COURSE SCHEDULE

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Course Listing for FIRST YEAR SEMINAR - Fall 2017
Class
No.
Course ID Title Credits Type Instructor(s) Days:Times Location Permission
Required
Dist Qtr
3535 FYSM-101-01 BFF or Strange Bedfellows? 1.00 SEM Spezialetti,Madalene TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Is the enemy of your enemy your friend, or will you need to make friends with your enemies? Will you use rhetoric, reason, persuasion, or just plain violence to get what you want? Leave your twenty-first century American sensibilities behind as you assume the roles of a member of an Athenian assembly in 403 B.C. and a member of the 1945 conference in Simla, India, to explore the timeless question of how much one should give up to get his or her political way. Using the role playing/game playing teaching paradigm of “Reacting to the Past,” your character’s political successes, failures and compromises will shape the outcome of “history.”
3615 FYSM-102-01 The Turmoil of Evolving Belief 1.00 SEM Mauro,David TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  We consider the nature of evidence in historical and contemporary settings, beginning with The trial of Galileo in which we explore the scientific and political movement that challenged the Church’s 17th-century teachings of a geocentric universe. Reading Aristotle and Galileo, students enter the debate by assuming the identity and agenda of some historical figures from the period. But today holds its own opposing factions in such matters as ghosts, alien visitation, ESP, etc. Can so many adherents be wrong? Or are skeptics not seeing the truth? We examine the writings of authors on each side, considering the types and strength of evidence commonly applied in support of (or against) the extraordinary claim.
3536 FYSM-104-01 Food, Fitness, Self-Discovery 1.00 SEM Del Puppo,Dario MW: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  NOTE: Students will also enroll in a semester long fitness course for an additional .5 credit.
  We are constantly bombarded with advice about food and fitness, much of it confusing, contradictory, and often disturbing. How can something as simple as eating well and keeping fit be so difficult to understand and to do? In recent times moreover we have become increasingly concerned about food safety, the environmental impact of food production, and good health. More generally we seek to enhance our emotional well being through diet and exercise. In this course therefore we will examine food and fitness in a historical and cultural perspective with the aim of making sense of them in terms of our own lives.
3538 FYSM-106-01 Social Media & Communication 1.00 SEM Catrino,Joseph M. W: 6:30PM-9:10PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Social media is engrained into our everyday communication. The practice and use of social media and mobile technologies have significantly impacted our lives. This course will explore the complex relationship between social media and traditional communication skills. Mobile phones and tablets have become our constant companions. Because of this, literacy has shifted dramatically – how we read, research, write, collaborate, and present ideas and information has changed. Through the evaluation of common social media platforms and the evolving digital media industry, we will analyze how social media has dramatically altered the nature of human communication and how it impacts American society. The course will explore what it means to be digital media literate and successful in a social, academic, and professional context in the 21st century.
3610 FYSM-107-01 How Microbes Rule the World 1.00 SEM Foster,Lisa-Anne MW: 8:30AM-9:45AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 12 Waitlist available: N
  This course has seats reserved for first-year students.
  Microscopic organisms have influenced the development of human culture more than any other class of organisms on the planet. While responsible for Ebola, Zika, and Malaria among a host of other horrible diseases, microbes are necessary for the production of bread, beer, wine, cheese as well as medicines and biotechnology that improve human life. This course will explore the political and social impact microbes have on human development by examining the history of plagues, the threat of bio-terrorism and the reasons for geographical distribution of various infectious diseases. A background in science nor the intent to major in a science is not required to be successful in this course. The only requirement is an interest in learning more about the unseen organisms all around us.
3540 FYSM-111-01 Diversity in Hartford 1.00 SEM Delano,Pablo M: 1:00PM-4:00PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 11 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This class utilizes the process of digital documentary photography to investigate diversity - described in the broadest terms- within the city of Hartford. Through exploration and research we will begin to understand what makes our unique city tick. With the professor's guidance, you will chose one particular aspect of our city and photograph it intensely. By means of discussion and in-class critique we will improve our photo technique and grapple with the methodology of visual story telling. You should be prepared to explore the city on your own; on foot, bike, via public transportation or by other means. DSLR camera, portable, external hard disk, and Adobe Creative Cloud Photo student subscription required. Email instructor about requirements or course content.
