First Year Seminar Course Listings for Fall 2018
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First Year Seminar Course Listings for Fall 2018


23 AND ME: WHAT CAN THE HUMAN GENOME TELL YOU?

TR 10:50-12:05PM
UT 316
Y. Li
Birth defects, health problems present at brith, affect about 8 million infants (6% of worldwide births) every year.  Down syndrome alone affects 1 in every 800 newborn babies. What causes birth defects? What can Genetic Testing tell us? Can they be prevented? In this seminar, we will gain an overall understanding of various birth defects as well as what we can learn from the Human Genome.
CRN: 70487
Credits: 3.00

art and obscenity

MW 2:55-4:10PM
HJG E309
N. Highberg
This seminar explores the complex, contentious relationship between what counts as art and what counts as obscenity in American arts and popular culture from post-WWII to the present day. We will examine the boundaries between art and obscenity, evolving definitions of the obscene, shifting legal frameworks for limiting or protecting speech, and the politics surrounding public expression. We will study diverse work from artists and writers such as Chris Ofili, W.H. Auden, Kara Walker, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yoko Ono, Andres Serrano, Nao Bustamante, and numerous others.
CRN: 70448
Credits: 3.00

Beauty, body image, & feminism

MW 1:30-2:45PM
A 318
M. Matacin
In this course, we will study a variety of topics as they relate to uses of beauty and body image keeping in mind the historical and social context in which women have been viewed. A feminist framework will provide the lens with which we will examine a variety of topics, including beauty, eating/eating disorders, sexuality, weight, media portrayals of females, patriarchy, and how women are taught to view their own bodies.
CRN: 70552
Credits: 3.00

castaways and survivors

MWF 10:30-11:20AM
A 322
M. Blackwell
Why are we fascinated by tales of shipwrecked sailors, island castaways, plane-crash survivors?  What purposes are served by stories that ask us to imagine being separated from family and friends, fending for ourselves in a hostile environment, and renegotiating social rules, far from the niceties of modern life? And what can we learn from such tales that is relevant to our own survival challenges as first-semester students in an unfamiliar environment? This course will provide an occasion for thinking about these and related questions through a selective survey of castaway literature produced over the last four hundred years or so. Our main reference point will be the granddaddy of such tales, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, but we will also read some direct responses to Defoe’s novel by Muriel Spark (Robinson), Elizabeth Bishop (“Crusoe in England”), and J. M. Coetzee (Foe), consider some direct and indirect cinematic reimaginings of Robinson Crusoe (Sutherland’s Mr. Robinson Crusoe, Zemeckis’s Cast Away, and/or Scott’s The Martian), and explore some real stories of survival (Marquez, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, and Singer, “The Castaways”).
CRN: 70409
Credits: 3.00

COLLEGES AND CRIMES

MWF 9:30-10:20AM
HJG E309
K. McGeever
This course will examine 1) the major types of crimes committed on college campuses and experienced by college students; 2) legal and administrative responses to crimes at places of higher education; and 3) theoretical explanations of crimes in college. Students will explore crimes typical to college campuses, such as underage drinking, as well as those that garner national attention, such as the Virginia Tech shooting and Baylor sexual assaults. Emphasis will be placed on the development of higher education responses to crime, including the Clery Act, Title IX, and the debate over concealed carry laws on campuses. The course relies on sociological and criminological explanations for differing crime rates at universities and colleges, with particular attention to demographic and institutional factors. Students will be expected to work collaboratively and communicate ideas effectively in both verbal and written form. 
CRN: 70630
Credits: 3.00

creating media: FYS tv

TR 2:05-3:20PM
ABR 115
L. Cook
Students in this course will produce and direct a TV series about the first year experience at the University of Hartford. Topics will be wide-ranging, diverse, and selected by the students in the course. The content will involve interviewing subjects and framing discussions. As students develop their own media, they will also be challenged to analyze media coverage of current events and think critically about the media sources they follow. Video editing skills will be developed and the class will work together in teams to produce content for a show that will be broadcast to the entire campus via the STN2 television and streaming network. No previous video or production experience is needed, just an interest in media.
CRN: 70526
Credits: 3.00

energy, oil and development

MW 2:55-4:10PM
H 140
M. Cupolo
Through interactive classes, team research, and case studies this seminar introduces the relationship between energy and oil central to the current debate on sustainable development and explains how and why oil supply and demand have been crucial in the recent history of Mexico, United States, and Venezuela. In the last decades, Mexico and Venezuela have been among the main suppliers of the US oil market.
CRN: 70565
Credits: 3.00

going viral: social media & advertising

TR 2:05-3:20PM
A 318
K. Comeforo
How did Post Malone become “Toast Malone,” “Home Malone,” “Post Cologne?”  Everyone from celebrities, brands, and everyday people seeking their 15 minutes of fame are trying to produce content that goes viral. In this class we will investigate theories of “virality” and, through analysis of videos, memes, etc…, answer the question, what makes content “go viral?”  We will also discuss the positive/negative socio-cultural effects of viral content.  Students will produce their own “viral” content as part of class assignments, etc.
CRN: 70617
Credits: 3.00

hamilton

MWF 10:30-11:20AM
CC 117
L. Pence
Race, immigration, women’s issues, gun violence, politics… the hit Broadway musical Hamilton has all these plus hip hop, natural disasters, revenge, and a sex scandal!  We’ll look at these issues both in the history of our young nation and in our current society.  Come and be in the Room Where it Happens!
CRN: 70643
Credits: 3.00

i can't go if people will be there!

