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First Year Connections

First Year Seminars, Spring 2018

Seminars are small classes – limited to 19 students – that fulfill general education requirements. Many of the seminars involve activities in New York City. Seminars are an excellent way to connect with peers and faculty in a relaxed and friendly setting.

ANTHROPOLOGY

1. ANTH 014S, sec. 01: Forensic Anthropology: Bones, Bodies and Burials (BH, CC), 3 s.h.
T/R, 11:10 a.m. -12:35 p.m., Kristen Hartnett-McCann
CRN, 24313
This course evaluates popular depictions of forensic science and forensic anthropology and explores the diverse roles of a Forensic Anthropologist in a modern, medicolegal setting. Students will participate in hands-on skeletal analyses, case studies, and mock crime scenes.  Contemporary issues such as human rights, serial killers, mass fatalities, and ethics of human subjects research will be investigated through readings and discussions.   
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in either the Social Sciences or Cross-Cultural category.

2. ANTH 014S, sec. A: Mummies and What We Learn (BH, CC), 3 s.h.
M/W, 4:30-5:55 p.m., Anne Buddenhagen, CRN 23469
Human fascination with mummies has lasted thousands of years, and questions about the rationale for mummification and processes involved persist. But now, mummies are used to help answer questions about the life and culture of the individuals who were mummified.What diseases did they have? What was the impact of their diet and lifestyle? What was the cause of death? What are the differences between the deliberately mummified individuals (Egypt, Andes) and the naturally mummified people (Siberia, Italy, Arctic areas)? What do the items buried with the mummies tell us? The answers to these questions have been expanded as the result of unwrapping, X-rays, MRIs and DNA analysis and have revealed family structure, marriage patterns and religious beliefs. This course explores some of the most famous mummies as well as the little known ones. A trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art and/or the Brooklyn Museum is a part of this course.

Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in either the Social Sciences or Cross-Cultural category.

ART HISTORY

3. AH 014S, sec. 01: What is a Museum? (AA), 3 s.h.
M/F, 11:15 a.m. -12:40 p.m., Martha Hollander
CRN, 23528
What is a museum? What exactly does it do, and why? Do museums have a future? This class is designed for anyone who is interested in any aspect of why and how museums exist. We delve into the mysteries and histories of museums in all their forms, where our ideas of museums come from, and what types of people work or play at, and support museums. We also consider objects and their conservation, the role of museums in contemporary society, finances, the often conflicting goals of research and public display, exhibit design, legal and ethical issues, and other challenges. The course involves trips to museums in New York City as well as on campus, plus opportunities to create your own communal art project and “shoebox museum.”
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.

ASTRONOMY

4. ASTR 014S, sec. 01 and 01L: Shining Stars and Beyond: The Birth, Life, and Death of Stars, Galaxies, and the Entire Universe (NS), 3 s.h.
Lecture, T, 2:20-4:10 p.m.; Lab, R, 2:20-4:10 p.m.; Brett Bochner
CRNs, 22623 & 22624
In this survey of the universe on truly big scales, we show how an understanding of light can bring us information from the greatest distances, and how matter itself is turned into energy to make the stars shine. We explore the births and deaths of stars, discovering how dying supergiant stars create the most powerful explosions, while also forming deadly black holes. We explore the different varieties of galaxies, and examine galactic clusters so large that the entire Milky Way is a tiny dot in comparison. The ideas of Albert Einstein are discussed, from the well-known E=mc2, to his discovery that gravity is really a warping of space and a stretching of time. Lastly, we discuss how the universe itself originated in the “Big Bang,” and how we can observe that the entire universe is still expanding (and even accelerating!). Students are required to attend several
evening telescope observing sessions during the semester at the Hofstra Observatory.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Natural Sciences category.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

5. CLL 014S, sec. 01: Demons, Devils and Self-Destruction in Literature (LT), 3 s.h.
T/R, 12:45-2:10 p.m., John Krapp
CRN, 24445
Human beings are complicated. Capable of profound kindness, compassion and generosity, humans cooperate to transform the environment in ways that make their lives easier, more satisfying and fulfilling, both personally and collectively . They also consistently do stunning harm to themselves, to others, and to the world around them. Why? Is there something wrong with us? Is this the natural condition of who we are as human beings? For as long as there has been literature, literature has endeavored to understand and to explain these contradictory impulses in us. In this course, we will read a variety of these literary texts that look at our most inexplicable behavior and account for it as the result of the work of evil spirits, of the failure of moral and academic education, and of who we are as human beings. As we discuss the implications of all of these possibilities, we will particularly look at the risks and rewards of religious faith in explaining, and overcoming, the harm that humans bring to the world.
Please note:This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.

