terrestrial border that is more than 5,500 miles long. In between, lay common water bodies, rivers, mountains, forest, biota, and over 20,000 years of human habitation. That long history contains examples of Canadians and Americans working for a better local and global environment. In this seminar, we will explore such topics as: First Peoples’ protection of forests; the clean-up of Great Lakes communities; African-Americans’ struggle for better living conditions and healthier urban settings; activists’ use of the science of ecology to advocate against chemical dumping and nuclear power; and, contemporary examples of communal efforts to lessen our carbon footprint. Along with brief scholarly articles, students will access primary documents, art, films, and other media. This course counts as a 100-level Canadian Studies course, as a 100-level History course, and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2208
Très Chic: French Cuisine, Trends, and Lifestyle Around The World
Alessandro Giardino

In this FYS we will focus on French chefs, writers, artists and filmmakers who have spread French sophistication around the world, by also shaping the imagery of four countries: Morocco, Iran, Japan and Canada. Through short videos, novels, films, and artworks, we will examine the influence of French cuisine, fashion and lifestyle on the conflicted history of each one of these regions of the world, as well as on their unique cultural and artistic profile. This course is cross-listed with European Studies, counts as a 200-level French course (upon instructor's early approval), counts as French 3000 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

From Pets to Factory Farms: Our Evolving Relationship with Animals w/CBL
Karen Gibson

Do you own pets? Perhaps it feels more like they own you. What do our current relationships with animals look like and how do they affect us? As we begin to treat animals such as dogs and cats as family members, what issues will arise and how will we resolve them?  This class will focus on our interactions with other species, starting with domestication before moving on to the many ways our life styles have impacted wildlife. With more and more species affected by climate change and habitat loss, do we have a moral responsibility to address their suffering? What is anthropomorphism and how does it factor into our treatment of other species? In Western society, why do we let dogs into our houses, but eat pigs? What does a factory farm look like and what dangers do they present? Should we be moving toward more sustainable sources of meat? These and other questions will be addressed as we make our way through the course. In addition to several non-fiction readings that address the above issues, we will explore the ways various animals are portrayed in film and fiction. If possible, we will also visit a local farm and/or animal shelter. The Community-Based Learning component of this course will provide students with an opportunity for hands-on work with animals through placements at local animal shelters and farms. 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. Students can expect to spend two hours per week at their assigned placement site. Please note: travel time to and from the site is not included and is moderate for placements beyond the Canton community. Students do not need a vehicle to participate in CBL classes. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements and is cross disciplinary.

FRPG 2212
Inside the Two Koreas: Life, Entertainment, and Societies in the North and South
Sean Han

This course introduces culture and society in twentieth century Korea (1900 to the present). The course will overview major historical topics in modern Korean society—colonization, Korean War, economic and social developments, to the most recent phenomena of Korean Wave. By reading, watching, and discussing various materials, this course provides students opportunities to trace salient cultural features of the Korean societies in the north and south. No Korean language skill is required. This course counts for FYS graduation credit, counts as a 100-level History or a 100-level Asian Studies course, and fulfills the HU general education requirement.

FRPG 2172
Humans and Other Animals
Wendi Haugh

We humans often set ourselves apart from or above all other animal species, yet we share more than we might realize with other animals and our lives are deeply intertwined with theirs.  In this research-focused seminar, we will address the following questions, and many more: How similar to and different from our closest living relatives are we?  What kinds of relationships do hunters and herders from different cultures have with the animals they hunt and herd?  What do we think about the wild animals we love to observe and about the pets we welcome into our homes as family, and how are their lives affected by our interest in them?  What is happening to animals as we intensify our agricultural systems and increase our impact on ecosystems, and what are we doing about it?  We will explore these questions through reflective writing, academic readings, documentary films, class discussion, and your own research projects.  We will spend significant time working on research and writing skills that will serve you well during your time here at college and long beyond. This course counts as an ANTH elective and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2200
Devise & Conquer: Live Action Roleplay
Matthew Hultgren

Beyond tabletop. Beyond the stage. There are no spectators, only participants. A world built by and for the players in it. Students in this course will explore the intersection between roleplaying games and interactive performance. As scholars, they will research theories and practices of Nordic LARP, American freeform, and immersive theater. Students will engage in improv acting exercises and micro chamber games to investigate concepts of competitive interaction and collaborative storytelling. They will analyze their experiences with self-reflections and apply lessons of meta-narrative, environment, character-mapping, and objectives through regular responsive writing. Using physical and vocal character creation techniques, students will develop PCs and NPCs to populate a live game world, one which they will build together through ongoing collaborative writing activities. This course fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2209
As You Communicate, So Shall You Be
Steve Ingham

