Courses Offered in Fall 2021 | Freshman Seminar Program

Courses Offered in Fall 2021

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: www.uncg.edu. (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.

College Connections

STAMPS

STAMPS students and faculty meet together to examine the interconnectedness of the S-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines, investigate career opportunities, and explore cutting-edge research. To this end, STAMPS provides a broad range of interdisciplinary lectures and programs, visits to scientific labs, and opportunities to network with other students to form a community of scientists.

  • FMS 100
  • 12:00 - 12:50 PM

Reasoning and Discourse: Written Communication

Also carries credit equivalent to ENG 101. You may not receive credit for both FMS 115 and ENG 101.

Lies the Internet Told Me… And How I Fought Back.

Instructor: Joseph Ross

The average American adult spends 24 hours a week on the Internet, but one in four is online almost constantly. While the web contains helpful information, allows us to connect with people around the world, and gives more of us a voice in public conversations, it is also littered with garbage: misleading and sensationalized headlines, clickbait, and downright falsehoods. Most of us think we can tell facts from fiction, but all of us have been fooled at one time or another in this age of information overload. This is why we need to practice navigating digital information, fact-checking claims on social media, evaluating evidence, and responsibly determining whom to trust. We need to fight back against the lies, and this course will show you how.

  • FMS 115-01
  • Online, Asynchronous
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MWC

“North Carolina! Come On & Raise Up:” NC Writers & Writings

Instructor: Michael Pittard

Any US state is more than just lines on a map— it’s also cultures, histories, politics, and power. In this course, we’ll examine the diverse voices of North Carolina writers from the mountains to the coast, including artists, activists, workers, and politicians. Going chronologically, we’ll look at historical documents and newspaper articles as well as songs, poetry, and fiction from North Carolina writers. In particular, we will look at how the writings of North Carolinians from past to present relate to issues of power, rhetoric, and justice. As the NC rapper Petey Pablo asks us, it’s time to raise up!

  • FMS 115-02
  • T, TH | 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MWC

“North Carolina! Come On & Raise Up:” NC Writers & Writings

Instructor: Michael Pittard

Any US state is more than just lines on a map— it’s also cultures, histories, politics, and power. In this course, we’ll examine the diverse voices of North Carolina writers from the mountains to the coast, including artists, activists, workers, and politicians. Going chronologically, we’ll look at historical documents and newspaper articles as well as songs, poetry, and fiction from North Carolina writers. In particular, we will look at how the writings of North Carolinians from past to present relate to issues of power, rhetoric, and justice. As the NC rapper Petey Pablo asks us, it’s time to raise up!

  • FMS 115-03
  • T, TH | 2:00 - 3:15 PM
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MWC

Visual Rhetoric in the Digital Age

Instructor: Matthew Phillips

How does what we experience through screens persuade us? How do content creators and sharers gain our views, our trust, even our money? Through an evaluation of various video genres and other visual texts, this freshman seminar will analyze the rhetorical strategies used by various content creators (broadly defined) to appeal to a potential audience and retain their viewership.

  • FMS 115-04
  • M, W, F | 1:00 - 1:50 PM
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MWC

Everything is Personal: A Study of the Memoir

Instructor: Matthew Armstrong

“So, why do we need a memoir?” asks the psychologist and memoirist, Liz Scott. “In this world, and in our country—where so many of us feel a lack of connection, where the challenges seem so large—writers who dare to tell the brutal, honest truth about their humanity offer us a gift.” This course proposes to study that gift and critically engage a popular and rapidly evolving literary form. The memoir is a branch of creative nonfiction. With tentacles in both the public and the private, such a storytelling form benefits, in the words of Rob Nixon, from a “robust adaptability, imaginative and political, as well as its information carrying capacity and its aura of the real.” In our class, we will study five memoirs, as well as critical materials that will raise a number of questions about narrative, rhetoric, genre, identity, and the future of literary studies.

