FS 101 Course Descriptions

FS 101 is the starting point for the First Year/Sophomore Program, and all new first year students are required to enroll in FS 101 during the fall semester.

NOTE: This list is being updated throughout the course registration period to reflect the sections of FS 101 that still have available seats. ONLY the sections listed below are currently available to new first year students.

Last Updated: June 1, 2017

FS 101 Descriptions (Fall 2017)

Section 3: Philosophy of Mathematics
Professor Lo Bello MWF 9:00AM – 9:50AM

An introduction to the philosophy of mathematics. We consider the questions of what mathematics is, and how it is related to other branches of knowledge. We read Plato’s Timaeus, Book I of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry, the story of Archimedes in Plutarch’s Life of Marcellus, Descartes’ Discourse on Method, and Hadamard’s The Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. Students write papers on each of these books and present them to the seminar for discussion; they also prove geometrical propositions before the class. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

 

Section 13: Staging Sustainability
Professor Mehler MWF 10:00AM – 10:50AM

An exploration of the intersection of theatre, ecology, and the business of art-making. Students explore plays in which theatre makers foreground the interdependence of humans and the environment. Further work investigates production’s impact on ecological and economic systems with the goal of discovering methods that have broad positive impact. For the final project, each student generates a proposal for a community arts project that is ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 15: Theatre and Community
Professor Watkins MWF 1:30PM – 2:20PM

An exploration of theatre as communal practice. How is drama created? What can we learn about culture through performance? In this course, students examine fundamental issues about social and cultural practices, dramatic conventions, and how theatre reflects our fragmented society. Students study plays and performance traditions, develop improvisational acting and writing skills, and create and produce an original theatre performance as the final project for the course. Course work emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinkin

Section 19: Arab and Muslim American Experiences
Professor Hilal MWF 1:30PM – 2:20PM

An introduction to Arab and Muslim experience in the United States. In this course, students learn about the experiences of these communities, their challenges, and contributions in the American landscape. We examine various literary texts, comedy, and film to understand how these communities have been represented and how they represent themselves. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 27: The World of Comics and Graphic Novels
Professor Ludewig MWF 11:00AM – 11:50AM

A cross-cultural and historical introduction to comics and graphic novels. Students learn to appreciate the special “language” of the comics’ medium and to communicate academically about its different genres, styles, and global traditions. How do we engage with these visually told stories? Why did a comic book about the Holocaust win the Pulitzer Prize? And can you actually do journalism with comics? Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 28: Poetics of Memory
Professor Herrman TTH 9:30AM – 10:45AM

A study of poetry memorializing the casualties of war, contextualized within broader memorial trends, ancient and modern. We begin with an extended close reading of Homer’s long epic, the Iliad. We compare monuments, speeches and poems for the dead from classical Athens, the American Civil War and World War 1, and we conclude with a recent poetic retelling of the Iliad informed by ancient and modern memorial developments. We examine how monuments turn from the promotion of ongoing war to peace and healing. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 29: Cross-cultural Portraits
Professor Shi MWF 11:00AM – 11:50AM

An exploration of intercultural awareness through the representation of the Self and Other in Chinese and American cultures. Fiction, poems, illustrations, and movies from Chinese (with English translations available) and American sources are discussed, with field trips in the Meadville area and to Pittsburgh. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 32: Plato’s Republic
Professor Palmer TTH 3:00PM – 4:15PM

A study of Plato’s Republic and complementary texts including Shakespeare’s Coriolanus and philosophy and political theory of the past half-century. The texts provide the springboard for discussions that consider the nature of knowledge, education, just political organization, good government, tyranny and other topics. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 40: Science in Literature 

Professor Petasis MWF 11:00AM – 11:50AM

An exploration of how science and scientists are represented in works of nineteenth-century English Literature. The focus is on the unprecedented scientific discoveries of the nineteenth century (such as Darwinian evolution, Faraday’s advances in electromagnetism and Herschel’s discoveries in astronomy) and their influence on the works of authors George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and Elizabeth Gaskell. Students have the opportunity to participate in round-table discussions, write papers to summarize books or scholarly papers and give midterm and final oral presentations on topics of their choice. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

Section 42: Music of the Holocaust
Professor J Hepler TTH 9:30AM – 10:45AM

An examination of the musicians and the music of both the Nazis and oppressed groups during the Holocaust. Our study provides an example of musical marginalization and oppression in the past, with the goal of encouraging global understanding and tolerance in the present. Classical, folk, and popular styles are included. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

Section 43: Musical Synthesis
Professor L Hepler TTH 9:30AM – 10:45AM

An introduction to the language, history, and philosophy of music through a study of the synthesis of intellect and intuition that music makes possible. We explore how musical understanding is achieved when the head and the heart are involved in a balanced way and how music allows us to “think about what we feel, and feel about what we think.” Attendance at campus musical events and at least one field trip to a concert by a professional musical ensemble are part of the class. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.