First Year Seminars - Fall 2013
ANTH-150 Being Alive
Dr. Jason Antrosio
This First Year Seminar (FYS) is an intensive, exploration of the interdisciplinary collection, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge, and, Description by anthropologist Tim Ingold. How can we better understand what it means to be alive? Whereas much social science has portrayed life as a kind of output, a product of a genetic or cultural code, Ingold seeks to re-center the life process as being observant, being alive to the world. Ingold's work has been some of the most innovative and interdisciplinary anthropology available, and these essays bring together his thinking over the past decade. Moving deftly from anthropology to philosophy to the natural sciences, Ingold builds a unifying yet unique anthropology. Inevitably challenging, at times frustratingly difficult, this course is in part an experiment-what might we gain from learning, about being alive first, rather than at the end, of other disciplinary approaches?
ART-113 Drawing I
Using black and white media as well as colormedia, students work on advanced skills and development of content in drawing during this seven-week course. Because the formal elements (line, shape, value, texture, color, etc.) are investigated more deeply, emphasis is placed upon creative pursuit of compositional variety, visual cohesiveness, and the significant issues of content. Images and issues from a wide range of cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts are examined. Professional presentation of completed work is included. Course is taken in combination with Art 115 2D Design.
ART-115 2-Dimensional Design
Using black and white media as well as color paint, students explore basic concepts in 2D design during this seven-week course. The formal elements, their qualities and interactions (line,shape, value, texture, mass, color, pictorialspace, etc.) are investigated in the creative pursuit of compositional variety, visual cohesiveness, and issues of meaningful content. Images and issues from a wide range of perceptual, cultural, historical, and contemporary contexts will be examined. Course is taken in combination with Art113: Drawing I.
ART-271 Ceramics I: Hand Building
This course introduces students to hand building techniques used in forming clay and its various applications (including wedging, slab building, coil building, carving, etc.). Students will explore both sculptural and functional approaches to handbuilding and learn to mix clay and glazes, load and fire kilns, and basic glaze and slip application. They will also begin to develop a historical and contemporary knowledge of the field of ceramics.
CISC-118 Computer Game Programming
Dr. Robert Gann
An introductory course in computer programming with an emphasis on game programming. Students will learn to program while creating simple computer games. Structured programming and object-oriented programming will be stressed. Students will learn how to deal with graphics, sound, and handle mouse and keyboard events. There will be a project at the end of the course. Prerequisite: Level 3 on the Math Placement Exam.
ECON-150 Economics of Higher Education
Dr. Carli Ficano
First year students are the newest group of "consumers" in the market for higher education. Using the basic tools of microeconomics, this course explores factors behind trends in the higher education market over the past decades --rising tuition costs, rising rates of college attendance, reversal of the male-female achievement gap, and the introduction of distance learning to name a few, that have changed where and how students pursue a college degree, and the impact that a college education has on both the graduates themselves and society as a whole. Through course readings, lecture, and discussion, students will become familiar with the basic economic theories relevant to the higher education market as well as published empirical (data-driven) evidence both supporting and contradicting those theories. Over the course of the semester, each student will research a course-relevant topic of their choice and compile an annotated bibliography on that topic. The course will culminate in a series of two formal classroom debates which draw upon the debate topics.
EDUC-150 Contemporary Issues in Education: Learning and Memory
Dr. Greg Smith
This course provides an in-depth exploration of the classic and current issues in the study of learning and memory. Emphasis will be placed on the structure and organization of human memory, and how effective teaching strategies can aide in this process. Topics will include: Habituation, classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning, verbal learning, short-term retention, encoding, and storage and retrieval. This course is open to all students.
