First-Year Seminars by Semester

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Seminars are open to first-year students only. All first year seminars can be scheduled through LionPATH.

 

Fall 2018

ANTH 83 (3 cr) Historic Archaeology of 19th Century Rural Pennsylvania (GS)

Class #17442 ~ MoWeFr 11:15AM - 12:05PM ~ Instructor: Claire Milner

The vast majority of Americans lived on farms during the 19th century. It is therefore not surprising that the most common archaeological sites in the United States are farmsteads. Yet archaeologists have only recently begun to explore this rich source of information about 19th century rural lifeways. By studying the artifacts from four seasons of PSU excavations of Pennsylvania farmsteads, students will learn how archaeologists dig sites and analyze artifacts to reconstruct and interpret the past. They will use these data to assess the often romanticized view of farm life, and transformations of the rural economic and cultural landscape due to enormous changes in consumerism, markets, infrastructure, industrialization, urbanization, and new technologies during the 19th century.

APLNG 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Applied Linguistics (GS)

Class #17337 ~ TuTh 3:05PM - 4:20PM ~ Instructor: Celeste Kinginger

Description forthcoming

ASIA 83 (3 cr) Wider World of Sports (GH)

Class #17509 ~ TuTh 12:05PM - 1:20PM ~ Instructor: Jessamyn Abel

Description forthcoming

CAS 84 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Communication Arts and Sciences (GH)

Class #25508 ~ MoWe 2:30PM - 3:45PM ~ Instructor: Jeremy Engels

Description forthcoming

CAMS 83 (3 cr) Life, Love, and Death in Pompeii (GS)

Class #17850 ~ TuTh 1:35PM - 2:50PM ~ Instructor: Pamela Cole

In 79 CE the small Roman city of Pompeii was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and lay buried until its 'discovery' in the 18th Century. In this seminar we will look at the amazing physical remains uncovered by archaeology of streets and shops, houses and temples, amphitheater and baths and attempt to put together the everyday life of the inhabitants of this prosperous city. We will look at the treasure of artifacts, paintings, luxury goods and everyday household items, what they read and how they wrote all in an attempt to discover who these people were.

HIST 83 (3 cr) India: History, Politics, and Identity (GH)

Class #18448 ~ TuTh 10:35AM - 11:50AM ~ Instructor: Jyoti Balachandran

This course is an inter-disciplinary introduction to India in the globalized world of the 21st century. What are the implications of global economic connections and inter-dependence on personal, social, religious and gender identities in India? How do Indians, in India and abroad, negotiate the old and the new? What is the role of "ancient" India in "modern" times? By asking these questions, the course will focus on the multiple and often paradoxical understandings of contemporary India, and provide an appreciation for the aspirations and challenges that underlay the creation of India as a nation-state in 1947. Through an inter-disciplinary inquiry that includes working with historical materials, journalistic writings, fiction and movies, students will be encouraged to critically reflect on their own assumptions about India and what it represents to them.

JST 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Jewish Studies (GH)

Class #27154 ~ MoWeFr 10:10AM - 11:00AM ~ Instructor: TBA

Description forthcoming

LER 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Labor and Employment Relations (GS)

Class #17276 ~ MoWe 2:30PM - 3:45PM ~ Instructor: Charles Lumpkins

Description forthcoming

PHIL 83 (3 cr) Critical Introduction to Ethics and Bioethics (GH)

Class #17430 ~ TuTh 10:35AM - 11:50AM ~ Instructor: Nicholas DeWarren

This first-year seminar introduces students to foundational moral theories before exploring two topics in bioethics: the use of drugs and abortion. We will discuss and evaluate arguments for the ethical permissibility of drug use in various contexts (medicinal, recreational, athletic) and consider various positions in the pro-life and pro-choice debate on abortion. As a first-year seminar, the course will explore learning tools and resources available at Penn State, introduce students to philosophy and fields of study relating to bioethics, and provide tools for students to develop relationships with other students, faculty, and groups at Penn State.

PLSC 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Political Science (GS)

Class #17446 ~ MoWeFr 1:25PM - 2:15PM ~ Instructor: Gretchen Casper

PLSC 83 is a course on current topics in international politics. Each week we review major issues raised in media (newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and television news programs) that deal with international politics and American foreign policy. Attention is given to applying political science arguments in analyzing major news events and trends. Topics include the resurrection of Russia, the rise of China, global economic problems, Middle East conflicts, and proliferation concerns.

PSYCH 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Psychology (GS)

Class #17279 ~ TuTh 12:05PM - 1:20PM ~ Instructor: TBA

Description forthcoming

WMNST 83 (3 cr) Women, Writing and Resistance (GH)

Class #17513 ~ TuTh 10:35AM - 11:50AM ~ Instructor: Manini Samarth

Can a novel or a poem be experienced as a form of personal, social and political interrogation -- and still remain, primarily, a work of art? Without recourse to essentialist definitions of 'women's writing,' can we postulate ways in which an awareness of 'female' identity influences acts of literary resistance across cultures and historical periods? In framing our responses to these and related questions, we'll explore the evolutionary directions of this sometimes implicitly and often directly subversive literature. Additionally, through our analysis of short stories, essays, and poetry by women, we will chart the progressive development of women’s social and political identity as a force for change.

 

Spring 2018

CAS 84 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Communication Arts and Sciences (GH)

Class #17820~ Tu Th 12:05 PM - 1:20 PM ~ Instructor: TBD

Popular music sends powerful messages about the lives and values of the people who produced, performed, and consumed it. A close examination of musical practices over time and space can illuminate fundamental issues in American culture and history including the influence of technology, ideology, class, gender, and race on various genres of music -- jazz, swing, gospel, country, rhythm and blues, and rock; the multiple forms and influence of African American music; and songs and social movements, including the union, suffrage movement, and Civil Rights movements to what we have today.

PLSC 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in Political Science (GS)

Class #18089 ~ Tu Th 12:05 PM - 1:20 PM ~ Instructor: Robert Packer 

PLSC 83 is a course on current topics in international politics. Each week we review major issues raised in media (newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals, and television news programs) that deal with international politics and American foreign policy. Attention is given to applying political science arguments in analyzing major news events and trends. Topics include the resurrection of Russia, the rise of China, global economic problems, Middle East conflicts, and proliferation concerns.

SOC 83 (3 cr) Environmental Sociology (GS)

Class #17896 ~ M W F 11:15 AM - 12:05 PM ~ Instructor: Erik Nielsen

This course explores the complex interaction between society and the environment. Environmental factors can shape social phenomena and human societies can alter the natural environment. The field of environmental sociology attempts to integrate these connections systematically into social science research. In this course, we will examine several dimensions of the human-environment interface. 

WMNST 83 (3 cr) Theorizing Social Justice (GH)

Class #25082 ~ Tu Th 10:35 AM - 11:50 AM ~ Instructor: Hilary Malatino

How do our sexualities, gender identities, and racial/ethnic backgrounds influence the way we experience and interact with the world around us? How do these aspects of identity influence the social and political distribution of rights and privileges? Focusing on the intersections and interactions of forms of sexual, gender, and racialized discrimination in the contemporary United States, this class examines how injustice is produced in and through certain identity categories, as well as how such forms of injustice can be addressed. We’ll learn about hip hop feminism, sexual double standards, LGBTQIA rights movements, and the historical emergence and contemporary goals of trans activism, among other topics.

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