  • FMS 115-05
  • Online, Asynchronous
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MWC

Reasoning and Discourse: Oral Communication

Creating / Communicating Identity

Instructor: Jessica Sullivan

How do you know who you are?  How do others know who you are?  We’ll be exploring the ways we create, interpret, and share our identities through discourse, nonverbal, and mediated communication. Do we create ourselves as members of society or does society create us?  Could both be true? We will examine theoretical perspectives on human identity, focusing on communicative processes.

  • FMS 116-01
  • Online, Asynchronous
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MOC

I’ve Got the Power!

Instructor: Eleanor L. Cowen

You communicate to the world about who you are in every aspect of your interactions.  This class will help you identify and shape the intentional and unconscious messages you send to yourself and others, critically evaluate the dynamics of human communication, and take control of who you want to be.  You have the power.

  • FMS 116-02
  • M, W | 3:30 - 4:45 PM
  • GEC: GRD
  • MAC: MOC

Literature

Dead Drunks: Literature Under the Influence

Instructor: Joe Dunne

Hemingway claimed that writers should “Write sober; edit drunk,” making a famous career of it. In Chekhov’s short stories, however, heavy drinkers always seem to be lazy or vicious. Alcohol and drinking have always been part of the human experience, but our outlook on it changes over time and place. How is alcohol understood through literature? How do writers relate to alcohol, and how does this influence their writing? Finally, how does literature written about and/or by “drunks” reflect the contemporary understanding of alcohol, its effects, and its uses, and how does that understanding change over time?

“Dead Drunks” will explore these questions and more, focusing on British, American, and Russian literature. We will primarily read short stories, along with one novel and one movie.

  • FMS 120-01
  • M, W, F | 11:00 - 11:50 AM

Philosophical, Religious, and Ethical Principles

Strange Expectations from the Bible

Instructor: Andrew Mbuvi

In this General Ed course, we will examine some of the commands, expectations and laws that the Bible expects its readers to adhere to and see how as 21st-century readers of the Bible we can make sense of otherwise crazy stuff in it. To guide us through this process we will be reading, A. J. Jacobs The Year of Living Biblically whose attempt at a literal adherence to the biblical regulations for a year often ends up with uproariously humorous results. As a non-practicing New York Jew reading the entire Bible for the first time, Jacob’s discoveries are illuminating and often poignant.

  • FMS 140-01
  • T, TH | 12:30 - 1:45 PM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GPR
  • MAC: MHFA

Religion and Science

Instructor: David McDuffie

This course is a study of the relationship between religion and science. Primary but not exclusive emphasis will be placed on the religion-science debates as they have developed in relation to modern science and understandings of Western theism. Attention will be devoted to the ways in which the fields of religion and science are variously understood from those within these traditions as well as from those who are commenting from a stated outside perspective. Entailed in this will be an analysis of the types of questions offered by scientific and religious individuals and communities. During the semester, we will explore a variety of viewpoints on this relationship in an attempt to arrive at a better understanding of the complexity of the interaction between religion and science in human culture. Particular attention will be devoted to the interaction of religion with evolutionary and ecological science as well as to the ways in which this interaction contributes to environmental concern. This emphasis will then be connected to the ways in which understandings of religion and science relate to cultural diversity and attempts to establish equality and equity in human cultures.

  • FMS 140-02
  • M, W, F | 10:00 - 10:50 AM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GPR
  • MAC: MHFA

Historical Perspectives

Human Migration & Globalization

Instructor: Sarah Gates

In the modern era, tens of millions of people 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 their destination? Are they moving from poverty and towards economic opportunity? Are they asylum seekers fleeing war and oppression? Increased border enforcement in the developed world has escalated thousands of deaths in the American Southwest and in the Mediterranean. Voters in many Western countries are electing politicians who promise even harsher policies. This course offers an overview of international migration and explores contemporary migration debates through two twenty-first 21st century case studies: 1) Central American immigration to the U.S. through the U.S./Mexico border and 2) Mediterranean and Middle East immigration to Europe after the Arab Spring with a focus on Syria.

