Lebanon Valley College New Students

FYS/FYE Course Descriptions

First-Semester English Communications Requirement

Three courses are available to satisfy the first-semester of the Communications requirement.  Each course focuses on the development of competencies such as writing, information literacy, and critical reading.

FYE 111 (First-Year Experience, 4 credits) and FYS 100 (First-Year Seminar, 3 credits) are theme-based seminars with an academic component that meets for 3 hours per week.  FYE 111 also includes a 1-hour per week companion component focusing on the successful emotional and intellectual transition to college.

ENG 111 (English Communications, 3 credits) is not organized around a particular topic, so its students can expect to write essays about a variety of different topics. Descriptions are provided below for FYE and FYS 100.  Scheduling information for ENG 111 can be found in the course schedule packet provided on New Student Advising Day.

First-Year Experience

FYE 111-01, To the Ends of the Earth: Daring, Discovery, and Death in the World’s Extreme Corners.  Why are human beings fascinated with the unknown and the dangerous?  Why will some people take enormous risks in the world’s most forbidding environments, just to reach the extreme limits of human endurance?  This seminar invites students into the story of polar and Himalayan expeditions and the often fatal attraction that exploration as organized risk-taking exerts on some human beings.  Readings may include The Last Place on Earth, Into Thin Air, Ghosts of Cape Sabine, and Iceblink.  Professor Pry, MWF 8-8:50 a.m./ Th 8-8:50 a.m.

FYE 111-02, To the Ends of the Earth: Daring, Discovery, and Death in the World’s Extreme Corners.  Why are human beings fascinated with the unknown and the dangerous?  Why will some people take enormous risks in the world’s most forbidding environments, just to reach the extreme limits of human endurance?  This seminar invites students into the story of polar and Himalayan expeditions and the often fatal attraction that exploration as organized risk-taking exerts on some human beings.  Readings may include The Last Place on Earth, Into Thin Air, Ghosts of Cape Sabine, and Iceblink.  Professor Pry, MWF 10-10:50 a.m./ W 3-3:50 p.m.

FYE 111-03, Art of the Body.  Our bodies define us as human beings. Our complex living system is the seat of consciousness and the machine that replicates and transmits our code for continued life. As the physical extension and stored repository of our worldly experiences, our body is crucial to self-identity. It is no surprise, then, that the body is central to art. Indeed, the way we represent our body tells us about ourselves—our desires, our self-doubts, and our prejudices. This class examines the evolution of the body in art through the most enduring archetypes of self-representation. They include the perfect body of beauty, the dynamic body of the athlete, the reigning body of the monarch, the persuasive body of the politician, the intellectual body of the philosopher, the sacred body of the spiritual, and the transgressive body of the other.  Professor Taylor, MWF 10-10:50 a.m./ T 8-8:50 a.m.

FYE 111-04, Sustainability.  In recent years, “sustainability” has become something of a buzzword.  But what is “sustainability”?  This First Year Experience focuses on the concept and practice of environmental sustainability as it has developed over time and is currently used by scientists, policy-makers, environmental activists, urban planners, and others. The main goal of this course is to use a representative sample of popular and scholarly literature on environmental sustainability — from classics like Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac (1949) to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) to recent issues of National Geographic Magazine, Ecowatch, and others – as a vehicle by which students can become college-level writers and critical thinkers, and in the process enhance their understanding of this vitally important concept of the early 21st century.  Professor Schroeder, MWF 10-10:50 a.m. / M 3-3:50 p.m.

FYE 111-05, Art of the Body.  Our bodies define us as human beings. Our complex living system is the seat of consciousness and the machine that replicates and transmits our code for continued life. As the physical extension and stored repository of our worldly experiences, our body is crucial to self-identity. It is no surprise, then, that the body is central to art. Indeed, the way we represent our body tells us about ourselves—our desires, our self-doubts, and our prejudices. This class examines the evolution of the body in art through the most enduring archetypes of self-representation. They include the perfect body of beauty, the dynamic body of the athlete, the reigning body of the monarch, the persuasive body of the politician, the intellectual body of the philosopher, the sacred body of the spiritual, and the transgressive body of the other. Professor Taylor, MWF 11-11:50 a.m. / Th 8-8:50 a.m.

