- Students in the Honors, Bonner, or W.I.L.L. program should goto the “Honors” or “Bonner/W.I.L.L.” page for their program and follow the directions there.
- Some departments and schools give specific advice on how to choose your FSP course. Please check the “Major Specific FSP Info” page before picking your FSP.
- From the list of FSP courses, please pick six sections that interest you. Students in the Honors Program will pick three honors sections.
- Once you have chosen six FSP sections, please put them in your PAWS shopping cart. There are step-by-step instructions available.
- Your six FSPs choices will not be ranked when entered into PAWS. One of these six choices will be assigned to you as your FSP.
What Does It Mean to Be an Adult?
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
In this course we will explore what it means to grow up and become an adult, and whether the concept of adulthood has changed over the last century. We will read literature, scholarly/ journal articles, and news stories and watch TV shows and movies. Some works that we might be discuss are The Wizard of Oz, the Harry Potter series, The Wonder Years, Dead Poet’s Society, and The Hunger Games series. In- and out-of-class discussions will be important facets of this course and provide an open place to share your opinions and thoughts.
Through course requirements and discussion, we will create our own definition(s) for what it means to be adult and try to answer the follow questions. When does an individual become an adult? Are life events/outside factors responsible for this change in identity? Does adulthood begin at a certain age and is that age the same for everyone? Lastly, will our definition of adulthood stand the test of time, or will it need to be altered?
Course#: FSP 101-18
|Marchetti, Stefanie||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Economics and Everything
Economics is the social science that studies the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations, when they manage or use scarce resources, which have alternative uses, to achieve desired ends. Economic theories can be used to solve worldwide problems like global warming, or personal problems such as whether to break up with a significant other. In this course we will look at how economics can shed light on human nature and be used as a tool for understanding the world. Topics will include Economics and Illegal/Legal Drugs, Global Warming, Dating, Healthcare, College Degrees, and Transportation.
Course#: FSP 124-06
|Bechtel, Andrew||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Global Awareness|
Human Ability Unplugged
“Disability is not a ‘brave struggle’ or ‘courage in the face of adversity’ . . . disability is an art. It’s an ingenious way to live.” – Neil Marcus – This quote by Neil Marcus reflects the central focus of this seminar regarding the study of human ability and the struggle among people perceived as more different than alike. Mr. Marcus is a poet, humorist, writer, actor and a self proclaimed adventurer who is creatively endowed with disability. His disability denies his ability to speak, stand, walk and/or control sudden and bizarre movements. The study of disability as a key aspect of human experience equal with race, class, gender, sex, and sexual orientation is explored through an alternate post modern paradigm that views difference from a variety of angles. The course commences and terminates with an attempt to define “Human-ness” or the parameters of what makes us “human.” This is compared to the human variability that we experience in our societies, communities and civilizations. This study of ability has important political, social, and economic import for society as a whole, including both disabled and non-disabled people.
Course#: FSP 121-02
|Petroff, Jerry||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
LGBT and Popular Culture
This course will explore LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) identity, culture, and politics by way of their representations in documentaries and popular films. I often share with students that there are at least three major reasons for why there’s been a significant shift globally in pro LGBT civil and human rights. First, many anti-gay laws are being repealed (e.g. anti-gay marriage laws and DADT). Second, many people now personally know friends, family members, and co-workers who are LGBT, thus personalizing the issue. Third_and related to the course theme_there’s been an outpouring of LGBT popular culture, thus helping to globalize many LGBT concerns, issues, and topics to a wide variety of people and places. This course will explore the stories about LGBT identity, culture, and politics that are being told in popular culture_especially in light of the work they do in contributing to a global transformation on the issue of LGBT_by focusing on a number of themes/topics relevant to contemporary LGBT life: LGBT activism; marriage equality; LGBT and public schooling; LGBT and religion; transgender/genderqueer identity; intimacy and erotic life; the politics of “reparative therapy”; and the “coming out” process.
Course#: FSP 123-01
|Rodriguez, Nelson||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Gender|
Humanity’s Quest for Meaning and Justice
Since before recorded history, humanity has sought to shape and refine its moral and intellectual nature. The development and nurturing of civil communities have been at the center of this search. What does it mean to be moral and just? How has humanity defined morality and justice in different times and places? What is a community? Can a community exist without values shared in common?
This seminar considers questions and issues of morality and justice in a variety of settings: pre-history, classical Greece, Islam in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, modern China, and contemporary America. We explore characteristics common to all humans, and how those characteristics find expression in the development of cultures very different from one another. We seek answers to questions of morality and justice within Western and non-Western settings. We discuss the idea of a supreme being, giving special attention to contrasting views within Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Course#: FSP 114-05/06
|Eickhoff, Harold||11 – Worldviews and Ways of Knowing||Global Awareness|
Leaders Are Made, Not Born: Leadership Development at TCNJ
Students who take part in this class will learn how to gain leadership skills, explore leadership styles and learn how to actively engage on campus Students will gain a better understanding of their own leadership potential through leadership assessments, exploration of values, and skill development. This interactive class will be looking at leadership through a variety of stories, readings, videos, and activities. At the end of the course, we hope that you have gained the skills to become a better student leader and to actively engage in and impact the College community.
Course#: FSP 121-07
|Rana, Avani||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Trenton Makes Music
Fans and students of popular culture are familiar with many of the big music acts of the 1960s and 70s, such as Gladys Knight and the Pips, Labelle and Kool and the Gang. But what’s less known is that many of the artists, producers, backup musicians and engineers behind this iconic music came from Trenton and its surrounding communities. Students will do archival research, oral history interviews and secondary research to create a multimedia website telling the story of this region’s contribution to the music that set the whole world dancing.
