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2020 FSP Courses

The First Seminar (or FSP for short) is a small seminar-style class that all entering first-year students take during their first semester at TCNJ. The course enables entering students to work closely with a professor and their fellow students on a topic of their choosing outside of their major. It offers students an opportunity to engage in an intellectually exciting and challenging experience at the beginning of their college career.

Instructions

  1. Students in the Honors, Bonner, or W.I.L.L. program should go to the  “Honors” or “Bonner/W.I.L.L.” page for their program and follow the directions there; do not follow the directions below.
  2. Some departments and schools give specific advice on how to choose your FSP course.  Please check the “Major Specific FSP Info” page before picking your FSP.
  3. From the list of FSP courses, please pick eight sections that interest you.
  4. Once you have chosen eight FSP sections, please put them in your First Semester Worksheet.
  5. Your FSPs choices will not be ranked when entered into the First Semester Worksheet. One of your choices will be assigned to you as your FSP.
Class Name/Description Instructor Civic Responsibility
FSP 162-07

Photography's White Gaze

In this course, we will discuss the uses and functions of photographs, how they are understood and interpreted, whether they have clear-cut content and meanings, how they are informed by politics, economics, and social life; and specifically, the complicated relationship of race and photography. As the course explores the intersections of race, class, and gender (as historically constructed and culturally contingent), the main focus will be on whiteness and the White Gaze. The course will culminate with student auto-ethnographies combining research with photographic images to investigate their history, its relationship to race and photography. Photographic work will be made with Smartphones. Students will develop critical thinking through visual literacy and research skills.

Course #: FSP 162-07
Professor: Allyn, Anita
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Allyn, Anita Race & Ethnicity
FSP 163-06

LGBTQ and Media Studies

This course explores LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) identity, culture, and politics by way of their representations in popular and independent films/documentaries, as well as in other forms of mass media. I often share with students that there are at least three major reasons for why there's been a significant shift globally in terms of pro LGBTQ civil and human rights. First, many anti-gay laws are being challenged and repealed (e.g., anti-gay marriage laws). Second, many people now personally know friends, family members, and co-workers who identify as LGBTQ, thus personalizing the issue. Third, and related to the course theme, there's been an outpouring of LGBTQ themed popular culture/mass media, thus helping to globalize many LGBTQ concerns, issues, and topics to a wide variety of people and places. Within the context of these major changes, students will be introduced to a broad range of scholarly and media materials for the study of LGBTQ media and popular culture. Topics covered include: the history of LGBTQ representations in the media; the complexity of LGBTQ visibility in films and documentaries; the role of comedy in LGBTQ media portrayals; representations of LGBTQ intimacy and erotic life; the role of consumer culture in constructing LGBTQ identities; the coming out metaphor in popular culture; the role of social media in fostering LGBTQ activism and community; and media portrayals of transgender/genderqueer identities and bodies. By way of these and other topics, this course provides an opportunity to consider the significant role that media have played in advancing a global transformation on the topic of LGBTQ.

Course #: FSP 163-06
Professor: Rodriguez, Nelson
Day/s & Time/s: MR 2-3:20 PM

Rodriguez, Nelson Gender
FSP 163-03

Gender and Citizenship

This course will explore the relationship between gender and citizenship. It will investigate the ways in which citizenship has differed for men, and women (including transgender citizens). Students will study the relationship between citizenship rights, responsibilities and gender roles, as well as issues of sexuality and gender identity. Included in this course will be discussions of the meanings of citizenship, the history of citizenship and current issues in citizenship debates such as immigration.

Course #: FSP 163-03
Professor: Nicolosi, Ann Marie
Day/s & Time/s: TF 8-9:20 AM

Nicolosi, Ann Marie Gender
FSP 161-26

Walt Disney's America

In this course, we will analyze the effect of Walt Disney and the Walt Disney Company on American culture. From the Great Depression into World War Two, and onward through the present day, Disney's stamp on culture is indelible. We will study the films of the Walt Disney Company for their explorations of racial and gender equality (or total lack thereof) as well as propaganda films distributed during World War Two. Other topics will include the change in the American tourism industry, American nostalgia, and how American history is depicted through the works of Disney.

Course #: FSP 161-26
Professor: Hargreaves, Laura
Day/s & Time/s: MR 3:30-4:50 PM

Hargreaves, Laura
FSP 164-10

Latin American Politics and Society

Although they share similar histories, Latin American countries differ considerably as cultural mixtures and in socio-economic outcomes. This seminar offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the region that investigates forces that have shaped Latin America and describes the social diversity among and within countries. The course presents a historical foundation before investigating the social composition, economic structures, political regimes, and foreign relations of Latin American countries. Students learn how to think critically about how social structure and political choice shape the lives of people in Latin America and by comparison across the world.

Course #: FSP 164-10
Professor: Potter, Brian
Day/s & Time/s: TF 9:30-10:50 AM

Potter, Brian Global
FSP 163-12

The ‘Final Girl’: Gender and the Horror Genre

Since the origin of the horror film, issues of gender and sexuality have been central to character creation and development. Most notably, women have been cast into dual roles as either the objectified victim or the ominous villain. Throughout the decades, social constructs and expectations of gender performativity affected the horror tropes and created a third role of ‘Final Girl’. We will not only explore the limited variations of the female protagonist but also trace the pivotal societal events that helped construct her role in popular film. While concentrating on Feminist Theory, we will also explore the social and cultural tensions represented in American horror films of the 20th and 21st centuries. This course will identify how the horror film is used as a site for understanding the position of women in society and the social fears entwined with her performativity. Disclaimer: Due to the graphic nature of the content for both the Horror literature and movies, it is highly recommended that you do not take this course if you are squeamish and/or easily unsettled by graphic imagery and/or vernacular.

Course #: FSP 163-12
Professor: Dittmer, Nicole
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Dittmer, Nicole Gender
FSP 163-08

History of LGBTQ Images in Film and Popular Culture

How have LGBTQ characters, images and themes in movies and culture changed over the past 100 years?For most of the past 100 years, LGBTQ characters have typically been portrayed as one-dimensional objects of ridicule or pity, whose presence is a threat to society. Over the past 40 years, however, LGBTQ characters have taken their place as the center of attention in a variety of movie genres from comedies to dramas, thrillers, horror films, romantic comedies, love stories and more. Additionally, LGBTQ writers, directors, actors, stories and themes have emerged from the closet as mainstream films and as independent features that challenge the status quo of sexuality.What do these films and stories tell us about how society has changed…and is still changing?What can we learn from such LGBTQ movies?Using a wide range of classic and contemporary movies, this course looks closely at LGBTQ themed films and what they contribute to the contemporary world. What unique perspectives do LGBTQ films bring to different kinds of stories about acceptance, appreciation, and power? Films, videos and other arts (including graphic novels) will be paired with readings, written assignments, and presentations that enhance our critical thinking about this controversial issue.

Course #: FSP 163-08
Professor: Amtzis, Alan
Day/s & Time/s: T 5:30-6:50 PM

Amtzis, Alan Gender
FSP 161-08

Ancient Egyptian Mathematics

Thousands of years ago, Egyptian culture evolved, isolated from the rest of the world. Unaltered by outside influence, they developed a unique, almost alien society. In this course, we will learn about Egyptian culture, history, mythology and science. In particular, we will study Egyptian mathematics, whose rules and forms have almost nothing in common with what we do today. We will see that different doesn’t mean worse and it may even be better. As a typical FSP, you will read, write, and speak to practice articulating multiple perspectives in ways that will support your work in other courses.

Course #: FSP 161-08
Professor: Reimer, David
Day/s & Time/s: MR 3:30-4:50 PM

Reimer, David
FSP 163-01

Dystopian Futures and Feminist Resistance in Hulu TV's The Handmaid's Tale

In 2017 Hulu streaming service released the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale. Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, the dystopian television show presents a society where women have lost all of their rights and the government has switched from a democracy to a theocracy where civil law is interpreted from fundamental Christianity. In this dystopian society human abuse of the environment has rendered most women and men infertile, as such women who are fertile are enslaved and forced to reproduce for prominent men and women. This course will use the first season of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale to introduce students to how our social institution's (government, media, religion, family and education) frame the way we experience our social identities (gender, race, sexuality). Through close readings of the show, secondary readings and lectures this course will also engage contemporary feminist movements to provide students with an understanding of feminist theories of race, gender, and the environment.

