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FYW 101 & FYW 102 Course Descriptions

FYW 101: Writing Studio

Offered Every Semester

Prerequisite : Placement

Writing Studio offers writing support for FYW 102: Academic Writing and FYS First Seminar. A two-credit studio course, Writing Studio must be taken concurrently with FYW 102 or with FYS. May be repeated.


FYW 102: Academic Writing

Fall 2021

1 Course Unit

Offered Annually

Academic Writing is a four-credit course that offers students the opportunity to develop, advance, and practice skills in the production of academic prose. Within a framework of sophisticated readings, highly coordinated writing workshops, and instructor feedback, students practice rhetorical approaches to the writing necessary to succeed in college. Students read critically, cultivate habits of effective and ethical research, practice conventions of documentation, and use information technologies. Topical readings vary among sections. May be repeated.

The Argument of Ethics: Power Book II: Ghost 
FYW 102-01, Mo/Th 12:30-1:50PM
Tiffany Youngblood
In this course we will analyze what drives a person’s decisions. What are the consequences of our actions? How do we examine who is ultimately affected by our actions? How do we determine how things could be done differently? We will center the course on the actions and decisions made by the characters in the hit drama series Power Book II: Ghost. We will view some of the episodes together and engage in discussion about the content. We will ultimately rewrite the ending of the series to reflect our thinking about ethics, decisions, and power.

The Superheroic Construct: From Gotham to Wakanda
FYW 102-01, Mo/Th 12:30-1:50PM
Samantha Atzeni FYW 102-03, Tu/Fri 9:30-10:50AM
This course will focus on the super-heroic social constructs that define the mythos of the superhero universe, including Marvel and DC’s humble origins within the pages of sequential art. Together, we will deconstruct the role of superheroes and determine how their purposes, environments, and moral codes define these epic narratives. Together we will attempt to answer the question: What cultural components create a legendary superhero story? Assignments and readings will focus on film theory and sequential art theory, as well as issues of identity through gender, race, and class. Throughout the semester, we will focus on each hero’s struggle with personal responsibility, trauma, terrorism in a post 9/11 world, and how the roles of good and evil are modified throughout each medium. We will also explore how authority and chaos are important ingredients for a successful superhero story – and why this recipe works so well for creating a superhero blockbuster. Using academic journals and articles, graphic novels, pages from various comic books, visual texts (films, advertisements, commercials, sitcoms, and documentaries), we will investigate the current comics culture and how superheroes offer us a representation of ourselves.

Food, Glorious Food
FYW 102-03, Mo/Th 9:30-10:50AM 
Janet Hubbard
Everyone needs to eat to live. Many of us have complicated relationships with food, yet many of us are also unaware of what goes into our food and the land and animals it comes from. This section uses common and individual resources, including readings, movies, and websites, to learn about the history of agriculture, and explore and argue about various aspects of the food industry as it exists today. You will cook one of your favorite foods and report to the class, as well as make a specific recommendation to improve some aspect of this important industry.

The Ethics & Arguments of True Crime
FYW 102-04, Mo/Th 12:30-1:50PM
Madeline Anthes
True crime, a nonfiction genre in which the author discusses a real crime, is having a moment. In the past few years there has been an influx of podcasts, documentaries, and books devoted to true crime. This course will examine the ethics of true crime, explore the boundaries of nonfiction, and discuss why the genre is currently so popular. We will look at a few specific cases, read nonfictional accounts, and listen to podcasts that cover true crime. This course will cover triggering topics and graphic material; while we will make every attempt to have discussions in a meaningful and ethical way, students should be prepared to cover difficult and intense material.

Queer Tales
FYW 102-05 Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Zach Gall
This course will explore the portrayal of queer (both explicit and implied) characters in media and the social issues that surround them. Using both factual and fictional examples, we will examine stories of the LGBTGQIA+ community, its struggle for visibility, and how pop culture/media can subvert traditional ideas.