TR 9:25-10:40AM
HJG E305
D. Neese
Do you get nervous in new social situations?  Do you struggle to keep your hands and voice from shaking when you give class presentations? For some people, this anxiety is normal and manageable.  For others, it can lead to panic attacks, avoidance of social situations, and even impact a person’s ability to function.  In this class, we will discuss the differences between introversion, shyness, and social anxiety.  We will also discuss the purpose of anxiety and the physiology of the anxiety response.  The influence of social media on social anxiety will be explored.  Common interventions for overcoming social anxiety will also be discussed.
CRN: 70422
Credits: 3.00

jobs, happiness & you

TR 3:30-4:45PM
A 318
O. Sharp
An average person can be expected to spend about 100,000 hours at work over his or her lifetime. For many of us, a job is not just a source of income but also an important part of our self-identity. It can be a source of satisfaction and pride as well as a cause of stress. In this seminar we will explore the world of work by reading book chapters and watching several films about the workplace.
CRN: 70578
Credits: 3.00

King, Malcolm X and the 60's black freedom movement

TR 3:30-4:45PM
H 240
W. Goldstein
In this seminar, students will study the lives, work, and legacies of the two most important African American political and spiritual leaders of the second half of the 20th century. We will read about their lives, read and listen to some of their most important speeches, consider what they said about and to each other, and seek to evaluate their respective legacies: in politics, religion, movement strategy, and the ongoing struggle for African-American equality.
CRN: 70604
Credits: 3.00

New York Stories

TR 4:50-6:05PM
A 422
N. Ealy
This class will focus on the ways in which various television shows and films that take place in New York City use the city as a way of examining how it shapes the individual and how, in turn, the individual can then shape the city. We will focus on various notions of selfhood and identity (such as gender, race, class, family, profession, generational gaps, language, religion, sexuality, etc.) as the lens for exploring these shows and films.
CRN: 70435
Credits: 3.00

the problem of evil

MW 2:55-4:10PM
HJG E305
A. Patt
Why are ordinary people capable of perpetrating extraordinary evil?  What leads simple people to do harm to others?  And conversely, why do otherwise average people make the exceptional choice to engage in acts of rescue to prevent evil?  What enables some individuals to survive against improbable odds and conditions of extreme persecution?  In this seminar we will examine the social and psychological underpinnings of human morality through a series of historical case studies spanning from the Holocaust, to the Vietnam War, the genocide in Rwanda, and the Islamic State, along with the current scourge of mass shootings in America today.
CRN: 70734
Credits: 3.00

Reality TV in Popular culture and society

MW 1:30-2:45PM
H 246
J. Banks
Reality TV has become one of the most popular and successful genres of television shows.  This course examines the commercial production of reality TV, ideas conveyed in the shows about such topics as beauty, sexuality, relationships, celebrity, competition, work, consumerism and success; and the representation of gender, race, economic class and sexual orientation in the shows.  We will address how individuals and society may be influenced by reality TV.  Do people take their cues from shows like The Apprentice, The Bachelor and Survivor about how to live their lives and relate to others, and how did we get from Kim Kardashian to President Trump?  Students will critically examine content in a broad range of shows and create their own reality TV show.
CRN: 70500
Credits: 3.00

reconstructing womanhood

TR 9:25-10:40AM
HJG E309
I. Rivera-Prosdocimi
How are writers and artists reconstructing and redefining womanhood across cultures and disciplines? In this seminar, we will examine and challenge constructions of womanhood. This seminar considers the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and ability. It pays particular attention to issues such as body politics, violence, and oppression. 
CRN: 70513
Credits: 3.00

the science of star wars

MWF 8:30-9:20AM
HJG E309
B. Wells
In this course, we will explore the science and physics of Star Wars.  Star Wars exists in a galaxy far, far away so the laws of nature that govern our world should also apply to theirs.  We will explore questions like: how the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs, did Han really shoot first, how did Leia remember her mother, her real mother, and much, much more.  We will analyze the force, space and planet-based vehicles, the weaponry used, armor, light speed travel, and communication devices.  In order to completely explore this universe, we will not only look at the nine movies, but also collect data from the cartoon series, comic books and novels. Additionally, we will dig much deeper and need to completely submerse ourselves in all that is canon to try and understand the working universe that makes up Star Wars.
CRN: 70396
Credits: 3.00

storytelling out loud

MWF 11:30-12:20PM
HJG E309
E. Striff
Want to learn how to tell a story?  In this interactive class you will learn to tell an engaging story, create narratives “on the spot” through comedy improvisation, perform a five minute TED-style talk and even collect stories from other people.  This is a great class for those who want to improve their speaking skills, develop creativity, and listen to each other’s stories.
CRN: 70461
Credits: 3.00

Theory of games

TR 8:00-9:15AM
D 411
M. Turpin
Every game, from Tic-tac-toe to Connect Four to Chess, has a theory. We study the process of using ideas from the theory to inform the playing of the game. These ideas are sometimes strategies that can be tested either by playing in person, or by simulation using a computer program. We will use ideas from probability, graph theory, and combinatorics as we explore some simple games in depth and extrapolate to more complex games. 
CRN: 70539
Credits: 3.00

Vikings Then and Now

MWF 11:30-12:20PM
HJG E305
A. Walling
Whether they’ve been portrayed as terrifying invaders or romantic outlaws, the Vikings have captured people’s imaginations for centuries. We’ll learn about the truth behind the legends, Viking culture and mythology, and their travels to conquer or trade with Christians, Muslims, and Native Americans. We will also study how Vikings are imagined in pop culture and how their history has been distorted by nationalist and white supremacist movements in Europe and America.
CRN: 70591
Credits: 3.00