Course #: FSP 163-01
Professor: Adair, Zakiya
Day/s & Time/s: TF 2-3:30 PM

Adair, Zakiya Gender
FSP 161-27

Dilemmas of the Digital Domain

Is there any aspect of our lives that the Internet and/or digital technology is NOT affecting? From how we connect through text messaging and social media to how we listen to music, study, date, vote, acquire the news and shop, our online and digital interactions are profoundly shaping our daily existence. In this course, we examine the possibilities and the problems that this technology poses. We will also study those who do not have access to the technology that has become ubiquitous in our lives.

Course #: FSP 161-27
Professor: Mazur, Janet
Day/s & Time/s: MR 11-12:20 PM

Mazur, Janet
FSP 161-37

What is Normal? Classification Mechanisms in Public Education

The course will explore the ways in which the American education system and the standards assessment movement has attempted to define normalcy. Students in American schools are classified as normal, above normal and below normal but how are the criteria for these categories derived? What behaviors, skills, and knowledge or developmental levels meet the criteria for each category? Through readings and research the course will consider the reasons why schools aim to stratify their students and who benefits and who loses by these stratifications. We will also look briefly at he history of American education and related key social, political and cultural factors that have influenced the desire to sort who is normal as well as below and above normal. Finally, you will draw on your own personal experiences in high school and through your college search to reflect on how the classification process affected you personally, both positively and negatively.

Course #: FSP 161-37
Professor: King, Michelle
Day/s & Time/s: MR 9:30-10:50 AM

King, Michelle
FSP 164-13

The last of us: A study of outdoor survival skills, human nature, and threats to humankind

In a civilization that controls almost all aspects of its environment, few people develop basic outdoor and low technology survival skills. This course uses survival instruction as a foundation for team building, leadership, and problem-solving skill development. Students study survival texts, documentaries, and fictional films not to incite paranoia, but to create a tangible learning context to consider and analyze threats to human sustainability. These threats include overpopulation, resource depletion or environmental degradation, disease, war, and acts of nature. Students explore global perspectives about the existence of and solutions to these threats, writing about them while participating in a game-like course structure that promotes campus and peer engagement. A significant portion of class takes place outside.

Course #: FSP 164-13
Professor: Singer, Steve
Day/s & Time/s: TF 2-3:20 PM

Singer, Steve Global
FSP 161-43

Star Wars: Films & Adaptations

In this section of First Seminar, Star Wars: Films & Adaptations, we will examine the original movie trilogy (Episodes IV, V, VI) as well as the prequels (I, II, III), and other Star Wars films released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm. We will also read one Star Wars novel, watch selected episodes of three Star Wars animated TV series (both Clone Wars series and Star Wars Rebels), and read about and discuss other ancillary creations (e.g., collectibles, Jediism) that make up the Star Wars cultural phenomenon. Our approach is interdisciplinary: film studies, literature, myth, philosophy, religious studies, history, sociology, economics/marketing, other. The primary sources analyzed are the fictional works created by George Lucas and others; secondary sources include books and articles in a variety of disciplines. The final project is a research paper on a topic related to Star Wars. If you haven’t already watched all the films, please do so over the summer since we won’t be able to avoid spoilers in our reading and discussion. Consider signing up for Disney+ so that you can re-watch the films as we study them week-by-week throughout the semester. You will need to have watched the films you write essays about recently in order to support your points with specific references to the films (e.g., quoting dialogue, describing shots).

Course #: FSP 161-43
Professor: Konkle, Lincoln
Day/s & Time/s: MR 2-3:20 PM

Konkle, Lincoln
FSP 162-11

Multicultural NYC

Is New York really the capital of the world? How did it become such a great multicultural city? What does it mean to be a New Yorker? These are some of the essential questions that will guide us as we study the events that shaped New York’s multicultural history from its beginnings to the present. As we explore different periods of the city's history some of the areas we will focus on are immigration, changing neighborhoods, crime, technology, quality of life, money, power, culture and art. Our course time will be divided between lectures/presentations, in-class discussion, and real world experiences.

Course #: FSP 162-11
Professor: Winkel, Matthew
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-6:50 PM

Winkel, Matthew Race & Ethnicity
FSP 161-18

Disney Made Me Do It: (Un)Realistic Expectations

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.” – Disney’s Cinderella. Disney has been a staple in the lives of children and adults since the late 1930s and has continued to instill “life lessons” through the decades. In this course, we will explore the expectations we may have created based on the perceived values portrayed in Disney films. We will discuss how these classic Disney films may have influenced our understanding of love & relationships, gender roles, body image, and adapting to adversity with just a song & a dance, etc. We will also explore how recent Disney film releases have impacted these expectations and the changes we see reflected in current society.

Course #: FSP 161-18
Professor: Babcock, Caitlin
Day/s & Time/s: R 5:30-6:50 PM

Babcock, Caitlin
FSP 163-13

I Love You, Man: Masculinities and Pop-culture

This course will use pop-culture elements as its source text and explore the creation, maintenance, and overall concept of masculinity. We will also look at the plural concept masculinties and how various forms of masculinity interact. Students will gain skills in gender theory and media analysis in addition to academic writing. Throughout the course, students will be asked to examine the media they consume and how it shapes the world around them.

Course #: FSP 163-13
Professor: Gall, Zach
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-6:50 PM

Gall, Zach Gender
FSP 162-06

CRASH! Exploring the Foundations & Collisions of Our Racial Stories

What is my racial identity? Where did it come from? How does it influence the way I connect with people like me and people from other racial groups? In this class we explore these and other questions about racial identity beginning with our collective personal stories about race. We will utilize research, readings, and various forms of media to delve into the psychology, sociology, and history of topics such as institutional racism, implicit bias, critical race theory and race-relations in America. We will all fasten our seats belts because this might be a bumpy ride!

Course #: FSP 162-06
Professor: Anthony, Helene
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-8:20 PM

Anthony, Helene Race & Ethnicity
FSP 161-30

Apocalypse Now: Studying the End Times

The media is saturated with cries of the apocalypse with news outlets regularly covering religious and astrological doomsday prophets. Survivalists have television shows teaching their skills and zombie movies are frequent box office hits. Our culture both fears and craves the end days. What does this say about humanity and its innate settings? To what extent does fear of the apocalypse mirror uncertainties of our own times? Does this fear represent humanity at its worst, or can it be indicative of the great reaches we can accomplish? This course will explore those questions, and will use fiction, film, and several articles as prompts to write about issues such as hope, fear, religion, and perseverance.

Course #: FSP 161-30
Professor: Schmidt, Randy
Day/s & Time/s: MR 11-12:20 PM

Schmidt, Randy
FSP 164-12

Women and the Family in Modern China

This course examines women and family life in China from the early 20th century to the present. It deals with women’s role and family structure in Chinese culture, the impact of social change on women and family life, and women’s participation in and contribution to social change. Students will gain insights about Chinese society through the study of gender and the family, and about gender and family issues through the study of China. The course will stimulate your intellectual curiosity and imagination, develop your ability in critically thinking, and improve your communication skills in writing and oral presentation. The course format is a combination of short lectures, in-depth discussions, workshops, oral reports, visual presentations, role-playing, and other creative activities. The course materials include primary sources, scholarly works, novels, autobiographies, material culture, and films.

Course #: FSP 164-12
Professor: Shao, Qin
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-6:50 PM

Shao, Qin Global
FSP 164-25

The History of Disease

Throughout history, humans have been burdened with countless infectious diseases. Some of these, due to their lethality or their insidious spread, have become legendary. In this course, students examine the societal impact of, and science's response to, history's most significant diseases, including plague, influenza (particular attention to the 1918 Pandemic), tuberculosis, smallpox, polio, cholera, malaria, syphilis, HIV/AIDS and Ebola. 2019 is not without its share of epidemics. We will explore the extent of measles around the world and the second worst epidemic of Ebola that is currently occurring in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through reading, writing, and class discussions, students explore the effects of each disease on two levels: the biological (microbiology, pharmacology, and immunology) and the societal (epidemiology and sociology). How does disease impact other areas including art and music? Students attempt to understand the biology of each disease while also learning its historical framework. The ethics of infectious disease monitoring and control, including quarantines, mandatory health department notification, and the use of experimental drugs, will also be the subject of classroom discussions. Current events relating to disease that crop up during this semester will be brought into the classroom on a weekly basis. The 2020 course will begin with the Epidemic du Jour - yet to be determined.

