FS 102 Descriptions (Spring 2020)

Specific descriptions of sections of FS 102, Academic Discourse II, offered in Spring 2020:

Please consult WebAdvisor to confirm the days, times, and locations of these sections.

FS 102 E1, Living Well
Professor Ozorak
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
This course will explore community wellness from both a collective and individual perspective. Topics will include sleep, food and nutrition, exercise, study and learning, play, and social connections. In each case, we will examine popular recommendations for living well and the research – or lack of it – behind them. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 1, Terrorism
Professor Kirschner
MWF 1:30 PM 2:20 PM
An exploration of modern terrorism. Students read political science and sociological literature on when terrorism occurs, who commits and supports terrorism, and the most effective policy responses to terrorism. We focus on 20th- and 21st-century groups employing terrorism but also explore earlier uses of the tactic. Academic literature is supplemented with films and class projects to investigate how individuals and societies respond to terrorism. This seminar develops oral and written communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 2, The Politics of Revolution and Memory in the Americas 
Professor Mattiace
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An examination of social and political revolution and its aftermath in Latin America. Several countries in the region have experienced revolutions, among them Guatemala in 1954, Cuba in 1959, and Chile in 1973. In this course, we examine the U.S. response to these significant events and look broadly at U.S. involvement in Latin America. Of special interest are the different ways that these countries have continuously grappled with their past, making efforts to restore peace and justice in the aftermath of political violence and revolution. We also examine current U.S. interests in the region regarding trade, migration, and drugs. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 3, Politics of Populism in Europe
Professor Oliver
MWF 1:30 PM 2:20 PM
An exploration of the politics of populism in Western Europe over the past decade. We will examine the case of Brexit in the UK and the rise of populist parties in Germany, Italy, and Sweden. We also investigate counter-acting forces and new dynamics at play. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 4, (re)Presentations of the European Enlightenment
Professor Starczewski
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
An exploration of the Enlightenment of the late 17th and 18th centuries and its representation today. Historians and philosophers have long debated the impacts of the Enlightenment on the Western world (and beyond). By reading primary and secondary sources, students will study various claims related to free thought, democracy, religious tolerance, political self-determination, and equality as well as assess to what degree these values were shaped by proponents and enemies of the Enlightenment. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 5, Diplomacy, War, and Chinese Peoples’ Liberation Army
Professor Wu
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
An historical examination of modern Chinese warfare from the 1930s to the 1980s. Using the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), the Chinese Civil War (1947-1949), and China’s involvement in the Korean and Vietnam Wars as case studies, the course considers modern Chinese warfare and the evolution of Chinese military strategy. Important relationships considered include that between the army and the political parties/state, between the army and the people, between ideological training and weapons, between offense and defense, and between war and diplomacy. The seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 6, Speculative Fiction? The Rhetoric of Contemporary Controversies
Professor Riess
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An examination of the rhetoric surrounding controversial issues through a reading of speculative fiction. Demographic change, race relations, genetic engineering, nationalism, and the neoliberal criticism of capitalism are identifiable contemporary issues writers of speculative fiction carry forward in their imaginings of our future. Students use a novel of  speculative fiction, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (author of The Handmaid’s Tale currently adapted for television on Hulu),  as a window  to explore contemporary issues through sound arguments found in non-speculative sources. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 7, How to Live at the End of the World
Professor Franz
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An investigation of our global climate crisis. Science shows that the stable, relatively secure planet that fostered human life and tremendous biodiversity is no more. How do we live at the end of the world? What is required of us — as learners, citizens, communities, nations — in this historical moment? What will it take to regenerate our planet? Tracing the larger forces that led to climate crisis, students explore the implications of global warming and the grassroots movements emerging to confront it. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 8, The Harmony of the World
Professor Willey
MWF 2:30 PM 3:20 PM
An historical investigation of the belief that the universe is governed by principles of musical harmony. Beginning in ancient Greece with the idea that music was created by the orbiting planets, the concept of universal harmony was extended to include both body and soul, medicine and politics. In this course we trace the history of the idea from its ancient Greek origins, through the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and up to its current incarnation as String Theory. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 9, Sports: Under Review
Professor Betush
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An examination of debates and controversies surrounding sports within current culture. After discussing what constitutes a sport, students critically evaluate the representation and depiction of these controversies through mainstream news outlets and social media. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 10, Ideas of Infinity
Professor James Hollerman
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An investigation of the infinite. The concept of the infinite surfaces in philosophy, mathematics, and art, but often in different ways. Readings ranging from the ancient Greeks to modern times are taken up, including Aristotle, Galileo, Cantor, and Escher. Student papers and oral presentations argue the validity or usefulness of a particular notion of infinity as described by one or more authors. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 11, Wildlife and Society
Professor Pearce
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 PM
A study of wildlife and society. Students investigate how growing human populations and expanding anthropogenic activities can coexist with wildlife in a sustainable manner. Students explore trends in human attitudes and societal organization that influence human-wildlife relationships and affect wildlife conservation. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 12, Feminist and Queer Speculative Fiction in Art, Film, and Literature
Professor Burleigh
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
Speculative fiction (SF) is a literary genre based on conjecture, positing realities that challenge what is possible. There is an important tradition of often women-identifying writers and artists who have used SF as a space of serious play, to imagine possible modes of existence outside of heteronormative or patriarchal configurations. Students approach SF as a site of feminist and queer knowledge production, in that its creators picture radical paradigm shifts. The material emphasizes creators who challenge a humanist worldview to explore post-human landscapes, with major implications in the field of gender studies. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 13, Emerging Genetic Technologies: Promise and Peril
Short Title: Emerging Genetic Technologies
Professor Nelson
MWF 10:00 AM 10:50 AM
An exploration of the scientific, historical, and ethical dimensions of emerging genetic technologies. Little more than a century since the word “gene” was coined to describe the basic unit of genetic inheritance, techniques such as CRISPR raise the possibility of reshaping the genomes of a wide range of organisms with unprecedented ease and precision. What about these technologies worries scientists? What cautionary tales does history reveal? How do we define the “ideal” genome and what are the ethical implications of doing so? This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context

