FYS Courses

Selections:

Fall 2021

NOTE: First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC.

FYS 101: First Year Seminars

meets Arts and Humanities (AH) requirements

EnGENDERing Popular Culture

Section: 12-LEC Regular (7227)
Lecture: TuTh 4:30 – 7 p.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 210
Instruction Mode: Hybrid
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Richard Otten

This course will have both synchronous meetings online and will also have some in person meetings on main campus. Please see the syllabus for dates that you will be expected to meet online in person, either online or in person. First Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: This course will aim in illuminating the ways in which we are passive consumers of popular culture and empower individuals to become critical participants. Popular culture is all around us. It influences how we think, feel, vote, and how we live our lives. This interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the study of U.S.popular culture and aims to examine the multiple ways gender has been portrayed in various popular cultural forms. Through an intersectional and intertextual investigation of television, film, popular music, advertisement, and social media, we will explore how representation as objects, consumers, subjects, creators, challengers, and critics both reflect and produce socio-cultural phenomena and ideas about the proper role of women and men in society. Throughout this course, we will consider the intersections of gender, sex, and race and analyze how they are articulated in popular culture.


Truth and Technology

Section: 17-LEC Regular (7700)
Lecture: TuTh 10 – 11:15 a.m. | Math & Psychology Rm. 105
Instruction Mode: Hybrid
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Elaine MacDougall

This course will be conducted in a hybrid format. There will be in-person class sessions held on UMBC’s main campus as well as synchronous sessions conducted on line. In each case you will be expected to participate in real time, whether online or in-person. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Description: This course will explore man¿s search for truth and self-knowledge in post-modern culture and our ongoing struggle to achieve happiness. Students will explore their relationships and interactions with others, as well as their relationship with nature and the self in our technological world. Students will read, view, and evaluate ideas of the self as depicted in literature and film in an effort to come to some conclusion about the importance of our own journey to find truth. As a requirement of this course, students will take part in a service learning experience to connect the ideas of self-awareness, service and human interaction.


Telling Tales

Section: 18-LEC Regular (7996)
Lecture: MoWe 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Rm. 302
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Jennifer Harrison

This course is being offered as fully in-person. All classes will be held on the UMBC main campus. First Year Seminars are open to all students in their first year at UMBC. The complete title for this seminar is Telling Tales: Narratives, Social Justice, & Identity. In this course students will explore how we use stories to share, preserve, and shape our experiences. How do we tell stories to craft our identities? How do other people use narratives to influence our views? When we interact with narratives as writers, readers, and listeners, do they influence us intellectually, experientially, or ethically? To reflect on these questions, we will practice crafting new narratives to share our experiences and express the voices of others. Additionally, we will work together to analyze intersectional narratives that call for social justice, illuminate diverse voices, and challenge readers to interact with nontraditional experiences.


It Came from the `80s: Politics and Popular Culture

Section: 21-LEC Regular (8049)
Lecture: TuTh 1 – 2:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 210
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Jeremy Spahr

This first year seminar will be taught fully in-person on the UMBC main campus. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: The 1980s saw the rise of modern conservatism with the election of Ronald Reagan, the end of the Cold War, and a vast expansion in consumer culture. All of these changes were reflected and influenced by the popular culture of the 1980s in film, television, and music. This course examines the political, social, and cultural changes of the 1980s, and the way these changes were portrayed and even shaped by the popular culture of the decade. Students will choose a historical event from the 1980s and examine how popular culture interpreted the event, often in contrast with the views and valuations of historians.


Yoga in the West

Section: 22-LEC Regular (15553)
Lecture: TuTh 10 – 11:15 a.m. | Web
Instruction Mode: Online
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: JJalisa Monroe

This seminar will be offered on line and fully synchronous. Students will be expected to attend every class session online in real time. First-Year Seminars are open to all new students during their first year. This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of yoga and the history of yoga in America. It will examine practitioners who have influenced yoga, explore the 6 paths of yoga, and review Sanskrit terminology.


Turning to One Another: Beliefs and Behaviors

Section: 01-LEC Regular (7224)
Lecture: TuTh 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 210
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: C. Jill Randles

All class sessions will meet in-person on the UMBC main campus. First Year Seminars are open to all students during their first-year at UMBC. Course Description: We are witnessing renewed interest in matters related to spirituality. Concomitant with headlines about war, genocide, environmental crises, and abject poverty is a vibrant dialogue about social responsibility, moral reasoning, ethical action, and the sources of beauty, creativity, and passion that give life a depth of purpose and meaning. We need people who can lead with head and heart, who can combine the life of the mind with work for the greater good, and who exhibit the skills, knowledge, imagination, and spirit to create an equitable, sustainable, whole, and hopeful world. This calls for a curriculum that explores the scientific, aesthetic, and ethical dimensions of thought and behavior. This course is oriented toward that exploration.