Course#: FSP 102-05
|Pearson, Kim||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Race and Ethnicity|
How College Works: Higher Education, Learning, and American Society
The discussion about college in your family over the last year was personal: which college would you choose (and which ones would choose you), who was going to pay for your education, and what did you intend to study? There is widespread public debate about these issues too. Access to college, the costs of attendance, and the value of a degree are all being questioned by business and nonprofit executives, politicians, and educators. We examine this public debate about higher education; a debate that has intensified as the importance of college for individual success has increased and the resources available for higher education become more scarce.
Course#: FSP 121-06
|Prensky, David||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Gender Trouble and the Plot
This course will consider what it means to narrate gender, focusing primarily on life writings that challenge mainstream myths, heteronormative plots, and concepts of the real. Are we at a point of new flexibility—as a recent study of Lady Gaga suggests—entering an era that questions the old romance of gender norms? We will examine life writings, everything from biography to graphic memoir, asking ourselves how these works shape a plot that highlights gender trouble. Aided with theories of auto/biography and gender, we will consider the stories of beauty queens, dolls, sexual outlaws, and transgender warriors with myths of Barbie, Frankenstein, and Eve making surprising but welcome appearances.
Course#: FSP 103-03/04
|Bennett, Charles||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Gender|
Advertising & Society
These days we all share a common daily experience of being exposed to a continuous barrage of advertising messages from many directions, no matter what we watch or listen to, what we read, or where we go. Sometimes advertising may be entertaining and sometimes it may disgust us. But does it really do anything to us? If so, is it good or bad? Can advertising be a positive force in society, or does it deserve to be avoided? In this seminar we’ll look at advertising from the inside and from the outside, and examine it closely as an institution. Many of the readings will focus on critical assessments of advertising. Among other things, we’ll examine the impacts it may have on how we think about ourselves, and how we may in fact shape it.
Course#: FSP 121-13
|Wendler, Eric||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
|Mccauley, Lawrence||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Madness in Anthropology: The Culture of Crazy
What is mental illness? How are the mentally ill identified in different societies? Which societal roles do the mentally ill play in various cultures? Is mental illness “curable”?
This seminar explores the intersections of the disciplines of psychiatry and cultural anthropology. The DSM, the principle diagnostic tool for American psychiatrists, has recently been revised to be more ¿culturally sensitive,¿ purportedly so that it is applicable to people of all backgrounds. Seminar participants shall read and discuss ethnographic cases of mental illness globally and consider whether the DSM-5 sufficiently addresses cross-cultural differences. Alternative categorizations of mental illness both historically and cross-culturally will also be investigated and analyzed.
Course#: FSP 124-05
|Adler, Rachel||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Global Awareness|
The Evolution of African American Gospel Music
This course traces Black Gospel Music from its origins to its present day varied arrangements. Students come prepared to sing a little (as a group only) and attend at least two worship experiences (i.e., Sunday morning worship and/or a Gospel concert). Furthermore, our class participates with the Bonner Center and completes a community-engaged project that is course-related.
Course#: FSP 102-02/03
|Mccrary, Todd||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Race and Ethnicity|
“#EradicatePoverty2014″: A Look at the UN Millennium Development Goal
In September 2000 world leaders from around the globe came together to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration which includes the 8 Millennium Development Goals. These goals range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Many have been working tirelessly in an effort to achieve these goals, provide sustainable measurable outcomes, and ultimately give people all around globe opportunities for reaching their potential.
Course#: FSP 124-04
|Becker, Karen||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Global Awareness|
Making Sense of Life–for Life
‘What does it mean to be a human being?’ ‘Where is my life going?’ ‘Is there meaning and purpose to my life?’ These are the kinds of questions we think about all the time. In this class we will explore some possible answers to these questions by examining worldviews. A worldview is just how someone puts the pieces of life together. We will consider some of the most significant components or areas of any worldview: metaphysics, human nature and ethics, the problem of evil, and the problem of good. We will first examine our contemporary culture and consider some of the underlying assumptions that are presented to us—the air that we breathe every day. Then we will explore these prominent areas of a worldview through classic literature, philosophy and film. The emphasis for the course is on thinking, reading, discussion and writing.
Course#: FSP 111-05/06
|Govantes, Pedro Pablo||11 – Worldviews and Ways of Knowing|
History Through Film and Literature
We will look at the people and events of the distant and recent past through “fact” and “fiction” to explore how we can best understand the meaning of events, eras, and people; and how writers and historians communicate the big ideas of history. We will explore political concepts, such as immigration, and see how they are explained and documented through both fiction and film.
Course#: FSP 101-11
|Raskin, Donna||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Cancer: The scientists, the patients, and the disease
Cancer is fundamentally a genetic disease. This is because it results from the accumulation of many mistakes in our genes, which then code for the production of faulty proteins, which then make our own cells misbehave. Therefore, in this course we will begin by exploring the fascinating cell and molecular biology of normal cells that informs our understanding of cancer cells. With that background we will then follow the history of the disease through the eyes of scientists, physicians, and patients. From these investigations two ideas should emerge: first, that cancer is an extremely complex disease that poses tremendous challenges to those trying to treat it, but second, that truly remarkable strides have been made in fighting cancer as a result of the combined efforts of tenacious scientists and physicians, and incredibly courageous patients.
Course#: FSP 141-02
|O’Connell, Marcia||14 – Natural Science|
Exploring Amish Culture
This course is designed to be an introduction to Amish culture, more specifically, the Old Order Amish, the most conservative group of Amish living in the United States. Through course work designed to acquaint students with a social/historical/political and educational perspective of the Amish, students will gain a better understanding of this fascinating, complex culture and what makes it unique. Resisting change in a technological world is a constant struggle for the Amish who shun electricity, automobiles, and other modern conveniences. Since the Amish eschew individual accomplishment, this course will focus on the Amish as a “Little Community,” how the Amish depend on the resources of the outside world, (the non-Amish community), and how they adapt to change.