FS 102 14, Revolution: The Beatles and Cultural Change in the 1960s
Short Title: The Beatles and 1960s Culture
Professor Beverburg
MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM
An examination of how the Beatles shaped and reflected the cultural and musical trends of the 1960s. The Beatles reached an unprecedented level of fame as “Beatlemania” swept nearly the entire globe; and with this notoriety came the power to spark change. Students investigate how the Beatles’ music, appearance, personalities, and views contrasted with the prevailing conservatism of that time and inspired young people to challenge established notions about class, gender, religion, war, and race. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 15, More How to Think Intelligently About Almost Anything
Short Title: How to Think Intelligently
Professor P. Jackson
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
The ability to tell good sense from nonsense seems to be in seriously short supply these days. But, given how complex the world we inhabit has become, it is possibly more important (and certainly more difficult) than ever to know the difference between an intelligent idea and charlatan claptrap. In this course, we try to hone our ability to take in and process the vast amount of information (some of it useful and edifying; some of it misleading and toxic) that daily comes our way. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 16, Coming of Age: Depictions of Adolescence in Film
Short Title: Coming of Age: Teens in Film
Professor Branch
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
An exploration of rites of passage from childhood to adulthood as depicted via cinema. Students critically engage with historical and contemporary depictions of adolescence, addressing questions regarding the impact of specific images and narratives; how particular socio-political contexts shape depictions; and how depictions shift over time. Films for consideration include, but are not limited to, Rebel Without a Cause, Juno, Moonlight, Stand by Me, Boyhood, Napoleon Dynamite, Welcome to the Dollhouse, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dead Poet’s Society, and Breaking Away. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 17, The Contemporary American Musical
Professor Cosdon
MW 3:30 PM 4:45 PM
An exploration of the contemporary American musical, with a focus on the presentation of “difference” and “diversity” on stage. A series of recent, boldly inventive American musicals have challenged long-held values and cultural norms. Rather than the traditional fusion of syrupy plotlines with flashy songs and dances, these shows are “taking musical theatre on a whole new trip” (Passing Strange). Musicals studied may include Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, Hairspray, Passing Strange, Next to Normal, Fun Home, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills, with an emphasis on persuasive communication.