FYS 102: First Year Seminars

meets Arts and Humanities (SS) requirements

Poverty Amidst Plenty: The Economics of American Poverty

Section: 01-LEC Regular (7224)
Lecture: Mo 3 – 4:15 p.m. | Web
Instruction Mode: Online
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Nandita Dasgupta

This course will have both synchronous and asynchronous sessions, but the classes held on Monday will be synchronous so students will be expected to be online in real time on Mondays. First-Year Seminars are open to all students in their first year at UMBC. Course Description: The American Story is not an oft-quoted word in USA. Nonetheless, the phenomenon of poverty is worth exploring especially in the backdrop of the Great Recession that US has recently experienced. With continuing unemployment and increasing costs of living, more and more families have to choose between necessities like health care, child care, and even food. This seminar will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the poverty alleviation measures adopted through government programs and policies.


Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice in the Context of Schooling

Section: 03-LEC Regular (6999)
Lecture: Mo 3 – 4:15 p.m. | Sherman Hall 208
Instruction Mode: Hybrid
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Vickie Williams

This course will meet online with classes that are predominantly synchronous. This means that although your class is meeting on line, you will be expected to attend and participate in real time. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a service-learning experience, which may be online or in-person. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: Course will explore and mediate the tension between the current climate of school reform and the learning needs of highly diverse students through the lens of multicultural classrooms in diverse schools. In multicultural America, classrooms mirror the diverse nature of children’s backgrounds, cultural experiences, languages, and ways of knowing. This course offers opportunities to learn about the challenges of local schools firsthand and to understand the implementation of federal and local policies aimed at supporting the academic success of all students, regardless of cultural, linguistic, ethnic, or diverse backgrounds. The course will first examine the multicultural nature of society and schools. Then, Brown v. the Board of Education will be revisited as a foundation for understanding the legal, political, and social forces that impact a multicultural education system.


The Information Diet?

Section: 15-LEC Regular (7326)
Lecture: TuTh 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Web
Instruction Mode: Online
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Joanna Gadsby, Katy Sullivan

This course will have both synchronous and asynchronous sessions. Please see the syllabus for dates that you will be expected to meet online in real time. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: This course introduces students to the reflective discovery and critique of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge. Through guided discussion and hands-on activities, students will explore issues related to privacy, censorship, digital activism, as well as how issues of gender, race, and class affect information access and creation. Students will develop the skills necessary to ethically and effectively use information to make decisions, solve problems, and communicate their views. In the process of exploring the information cycle and their own information seeking and consumption behaviors, they will develop strategies to better find, evaluate, manage and cite information.


Debating America

Section: 24-LEC Regular (7676)
Lecture: TuTh 10 – 11:15 a.m. | Meyerhoff Chemistry Rm. 256
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Jeremy Spahr

This seminar will be meeting fully in-person for the duration of the semester. Class will be held on UMBC’s main campus. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Description: This course will introduce students to the concept of ideological debates as a political tool, focusing on the techniques interest groups involved in hot button, political issues used to define those issues in ways that promote their desired policy outcome. Particular emphasis will be placed on economic issues related to financial literacy, such as the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the national debt. The course will utilize sociological tools as well as historical techniques of textual analysis to assess how different groups seek to define America in different, often contradictory ways.


Social Justice Dialogues

Section: 25-LEC Regular (8034)
Lecture: TuTh 10 – 11:15 a.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 210
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Jasmine A. Lee

This seminar will be conducted in-person, with all classes meeting on the UMBC main campus. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: This course is designed for people who have a deep interest in issues related to race, social justice, power, privilege, oppression, intercultural dialogue, and the ways such issues influence our leadership abilities and interests. By focusing on how we think and talk about social justice broadly, including race and other intersecting social identities in the United States, students will deepen their understanding and simultaneously learn techniques to engage in constructive conversations and critical dialogues across differences. Students will simultaneously develop skills for facilitating and leading difficult dialogues in ways that help them become more inclusive leaders and active contributors to a diverse and inclusive campus community.

FYS 103: First Year Seminars

Meets Science non-lab (S, non-lab) requirement.

Paradigms and Paradoxes: An Attempt to Understand

Section: 01-LEC Regular (7002)
Lecture: MoWe 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 210
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Joel Liebman

This course will be taught in-person with all class meetings held on the UMBC main campus. First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC.