Communication is the process of creating meaning and sending, receiving, and interpreting information. It is, therefore, the foundation of our selves and of our social enterprises. FRPG 2209 - PCA 127 is an introduction to the field of Communication Studies. This course will explore forms, functions, techniques, technologies, and contexts of human communication with the objective being to enhance our understanding of the complex dynamics of social interaction. By engaging in substantive ways with others and with the theories and ideas presented here, you will learn tools to critically examine and improve your own and analyze others’ communication. See the FYS learning goals—which makes this course a journey through metacommunication. This course counts as PCA 127 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2194
Political Economy: Understanding Global and Local Crises
Jayantha Jayman

An introduction to the reasons for the emergence of a global political economy. Using case studies, students examine the basic concepts and vocabulary in the political-economic analysis of globalization, such as free trade, capital accumulation, international division of labor, neo-liberalism, privatization, structural adjustment and sustainable development. The course explores the consequences of changing patterns of transnational economic and governance structures for nation-states, ecosystems and people's lives, and examines the repercussions of economic globalization. Discussion of the opposition movements that have formed to contest globalization, such as those emerging from labor movements, environmentalism and feminism. Also offered through Peace Studies. This course counts as GS 101 and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2159
Moth to the Flame: Satire and Dystopian Fiction
Rebecca Jewell

Satirical and dystopian works often illuminate pressing issues through portrayals of fantastic visions and post-apocalyptic worlds. While we are drawn to the fictional escape these works can provide, through them we are also encouraged to question our own realities and ponder both the best and worst humanity has to offer. In this course, we will read a variety of works and watch several important films to examine the function of satire in modern times. We will explore themes of identity, gender, and power. 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 2166
The Perfect Spy: The Cold War and John Le Carré
Joseph Jockel

This FYS will sample the Cold War work of the great British spy novelist, John Le Carré. The class first will read Le Carré’s short, early novel and murder mystery, “Call for the Dead” in which he introduces the unassuming spy and spy hunter, George Smiley. This will be followed by “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” which ends in a clandestine, dangerous crossing of the Berlin Wall, and still can shock because of its suggestion that Western and Communist intelligence services used the same tactics and thus might even have been morally equivalent. The class then will turn to the “Karla” trilogy in which Smiley contends with the Soviet spy master, codenamed “Karla,” including trying to uncover a “mole” that “Karla” has managed to place somewhere at the very top of the British Intelligence Service. The final reading is “A Perfect Spy,” about a British intelligence officer and double agent. The class will also view and discuss the feature film versions of “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” with Richard Burton in the leading role and “Tinker, Sailor, Soldier Spy,” based on the first novel of the “Karla” trilogy, in which Gary Oldman plays Smiley. Students will write a research paper on an aspect of Cold War espionage, literary or historic, of their choosing. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2068
Speak Up: Rhetoric and Public Speaking
Erika Kissam

This course introduces concepts and skills of public speaking rooted in the rhetorical tradition and is designed to develop effective presentation skills, critical thinking, and astute listening. In addition to researching, constructing, and delivering speeches, students will learn the principles of rhetorical analysis and critique. In the FYS Seminar students will expand on their research and writing skills to practice academic level writing. This course counts as PCA 111 and fulfills the FYS and ARTS general education requirements.

FRPG 2181
Health, Disease, and Death: Medicine and Epidemiology in Philosophical Context
Richard Lauer

Research in medicine—whose focus is the treatment and prevention of disease—and epidemiology—whose focus is the cause of the spread of disease has long informed policy making that impacts our lives, but it also presents an array of interesting philosophical questions: What does it mean to be healthy? What is a disease? To what extent are health and disease socially constructed and to what extent are they biological? What is death and what are our obligations to the dying? When can we infer causation from correlation? In this course, we will study these questions, explore the ethical implications of different answers to them, and improve our understanding of the scientific methods used in medicine and epidemiology, particularly as they relate to philosophical understandings of science. This course counts as PHIL 100 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2207
“This is Your Brain on Music”- The Psychology of Music
Michelle Martin-Atwood

Why do we like the music we like?  What makes a musician? According to Siu-Lan Tan, “the field of psychology of music is concerned with the processes by which people perceive, respond to, and create music, and how they integrate it into their lives.”  We will explore the physical properties of sound and the perception and cognition of melody, rhythm, and musical structure.  We will also consider the question of meaning in music, and the social, emotional, and universal significance of music. How musical are nonhuman animals? Do cultures perform music (and think about performance) differently?  Are there ‘musical universals’?  What really is music? This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2156
The Good Place and Good Life
Jeff Maynes

