Courses

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 2018

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.
 
BIOLOGY 198: Our Life with Fungi
Fungi have a special and important role in human society and in nature. Humans rely on fungi for medicine, food, bread, beer and wine. Nature needs fungi to decompose plants and animals.  Fungi form many symbioses with animals, plants and insects in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. In this class we will explore the many ways we interact with fungi through readings, videos, and walks through the Cofrin Arboretum.
 
ENG COMP 198: Word Games: Spotting Liars, Scammers, and Schemes
In the course, we will use forensic linguistics to determine whether people are lying or telling the truth, employ rhetorical analysis to critique political campaigns and advertising propaganda, and generally learn how to "read between the lines" in a way that enables us to be smarter citizens and consumers.

ENG COMP 198: American Culture
We will look at some of the causes and effects of poverty in the United States.  In doing so, we will use  
a multimedia approach: visuals, radio and television programs, documentaries, websites, academic publications, and our texts.   Much class time will be devoted to presentation of information and discussion, but you will also be asked to create a presentation near the end of the course.  A great deal of emphasis will be placed on discussion and writing.

ENG COMP 198: Concepts of Home; Exploring Identity and Geography
What does where you come from say about who you are? Is “home” a physical or mental concept, or something else altogether? What biological and psychological processes cause us to feel homesick? What happens to our identity when our homes are challenged or destroyed? Why would anyone choose to live in a tiny house? Throughout the semester, students will explore these types of questions relating to how our identity is in many ways shaped by where, when, and if we feel “at home.” Discussion will be based on a variety of readings to see what scholars, journalists, and everyday people have had to say about this subject, and the course will also include fieldwork opportunities to explore the different intersections of geography and identity on campus and in the Green Bay area. Students will also explore the concept of home through composing written work in a variety of genres, including creative nonfiction, personal response, academic research, visual rhetoric, and possibly creative writing.  
 
ENG COMP 198:  Intro to Creative Writing: Craft and Exploration
This class will introduce you to the craft of creative writing, from character to metaphor to structure.  We’ll examine three major genres of creative writing, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, but rather than looking at each genre distinctly, we’ll study craft elements of writing important to each of these.  On a typical day, you can expect any combination of writing exercises, lecture, group discussion, workshop, and class reading.  In reading the work of master writers, we will look for ways to emulate their work.  In addition, your own writing will be an important text for this class.
 
ENV SCI 198: 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. Students enrolled in this course are required to read Frankenstein and Dracula prior to the first class meeting in fall. 
 
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.
 
GEOSCI 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 STUD 198: Heroic Journeys
This interdisciplinary humanities first-year seminar explores heroic journeys and cultural values of ancient, medieval, and modern peoples. Texts in the course include The Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer's Odyssey, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Tolkien's The Hobbit, and Marjane Satrapi's Persopolis.
 
HUM STUD 198:  The Power of the People: The Civil Rights Movement
When people talk about the Civil Rights Movement, they typically mention Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a bus, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s "dream," and African Americans marching and sitting in for their rights. But this course will take you deeper into the history of the Civil Rights Movement. You'll learn more about the people and events you might already be familiar with, but you'll also learn about people like Ella Baker, who worked for three decades to empower African Americans to fight for their rights in their own communities. We'll also revisit the victories and the defeats of the movement to better understand the road left to travel.
 
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: Animal Studies
This course will explore the roles animals play in literature, art, and popular media, for example, and how those representations correspond or differ from the roles of animals in society (i.e. experimentation, consumption, affection and the formation of domesticity, etc.). We will also discuss how animals often become analogues for the socially disenfranchised and the impact of that connection. 
 
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 agendas.  Popular culture also loves the Vikings: comic books, Hollywood films, Norwegian black metal, professional sports teams.
 
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: Big Bangs, Black Holes, and Time Travel
This course is a philosophical exploration of themes related to the universe and our place in it. Drawing on the movie Interstellar and other movies for our inspiration, we will discuss such issues as the nature of science, the nature of time, our ethical obligations to future generations, the relationship of computers to consciousness, and the significance and meaning of life in the face of a vast cosmos.
Course time and location:  TR 9:30 AM – 10:50 AM; WH114
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
POL SCI 198: Politics in 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: Parenting Across the World
In this course, we will explore how different parenting and socialization practices used across the world. We will use psychological research to examine the effectiveness of a variety of parenting practices. We will also discuss theories and methods to study human development across cultures, while considering how research applies to practical aspects and helps you to foster an understanding of, appreciation for, and interest in the multicultural perspectives of human development.
 
PU EN AF 198: SimCity Civics
When most people think of “government,” large federal institutions such as the president, Congress, or the U.S. Supreme Court likely come to mind. In reality, however, citizens are most likely to interact with their local governments on a daily basis—whether they realize it or not. Services provided by cities and counties, for example, can include road maintenance, public safety, parks, social services, cultural institutions, education, snow removal, and economic development. When disasters occur, local governments are the first to respond. In short, these governments directly and regularly affect the quality of life for most people. The purpose of this course is to highlight and explore local governments and the ways in which they are managed. Lectures, class discussions, and readings will highlight a wide variety of local government services and the impacts they have on community members. At the same time, students will be able to interact with a series of guest speakers who are currently working in these fields. Using this information, students will complete individual and group activities that involve actively managing cities undergoing particular challenges, both real and simulated
 
PU EN AF 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.
 
PU EN AF 198: Green Justice 
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

PU EN AF 198: Comedy Central Civics

Young people regularly express low levels of interest in public affairs and politics, do not feel a strong

sense of civic obligation, and are not well informed about important issues and events. Interestingly, surveys of young people indicate that comedy news shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver are popular outlets for information about current issues and events, government, elections, and policy. In this seminar, we will use comedy news shows to learn about and better understand contemporary events and issues. Throughout the course, we will also think about new ways of getting young people excited about, interested in, and involved in civic life.


 SPANISH 198: 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.