Income Inequality
FYW 102-06, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Penelope Gardner
Money is power. In this course, we will learn who has it and how it is used to shape our world. We’ll explore the inequities experienced by the majority of the population, how they came to exist, and how they disproportionately affect certain groups such as women and minorities. Students will gain a worldly perspective and practical insight into economic issues and how they impact each of us on a daily basis.

Activism: Past and Present
FYW 102-07, Mo/We 5:30-6:50PM 
Dionne Hallback
This course examines the role of activism in our society. We will explore various approaches, attitudes, beliefs and outcomes of activism, which may include mass incarceration/prison reform, athlete activism, protest songs, various social justice issues to name a few. We will investigate activism as a way to illustrate the diversity of methods, outcomes, and the idea of “finding and using your voice.”

Box Office Bomb: Why Movies Fail
FYW 102-08, Mo/Th 3:30-4:50PM 
Laura Hargreaves
In this course, we will study the history and aftermath of notable failures in the movie business. What makes a movie fail? Together, the class will analyze historical, sociological, and economic reasons that a film that seems like a guaranteed success could turn into a box office bomb. Further, we will determine what takes a failed movie that could have forever been forgotten to the legendary status films such as The Room have attained.

Race to Justice 
FYW 102-10, We 5:30-8:20PM 
Asmaa Kabel 
This course will examine the country’s current climate around race. Students will engage in timely readings, films, documentaries, and visual media highlighting current events related to issues of social injustice, systemic racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement. We will utilize rhetorical claim approaches such as definition, causal, and evaluative, as a way of fostering understanding and writing about these issues. This course will be taught, with two sessions of the class run concurrently. At the same time, students will also benefit from the small group FYW 102 environment. When we delve into the writing process, students will meet with their respective class to engage in developing written work, peer editing, and conferencing sessions.

Race to Justice
FYW 102-11, W 5:30-8:20PM
Stefanie Marchetti
This course will examine the country’s current climate around race. Students will engage in timely readings, films, documentaries, and visual media highlighting current events related to issues of social injustice, systemic racism, and the Black Lives Matter movement. We will utilize rhetorical claim approaches such as definition, causal, and evaluative, as a way of fostering understanding and writing about these issues. This course will be taught, with two sessions of the class run concurrently. At the same time, students will also benefit from the small group FYW 102 environment. When we delve into the writing process, students will meet with their respective class to engage in developing written work, peer editing, and conferencing sessions.

Beyond the Empty Sky: 9/11 Through the Prism of Media & Music
FYW 102-12, Mo/Th 11:00-12:20PM
Janet Mazur
As we mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack, it is important to look back and examine the myriad ways in which it has shaped American life – from airline security, to the Patriot Act and anti-Muslim sentiment or “othering.” Within the framework of academic argumentation, we will focus on media reactions to the event, including the Pulitzer-prizewinning New York Times series, “Portraits of Grief.” We will also study art, music and other creative pursuits inspired by the attack, particularly “The Rising,” Bruce Springsteen’s 2002 album. To further contextualize 9/11, we will compare it to other crises, including the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic.

Science Fiction & Creative Possibility
FYW 102-13, Tu/Fr 8:00-9:20AM
Susan O’Connor
“To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before” — Captain Kirk, Star Trek “The best Science Fiction supposes an imaginary invention or discovery, probably something quite extraordinary, and speculates about what might happen. It, then, anticipates the impact of that scientific discovery upon humankind.” — James O. Bailey, Pilgrims Through Space and Time (New York, 1947) Come stretch your imagination and explore some of these creative possibilities! 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 these constructs fostered scientific invention? Through the lens of various novels, short stories, flash fiction pieces, podcasts, television series, films, and artistic images, we will examine how the science and the art of this genre come together to create stories that not only interpret life, but can drive culture and creativity. Ultimately, we will grapple with what it truly means to be human.