The course will also clarify some of the major differences between the Amish and Mennonite culture, differences that many outsiders are curious about but do not fully understand. Life ceremonies such as birth, marriage, and death will be investigated as well as social change and illness issues, for example, Amish medical behavior and problems, mental illness, and suicide patterns. Much of the content of this course will be learned by reading fiction and nonfiction books and articles about Amish culture, researching the culture on the Internet, viewing films and videos portraying Amish culture, participating in discussions and small group work in class at the College, and visiting an authentic, working Amish farm where students will be able to participate in discussions with an Amish family, experience a tour of an Amish farm, and sit down for a meal with the Fisher family (An Old Order Amish Family) in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Course#: FSP 121-05
|Hornberger, Timothy||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
When the Clock Strikes Thirteen: Horror and Hope in Dystopian Literature
In the first part of the semester students will explore through fiction and essay American utopian ideals and the seeds of dystopia to develop understanding of tensions between agrarian democracy, notions of progress, and impacts of industry on the planet and its inhabitants. Then, examining novels by authors such as Huxley, Wells, LeGuin, and Callenbach, as well as eco-disaster and eco-horror films (Metropolis, Silent Running, Avatar, and/or The 11th Hour), we’ll delve into some projected consequences of unmitigated human growth. Finally, partnering with Isles, in Trenton, through Community Engaged Learning, we¿ll explore local initiatives to foster an appreciation for our critical connection to the earth. Course may include a field trip to a local, sustainable farm.
Course#: FSP 101-10
|Deaver, Karen||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Special effects. Animation. Storytelling. The magic of the movies. The world of art. Digital media. The daily news. Pretty much everything is a story.
This class will look at how we construct worlds in stories, both written and visual, and explore how these two modalities interrelate. Not many people know how to read a movie or photos or the thousands of artifacts in our daily lives. What is an archetype? We immediately sense them within the stories we see. Can we understand them better? Can we figure out how they work? From Shrek and Harry Potter to the Navajo Night Way chant, from Krazy Kat’s adventures in Coconino County to Koyaanisqatsi and Hugo, our visual culture is a mash-up of aesthetics, histories, and stories. We’re going to watch examples, study them, and then create our own visual stories.
Course#: FSP 101-14
|Sanders, Philip||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
The Digital Domain
Is there any aspect of our lives that the Internet has NOT altered? From how we connect through social networking to how we listen to music, study, acquire the news and shop, our online interactions are profoundly shaping our daily existence. In this course, we examine the possibilities and the problems that technology poses. We also study those who do not have access to the technology that has become ubiquitous in our lives.
Course#: FSP 121-09
|Mazur, Janet||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Nature, Politics, Power: Struggles for Environmental Justice
In this course, we will investigate the history and theory behind environmental justice movements primarily in the United States. We will consider what conditions and ideas gave rise to contemporary political movements for just access to healthy places to live, work, and play. We will then use environmental justice analyses to examine local, regional, and national environmental justice issues, including transportation, zoning and planning, food, and climate change. In addition, we will meet with representatives from environmental justice movements that are working on these issues, visit sites that demonstrate environmental (in)justice in the region, and engage in community engaged learning activities that integrate what we discuss in the classroom about environmental justice with hands-on, community-based activities in the greater Trenton region.
Course#: FSP 111-03
|Nordquist, Michael||11 – Worldviews and Ways of Knowing|
The Military Veteran: Shaping an Identity and Changing American History
Veterans are brothers, sisters, coworkers, students, fathers, sons, and friends. We all know someone who is a veteran. But what do we really know about their experience? This course will explore the culture of the veteran in contemporary America by examining how veterans have struggled to assume an identity upon reintegration to civilian status, and, in turn, have shaped American values in the historical, social, political and artistic realms. Fueling our discussions with course readings in historical and journalistic genres, in the visual texts of drama, film and television, and in the artistic and literary representations of the veteran, we will challenge our intellect and beliefs by engaging with the following questions and issues: Do veterans want to be seen as `heroes¿ ¿ and why has this label become so ubiquitous? What can we learn about leadership from veterans? How have veterans¿ constituencies been a political force in our country following conflicts and wars? How do we support our veterans if we do not support our country¿s decision to become engaged in conflict and wars? We will also hear from a number of guest speakers who are veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Operation Iraqi Freedom (Desert Storm) and Operation New Dawn.
Course#: FSP 121-11
|Riveland, Susan||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Rock ‘N’ Roll in Post-Mao China
This course seeks to study the ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ music and culture (also including hip-hop and punk) that emerged in the Post-Mao Mainland China from the early 1980s to the present. By situating Chinese Rock (C-rock) in the dramatically changing historical, cultural and political context, the seminar examines critically how ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ music shapes the heterogeneous identity of Post-Mao and Post-socialist China. Through careful analysis of the lyrics, musical style, MTV and films, we explore topics such as rebellious youth culture and political ideology, influence of Western music and traditional Chinese music, underground subculture and urban space, transgressive passion and censorship, band culture, performance poetics and global capital, and, gender, sexuality and body identity. NOTE: Students are invited to also enroll in CHI 151, Intensive Chinese.
Course#: FSP 104-01
|Mi, Jia-Yan||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Global Awareness|
Language in Society
In this course, we study what makes human language different from the communication systems used by other species and look at the systems that all languages use to build meaning. Then we take up the question of how we use language in social contexts ¿ among friends, family, classmates, colleagues, supervisors, strangers, as well as with health care professionals. We consider what makes an accent an accent, that associations and impressions accents generate, and look at language-based bias and stereotyping. We also study how babies acquire the language of their parents, the nature of bilingualism, and how adults learn a second or foreign language. The course examines the relationship of language and ethnicity by analyzing particular languistic situations in depth. As part of this course, students engage in ESL tutoring in Trenton to fulfill the CEL requirement.