DRAMA

6. DRAM 014S, sec. 01: Improv for Everyone (AA, CP), 3 s.h.
M/F, 9:35- 11:00 a.m., Christopher Dippel
CRN, 22403
Trust, teamwork, honesty, communication, risk: These are the foundations of improvisation, and these skills are useful in every career field. This course employs theater games and performance exercises to help students learn to think on their feet, work collaboratively, communicate effectively, and trust their own creativity and ideas. Students attend performances of various types of improvisation.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.

ECONOMICS

7. ECO 014S, sec. 01: How Globalization Is Reshaping Your World: Rising Harmony or Hostility? (BH), 3 s.h.
M/W/F, 10:10-11:05 a.m., Massoud Fazeli
CRN, 23508
The Great Recession of 2008 and recent political upheavals have forced many of us to re-examine our beliefs about markets and globalization. Many politicians now advocate more regulation and less openness. Is this merely a temporary setback for the ultimately inevitable trend toward hyper-globalization, or were we mistaken in thinking that globalization is a win-win proposition for all parties involved? For instance, do less-developed countries benefit from the inflow of American and European capital? In other words, do transnational corporations modernize the less developed countries, or are they instruments of exploitation and plunder? And should the United States welcome immigration, or do you believe immigration must be restricted? Who is right: the globalists or the nativists? Finally, does globalization mean the rich and powerful now possess a new mechanism to further enrich and empower themselves, or is it a process that enables the less-developed and smaller countries to catch up and reduce global inequality?
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences category.

ENGLISH

8. ENGL 014S, sec. 01: Harlem Renaissance (LT), 3 s.h.
M/W, 9:05-10:30 a.m., Jennifer Henton, CRN 24585
Often regarded for its opulence and lush qualities, the Harlem Renaissance was the movement in America that celebrated black culture and expression. The period became controversial for extravagant displays of black life while many rural black communities suffered denigration and second-class citizenship. Thus the goal of this course is to examine the African American literary movement called the Harlem Renaissance with all its contradictions. Bearing in mind that the movement encompasses art, dance, drama, and music, this class focuses on the literary venue of the movement. Students read a selection of poems, novels, short stories, and essays from the period 1918 to 1929. This discussion-based course may include authors such as Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, Langston Hughes, George Schuyler, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neale Hurston. 
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.

FINE ARTS

9. FA 014S, sec. 01: Thinking in Clay: An Excursion Into the Three-Dimensional World (CP), 3 s.h.
M/W, 1:00-2:50 p.m., Paul Chaleff
CRN, 23006
This seminar is a hands-on experiential course in making art with clay. Students are introduced to thinking in three-dimensional terms about the human impulse to make art and to comprehend how that impulse has combined with the physical and chemical forces that allow clay to do what it does. Human beings have been making art from fired clay for at least 27,000 years. As far as we can now determine, fired ceramic art predates the development of agriculture by about 18,000 years, predates the development of cities by 22,000 years, and predates the use of digital technology by 27,000 years. Using historical analysis and the science of clay to inform our present-day studio practices, we trace the advancements in the use of clay as a material to make art and products.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.

10. FA 014S, sec. 02: Design, Business and Innovation (CP), 4 s.h.
T/R, 2:15-4:10 p.m., Thomas Klinkowstein
CRN, 24413
A new approach to business, called design thinking or innovation design, employs the processes of design as a tool to imagine new approaches to business, nonprofit organizations and the future in general. This course introduces design fundamentals as well as the creative process as employed by companies like Apple and Nike. All students will create proposals for new profit or nonprofit organizations with accompanying design and website or social media elements. No prior design, business or computer experience is necessary; this course includes trips to design-related studio(s) or other design-related event(s) in New York City.
Please note. This course carries an $80 fee; This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.

