Courses Offered in Fall 2022 | Freshman Seminar Program

Courses Offered in Fall 2022

These seminars are open only to students who will be freshmen in the spring 2021 semester. For the most current information including location of the class, see UNCGenie on the web: (TBA means To Be Announced) We encourage students not to sign up for a seminar without first reading the course description and not to sign up for more than one seminar.  Talk with your advisor about registering for a seminar.

**Reasoning and Discourse: Written Communication also carries credit equivalent to ENG 101. You may not receive credit for both FMS 115 and ENG 101.

Mysteries of Rhetoric Revealed

FMS 115-02
M, W, F | 10-1050 PM
MAC: Written Communication
Instructor: Carole-Anne Morris

In this course, we will examine the mystery genre through a rhetorical lens in order to discover the ways in which rhetorical considerations drive mysteries. We will also consider the links (and differences) between information and evidence and think about how these frameworks can help us navigate the complexities of the Information Age.

Storying Our Lives: Life Writing as Public Action

FMS 115-03
M, W, F | 12:00 – 12:50 AM
MAC: Written Communication
Instructor: Abby Bryan

Storying Our Lives: Life Writing as Public Action is a course designed to introduce you to genres of writing that involve personal and lived experience—genres such as the personal essay, autobiography, autoethnography, and biography. Through the study of these “life writing” genres, we will explore what it means to “story” our lives and consider the possibilities and limitations of telling another person’s story. Together, we will work to define “selfhood” and to understand the extent to which the self—ourselves as well as others’ selves—can be expressed through writing. Ultimately then, we will consider how the expression of the self—the storying of life—can be a form of public action. That is, we will consider what personal storytelling can do—what kind of social, political, and rhetorical work personal storytelling can accomplish. As we read and write across and within these life-writing genres, we will learn more about the art of writing and of living by sharing our stories with each other.

Environmental Problems

FMS 115-04
T, R | 0930-1045 PM
MAC: Written Communication
Instructor: Kathleen Goodkin

What do the Flint water crisis, Syrian civil war, and Greensboro city council debates about local business development have in common? Locally and globally, human interactions with our environments are complex and diverse. This class will use reading and writing as tools in an interdisciplinary investigation of different kinds of environmental problems and solutions. We will explore the ways our lives depend on the places we live and work, looking at the intersections of history, literature, rhetoric, economics, politics, science, geography, and indigenous and ancestral knowledge systems. Come learn more about the world we have made and gain tools to help build a more just and sustainable future.

Connecting Through Relationships

FMS 116-01
T, R | 11- 12:15 PM
MAC: Oral Communication
Instructor: Erin Cassidy

Relationships are a cornerstone of life, and serve as a way to connect with others. This class prompts students to communicate with confidence and competence in all relationships (with partners, friends, family, and co-workers). Students will critically analyze relationships portrayed in the media and reflect on those in their own lives, which will allow them to improve their interpersonal skills and increase their communication competence in everyday social exchanges. Students will then develop their research and oratory skills by studying these topics and delivering extemporaneous speeches on the selected subject matter, connecting their experiences, our world, and theory.


FMS 116-02
M, W  | 2-3:15 PM
MAC: Oral Communication
Instructor: Marianne LeGreco

Blacks and the Environment 

FMS 117-01
T, R | 9:30 – 10:45 PM
MAC: Diversity and Equity
Instructor: Noelle Morrissette 

This freshman seminar, taught face-to-face, provides an examination of U. S. Black’s experience and agency in relation to systems and structures that have produced, and continue to produce, ideas of difference. We will explore how Black people have addressed the environment and created forms of agency through the social organization, writing, protest, and/ or policy intervention. Topics may include Black labor and land ownership, Black migration patterns and urban policy, Black people in public recreational spaces, environmental policy, and disaster. We may also consider Black experiences in public history and memory, twenty-first-century social justice protest and the Black Lives Matter generation. Visual art, film, and social media posts may accompany the introduction of texts. 