The Argument of Film 
FYW 102-14, Tu/Fr 9:30-10:50AM
Nina Ringer
In analyzing particular narrative films, we will explore how screenplay, camera angles and shots, editing, acting, and direction help form story and particularly our response to it. How we engage with a film shows us the impact of the argument the filmmaker is making. What ingredients make a film compelling? How can an audience’s response to a film make a difference in the world? Focusing on the implicit visual arguments that films make will allow us to create our own explicit written and visual arguments about these films. We will view three films together, make a five-minute small group film, and each student will create a longer researched essay on a film of the student’s choosing.

The Art of Resistance
FYW 102-15, Mo/Th 9:30-10:50AM
Jennie Sekanics
In the last year, we have witnessed (and maybe even participated in) various demonstrations of resistance. From Black Lives Matter protests across the country to viral, powerful hashtags like #MeToo, resistance is an integral part of how we develop individually as people and collectively as a society, and often inspires opportunities for story-telling and accountability. In this course, we will look at how resistance is depicted in various artistic mediums, such as television and film, and consider how art responds to and/or represents disobedience within our society. Is the creation of community resistance? Can looking back serve as an act of defiance? In what ways does the artistic medium subvert our expectations to further highlight the act of resistance taking place? We will elucidate cultural contexts and power relations at work, and evaluate their potential influence on conceptions of resistance, and ultimately, challenge the scope with which we categorize an act “resistance.”

Higher Ed Behind the Wall
FYW 102-16, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Amanda Simpson
Disadvantaged groups remain the focus of conversation in higher education. Often these groups are identified within certain social constructs including race and ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. Incarceration has been another topic of conversation. In this course, we will use selected articles and various media forms to discuss opportunities for postsecondary education for incarcerated individuals with a focus on access. We will review arguments around providing access to college study for students incarcerated or behind the wall.

All the Single Ladies
FYW 102-17, Mo/Th 3:30-4:50PM
Tina Tormey
This course will explore social and political perceptions of single women. Students will use different styles of argument to analyze short works, including both essays and videos, that address what it means to be a single woman. Class discussions will examine how women are valued or perceived according to their relationship status, but also how modern women may struggle more than prior generations to find fulfilling relationships. Content will include works by Beyonce, Rebecca Traister, Lizzo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Kate Bolick, among others.

Creativity & Rhetoric
FYW 102-18/19, Mo/Th 9:30-10:50AM & Mo/Th 11:00-12:20PM 
Jordan Blum
In this section, we will explore a variety of different artistic outlets, such as fiction, poetry, film, visual art, television, and music, to see how creative minds use their medium for rhetorical purposes. Rather than simply entertain us, these artists ask us to consider complex, sometimes controversial ideas while reflecting on the world around us. For example, the novel `Fight Club’ explores issues of masculinity, consumerism, materialism, sexuality, psychology, and cultism, while The Who’s `Quadrophenia” acts as a musical sibling to Green Day’s `American Idiot,’ as both concept albums house statements about disenfranchised, rebellious male youths. We will examine materialism, conformity, causes of violence, sexuality, and racism, through the works of many iconic figures–some of whom may include Langston Hughes, Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, Flannery O’Connor, Pink Floyd, Ben Folds, Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, Joni Mitchell, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Lee, Norman Lear, and Alan Ball–to see how these creative minds express social commentary through stimulating (and sometimes entertaining) forms.

Misfits and Monsters: How We Demonize People With Mental Illness  
FYW 102-20/21, MR 2:00-3:20PM & Tu/Fr 2:00-3:20PM
Mary Bonard
The course will examine how the stigmatization of people with mental illness is created through literary and media forms. Students will explore how mental illness is portrayed through various representations of it in literature, poetry, film and in our modern political discourse (op-eds). By discussing how authors, filmmakers and politicians portray people with mental illness, the course seeks to dispel many of the belief systems that create and maintain their demonization.  Among the questions to be considered:  What is the quality of life for people who are directly or indirectly affected by the portrayals that are created to instill fear and shunning of people with mental illnesses? Why do we find these characters so compelling? Why and how are the authors and filmmakers so successful in creating terror and fright out of characters who appear to be mentally ill?  Do we perpetuate fear and apathy with regard to people with mental illness? Some of the works to be examined may include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat, Tony Earley’s Backpack, Hard Rock Returns to Prison From the Hospital for the Criminal Insane by Etheridge Knight, and Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Psycho.