Course#: FSP 125-01/02
|Stillman, David||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Community Engaged Learning|
Rebel Girls: How Girls ‘Do’ Social Change and Activism
This course will examine how girls and young women do activism and social change. We will consider historical and contemporary methods, tools, and strategies used to inspire or force social, cultural, and political change on the local, national, and international level. With an emphasis on girls and women as leaders, actors, and agents of change, we will explore what it means to’girl our activist efforts, looking at social media, blogs, web campaigns, zines, music, popular culture, protest, and satire. Students will have the opportunity to engage with female activists from within the local community; and will enhance their capacities and strengths as the leaders of today and of tomorrow.
Course#: FSP 123-02
|Vogt, Ashley||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Gender|
Dance as an Art Form: From Ballet to Jookin
Ballet, modern dance, tap, jazz, aerial, hip-hop, jookin, krumping. What is dance? In this FSP students will be engaged in this question through watching videos of performances by professional dance companies, reading about the creative processes of choreographers and dancers, and writing about the styles of various dance companies, choreographers, and dancers. The focus will be on “art dance,” i.e., dance that is intended for performance and performed for the most part by trained dancers, not folk dancing or recreational dancing (although the influences of these will be examined).
The course will be organized by topics such as the differences between ballet and modern dance; the influences of African and Afro-Caribbean dance on Western dance forms; the influence of jazz on ballet; how ballet came to be, and how other dance forms developed. Readings will include biographies/autobiographies of both dancers and choreographers, and non-fiction books/articles that discuss the art of the dance. Choreographers to be discussed include George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Pearl Primus, Katherine Dunham, Donald McKayle, Rennie Harris, Bill T. Jones, and Lil Buck.
Course#: FSP 102-04
|Dell, Amy||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Race and Ethnicity|
Ability and Dis/Ability: Deconstructing and Disrupting the Social and Cultural Gaze
Disability is ubiquitous and permeates literary narratives, medical narratives, films, television, common discourse and other spaces. Disability tends to be subjected to our “gaze” in some way or the other and continually captures our curiosity. Interestingly while it evokes fascination, it also disrupts closely held notions of health, normalcy, ability and the body. This disruption is typically dealt with by finding a way to “reign” in the difference, situate it in a specific space, or identify a rational explanation. Paradoxically, although disability is visible everywhere and evokes our curiosity, it is rendered invisible in other ways. This course is about the social and cultural gaze directed towards disability and what that tells us about our assumptions on binaries such as ability/disability, our notions of body and movement as well as our perceptions of normalcy. The course introduces students to the field of Disability Studies and encourages them to critically examine their gaze and challenge and deconstruct the taken for granted assumptions about disability. The course focuses on how disability is presented in literary narratives, films, as well as other forms of discourse. Issues of agency and citizenship are examined through personal narratives and the accounts of people with disabilities on the web and blogosphere. Embracing an interdisciplinary approach, the course traces the origins of disability studies in the UK and the US and the intersectional conversations with critical studies, feminist disability studies, post colonial disability studies and disability studies in education.
Course#: FSP 121-04
|Rao, Shridevi||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
In the history of philosophy and theology, many important works have been written by authors who were behind bars. This course introduces students to a selection of these texts and the concerns they raise. Such texts deal, not only with classical problems in the history of philosophy, but also with concerns that many of us share today. Questions to be addressed include: “What does it mean to live in freedom?”, “What can be done about injustice and oppression?”, “Should death be feared?”, and “Where can I find happiness?” Readings include works by Plato, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., & Aung San Suu Kyi.
Course#: FSP 114-03/04
|Edwards, Mark||11 – Worldviews and Ways of Knowing||Global Awareness|
Music and the Natural World
This course introduces elementary topics and tools of music, aesthetics, philosophy, anthropology and other fields to examine aspects of the relationship between the natural world and the music of human society. Beginning with a discussion of the possible origins and purposes of music, we trace the thread of environmental influence in historical and contemporary styles. Examples from the Western Classical tradition are considered, including extensions into 20th- and 21st-Century compositions and sound installations, as well as non-Western traditions, folk styles and commercial music.
Course#: FSP 104-04
|Wilkinson, Carlton||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Global Awareness|
Identity: Individualism v. Belonging to a community
Students who take this class will learn more about their own self -identity, their family background, and about their own symbolic ethnic affiliation. The students in this course will not only engage in actual research about their own backgrounds, but they also explore the range personal identities and ethnic ¿menus¿ available for most Americans due to both physical and social mobility. Some of the issues investigated include, the paradox or tension between rampant individualism and the need to belong to a community in American society today. Finally, the course covers the role of technology, particularly the internet, plays in increasing social isolation at the expense of family and larger community.
Course#: FSP 122-01
|Ismail, Mohamoud||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Race and Ethnicity|
Collaborative Acts of Theatre and Writing: Performance on the Stage, Screen, and Page
This seminar explores the art of theatre as collaborative practice, with attention to how the idea of collaboration informs academic and journalistic writing in general, and writing about about performance in particular. We will explore theatrical performance as cultural collaboration, including how diverse theatres¿from the Broadway musical to solo performance art¿thrive in American culture, how various artists collaborate with each other to create theatre, and how theatrical performance has emerged through various cultures and periods throughout human history.
Students will read and discuss a number of classical, modern, and contemporary plays as well as attend and write about two or three professional productions off-campus during the semester. This is a theatre appreciation course, not a performance-based or acting course; no prior knowledge of theatre is expected.
Course#: FSP 101-12/13
|Muller, David||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Hindu Traditions and Lessons Derived for Theory of Justice
The course introduces to the religious traditions of South Asia that are often labeled as “Hinduism”. From the ancient Vedic texts and historical and modern philosophical speculations, the three primary Hindu paths – ritual, renunciation, and devotion will be discussed. We will look at the influence of practicing this age old tradition of knowledge in daily lives on the society-at-large and naturally evolving theory of justice. The course will be augmented with the use of multimedia showcasing small movies and pictures. Field trip may be an option.