3620 FYSM-113-01 Knights, Saints, Witches & You 1.00 SEM Levesque,Elliot MWF: 8:00AM-8:50AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Some might look at the world of King Arthur, miracles and magic and relegate them to the realm of fantasy not worthy of serious historical consideration. It seems reasonable that the fanciful quest of a knight is not in the same class as the French Revolution or World War I as these stories did not create the monumental impact the Revolution or War did. But, this does not mean they are not integral threads in the tapestry of history. Through an examination of medieval literature focusing on King Arthur, magic, miracles and chivalry, this course aims to explore the life and ideas of the Middle Ages, as well as offer insights into the modern Western mind.
3605 FYSM-115-01 Reading the Outside World 1.00 SEM Nadel-Klein,Jane H. TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  In part a course on nature writing, in part a course on how people experience place and landscape, this seminar will ask students to become conscious observers of the world outside themselves, to put down their phones and tablets and look up, down and around. We will discover how the words of first-class nature writers can make us more attuned to the importance of direct observation, not only of the external world, but of our own responses to it. Students will write and share essays based upon their own observations in parks, city streets and our own campus.
3541 FYSM-119-01 Mind/Body and Mindfulness 1.00 SEM Lee,Randolph M. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Mind/body interaction has been a topic of scientific, philosophical, and religious speculation for centuries, as theologians, scientists and philosophers have grappled with questions such as "Where in the body does the mind reside?" Is depression physical or psychological? Can stress cause cancer? Can we rewire our brains? Can brains communicate with one another without words? Answers proposed to these puzzling interactions have been equally broad ranging. One important concept related to the issues of "mindbody", mindfulness, while itself centuries old, has seen renewed research and practice interest in psychology and other fields. In this seminar, we examine these concepts as they relate to psychology, biology, neuroscience and other fields, through critical reading, writing and discussion.
3600 FYSM-121-01 The History of Now 1.00 SEM Greenberg,Cheryl TR: 2:55PM-4:10PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Everything has a history, including current events. In this course we will examine the historical background of selected topics currently in the news. Each two week segment will feature one ongoing political issue in the United States (e.g. foreign policy, #BLM, the environment, civil rights, criminal justice, gender, voting rights, immigration, health care, the media), which we will choose together. For each topic we will research its political and historical background, discuss the current issue in context, and debate it in class before moving on to the next. Students will learn research and argumentation skills, write brief historical essays and policy positions, and hone their critical thinking skills in the service of becoming more educated global citizens.
3602 FYSM-127-01 Three Themes from the Thirties 1.00 SEM Prigodich,Richard V. TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Events of the 1930s seem to be distant historical events--fascism spreading throughout Europe, the poverty of the Dust Bowl era, and violent racism in the Jim Crow south. However, these three social disorders are still with us today: growing fascist movements across Europe, poverty in America induced by globalization and persistent institutional racism. Using three influential works of American fiction--For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway), The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) and To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), and contemporary media sources, we will uncover how the American people in the 1930s faced up to these issues. What we find may also reveal how we are facing up to these three themes of social disruption in our own time.
3542 FYSM-137-01 Arabian Nights 1.00 SEM Antrim,Zayde TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Have you ever wondered where flying carpets and genies come from? Do the names Aladdin or Sindbad ring a bell? This seminar will trace the development of the fantastical story collection known in the Middle East as The Thousand and One Nights and popularized in Europe and the United States as The Arabian Nights. We will discuss what these stories meant for the Middle Eastern societies that kept them alive for centuries, as well as how they have been re-packaged for modern audiences. By reading selections from the earliest manuscripts and considering later versions and film adaptations, we will explore topics such as the role of magic and humor and the question of racial, sexual, and religious stereotypes in the history of this famous work.