Students additionally may have the opportunity to attend university lectures pertaining to the topic or take a day trip to a site/ sites designated by the course instructor. 

Black Women Writers and the Environment 

FMS 117-01
T, R | 12:30 – 1:45 PM
MAC: Diversity and Equity
Instructor: Sarah Cervenak 

This course argues that Black women writers are central to writing about the environment where environment refers to anything from policed homes and living rooms to forests to polluted cities. Toward that end, we will engage with post-1970s literature (novels, poetry, memoir) by Black women writers who raise important questions about the possibilities of the earth as a free, just, livable and living place.

Global Perspectives on Human Migration

FMS 134-01
T, R | 11:00 -12:15 PM
MAC: Global Engagement and Intercultural Learning
Instructor: Sarah Gates

In the modern era, tens of millions have migrated from their country of origin. Who are these people? Why are they migrating? What struggles do they endure in transit? What challenges do they face in a new country and culture? This course offers a historical overview of international migration and the global contexts in which migration takes place. We will then explore international migration through two ethnographically specific case studies: a case of irregular migration from Central America and an asylum case from China. These case studies will ground the class in human experience and then we will link that experience to wider global processes. What drives international migration at a global level? What is the role of political, economic, and social disparities? How do migrants move through the laws and politics of nation-states? How is migration tied to the global economy through legal and illegal enterprise? On a local level, what can the study of international migration teach us about ourselves and our communities, and lastly, what can the study of international migration teach us about the adaptation and persistence of culture and the human spirit?

Imposing Democracy

FMS 134-02
T, R | 14:00 -15:15 PM
MAC: Global Engagement and Intercultural Learning
Instructor: William Zang

For four decades after WWII ended, the secretive Central Intelligence Agency played a crucial role in fighting the global Cold War against the Soviet Union. Through a variety of methods ranging from election interference and propaganda to assassinations and coup d’états, The Central Intelligence Agency intervened in the internal affairs of dozens of countries, from France and Chile to Nicaragua, Italy, Guatemala, Indonesia, and more. These operations were usually kept secret from the American public for years or even decades after they took place, often only coming to light through leaks, whistleblower revelations, and official investigations.  In this course, we will discuss why and how the CIA toppled foreign governments and the real-world repercussions of CIA operations for targeted societies. We will begin by firmly grounding ourselves in the history of the Global Cold War. Afterward, we will discuss different cases of CIA intervention around the world. To do this we will engage with secondary sources, documentary film, journalism, and primary sources, including declassified documents from the CIA itself.

Just how much influence did the CIA have on the history of the 20th century?

Literature, Empathy, and Healing

FMS 135-01
T, R | 9:30 -10:45 PM
MAC: Health and Wellness
Instructor: Sarah Krive

 If read critically, literature can contribute to wellness by helping us heal ourselves and others. Human beings are inherently social creatures. We crave connection and interaction with others, but of course, our relationships can be fraught. In most situations, someone wields power or authority over another. What does it mean, then, to be an imperfect human; one who gets sick, falls ill, experiences maladies physical or psychological? How do we treat each other then? This course argues that health and wellness are inherently social; they derive, in part, from an individual’s willingness to discover and act from a place of empathy. This willingness is part and parcel of the medical profession, or at least it should be. Healing means to “make whole,” such that a healed person is one who is able to participate fully in life and indeed flourish. But what is healing? What if the healers are themselves wounded? One of the best ways to consider these issues is through the reading and discussion of literary fiction. The greatest writers delve deeply into human relationships and can help us examine and understand how, in therapeutic encounters and in everyday life, we treat each other, and how our stance (empathetic or not) and actions can contribute to healing. Finally, since we live in a world where artificial intelligence will quite soon mean the creation of sentient machinery, we will also consider the limits and boundaries of human empathy for the post-human. This course embeds within it a required four-week mini-course in somatic (bodily) practices that contribute to centering and mindfulness.