FYE 111-06, Sports and Society: Beyond the Boxscore.  This course will focus on contemporary sports and sports writing, moving past box scores and play-by-play to interrogate elements of sports and culture both on and off the field. Sports and sports culture are omnipresent, and the class will take a close look at the way sports and sports culture intersect issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and popular culture. While the primary focus of the class is writing, course assignments will require reading of contemporary and historical texts, as well as attendance at some live sporting events and the use of social media (possibly blogs, Twitter, etc.). Professor Wendt, MWF 1-1:50 p.m. / T 8-8:50 a.m.

FYE 111-07, Sports and Society: Beyond the Boxscore.  This course will focus on contemporary sports and sports writing, moving past box scores and play-by-play to interrogate elements of sports and culture both on and off the field. Sports and sports culture are omnipresent, and the class will take a close look at the way sports and sports culture intersect issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and popular culture. While the primary focus of the class is writing, course assignments will require reading of contemporary and historical texts, as well as attendance at some live sporting events and the use of social media (possibly blogs, Twitter, etc.). Professor Wendt, MWF 2-2:50 p.m./ T 2-2:50 p.m.

FYE 111-08, Telling the Truth About History.  How do we tell the truth about the past?  Why do historians so often disagree about the “truth” of events like the Salem Witch Trials or the Vietnam War?  When novelists or playwrights tell stories about actual historical events, can they tell the truth about those events, or not?  Are the truths they tell like the truths historians tell?  In this seminar we’ll look at texts about the Salem witchcraft trials, American slavery, and the Vietnam War, and consider how those texts try to tell the “truth,” or at least part of the truth, about those events. Professor Grieve-Carlson, TTh 8:00-9:20 a.m./ W 3-3:50 p.m.

FYE 111-09, Telling the Truth About History.  How do we tell the truth about the past?  Why do historians so often disagree about the “truth” of events like the Salem Witch Trials or the Vietnam War?  When novelists or playwrights tell stories about actual historical events, can they tell the truth about those events, or not?  Are the truths they tell like the truths historians tell?  In this seminar we’ll look at texts about the Salem witchcraft trials, American slavery, and the Vietnam War, and consider how those texts try to tell the “truth,” or at least part of the truth, about those events. Professor Grieve-Carlson, TTh 9:30-10:50 a.m./ Th 2-2:50 p.m.

FYE 111-10, Horror in Film and Literature.  Why do people like to be scared?  From the Old English classic Beowulf to the recent film 28 Weeks Later art has expressed people’s fascination with monsters and violent mayhem.  Though the horror genre has always been popular, it is often also dismissed as lowbrow, even exploitative entertainment that caters to our baser instincts.  In this seminar, we will confront that point of view by looking at the ways in which horror entertainment both reflects and challenges the cultures in which it is produced.  We will analyze texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as films like Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.  Students will learn about milestones in the development of the horror genre in film and literature, gain an understanding of introductory terminology in film and literary analysis, and discover the main theories about why audiences enjoy horror.  Professor Eldred, TTh 12:30-1:50 p.m./ T 2-2:50 p.m.

FYE 111-11, Horror in Film and Literature.  Why do people like to be scared?  From the Old English classic Beowulf to the recent film 28 Weeks Later art has expressed people’s fascination with monsters and violent mayhem.  Though the horror genre has always been popular, it is often also dismissed as lowbrow, even exploitative entertainment that caters to our baser instincts.  In this seminar, we will confront that point of view by looking at the ways in which horror entertainment both reflects and challenges the cultures in which it is produced.  We will analyze texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, as well as films like Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.  Students will learn about milestones in the development of the horror genre in film and literature, gain an understanding of introductory terminology in film and literary analysis, and discover the main theories about why audiences enjoy horror. Professor Eldred, TTh 2:00-3:20 p.m./ M 3-3:50 p.m.

FYE 111-12, Coming of Age.  In this freshman seminar, we will focus on question: “How do young people from a variety of cultures, experience the transition to adulthood?” Over the course of the semester, we will discuss questions such as: what are the tasks, decisions, and challenges that young adults face? What are the issues specific to the millennial generation? What are the specific and different challenges faced by men and women? What are the challenges of developing a gender identity? How do race and ethnicity play a role? What kinds of family issues do young people have to address as they come? To explore these questions we will examine and write about a variety of books and memoirs. Examples may include but are not limited to Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, Junot Diaz’s Oscar Wao, Chimamanda Ngozi Aditchie’s Purple Hibiscus, and others. Professor McCoy, TTh 2:00-3:20 p.m./ Th 8-8:50 a.m.

