First-Year Seminar (FP 0006)

Explore a focused topic you are interested in by reading selected texts, writing papers, and participating in classroom discussions. First-Year Seminar (FP 0006) is a dynamic, three-credit course for first-year students that fulfills the Seminar in Composition requirement.

Spring Term 2234

Class Number Day(s) Time Theme
22350 Monday and Wednesday 11:00 am - 12:15 pm Doctoring the Story
22351 Monday and Wednesday 3:00 - 4:15 pm Rock and Roll as Literature
30720 Tuesday 6:00 - 8:30 pm On A Quest
30721 Wednesday 6:00 - 8:30 pm Capitalism: Do You Buy It?

Doctoring the Story
In “Doctoring the Story” we use the figure of the medical doctor in graphic memoir, fiction, and archival documents to explore themes of transition, medical ethics, individuality, and community. How has the archetype of the troubled doctor been used to explore ethical dilemmas and ambiguity in literature and popular culture? How have physicians themselves told and “doctored” their own stories using creative and journalistic modes of composition? How does the abundance of doctor narratives in popular culture inform how we talk about community and public health at the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, class, and (dis)ability? We will practice interdisciplinary and creative essay writing in response to these questions. 

Rock and Roll as Literature
This course examines the unruly history of Rock and Roll, from its most influential period (1950s-1980s) to its place in today’s musical landscape. We’ll read Rock’s critics and compilers (essays, articles, interviews), watch its most notable documented moments (films), and, yes, listen to and discuss the music. We’ll look at how and why that music intersects with the cultural issues that defined and propelled us into the future and consider the music’s relationship to politics, art, fashion, etc. You’ll be invited to bring your musical interests and research to our weekly discussions and participate in elevating our collective understanding of cultural history and practice.

On A Quest
Important quests can lead to important questions.  What does it mean to go on a quest? What kind of answers are we looking for on a quest?  From representations of quests in early medieval stories to contemporary TV and films, quests and the questions they raise are seen as a way humans discover, learn, and find out about themselves and the world around them.  In this seminar we’ll read old and modern stories, look at examples from TV and film, including science fiction, and consider what’s important in quest narratives in these media. You’ll write essays which draw on what you read and watch, what kind of questions are raised, and consider how you think quests are relevant to you.  This seminar will be a kind of quest itself, setting goals and asking important questions, and perhaps finding important answers through reading, watching, discussing, and writing.

Capitalism: Do You Buy It?
We make choices about what to do with our money every day. Businesses invest millions of dollars every year to gain our money and trust, via advertising and marketing campaigns.  The profits we help generate are then used to make decisions that affect our lives, communities, and planet. How can we be more aware of our role in this process? In this class we will investigate the rhetoric of corporate capitalism through readings, documentaries, and exploration of the ads we see and hear daily. We will also study how activists work to expose and critique the rhetoric of corporate capitalism. Together we will investigate the marketing messages we receive and our responses to them, in order to discover: Why do we buy what we buy?