The central question of NBC's sitcom The Good Place is 'how can we be ethically good people?'  It is also one of the rare television shows with a main character who is a professional philosopher!  In this course, we will take up this question, and drawing on many of the same resources from moral philosophy as the characters in the show we will try to figure out what it means to be good, what makes ethical claims true or false, and how to live a good life in a complex world.  Students will read classic and contemporary works in ethics with a focus on developing research skills, including how to apply those research skills to questions of immediate relevance to students' own lives. This course counts as PHIL 100 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2151
Neuroscience of Stress
Serge Onyper

When you get up to give a talk in front of your peers, your body responds just like an antelope being chased by a lion. Stress is an adaptive physiological response to stimuli that present an immediate threat to an organism present in all vertebrates. In humans this survival mechanism can be hijacked, wreaking havoc on the body and mind. The course will adopt an interdisciplinary approach to explore the science behind the relationship between stress, brain, body, and behavior. We will cover the biological mechanisms of stress and the neural pathways that coordinate the stress response. We will examine the effects of stress on health and well-being and study the physiological, neurochemical, and psychological techniques for assessing stress levels. We will try to understand the origins of resilience to adversity and explore interventions to reduce and manage stress. You will gain skills to read, understand, and analyze scientific findings and learn how to effectively communicate them in various modalities and to different audiences. You will also learn a variety of research skills that will bring the world of scientific knowledge within your reach. If you enjoy reading neuroscience literature and learning about the interactions between the brain and behavior, this course is for you. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2033
Energy and the Environment
George Repicky

Why is every car manufacturer in the world aiming to convert to all electric by 2035? And what does it mean if a lot of that electricity continues to come from fossil fuels? Does the US rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement matter or is the agreement too weak to have any real impact? Why are rural areas around the North Country fighting solar and wind farm development? Why didn’t we see sustained growth in the American Coal industry despite the Trump administration’s promises and policies?  Decisions being made today about energy production and consumption will lead to economic, political, social, and environmental consequences that will remain with us for decades, maybe even centuries. As a result, thoughtful citizens across the country are demanding to be a part of the decision-making process. In this course, students will delve into aspects of the energy debate through course readings and discussion, as well as their own research projects. Please note that this course will make extensive use of technology, such as blogs, WeVideo, and audio recordings in both the research process and for the production of the final projects. This course fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2204
Consumer Culture and Everyday Life
Ashley Rife

Our everyday lives are consumed by consumption. From the food we eat to the media we engage, consumerism is embedded into almost every facet of contemporary life. But, what does that really mean for us?  In this class, we will explore key issues of contemporary consumer society through theoretical perspectives to better understand our own relation to practices of consumption. We will dive into the role of consumerism in constructing our identities, politics, relationships with others and things, and more. Through critical engagement and reflection, you will examine your own consumptive practices, their entanglement with larger cultural systems, and, ultimately, how you can ethically apply your knowledge about consumerism to the issues that matter to you most. This course fulfills the FYS general education requirement.

FRPG 2141
Extreme Physiology and Medicine
Alex Schreiber

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 2162
Understanding Music from the Inside Out
Paul Siskind

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 2203
Adirondack Arts and Archives
Mark Sturges

This course explores the cultural geography of the Adirondacks of northern New York through the lens of literary, visual, musical, and material artifacts. For the past four hundred years and more, the North Country has inspired a flourishing culture of traditional arts and crafts, folk tales and music, landscape painting and photography, fiction and poetry. We’ll discuss a variety of such artistic responses, including Haudenosaunee artworks and cultural artifacts, the regional poetry of Jeanne Robert Foster and Maurice Kenny, paintings and prints by Rockwell Kent and Harold Weston, the cedar canoes built by Canton resident J. Henry Rushton, and the folk songs collected by Marjorie Lansing Porter. To experience these materials firsthand, we’ll view the visual collections in the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, visit the TAUNY Center in downtown Canton, and spend time examining archival materials in the Owen D. Young Library’s Special Collections. Students will identify a topic that excites them, research its history and artistry, and present their findings to the class. Along the way, they will gain a richer understanding of the cultural geography of the North Country and deepen their sense of place as they continue their studies in the shadow of the Adirondack Mountains. This course possibly counts as ENG 231 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2202
The Not So Mad Scientist in the Contemporary Imagination
Rachel Sturges