Reading and Writing Pop Culture
FYW 102-12/23, Mo/Th 12:30-1:50PM & Mo/Th 2:00-3:20PM
Paige Costantino
This course will focus on a semiotic approach to analyzing several different aspects of popular culture. Through the study of academic articles, television shows, and film, the course will allow students to examine how a collective, cultural consciousness is developed by the ways we read and interact with media and pop culture. The class will include a variety of semiotic analyses applied to individual units including Advertising, Television, Print Media/News, Film, and Social Media. Each unit will include readings that analyze and evaluate individual mediums of popular culture, and students will then apply these ideas to real-life examples. Each unit will culminate with a student essay that synthesizes academic analysis with the everyday examples that surround us in the 21st century.

Scarcity and Indulgence: How Food Availability, Income Disparities, and Corporations Shape Culture
FYW 102-24/25, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM & Tu/Th 7:00-8:20PM
Melanie Frances
The course will engage students in modern political issues such as income disparities, food availability, and corporate responsibilities. Students will explore journalistic and academic writings and learn to become thoughtful consumers of modern political discourse.

People and Plants: Food, Medicine, Nature, & Wilderness
FYW102-26/27, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM & Tu/Th 7:00-8:20PM
Lindsay Knapp
Although we live in a built environment of technology and concrete, humans rely on the natural world for the most basic of needs. As people, we interact with the natural world for food, medicine, beauty, and fulfillment. In this course, we will evaluate articles, visual media, and concepts that help us examine our relationship and dependence on plants and nature. We will discuss questions like: where does our food come from and is the system sustainable? How do big businesses capitalize on humans’ dependence on plants? What is the human fascination with wilderness? Why are we so drawn to and reliant on nature? How does our current environmental crisis jeopardize our ability to rely on nature?

Young Adult Romantic Fiction
FYW 102-28/29, Tu/Fr 2:00-3:20PM & Tu/Fr 3:30-4:50PM
Laura Kranzler
In this course we will be reading and watching books, films and TV shows by established writers of YA fiction such as John Green and Sarah Dessen, as well as texts by and about people of color and the LGBTQ community. We will explore why these stories are seen as both romantic and as appropriate for a teenage audience, paying particular attention to their representations of gender and sexuality.  This course aims to broaden our understanding of the appeal of popular culture that is marketed to teens, and to consider reasons for its appeal to older audiences as well.

Dream or Simulation? 
FYW 102-30/31, Mo/We 5:30-6:50PM & Mo/We 7:00-8:20PM
Deborah Morkun
The rapid technological advancement of the past fifty years has led to many important questions about the nature of reality. With immersive digital technologies and multiplayer video games, simulated reality is beginning to look more and more like everyday life.  From Plato’s cave to The Matrix to Black Mirror and notions of the posthuman, we will question what it means to be alive during this truly unique and pivotal period in history.

How to Disappear: Escape & Reinvention
FYW 102-32/33, Mo/We 9:30-10:50AM & 11:00-12:20PM
Randy Schmidt
We all like to think it’s easy to start over, but what challenges do we face when we decide to escape? Some choose to lose themselves in the forest. Some decide to shed their identities and create new ones. And for some, a simple weekend outing is enough to “escape” their lives. In this section, we will examine this topic in literature, film, and television: Is it possible to ever fully escape our past and change who we are?

Blackness on Trial
FYW 102-34, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Tracy Thompson
From access to sentencing, the disparities and inequities that Black people face in the criminal justice system are well documented.  However, we remain far from implementing any meaningful solutions. This course will explore the perceptions of race and how they resulted in the criminalization of blackness by examining the impact of racism in criminal law. Using the components of a criminal trial, we will call relevant class speakers as expert witnesses, evaluate a variety of written and audiovisual sources as exhibits, take testimony, write reports and issue a decision or other written opinion on how we might eliminate race-based or racially influenced decisions in the criminal justice system, develop ways we might decriminalize blackness and achieve justice for all.