ENGL-150 Masculinities (Honors)
Dr. Susan Navarette
This course will explore selective representations of "the masculine" in nineteenth- and twentieth-century British and American culture. Novels and stories written by William Faulkner, Angela Carter, P.G. Wodehouse, and James Thurber, and films such as Fight Club, Reservoir Dogs, Robocop, and Affliction will serve as so many "opportunities" to examine the myths, models, and modes of masculine behavior to which men struggleto conform-or, alternatively, those they are desperate to avoid. We will supplement our discussion of these primary texts through a selective examination of the historical, mythopoetic, and cultural sources (ranging from classical mythology's Hercules, Pygmalion, and Prometheus; to the Biblical Samson and David; to"Tarzan" and Houdini, from American popular culture) that have helped to shape our sense of what it means to be "a real man." Men at work, men in love, men at play, men at war: these will be some of the realms of experience we will probe in our attempt to arrive at a partial understanding of the popular conceptions and constructions of men, their manhood, and the competing masculinities that constitute both.
ENGL-150 Masquerade & Disguise
Dr. Robert Seguin
The urge to hide one's true identity -- in order to outwit an enemy, or to gain access to the forbidden -- is one of the great and abiding themes in imaginative literature. This is a theme with an especially prominent place in American literature, as the mobility and democraticopenness of the nation, combined with the creation of new barriers and impediments to social freedom (centered chiefly, though not exclusively, on race), offer a rich terrain for writers to explore the multiple modes and uses of disguise. In this course, we will follow the risky and agonized desires of African Americans as they seek the freedoms of white society, of Jewish immigrants as they seek mainstream acceptance, of poor dreamers and outcasts of all sorts as they look for a better life for themselves. There will be tricksters, too, who practice deception at the expense of those around them. As we follow these characters, we will explore how their stories disrupt in unexpected ways our notions of what constitutes an identity and of what counts as normal or acceptable. All the tangled contradictions of American cultureare richly illuminated as these figures move across these imaginary landscapes.
ENGL-250 Reading Modern Poetry
Dr. Thomas Travisano
This course will focus on one of the great literary events of the recent past; the extraordinary literary and cultural exchange between British, Irish and American poets from nations "divided by a common language" that took place in the first half of the Twentieth Century. During this period, poets on both sides of the Atlantic were actively reading and being influenced by one another, and the results of that interchange reshaped poetry in ways that are still being actively felt today. We will be taking a step-by-step approach to exploring this ongoing literary dialog and in the process we will come to understand much about how poets and other artists respond to the complex and invigorating cultural and historical currents that surround them. We'll also take a step by step approach to developing our skills in reading and interpreting poetry. I hope to show that there's nothing occult or mysterious about reading poetry: it simply calls for exceptional alertness and attention to the words out of which it is made.
GEOL-150 Geological History of the Catskills
Dr. Robert Titus
This course combines an introduction to Catskills vicinity geology with learning to write and speak well. The course, during the warm season, consists of field trips which explore the bedrock and glacial geology of the region. Other trips are about landscape and environmental geology. After the weather gets too cold for outdoor work, the course switches to the learning of public speaking. Students prepare oral presentations about various scientific topics. Student performance is evaluated through the quality of field trip reports and the oral presentations.
Dr. Wendall Frye
The seminar is driven by discussions generated by research projects by smaller groups (Primary Responsibility Groups) as well as films, some original from the NSDAP and others from the allied point of view. Essays will be assigned from selected readings. The subject matter will extend from the rise of the Reich until its downfall.
HIST-150 Sports in Jim Crow US
Dr. Robert Drake
This course will examine some of the many trials and tribulations that life in Jim Crow America posed for some of its pioneers, African American athletes and entertainers. Athletes like Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and Jackie Robinson, and entertainers like Stepin Fetchit, Hattie McDaniel, and Lena Horne, not only possessed talent, they represented the hopes and dreams of African Americans in all regions of the United States. They were heroes. However, the white press and film provided important ways for the majority to maintain control over African Americans-especially in the American South. As such, many meaningful accomplishments were ignored or presented in stereotypical ways that supported the existing power structure. It is this interaction of positive and negative, as well as the African American response to it, that will be studied in this course. In addition, the course will focus on the importance of using primary source research in creating a scholarly work and will culminate in a final research project. There will be at least one required trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum (and its Library) in Cooperstown and students will be expected to use the newspaperarchive.com, YouTube, and InterlibraryLoan for additional primary source research.