  • FMS 150-01
  • Online, Asynchronous
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GHP, GPM
  • MAC: MHFA

The Historical Roots of the Contemporary South

Instructor: Susan Thomas

This course will concentrate on several overlapping themes regarding the social, political, and economic development of the Contemporary South, beginning with the end of the Civil War and continuing through to the present day. Through our discussions of primary and secondary source readings, we will seek out the voices of the common people as well as the voices of those in power. Themes covered will include the primacy of race, the significance of localism and tradition, the endurance of political conservatism, and the pervasiveness of religious underpinnings that continue to shape the South. We will also look at the ways the South began to change following WWII and examine how the region has influenced the rest of the country.

  • FMS 150-02
  • T, TH | 9:30 - 10:45 AM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GHP, GPM
  • MAC: MHFA

Black Freedom Dreams

Instructor: Tiffany Holland

What is freedom? Can freedom be boundless, or does it have limitations? Who can define it, and who protects it or polices it? Does it look like 1920s Harlem, Wakanda, the Mothership Connection, or worlds we have yet to imagine?  In this course, we will utilize black feminist thought, afro futurism, queer theory, and historical analysis to explore the ways in which black people in the United States have imagined freedom and their varied efforts to achieve it. We will evaluate how radical imagining, speculation, and dreaming can transform institutions and individuals and can push the boundaries of ideas of race, gender, sexuality, nation, belonging, and liberation.  We will draw heavily from history, literature, and the performing and visual arts to delve into these questions and issues. In addition to scholarly works, we will examine novels, art, film, and music.

  • FMS 150-03
  • T, TH | 3:30 - 4:45 PM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GHP, GPM
  • MAC: MHFA

Social and Behavioral Studies

Harry Potter and Developmental Psychology

Instructor: Kathleen Bettencourt

In this course, we will read the first three books of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Over time the Harry Potter series has become a cultural phenomenon and has appealed to child and adult audiences around the world. In addition to magic, adventure, and mystery, these books also contain themes and concepts from developmental psychology. As we follow Harry through the first three years of his journey, we will learn about the science of child development and connect it to Harry and his friends’ experiences at Hogwarts.”

  • FMS 170-02
  • T, TH | 12:30 - 1:45 PM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GSB
  • MAC: MSBS

War and Conflict

Instructor: Leigh Sink

It has been estimated that there has been a war somewhere in the world 94 percent% of the time since the dawn of civilization. Why does mankind periodically organize itself 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.

  • FMS 170-03
  • T, TH | 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GSB
  • MAC: MSBS

When the River Caught Fire

Instructor: Liz McNamara

How have Americans viewed the environment, historically and in the present? What do we mean by environmental policymaking? Who participates in creating policies on the environment? These are some of the most important questions we will explore in this course.”

  • FMS 170-04
  • M, W, F | 10:00 - 10:50 AM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GSB
  • MAC: MSBS

The American Presidency

Instructor: M. Jeff Colbert

Regardless of your views on any particular president, most Americans have a poor understanding of what a president can and cannot do. We will briefly examine the writing of the Constitution, focusing on Article II, and then move forward, examining changes in the country and in the presidency, focusing mainly on the years after World War II.

  • FMS 170-05
  • M, W, F | 8:00 - 8:50 AM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GSB
  • MAC: MSBS

Interacting with the Dead

Instructor: Gwen Robbins Schug

What roles do the dead play in human societies? In American society, we don’t often consider what happens to dead people, how we interact with them, or whether they have agency? But the dead are all around us. Obvious examples include cadavers used by medical students or the quandary of what to do about deceased social media friends. Less obvious examples include the sale of human remains online, the so-called Red Market (illegal trade in human bodies and body parts), the curation of human remains in University or museum settings, or their display as religious or secular objects. This course considers the human deathscape through time and across different cultural contexts with the goal of understanding living-dead relations from ethical, anthropological, archaeological, and biocultural perspectives.

  • FMS 170-06
  • W | 3:00 - 5:50 PM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GSB
  • MAC: MSBS

Natural Sciences

Advances in Genetics: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Instructor: Cristina Moreira

Meet Helen Obando, a Hispanic sixteen16-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 U.S. 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, such 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.

  • FMS 183-01
  • M, W | 3:30 - 4:45 PM
  • Writing Intensive
  • GEC: GNS, GPS
  • MAC: MNTS