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2016 – 2017 Courses

Fall 2016 | Spring 2017

NOTE: First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC.


Spring 2017

FYS 101: First Year Seminars

meets Arts and Humanities (AH) requirements

Truth and Technology: Relationships and Happiness in a Technological World

Lecture: TuTh 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 p.m. | Sondheim 203
Elaine MacDougall

In Truth and Technology, Relationships and Happiness in a Technological World students will explore the changing nature of relationships in post-modern culture and our ongoing search for happiness. Students will explore their relationships and interactions with others, as well as their relationship with nature, and the relationships depicted in literature, film, and journal articles in an effort to come to some conclusion about the importance of face-to-face communication in our highly technological world. As a requirement of this course, students will take part in a service-learning experience to connect the ideas of community and human interaction.


Discussing Classics

Lecture: MoWe 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Math & Psychology 102
David Irvine

Discussing Classics has two major objectives. First, to read some short excerpts from western (and some non-western) thinkers. A who’s who of intellectuals, going back over two thousand years. The second objective it deliberately work on building a good discussion group. Thus, in every class, there will be two agendas: What is the text talking about? How are we functioning as a group? This is an active discussion group, so come prepared to take part. There are no back-seats in this class.


Creating Stories about Times of Change

Lecture: Tu 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Engineering 336
Galina Madjaroff

This course explores common themes in both adolescence and aging, stages in life that can transform a person’s sense of identity. In intergenerational teams, students will explore changes in their identities by producing video stories together that will focus on common threads, shared insights and lessons about growth. The narrative collaboration will offer opportunities for empathy and broadening of perspective, and participants will gain wisdom about creating identity in times of change.


EnGENDERing Popular Culture

Lecture: TuTh 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Performing Arts & Humanities Building 124
Emerald Christopher-Byrd

This course will illuminate the ways in which we are passive consumers of popular culture and empower individuals to become critical participants. Popular culture is all around us. It influences how we think, feel, vote, and live our lives. This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the study of U.S. popular culture and aims to examine the multiple ways gender has been portrayed in various popular cultural forms. Through an intersectional and intertextual investigation of television, film, popular music, advertisement, and social media, we will explore how representation as objects, consumers, subjects, creators, challengers, and critics both reflect and produce socio-cultural phenomena and ideas about the proper role of women and men in society. Throughout this course, we will consider the intersections of gender, sex, and race and analyze how they are articulated in popular culture.


Shakespeare At The Movies

Lecture: MoWe 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Performing Arts & Humanities Building 201
Eve Muson

An Indian filmmaker remakes Macbeth as a Mumbai underworld police thriller. A Chinese director reimagines Hamlet as a martial arts romance. At a Kentucky maximum security prison, inmates put on a production of The Tempest. In a literary web series, Beatrice and Benedick are YouTube vloggers who share their private thoughts on separate channels. Shakespeare¿s plays can now be found re-created on film, TV, interactive games, graphic novels, and web series. What can these diverse adaptations tell us about the cultures that produce them and the plays that inspire them? How is modern Shakespeare presented to the masses in terms of sexuality, gender, race, violence, and nationalism? Why do contemporary artists feel such a recurring need to parrot and parody Shakespeare, and how much of this activity is about Shakespeare at all? We will also read the original Shakespeare texts to which the rewriters respond. Students will have opportunities to experiment individually and in small groups with crafting their own adaptations.


An Introduction to Food Systems

Lecture: Fr 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Engineering 021A
Charlotte Keniston

What was the last food you ate? Who produced it? Packaged it? Distributed it? Prepared it? In this course, students will gain knowledge of the emergent field of food system studies, learning about the social, environmental, and economic implications of the foods around them. Students will learn about the many layers of the food system and the people that it touches- from farmer to grocer, and chef to consumer. Students will reflect on what they are learning through short writings and class discussions and through a final project, a digital story (2-3 minute original video using the student’s own voice and images) reflecting on their personal role in the food system. The core curriculum of this course is one developed by the Center for a Livable Future, Teaching the Food System. Through it, and additional readings and engaging audiovisual material, students learn about the fundamental concepts of food system studies, moving from field to table and beyond.