HIST-261 Indian Ocean World
Dr. Cherilyn Lacy
An introduction to the history of the peoples and societies of India, Arabia, and East Africa, with an emphasis on the role of trade, religion, and cultural exchange in shaping the civilizations of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, cities ofthe East African Swahili Coast and the Ottoman Empire. The course will examine the thriving indigenous shipping and other exchange networks before the arrival of Europeans in 1498, with a primary focus on the Indian Ocean as a hub of human exchanges between India, Arabia, and Africa in the era of the classical Islamic world.
HIST-270 Revisiting Roots
The primary objective of this course, combining historiography and genealogy, is to expose the similarities and differences in the portrayal of the slavery system and its impact upon the family structure of the enslaved Africans and their descendants in Great Britain, the British West Indies, and the United States. This is done critiquing required readings, analyzing an American television series, class discussions, and research labs, including possible off-campus visits.
HUMA-150 Reading With Machines
Dr. Mark Wolff
This course is an introduction to computer-assisted methods of text analysis. Students will experiment with various digital tools to discover patterns in texts and use the results to inform their interpretations. Students will first read the novel Candide by Voltaire as a printed book or Kindle eBook. They will then use computer programs they write to perform various analyses (word frequencies, distributions, co-occurrences, etc.) to determine if and how computers can give them additional insights for understanding the novel. They will finally build collections of documents to see how computers can help them discover patterns on a larger scale. Once students become familiar with various computational techniques, they will apply them to a digital archive of Hartwick student newspapers. They will build a website allowing users to browse and search the newspapers, and they will run computational analyses to determine recurring topics and trends among Hartwick students over many decades. The results of this research will be of interest to other students, faculty, staff, and alumni. By experimenting with computers to read texts, students will learn the challenges and opportunities of project-oriented research in the humanities. Much of the work in the so-called "digital humanities" involves effective collaboration of people using machines to pursue a common goal. Students will develop skills in working as part of team as well as applying new technologies to humanities research. No prior experience with programming is required. Students should have a Math Placement Test score of 2 or higher, and they should feel comfortable writing simple computer programs by following examples.
INTR-201 Ideas & Practices of Sustainability
Dr. Brian Hagenbuch
Sustainability represents much more than just saving the rainforests and recycling trash. The idea of sustainability invites bigger questions about who we are, why we act the way we do, how we got into this situation, and what we're going to do about it. Embedded within this broader definition are issues of equity, inclusivity, privilege, and access as well as the nuanced decision-making processes that determine or undermine the capacity of human society to sustain itself. This FYS integrates the ideas, theories, and practices of sustainability in real world applications to the student's living environment. Through an intentional living/learning community, students will reside in Robertson Lodge at thePine Lake Environmental Campus and study the prospects for sustainability on both local and global scales. Participants will survey the interdisciplinary landscape of sustainability research and praxis from myriad perspectives, such as the science of systems theory, the dynamics of organizations, the economics of cost-benefit analyses, and the concerns of social justice advocates. We will investigate the promises and pitfalls of sustainability on both individual and systemic levels. Class work will focus on practical aspects of sustainability, problems associated with implementing projects, and pathways to reducing our collective ecological footprint. By the end of the semester, students will be familiar with the epistemological frameworks and assumptions of numerous disciplines and have gained experience in communicating their ideas, engaging in decision-making processes, and contributing to potential long-term changes incommunity practices.
MUSI-160 Music of World Wars I & II
Dr. Diane Paige
This course is an exploration of the music of World Wars I and II and the many ways in which music was used by soldiers and civilians. Topics include: music for and by soldiers, music as propaganda, music as a reaction to war, music on the home front and the civilian experience, music made for and by victims of atrocities, and music of remembrance.