Course#: FSP 124-03
|Paliwal, Manish||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Global Awareness|
The History of Disease
Microorganisms have been on Earth for 4 billion years but they were discovered less than 150 years ago. While the majority of microorganisms are beneficial to humans, the small percentage of microbes that cause disease receive the most press. Those are the organisms that will be studied in this course. Diseases have affected the economics, politics, and psychology of the human race. What effect does air travel and crowding in urban areas have on the spread of disease?
Infectious diseases first appeared after the last Ice Age. These microbes are responsible for over 14 million deaths per year despite our remarkable success in controlling them. We will explore some of the major diseases that have plagued humans over the millennia and their impact on human society. These include smallpox, cholera, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, syphilis, and the Spanish flu of 1918. Among the emerging diseases we will explore are HIV/AIDS, ebola, SARS, and H1N1. How have we managed to eradicate smallpox and how close are we to ending the spread of polio? These and other questions will be answered in this course.
“The history of disease will go on, despite once confident predictions of an end to epidemics in our times, and those who now wage the heroic struggle to find elusive cures to our new plagues may find that they have more to learn from the past than had once been thought.”
Where will the next pandemic originate? When will it occur? Will we be ready?
Course#: FSP 141-03
|King, Rita||14 – Natural Science|
The Death Penalty
In this course, students will examine the historical, political, legal, and social forces that have shaped the United States’ use of the death penalty. Specific topics that will be studied include arguments for and against capital punishment, empirical evidence on the effectiveness of the punishment, the treatment of capital cases in the criminal justice system, and alternatives to the death penalty.
Course#: FSP 121-01
|Leigey, Margaret||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Buddhism and Hinduism
Due to the increasing number of students of Asian affiliation on campus, though most of them are not majoring in humanity, there is a strong intrest in learning about Buddhism and Hinduism. This course provides in historical depth a study of the evolution of the two religions. Through reading religious documents and literature, students learn the origins, reformations, and mutual borrowing of the two biggest religions in South Asia. They also expore the imprints of Buddhism and Hinduism on concepts of the universe and life and death in modern societies of the world.
Course#: FSP 114-01/02
|Liu, Xinru||11 – Worldviews and Ways of Knowing||Global Awareness|
American Film Renaissance of the 1970′s
The 1970s is recognized and celebrated as a pivotal point in American film. Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, John Cassavetes and Roman Polanski are just some of the notable directors to come out of the years between 1967 and 1979. They and others created what is now considered a canon of classic films that uniquely reflect the culture and still resonate today. The films explore loneliness and alienation but also independence and the possibility of creating change.
Though we will focus on what was happening in this country, we will ground our study by exploring what directors outside the U.S. were doing and how these approaches influenced what was emerging on screen here in the late sixties. We will look at how these films not only reflected that tremendously chaotic, vibrant and productive time in our history, but also helped to create it, and how present-day film compares as both a reflection of the culture and as a contributing force.
Course#: FSP 101-02
|Ringer, Nina||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Rebuilding the Body Human
Modern healthcare relies on the use of technology and medical devices. The definition, development and use of medical devices to “rebuild the human body” will be explored. Their interaction with the human body and its physiology in addition to the ethics, economics and myths of the bionic human will be discussed.
Course#: FSP 141-01
|Hall, Constance||14 – Natural Science|
Revenge and Justice in Moby-Dick
“Revenge and Justice in Moby-Dick” offers both an intensive reading of Herman Melville’s novel and a broad immersion in cultural and intellectual history. Considered to be one of the greatest American novels, Moby-Dick offers a rich introduction to an array of important intellectual and social texts. We will read the novel alongside Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, the King James Bible, Freudian psycho-analysis, and the nation’s imminent break-up over slavery. As we follow the vengeful captain Ahab in his quest for the white whale, we will discuss how the themes of justice and revenge permeate through such interesting topics as cannibalism, tattoos, the mind of God, and the ritual of violence.
Course#: FSP 101-04/05
|Blake, David||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
How World War II Forever Changed America
The very conflict of war always creates unintended consequences. Unfortunately the majority of such consequences are tragically sad. However in spite of all the sorrow and heartbreak of World War II many of those unintended consequences did much to create the fabric of a ¿new society¿ in a very positive sense. Great strides were made in education women in the workplace that small family home with the proverbial white picket fence suddenly became affordable to many the various styles of music during the War ultimately became the progenitor of much of the music we hear today and so much more. Because of the War a new socio-economic power emerged much to our advantage. Studying the past is critical to understanding the present.
Please be advised that this course was not conceived to be an in-depth study of the events of WWII but rather an interesting overview as to how this major historical event influenced in so many ways our grand-parents parents and most importantly you.
Course#: FSP 134-03
|Blicharz, Dennis||13 – Social Change in Historical Perspective||Global Awareness|
The Spirituality of Compassion and the Practice of Mindfulness
The purpose of this course is to explore the topic of compassion and to teach the practice of mindfulness in order to become more compassionate, more grounded, and better able to function effectively in in all aspects of life.
This course will explore the topic of compassion through an interdisciplinary lens and informed by the teaching about and on-going practice of mindfulness meditation. The course will include: (1) a history of compassion as the core value of all major ethical and religious traditions; (2) topics related to becoming more compassionate toward oneself and others; (3) the exploration of issues and opportunities related to promoting compassion as an overarching societal value; and (4) mindfulness meditation training. The interdisciplinary lens will include psychology, religion, ethics, neuroscience and philosophy. A portion of each class will be dedicated to practicing different forms of mindfulness. Students will be required to practice mindfulness on a daily basis.
