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 2019

AFAM 83 (3 cr) First Year Seminar in African American Studies (GH, IL, US)

Class #26556 ~ MoWeFr 11:15AM - 12:05PM ~ Instructor: Cynthia Young

Cultural, philosophical, economic, political, and global dynamics of the Black experience in the United States and the Diaspora.

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

Class #17455 ~ 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, IL, US)

Class #17369 ~ TuTh 1:35PM - 2:50PM ~ Instructor: TBD

Introduction to the application of theories of language to cognition, culture, gender, society, and second language acquisition.

ASIA 83S (3 cr) Asia on Display (GH, IL)

Class #17499 ~ TuTh 9:05AM - 10:20AM ~ Instructor: Chang Tan

How we “see” cultures depends on how they are displayed. For centuries, we have come to know distant—or seemingly familiar—cultures through their art and artifacts, the selection, arrangements, interpretation, and reception of which, in turn, have been shaped by sociopolitical forces as much as by aesthetic considerations. This course studies the collections and exhibitions of Asian arts from the late 19th century to the present day, within, across, and beyond the territory of Asia. We will discuss how those displays are connected to issues such as diplomacy and rivalry between nations, modernization and colonialism, cultural appropriation and ethnic identity, the commodification of “cultural heritages,” and the potentials as well as limits of multiculturalism. In addition to short response papers, you will also review a current exhibition and curate a virtual exhibition of Asian art.

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

Class #17759 ~ 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.

CAS 83 (3 cr) Women and Communication Throughout History (GH)

Class #25775 ~ MoWeFr 1:25PM - 2:15PM ~ Instructor: Lori Bedell

Throughout U.S. history women have played an active role in developing,implementing, and reforming social institutions. In this course, we will explore some of the key moments in U.S. women's activism in the last 150 years by reading primary documents from prominent activists of the time. Students who complete this course successfully should expect to gain a complex and nuanced perspective on the rhetoric of U.S. women activists, and also improve their skills in critical reading and analysis. In addition, we will explore contemporary notions of masculinity and femininity that constrain both men and women. We will consider issues of the modern workplace,education, the media, family institutions, media influence, gendered language (both verbal and nonverbal) and the law.

GER 83 (3 cr) First-Year Seminar in German (GH, IL, US) -- cross-listed with JST 83

Class #29258 ~ MoWeFr 12:20PM - 1:10PM ~ Instructor: TBA

Germany's cultural past and present.

HIST 83-001 (3 cr) Not My Nature (GH)

Class #18248 ~ MoWeFr 11:15AM - 12:05PM ~ Instructor: Ellen Stroud

An exploration of counterintuitive narratives of American Environmental History.

HIST 83-002 (3 cr) Race, Gender, and the Right to Vote in U.S. History (GH)

Class #27033 ~ TuTh 3:05PM - 4:20PM ~ Instructor: Cathleen Cahill

This course will examine debates over citizenship and the right to vote during the 19th and 20th centuries by examining key moments such as the Seneca Falls Convention, the Reconstruction Amendments, Woman Suffrage debates, World War I, and the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960s when the right to vote was central to American politics.

JST 83 (3 cr) German Reactions to the Holocaust: From the Nazi Years to the Present (GH, IL) -- cross-listed with GER 83

Class #19335 ~ MoWeFr 12:20PM - 1:10PM ~ Instructor: TBA

Critical approaches to the history, sociology, and literature of Jewish Studies.

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

Class #17330 ~ TuTh 3:05PM - 4:20PM ~ Instructor: Michael Maffie

Critical approaches to the dimensions and direction in Labor and Employment Relations. 

PLSC 83 (3 cr) Transitions toward Democracy (GS)

Class #17457 ~ MoWeFr 1:25PM - 2:15PM ~ Instructor: Gretchen Casper

In this course, we will discuss the current democratization trend by focusing on the experiences of up to twenty-four countries. The goals of this class are four-fold. First, students will learn how to conduct research, analyze information, and present the findings through class discussion and in written form. Second, we will learn how to compare countries from different regions of the world. Third, students will have a better understanding of the democratization process in general, and will be able to explain or predict democratization beyond the three cases discussed in this class. Finally, the experiences of these countries offer a deeper understanding of what democracy is and why this type of political system can be difficult to install and maintain.

PSYCH 83 (3 cr) Tears, Blushing, and Butterflies in the Stomach: Emotion and the Body (GS)

Class #17332 ~ TuTh 12:05PM - 1:20PM ~ Instructor: Stephanie Shields

Emotion is a powerful factor in everyone’s life, and the bodily signs and symptoms of emotion—from tears to trembling—make emotional experience even more compelling. Why do people cry when they are sad and when they are happy? Why do people blush when they do something stupid in front of their friends, but not when they do something stupid in front of their pets? Why can we make ourselves cry, but not make ourselves blush? Why do tears sometimes show up when we least expect them? Is it possible to control the “butterflies in the stomach” that can make it hard to speak in front of a group? What causes these “butterflies” anyway?
In this seminar we will examine what scientific psychology can tell us about a range of bodily signs and symptoms of emotion. We will consider what is known about the psychological and physiological bases for the symptoms, and explore the practical, everyday-life consequences of those symptoms. We will also explore strategies for controlling or regulating emotional responses.

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

Class #17502 ~ TuTh 12:05PM - 1:20PM ~ 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 2019

CAS 83 (3 cr) Communication and Women's Health (GS)

Class #25328 ~ MoWeFr 1:25PM - 2:15PM ~ Instructor: Veronica Droser

The purpose of this course is to provide insight into communication about women’s health issues. This course will highlight multiple perspectives of women’s health, including physical health, mental health, relational health, emotional health, and sexual health. The course will offer an exploration of current discourses of women’s health issues such as birth control, infertility, sexual assault, body shaming, and depression, with an eye toward evaluating and critiquing campaigns related to women’s health. 

HIST 83 (3 cr) Atlantic World: 1400-1800 (GH)

Class #26651 ~ MoWeFr 1:25PM - 2:15PM ~ Instructor: Asheesh Siddique

This course will examine the formation of the Atlantic World through examining the interactions between Africans, American Natives, and European empires from the fifteenth through the end of the eighteenth century. We will explore the role of people, pathogens, plants, animals, ideas, and institutions in forming societies and cultures across a vast geographic expanse, and how the transformation of these communities across four centuries through migration, settlement, war, and trade helped forge the modern world.

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

Class #17591 ~ TuTh 12:05PM - 1:20PM ~ 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.

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