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First-Year Seminars

Professors Baker, Corrie, Cummiskey, Fra-Molinero, Johnson, Nigro, Okrent, Read, and Schlax; Associate Professors Aburto Guzmán, Eames, Fatone, Hill, and Maurizio; Visiting Associate Professor Perkins; Assistant Professors Diamond-Stanic, Faries, Kazecki, Mountcastle, and Otim; Visiting Assistant Professor Fox; Lecturers Alcorn, Beck, Brogan, Cameron, Coulombe, Miller, Moodie, Palin, Petrella, Sale, Smith, Wallace, and Wright



All first-year students are strongly encouraged to enroll in a first-year seminar. Each first-year seminar offers an opportunity for entering students to develop skills in writing, reasoning, and research that will be of critical importance throughout their academic career. Enrollment is limited to fifteen students to ensure the active participation of all class members and to permit students and instructor to concentrate on developing the skills necessary for successful college writing. Seminars typically focus on a current problem or a topic of particular interest to the instructor. First-year seminars are not open to upperclass students. They carry full course credit.

First-year students should consult the Schedule of Courses (https://dexter.bates.edu:4500/bprod/bwckschd.p_disp_dyn_sched) for information on which of the following first-year seminars are offered in 2017-18.

Courses

FYS 127. Experimental Music.

Whether in classical, jazz, popular, or category-defying music styles, experimentalists challenge inherited definitions and social conventions of music by favoring expanded sound sources, unconventional formal structures, and radical performance practices. This seminar examines the roots, history, and musical documents of American experimental music from Benjamin Franklin to Frank Zappa. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] H. Miura.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 135. Women in Art.

Beginning in the 1970s in response to the feminist movement, the investigation of women's roles in the production of visual culture has expanded the traditional parameters of art history. Now a leading method of analysis, this approach provides exciting insights into fields ranging from Egyptian sculpture to contemporary photography. This seminar discusses women as subjects, makers, and patrons. Topics include Egyptian royal imagery, women as Renaissance subjects and painters, Venus in Renaissance marriage paintings, women as Impressionist painters and subject matter, artists and models in the twentieth century, and women in the New York art world since World War II. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] R. Corrie.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 150. Hamlet.

This course undertakes an intensive study of Shakespeare's play, with particular emphasis on the various ways it has been interpreted through performance. Students read the play closely, view several filmed versions, and investigate historical productions in order to arrive at a sense of Hamlet's changing identity and enduring importance. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Andrucki.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 177. Sex and Sexualities.

This course studies the representation of sex and sexualities, both "queer" and "straight," in a variety of cultural products ranging from advertising and novels to music videos and movies. Topics may include connections between sex and gender queerness suggested by the increasingly common acronym LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer); the advantages and inadequacies of using such labels; definitions and debates concerning pornography, sex education, public sex, and stigmatized sexual practices such as BDSM; the interrelations between constructions of sexuality and those of race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and class; and the necessities and complexities of ensuring consent. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] E. Rand.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 190. The Changing Climate of Planet Earth.

The climate of Earth is constantly changing over vast spatial and temporal scales, from short-term and local to long-term and global. The geological records for the mid-latitudes of North America, for instance, illustrate periods alternately dominated by tropical reefs, lush coal forests, glaciers, and expansive arid deserts. This seminar investigates the evidence, possible causes, and impacts of climate change through studies of climate records ranging from glacial stratigraphy, tree rings, written historical accounts, and recent instrumental data. A special focus is directed toward understanding the possible effects of a human-induced global warming and its potential environmental, societal, and political impacts. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [W1] M. Retelle.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 191. Love and Friendship in the Classical World.

The ancient meanings of friendship and the ways in which friendship was distinguished from love are the subject of this course. Students read and analyze ancient theorists on friendship and love, such as Plato and Cicero, and also texts illustrating the ways in which Greek and Roman men and women formed and tested relationships within and across gender lines. The topics under discussion include: friendship as a political institution; notions of personal loyalty, obligation, and treachery; the perceived antithesis between friendship and erotic love; the policing of sexuality; friendship, love, and enmity in the definition of the self. All discussions use the contemporary Western world as a reference point for comparison and contrast. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] D. O'Higgins.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 203. Family Stories.

What is a family? What are the stories that are told about family and how do they betray experiences that are at once culturally specific and often universal in their telling? How are we comforted and sustained by constructs of family; how are we limited, for example, by heteronormative and class-based assumptions that constrain the expression of household and kinship? In this course, students explore family stories in various genres (film, memoir, novel, television) to deepen their understanding of how this formative human experience is played out in a broad diversity of cultures. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] K. Read.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 236. Epidemics: Past, Present, and Future.

The course covers principles of epidemiology, mechanisms of disease transmission, and the effects of diseases on society throughout history. The emergence of new diseases, drug resistance, and biological terrorism are discussed. Social effects of bubonic plague, typhoid, tuberculosis, smallpox, yellow fever, Ebola, Marburg, AIDS, hantaviruses, and Legionnaires' Disease are studied. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [W1] P. Schlax.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 249. Global Economy and Nation-State.

What is the global economy? What are nation-states? And what is the relationship between the global economy and the nation-state? This course first examines the historical formation of nation-states and then reflects on their performance and integrity since the end of the cold war, with the rise of neoliberalism, globalization, and regional trade blocs such as the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement. Special attention is given to issues of sovereignty and democracy, the role of international financial institutions, and the way nation-states are likely to evolve in the coming decades. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] F. Duina.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 262. Stealth Infections.