Course#: FSP 111-02
|Caton, Lisa||11 – Worldviews and Ways of Knowing|
This course will provide students with opportunities to gain insights about different dimensions of their identity. Through readings, class discussions and course assignments, students will be encouraged to explore different lenses for viewing the self and other. Students will examine the role of social statuses such as gender, social class, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, vocation and religion/faith on identity formation. In doing so, this course provides students with a unique opportunity to share their experiences, attitudes, thoughts and emotions regarding how they have come to view themselves and how they perceive themselves to be viewed by others, while in the company of peers with similar and dissimilar backgrounds. Important interpersonal skills are fostered throughout the discussion including .self-awareness, perspective-taking, empathic listening and assertive self-expression.
Course#: FSP 121-10
|Zamel, Pamela||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Science and Issues
Throughout your life, you will make decisions, either directly or through your elected representatives, about issues that affect you directly. Should we cut back on the production of greenhouse gases? Should we allow assisted suicide? Should you drive a hybrid car? Should genetically modified foods be available? For nearly all issues, including these examples, an understanding of the scientific information relevant to the issue will be critical to making a reasoned decision about that issue. However, resolution of these issues require consideration of other perspectives such as ethics, morals, rights, and value judgements.
This course will help you develop the necessary skills to make decisions about scientifically related issues; these skills include identifying and clarifying issues, generating the scientific and nonscientific considerations that are important to deciding an issue, locating reliable scientific information pertinent to an issue, and evaluating that information critically. You will investigate in-depth an issue that is important to you, with the aim of understanding the considerations, both scientific and otherwise, and using this information to reach your own decision about the issue.
Course#: FSP 141-04
|Murphy, Christopher||14 – Natural Science|
Race and Gender in Latin America
The histories of the U.S. and Latin America are deeply intertwined; by many definitions, the United States is a Latin American country. And yet ideas about race and gender¿central organizing ideas of social life around the world for the past five hundred years¿differ between the U.S. and Latin America and between each Latin America country.
In this course we will examine the formation of race and gender in historical perspective in Latin America, including the United States. While the European Conquest created the concept of race and structured social inequalities through the prisms of race and gender, the ways in which race and gender shaped people¿s identities and relationships has changed over time. For example, while in Seventeenth Century colonial Peru, indigenous women often led more public lives than men and were considered ¿less Indian,¿ in twentieth century highland Peru, rural women are commonly believed to be ¿more Indian.¿ Our readings will draw from both history and anthropology to help us trace the ways in which racial and gendered notions of people have changed dynamically over time and the surprising ways in which Latin Americans have challenged various forms of oppression.
Course#: FSP 132-03
|Shakow, Miriam||13 – Social Change in Historical Perspective||Global Awareness|
The Impact of Globalization
With the advancement of new technology, communications between people have been greatly enhanced. However, the initiatives and the practices of globalization, such as the results of exporting free market democracy, have created a complex series of economic, social, technological, cultural, and political changes in the world. This seminar addresses many relevant issues with respect to changes, conflicts, doubts, problems, and possible solutions. Students have a chance to read many resources as well as to watch many films to explore issues seriously, including the continuing struggle for development in poor countries; the relationship between globalization, inequality and poverty; the fate of cultural diversity in a globalizing world; and issues of gender, ethnicity, the environment, social justice, and human rights.
Course#: FSP 124-01/02
|Pan, Chyuan||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives||Global Awareness|
The Cultural Phenomenon of Harry Potter
While the hero’s journey includes a trajectory from death to redemption, our post 9/11 heroes offer a different kind of traumatic past. Whether it is based from helplessness, chaotic behaviors, unethical decisions, or lack of control over their bodies, our postmodern heroes walk a blurred line between good and evil. Students will be asked to explore how this change in the cultural narrative changes the way we, on a cultural and personal level, view the “true hero.”
This course will explore the origin story and behaviors of famous heroes such as Gilgamesh, Beowolf, and Odysseus, along with their contemporaries such as Batman, the Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman and Harry Potter using a post 9/11 lens. Lesser known heroes such as The Piemaker from Pushing Daisies and Katniss from The Hunger Games will be thrown into the mix as newer heroes who must make tough decisions in a world similar to ours (but missing the actual 9/11 event).
Issues to be explored will include: what makes this hero postmodern? How does trauma in the hero¿s world (and in ours) change the way we view the battle of good vs. evil? How does this postmodern condition teach us to explore our own fatal flaws? Discussions will draw from mythological and literary conversations as well as gender, history, and cultural studies. The class will focus on a number of academic readings, novels, comic books, films and TV shows that will explore the new world in which we reside and why a particular group of heroes have decided to join us on this journey, and what messages they are trying to give our post-postmodern world.
|Speaker, Kathryne||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
The Hero and Trauma
While Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey illustrates a trajectory from birth to death to redemption, our post 9/11 heroes must complete a journey to the post-traumatic self. Whether this journey is based from helplessness, chaotic behaviors, unethical decisions, or lack of control over their bodies, our postmodern, post 9/11 heroes walk a blurred line between good and evil.
This course will explore the origin story, journeys, and behaviors of famous heroes such as Batman (and the rest of the Bat-family), the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Spiderman, Katniss Everdeen, and Harry Potter using a post 9/11, post-traumatic lens. Lesser known heroes such as The Piemaker from Pushing Daisies, Rabbit from 8 Mile, Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Marji from Persepolis will be used as examples of heroes who make tough decisions in a world very similar to ours (but minus the actual 9/11 narrative). Issues to explore will include: what makes a hero postmodern? How does trauma in the hero’s world (and in ours) change the way we view the battle of good vs. evil? How does the postmodern condition teach us to realize our flaws and to meet the post-traumatic self? Breaking the semester into four sections – hero and war, trauma and identity, hero and personal trauma, and art and trauma – this class will explore the concepts of chaos, bravery, choice, and the revised definition of “hero” after 9/11.