You + Me = US: A deep dive into Diversity and Inclusion
FYW 102-35, Tu/Th 7:00-8:20PM
Amber Yates
While we believe we have a choice to embrace Diversity and Inclusion, Diversity is a fact, while Inclusion is an act of choice. We see Diversity and Inclusion exploited through the media, films, literature, and music but is it really understood? This course will focus on understanding America’s current stance on Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the differences and similarities of the two, and will explore if there is an existing correlation between them.  We will use a variety of films, music, and media posts to explore what living through Diversity truly means.

Head to Pen- Writing from the inside and investigating your career goals 
FYW 102-36/37, Tu/Fr 2:00-3:20PM & Tu/Fr 3:30-4:50PM
Yolanda Whidbee
When the head, heart, mind and soul intertwine, what will you allow your pen to capture? During this course, students will learn how to write from their “inner core,” the place where truth dwells.  These sessions will be designed for students to view writing through the lens of their personal development and self-discovery process.  We will focus on choice of major, intention on choosing that major and the undeclared major. These interactive class discussions and mapping exercises will encourage students to create a life full of endless possibilities. Along the journey, the students will gain essential concepts on writing with intention, trusting the process, and the art of pausing and thinking.

War, Peace, and Social Justice 
FYW 102-38,Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Donna Raskin 
In our contemporary world, the people who suffer most during wars are typically not soldiers, but women, children, and other civilians who do not have equal rights in their societies. Often, those civilians have peacefully asked for voting rights, safety, and livable wages, among other human rights. Nevertheless, to retain their power, presidents and kings often deny their citizens those rights with violence, and that violence becomes a “war”; a war with unequal sides. In this class, we will explore the intersection of these issues.

Masculinity and American Culture
FYW 102-39, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Shawn Layton
What does it mean to be a “man” of the 21st century? How do we define manliness in our world? How have the definitions of masculinity changed from previous centuries? What roles do class, race, sexuality, and religion play in the creation of masculine identity? In this course, we will address these questions and the complex issue of masculine identity through our study of writings by Ernest Hemingway, and films such as Superbad and Moonlight, and selected readings on college hookups and hazing and what each has to say about masculinity.

Exploring the LGBTQ+ Narrative in Cinema
FYW 102-40/41, Mo/Th 11:00-12:20PM & Tu/Fr 11:00-12:20PM
Ryan Segura
This semester we are going to be viewing a number of films that address the topic of the LGBT narrative in film. Specifically, we will address the cultural, political, familial, and religious motivations that shape how we understand what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and so on. Please keep in mind that the main theme we are discussing will also broach other topics of a sensitive nature such as politics, socioeconomics, religion, race, and culture so I ask that you approach this course with maturity and understanding and that not everyone in this class will agree on every topic.  I just ask that you politely and maturely disagree during class discussions.  Also, please note that because we are watching a number of films in this course, you will need to find time to watch the films prior to class which will be made available to view via the library’s website. Over the course of the semester we will be addressing some of the following questions:

How are LGBTQ+ characters and storylines represented in film?
Are these representations fair? Why or why not?
Do these films tend to have happy or sad endings? Why or why not?
Do these films tend to appeal to a certain audience? How? Why?
Are there any members of the LGBTQ+ community who are not being represented? Who? Why?
What do these films have in common? What do they do that’s different?
Are there any trends to these films? If so, what are they?

Dissemination of Deception
FYW 102-42/43, Tu/Fr 2:00-3:30PM & Tu/Fri 3:30-4:50PM
Michael Boldizar
In this course we will seek to identify, acknowledge, and thoroughly examine the impact that social media has had in both our personal lives and in our greater identity as globalized individuals. This includes the effects of social media on our political climate and inter-social identities. Additionally, we will spend some time analyzing the large tech conglomerates, such as Google and Facebook, and how they shape and alter these identities.

Have you ever pondered where Google auto-fill results come from? Have you ever clicked on a “10 Reasons Why” article that was posted on Facebook or Instagram? This class will be looking at these things, and more, as we identify and analyze the information we regularly consume through popular apps and websites.

Social Justice and Privilege
FYW 102-44, Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Kristen Luettchau
This course will focus on social justice and privilege through a variety of lenses, such as race, gender, class, and sexuality. We will use several core texts, including novels, current event articles, and documentaries to spark our discussions and understandings of social justice and what it means to have privilege. This writing-intensive course will teach different ways to approach argumentative writing while we examine our world and ourselves and figure out our place.

Life After the Flood
FYW 102-45, Tu/Fr 2:00-3:20PM 
Jean Graham
Science fiction writers are captivated (and disturbed) by the looming climate catastrophe, resulting in what is now called “climate fiction” (cli fi). We will investigate some of their visions of the near future, with weather “weirding,” the extinction of animal species, and the rising sea level. Despite the impending disaster, these writers offer us hope for the future.

Leadership for Social Justice
FYW 102-46, TF 11:00-12:20PM
Antonino Scarpati 
This interactive course examines the role of leadership in advancing social justice, with emphasis on human rights, equality, equity, freedom, and peace in America and globally. As important, we will explore and critically evaluate various theories and models of effective leadership for the public good. This course utilizes an evidence-based approach to studying effective leaders in the public and private sectors, including government officials, non-profit agents, citizen activists, as well as social and corporate entrepreneurs. We also will investigate the values, traits and competencies associated with successful efforts to realize positive social change. Texts, films, videos and supplemental readings include nonfiction and fiction, as well as contemporary mass and social media sources. Conditions permitting, the instructor plans to incorporate guest presenters and experiential learning.

The American Musical
FYW 102-47, Mo/We 5:30-6:50PM
David Muller
This course will explore the craft of musical theatre, from Oklahoma! to Caroline, or Change, and investigate how this popular art form confronts some of the most important issues of contemporary American society. We will read about, attend, or view several performances, devise a mini-musical of our own, and each student will develop a longer researched essay that will explore a historical or contemporary work, figure, or trend informing the American musical theatre. Guests will include professional theatre artists discussing their current work.

Life is One Big Lesson 
FYW 102-48, Tu/Fr 9:30-10:50AM
Paula Rainey  
How do we handle lessons that life teaches us every day?  How do some people manage to turn hardship into a triumph?   How do we define success and failure?  These are just some of the questions that we will answer in this course through essays and other writing forms. We will study how people overcome difficult situations.  As a class, we will define and discuss adversity. We will examine how each of us handle adversity. Watching films, such as  The Pursuit of Happyness and The Blind Side, and reading stories, we will analyze ways people have triumphed over unfortunate circumstances and persevered.  We will define our personal meaning of success, as well as what society dictates is a successful individual. We will discuss powerful lessons each of us are given.  We will examine our decision-making processes, particularly how we can avoid costly mistakes in life.

Expedition Unknown
FYW 102-49/50, Tu/Fr 8:00-9:20AM & Tu/Fr 9:30-10:50AM
Courtney Malpass
As children, we all imagine going on adventures with pirates, cowboys, and explorers. Buried treasure and world fame serve as the lure for many of these games. But whether we knew it or not, these make-believe adventures were all somehow based in reality. Some of the world’s greatest legends – Atlantis, Robin Hood, King Arthur, Roanoke, the Nazca Lines – all started with a story, with an imagination. And legends, we know, always contain an element of truth. This writing course looks to uncover the truths and arguments behind these legends. Using an interdisciplinary approach – marketing, history, communications and media, culture and identity – students will seek to prove or disprove legends from around the world and evaluate their impact on our modern societies and cultures. Students will use a variety of professional and popular sources including traditional scholarly academic articles, documentaries, artifacts, newspapers and magazines, and television. This research writing class will help students expand upon the basic skills they have learned and acquire new ones in argumentative writing and research as well.  