3543 FYSM-139-01 The Aging of America 1.00 SEM Church,William H. TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This seminar will explore the multifaceted issue of an increasing elderly population as Baby Boomers reach retirement age and live longer, and the Millennials move into the prime productive years of their lives. The students will learn the economic, social and psychological costs of an aging society and those who have to pay for it. They will learn the basic science behind the major medical issues facing an increasingly older population: Neurodegenerative Diseases, Diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, and Orthopedic Issues. Invited guests from the faculty, health care, senior services, state and local government, non-profits involved in elderly issues, etc. will present students with a broad perspective of the impending "White Tsunami."
3611 FYSM-144-01 Food Science and Culture 1.00 SEM Guardiola-Diaz,Hebe M. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This seminar is focused on food. We will study the physiology and neuroscience of food-seeking behavior and the impact of food preferences on our agricultural landscape and on our interaction with the environment. The dietary choices seem endless: conventional, organic, locally grown, genetically modified, etc. Which choices are compatible with optimal health? Which are sustainable? Will climate change force diversification of our diet? Can science enhance the nutritional value of food and bring justice to the hungry? We will be guided by popular writings by scientists and journalists and consider relevant data in scientific journals. But a seminar about food would be incomplete without enjoying food as a conduit for sociability and tickling of the senses. We will cook and we will eat!
3608 FYSM-152-01 "Blackness" and Disability 1.00 SEM Paulin,Diana R. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This course explores how past and present representations and perceptions of disability and blackness overlap, insofar as departures from the norm have often been seen as threats to the mainstream in the U.S. Because of the desire for inclusion and equality, historically African Americans have distanced themselves from the stigma of disability (the disabled have often been deemed unfit for full citizenship); this strategy reinforces the power of able-ism and erases the complexity of experience. By looking at the intersections of blackness and disability in texts depicting subjects such as slavery, racial uplift, war, and incarceration, we will consider how embodied differences contribute to our fuller understanding of the shared humanity, histories, and diversity that bind us as citizens of the nation and of the world.
3607 FYSM-156-01 Marijuana Policy 1.00 SEM Stater,Mark E. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Despite being prohibited under federal law, marijuana is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. Twenty-two states have decriminalized simple possession of marijuana, and eight states (along with the District of Columbia) have legalized it for recreational use. This class will look at the history and current state of marijuana policy in the U.S. and other countries such as Portugal, the Netherlands, and Uruguay. We will consider the economic and social costs and benefits of policy alternatives such as prohibition, legalization, and decriminalization. We will also examine the federal government's approach to marijuana-legal states in the early days of the Trump Administration. The class work will consist of 4-5 papers, student-led discussions, and student presentations of policy-relevant articles.
3612 FYSM-160-01 Engr,Sci,& Policies of Sustain 1.00 SEM Mertens,John D. TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Students in this seminar will use an engineering-team problem-solving approach to understand and quantify the challenges of sustainability. Through common readings accessible to all students, and individual and team research, students will study the engineering, science, economics, and politics of resource use and sustainability from the U.S. and global perspectives. This will be a writing intensive process that will train students in information literacy, and require them to perform both individual and team in-class presentations. The class will develop white papers that recommend public policy actions that address energy, food, water, climate change, and the economy.
3598 FYSM-164-01 Origins of Science Fiction 1.00 SEM Elukin,Jonathan W: 1:15PM-3:55PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Science Fiction is a crucial element of popular culture. Since the middle of the 20th century, SF books, movies, and television shows have expressed social criticism, utopian thought, and anxieties about technology, human identity, and the future. The genre, however, has deep roots in the religious ideas of western culture. This seminar will explore the origins and evolution of SF in ancient, medieval, and early modern cultures. We will explore how traditional religious ideas found expression in the foundational texts of 19th and 20th century SF and how religion continues to shape the central concerns of contemporary SF novels, films, and television.