The class will focus on a number of readings, comic books, films and TV shows that will explore our post 9/11 cultural narrative, and will explain why we’ve selected particular heroes to accompany us on our journey. Using elements from postmodernism, post 9/11 theory, and semiotic analysis, students will form relationships with their texts and connect their thoughts to a larger academic conversation on the superhero mythos.
Course#: FSP 101-08/09
|Atzeni, Samantha||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Psychological Constraints: Unconscious influences on thought and behavior.
A true but unsettling fact is that our cognitions are controlled by virtue of psychological constraints. This course will focus on what determines human thought. We will consider psychological constraints of the mind that limit the amount of information we can process, attend to, remember, and use to make decisions. We will also consider how the representation of prior knowledge, in the form of stereotypes and expectations for success, constrains our thoughts and behavior. This course will connect to the intellectual theme for the year “Justice” by asking students to question the extent to which they act freely given the range of constraints highlighted during the semester.
Course#: FSP 121-08
|Grimm, Lisa||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
Multicultural New York: The City From Its Beginnings to the Present
Is New York the capital of the world? How did it become such a great multicultural city? What does it mean to be a New Yorker? These are some of the questions that guide us as we study events that shaped New York’s multicultural history from its beginning to the present. As we explore different periods of the city’s history some of the areas considered are immigration, changing neighborhoods, crime, technology, quality of life, money, power, culture, and art. Seminar time is supplemented with real world experiences.
Course#: FSP 132-01/02
|Winkel, Matthew||13 – Social Change in Historical Perspective||Race and Ethnicity|
Music and the Holocaust: Culture, Identity, and Ideology
In early twentieth-century Germany, musical culture was a central component of national pride and identity. For many of Germany’s Jews, this classical music heritage was a core element of their own identification as German citizens. Indeed, many of Germany’s leading singers, conductors, violinists, and pianists were of Jewish background, not to mention such prominent composers as Felix Mendelssohn and Gustav Mahler. With the rise of religious and “racial” anti-Semitism in the later nineteenth century and the institution of anti-Semitic legislation by the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler music became a principal battleground of cultural and “racial” ideology. In short order classical music became, for some, an arbiter of what it meant to be German, and, for others, pushed to the point of extinction, what it meant to be a human being.
This course begins by examining some of the controversies surrounding music as a means of commemorating the Holocaust before addressing the larger historical perspective of Jewish experience within German culture from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. There follows an examination of the nature of right wing music ideology and the means by which it was transformed into state policy after 1933. The central focus of the course rests upon the years of the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945, during which Jews were first ejected from public musical life and finally either forced into emigration or hiding, or herded into concentration camps.
Throughout this period the Jews themselves continued to cultivate a vibrant musical life, first through the officially sanctioned Jewish Cultural Association in Germany (1933-1941) and then, after the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939, within the concentration camps themselves, including the notorious death camp of Auschwitz. Particularly significant is the flowering of cultural activity in Theresienstadt near Prague, where the Nazis created a self governing “city for the Jews” intended to show the world that their racial policies were benign. Theresienstadt was in fact a potemkin village whose fa‡ade of normalcy masked the fact that it was little more than an antechamber to the death camps in the east. Nevertheless, under primitive conditions, the concerts, opera, theater, and cabaret within Theresienstadt were of the highest quality and give evidence of the way the inmates used culture as a form of spiritual resistance. The final section of the course returns to an examination of the role of music in post war commemorations of the Holocaust in film and concert life.
Course#: FSP 134-01/02
|Hailey, Chris||13 – Social Change in Historical Perspective||Global Awareness|
Globalization, Power, and Ethics in the Digital Age
We live in a networked global digital economy. Business is global and the internet has changed the organization of society. We can communicate and access knowledge online. Just as people had to adapt to the new society created by the industrial revolution two hundred years ago this new digital age gives rise to its own set of new challenges for humanity and there are a variety of alternative futures which can be imagined for the world over the next twenty years.
This course examines some of the challenges we face in the new Millennium including globalization and ethics, sustainable development, climate change, income inequality, terrorism and surveillance, free speech, privacy and the digital transformation of the world in which we live. The international community has singled out some of these challenges, like inequality and environmental sustainability, for action as Millennium Goals, while other challenges like free speech, democracy and social media have become obvious through events like the Arab Spring. Futurists, economists and policy makers are currently debating these challenges and their effects can already be seen across the world as well as right here in New Jersey. This class will focus on both the local and global effects of the challenges we face.
Course#: FSP 134-04
|Monseau, Susanna||13 – Social Change in Historical Perspective||Global Awareness|
Masters of Horror
This course investigates pairings of both classic and more recent works of horror. We will explore the ways in which themes of vampirism, the doubled identity, sexual anxiety and psychological instability are represented by various authors working within the horror genre. We will look at how the vampire in Bram Stoker’s Dracula is re-imagined by Anne Rice in Interview with a Vampire. We will also read and discuss the representation of sexual repression and female insanity in Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. In addition, we will consider how the theme of the doubled self in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is explored in Joe Hill’s recent novel Horns. We will look for connections, parallels, and doublings within the novels as well as discussing the differing representations of familiar themes in horror fiction.
Course#: FSP 103-01/02
|Kranzler, Laura||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Gender|
Trojan War in Art, Literature, and Film
This class will examine how and why the Trojan War has played a pivotal role in the cultural history of the Greco-Roman world and beyond, into our own times. In the course of our examination, we will be reading acknowledged masterpieces of ancient literature: Homer¿s Iliad, as well as sections of works by Virgil, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. There will be occasional assigned readings of some more modern authors, including poets.
In addition to reading about the Trojan War, we will look at how artists have portrayed the epic war in painting, sculpture and other visual arts from the ancient world down to modern times. The allure of the war and its stories has survived the Greeks and Romans and found its way into modern popular culture. This is evidenced in films on the war such as Troy of 2004, which served in part as commentary on contemporary wars, and others produced for mere entertainment. We will be watching portions of several films and documentaries, and students will be expected to assess video content in terms of its accuracy and quality, either verbally or in writing.