Course #: FSP 164-25
Professor: King, Rita
Day/s & Time/s: MW 5:30-6:50 PM

King, Rita Global
FSP 161-40

Leaders are Made Not Born: Leadership Development at TCNJ

The class is designed to engage participants in recognizing and developing their leadership potential in themselves, the college, and their community. The course includes the study of leadership and application of leadership theories, concepts, and skills. Students will gain a better understanding of their own leadership potential through leadership assessments, exploration of values, and skill development. This interactive class will be looking at leadership through a variety of stories, readings, videos, and activities. At the end of the course, we hope that you have gained the skills to become a better student leader and to actively engage in and impact the College community.

Course #: FSP 161-40
Professors: Conner, David and Conklin, Shannon
Day/s & Time/s: MR 3:30-4:50 PM

Conner, David and Conklin, Shannon
FSP 162-03

Charlotte’s Web, The Lorax, and Me: Writing a Children’s Book That Matters

Take the stress out of college and still learn how to write by writing your own children's book! You have read hundreds of children's books in your lifetime. Which ones stand out? Which ones moved you? In this course, we will select, evaluate, and analyze a variety of children's books and determine what makes them great. You will then use this criteria to write your own children's books on a social justice issue that is important to you, like: power, racism, diversity, violence, sexual identity, and equity. Who knows? May be there is a children's author among us! This course includes: various writing and research skills, as well as feedback from the instructor and peers. All work will be evaluated and revisions and resubmissions are encouraged.

Course #: FSP 162-03
Professor: Tallman, Tamara
Day/s & Time/s: TF 9:30-11:50 PM

Tallman, Tamara Race & Ethnicity
FSP 163-15

Communication and Gender

This course is designed to engage students to explore the relationship between communication and gender in interpersonal relationships, workplace, family, and media. The class will explore theories, attitudes and beliefs regarding stereotypes as they are manifested through verbal, nonverbal, group, and interpersonal communication. This course will examine communication and gender through film, in-class exercises, class discussions in both large and small group settings.

Course #: FSP 163-15
Professor: Hallback, Dionne
Day/s & Time/s: T 5:30-6:50 PM

Hallback, Dionne Gender
FSP 164-19

Finsta Famous: What is the Difference between the Real and Digital World

Students are unlike any other peer group before due to the advances in technology, social media, and changes in the risk-taking phenomenon. These shifts have created a sense of invincibility where young adults differentiate the actions they make online from the physical "real" world. This ability to disconnect and separate from the real world can have both positive and adverse affects. This class will review the history of advancement in technologies and social media platforms, expansion of risk-taking behaviors, and explore the benefits and challenges of an online persona.

Course #: FSP 164-19
Professor: Draper, Jordan
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Draper, Jordan Global
FSP 164-23

Global Perspectives and Trends on Disability “A focus on Activism and Advocacy”

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

James Baldwin may not have been speaking about the human rights of people with disabilities around the world, but his sentiments apply. Despite the awareness of international communities (e.g. United Nations, World Bank), the barriers to equal opportunity and social/community inclusion have yet to be eliminated for people with disabilities. In nearly every country in the world people with disabilities remain vulnerable to poverty, discrimination and abuse. Therefore, this course is designed so that students will become Global Activists for people with disabilities around the world. In cooperation with United Nations’ Program on Disability for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, students will work in small groups to craft and implement an activist campaign designed to value-add to improving the human rights of people with disabilities in other countries and cultures.

Course #: FSP 164-23
Professor: Schuler, Amy
Day/s & Time/s: R 5:30-6:50 PM

Schuler, Amy Global
FSP 164-06

Art of Happiness from a Buddhist Perspective

This seminar seeks to explore the nature and meanings of happiness from a Buddhist perspective. Students will read the basic teachings about happiness from both the Buddhist canons and the contemporary Buddhist thinkers (such as The Dalai Lama, Chögyam Trungpa and Thích Nhất Hạnh). Emphasis will be placed on the key concepts of happiness such as compassion, wisdom, mindfulness, affection, kindness, gratitude, right ethical conducts and mental/emotional cultivation. Students are encouraged to think about what it would mean to live a good and happy life by applying the teachings to their contemporary life and society.

Course #: FSP 164-06
Professor: Mi, Jiayan
Day/s & Time/s: TF 3:30-4:50 PM

Mi, Jiayan Global
FSP 161-07

The Mirror Ball of Stress

This course engages students in thinking more broadly about stress and stressors at personal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and international levels. Students will identify what stress is and is not, including the positive and negative impacts of stress responses, while developing strategies for adjusting to college life and academic expectations. A variety of campus and off-campus service opportunities will enable students to examine many facets of stress from intrapersonal transitions to college, to international stressors such as immigration or conflicts. Students will gain experience accessing variety of research-based articles, data and information sources, digital or print media to analyze and write about types of stressors and their impacts.

Course #: FSP 161-07
Professor: Gordon, Karen
Day/s & Time/s: MR 3:30-4:50 PM

Gordon, Karen
FSP 162-01

Racism, Crime and Prisons in U.S. History

In this course, students explore the ways in which historical racism shapes perceptions of crime, particularly racist stereotypes about black criminality and the mythology (or assumption) of white innocence, racist fictions that drive the mass imprisonment of people of color in the U.S. today. The course begins with an examination of the slavery institution as the U.S.'s first mass incarceration system, the genocide against Indigenous people that facilitated slavery's expansion, the accelerated growth of the South's prison system after slavery's abolition, and the forced labor (or neo-enslavement) of imprisoned blacks in the Jim Crow South. The semester concludes with an analysis of the school-to-prison pipeline in impoverished Puerto Rican communities, the racially targeted "War on Drugs" from the 1970s to present, police discrimination and violence against trans people of color, and imprisoned people's experiences of the racist sexual terrorism that is fundamental to the U.S. prison system. Throughout the course, students confront the reality that white supremacy, white privilege, and the racist terrorizing of communities of color are not a thing of the past, but institutionalized in the present. In so doing, students are better prepared to think critically and creatively about ways to eradicate the social injustices that maintain the racist systemic legal oppression of people of color in the U.S.

Course #: FSP 162-01/02
Professor: Francis, Leigh-Anne
Day/s & Time/s: MR 11-12:20 PM

Francis, Leigh-Anne Race & Ethnicity
FSP 161-31

Urban Poets: The Art of Hip-Hop

From the early trailblazers such as Grandmaster Flash and DJ Kool Herc to the polarizing figure of Kanye West and the Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar, "The Art of Hip Hop" will cover all things hip hop from the early 80s to the 21st century. In this course we will read and listen to the rise of political rappers such as Public Enemy to the golden age of the genre and such groups as Wu-Tang Clan, Tribe Called Quest, and the work of Notorious Big and Nas. Is hip-hop poetry? How should we handle misogyny and the glorification of gangsterism in the hip-hop culture? These questions and many more will be explored in the course.

Course #: FSP 161-31
Professor: Layton, Shawn
Day/s & Time/s: TR 5:30-6:50 PM

Layton, Shawn
FSP 163-09

Sequential Art and the Storytelling Space: Redefining Trauma in Comics

Once considered an unconventional medium, comics are now used to define more difficult retellings of traumatic narratives by helping their protagonists break away from a traditional storytelling space. When discussing trauma, the use of iconic images and panel closure help illustrate the social constructs of gender performance, physically and emotionally "closed" spaces, and the image of resiliency as the hero of our own story. Every superhero story begins with a traumatic origin story, but today, trauma has become a focal point in the way the hero interacts with other characters and makes ethical decisions. Through graphic novels, comic strips, and film/TV adaptations, we will focus on the different types of trauma that are found within comic book narratives and how they relate to the nuances of privilege, heroism, and strength through gender, race, and sexual orientation. Together, we will analyze the many forms of sequential art, from traditional superhero stories to graphic novel memoirs to comics as activism.