TEACHING, LEARNING AND TECHNOLOGY

11. FDED 127, sec. 02: Introduction to Philosophy of Education, 3 s.h.
T/R 9:35-11:00 a.m., Eduardo Duarte
CRN, 24362
This course is organized around the examination of the philosophic dimension of key educational ideas over time and exploration of the philosophical issues and assumptions involved in various classroom practices in the past and present. In this course we will explore what is entailed in learning philosophically, or via philosophy, and what is entailed in thinking about education, i.e,. applying philosophy to teaching and learning.  These two themes go hand in hand, because one can only apply philosophy to education once one has learned how to do philosophy.  But, it so happens, that philosophy has its own way of educating us to think.  In sum, when we are learning from philosophy, we are also learning how to think about education, specifically, how to come to our own understanding about what we take to be the most important and fundamental principles of teaching and learning.
Please note. This course counts toward liberal arts credit; this course satisfies a graduation requirement for bachelor degrees in the School of Education, and may be used to satisfy New York State teacher certification requirements.

GEOGRAPHY

12. GEOG 014S, sec. A: Child Labor in the World Today (BH, CC), 3 s.h.
T/R, 4:30-5:55 p.m., Kari Jensen
CRN, 22999
After a general overview of child labor in the world today, we begin a country-by-country approach to this complex issue. (Students participate in the decision about which countries to study in more detail.) We then focus on the country-specific historical and societal context of child labor issues, coupled with a study of governmental policies and nongovernmental organizations’ strategies to help alleviate the problems related to child labor, such as poverty and
inadequate access to education. The course is composed of lectures, documentary films and discussions, and includes one semester hour of instruction in library research methods.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in either the Social Sciences or Cross-Cultural category.

HISTORY

13. HIST 014S, sec. 01: The Trump Presidency (HP), 4 s.h.
M/W, 12:50-2:45 p.m., Carolyn Eisenberg
CRN, 22969
Regardless of party, it is widely agreed that the Trump Presidency marks a significant departure from past administrations. In this seminar, we will consider the elements of continuity and change. This will include an examination of the 2016 Presidential election and the sequel. What are some interpretations of the results? And what have been the most important consequences for governance? We will also explore some of the major policy debates that have emerged in both foreign and domestic affairs and consider the consequences for people at home and abroad. Students of all political persuasions are welcome. Because this topic is so obviously controversial, respectful consideration of all points of view is essential. Our main task will be to analyze recent events and place them in historical context. Material for this class will include books, articles and use of the mass media. There will be guest speakers and some relevant outside trips.

Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences category.

14. HIST 014S, sec. 02: Paris, City of Light (HP), 4 s.h.
M/W, 2:55-4:50 p.m., Sally Charnow
CRN, 22971
Paris has famously been called the "capital of the nineteenth century," the heart of revolutionary politics and avant-garde culture in a Europe at the height of its power.  This interdisciplinary history course will use a variety of primary sources (including first-hand accounts from individuals, fiction, poetry, theatre, painting, architecture, philosophy) and secondary sources to study the drama of political revolutions, economic transformations, and cultural developments that made Paris the quintessential modern Western metropolis between 1815 and 1914. We will chart the slow growth of the city (and its inhabitants), as it developed from a provincial town to the cultural hub of Western Europe.  Discussions will center on a series of overlapping questions: How did Paris take shape (culturally and physically) in the 19th century? How should we conceptualize and theorize the city? How did/do groups and individuals negotiate and appropriate urban spaces? And finally, how have Parisians, provincials, artists, and foreigners "experienced" Paris?
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences category.

15. HIST 014S, sec. 03: New York City and 9/11 (HP), 4 s.h.
T/R, 2:15-4:10 p.m., Mario Ruiz
CRN, 22970
One of the common assumptions Americans share is that the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center changed New York City forever. In this course we examine this assumption by studying New York City before and after 9/11. In addition to studying the events that led up to the Sept. 11 attacks, we study the development of New York City as a magnet for immigration, architecture, art and photography. We begin the course with one of the first disasters in 20th-century New York involving massive loss of life (the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire) and conclude with personalized projects reflecting on the effects of the 9/11 attacks. Field trips in this course include visits to Washington Square Park, Hofstra’s Sept. 11 Project Collection, and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences category.