FS 102 18, Holocaust Theatre
Professor Patterson
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
A study of the representation of the Holocaust onstage. Given its singularity as a historic event, the Holocaust poses particular issues when used as the subject for art, for artists, and audiences. This course investigates the genre of Holocaust theatre and takes a critical approach to the specific questions it presents. Students examine how specific plays are representative of the genre, and study a range of critical theories. Coursework emphasizes the use of critical and philosophical texts relevant to representing the Holocaust onstage. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 19, How to Live at the End of the World
Professor Wilson
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An investigation of our global climate crisis. Science shows that the stable, relatively secure planet that fostered human life and tremendous biodiversity is no more. How do we live at the end of the world? What is required of us — as learners, citizens, communities, nations — in this historical moment? What will it take to regenerate our planet? Tracing the larger forces that led to climate crisis, students explore the implications of global warming and the grassroots movements emerging to confront it. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 20, U.S. and Global Leadership
Professor Baskan
TTH 9:30 AM 10:45 AM
A study of the changing role of the U.S. on the world stage and underlying causes. Specifically, students investigate the perceptions of America by other cultures (of their choosing) from the 1950s to date and how such perceptions may explain changes in America’s engagement around the world. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 21, Contemporary Topics in the U.S. Economy
Short Title: Contemporary Economics Topics
Professor Golden
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of contemporary economics topics, many of which are hot-button issues. We will examine multiple policy debates including raising the minimum wage, limiting migration to the U.S., repealing and replacing Obamacare, and preserving Social Security for future generations. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

 FS 102 23, No Pain, No Gain
Professor Eckstein
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of the benefits of positive thinking along with its limitations. The powers of positive thinking are often extolled, and the search for happiness has given birth to an entire industry of self-help books, tapes, retreats, and coaches. And yet the relentless search for happiness and the avoidance of discomfort, failure, and setbacks can make us more miserable. We explore why the “secret” to a state of contentment may lie in embracing discomfort. Readings are drawn from the popular press, but also from psychology, philosophy, biology, and religion. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 25, The Robots Are Coming
Professor Hart
MWF 9:00 AM 9:50 AM
An exploration of human-machine interactions. Students engage with fictional representations and scholarly analyses of machines and machine intelligences and consider how they impact human communication, jobs, education, creative arts, and interpersonal relationships. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 27, Subversive Eating
Professor C. Bakken
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An investigation of what it means to eat consciously. Students will aim to discern the difference between eating in ignorance (without much knowledge regarding where our food comes from and how it is prepared) and eating in a state of awareness, which may actually constitute a subversive act. We will inquire about the ecological, economic, and political repercussions of our food choices and we will explore these concerns by reading and writing about food, as well as procuring and cooking it ourselves. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 28, Breaking Stuff
Professor Ferrence
MWF 1:30 PM 2:20 PM
A study of brokenness and put-back-togetherness. We will break various things, physical and otherwise: clocks, books, photos, concepts, paragraphs, mysterious objects. Then we will try to put them back together, to make them work again, to make them work differently, to create a newness we never could have imagined. Along the way, we will explore the relationship between hand-work and mind-work, between the mechanical and the philosophical, between what we think we know and what we really don’t. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.

FS 102 29, TBA
Professor Cole
TTH 1:30 PM 2:45 PM
Pending Approval

FS 102 30, Mental Health in the Arab World
Professor Alkyam
TTH 1:30 PM 2:45 PM
A perspective on social conceptions of mental health and mental illness in the Arab World. Students investigate how social definitions and stigmas around mental health come to be and how patients, providers, and communities in the Arab World they negotiate health and illness experiences. We also examine how historical perceptions of mental health form an essential component in the treatment process and influence mental illness treatment protocols across the Arab World. This seminar develops written and oral communication skills with an emphasis on persuasive communication in an academic context.