FYS 101Y: First Year Seminars

meets Arts and Humanities (AH) requirements

Turning to One Another: Beliefs and Behaviors

Lecture: TuTh 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Meyerhoff Chemistry 256
Discussion: TuTh 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Performing Arts & Humanities Building 123
C Randles & Diane Lee

“Turning to One Another: Beliefs and Behaviors” explores the scientific, aesthetic, and ethical dimensions of thought and behavior. This course is oriented toward that exploration of questions that are both personal and global in their orientation. For example: What is my faith in the future? What do I believe about others? What is the relationship I want with the earth? When and where do I experience sacred? There will be opportunities for conversation to occur around topics such as these; literally a “turning to one another” in order to expand and inform our understanding of how our beliefs and behaviors have the power to transform.


Defining and Pursuing Prosperity

Lecture: Mo 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Performing Arts & Humanities Building 123
Discussion: TBA | TBA
Lisa Beall

How do we define the "good life"? Is success defined by money, possessions, and status or are there other, just as important, ways to achieve prosperity? What limits are placed on individual success by culture, class systems, and/or access to opportunity? How do we determine professional and personal standards of success? In this seminar, students will examine the concepts of wealth and prosperity as represented in literature, drama, history, psychology, and religion. The experiences of characters from text and film will be analyzed for how wealth and prosperity (in whatever way they are defined) can impact an individual and the society in which he/she lives in both positive and negative ways. Through class activities and out-of-class assignments, students will begin to identify the "wealth" they currently have, what they desire, the means for achieving their desired forms of wealth, and to consider forms of wealth and prosperity that have yet to be defined for them. Determining a personal definition of prosperity is the first step toward establishing goals and making plans for attaining them.


FYS 102Y: First Year Seminars

meets Social Sciences (SS) requirements

Poverty Amidst Plenty: The Economics of American Poverty

Lecture: Fr 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Nandita Dasgupta

Poverty is not an oft-quoted word in USA. Nonetheless, the phenomenon is worth exploring, especially in the context of the Great Recession that the United States has recently experienced. With continuing unemployment and increasing costs of living, more and more families have to choose between necessities like health care, child care, and even food. This seminar will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the poverty alleviation measures adopted through government programs and policies.


Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice in Schooling

Lecture: Mo 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. | Information Technology 239
Vickie Williams

This is a hybrid course with in class meeting time on Mondays 3:00-4:15p.m. Remaining course expectations will be determined by instructor.
This course will explore and mediate the tension between the current climate of school reform and the learning needs of highly diverse students through the lens of multicultural classrooms in diverse schools. In multicultural America, classrooms mirror the diverse nature of children’s backgrounds, cultural experiences, languages, and “ways of knowing”. This course offers opportunities to learn about the challenges of local schools firsthand and to understand the implementation of federal and local policies aimed at supporting the academic success of all students, regardless of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, or diverse backgrounds. The course will first examine the multicultural nature of society and schools. Then, Brown v. the Board of Education will be revisited as a foundation for understanding the legal, political, and social forces that impact a multicultural education system.


Social Issues in Business

Lecture: Mo 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Carlton Crabtree
Discussion: TuTh 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Albin O. Kuhn Library & G259
Joanna Gadsby

Successful innovations are achieved when people work together. This seminar introduces students to business concepts through collaboration and practical application including a group project to research a company business model that benefits society. Cultural dimensions affect the way companies promote products and services internationally. In this context, we also examine how social media influences consumer perceptions and organizational change. Students learn theories in business communication, corporate culture, ethics, and decision making. The leadership skills acquired in this course are part of the foundation to any discipline.


The Information Diet?

Lecture: TuTh 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Albin O. Kuhn Library & G259
Joanna Gadsby

In this seminar, students will be introduced to the reflective discovery and critique of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge. Through guided discussion and hands-on activities, students will explore issues related to privacy, censorship, digital activism, as well as how issues of gender, race, and class affect information access and creation. Students will develop the skills necessary to ethically and effectively use information to make decisions, solve problems, and communicate their views. In the process of exploring the information cycle and their own information seeking and consumption behaviors, they will develop strategies to better find, evaluate, manage and cite information.