Course#: FSP 101-15/19
|Reinhard, Jayne||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Ways of Seeing the Poor
This seminar addresses the ethical and esthetic dilemmas of portraying the poor. We will scrutinize various artistic and literary approaches to the representation of poverty and related experiences of marginalization, exploitation, or disempowerment. Drawn from an array of genres and disciplines, our readings all revolve around the problems of putting impoverishment into words and images without producing impoverished portrayals.
In addition to discussing poems, stories, novels, memoirs, and nonfiction studies, we will look closely at films and photographs from many places in the USA and around the world. While some of the writers on our syllabus articulate firsthand how it feels to be poor or oppressed, others encounter or imagine their subjects from a position of relative privilege, one likely shared by their readers. Moreover, while some of these writers condemn social injustice or economic inequality and thus advocate for reforms that might alleviate hardships, others just as forcefully insist on a commonplace beauty, dignity, or tenacity that transcends disadvantage. Attentive to cultural, regional, and historical disparities, as well as to the intersection of class struggle with issues of race and gender, we will explore the multifarious face of poverty and eternally fraught debates over how to depict it.
Course#: FSP 104-02/03
|Crooke, Andrew||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Global Awareness|
Musical Crossroads in the Americas
“In those days it was either live with music or die with noise, and we chose rather desperately to live.” Ralph Ellison, Shadow and Act
This seminar poses the question: What might it mean, in Ralph Ellison’s terms, to ¿live with music¿ in the Americas? Music constitutes an essential element of the human condition, a form of communication and social organization, an expression of identity, feeling, enjoyment and reasoning, a means of learning, teaching and nurturing. Music in this sense is transformative. Nowhere is this more evident than in Latin America and the Caribbean, where the centuries-long cultural encounter between indigenous, African and European peoples has produced a unique array of musical legacies. But how to approach the distinctive experiential worlds of Jamaican reggae, Brazilian samba, Afro-Cuban music, North American jazz, and dynamic fusions thereof? How to comprehend these forms as historical yet contemporary and simultaneously local, regional and trans-local expressions of cultural identity and human musicality? Through reading, writing, discussion, listening to music and viewing films, this seminar invites students to sound out some of the musical traditions of the Americas and comprehend their dynamic interactive character. We seek to develop an ear for music’s power to convey the sentiments and aspirations of those who produce and take inspiration in the region¿s diverse and uniquely resonant expressive forms, and thereby, to find through music the means to live.
Course#: FSP 102-01
|Stone, Michael||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts||Race and Ethnicity|
Introduction to Amateur Radio
This course will cover the history of communications leading to the birth of amateur radio and the historic development of the hobby. It will also cover radio amateur’s contributions to the advancement of electronics technology and in public service. Special facets of the hobby such as digital communications/use of the Internet/WiFi, space communications and the search for extra terrestrial intelligence (SETI) will be discussed. The basic electronics and regulations needed for an amateur radio license will be provided. Everyone attending the course should leave with an amateur radio license.
Course#: FSP 131-01
|Katz, Allen||13 – Social Change in Historical Perspective|
The media is saturated with cries of the apocalypse with news outlets regularly covering religious and astrological doomsday prophets. Survivalists have television shows teaching their skills and zombie movies are frequent box office hits. Our culture both fears and craves the end days. What does this say about humanity and its innate settings? To what extent does fear of the apocalypse mirror uncertainties of our own times? Does this fear represent humanity at its worst, or can it be indicative of the great reaches we can accomplish? This course will explore those questions, and will use fiction, film, and a number of articles as prompts to write about issues such as hope, fear, religion, and perseverance.
Course#: FSP 101-17
|Schmidt, Randy||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
From Pagination to Inspiration—Literature and Service Learning
So often, when students are assigned a book, they look to see how many pages they have to read. In this interactive course, students will delve into works of fiction and non-fiction that address issues such as poverty, prejudice, abuse of power, and child exploitation. These works will serve as inspiration for service learning. Students will learn about and engage in the five stages of service learning (investigation, preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration) in order to become change agents in relation to an issue that matters to them. They will discuss ways to bring the knowledge gathered and their experiences in this course into their future workplaces. Whether students are bound for the classroom, the boardroom, the hospital, the court, or any other work environment; an understanding of social issues and strategies for taking action are of great value.
Course#: FSP 125-03
|Connolly, Maureen||12 – Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Perspectives|
In this course we try to come to terms with America’s ambivalent relationship with its supernatural literature by surveying the origins and evolution of such writing over the last 200 years. We will also be writing a supernatural short story of our own. Readings will be from such authors as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, and Caitlin Kiernan–and, especially, the “big three” of American Supernatural literature: Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Additionally, we will view and consider a number of films and television episodes; past “filmic texts” have included Rosemary’s Baby, Carrie, The Ring, and episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, and The Twilight Zone. Our discussion of American supernaturalism will include topics and themes drawn from mythology, psychology, philosophy, history, cultural studies, religious studies, and gender studies (with a bit of music theory, math, and science thrown in for good measure).
Course#: FSP 101-06/07
|Schwartz, Michael||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|
Aging, Mortality, and Longevity: Humanity’s (unsuccessful) quest for eternal life.
The aging process affects everyone and yet many people don’t feel comfortable talking about getting older, becoming sick, and the end of life. Currently, many aspects of American society are focused on youth and perfect physical health but are these helpful perspectives for us? Is there a positive side to aging and dying?
This seminar will look at the reality of everyday life for many “seniors” juxtaposed with our quest for eternal life. We’ll explore issues of health, housing, faith and culture, identity, death, loss and grief. The subject matter is simultaneously personal and communal, theoretical and practical, discouraging and inspirational, and we may even discover how to live forever.
Course#: FSP 121-12
|Stutzman, Rachel||10 – Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts|