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College of Arts, Humanities And Social Sciences


The First Year Seminars are a group of courses that are part of General Education at UW-Green Bay. The seminars are designed to provide students with an educational experience characterized by dynamic learning and interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving. They provide high quality interactions with a professor and classmates in a small size seminar environment. The courses also encourage students to connect with the campus community through a variety of activities. Each seminar fulfills a lower level writing emphasis requirement.

Although freshman seminars vary in topics, all have common elements. They are:

  1. To introduce students to a problem-focused, interdisciplinary education. Students will address problems from multiple perspectives.
  2. To develop communication skills. The courses emphasize effective communication including writing, speaking, and the ability to work in a small group environment.
  3. To promote information literacy. The seminars introduce the idea of information literacy in the context of writing and speaking assignments so that students have a better understanding of how information is collected, how to assess the quality of the information and its sources, and how to use information effectively.


First Year Seminars - Fall 2016

ART 198:  Exploring Art, Culture and Ideas
Art tells the stories of human experience. These stories are of many types: romances, mysteries, gospels, autobiographies, fantasies. In this course, we’ll experiment with different ways of looking at art and reading its stories. This will include considering the larger context of art as it intersects with other disciplines, as well as each student’s own interpretations. We’ll focus on the art of the present, making use of art on campus and in the community, films, visiting artists, and hands-on experiences.

ART 250: Intro to Fibers/Textiles
An introductory overview of the field of textiles and fiber arts. Students will learn basic processes as well as some of the intellectual, philosophical and historical considerations specific to the study of art cloth, fiber sculpture, textile construction, and embellishment.

DJS 198:  Reading the Times
Through daily readings of and discussions about the latest news stories and opinion columns in the New York Times, students will become knowledgeable about and familiar with current national and international affairs and the public debates that address those events and developments.  

DJS 198: Food Politics
This course examines the politics and ethics of what we eat, as well as the environmental and social consequences of our food choices. By delving into topics involving food policy, animal welfare, food waste, food scarcity, agriculture, the slow food movement, and the treatment of those working in the food industry, we will learn that eating is very much a political act.

ENV SCI 198:  The Science and History of Monsters
This course studies the monsters of myth, legend, and reality. Literature, film documentaries, folklore, history, and pop culture are used to trace the origins of monsters. We will examine the influence of science on the creation of monsters, discuss the ethics of scientists with a "God complex",; consider the possibility that real monsters exist based on the scientific evidence, and examine the physiological response of humans to horror, fear, and death.

FNS 198 From Disney’s Pocahontas to the NFL: Stereotypes and the Realities of First Nations People
This course will focus on historical and contemporary issues related to representation and self-representation of First Nations people and communities.  We will explore questions of cultural exchange and cultural appropriation, stereotyping and its effects, advocacy and resiliency, and cultural and visual sovereignty in the context of schooling, sports, mass media, and popular culture. The course design, which emphasizes oral tradition and intergenerational teaching and learning, provides opportunities to develop skills related to critical thinking, group processes, memory, and public speaking.

GEO SCI 198: Nature and American History
American History has been influenced fundamentally by the world around us. Resources drive migrations. Technology has a basis in Earth materials. Topography acts as natural divides that influence political boundaries and restrictions to transport. Disasters force us to make difficult decisions. This course reinvestigates major American events many of us already know about through the lens of natural science.

HUM BIOL 198:  Science and Art
This course explores art and science as ways of knowing by addressing what they are, their goals, how they work, and how they compare as creative, human, and social activities. Topics include the philosophies of art and science and the ways in which the fields relate to, and serve, each other.

HUM DEV 198: Love & Lust in America
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration into the concepts of romantic love and sexuality in American culture. Included will be a review of the history of these topics in the U.S., an overview of the scientific study of lust and love, an examination of media portrayals and the impact of these portrayals, and the role of politics in lust and love in the U.S.

HUM DEV 198: Fingernails on the Chalkboard? How Education Shapes Us
This First Year Seminar will examine the implications that Human Development has on educational concerns and needs, as well as the ways in which education itself promotes or hinders important developmental processes. Educational policy issues will be discussed and topics covered will include: early literacy skills, Kindergarten readiness, special education, sex education, high school drop-out, college issues (economic and social), traditional vs. non-traditional college students, and online education. In addition, this course will incorporate diversity topics such as inequalities in schools, LGBT students, and the achievement gap, and global models of education.

HUM DEV 198: That's So Gay! Explorations of LGBT Lives and Identities
This course explores the field of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies and its relationshnip to both the lives of LGBT people and society more broadly.  Using an interdisciplinary approach, we will explore such topics as theories of sexual and gender diversity; identity and community; gender/sexuality and power, queer cultures, and LGBT politics, focusing on the United States.

HUM STUD 198: Wild: Nature and Modern Culture
Through this highly interactive seminar, we will explore relationships between humans and nature, in both idea and practice. Modern people tend to see themselves as separate from the rest of nature and only occasionally apply ethical thinking to human relations with other-than-human nature. Meanwhile, our environmental impact--including species extinctions and global climate change—continues to expand. This modern situation suggests a number of big questions that we will investigate from multiple perspectives. What ways of thinking about the relationship between humans and (other-than-human) nature have dominated modern culture and ways of life? Why might we need to rethink the dominant relationships between humans and nature? What might we learn from indigenous and other-than-Western alternatives to the modern understanding of the relationship between humans and nature? How might we reimagine the relationship between humans and nature to aim toward a sustainable, livable earth?

HUM STUD 198:  Hell, Demons, and Angels
This course explores questions about the afterlife and non-human spiritual creatures.  What happens to us after we die?  Do we have a soul or are we only our bodies? Is death the end of our lives? Does hell exist?  Do angels and demons exist?  What are they and what kind of powers might they possess?  To consider these questions, we will carefully read several texts.  We begin with the philosopher Plato’s works, first reading his Apology and then moving on to his Phaedo.  In this part of the course, we will consider questions about the soul and body, and explore death and dying.  We then turn to a famous poetic treatment of hell, Dante’s Inferno.  This arresting book depicts the horrors of hell, and will allow us to discuss whether hell exists.  It will also enable us explore the nature of angels and demons.  Medieval thinkers developed elaborate accounts of these beings, and students will have an opportunity to examine them.  Finally, we read a recent book in the philosophy of religion that systematically considers questions of heaven and hell. Throughout the seminar, students will be asked to take seriously the arguments of the thinkers they read.  They will also be encouraged to work out their own ideas about hell, demons, and angels.

HUM STUD 198: The Vikings
This is a course on the myth of the Vikings in the medieval and modern era.  Whence do we gain the impression that the Vikings were bloodthirsty marauders?  Medieval monks maligned them in their chronicles.  Romantic and nationalist composers and novelists made the Vikings subjects of operas and gothic novels.  Soviet propagandists pictured Hitler wearing a horned helmet in newsreels.  You name it; the Vikings have been used to further politically-and culturally-driven agendaa.  Popular culture also loves the Vikings: comic books , Hollywood films, Norwegian black metal, professiona sports teams.

HUM STUD 198:  Another Brick in the Wall?  Education in Literature and Film
This interdisciplinary seminar explores cultural representations of the exciting human project of self-formation from Socrates to the present.  From our discussions of some of the most interesting key texts and films from this humanistic tradition along with reflections on your own schooling experiences, you will not only learn about some of the salient ideals and narratives that have influences our notions of self-discovery, but you will also gain a much broader understanding and deeper insight into classroom spaces and the significance of your own college education.  How has the value and purpose of education changed over time?  Who were the apprentices, monks, mentors, hogwart sorcerers, disciples, disciplinarians and academics of history?  What can we learn from other cultures’ perspectives and practices?  What philosophical assumptions about teaching and learning inform the educational experiences authors and filmmakers have documented?

MUSIC 198: Video Game Music
This course explores the brief, but colorful, history of music in video games through interdisciplinary perspectives including sociological, psychological, commercial, technological, etc. Students will examine the role, musical methodology/application, and unique artistry of music in video games, and students will contribute to the class learning environment by researching and presenting a game music composer from an interdisciplinary perspective. Through guided instruction, students will also compose their own basic game music.

MUSIC 198: The Jazz Loft
This course is designed to study the photographs and tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 1957 to 1965 in New York City.  Smith's huge archive of materials from this transitional time in U.S. history is used as a keystone in discussions of such diverse topics as jazz history, Civil Rights, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and of the nature of artists and their reactions to their surroundings.

NUT SCI 198: Food for Health and Sustainability
What’s for dinner?  The answer to this simple question profoundly influences our individual health and that of our communities, impacts the environment locally and globally, and drives many gender and social justice issues. This course begins with the food on our plates and traces the history of those foods, how they affect human health, the environment and the fabric of our societies.

PHYSICS 198: Intro to the Physics of Space Programs
An introduction to the principles of aerospace physics as they relate to Space Programs, including application of the Tsiolkvsky Equation, Hohmann Transfers, determination of velocities and delta-v. Depth of understanding will be evaluated and refined interactively using the Kerbal Space Program simulation software.

POL SCI 198: The Politics of Sports
An examination of how sports-related issues illustrate important political concepts, including nation-building through sports, regionalism, inter- and intra-state conflicts, international organizations, political systems (authoritarianism and democracy), citizenship, political culture (competitive vs. consensual), civil rights (gender, LGBT, disability issues), public policies (education, economic policies, health, etc.), branches of government (congressional hearings), elections and public opinion (sports and political campaigns), the role of media, in US and around the world.

PSYCH 198: Gods, Ghosts and Goblins
Why do we believe what we do?  We will take a social science perspective to explore the underlying reasons as to why humans believe the things they do (and why they do not believe in other things).  We will explore the roots of religion, discuss the psychological benefits to believing and the perils of not, and examine some fascinating objects of belief ranging from paranormal activity to extraterrestrial life.

PU EN AF 198:  Introduction to Leadership
This course explores leadership and followership-definitions, concepts, theories, styles, and skills-and provides a framework for further study and practice across disciplines and involvements.

PU EN AF 198:  Green Lives Matter
Over recent decades, the merging of civil rights and environmental concerns has generated the Environmental Justice Movement. Led primarily by people of color, women, and blue collar sectors of society, the Environmental Justice Movement now marks a worldwide grassroots effort for social justice. This course represents an effort to learn about the Environmental Justice Movement by studying its history, causes, and the struggles of people shaping the movement. Examples of topics to be covered include the following: Flint lead contamination, migrant farm worker pesticide exposure, Cancer Alley (Louisiana), mining on tribal lands, Hurricane Katrina, Alaskan natives, urban environmental harms, and others

SPANISH 225: Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Composition
This class will offered students with at least four years of high school Spanish, the possibility to review and advance in their linguistic and cultural knowledge.  Students will develop greater fluency through classroom practice in conversation and composition.

UR RE ST 198:  Animals and Society
This course focuses on the complex relations between humans and animals. How do we determine, which animals are wild, food, or pets? What impact do these interactions have on the social, economic, and political life of a culture? The topics covered in this class help explore our ongoing relationship with animals as pets, food sources, and wildlife and how they change in an era bombarded with concerns about environmental degradation and economic fluctuations. This course requires an interdisciplinary perspective and an emphasis on critical thinking.

UR RE ST 198:  The Sixties
There are certain periods of American History that draw our attention: the Civil War, the Roaring Twenties, World War II, the 1960s.  While not as critical to the future of the nation as the war years, the 1960s stand out from other decades because of the intersection of many international, political, and social forces that came together in this period:  the Civil Rights Movement, the Watts Riot (which marked only the beginning of urban unrest), the Vietnam War, the Anti-War Movement, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy (both in the summer of 1968), Haight-Asbury and the Hippie scene, Woodstock and a new musical direction.  We will cover these and other events in this First Year Seminar.