FYS 107: First Year Seminar

meets Arts and Humanities, Culture (AH/C) requirement

American Orientalism

Lecture: TuTh 10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Information Technology 231
Autumn Reed

This course will introduce students to the concept of Orientalism through the lens of the United States’s changing relationship with and representations of the Middle East since the late 19th century. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways in which gender, sexuality, race, nation, class, and religion intersect in U.S. cultural productions of the Middle East. Throughout the semester, students will interact with a variety of cultural texts, including art, literature, film, and the news to identify and assess U.S. Orientalism.


Fall 2016

FYS 101: First Year Seminars

meets Arts and Humanities (AH) requirements

Building a Culture of Peace: What would it take?

Lecture: TuTh 10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Joby Taylor

Will engage students in investigating the diverse meanings and methods operating in the study and practice of peace. The course will include an interdisciplinary exploration of primary texts, key terms, major theories and methods, and a guest presentation. There will also be individualized research opportunities for students that will result in critical and creative essays across a range of interrelated topics and build toward an overall course learning portfolio.


Truth and Technology: Relationships and Happiness in a Technological World

Lecture: TuTh 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Information Technology 237
Elaine MacDougall

In Truth and Technology, Relationships and Happiness in a Technological World students will explore the changing nature of relationships in post-modern culture and our ongoing search for happiness. Students will explore their relationships and interactions with others, as well as their relationship with nature, and the relationships depicted in literature, film, and journal articles in an effort to come to some conclusion about the importance of face-to-face communication in our highly technological world. As a requirement of this course, students will take part in a service-learning experience to connect the ideas of community and human interaction.


Creating Stories about Times of Change

Lecture: TuTh 4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Engineering 336
Galina Madjaroff

This course explores common themes in both adolescence and aging, stages in life that can transform a person’s sense of identity. In intergenerational teams, students will explore changes in their identities by producing video stories together that will focus on common threads, shared insights and lessons about growth. The narrative collaboration will offer opportunities for empathy and broadening of perspective, and participants will gain wisdom about creating identity in times of change.


EnGENDERing Popular Culture

Lecture: We 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Information Technology 237
Emerald Christopher-Byrd

This course will illuminate the ways in which we are passive consumers of popular culture and empower individuals to become critical participants. Popular culture is all around us. It influences how we think, feel, vote, and live our lives. This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the study of U.S. popular culture and aims to examine the multiple ways gender has been portrayed in various popular cultural forms. Through an intersectional and intertextual investigation of television, film, popular music, advertisement, and social media, we will explore how representation as objects, consumers, subjects, creators, challengers, and critics both reflect and produce socio-cultural phenomena and ideas about the proper role of women and men in society. Throughout this course, we will consider the intersections of gender, sex, and race and analyze how they are articulated in popular culture.


Defining and Pursuing Prosperity

Lecture: MoWe 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Fine Arts 526
Discussion: We 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Fine Arts 526
Lisa Beall

How do we define the "good life"? Is success defined by money, possessions, and status or are there other, just as important, ways to achieve prosperity? What limits are placed on individual success by culture, class systems, and/or access to opportunity? How do we determine professional and personal standards of success? In this seminar, students will examine the concepts of wealth and prosperity as represented in literature, drama, history, psychology, and religion. The experiences of characters from text and film will be analyzed for how wealth and prosperity (in whatever way they are defined) can impact an individual and the society in which he/she lives in both positive and negative ways. Through class activities and out-of-class assignments, students will begin to identify the "wealth" they currently have, what they desire, the means for achieving their desired forms of wealth, and to consider forms of wealth and prosperity that have yet to be defined for them. Determining a personal definition of prosperity is the first step toward establishing goals and making plans for attaining them.


Perspectives on the Heroic Journey

Lecture: Th 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Fine Arts 002
Discussion: Tu 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Fine Arts 015
Steven McAlpine

The Heroic Journey asks what makes someone heroic? What happens when heroes fall? From ancient myth to modern films such as The Matrix and Harry Potter, the story of the ordinary man or woman who is called to an extraordinary journey has been told in a thousand different ways. At the heart of our fascination with the heroic story is the belief that in each of us lies untapped potential to change the world, that we possess a latent power that only needs a call to action. What if we viewed our journeys through higher education as a call to heroic adventures? Through the lenses of science (are we "hardwired" for heroic behavior?), psychology, mythology (ancient Greek heroes such as Odysseus), philosophy (do heroes have a stronger ethical impetus?), theology, and the arts, we will explore how the heroic journey is a necessary step in the construction of one’s identity in order to answer the question, “who am I, and what am I called to do in the world?”


It Came from the `80s: Political, Social, and Cultural Changes of the 1980’s

Lecture: MoWe 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Discussion: We 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Fine Arts 011
Jeremy Spahr

The 1980s saw the rise of modern conservatism with the election of Ronald Reagan, the end of the Cold War, and a vast expansion in consumer culture. All of these changes were reflected and influenced by the popular culture of the 1980s in film, television, and music. This course examines the political, social, and cultural changes of the 1980s, and the way these changes were portrayed and even shaped by the popular culture of the decade. Students will choose a historical event from the 1980s and examine how popular culture interpreted the event, often in contrast with the views and valuations of historians.


FYS 102: First Year Seminars

meets Social Sciences (SS) requirements

Poverty Amidst Plenty: The Economics of American Poverty

Lecture: Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Location: Information Technology 237
Nandita Dasgupta

Poverty is not an oft-quoted word in USA. Nonetheless, the phenomenon is worth exploring, especially in the context of the Great Recession that the United States has recently experienced. With continuing unemployment and increasing costs of living, more and more families have to choose between necessities like health care, child care, and even food. This seminar will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the poverty alleviation measures adopted through government programs and policies.


Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice in Schooling

Lecture: Mo 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 208
Vickie Williams

This is a hybrid course with in class meeting time on Mondays 3:00-4:15p.m. Remaining course expectations will be determined by instructor.
This course will explore and mediate the tension between the current climate of school reform and the learning needs of highly diverse students through the lens of multicultural classrooms in diverse schools. In multicultural America, classrooms mirror the diverse nature of children’s backgrounds, cultural experiences, languages, and “ways of knowing”. This course offers opportunities to learn about the challenges of local schools firsthand and to understand the implementation of federal and local policies aimed at supporting the academic success of all students, regardless of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, or diverse backgrounds. The course will first examine the multicultural nature of society and schools. Then, Brown v. the Board of Education will be revisited as a foundation for understanding the legal, political, and social forces that impact a multicultural education system.


The Deaf Community and Its Culture

Lecture: Mo 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Information Technology 456
Denise Perdue, Suzanne Braunschweig

Through lectures, directed readings, attendance at deaf community events, and student research presentations, this course will introduce students the American Deaf Community, their unique culture, history and language. This course will also highlight significant impacts that American education systems, laws, and technologies have had on the Deaf Community’s social status. The course will have several guest speakers, both Deaf and hearing, who will explore specific topics in depth such as CODA, Deaf Education, Interpreting, and Audism.


Conflict Resolution Education: Handling Conflict Constructively

Lecture: TuTh 8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Sherman Hall 108
Lauren Mauriello

Conflict is a natural and common phenomenon in social interaction. Our goal in this class is to explore the relationship between conflict and change. Of particular interest is the exploration of the fundamental principles of restorative practices. Students will gain conflict resolution skills, explore in-depth applications of restorative practices, and will be asked to think critically about our current justice system. In this process, we will challenge our assumptions about crime and justice by comparing and contrasting retributive and restorative paradigms using global and domestic issues that are relevant at the time of the course. We will ask questions such as: How can an understanding of the relationship between conflict and change help resolve conflicts? Are we aggressive or violent by nature? Can we teach empathy? And how can the pursuit of social justice bring about constructive conflict?


Creativity, Innovation, and Innovation and Invention

Lecture: Tu 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Meyerhoff Chemistry 272
Gilbert Mason

This course is for undergraduate students of all majors to explore the invention process from the germination of an idea to the development of a prototype in order to solve problems that address everyday needs. The purpose of the course is to inspire creativity and motivate students to invent, and supply them with the minimum expertise necessary to design, market, and protect an invention. Students will work in “active-learning” I-teams that will assume responsibility for tasks that are important to the development and success of their invention. Students will essentially act as the divisions of a company that are all working toward a common purpose.


Maternity, Race, and Policy

Lecture: MoWe 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Information Technology 456
Tammy Henderson

An introduction to the ways in which race shapes discourses, cultural practices, and public policies related to maternity, motherhood, and child rearing in contemporary America. This course will explore how each of these conversations intersect and alter when explored through the lens of race. Are African American mothers judged more harshly in the justice system, pop culture or in public discourse versus non-black mothers? We will explore issues like these surrounding maternity by reviewing case studies, film and pop culture representations. Students will engage in critical thinking which will be the focus of group projects and presentations by using current research.