PHILOSOPHY

16. PHI 014S, sec. 01: Meaning of Life (HP), 3 s.h.
M/W, 9:05-10:30 a.m., Mark McEvoy
CRN, 22988
For us to have a chance of finding the meaning of life, human life must have meaning, or at least the lives of individual human beings must have meaning. But perhaps these claims aren’t true, or don’t even make sense. Further, if claims about life having meaning aren’t true, or don’t even make sense, would that horrify or at least disappoint you? If so, does that reaction itself show that life has some kind of meaning after all? We pursue these questions through class discussions and readings. This course includes one semester hour of instruction in library research methods.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences category.

PSYCHOLOGY

17. PSY 014S, sec. 01: CSI: Psychology (or, What Psychologists Could Teach Lawyers) (BH), 3 s.h.
M/W/F, 12:50-1:45 p.m., Robin Flaton
CRN, 24530
In several recent high-profile cases, jury decisions have left people stunned and angry. What were those jurors thinking? How could a reasonable person have come to that decision? In this course we will seek to make sense of these issues. Our focus will not be on what jurors might be thinking, but on how jurors might be thinking — about the evidence they are presented, about the witnesses, the accused, the lawyers involved, and about each other. Can psychological research increase the likelihood of a “just” outcome in the courtroom? To answer this question, we will examine several areas, including the validity of eyewitness identifications; the effect of institutional racism within the criminal justice system; the efficacy of psychological jury selection; and some cognitive and social dynamics of juror deliberation.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences category.

18. PSY 014S, sec. 02: The Resilient Child (BH), 4 s.h.
T/R, 2:15-4:10 p.m., Brian Cox
CRN, 24531
To what extent do experiences in childhood affect who we become as adults? Can we overcome a bad start? How are our personalities formed by learning, temperament and the events of lives caught up in history and cultural change? In this seminar in developmental psychology, we begin by examining our beliefs about children’s natures in the past and present. Then we examine the scientific evidence ranging from case studies to extraordinary longitudinal studies of children’s development that have lasted as long as 50 years. The course concludes with a discussion of adult “identity crises” and how we explain the process to ourselves in biography and autobiography. As the philosopher Kierkegaard has said: “Life is lived forward, but understood backward.”
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Social Sciences.

RELIGION

19. RELI 014S, sec. 01: A Load of Nonsense: A Geography of the Absurd (HP,CC), 3 s.h.
T/R, 9:35 a.m.-11:00 a.m., Sophie Hawkins
CRN, 24492
The millennial generation is often labelled in the media as being narcissistic. It has also been said, albeit less frequently, that this same generation has an absurdist sense of humour. Is this true? In this seminar on the cultural geography of absurdism, we will start by examining the present—sharing, collecting and analyzing internet memes. (Favourite HowToBasic video, anyone?) What do these memes share, if anything, with other forms of absurdist humour (e.g. the irreverent silliness of British humour post-WWII, nonsense literature of the nineteenth century, avant-garde art movements of the 1920s)? Is absurdist humour a coping strategy or a mode of active resistance or both? Is the absurd friend or foe to religion? What is the relationship between absurdist humour and absurdism-as-philosophy? These are some of questions we will address both with serious thought and raucous laughter.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in either the Social Sciences or Cross-Cultural category.
 

WRITING STUDIES AND COMPOSITION

20. WSC 014S, sec. 01: Fashion Writing in the New Millennium (CP), 3 s.h.
M/W, 12:50-2:15 p.m., Rory McDonough
CRN, 22985
Fashion is much more than sequins and chiffon — it serves as a reflection of the zeitgeist of the culture in which it is created. From Anna Wintour’s influential role in campaigning for Barack Obama, to Lady Gaga serving as the face of Versace, to fashion bloggers earning millions of dollars for opinions, fashion is at the forefront of creative culture around the world. In this course we explore the fashion world at large by surveying fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and we explore the influential role fashion editors play in shaping contemporary culture. If you enjoy designer bags, shoes, and clothing so much that you’d love nothing more than to discuss fashion and write about it, then this course is for you. You’ll even start to create your own fashion writing portfolio.
Please note: This course satisfies a University graduation requirement in the Humanities category.