There are at least two kinds of scientific activities: acquiring and generating data, and inquiring and generating general modes of understanding. The latter activities will dominate this course. The course contents include discussions of some remarkable features of the universe: the class discussions will require no more scientific background than gained from high school chemistry and mathematics. Some topics for the course follow. Matter doesn’t collapse, shrink or disappear – it has size, weight, and sometimes shape. Do we not take this for granted? Positive and negative charges attract. The atomic nucleus is positive and electrons are negative. Why don’t these parts of atoms get closer and closer and closer, and eventually collapse? In other words, we ask, not only why are atoms so small but also why are they so big? This topic is not merely philosophical. Questions of fuel efficiency and national defense arise as naturally as those of the existence of the universe. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. There are 4 letters in the genetic code and some 100 chemical elements in the periodic table. There are millions of distinct words, individual types of organisms and chemical compounds. Are these numbers 26, 4 and 100 small or are they large? As such, our study includes the nature of language, information and life. Consider the number 3.14159265357988 ¿. Can you identify it? Answering this question should be as easy as pie. Hatmakers equate this number to 3. Is this a rational choice? Answering this question tells us about the nature of numbers, measurement, design, and industry, and also about the responder.

FYS 107: First Year Seminars

meets Arts and Humanities (AH/C) requirements

Time, Space, Meaning Art & Music

Section: 01-LEC Regular (7515)
Lecture: Th 4:30 – 7 p.m. | Performing Arts & Humanity Building Rm. 123
Instruction Mode: Hybrid
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Jonathan Zwi

This seminar will be conducted in a hybrid format. Since the class is scheduled for once-a-week, the specific days when students will be expected to meet in-person, on the UMBC campus, will be specified by the instructor and noted in the syllabus. More details will be available before classes begin. First Year Seminars are open to all students who are in their first year at UMBC. This course tracks evolving concepts and perceptions of time and space throughout the 20th century and the resulting implications on notions of meaning and beauty in both visual and musical contexts. Specifically, this course will consider the performances and recordings of pianist Ivo Pogorelich and the abstract expressionist paintings of Gerhard Richter as contemporary traces of a more sweeping historical gesture embodied in the work of Paul Cézanne, beginning near the turn of the 20th century.


Protest Songs of Resistance

Section: 02-LEC Regular (15529)
Lecture: TuTh 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. | Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Rm. 302
Instruction Mode: Hybrid
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Janet Gross

This seminar will be taught with online synchronous meetings as well as in-person class meeting on UMBC’s main campus. First Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: Popular songs around the world spring from outrage about social conditions in a particular time and place. In FYS101 Protest Songs of Resistance we will investigate diverse contemporary and historic examples of songs used in various countries to protest or resist existing social conditions. We will explore readings on social movements and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings of protest songs from dozens of countries. Students will choose the specific country¿s songs and social unrest to research in order to produce original critical and creative essays as well as presentations to enlighten the class. Students may also produce their own original protest songs about contemporary issues in the U.S. or abroad.


Becoming Glocal

Section: 03-LEC Regular (15716)
Lecture: Tu 4:30 – 7 p.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 006
Instruction Mode: In Person
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Caylie Middleton

First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Course Description: This course is designed for students who are interesting in fostering intercultural development skills within the broader context of diversity and inclusion. The course will divided into three main components: foundations of identity and culture, applications of those skills to real-world contemporary issues with a focus on the interconnectedness of local issues to global issues (e.g. social justice, environmental sustainability, globalization, and immigration), and practicing those skills in a collaborative, immersive environment with students from an international, partner institution.

FYS 108: First Year Seminars

meets Math (M) requirements

Mathematics in Literature

Section: 01-LEC Regular (7461)
Lecture: Th 5:30 – 8 p.m. | Sherman Hall Rm. 207
Instruction Mode: Hybrid
Meeting Dates: 08/31/2021 – 12/13/2021
Instructor: Catherine Kruchten

First-Year Seminars are open to all students during their first year at UMBC. Pre-Req: Students must have successfully completed the equivalent of Math 104 or Math 106 with a grade of C or higher, or placed above this level on the Math placement exam in order for this class to meet the Math GEP requirement. Course Description: Throughout history, humans have told and written stories to help make sense of the world. So why not use stories to help us understand even difficult mathematical concepts? In this course, we will examine mathematical constructs in literary contexts, from concrete patterns and shapes to abstract reasoning and logic, using a variety of fiction including detective stories and children¿s literature. Students will use readings to gain new insights into mathematics, lead discussions to help understand the texts, and practice their own skills by developing their own mathematical narratives.

Updated: 7/16/2021