3603 FYSM-175-01 The Mediterranean Cultural Mix 1.00 SEM Harrington,Thomas S. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Since the end of the 19th century, the ethnically and linguistically uniform nation-state has been widely seen as the normative political and social structure of European life. While the widespread adoption of this conceptual frame has helped to foment many positive cultural changes, it has also greatly hindered our ability to grasp important historical realities. This is especially so when it comes to analyzing the rich cultural history of the Mediterranean Sea. In this class, we will explore the complex and fascinating patterns of interaction between the region's extraordinarily large and diverse set of cultural groups, placing an emphasis on how key ideas, important concepts and valued objects have made their way from one place to another in what David Abulafia calls "The Great Sea".
3604 FYSM-181-01 Language's Hidden Meanings 1.00 SEM Casserly,Elizabeth D. MWF: 9:00AM-9:50AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Language conveys much more than the literal words someone uses. From the sound of our voices ("vocal fry," "up-talking") to the ways in which we deploy labels ("disabled," "thug") we send layers of messages about our identities, ideologies, and attitudes. In this seminar, we will examine how those messages are sent, the differences (or lack thereof) between intentional and unintentional meanings in our communication, and the psychology behind non-literal meanings - both for those producing them and for those receiving them. We will analyze writing and listen to speech produced for a wide range of purposes, and examine the messages we send with our own words across contexts. Though subtle, these meanings can have enormous interpersonal, societal, and economic influence.
3601 FYSM-192-01 Ancient Honduras & Cambodia 1.00 SEM Lestz,Michael E.
Euraque,Dario A.
TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  The classical civilizations of the ancient Maya in Honduras and the Khmer in Cambodia were built around cities. In the case of the Maya, this development occurred between 450 and 900, and in the case of the Khmer it happened from 900 to 1400. These urban hubs were administrative centers, but also sacred spaces that expressed the cosmic view of the elite that organized the life of these two societies. We will examine everyday life; the role of the sacred; internal social and political conflicts and the challenges posed by imperial powers, the Spaniards from Europe and the Siamese from Thailand. Finally ancient Mayan and Khmer legacies in modern Honduras and Cambodia will be examined in the context of world heritage norms established by UNESCO.
3544 FYSM-193-01 The Brothers Karamazov 1.00 SEM Any,Carol J. MW: 2:40PM-3:55PM TBA FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  How do we choose between our basest and noblest passions? How do the warring sides of our personality affect our lifestyle choices and romantic relationships? One of the most philosophical and influential novels ever written, The Brothers Karamazov, explores human behavior at its extremes and asks who we are, and want to be, as human beings. In this masterpiece of Russian literature, Dostoyevsky explores our darkest urges - to dominate and humiliate others - but also probes the mystery of how these cruel instincts can coexist with compassion and self-sacrifice. We will interpret the text collaboratively, drawing on the insights of each student. Students will practice techniques for leading class discussion, and will also learn how to prepare literary analyses based on close reading and textual evidence.
3545 FYSM-198-01 Read/Write Creative Nonfiction 1.00 SEM Papoulis,Irene TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Daily writing exercises, wide-ranging readings, sharing work aloud as well as on the page: this seminar is for students committed to taking themselves seriously as readers and writers. "Creative nonfiction" uses elements of literary writing--characterization, description, dialogue, experiments with structure--to explore “true” stories and ideas. We’ll examine the intimate relationship between subject and form in creative nonfiction, the role of "the personal," the nature of style and voice, the idea of “truth,”etc. In addition to reading and writing about a diverse range of published authors, students will generate their own creative nonfiction pieces, including a reflective research essay.
3546 FYSM-200-01 The City as Work of Art 1.00 SEM Curran,Kathleen A. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  From ancient Athens and Rome to modern Paris, cities have been prime sites for cultural, artistic, and architectural production. Using case studies of such cities as Athens, Rome, Florence, Amsterdam, Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, New York, and Chicago, the course will examine high moments of cultural and historic achievement from the fifth century BCE to the modern world. The focus will be on pivotal social and artistic moments in western culture (for example, seventeenth-century Holland; nineteenth-century Paris), but we will focus on artistic production (architecture, city planning, and fine arts).