Poor Students, Rich College$
FYW 102-51/54, Mo/Th 8:00-9:20AM & Tu/Fr 8:00-9:20AM
Todd McCrary
This course will discuss the issue of poor college students surviving at elite colleges while facing the many challenges and obstacles in their path. Through videos, interviews, and readings, the class will discover the difficulties that students from disadvantaged and low socioeconomic status deal with and what these students do to cope and compensate to persist to graduation. Fairy tales are ubiquitous. As universal tales, they transcend time and culture and continue to be remixed and reimagined offering endless possibilities for interpretation. This course explores and evaluates the pervasive influence of fairy tales in literature and pop culture. We will trace the evolution of fairy tales, from oral tradition to print, media, and stage, and analyze stories through various lenses. Through critical reading of traditional and modern fairy tales, film analysis, classroom discussions, academic readings, and in-class exercises, we will examine how these stories have shaped our personal perceptions, delve into the tales’ social implications, and investigate why they remain timeless.

Living in a Fairy Tale World
FYW 102-52/53, Tu/Fr 9:30-10:50AM & Tu/Th 5:30-6:50PM
Ellen Farr 
Fairy tales are ubiquitous. As universal tales, they transcend time and culture and continue to be remixed and reimagined offering endless possibilities for interpretation. This course explores and evaluates the pervasive influence of fairy tales in literature and pop culture. We will trace the evolution of fairy tales, from oral tradition to print, media, and stage, and analyze stories through various lenses. Through critical reading of traditional and modern fairy tales, film analysis, classroom discussions, academic readings, and in-class exercises, we will examine how these stories have shaped our personal perceptions, delve into the tales’ social implications, and investigate why they remain timeless.

YA Literature and Young Activism: Literary Heroes and Their Real Life Counterparts
FYW 102-55/56, Tu/Fr 3:30-4:50PM & Tu/Fr 2:00-3:20PM 
Robyn Gold
Lisa Miller’s article for The Cut entitled “Teens Already Know How to Overthrow the Government” explores the relationship between YA literature and the work of young activists. Upon interviewing X Gonzalez, founder of the #NeverAgain movement, what Miller most wanted to know is: “Do they read YA and fantasy fiction? Which characters do they like or relate to?” “We have told teen girls they are empowered. What, you thought it was fiction? It was preparation.” The aim of this course is to explore diverse examples of heroes from YA novels or novels that feature young protagonists, TV shows, spoken word poetry, speeches, music, and films while analyzing the ways in which these works might indeed help to inspire or prepare young people for works of real-life activism.

Reboots & Remakes
FYW 102-57, Tu/Fr 3:30-4:50PM 
Nathaniel Drenner
From Star Wars to Spider-Man, sitcoms to dramas, “reboots” abound in modern pop culture, but the concept is nothing new. What makes a successful retelling of an old story? Does past influence enhance or stifle creativity? Using historical and contemporary examples, we will analyze and evaluate how stories are reimagined and why. We will learn to distinguish between adaptations, archetypes, rewrites, sequels, and other means of influence; we will consider artistic, commercial, and cultural issues related to “rebooting.” Students will have the opportunity to propose a fresh reimagining of a creative work of their choice, arguing their rationale for doing so.

A Startup You
FYW 102-58, Mo/Th 8:00-9:20AM
Tammie Brown
Startup founders dream of changing the world or making their business vision a reality and giving society something it needs but hasn’t created yet. According to Forbes, Startups are young companies founded to develop a unique product or service, bring it to market and make it irresistible and irreplaceable for customers. In the book the “Startup of You” the author indicates “everyone is born an entrepreneur.” Were you born an entrepreneur? In this course, students will examine who they are, their purpose, the power of opportunities and what innate entrepreneurial qualities are on the inside. In addition, students will examine and investigate if entrepreneurs are born or made and explore the Start-up of YOU!

Conspiracy Theories in American Culture & Politics
FYW 102-59, Mo/Th 2:00-3:20PM
Thomas Arndt
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 the 2020 presidential 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 on the one hand, or too impressionable on the other, students will explore the boundaries of their core belief system while consistently advancing their writing skills.

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