Images of Madness

Lecture: Th 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Sherman 207
Discussion: We 4:00 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. | Fine Arts 011
Carolyn Tice

In contemporary society, virtually everyone goes to movie theaters or views feature films at home on videos, DVD’s or television. For many people, films, regardless of their accuracy, serve as a major source of information on social issues, including mental illness. This course reviews Academy Award winning films depicting mental illness to consider the influence of motion pictures on the public perception of social issues, policies, and services. Beginning with The Snake Pit (1948) through As Good as it Gets (1997), students analyze films using a historical framework and in conjunction with assigned readings that address cultural stereotypes, societal attitudes, and the public’s response toward people with mental illness.


Social Issues in Business

Lecture: Mo 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Discussion: Mo 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Physics 107
or
Lecture: TuTh 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Discussion: Fr 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 207
Carlton Crabtree

Successful innovations are achieved when people work together. This seminar introduces students to business concepts through collaboration and practical application including a group project to research a company business model that benefits society. Cultural dimensions affect the way companies promote products and services internationally. In this context, we also examine how social media influences consumer perceptions and organizational change. Students learn theories in business communication, corporate culture, ethics, and decision making. The leadership skills acquired in this course are part of the foundation to any discipline.


FYS 103: First Year Seminars

Meets Science non-lab (S, non-lab) requirement.

Paradigms and Paradoxes: An Attempt to Understand the Universe

Lecture: MoWe 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Meyerhoff Chemistry 272
Joel Liebman

There are at least two kinds of scientific activities: acquiring and generating data, and inquiring and generating general modes of understanding. The latter activities will dominate this course. The course contents include discussions of some remarkable features of the universe: the class discussions will require no more scientific background than gained from high school chemistry and mathematics. Some topics for the course follow.

Matter doesn’t collapse, shrink or disappear – it has size, weight, and sometimes shape. We take this for granted. Don’t we? Positive and negative charges attract. The atomic nucleus is positive and electrons are negative. Why don’t these parts of atoms get closer and closer and closer, and eventually collapse? In other words, we ask, not only why are atoms so small but also why are they so big? This topic is not merely philosophical. Questions of fuel efficiency and national defense arise as naturally as those of the existence of the universe. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. There are 4 letters in the genetic code and some 100 chemical elements in the periodic table. There are millions of distinct words, individual types of organisms and chemical compounds. Are these numbers 26, 4 and 100 small or are they large? As such, our study includes the nature of language, information and life. Consider the number 3.14159265357988; can you identify it? Answering this question should be as easy as pie. A Hat-maker would equate this number to 3. Is this a rational choice? Answering this question tells us about the nature of numbers, measurement, design, and industry, and also about the person answering the question.


FYS 106: First Year Seminars

meets Culture (C) and Social Sciences (SS) requirements.

Politics of Language USAmerican Society

Lecture: TuTh 8:30 a.m. p.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Information Technology 237
Discussion: Fr 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 006
Autumn Reed

The Politics of Language in USAmerican Society introduces students to the relationship between language and power. Using a case-study approach, students explore language use in such contexts as advertising, politics, the news, family/social groups, medical settings, and the classroom/academia. To examine language in these arenas, students will learn the theoretical and methodological approach of critical discourse analysis (CDA), which they will apply to uncover hidden manifestations of power within these contexts as they relate to gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, nationality, religion, and ability.


FYS 108: First Year Seminars

meets Mathematics (M) requirement

Pre-req: Students enrolling in this class must have completed Math 106 or its equivalent or placed above Math 106 on placement exams.

Mathematics in Literature
MoWe 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 007
Staff

Throughout history, humans have told and written stories to help make sense of the world. So why not use stories to help us understand even difficult mathematical concepts? In this course, we will examine mathematical constructs in literary contexts, from concrete patterns and shapes to abstract reasoning and logic, using a variety of fiction including detective stories and children’s literature. Students will use readings to gain new insights into mathematics, lead discussions to help understand the texts, and practice their own skills by developing their own mathematical narratives.

Updated: 11/9/2016