3617 FYSM-204-01 Intro to Hispanic Hartford 1.00 SEM Aponte-Aviles,Aidali TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Since before its inception, the United States has an intertwined history with Hispanics. The city of Hartford is not an exception to that long history, and people from all over Latin America have called this city their home since the early twentieth century. This course studies the culture, history, and politics of Hispanic Hartford, and places students in active conversation with this important community. We will explore, both in our readings and through class projects, how Hispanic identity, language, race and religion take shape in this city. How does the community stay together and reshape Hartford? This course combines study of historical and critical texts with field projects that will connect students with Hartford as an important Hispanic center. Knowledge of Spanish is not required.
3606 FYSM-209-01 The Rust Belt & the Inner City 1.00 SEM Laws,Serena MW: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  The 2016 election brought the Rust Belt into the forefront of American politics as a symbol of areas of the country left behind by the decline in manufacturing and rise of globalization. The seminar begins by exploring the Rust Belt as a mythology and as a reality, and considering its recent significance in American politics. We then contextualize this discussion within a larger history, exploring how the same transformations that created the Rust Belt also created the "inner city," a site of much concern and debate starting in the late 1970s. We will explore the way the decline in manufacturing and its consequences were conceptualized then and now, and the personal, political and policy responses to these transformations.
3547 FYSM-215-01 Mathematical Gems 1.00 SEM Wyshinski,Nancy J. W: 1:15PM-3:55PM TBA Y FYR4  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  NOTE: Since this seminar also fulfills numeric and symbolic reasoning requirement, students need to have satisfied the QL requirement in order to be placed in this course.
  In this seminar, we will explore several mathematical topics from number theory, geometry, infinity, fractals and chaos and more. From number theory, we will consider questions such as “How many primes are there?”, “What is the relationship between clocks, bar codes and credit card numbers?” and “Is the set of rational numbers the same size as the set of irrational numbers?” The last question will allow us to further explore infinity. From geometry, we will look at proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem (did you know one of our Presidents created a proof?), investigate patterns, symmetries and tilings. What is the golden ratio and what does that have to do with rectangles and continued fractions? By studying fractals, we will find a connection to fractional dimensions.
3614 FYSM-220-01 Film Music 1.00 SEM Roman,Dan MW: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This course is a study of the history and styles of music written for major film releases over the last century. From the music played live in the movie theater, to the great soundtracks by Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Lalo Schifrin, John Williams, Tan Dun, Alexander Desplat, and many others, as well as how filmmakers like Kubrick and Scorsese have used existing music as soundtracks for their films. You will also have the opportunity of crafting your own soundtrack music for sample short films, either by composing your own score, or by selecting and editing an existing one. Be prepared to discuss your favorite films, and how their music has impacted you! No musical training or skills required.
3609 FYSM-226-01 Free Speech, Art & Censorshiip 1.00 SEM Power,Katharine G. TR: 1:30PM-2:45PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  How free are artists from the threat of censorship? How free should they be? Does the Free Speech amendment of the Constitution vigorously protect artistic expression even when art provokes and offends? Should certain kinds of art be subject to constraint for the purpose of a larger social Good? These are some of the questions that will guide our study of the First Amendment's free speech guarantee as it pertains to art and artists. Students will become acquainted with relevant court decisions while exploring such topics as: sexually explicit art and the First Amendment's obscenity exception; debates surrounding rap artists, threatening speech and the law; and recent attempts on college campuses to ban art that may potentially trigger and discriminate against certain cohorts of students.
3548 FYSM-233-01 Understanding Race 1.00 SEM Wade,Maurice L. WF: 1:15PM-2:30PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This seminar focuses on attempts by philosophers and other philosophically-minded thinkers to plumb the meaning and significance of race. Among the questions that the course will explore are: what is race; what has been/is the significance of race; should race continue to matter to us personally, politically, socially, etc.; is a post-racial society possible; what might a post-racial society be like? Reading assignments will be drawn from both historical and contemporary texts.
3613 FYSM-241-01 Civic Engagement and Community 1.00 SEM Williamson,Abigail Fisher TR: 9:25AM-10:40AM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Does active engagement in politics and community life matter? Observers of American society have long praised our tendency to cultivate civic associations in which residents work together to address societal challenges. Yet today, traditional civic associations are in decline. Fewer Americans attend public meetings, volunteer, or even invite friends to their home regularly. Americans express lower levels of trust in government and in one another. This course investigates why civic engagement is declining, as well as the consequences of this decline for our politics and communities, touching upon issues of economic inequality, race, immigration, and our increasingly digital lives.
3616 FYSM-248-01 Social Facts, Science Fictions 1.00 SEM Tiamzon,Trisha J. W: 6:30PM-9:10PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  In this course, students will engage with foundational sociological concepts, alongside works of science fiction, in order to examine contemporary life. We will discuss ideas around social constructionism, power and inequality, knowledge production, and social change in relation to films like Ex Machina, Her, Snowpiercer, the television series Black Mirror, and writing by Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, and more. Connecting empirical readings with these works of fiction invites us to consider sociological frameworks in classical and eclectic contexts, and can help us think through emergent issues facing our society. Topics include: what it means to be human, identity, and the social construction of difference; media and the control of information; technology, privacy, and social life; consumerism, intellectual property, climate change, and imagining alternative futures.
3549 FYSM-254-01 George Orwell and His Times 1.00 SEM Rosen,David R: 6:30PM-9:10PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  This course is open to first-year students only.
  Novelist, journalist, soldier, social-critic, policeman, bum: more than sixty years after his death, George Orwell’s stature as an interpreter of modern life is as high as it has ever been. Whether analyzing the structures of totalitarian power, or recounting the experience of his own education, or giving advice about how to write a good English sentence, Orwell let few aspects of daily existence escape his discriminating gaze. In this seminar we will read Orwell’s fiction and nonfiction, as well as the work of authors in many of the fields Orwell claimed as his own (e.g. literature, economics, philosophy, and politics). We will treat Orwell critically, as both a model for our own work (as writers, as intellectuals), and as a cautionary tale.
3597 FYSM-270-01 Democracy in the US and Abroad 1.00 SEM Matsuzaki,Reo MW: 2:40PM-3:55PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This course examines the socioeconomic and institutional foundations of democracy, as well as the rise and fall of democratic regimes across the globe. First, we explore the differences between democratic and autocratic political systems, and why some democracies exhibit greater strength than others. Second, we analyze the process through which some countries successfully undergo democratic transitions while others fail, and the causes of democratic breakdown. Third, we turn to the American democratic system and examine the following questions: What makes America a democracy? Does it contain nondemocratic institutional features? How secure is American democracy? Finally, we ask whether democracy is truly the best way to organize a political system, and debate whether China offers a viable nondemocratic model for a peaceful and prosperous polity.
3618 FYSM-281-01 Invisible Man & Black Mod Expr 1.00 SEM Baldwin,Davarian L. TR: 10:50AM-12:05PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  This course offers the unique experience of spending a whole semester on a single novel, Ralph Ellison's iconic Invisible Man. We will situate Invisible Man within key themes of Black modern experience found in the novel, from migration, and urbanization to both radical and nationalist ideas. We take the time to offer rich explanations and historical context for the many references and subtle allegories in the work. You will come out the other end more socially informed, historically grounded, and a better reader of literature This class reconstructs the intellectual, artistic, and historical production of an American classic.
3550 FYSM-294-01 Israeli Culture 1.00 SEM Ayalon,Michal MW: 2:40PM-3:55PM TBA Y FYR  
  Enrollment limited to 15 Waitlist available: N
  Only first-year students are eligible to enroll in this class.
  Israeli society from early days to contemporary times through the mediums of film and literature. This course will focus on topics such as ideology, cultural diversity, food, music, art, the after math of the Holocaust, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.