Course #: FSP 163-09
Professor: Atzeni, Samantha
Day/s & Time/s: MW 5:30-6:50 PM

Atzeni, Samantha Gender
FSP 164-26

What's on Our Plate? Critical explorations of food access and place

We will explore food consumption, production, and equity of access in various locations. Participants will analyze the role that place plays in production and access to food through course assignments, readings, and field trips. We will investigate our own consumption practices and map food production and access across local and global communities. Applying a critical place-based lens to our relationship with food and place, students will develop deeper understandings of structural, historical, social and economic forces that influence what ends up on an individual's plate. Alternative approaches to food production and consumption will be explored as students critique cultural practices, policies and their own role in the diverse food production systems. Students will be introduced to participatory research skills and methods. Emphasis will be on critical, place-based investigations utilizing visual and digital methods to explore food and place.

Course #: FSP 164-26
Professor: Burroughs, Greer
Day/s & Time/s: T 5:30-8:20 PM

Burroughs, Greer Global
FSP 161-45

Child Versus Childmaker

We probably agree that earlier generations have moral and legal obligations toward later generations. But how are those obligations to be understood, in the special case in which members of the later generation “owe their very existence” to the choices made by an earlier generation? The question is especially acute since childmaking turns out to be a surprisingly widely shared activity. Physicians may help to create new people when they treat their patients for infertility; lawyers may help to create new people when they draft commercial surrogacy contracts; and the social and environmental policies that we as a society adopt may well produce scenarios in which more people rather than fewer—or if not more people then different people—eventually come into existence. This seminar is designed for students who have an interest in the law and the relation between law and ethics. It should provide a foundation in practical reasoning for future medical professionals, lawyers and others, giving members of the seminar the chance to explore the nature of moral obligation as well as principles of constitutional privacy law and the law of negligence. Emphasis will be placed on critical reading, writing and thinking skills.

Course #: FSP 161-45
Professor: Roberts, Melinda
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-8:20 PM

Roberts, Melinda
FSP 161-41

Communicating Trauma: Time Travel, Doubling, and the Imaginary in Literature

How does one communicate an experience that is in itself inexplicable? Why do some stories about trauma employ scenes of time travel, doubling, and magic? What happens when we look at "unreal" elements of a novel as real methods of communication? In this course, students will analyze novels through various critical lenses and consider how experiences of trauma are depicted in literature. As we read each text, we will consider how traumatic experiences are retold in creative ways that also reveal truths about how other social factors (race, gender, class, etc.) affect how trauma is expressed in literature. This seminar will ask students to consider studies of gender, race, sexuality, history, and culture, and contextualize trauma narratives. Through fiction, critical essays, and some film/TV scenes, students will sharpen their argumentative and analytical skills, recognize artistic strategies that potentially depict trauma, and complete independent research to produce their final essay.

Course #: FSP 161-41
Professor: Sekanics, Jennie
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-6:50 PM

Sekanics, Jennie
FSP 161-44

The Simple Life

For most people, the American Dream involves some degree of material success. However, an alternative to the American Dream exists, centered on the idea of the Simple Life. This interdisciplinary seminar explores the concept of the simple life from the nineteenth century to the present, drawing on history, literature, economics, anthropology, and psychology. The course begins with two award-winning documentary films, one about the largest private house in America, the other about the Tiny House movement. In addition to shelter, we will study food and environmental sustainability, and clothing, focusing on the human and environmental impacts of “fast fashion.” We’ll read Henry David Thoreau’s simple life classic Walden and William Morris’s News from Nowhere, a fantasy about a simple life utopia, as well as articles from multiple fields. “The Simple Life” gives a lot of attention to the skills of speaking, writing, and researching. The course combines high expectations with intensive support, including frequent individual conferences with the professor.

Course #: FSP 161-44
Professor: Robertson, Michael
Day/s & Time/s: TF 11:00-12:20 PM

Robertson, Michael
FSP 161-28

Sifting Through the Noise and Electing a President

The Presidential election of 2020 once again has the potential to be historic. Our seminar will look at the election through the lens of its media depiction to determine what connection media have to the outcome, and particularly how media’s rapidly changing face affects this election. We will study an encapsulated version of the primary process and the Democratic and Republican conventions to catch up. We will then closely monitor the weeks leading up to the November election to explore all facets of the campaign, including the debates, political ads, speeches and candidates’ websites and social media, looking in particular for aims, messages, successes, failures, and surprises. What works, what doesn’t, and why? We will take advantage of every opportunity to travel to the candidates' rallies to compare the person to the media version in an attempt to make sense of it all.

Course #: FSP 161-28
Professor: Ringer, Nina
Day/s & Time/s: TF 9:30-10:50 AM

Ringer, Nina
FSP 161-11

Social Justice, Past and Present

What are the characteristics of a just society? What does it mean to say that we have rights? What is the relation between ethical or moral values and religious belief? This seminar compares ancient and medieval ideas about these and related questions with those of the modern world. Discussions will focus on a selection of pre-modern (some very old) and more or less modern writings representative of diverse world views, along with some modern films and news about current events.

Course #: FSP 161-11
Professor: Chazelle, Celia
Day/s & Time/s: TF 2-3:20PM

Chazelle, Celia
FSP 161-02

Exploring Six Dimensions of Well-being in Our Daily Lives

This course is a guided approach to navigating many facets of “wellbeing” through daily life including physical, emotional, social, intellectual, financial and spiritual aspects of life as a young adult. The objective of this course aims to explore what a “happy life” really means. Topics focus on emphasizing the importance of maintaining a healthy life style (physical), acknowledging psychological needs and challenges (emotional), establishing a positive relationship with family and the community (social), developing a strong sense of fiscal responsibility (financial), being open mind to new ideas (intellectual) and recognizing purpose, value and the meaning of life (spiritual).

Course #: FSP 161-02
Professor: Chiang, Bea
Day/s & Time/s: MR 11-12:20 PM

Chiang, Bea
FSP 164-16

“Let’s Kill Hitler!” - The Ethics of Time Travel

From H.G. Wells’s 1895 classic The Time Machine to last summer’s latest Marvel megahit Avengers: Endgame, time travel has captured the imaginations of authors and audiences alike. The prospect of being able to visit the past and possibly affect the future has inspired debate and discussion among physicists, philosophers, and armchair adventurers for decades, and has filtered through literature and pop culture in a surprising variety of ways. One of the most enduring questions posed by the possibility of time travel - if you could change the past, should you? - can also serve as a thought experiment to examine the potential ramifications of changing the timeline. Through this course, we will examine how science, ethics, and art have all explored the possibility of time travel, and what these explorations can tell us about ourselves as we examine our pasts and futures through the lens of the present.

Course #: FSP 164-16
Professor: Chalmers, Jonathan
Day/s & Time/s: R 5:30-6:50 PM

Chalmers, Jonathan Global
FSP 161-23

Music and the Natural World

This course introduces elementary topics and tools of music, philosophy, anthropology, physics, biology and other fields to examine aspects of the relationship between the natural world and human music. What we mean by "music" is constantly reexamined as we research the possible origins and purposes of music and apply those findings to our common experiences. We trace the thread of environmental influence in a wide variety of musical styles, including Western Classical music, sound installations, non-Western traditions, folk styles, commercial music and observations of non-human music. We end with speculation of the role nature might play in music as it is experienced in virtual reality and fully constructed environments of the digital age.

Course #: FSP 161-23
Professor: Wilkinson, Carlton
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Wilkinson, Carlton
FSP 162-02

Racism, Crime and Prisons in U.S. History

In this course, students explore the ways in which historical racism shapes perceptions of crime, particularly racist stereotypes about black criminality and the mythology (or assumption) of white innocence, racist fictions that drive the mass imprisonment of people of color in the U.S. today. The course begins with an examination of the slavery institution as the U.S.'s first mass incarceration system, the genocide against Indigenous people that facilitated slavery's expansion, the accelerated growth of the South's prison system after slavery's abolition, and the forced labor (or neo-enslavement) of imprisoned blacks in the Jim Crow South. The semester concludes with an analysis of the school-to-prison pipeline in impoverished Puerto Rican communities, the racially targeted "War on Drugs" from the 1970s to present, police discrimination and violence against trans people of color, and imprisoned people's experiences of the racist sexual terrorism that is fundamental to the U.S. prison system. Throughout the course, students confront the reality that white supremacy, white privilege, and the racist terrorizing of communities of color are not a thing of the past, but institutionalized in the present. In so doing, students are better prepared to think critically and creatively about ways to eradicate the social injustices that maintain the racist systemic legal oppression of people of color in the U.S.