Specific microorganisms, including some bacteria, viruses, and prions, have recently been associated with specific chronic, long-term diseases. Some of these diseases, termed "stealth infections," include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, ulcers, cervical cancer, obsessive compulsive disorder, coronary artery disease, diabetes, and Crohn's disease. In this seminar, students explore the links between microorganisms and these particular diseases and consider several questions: What is the scientific evidence linking microorganisms with these stealth infections? Have the organisms co-evolved with their human hosts? How are the organisms transmitted? Can we control them? What might be the public health impact of such stealth infections? Not open to students enrolled in BIO 127. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [W1] K. Palin.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 266. Fakers, Forgers, Looters, Thieves.

Beyond the public face of museums lies the complex world of collecting: the art market, art law, and their sinister underside, art crime. In the last decade, as victims of the Holocaust have sought to recover collections looted by the Nazis, these issues have become more visible, but in fact they are myriad and confront every curator, dealer, collector, and art historian. This course explores a wide range of topics in their legal and ethical contexts from the work of famous forgers such as Joni and Van Meegeren to the looting of Asia and Africa by colonial powers, the clandestine excavation and illegal trading of antiquities around the world, and the pillaging of museums by Russian, German, and American soldiers during World War II. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] R. Corrie.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 271. Into the Woods: Rewriting Walden.

On 4 July 1845, Henry David Thoreau declared his independence and moved to a shack in the woods near Walden Pond. Ever since, many individuals have repeated his experiment in one form or another. This course examines a number of these Thoreauvian experiments and their historical context. Why do these individuals take to the woods? What do they find there? What do their experiences say about American culture and society? In seeking answers to these questions, students read a variety of literary, historical, and autobiographical texts. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] G. Lexow.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 274. Physics in the Twentieth Century/Lab.

An introduction to great twentieth-century discoveries in physics, including the wave-particle duality of light and matter, quantum effects, special relativity, nuclear physics, and elementary particles. Laboratory experiments such as the photoelectric effect and electron diffraction are incorporated into the seminar. This seminar can substitute for PHYS 108 and is designed for students who had a strong background in high school physics. Not open to students who have received credit for PHYS 108. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [L] [Q] [W1] N. Lundblad.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 288. Luck and the Moral Life.

Our lives are deeply subject to luck. Many human needs are subject to fate yet are necessary not only to a good life, but to a morally virtuous life as well. This course explores the relationship between luck and morality, beginning with the metaphysical problem of free will. Then, turning to Aristotle's virtue ethics, students examine the role friendship plays in the moral life and the way it protects us from bad luck. Finally, they look at Kant's attempt to make morality "safe" from luck alongside Euripides' Hecuba, which dramatically highlights the issue of whether virtue can ever be immune from misfortune. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] S. Stark.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 297. The Idea of Europe.

What is Europe? Is it the cradle of all that is civilized and cultured, or the blood-soaked ground of empires, genocidal despots, and revolutions? The twenty-first century is witnessing the most peaceful attempt ever at creating a unified economic, political, legal, and social entity that is European. But is a European cultural identity necessary for the success of a unified Europe, and can one be created? Or is an imagined European community as illusory as Tito's ill-fated attempt to create a multiethnic, multi-religious, multi-linguistic Yugoslav community? In the seminar, students examine, critique, and propose alternatives to many of the received ideas about what it means to be European. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] R. Cernahoschi.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 300. Exploring Education through Narratives.

In this seminar, stories, once the primary way knowledge passed from one generation to another, are the basis for examining educational topics and issues. Students read fictional, biographical, autobiographical, and other narratives to learn more about some aspect of education and/or schooling. Topics include teachers and teaching; teacher/student roles; gender identity; students' experiences in school; and how race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, or other differences may cause some to feel like outsiders. Students conduct fieldwork and independent research. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] B. Sale.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 308. Searching for the Good Life.

What are the things that bring people happiness? Does marriage, for example, bring more happiness or unhappiness to those who choose it? Does wealth make people happy? If so, how much wealth is enough to ensure happiness? Is a productive career likely to bring happiness? How well do most individuals do at selecting the things that will bring them sustained happiness? Is happiness even the right yardstick to use in measuring the goodness of life? And at the end of life, what constitutes a good death? In this seminar, students grapple with these and related topics in regular discussions, projects, and papers. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Sargent.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 318. Through the Eyes of Children.

Is the experience of childhood universal or culturally specific? What do children from diverse French-speaking countries have in common? Children are often the least "acculturated" members of any particular society. What can we learn about culture from a child's perspective? These questions are probed by exploring childhood in a number of French-speaking countries and communities. Students examine (in English) a selection of narratives and films from the French-speaking world that feature the points of view of children. The course not only considers the ways in which narrative and film present childhood experiences in specific cultures, but also explores perspectives on issues such as family structure, sexual and gender orientation, child abuse, and colonialism. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Rice-DeFosse.
Concentrations

FYS 324. The Celtic World: Archaeology and Ethnohistory.

Today, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany are often considered "Celtic" lands. This label evokes a series of related languages, music, and other artistic traditions with shared histories, but the origins of Celtic cultures are more complex. Over two thousand years ago Celtic peoples were the first iron-using populations to inhabit a broad area from Spain to Romania. They were farmers, herders, mariners, and craftspeople who cooperated, competed, and founded many settlements, raised many fortresses, and developed diverse and lively arts. Roman armies and migrating Germanic tribes fought hard to subdue the Celts, and they succeeded in many places. This seminar discusses the archaeological, documentary, and ethnological evidence of Celtic societies from their early origins to their recent histories. Enrollment limited to 15. (European.) [W1] G. Bigelow.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 326. Choices and Constraints.

Are humans free to chart the course of their own lives, or are their fates predestined by their social locations? This seminar explores the tension between personal agency and social forces that structure human lives. The history of the intellectual debate over the roles of agency and structure frame classroom discussion of ways in which personal experiences are shaped by both social structures and systems of inequality based on race/ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Acknowledging the role of individuals as agents of social change, students grapple with their responsibilities in perpetuating and transforming social institutions such as family, religion, health care, and the workplace. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] H. Taylor.

FYS 327. Katahdin to Acadia: Exploring Maine Geology/Lab.

This course introduces students to field geology by exploring many geologic landscapes in Maine. This hands-on, field-oriented course on the 500-million-year-old geologic history of Maine includes one required daylong fieldtrip (Mount Washington or Vinalhaven Island), and one required overnight weekend trip (Acadia National Park or Baxter State Park). Local half-day trips to Streaked Mountain, the Poland Spring, Sunday River, Morse Mountain, Seawall Beach, Pemaquid Point, and Rangeley round out the field excursions. Field trips involve strenuous hiking and/or sea kayaking in a range of weather conditions. Learning to read maps and recording observations in field notes and sketches form a major focus of the course. Not open to students who have received credit for GEO 107. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [L] [Q] [W1] J. Eusden.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 336. Nanotechnology Project: Manipulating Atoms/Lab.

A hands-on introduction to the interdisciplinary field of nanotechnology—technology based on nanometer-scale structures. Students break into groups and become "specialists" to complete a class-wide collaborative nanotechnology project. Possible projects include designing and building a simplified scanned probe microscope, and fabricating and characterizing nanostructures. Students learn to identify and organize the tasks required of a long-term project. Clear and effective communication is emphasized as students work within and among groups, give brief talks, and write more formal papers. No previous experience is assumed, but the collaborative nature of the seminar requires the full and active participation of all participants. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [L] [W1] M. Côté.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 337. Intercultural Musical Experience.

How do "first" musical experiences affect individuals and societies? Has a single hearing of any music transformed the way one views oneself and the world? These questions are perhaps most dramatically addressed in the cross-cultural musical encounter. From the age of "discovery" to the present day, the intercultural musical experience has been a focus of aesthetic pleasure, artistic exchange, colonial and racist constructions, identity formation, missionary zeal, and exoticist fantasy. In this seminar, students explore cross-cultural musical encounters from a variety of perspectives and are introduced to the concept of "music as culture." Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] G. Fatone.

FYS 342. Revolution and Constitution.

This course considers three moments in history when citizens rejected the political system under which they lived and created new constitutions to govern the exercise of power in their homelands. The cases considered vary from year to year but include ancient Athens, Ming Dynasty China, the French Revolution, colonial New York, and the British partition of India. After introductory sessions, students play the role of historical actors, allied in factions, during the revolutions and constitutional congresses they study, in an attempt to reenact (and react to) the historical moment. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Imber.

FYS 345. Classical Myths and Contemporary Art.

Movies, comic books, sculpture, painting, poems, and graffiti are some of the ways that modern societies share stories to discuss important cultural values. Not surprisingly, modern artists often invoke ancient myths, which once served a similar function. In this course, students explore the ways in which myths give members of a society, whether ancient or modern, meaningful tools to describe and explore issues, values, and conflicts. Students study ancient myths about figures such as Medea, Pygmalion, Hermaphroditus, Actaeon, and Persephone. They then collect and consider their modern versions in different media. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] L. Maurizio.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 352. The Identity of Persons.

It is common enough to hear that being Irish, or being a woman, or being African American, or being a professor, is central to some person's identity. But what is a person? What is a person's identity? And how can something like ethnicity, or gender, or race, or profession be central—or fail to be central—to a person's identity? This seminar encourages consideration of these questions by introducing students to the long philosophical tradition of reflection on the concept of a person, the notion of identity, and the role that self-description plays in constituting persons and their identity. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Okrent.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 362. Biomedical Ethics.

The rapid changes in the biological sciences and medical technology have thoroughly transformed the practice of medicine. The added complexity and power of medicine has in turn revolutionized the responsibilities and duties that accompany the medical professions. This course explores the values and norms governing medical practice from multiple perspectives, including Asian and Islamic approaches. Topics include the rights and responsibilities of health care providers and patients; the justification for euthanasia; and the problems of access, allocation, and rationing of health care services. Not open to students who have received credit for PHIL 213. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] D. Cummiskey.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 369. Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists.

The sub-prime mortgage crisis, the Enron scandal: What hath capitalism wrought? Our everyday economic interactions are within the framework of capitalism. Undergraduate study in economics typically takes this social system as given while rarely shining critical light on it. Apologists tout capitalism's attendant political freedom and wealth accumulation; detractors complain about its resulting materialism and injustice in the distribution of wealth. Economists, social philosophers, and theologians have critically examined capitalism. Students in this course read and discuss works by some of these authors and prepare their own papers arising from their study of capitalism. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] G. Perkins.

FYS 376. Community Engagement, Social Justice, and Social Change.

Debates about inequalities linked to race, class, gender, sexuality and global locations surround us in politics, news, and social media. In this seminar, students explore these social inequalities with a particular focus on community-engaged efforts to advance social change and the role of colleges and universities in those efforts. Students partner with local organizations oriented toward social justice and social change in Lewiston, addressing issues such as educational equity, public health, immigrant and refugee inclusion, housing justice, and family opportunity. Discussions and assignments introduce students to the history and daily life of the local community, and connect what they learn with their partner organizations to readings about social inequality, social change, and the potential contributions of colleges and their students in promoting the public good. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] E. Kane.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 381. Visualizing Identities.

This course examines definitions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and culture in diverse visual materials. Students think critically about the ways that we articulate and interpret self and other. Each week students analyze examples of visual culture as a means to evaluate constructions, experiences, and interpretations of identities. Themes explored include gender, feminisms, masculinities, race and ethnicity, globalism, and cultural identity. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] A. Bessire.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 383. Imaginative Writing.

In this seminar, students explore imaginative writing both as noun—literature to be examined—and as verb—a skill to practice. By reading and discussing a wide range of poetry and prose from Emily Dickinson to Dave Eggers, students develop analytical and aesthetic awareness. Through research and critical writing on literary subjects of their choice, they practice their scholarly skills. By writing and discussing in workshop their own work as well as critically describing its relationship to the work of professional writers and poets, students enter the conversation in the field, as critics and as writers and poets. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] R. Strong.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 385. Power and Authority in Latin America through Film.

From Pre-Columbian times to the present, Latin America's leaders have ruled in diverse ways. Monarchs, caudillos, sultans, totalitarian leaders, the military, a hegemonic party, and even drug lords have governed the region. How is it possible for an individual or small group of leaders to dominate an entire country without democratic consent? What mechanisms of political control do authoritarian leaders employ? How do they gain legitimacy? Students explore these questions through film, readings, writing assignments, and discussion. A final project explores the ways in which a political actor in students' local environment exercises power and authority over them. Enrollment limited to 15. (Identities and Interests.) (Institutional Politics.) [W1] C. Pérez-Armendáriz.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 393. DiY and Mash-up Culture.

How did consumption become creative? How did musicians associated with punk, hip hop, electronica, and dub reggae create new art from the discarded refuse of late twentieth-century life? This course takes up the do-it-yourself ethic as a defining impulse in contemporary musical culture, informing the democratic amateurism of punk, the "found sound" innovations of the experimental avant-garde, and the collage aesthetic of the digital "mash-up." Students explore Lawrence Lessig's Creative Commons, with its challenges to copyright law, and engage with the work of John Cage, Bikini Kill, Brian Eno, the Raincoats, M.I.A., and Girl Talk, among others. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] D. Chapman.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 395. The Sporting Life.

Sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Cup, Olympic Games, and March Madness suggest the magnitude of importance of sports in many people's lives. The fact that so many people so passionately engage in sports as participants and spectators also indicates its significance. The import of sport can be considered from a myriad of perspectives, from the social and natural sciences to the humanities. In this interdisciplinary course, students consider a variety of sources including academic articles, personal memoir, fiction, film, and observation. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] S. Langdon.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 400. The United States in the Middle East.

Since the late eighteenth century American diplomats, sailors, merchants, and missionaries have been involved in the Middle East and North Africa. This course examines the history of the complex relations between the United States and the Middle East over the last two centuries. How have American perceptions of the Middle East changed over time? How has U.S. involvement influenced state formation, regime consolidation, and people's daily lives in the region? What were the major successes and failures of American foreign policy in the region? Students explore these questions through a variety of sources, including memoirs, documentaries, and U.S. diplomatic documents as well as scholarly books and articles. Enrollment limited to 15. (Governance and Conflict.) (Identities and Interests.) [W1] S. Aslan.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 401. Reading the Wild.

The "wild" indicates something beyond restraint or limit, an expression of innate freedom and self-willed design. Wild places, whether vast wilderness areas or small rural streams, are valued for sometimes conflicting reasons: traditional use for hunting and gathering, conservation for biodiversity, aesthetic appreciation, and even their creating a culturally unifying image of diverse landscapes in a nation. This course both examines depictions of the wild in literary texts and studies conflicts in creating and maintaining wilderness areas, parks, and monuments, with a focus on those in Maine. Students create portfolios of their writing and research on wild places. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Beck.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 402. Sound and Image.

The course begins with an introduction to the history of technologies that have linked sound and image. Students watch representative films from each decade since 1920 and learns about musical soundtracks, Foley sound effects, dialogue, and song as performed on screen. They explore the history of music videos as they have been and are used in popular culture. The course ends with a brief exploration of experimental sound/video installations, and individual production of creative video and soundtrack. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] W. Matthews.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 404. On the Road to Spain.

Paella, bullfights, flamenco, castles, the Inquisition, gypsies, and tapas. For over two centuries such images of Spanish culture have filled the American imagination and have inspired a variety of travelers, from Romantic poets to civil rights activists, foodies to film directors, to hit the road to Spain. Through the study of food, music, literature, journalism, film, and television, this course looks at the ways in which Spain, as a real and an imagined destination, has figured in shaping individual and collective identities on this side of the Atlantic. Issues related to travel and tourism, the activities of recording travel experiences, and the ways in which notions of race, gender, and nation determine the traveler's experience of Spain frame discussions of course materials and provide a foundation for written and oral assignments. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] D. George.

FYS 408. Identity: Self and Community.

Who am I? How is identity formed? Are we interconnected and, if so, in what ways? How does living within a community shape individual identity? In this course, students consider these questions from a variety of perspectives, and explore concepts such as "self," "other," and "interconnectedness" through readings, class discussion, writing, and regular community-engaged learning activities in Lewiston. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] E. Alcorn.

FYS 419. Tobacco in History and Culture.

This interdisciplinary seminar examines the role tobacco has played in shaping global political economies, cultures, and health. Students pay particular attention to how gender, race, class, and nationalism influence and have been influenced by tobacco. From the use of slave labor in seventeenth-century Chesapeake Bay colony to wooden Indians flanking the entrance of tobacco shops, to feminist slogans invoked to sell cigarettes, tobacco has functioned as a signifier and shaper of social norms and divides. Topics include labor and tobacco production, ethics of corporate power, the visual culture of tobacco, health and human rights, smoking and stigma, the global epidemiology of tobacco related illness, and tobacco regulation. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Plastas.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 420. Reading Lord of the Rings.

This course students read J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings with particular attention to its language, style, and context. Students examine how Tolkien, himself a student of medieval languages, used modern English (and Elvish) to construct an enduring world of fantasy. Close reading of the text is emphasized, with supplemental discussion of Tolkien's academic and cultural contexts, including his life at Oxford, his collaborative relationships with the Inklings, and the visual translation of his book in Peter Jackson's film trilogy. Not open to students who have received credit for CM/EN 111. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] S. Federico.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 422. Strangers in the House.

For many children, the first experience of difference occurs in their families. Children are born deaf to hearing parents, they are born with multiple severe disabilities to able-bodied parents, and they are born with Down syndrome. In Andrew Solomon's book Far from the Tree, he describes families whose children experience these and other differences. In this seminar, students use Solomon's book to examine the research, practice, and politics that surround particular developmental disabilities and the general questions about identity and community that they raise. Along with meeting in seminar, students work in community settings a few hours each week. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] G. Nigro.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 423. Humor and Laughter in Literature and Visual Media.

What is humor? How do we define what is funny? Is humor a universal phenomenon that works across cultures and different generations of readers and film viewers, or is it place- and time-specific? In this seminar students discuss various manifestations, strategies, and functions of humor in selected literary and visual narratives and they consider existing theories of humor and laughter. Open to students with a sense of humor. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] J. Kazecki.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 427. Ecopsychology: The Human-Nature Relationship.

Ecopsychology is concerned with the psychological dimensions of our relationship to the environment. As a developing and interdisciplinary field of inquiry, ecopsychology provides the opportunity to explore conceptions of self and nature, the perceived schism between humans and nature, and the psychological sources and repercussions of environmental degradation. In the context of these themes, students explore the cultural evolution of the Western mind, the psychology of climate change, and the role of perception, attention, and community in healing the human-nature relationship. Throughout, the fundamental question is: How can humans become more adapted and responsive to current ecological conditions? This course includes one required overnight field trip. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] L. Sewall.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 429. Thinking and Feeling.

Doing philosophy involves putting your beliefs up to rational scrutiny and examining your reasons for holding them. But our mental lives involve not just thinking and reasoning, but also feelings. These feelings can influence how we think, sometimes without us realizing that they do. In this course students ask what good reasoning is, examine when and how feelings impact our reasoning, and what we ought to think about this influence. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] L. Ashwell.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 430. U.S. Literature and Culture in the 1940s.

World War II brought out the heroic best in Americans, but it also exposed deep wounds in the social fabric. On the homefront women showed that they could work every kind of job formerly done by men, while African American men went off to fight a war for freedom, even though their own country treated them like second-class citizens. With an emphasis on race, gender, and sexuality, this course studies poets and novelists such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Chester Himes, and Carson McCullers, in addition to mass media artifacts such as movies, radio shows, magazines, and popular music. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] S. Dillon.

FYS 431. What's for Dinner?.

This course considers dinner as a lens through which students explore our food system. Topics include the co-evolution of food and the home, local food movements, organic vs. industrial farming practices, food politics, rise of the "foodies," and food and health. An emphasis is placed on food challenges and resources in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] L. Williams.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 432. Disney Demystified: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Magic Kingdom.

Students learn to discern America's contested beliefs and values by unearthing the cultural politics embedded in Disney productions, including the studio's mainstay, feature-length animated motion pictures. Such demystification entails delving beyond apparent surface messages to reveal underlying tensions, recurring contradictions, and even counter-hegemonic themes. With respect to the particular intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and nation, what distinguishes millennial popular culture from productions of the early twentieth century? What American cultural continuities do we detect? Given the corporation's covert messages on love and sex, individualism and freedom, pleasure and entertainment, violence and conquest, what are the implications of Disney's increasingly global touch? Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] E. Eames.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 433. Reimagining Europe in Contemporary Film.

Rack focus is a technique in which a filmmaker shifts focus in a single frame from a foreground object to one in the background or vice versa. The shift occurs simultaneously: the blurry object coming into focus as the clear object goes out of focus. Contemporary Europe is undergoing a social, political, economic, and cultural "rack focus" of its own. In this seminar students examine the twenty-first-century rearticulation of foreground and background in European society and culture through the medium of feature-length films. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] D. Browne.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 434. Remaking Movies: Art, History, and Politics.

In this seminar, students investigate a number of films and their remakes to discern how the historical and political moment of a film's production and release helps to frame its narrative material. In addition to considering these historical and political constraints, students analyze the ways in which various modes of production and industry standards contribute to a film's content. Students examine such films as 12 Angry Men, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Memento (and its Bollywood remake, Ghajini), and The Manchurian Candidate. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] J. Cavallero.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 436. Seven Deadly Sins.

The tradition of the seven deadly sins or capital vices has left a profound mark on Western culture and continues to inspire diverse cultural expressions. As a framework for understanding the root causes of human suffering, the tradition has broad application and appeal, even to the nonreligious. This course traces the tradition from the fourth century C.E. to the present, including attention to religion, philosophy, literature, art, and popular culture. Students explore the usefulness of the tradition for interpreting diverse individual and social phenomena, incorporating insights from a range of texts and images as well as fieldwork in the local community. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] D. Ray.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 437. What is Performance?.

In this course students think critically about performance in the arts from the point of view of makers, performers, audiences, and society. They attend and discuss live performance throughout the semester and explore historical and current ideas in performance from inside and out. By exploring a wide range of styles and genres, students learn who they are as audiences and as artists. Not open to students who have received credit for DN/TH 104. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] J. Fox.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 439. Defining Difference: How China and the United States Think about Racial Diversity.

"China's national minorities excel at singing and dancing." Such a broad generalization about ethnic groups could get someone fired in the United States. In China, this type of statement is touted as simple fact. In this seminar students compare U.S. and Chinese experiences with racial diversity and consider the uses the two countries make of ethnic categories. Are Americans being hypocritical in criticizing China on these issues? Does China's relative lack of diversity excuse attitudes that outsiders consider "racist"? Students read historical and contemporary sources and watch a popular Chinese TV show in translation, as they wrestle with and write about these provocative issues. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] N. Faries.

FYS 440. Roots of Nonviolence.

How does an ancient text urging a distraught warrior into battle spark a nonviolent resistance movement spanning continents and centuries? This text, the Bhagavad-Gita, inspired Thoreau at Walden Pond and Gandhi as a practical guide for daily living. Thoreau’s essay "Civil Disobedience" influenced Gandhi’s satyagraha movement and both men's lives and writings fueled Martin Luther King Jr.'s nonviolent struggle for civil rights. This seminar explores the legacy of these potent texts and powerful leaders and implications for moral life, democratic politics, and transformative social change. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] S. Smith.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 441. Volcanic Science.

Volcanic eruptions come in all sizes, from the single lava flow blocking a road in Hawaii to the event that could cause destruction on a global scale. Some volcanoes erupt continuously while others stay dormant for millennia. Beyond disastrous eruptions, volcanoes impact humans in a number of positive ways: volcanic soils are fertile, volcanic heat may be used as a source of energy, and volcanoes produce mineral deposits of economic value. This course explores the science behind volcanoes and volcanic eruptions through popular culture, lab activities, short field trips, and scientific literature. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] G. Robert.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 442. Shaking It Out: Writing and Critiquing Personal Narratives.

To "essay" means "to attempt; to try." This course offers students rigorous study and practice of the art of the creative nonfiction essay, looking specifically at the ways writers use creative impulses to write better textual critiques, and vice versa. Readings include classics from writers such as White, Angelou, Baldwin, Thompson, Dubus, Didion, and Wallace, and several contemporary American essays by emerging writers like Hilton Als, Leslie Jamison, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, and John Jeremiah Sullivan. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] J. Anthony.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 443. Heroes or Villains? Columbus and Fidel (Castro).

Christopher Columbus' momentous voyage in 1492 ushered in the modern world in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. As a historical figure, Columbus has been the object of much myth making, both positive and negative. Likewise, no other politician in Latin American history has been better known or more controversial than Fidel Castro. Columbus and Fidel, as he is known in Cuba, shared a utopian view of their world and the future of humanity. This seminar approaches the two figures by studying their own writings, the opinions of their contemporaries, and the ideological constructions that see them as heroes and also as negative figures in history. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] B. Fra-Molinero.
ConcentrationsInterdisciplinary Programs

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 444. Landscapes of Maine.

The landscapes of Maine—from mountains and forests to human settlements and the coast—have changed dramatically through time. This course explores those landscapes and their changes over time scales ranging from millennia to just days. Students are introduced to the observational skills of naturalists and the analytical tools and materials used by scholars to understand both landscapes and how they change over time. Several field trips to local sites are required. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] H. Ewing.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 445. The Nature of Spirituality.

What do people mean when they claim to be "spiritual but not religious"? Why do rivers and sunsets, trees and mountaintops so often come to be associated with spiritual power and connection to a greater reality? This course invites students to explore such questions and phenomena through shared reading of a variety of scriptures, naturalist writers, and mystics; through producing their own formal essays, reviews, and creative reflections; and through experiential learning in a more-than-human world. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] C. Baker.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 446. The Communication Equation: A Mathematical Media Tour.

Mathematics is everywhere in the news these days, from basic statistics to more sophisticated uses to describe economics, science, and mathematical breakthroughs. Too often we accept numbers and data as the truth, without giving them a second thought. It is therefore important to develop critical reading skills. As creators of information, it also is important to learn to use mathematics and data to support arguments and undertake true scientific reporting. In this course students read breaking news articles and longer features to learn effective uses of mathematics in journalism. They put these best practices to use by writing articles, blogs, and radio pieces. Additional topics may include mathematics in other media such as fiction writing, television, movies, and art. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] A. Salerno.

FYS 447. Holocaust on Stage.

This seminar studies the award-winning Polish play Our Class, by Tadeusz Słobodzianek, which is based on the 2001 book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland by Jan T. Gross. This controversial book explores the July 1941 massacre of Polish Jews by their non-Jewish neighbors in the small town of Jedwabne during the Nazi occupation. The play raises a question of national collective memory in the aftermath of World War II. Students study the historical events on which the play is based, and examine the dramatic structure of the text in the aspects of staging. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] K. Vecsey.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 449. Well-being and the Good Life.

What does it mean for a life to be a good one? Does it mean just that it is good for the person who lives it? Does it mean that it makes the world a better place? Or is a good life one that is made good for the person who lives it precisely because it is a life that makes the world a better place? From ancient times to the present, philosophers have tried to answer these fundamental questions of ethics. This course engages with these questions and with the arguments that philosophers have offered in trying to answer them. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] P. Schofield.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 450. Race, Justice, and American Policy in the Twenty-First Century.

Is America "post-racial"? Recent media focus on police shootings, wealth gaps, and ongoing debates about immigration suggest that race and inequality continue to shape life experiences of Americans in the twenty-first century. This seminar examines current policy issues, asking how public and private discourses and institutional practices—historical and modern—shape understandings of race and justice. Students consider how perceptions of race, ethnicity, and "colorblindness" are embedded in patterns of disparity and investigate alternatives that ordinary people—in small groups, work places, and social movements—and some political elites are posing for more judicious policy to foster equality and racial justice. Enrollment limited to 15. (Identities and Interests.) (Political Economy.) [W1] L. Hill.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 452. Football, Fútbol, Soccer: The Local Politics of a Global Game.

Football, fútbol, Fuβball, calcio—soccer in the United States—is a global game, with more nations participating in the World Cup than belong to the United Nations. The sport attracts the wealthiest as club owners and is played by even the poorest with nothing more than a round ball and a flat space. It has been blamed for precipitating ugly violence and credited for ethnic reconciliation. This course explores the politics of soccer, with an emphasis on how multiple identities—nationality, ethnicity, religion, class, gender—are expressed through soccer in the United States and around the world. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] J. Baughman.

FYS 453. The Science of Fiction.

Is it possible to dissolve a human body in a bathtub full of hydrofluoric acid? Or to grow enough potatoes on Mars to feed a person? Science is an important aspect of many modern television shows and movies, but it is not always clear whether the science is viable or not. This seminar focuses on the scientific theories and methods underlying science presented in fiction. Ultimately, students determine whether it is important for science to be viable in order for the fiction to be effective. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [W1] J. Koviach-Côté.

FYS 454. The Natural History of Maine’s Neighborhoods and Woods.

This course introduces students to the natural history of Maine by exploring the native mammals, fish, plants, and insects, with consideration on how humans have shaped Maine’s natural environments. One overnight trip to the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and one daylong trip to the Maine Wildlife Park are required. Relying upon natural history literature, poetry, and field guides related to Maine as a foundation, students utilize techniques in field studies to observe and document native wildlife and plants. A critical comparison of popular and scientific literature allows an evaluation of current and future health of Maine's natural habitats. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] B. Huggett.

FYS 455. Neuroscience Fiction.

What possibilities come with 100 billion interconnected neurons? What happens if we extend, hybridize, or even discard the wet and messy reality of our brains for synthetic alternatives? In this course, students use science fiction to probe the links between brain and behavior, ponder new psychosocial potentials, and challenge current notions of subjectivity and representation. Students explore concepts such as linguistic relativity, collective consciousness, noogenesis, cybernetic threat, the exocortex, psi powers, and digital immortality through literature and media. They are introduced to discourses of transhumanism, Afrofuturism, feminist utopia, and cyberpunk and its derivatives, and engage in their own speculative writing, design, and construction. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] N. Koven.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 456. This American Life, This American Death: A Cultural History of U.S. Execution.

From the spectacle of the public scaffold to the secrecy of the execution chamber, this course explores the changing theater and technologies of U.S. execution from the founding of the republic to the present. The course examines and assesses historical and contemporary social, political, and cultural norms through the changing ritual, performance, and lens of U.S. execution. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] C. Petrella.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 457. Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov: Reading and Contexts.

Dostoevsky’s final work is a novel about abandoned children and the quest for love, community, and justice. It is the novelist’s greatest articulation of the nature of evil and the possibility of embodied love. Students read the novel slowly, paying close attention to Dostoevsky’s brilliant structuring of this intense, polemical novel, and how he enters into dialogue with a range of sources, from Biblical texts and saints’ lives to icons, Romantic poetry, and political philosophy. Writing assignments build from close analysis of particular passages to a longer essay about one of the key questions posed by this great existential novel. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] J. Costlow.

FYS 459. Presidential Campaign Rhetoric.

This course is designed to introduce students to the rhetoric of presidential campaigns. Students explore the wide array of discourse surrounding presidential campaigns. Attention is paid to political speeches, ad campaigns, debates, news reporting (traditional and alternative), and the use of social media in campaigning. Special attention is paid to the evaluation of evidence and sources in the construction of political arguments and presidential image and the way these are complicated by various categories including race, class, gender, religion, and sexuality. Extensive knowledge of politics or prior campaigns is not required. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] S. Kelley-Romano.

FYS 460. Environmentalism, Social Justice, and Education.

It is widely believed that the environmental movement and the social justice movement are closely connected. Many of the same forces that lead to environmental degradation are also the root causes of social injustice. This course encourages students to debate emphatically and write persuasively about these connections as they are revealed locally in the Lewiston-Auburn area (including field research in the local community); nationally in cities like Flint, Michigan, and the fracking fields of eastern Ohio; and globally by considering the eco-militants of the oil-rich Niger River Delta in Africa. Enrollment limited to 15. (Community-Engaged Learning.) [W1] W. Wallace.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 461. Gut Microbiome: The Next Frontier.

The "gut microbiome" is a burgeoning frontier in medical research. Vastly out-numbering human cells, the diverse world of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses that inhabits our gut is being identified as a key player in moderating health. This seminar looks at how human behaviors, diets, and medications influence how microbes mediate mood, energy, resistance to infection, and overall health. Can we shape our own gut microbiome in a way that keeps us healthy? Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [W1] L. Brogran.

FYS 462. The Living Planet.

Earth is home to an amazing variety of living systems intricately connected to each other and to the environment. Over four billion years, organisms and their environments have co-evolved, at times undergoing drastic and abrupt changes. Many geologists term the current geological age as the Anthropocene because of the significant changes affected in large part by human systems, which, too, are rapidly changing. This course explores these major Earth systems, how they influence on another, and what their future holds. Students consider both the science behind changes in Earth's systems and existential questions about the ethics of human participation in and modification of these systems. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] R. Saha.

FYS 463. Ancient Greek Philosophy.

A study of the basic philosophical ideas underlying Western thought as these are expressed in the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Greek thought is discussed in its historical and social context, with indications of how important Greek ideas were developed in later centuries. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Okrent.

FYS 464. Knowledge, Mind, and World: Philosophy in the Age of Enlightenment.

This seminar considers the questions of 1) how we can come to have knowledge of the external world, 2) the nature of our own minds, and 3) the relation between minds and physical nature. These questions were discussed from the start of the scientific revolution and the birth of modern philosophy in the seventeenth century until the time of Kant, at the end of the eighteenth century. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Okrent.

FYS 465. Communicating Science to the Public.

The ability to effectively communicate science research to non-experts encourages sound public policy and is an essential skill for those interested in pursuing a career in science, journalism, or government. In this course, students critically evaluate primary literature in the biological sciences and consider various methods for communicating science research to public audiences through project-based learning exercises, including written blog posts, science journalism articles, and public presentations. Students become familiar with the scientific method of inquiry and examine how narratives and storytelling can be more effective for public engagement and comprehension of science than the information deficit model. Not open to students who have received credit for BIO 126. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] A. Mountcastle.

FYS 466. Math and the Art of M. C. Escher.

This course examines selected designs of M. C. Escher through the lens of mathematics. A study of Euclidean, spherical, and hyperbolic geometries allows students to analyze Escher’s art by exploring the rich geometric framework on which it is constructed. Additional topics include symmetry, frieze and wallpaper patterns, and tesselations. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] G. Coulombe.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 467. The Rise of Graphic Narratives: Paneling Morality's Discontents.

Why are graphic narratives popular? Why do they represent both individual imagination and cooperative creative communication? What do these multifaceted texts offer today’s techno-savvy reader? The juxtaposed storytelling units used in graphic narratives (verbal, visual, spatially fragmented time) cultivate a field of action characters whose "humanity" often displays the inconstancies found in notions of morality. The course examines how and why graphic narratives have risen from a popular comics medium to the literature of choice for questioning societies' moral scaffolds. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] C. Aburto Guzmán.

FYS 468. Beyond Nelson Mandela: Themes and Personalities in South African History.

Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after more than three centuries of white dominance. Today, he is considered the greatest African leader of the twentieth century. This popular perception, born of Mandela's charisma after walking out of jail and becoming president, cut out many actors and events in the history of South Africa. This course introduces students to these obscured actors and events. It begins by exploring the encounter between Europeans and Africans. It then examines the institutionalization of the apartheid state, and concludes by studing the reactions to, and defeat of, the apartheid state. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] P. Otim.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 469. Reconsidering the American Dream.

The dominant narrative of "the good life" in our society leads us on a path to adulthood many follow without question: higher education, career, a comfortable lifestyle, and the accumulation of wealth. This course examines the ecological, economic, and social implications of this narrative, and considers alternative conceptualizations of success through readings and discussions as well as community engagement with local farmers, makers, and homesteaders. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] E. Alcorn.

FYS 470. Life beyond Capitalism.

Ever-growing inequality and accelerating climate change have left many wondering if capitalist forms of economic organization are truly able to serve the well-being of our communities and ecosystems. But how else might we do things? Rather than seeking comprehensive models for future "economic systems," this course draws on tools from economic anthropology and geography to examine myriad, existing noncapitalist livelihood practices in contemporary industrialized societies. With a focus on Maine, and Lewiston-Auburn in particular, students explore the possibility that sustainable and cooperative forms of sustenance might already be emerging "between the cracks" to offer hopeful pathways forward in uncertain times. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] E. Miller.

FYS 471. Race, Gender, and Identity in STEM.

How do race, gender, and identity impact someone's decision to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? This course provides an introduction to stereotype threat, impostor syndrome, identity development, and the growth mindset, with an emphasis on strategies for success in STEM fields. Relevant topics include the history of science and its connections to colonialism, and barriers that have prevented STEM disciplines from achieving equity in terms of the demographic representation among scientists. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] A. Diamond-Stanic.

FYS 472. The Dice Are Cast: The Classical World through Analog Games.

How do tabletop games help us understand Homer? Can we gamify Virgil? How can a game evoke the experience of Roman colonialism or ancient slavery? If Zeus’ favored weapon is a +6 Short Spear, what does that say about modern understandings of Olympian gods? At the heart of these questions lies the role of texts in the transmission of cultural information. In this course, students analyze translated texts from the ancient world of Greece and Rome in parallel with modern analog games to examine the reception of knowledge about the past and its reproduction through tabletop play. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] H. Cameron.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations

FYS 473. How Do You Know That?.

Knowledge is a political, ethical, philosophical, and pragmatic problem. Skepticism carries an air of intellectual sophistication, but can easily halt conversation and inquiry. This seminar aims to provide a guide to thinking about knowledge with questions such as: What do we mean when we say we "know" something? What is the role of certainty and uncertainty, of evidence and logic, in the creation of knowledge? Several touchstones guide this intellectual journey: knowledge creation as a process of interaction between environment and individual; the power and peril of abstraction; and the ethics and psychology of knowledge and argument. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] B. Moodie.

FYS 474. The Literary Insect.

All generations of humankind have been keen to describe the habits and habitats of our small, formidable, creeping cousins. What makes bugs so interesting? Why does literature need them? Does our fascination with beetles, bees, and butterflies go beyond the fear and admiration that come from the tremendous differences between our bodies and theirs? This seminar looks at literature in many genres—fables, poems, novels, memoirs, and natural histories—to find out what humans have learned from the literary insect, and to ask further questions about bug life. Participants also venture outside to explore insect habitats nearby. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] M. Wright.

FYS 475. Theorizing the Ku Klux Klan.

This multidisciplinary course explores the origins and iterations of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in the United States from 1866 to the present. Drawing on the concepts, paradigms, and intellectual traditions of American cultural studies and African American studies, students consider the shifting narratives, the contested ideologies, and the regional and temporal convergences and divergences of the KKK from its founding to our contemporary moment. Students learn how to theorize the KKK through frameworks that prioritize questions of race, class, gender, sexuality, citizenship, religion, and health. Enrollment limited to 15. [W1] C. Petrella.
Interdisciplinary Programs

This course counts toward the following Interdisciplinary Program(s)

FYS 476. Coastal Hazards/Lab.

Humans have always lived along the world’s coastlines, yet constantly changing coastal landscapes and climate change, combined with increases in coastal populations, present a unique and challenging set of pressures for people and ecosystems at the boundary between land and sea. In this hands-on course, students explore the science of coastal hazards (e.g., erosion, sea level rise, storm events, tsunamis, and harmful algal blooms) by studying beaches, salt marshes, barrier islands, and coastal waters in a variety of settings. The laboratory/field component includes a weekend trip to Acadia National Park, and two late-return laboratories during the week to the Bates Morse Mountain Conservation Area and Saco Bay. The basic principles learned by studying Maine coastal systems facilitate exploration of coastal hazards in other parts of the world. Enrollment limited to 15. [S] [L] [W1] B. Johnson.
Concentrations

This course is referenced by the following General Education Concentrations