First Year Seminar
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Course Offerings

Crime and Punishment: Cruel and Unusual or Unusually Just?
Amy Thistlewaite, Department of Criminal Justice

This course will explore the underlying philosophies of punishment and options for punishment. Special emphasis will be on punishment within the context of the Eighth Amendment.

Gangsters, Crime, and the Mafia: The American Twentieth Century
Jodie Mader, Department of History

Through film, discussion, and selected readings, this course will look at the role of the mafia in modern American history. Also this topic will pay close attention to the meaning of the modern family in terms of loyalty, honor, and duty.

Revolutionary Brothers
Patrick Eagan, Department of History

Have you ever asked yourself why the generation of our "Founding Fathers" was able to combine revolutionary ideas and politics so effectively? What were the values that these men and women shared and made them so unique in comparison with today's political leadership? Do you wonder why subsequent generations have had such difficulty in doing so? If you have, then join us as we take an in depth look at the formation of the American governmental system through the lives of the "Founding Generation." This course will explore a wide range of material; from 18th century primary sources to modern American political science as we try and answer the question of whether the "Revolutionary Generation" was the best America has yet to offer.

Legend, Myth, and Hero in Art
Rebecca Bilbo, Department of Ar

This course examines the role of the hero in art, myth, and legend.

Thinking about Listening: Music and Nature
Jerome Langguth, Department of Philosophy

This class will explore the relationship between music and the natural world. The readings for the class come from composers, instrumentalists, poets, novelists, and philosophers who have thought deeply about the nature of music and the music of nature.

Languages and Cultures
Julie Luebbers, Department of Languages

On a practical level, language has to do with sounds, symbols and gestures that a community or group of people put together in order so that they can communicate. On a deeper level, language is an expression of who we are as individuals, communities, nations. Culture refers to dynamic social systems and shared patterns of behavior, beliefs, knowledge, attitudes and values. Culture provides the environment in which languages develop, even as it influences how languages are used and interpreted. Discover the role of languages and cultures near and far and what that means in a global economy.

Personalities of the European Enlightenment
James McNutt, Department of History

This FYS class examines from a specifically historical-biographical perspective the general intellectual developments of key Enlightenment figures. Attention will be paid to how European thought influenced American revolutionaries; shaping the political system in which we now work. Students will seek to gain a better grasp the spirit of criticism that emerged from the educated elite, or what Jefferson called, the "natural aristocracy."

What's All the Twitter About?
Mary Jo Nead, Department of Communication and Drama

You're probably used to using Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and other new media. But have you stopped to consider how these new media merge art and technology? Or how your communication experience is no longer linear? We will delve into these ideas as we explore how new media has influenced our lives. You'll be asked to view new media from many perspectives: philosophical, psychological, and business. We'll look at comics, TV, radio, music, video games, and electronic publishing. We'll view the history of new media and examine the current convergence of old and new media. Finally, you'll create your own new media. Not just another Facebook page but something creative and uniquely yours.

The Life of the Mind
Robert Riehemann, Department of Mathematics and Physics

What kinds of projects do "intellectuals" attempt? We will look at a wide variety of such individuals, from philosophers to folk singers who rode the rails during the depression, from saints to poets, novelists to mathematicians.

Malcolm Robinson, Department of Economic

The globe is undeniably warming; the climate is certainly changing. We can argue over whether or not these alterations are man-made; however, it is clear that the times will be a changin'. How will we respond to our new world? In particular, since we organize our lives in cities, what will our urban future look like? This class will provide an economic perspective as to how cities and regions will become transformed as we change our behaviors in response to our new environment.

Playing With Comedy
Jim Schuttemeyer, Department of English

What's so funny? Read any good cartoons lately? Why is the genre of Comedy so frequently linked to romance and sex? Is marriage a happy ending? What's love got to do with it? Why do we laugh? What is humor's relationship to violence? To death? To cultural taboos? What do Darwin, Freud, and others have to say about theories of humor, its biological value, its psychological and cultural roots? This course will explore what's funny and why (comedy as humor), and the structures and conventions of the theatrical, film genre tradition (Comedy). We will examine jokes and cartoons, classic comedians, classic and modern drama, short fiction, feature film, filmed lectures about the analysis of humor and Comedy, and read scholarly articles on Comedy theory and on scholarly analysis of literature. The course may include an optional excursions to live theatre. Evaluation: oral presentations, short papers (summary reports and analytical essays), and concluding research project on student-selected topics.

Business Enterprise in American History
Richard Shuey, Department of Business

This course will look at the good, bad, and ugly ways used by American business in the development of capitalism from slavery to riches. We'll look at how the American character was developed through self-reliance, industrialization, unionization, greed, and social responsibility. Special attention will be devoted to the role of Greater Cincinnati in the development of American business enterprise. A field trip to the Cincinnati Museum Center will be a required part of this course.

The Dignity of Work
Father Gerald Twaddell, Department of Philosophy

This seminar will explore the nature of work and its value for the worker from a variety of perspectives including philosophical and theological insights. Students will develop skills for college level critical reading and writing as well as oral presentation.

Makers of World History (Honors Only)
Raymond Hébert, Department of History

"Are men and women able to force change upon history by their skill and wits, their nerve and daring? Are they capable of altering history's course by their actions? Or are they hopelessly caught in the grinding process of great interpersonal forces over which they have no great control?" Historians and students of history have long grappled with these questions. These courses will examine the careers and impact of a number of figures who have significantly influenced modern world history or who have embodied much that is significant about the periods in which they lived. In doing so, the course will also introduce students to the chief varieties of historical interpretation and the process known as historical method.

Understanding Comics
Kirk Mayhew, Department of Art

Consider the Graphic Novel aesthetic and its rebirth in American Media. This class will educate students about the visual vocabulary inside the image panels and narrative as well as the phenomenon in-between.

Winning: At What Cost?
Sports & Ethics, Dr. Sherron

Should we aim to win in athletic competition no matter what the cost—to personal integrity, to national honor, or to team respect? What’s wrong with using drugs to enhance performance? Does behavior off the court or field have any bearing on the game? Using a variety of sources from both film and written text, we will examine ethical concerns about behavior on and off the field/court across a variety of sports, at the collegiate and professional levels.

Your Financial Life - Demystifying Money Matters
Maria Mitchell & Tom Gilday

This course will provide basic information about financial literacy including banking, investments, taxes, credit, personal budgeting, risks and insurance, and retirement.