Course #: FSP 162-01/02
Professor: Francis, Leigh-Anne
Day/s & Time/s: MR 12:30-1:50 PM

Francis, Leigh-Anne Race & Ethnicity
FSP 161-19

"I want my MTV! Representations and Memories of the 1980s"

This course examines contemporary representations of the moments and icons that defined the 1980s: MTV, Ronald Reagan, “The Breakfast Club,” white youths wanting to “be like Mike” (African-American basketball star Michael Jordan), AIDS, etc. It seeks to not only to appreciate how people of the 1980s saw themselves and their world, but also to grasp the means in which our present-day memories and perceptions of those events are different. By the end of the course, you will have both an appreciation of your parents’ generation and the intellectual tools to grasp how the nostalgia of the 1980s is shaped by people trying to make sense of the world in which they lived and live. And, importantly, have fun doing so.

Course #: FSP 161-19
Professor: Campo, Joseph
Day/s & Time/s: MR 9:30-10:50 AM

Campo, Joseph
FSP 162-09

The Ever Evolving Black Gospel Music

This course traces Black Gospel Music from its origins to its present-day varied arrangements. Lectures will include information presented on Black Gospel Music Icons; the various instruments and styles of musical arrangements and more to present the richness and value of this cultural expression. The learner will understand the meaning of these songs as related to the African American culture and the spirituality of the artists and those who already appreciate this music both in the church and non-church goers. We will further examine song sampling and rewrite a secular song to produce a Gospel or Christian song. Students come prepared to sing a little (as a group only) and attend at least two worship experiences (i.e., Sunday morning worship and/or a Gospel concert).

Course #: FSP 162-09
Professor: McCrary, Todd
Day/s & Time/s: TF 8-9:20 AM

McCrary, Todd Race & Ethnicity
FSP 161-22

Herstory: Creating Original Stories Around Your Stories and Concerns

This course will offer students an opportunity to explore issues important to them. What socio, economic and political events are impacting their choices and their lives? How can they tell their stories in ways that engage dialogue and encourage people to explore multiple points of view? Through oral histories, journaling, theatrical play building and academic research; students will debate, discuss and eventually create theatrical scenes and stories around issues that impact their lives. They will find ways to utilize story-telling to inform, debate and explore ideas from race, gender, economic issues (i.e. student loan debt and minimum wage), stereotypes around politics, age and region. Because theatre offers some aesthetic distance through which to explore challenging issues, this course offers a space to engage. Students will view existing work that has come before now, utilizing these techniques - looking at pieces including "Laramie Project" and "Fires In The Mirror" and other pieces. No theatrical experience is required. Just a sense of play and a willingness to explore and play.

Course #: FSP 161-22
Professor: Little, Jennifer
Day/s & Time/s: TF 3:30-4:50 PM

Little, Jennifer
FSP 164-05

Global Media Representations of Healthcare and its Professions

This freshman seminar will explore how the healthcare system and its professionals are represented from a global and historical perspective. Non-­‐fiction and fiction literature, news media, movies, television shows are explored to both describe how health and healthcare providers are imagined in these media sources, as well as to compare those representations across time and culture. Emphasis is placed on critical analysis of media in both classroom discussion and in written essays, papers and presentations.

Course #: FSP 164-05
Professors: Kartoz, Connie
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Kartoz, Connie Global
FSP 164-11

Global Issues Local Impacts

In this course, you will be introduced to the varying disciplines and approaches to understanding our world and yourself. You will enhance your intercultural awareness through an exploration of identity, culture, and societies. Through readings, films, discussion, and direct observation you will explore how global issues are manifested in your new home, Trenton, NJ. You will improve professional writing and speaking skills through writing critical and reflective essays, conducting interviews, presenting individually and in groups, and designing a culminating research project.

Course #: FSP 164-11
Professor: Bateup, Joanne
Day/s & Time/s: MW 5:30-6:50 PM

Bateup, Joanne Global
FSP 163-18

All the Rage: perceptions of women's anger

This course will examine social, political and cultural perceptions of women's anger. We will explore contemporary literature, pop culture, social media and other examples of women's rage and how it impacts one's perceptions of women and their impact on society, social movements, politics and relationships. Since the 2016 election, women have been responding with fury. Whether it's #MeToo, "nevertheless, she persisted," Maxine Waters "reclaiming her time," or pussy hats at the Women's March, women and anger have been the topic of many essays, critiques, discussions and news stories. We will look at these examples as they are covered in the news media and discussed by sociologists, activists and public figures. We will look not just at gender, but also race and discuss how identity, stereotypes and cultural norms impact both expression of and perception of anger.

Course #: FSP 163-18
Professor: Tormey, Tina
Day/s & Time/s: MR 3:30-4:50 PM

Tormey, Tina Gender
FSP 161-39

The Artistry and Innovation of Pixar

Writer Arthur C. Clarke postulated that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." For over two decades, Pixar Animation Studios has produced works of cinematic magic -- breakthrough artistry made possible by incredible leaps in technological advancement. To date, Pixar has released 20 feature-length films and dozens of short films that have delighted audiences, won top accolades, earned billions of dollars, and pushed the creative and technical boundaries of CGI filmmaking (a genre that was literally invented by Pixar with its 1995 Toy Story). In this course, we will use Pixar as a case study example of the symbiotic interplay of technological innovation and artistic expression. Through a series of readings, we will examine the evolution of this groundbreaking and unconventional company, and draw parallels between its developing and the explosive proliferation of computing technology in the latter 20th century. We'll trace Pixar from its humble origins in the 1970s as the Computer Graphics Laboratory, to its development in the 1980s as a division of Lucas film and emergence as an independent company, to its later partnership with and ultimate acquisition by Disney. We will critically examine a number of Pixar's works to discuss their technological underpinnings, as well as their cultural and artistic significance. We will also use materials from the online "Pixar in a Box" series to learn about the process of filmmaking and CGI animation, and will explore how to model with computer software tools and engineering rapid prototyping equipment.

Course #: FSP 161-39
Professor: Cathell, Matthew
Day/s & Time/s: MR 2-3:20 PM

Cathell, Matthew
FSP 161-46

Justice as Fairness

When is economic or political inequality justified? Do people have an exclusive right to what they earn in a market? Should all citizens have a right to vote? Should we even elect our leaders or should we instead select them by lottery? How should nations treat one another? More generally: What is the right decision procedure for deciding on principles of justice? This course will focus on the answers given to these questions by the most influential figure in 20th century political philosophy, John Rawls. We will read Rawls’s ​Justice as Fairness: A Restatement​, together with selections from P​olitical Liberalism​, L​aw of Peoples​, and ​A Theory of Justice​ where appropriate.

Course #: FSP 161-46
Professor: Sharadin, Nathaniel
Day/s & Time/s: TF 9:30-10:50 AM

Sharadin, Nathaniel
FSP 163-14

Change the World! Individual Impact in International Politics

You are the next generation of global change agents! This course will examine the challenges of today’s international agenda and opportunities presented for individuals to effect change in a complicated and globalized world. We will analyze a variety of individuals working across a range of international issues who have made an impact addressing global problems: people who have changed the world. By exploring a variety of sources (biographies, documentaries, government or inter-governmental reports, fiction, scientific articles, political analysis) we will explore the strategies they used (advocacy, expertise, partnerships), how they worked within or outside existing structures (local and global, government and non-government organizations), and the success or impact of their efforts. What lessons can we learn about how an individual can help solve today’s pressing international problems?

Course #: FSP 163-14
Professor: Gardner, Anne-Marie
Day/s & Time/s: MR 12:30-1:50 PM

Gardner, Anne-Marie Gender
FSP 164-27

Reimagining the Global Village: How Social Media and Digital Innovation is Changing Our World – and How to Operate Within This New Environment

This seminar explores the impact the emergence of social media and the revolution in digital media has had on society. The course will trace the history of digital communications and how it has changed how news and information spreads and is consumed by different online and offline communities. Through texts and in-class discussion, the course will examine how this change has altered how people interact with each other as well as with established institutions, such as companies, academic institutions, and governments. The course will close by considering the long-term implications of this shift, the future of media, and the roles and responsibilities of individuals in this changing environment.

Course #: FSP 164-27
Professor: Monseau, Marc
Day/s & Time/s: W 5:30-8:20 PM

Monseau, Marc Global
FSP 161-14

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The course introduces the traditional and alternative approaches to medical care in the United States. Some are not uncommon (chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, mental-health counseling), or ascendant (nutrition, supplements), and some used much more in other countries (naturopathic, probiotics) or are innovative (neurofeedback). The course adopts a holistic approach to health and illness, with respect to autoimmunity, and mental and physical health links for instance. It addresses “side effects” as well as direct effects of health interventions, and assesses long-term consequences as well as short-term benefits.

Course #: FSP 161-14
Professor: Naples, Michele
Day/s & Time/s: TF 2-3:20 PM

Naples, Michele
FSP 161-05

Social Scientific Inquiry and Data Analysis

The study of human behavior is so complex and challenging that students need to learn both the systematic disciplined approach of sciences and the unique, creative skills of social Sciences and Arts. This course introduces the following three major areas to first year students: relationship between theory and research; second, research process such as review of literature, stating hypotheses, and collection and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data; and thirdly fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics. Since the course is writing-intensive, students will write about their individual experiences on the transition between HS and College; they will design a survey on the use of Social Media by today’s youth; and they will collect, analyze (qualitative and qualitative) data, and they will write a term paper as a group project.

Course #: FSP 161-05
Professor: Ismail, Mohamoud
Day/s & Time/s: MR 12:30-1:50 PM

Ismail, Mohamoud
FSP 161-16

Journalism and the search for truth

Studies show young people are turned off by the news, and those who try to keep up with current events have a hard time figuring out what to believe. This course is an opportunity to learn what reputable journalism is and how ethical journalists operate. Students will get an opportunity to practice some journalism skills by creating short stories about the campus and local community. This class will give students an opportunity to develop and/or strengthen skills in written and oral communication, research, leadership and collaboration.

Course #: FSP 161-16
Professor: Pearson, Kim
Day/s & Time/s: TF 9:30-10:50AM

Pearson, Kim
FSP 164-03

Teaching English in Local and Global Communities

This course provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for success teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language in informal settings in the United States and abroad. Students learn how to teach grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and the full range of literacy skills to audiences ranging from children in English immersion kindergartens in Taiwan to adults in evening programs in New Jersey. Students also learn to create curriculum that meets the needs of such diverse audiences. The course includes 25 hours of observation and field experience in informal English teaching settings, e.g. after-school programs, on-campus programs for English language learners, programs for immigrants and refugees, etc.

Course #: FSP 164-03
Professors: Carroll, Stuart and Lopes-Murphy, Solange
Day/s & Time/s: MR 3:30-4:50 PM/M 5-6:20PM

Carroll, Stuart and Lopes-Murphy, Solange Global
FSP 163-17

Horror in the Novel

In this course we will be reading horror novels by writers such as Joe Hill, Henry James, Stephen King, and Shirley Jackson. Some of the material may be challenging for some readers, as we will be discussing themes of incest, mental illness, and violence, especially violence against women and children. We will examine how men's and women's roles are represented, including mothers and fathers, the difference between the female and male monster, the male aggressor and the female victim, and how female sexuality in particular is seen as problematic. We will discuss how these expectations and representations both reflect gender norms as well as construct our view of appropriate gender behavior. This course will help students develop and improve their reading, writing and critical thinking skills, which will assist them throughout their college career and their future profession.

Course #: FSP 163-17
Professor: Kranzler, Laura
Day/s & Time/s: TF 3:30-4:50 PM

Kranzler, Laura Gender
FSP 164-09

Latin American Politics and Society

Although they share similar histories, Latin American countries differ considerably as cultural mixtures and in socio-economic outcomes. This seminar offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the region that investigates forces that have shaped Latin America and describes the social diversity among and within countries. The course presents a historical foundation before investigating the social composition, economic structures, political regimes, and foreign relations of Latin American countries. Students learn how to think critically about how social structure and political choice shape the lives of people in Latin America and by comparison across the world.

Course #: FSP 164-09
Professor: Potter, Brian
Day/s & Time/s: TF 8-9:20PM

Potter, Brian Global
FSP 161-25

Emotional Skills Literacy

This course will provide students with opportunities to explore and develop their emotional intelligence and fluency. Through readings, class discussions and course assignments, students will be encouraged to explore different aspects of their emotional lives including triggers, coping style, habituated responses, genetic predispositions and affective tolerance. Students will learn to orient to their emotions in new and exciting ways by practicing a mindfulness based approach to emotional intelligence and personal development. The notion of emotions as conveyors of valuable messages will be reviewed, in addition to how emotions are generated and processed in the brain and body. Emotional hijacking will be explored, as well as the concept of state shifting. Important interpersonal skills will be fostered throughout the course dialogue including self-awareness, perspective-taking, empathic listening and assertive self-expression.

Course #: FSP 161-25
Professor: Zamel, Pamela
Day/s & Time/s: R 5:30-6:50 PM

Zamel, Pamela
FSP 164-22

Language, Languages & Society

In this course, we study what makes human language different from the communication systems used by other species and we take a close look at the systems that all languages use to communicate meaning. Then we take up the question of how we use language in social contexts - among friends, family, classmates, colleagues, supervisors, and strangers. We consider what makes an accent an accent, the associations and impressions accents generate, and look at language-based bias and stereotyping. We look at how languages develop over time and how languages interact with each other.

Course #: FSP 164-22
Professor: Stillman, David
Day/s & Time/s: MR 12:30-1:50 PM

Stillman, David Global
FSP 161-42

Leaders are Made Not Born: Leadership Development at TCNJ

The class is designed to engage participants in recognizing and developing their leadership potential in themselves, the college, and their community. The course includes the study of leadership and application of leadership theories, concepts, and skills. Students will gain a better understanding of their own leadership potential through leadership assessments, exploration of values, and skill development. This interactive class will be looking at leadership through a variety of stories, readings, videos, and activities. At the end of the course, we hope that you have gained the skills to become a better student leader and to actively engage in and impact the College community.

Course #: FSP 161-42
Professor: Rana, Avani
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-8:20 PM

Rana, Avani
FSP 163-04

Gender and Citizenship

This course will explore the relationship between gender and citizenship. It will investigate the ways in which citizenship has differed for men, and women (including transgender citizens). Students will study the relationship between citizenship rights, responsibilities and gender roles, as well as issues of sexuality and gender identity. Included in this course will be discussions of the meanings of citizenship, the history of citizenship and current issues in citizenship debates such as immigration.

Course #: FSP 163-04
Professor: Nicolosi, Ann Marie
Day/s & Time/s: TF 9:30-10:50 AM

Nicolosi, Ann Marie Gender
FSP 161-09

The Bible: America's Bestselling Book

It is consistently America's best selling book: the Bible. No book has more profoundly shaped American history, and no book is held in wider esteem by Americans, generation after generation. Yet amazingly, most Americans have only read excerpts from the Bible, and have no understanding of the systems of biblical interpretation that have guided devout American readers for centuries. This seminar will change that. Students will learn about the multiple genres in this mini-library of ancient texts, and will read and freely discuss substantial selections from each genre. They will compare and contrast traditionalist, modernist, and scholarly systems of biblical interpretation. Students will explore some of the ways the Bible has influenced American history, literature, music, and film. And they will leave the course with a fuller understanding of the Bible’s contents, interpretation, and influence on America.

Course #: FSP 161-09
Professor: Clydesdale, Tim
Day/s & Time/s: R 5:30-8:20 PM

Clydesdale, Tim
FSP 161-24

Science Fiction: A Human Quest

How have the creation of constructs such as robots and warp drive given rise to such powerful philosophic statements as the Three Laws of Robotics and The Prime Directive? How have androids such as Asimov’s R Daneel Alivaw and Star Trek’s Data pushed our understanding of what it means to be human? Students will explore the struggle to answer this question through the lens of various science fiction novels, short stories, flash fiction pieces, podcasts, television series, and/or films. There will be a series of short writing assignments that will culminate in a final paper in which the student will present and support an argument for what it truly means to be human.

Course #: FSP 161-24
Professor: O'Connor, Susan
Day/s & Time/s: TF 8-9:20 AM

O'Connor, Susan
FSP 161-13

Star Wars: Films & Adaptations

In this section of First Seminar, Star Wars: Films & Adaptations, we will examine the original movie trilogy (Episodes IV, V, VI) as well as the prequels (I, II, III), and other Star Wars films released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm. We will also read one Star Wars novel, watch selected episodes of three Star Wars animated TV series (both Clone Wars series and Star Wars Rebels), and read about and discuss other ancillary creations (e.g., collectibles, Jediism) that make up the Star Wars cultural phenomenon. Our approach is interdisciplinary: film studies, literature, myth, philosophy, religious studies, history, sociology, economics/marketing, other. The primary sources analyzed are the fictional works created by George Lucas and others; secondary sources include books and articles in a variety of disciplines. The final project is a research paper on a topic related to Star Wars. If you haven’t already watched all the films, please do so over the summer since we won’t be able to avoid spoilers in our reading and discussion. Consider signing up for Disney+ so that you can re-watch the films as we study them week-by-week throughout the semester. You will need to have watched the films you write essays about recently in order to support your points with specific references to the films (e.g., quoting dialogue, describing shots).

Course #: FSP 161-13
Professor: Konkle, Lincoln
Day/s & Time/s: TF 2-3:20 PM

Konkle, Lincoln
FSP 161-01

The True Cost of Fashion

Who makes our clothes, how they are made and what impact their production has had on our world are all ethical questions related to the 3 trillion-dollar-a-year global fashion industry. When the production of clothing and textiles was moved offshore in the late 19th century, the cost of clothing to the consumer decreased drastically while the human and environmental costs skyrocketed. In this course, we examine how the consumer's love for cheap clothing has come at a high cost to the people who make it and the planet. We will examine solutions for a more sustainable future for the global industry now in a crisis through innovation, policy reforms, and conscious consumerism.

Course #: FSP 161-01
Professor: Webber, Kathleen
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-8:20 PM

Webber, Kathleen
FSP 161-10

Social Justice, Past and Present

What are the characteristics of a just society? What does it mean to say that we have rights? What is the relation between ethical or moral values and religious belief? This seminar compares ancient and medieval ideas about these and related questions with those of the modern world. Discussions will focus on a selection of pre-modern (some very old) and more or less modern writings representative of diverse world views, along with some modern films and news about current events.

Course #: FSP 161-10
Professor: Chazelle, Celia
Day/s & Time/s: TF 11-12:20 PM

Chazelle, Celia
FSP 164-02

What's on our plate? Critical explorations of food access and place

We will explore food consumption, production, and equity of access in various locations. Participants will analyze the role that place plays in production and access to food through course assignments, readings, and field trips. We will investigate our own consumption practices and map food production and access across local and global communities. Applying a critical place-based lens to our relationship with food and place, students will develop deeper understandings of structural, historical, social and economic forces that influence what ends up on an individual's plate. Alternative approaches to food production and consumption will be explored as students critique cultural practices, policies and their own role in the diverse food production systems. Students will be introduced to participatory research skills and methods. Emphasis will be on critical, place-based investigations utilizing visual and digital methods to explore food and place.

Course #: FSP 164-02
Professor: Bellino, Marissa
Day/s & Time/s: T 5:30-8:20 PM

Bellino, Marissa Global
FSP 164-18

Narrative, Health, and Illness

Narratives surround us. We are embodied stories and stories live through us as we are listeners/readers and storytellers. We make sense of our lives by means of stories—especially if we have experienced or witnessed illness and trauma. This interdisciplinary course sees narratives as texts, as a way of knowing (i.e., as a research tool of inquiry), and as way of self-knowing. For that reason, it combines theoretical insights from literary studies, medical anthropology, autobiographical studies, ethics, and the medical/health humanities. We will read illness narratives, memoirs, and graphic novels to learn how authors make sense of their own life experiences through creative means, as a way of repair and self-care. In addition, we will practice close reading and reflective writing to enhance interpretation, critical thinking, and communicative skills.

Course #: FSP 164-18
Professor: Delbene, Roxana
Day/s & Time/s: TF 3:30-4:50 PM

Delbene, Roxana Global
FSP 164-07

Art of Happiness from a Buddhist Perspective

This seminar seeks to explore the nature and meanings of happiness from a Buddhist perspective. Students will read the basic teachings about happiness from both the Buddhist canons and the contemporary Buddhist thinkers (such as The Dalai Lama, Chögyam Trungpa and Thích Nhất Hạnh). Emphasis will be placed on the key concepts of happiness such as compassion, wisdom, mindfulness, affection, kindness, gratitude, right ethical conducts and mental/emotional cultivation. Students are encouraged to think about what it would mean to live a good and happy life by applying the teachings to their contemporary life and society.

Course #: FSP 164-07
Professor: Mi, Jiayan
Day/s & Time/s: TF 2-3:20 PM

Mi, Jiayan Global
FSP 161-04

Corrupting the Youth: The Power of Philosophy

The Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was arrested, tried, and executed on the charge of corrupting the youth. It turns out that the accusation was that he taught the youth of Athens to think for themselves; to critically examine claims to knowledge, to understand the logic of an argument, and to be relentless in the pursuit of truth. In this course we will learn how to do all of these things, through a variety of readings and problems in philosophy. I can't promise you'll get arrested and executed for being such a threat to the status quo, but you will be a competitive critical thinker by the time we are done!

Course #: FSP 161-04
Professor: Preti, Consuelo
Day/s & Time/s: MR 12:30-1:50 PM

Preti, Consuelo
FSP 161-12

Star Wars: Films & Adaptations

In this section of First Seminar, Star Wars: Films & Adaptations, we will examine the original movie trilogy (Episodes IV, V, VI) as well as the prequels (I, II, III), and other Star Wars films released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm. We will also read one Star Wars novel, watch selected episodes of three Star Wars animated TV series (both Clone Wars series and Star Wars Rebels), and read about and discuss other ancillary creations (e.g., collectibles, Jediism) that make up the Star Wars cultural phenomenon. Our approach is interdisciplinary: film studies, literature, myth, philosophy, religious studies, history, sociology, economics/marketing, other. The primary sources analyzed are the fictional works created by George Lucas and others; secondary sources include books and articles in a variety of disciplines. The final project is a research paper on a topic related to Star Wars. If you haven’t already watched all the films, please do so over the summer since we won’t be able to avoid spoilers in our reading and discussion. Consider signing up for Disney+ so that you can re-watch the films as we study them week-by-week throughout the semester. You will need to have watched the films you write essays about recently in order to support your points with specific references to the films (e.g., quoting dialogue, describing shots).

Course #: FSP 161-12
Professor: Konkle, Lincoln
Day/s & Time/s: TF 11-12:20 PM

Konkle, Lincoln
FSP 161-03

Corrupting the Youth: The Power of Philosophy

The Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was arrested, tried, and executed on the charge of corrupting the youth. It turns out that the accusation was that he taught the youth of Athens to think for themselves; to critically examine claims to knowledge, to understand the logic of an argument, and to be relentless in the pursuit of truth. In this course we will learn how to do all of these things, through a variety of readings and problems in philosophy. I can't promise you'll get arrested and executed for being such a threat to the status quo, but you will be a competitive critical thinker by the time we are done!

Course #: FSP 161-03
Professor: Preti, Consuelo
Day/s & Time/s: MR 11-12:20PM

Preti, Consuelo
FSP 161-20

Mindhunters: What Really Makes A Murderer?

This course will utilize existing literature, lectures, and extensive class discussion to theoretically analyze extreme deviant behavior; specifically serial murder. The course will explore the psychosocial motivations of serial murderers, as well as how their media depiction often intensifies the cultural appetite for more information. The course will begin by briefly establishing a foundational knowledge of the reality of serial homicide in the United States and across the globe, inspect the difference between a psychopath and sociopath, and explore the typology (Holmes) and myths of serial killers. Class periods will be utilized for intense discussion surrounding the readings, as well as student discussion around their own comprehensive case study research.

Course #: FSP 161-20
Professor: Gallus, Elizabeth
Day/s & Time/s: M 5:30-6:50 PM

Gallus, Elizabeth
FSP 164-17

What is "democracy" anyway?

What is “democracy” anyway? Democracy (from the Ancient Greek demokratia) is a generic term, which is applied today to many dissimilar political systems. Unlike philosophers and political leaders in the past, today many proclaim their love for “democracy”, but what does this concept entail? We will examine the idea of democracy through a collection of texts as varied as an ancient Greek play, an excerpt from Plato, the Federalist papers, movies and articles of contemporary writers. In this course we will explore topics such as: the birth of democracy in Ancient Greece, comparison between Greek democracy and the Roman republic, the relationship between the flourishing of the individual and the political community, the connections between democracy and imperialism, democracy and liberalism.

Course #: FSP 164-17
Professor: Chiekova, Dobrinka
Day/s & Time/s: TF 11-12:20 PM

Chiekova, Dobrinka Global
FSP 164-28

On Brand: The Age of Influencers, The Power of Instagram, and the Rise of Social Marketing

“Call it buying an audience before they buy your product, call it influencer marketing, call it what you like. At the end of the day as marketers we’re all just trying to create conversations that will ultimately increase our popularity in the online world – because we know that if we’re the most popular, consumers will come to us.” – Kirsty Sharman This quote from blogger Kirsty Sharman encapsulates what students will focus on in this course. Throughout the semester, students will learn about and discuss the power of social marketing, how influencers grow their personal brand and impact the world, the role that social media plays in our daily life, and how the internet can directly impact our personal and professional growth. Students will work independently and in groups on projects related to the topic and will also read articles, watch ted-talks/documentaries, and read book(s) that dig into this topic a bit deeper. The goal of this course is to strengthen students’ intellectual skills, and provide them with opportunities for scholarly conversation. Course #: FSP 164-28
Professor: Sargiss, Christina
Day/s & Time/s: MW 5:30-6:50 PM

Sargiss, Christina Global
FSP 164-08

Global Disability Perspectives: Become an Activist

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin

James Baldwin may not have been speaking about the human rights of people with disabilities around the world, but his sentiments apply. Despite the awareness of international communities (e.g. United Nations, World Bank), the barriers to equal opportunity and social/community inclusion have yet to be eliminated for people with disabilities. In nearly every country in the world people with disabilities remain vulnerable to poverty, discrimination and abuse. Therefore, this course is designed so that students will become Global Activists for people with disabilities around the world. In cooperation with United Nations’ Program on Disability for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, students will work in small groups to craft and implement an activist campaign designed to value-add to improving the human rights of people with disabilities in other countries and cultures.

Course #: FSP 164-08
Professor: Petroff, Jerry
Day/s & Time/s: R 5:30-8:20 PM

Petroff, Jerry G Global
FSP 163-07

Gendered Justice: The Labor of Womyn and Mothers in Trenton, NJ

This course will examine historic and present-day movements for liberation, many of which were led by womyn, mothers, and families in Trenton, NJ. Employing intersectional frameworks, students will examine the cultural, social and political productions of gendered, ethno-racial and dis/abled identities in schooling and society and analyze how these experiences served as the impetus for movements focused on educational justice and equity.

Course #: FSP 163-07
Professor: Shallish, Lauren
Day/s & Time/s: MR 9:30-10:50 PM

Shallish, Lauren Gender
FSP 163-05

LGBTQ and Media Studies

This course explores LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) identity, culture, and politics by way of their representations in popular and independent films/documentaries, as well as in other forms of mass media. I often share with students that there are at least three major reasons for why there's been a significant shift globally in terms of pro LGBTQ civil and human rights. First, many anti-gay laws are being challenged and repealed (e.g., anti-gay marriage laws). Second, many people now personally know friends, family members, and co-workers who identify as LGBTQ, thus personalizing the issue. Third, and related to the course theme, there's been an outpouring of LGBTQ themed popular culture/mass media, thus helping to globalize many LGBTQ concerns, issues, and topics to a wide variety of people and places. Within the context of these major changes, students will be introduced to a broad range of scholarly and media materials for the study of LGBTQ media and popular culture. Topics covered include: the history of LGBTQ representations in the media; the complexity of LGBTQ visibility in films and documentaries; the role of comedy in LGBTQ media portrayals; representations of LGBTQ intimacy and erotic life; the role of consumer culture in constructing LGBTQ identities; the coming out metaphor in popular culture; the role of social media in fostering LGBTQ activism and community; and media portrayals of transgender/genderqueer identities and bodies. By way of these and other topics, this course provides an opportunity to consider the significant role that media have played in advancing a global transformation on the topic of LGBTQ.

Course #: FSP 163-05
Professor: Rodriguez, Nelson
Day/s & Time/s: MR 12:30-1:50PM

Rodriguez, Nelson Gender
FSP 161-06

How College Works: Higher Education and American Society

The discussion about college in your family over the last year was personal: which college would you choose (and which ones would choose you), who was going to pay for your education, and what did you intend to study? There is widespread public debate about these issues too. Access to college, the costs of attendance, and the value of a degree are all being questioned by business and nonprofit executives, politicians, and educators. We examine this public debate about higher education; a debate that has intensified as the importance of college for individual success has increased and the resources available for higher education become scarcer.

Course #: FSP 161-06
Professor: Prensky, David
Day/s & Time/s: MR 2-3:20 PM

Prensky, David
FSP 164-21

Better Living Through Literature

Does the life of a Marvel or DC superhero inspire you? Did the friendship of Harry, Ron, and Hermoine affect the way you support your friends? For many of us, literature serves as a guidepost to how we live our lives. Better Living Through Literature will explore all the ways literature enriches our lives. Stories -- whether they are myths, comic books, or romance novels -- can help us be better people. We will look at how we can apply literature to our ethical, romantic, and political choices. Along with genre and world literature reading, students will develop writing and presentation skills that will prepare them individually for their scholarly goals at TCNJ.

Course #: FSP 164-21
Professor: Raskin, Donna
Day/s & Time/s: TR 5:30:6:50 PM/TR 7-8:20 PM

Raskin, Donna Global
FSP 163-02

Dystopian Futures and Feminist Resistance in Hulu TV's The Handmaid's Tale

In 2017 Hulu streaming service released the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale. Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, the dystopian television show presents a society where women have lost all of their rights and the government has switched from a democracy to a theocracy where civil law is interpreted from fundamental Christianity. In this dystopian society human abuse of the environment has rendered most women and men infertile, as such women who are fertile are enslaved and forced to reproduce for prominent men and women. This course will use the first season of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale to introduce students to how our social institution's (government, media, religion, family and education) frame the way we experience our social identities (gender, race, sexuality). Through close readings of the show, secondary readings and lectures this course will also engage contemporary feminist movements to provide students with an understanding of feminist theories of race, gender, and the environment.

Course #: FSP 163-02
Professor: Adair, Zakiya
Day/s & Time/s: TF 3:30-4:50PM

Adair, Zakiya Gender
FSP 164-15

Conspiracy Theory in American Culture & Politics

Conspiracy theories and fringe ideas have long been a significant part of popular discourse when it comes to topics in American culture and politics: from the JFK assassination and the moon landing, to the 9/11 attacks and alleged Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election. Especially with the proliferation of the internet and social media platforms, people today face the unique and difficult task of evaluating the credibility of sources of news/ information and deciding what actually constitutes historical fact. This course dives into the issues surrounding the perpetuation of conspiracy theories developed from the first half of the 20th Century to the present, chronicling major events in history that spark the most controversy and evaluating the pros and cons of various analytical approaches. In striking the proper balance between being overly skeptical or impressionable, students will explore the boundaries of their core beliefs and their sense of open-mindedness, while heightening their critical thinking skills across the board.

Course #: FSP 164-15
Professor: Arndt, Thomas
Day/s & Time/s: TF 11-12:20 PM

Arndt, Thomas Global
FSP 164-01

What's for Dinner?

Food is essential for life. It started as a way to obtain the nutrients needed to grow, but also serves a variety of psychological and social needs. This course will explore food patterns and dietary habits from around the world and throughout history to learn about the interplay between food and societies in different social, cultural, environmental and economic contexts. We will examine how what we eat has changed over time due to technological advances such as canning, freezing, microwaving etc. How has “American” versions of food changed from their ethnic origins and why did this occur? We will also explore additives, allergies, diets, myths, hormones and GMO’s from both a scientific and cultural point of view. We will also examine what we eat through a food journal. A group project/presentation will look at the costs of feeding a family a healthy balanced diet on about $400 a month.

Course #: FSP 164-01
Professor: Bassolino, Donna
Day/s & Time/s: TF 11-12:20 PM

Bassolino, Donna Global
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