Marie Curie often slept with a small jar of radium near her pillow. The continuous, yet very toxic, glow soothed her. Before meteorologist James Glashier traveled to the stratosphere, he referred to the hot air balloon dispassionately as an “instrument of Vertical Exploration.” Mathematician Alan Turing began codebreaking as a teenager at boarding school. While many scientists claim that their work stands alone and bears no connection to their private lives, we cannot help but wonder about their personal journeys. What made them so great? What made their ideas so influential? In this seminar, we will read several recent biographies of scientists and view films based on these books. We will examine the ways biographers and filmmakers work to craft stories about real people, and take a look at archival materials, historical footage, and the narratives that get told again and again about scientists. Students will write a research paper that explores and examines one of the biography and film pairings. The course fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2179
Sports, Gender, and Education
Elisa VanKirk

Do sports teach life lessons? What do we really learn from sports? Do sports influence one’s values? Are different genders taught to look at competition, performance, and achievements in different ways? Are men, women, boys, and girls trained differently in athletics? Do sports perpetuate notions of toxic masculinity? Why are many sports stars linked to violence? What is the role media play when it comes to sports, gender, winning, and losing? This class will explore and examine these questions while students assess their own educational experiences in sport. Additionally, throughout the semester, students will examine the Education Act of 1972 known as Title IX.  Students will explore how an act that was not exclusive to athletics greatly changed the landscape of sports at schools, colleges, and universities across the country. We will explore these issues through readings, class discussions, oral presentations, research, current news, and films. There will also be an opportunity to research a gender issue in education and sport that interests you. Students will expand on their topics throughout the semester, culminating in a final paper. This course is cross-listed with Education, can count for one course in the Educational Studies minor, and fulfills the FYS and SS general education requirements.

FRPG 2193
Crossing Borders, Inhabiting Borderlands
Penny Vlagopoulos

Since Gloria Anzaldúa theorized the U.S.-Mexican border as “una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds,” borders have become simultaneously more porous and more impenetrable in increasingly complex ways. This course explores representations of border crossing and borderlands culture in contemporary literature and film, including Chicanx and indigenous stories that span both sides of the U.S.-border, Latinx migration narratives, and refugee stories from around the globe. Examining the ways in which the various settlers, crossers, immigrants, exiles, and refugees portrayed in these stories restructure notions of place and belonging, our goal is to gain a richer understanding of mobile lives and to consider how cultural texts do important work in contesting and revising popular (mis)understandings of migrants. Students will work in various stages toward a final research paper on a related topic of their choosing. This course counts as ENG 245DIV and fulfills the DIV13, FYS, and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2206
Urgent Wisdom: Philosophy in the Age of Climate Change
Katie Wolfe

In the face of climate change, how might we best live? How can we confront this and other catastrophes with responsibility, virtuosity, and grace? Might the path forward be found in the wisdom of past peoples, rather than in the technological innovations of generations to come? Engaging with ancient works of philosophy, such as Plato’s Five Dialogues and Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life, as well as indigenous theories and knowledges found in the writings of Vine Deloria, V.F. Cordova, and more, this course asks students to delve into the wisdom of our ancestors in the hopes of finding the key to living ethically now and for the sake of generations to come. Over the course of the semester, students undertake two conjoined research projects. The first explores the larger context out of which an ancient vein of wisdom and knowledge evolved, mining it for philosophical import. The second enlists ancient wisdom and ancestral knowledge in the hopes of addressing an issue of urgent importance today, such as climate change, but also ongoing harms done through settler colonialism, the injustices facing climate refugees, and more. This course counts as PHIL 100 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.

FRPG 2201
Modern China through Fiction & Film
Zhenjun Zhang

In this course, we will study selected masterpieces of modern Chinese fiction and internationally acclaimed Chinese films, including the representative works by well-known writers such as Lu Xun, Ba Jin, Yu Dafu, and famous film directors such as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige, Wang Xiaoshuai, and others. All readings are in English.

Through reading and examining these highly enjoyable literary works against historical context, this course seeks to improve students’ understanding of modern history and society of China since 1911. It also aims at enhancing students’ interests and skills in reading and analysis of Chinese fiction and film and developing skills of critical thinking and scholarly research. This course is an equivalent to Asia/Film/History 232 and fulfills the FYS and HU general education requirements.


For new transfer students: contact your advisor Elun Gabriel, who will assist you with registering for your spring classes, including your FYS course, if one is required. Complete all of the required forms on your application status page by no later than Monday, January 2, 2023. 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.


The First-Year Program office will reopen on January 3, 2023.