Religion and Food

FMS 135-02
T, R | 08:00 -09:15 PM
MAC: Health and Wellness
Instructor: Ashlee Andrews

In this course, we will explore how religious foodways and notions of wellness affect and inform how religious practitioners conceptualize and achieve wellness. To do this, we will comparatively examine a variety of Hindu, Jain, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim foodways and notions of wellness. We will appraise and compare how each tradition conceptualizes wellness and evaluates eating, feeding, overeating, dieting, and fasting to promote or impede wellness as conceived by each tradition. Finally, we will identify our personal foodways and notions of wellness and consider the relationship between the two.

Are We What We Eat? The Psychology of Eating

FMS 135-03
T, R | 03:30 -04:45 PM
MAC: Health and Wellness
Instructor: Jasmine DeJesus

Food is both a necessary and enriching part of the human experience. We eat not only for survival and health but also for enjoyment and social connection. In this course, students will engage with a variety of sources, including psychology journal articles, book chapters, podcasts, documentaries, and recipes, that highlight the diverse psychological contributions and consequences of eating. Topics may include eating in infancy, family food dynamics, food marketing, health interventions, food insecurity, social influences on food selection, moral and environmental considerations in food choice, and myths about nutrition, food choice, and health.

The Politics of Modern Sports

FMS 150-01
T, R | 08:00 -09:15 PM
MAC:  Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Instructor: Mark Moser

This course will deal in large measure on international athletic competitions (primarily the Olympic Games) but will also examine impactful sports issues within the United States such as the desegregation of major professional sports leagues, Title IX issue.

War and Conflict

FMS 170-01
T, R | 11-1215 PM
MAC: Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Social and Behavioral Sciences
Instructor: Leigh Sink

It has been estimated that there has been a war somewhere in the world 94% of the time since the dawn of civilization. Why does mankind periodically organize himself for armed conflict and warfare? This course will begin by asking these questions and try to answer them through an examination of the United States’ involvement in war and conflict over the last hundred years.

Advances in Genetics

FMS 183-01
T, TH | 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
MAC: Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Natural Sciences
Instructor: Austin Craven

Meet Helen Obando, a Hispanic 16-year-old who is now featured in a new TV series from The New York Times because she is the youngest person in the U.S. to have her DNA reset in an attempt to cure her sickle cell disease, a genetic blood disorder that can cause strokes, organ damage, and intense pain. Gene therapies, in general, are advancing and CRISPR/Cas 9 has been used in different laboratories in the US and abroad. In August 2017 scientists fixed a heart disease mutation in human embryos using CRISPR/Cas 9. A little more than one year later, a Chinese scientist claimed that he created the world’s first genetically edited babies using the same method. Now we know that there are consequences of using CRISPR/cas9. The reality presented in the 1997 sci-fi movie GATTACA is no longer distant from our current lives and more than ever Genetics advancements have social, ethical, and political consequences. What are the consequences for your identity? Do you really know who you are: are you familiar with genetic tests as 23andme? How much do you want to know? How much do you want others to know about your genetic profile? While most Americans are optimistic about the use of genetic information to improve health, many are concerned that genetic information may be used by insurers and employers to deny, limit or cancel their health insurance and to discriminate against them in the workplace. How has genetics changed the food you eat? Are you familiar with the science behind genetically modified foods and how countries see them differently? Did you know that your food has always been genetically modified? In this course, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a new era where genetic information is part of our daily lives and may drastically change the choices you make and how they will impact your life.

Insects and People

FMS 183-02
T, TH | 0930 – 1045 PM
MAC: Critical Thinking and Inquiry in the Natural Sciences
Instructor: Babara Amoah

Insects are the most diverse form of animal life and can be found in every ecological niche.  

The overall objective of the course, Insects and People, is to ensure that students are introduced to the fundamental importance of insects and how entomology (the study of insects) can be applied across disciplines.  This is an introduction to the study of insect evolution, diversity, structure, and biological functions as well as an overview of how insects impact various areas of human society.  This course will introduce students to the diversity of insects, the impacts they have on society, and their importance within ecosystems, focusing on the various applications of entomology including forensic, medical, agricultural, household, and structural urban entomology.