NURS-134 Fundamentals in Nursing Science
Dr. Cynthia Ploutz
Introduces Nursing as an art and a science that is distinguished by humanistic caring. Study will initially focus on the self and maximizing one's position on the health/illness continuum but will progress to the concept of client in the health system. This conceptual leap requires an understanding of individual differences, values, beliefs, culture, interpersonal communication, the health care system, nursing as a profession from a baccalaureate perspective, and as a unique change-agent for the improvement of holistic health. In the laboratory, students are introduced to self assessment tools to determine individual health status and will learn fundamental nursing skills basic to nursing practice. Students will also be engaged in observation and actual practice of nursing skills in acute and chronic care settings. Nursing students only.
PHIL-161 The Socratic Project
Dr. Jeremy Wisnewski
Socrates is one of the most fascinating figures in history. He lived a life that was totally dedicated to answering philosophical questions: What is moral? What is the nature of the goodlife? Is knowledge possible? His persistent attempt to answer these questions ultimately resulted in his execution. In a very real sense, Socrates died for philosophy. Our aim in this course will be to explore the Socratic project to examine the point, worth, and form of a life dedicated to intellectual inquiry. We will take particular pains to try to understand the force and significance of the famous imperative, said to characterize the Socratic life: "Know thyself". We will accomplish this by examining a number of important thinkers, all of whom spent their lives attempting to make sense of the world and our place in it. We will begin, of course, with Socrates, but our inquiry will lead us into the present-into a consideration of philosophy as it currently exists in university settings. In addition to Socrates, we will read material from a diverse range of philosophical perspectives, all of which, in one way or another, are engaged in the attempt to live an examined life. Authors to be read may include some of the following: Plato, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marx, Freud, Sartre, and Wittgenstein. We will also read several articles in contemporary philosophy by philosophers like Daniel Dennett, W.V.O. Quine, and Richard Rorty.
POSC-108 Introduction to Comparative Politics
Dr. Amy Forster Rothbart
An exploration of how history, culture, institutions, economics and interests shape politics in other lands. The course focuses on the political systems and policy processes of at least five different countries from various regions of the globe. In addition to introducing the variety of political systems currently in existence, each country study will allow for a look at various sub-fields of study within comparative politics- for example, state formation, contentious politics, nationalism, democratization, political institutions, and political culture.
RELS-150 Pluralism & Fundamentalism
Dr. Lisle Dalton
How does the United States handle the challenge of religious diversity? On one hand, the American story is one of increasing religious diversification. Nearly every religion found anywhere in the world has come to the USA through migration or immigration, and some ambitious Americans have even invented new ones like Mormonism and Scientology. Currently, scholars can identify literally thousands of different groups, all with distinctive beliefs, practices and organizations. On the other hand, some prominent types of American religion insist upon purity and absolute truth, or what some call "strong religion." These groups tend to focus on the authority of their scriptures, insist upon their exclusive access to religious truth, set rigid moral standards, and often assert their religious views in the public arena. Broadly termed "fundamentalism," this type of religion has been a powerful force in American life for almost a century. It deeply influences the daily lives of millions of Americans, and by extension, has the power to shape things like politics, education, and media. This seminar will explore the challenges of this "American paradox" the persistence of a determined religious traditionalism in the face of unprecedented religious diversity. Are these seeming opposites related? Is conflict between them inevitable? Can we ever hope to all get along?
THEA-150 Playwriting & Performance
This workshop course is designed as an introduction to the writing and performance of theatrical works. With an emphasis on creative discovery, students will examine the methods employed by actors and playwrights in the development of character and dramatic storytelling. Through creative writing, performance exercises and artistic inquiry students will develop and perform a variety of short original dramatic works.
THEA-140 Fundamentals of Acting
Dr. Marc Shaw
A practical investigation of the basic theories of acting as a fine art. Emphasis will be on training the actor in the use of physical and mental abilities as effective tools of dramatic expression.