FYE 111-13, Man Up / Act Like a Lady.  As TV watchers, magazine readers, movie-goers, web-surfers, and students, we are bombarded by images and representations of what it means to be a man or a woman in contemporary society.  In this course, we will examine some of these images and representations.  Through our analysis of literature, film, television, print and online media depictions, we will work on better understanding the way discourse creates knowledge of gender and how that knowledge affects us as individuals in the United States.  Through discussion and writing we will explore our own perceptions and experiences as well as analyze experiences as represented by others. Professor Romagnolo, TTh 2:00-3:20 p.m./ M 3-3:50 p.m.

FYE 111-14, Thinking Changes Everything:  Are you the sort of student who is driven to ask the big questions:  Why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?  Is there an ultimate good?  What is beauty? If you are, then you are already on your way to success as a college student.  This course rests on the premise that being philosophical makes you a better student, and that being a college student who takes charge of his or her own development means, in the most profound sense, that you desire to live what Socrates called “the examined life.”  In this course we will therefore not only examine life with our minds, but also come to understand the extent to which our lives are formed and shaped by our minds.  Professor Valgenti, TTh 2:00-3:20 p.m./ W 3-3:50 p.m.

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First-Year Seminar

FYS 100–01, Let the Great World Spin

The world became entranced by “The Crime of the Century” in 1974 when a young Frenchman danced along a tightrope strung between the top of the nearly completed World Trade Towers. Colum McCann’s novel, Let the Great World Spin (winner of the 2009 National Book Award), uses the daring act of this “angel in the sky” to contrast with people in the depths of the city who struggle with diverse issues, ultimately searching for joy and redemption. Using film and other texts, keeping McCann’s work as our epicenter, we will explore subjects such as art and risk, faith and belonging, loss and grief, and the nuances of history. As Esquire’s Tom Junod explains, “We are all dancing on the wire of history, and even on solid ground we breathe the thinnest of air.” Professor Clark, MWF 9-9:50 a.m.

FYS 100-02, Life as You Know It: Brought to You by Millennia after Millennia of Advances in Biotechnology.  Arguably, the birthplace of biotechnology is the Middle East.  Places like southern Mesopotamia (current-day Iraq) and Egypt were the early hotbeds for biotech, and it all started with beer and bread.  It is not clear which came first, but historians date the use of yeast in the making of these foods to as early as 4000 BC.  Among other early advances in the field were the selection and cultivation of the potato by Peruvians (circa 3000 BC) as well as the use of moldy soybean curd by the Chinese to treat boils (circa 500 BC).  More recently, Jenner gave the first immunization (1797), Pasteur developed germ theory (1857), Mendel developed the field of genetics (1865), Fleming discovered penicillin (1928), and the structure of DNA was described by Watson and Crick (1953).  With the introduction of cloned tomatoes (1994), cloned sheep (1997), and now cloned cats (2004), biotechnology has had a strong influence in making our world the place it is today.  We will examine the significance of the individual events described above and how, as a whole, they have shaped our world. Professor Patton, MWF 11-11:50 a.m.

FYS 100-03, Addiction.  Do you know an active drug addict or alcoholic?  It’s almost certain that you do, or that you will.  What about other addictions, like gambling, overeating, abuse, or the internet?  We have learned a lot about addiction in the last few decades, but we do not seem to be any closer to defeating it and the suffering it brings to its victims and their families.  In this seminar we’ll explore what we know about addiction and about attempts at prevention and treatment that are underway in the world, in the U.S., and here in Lebanon County.  We will explore the place of addiction in our movies and myths, in our economy, and in our coming of age. Professor Fry, MWF 1-1:50 p.m.

FYS 100-04, Going Viral: Social Media and Digital Technologies.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, online gaming, blogging, and other digital platforms entertain us, teach us, and allow us to reach out to others.  Very often these platforms are the center of debates over privacy and social change.  In this class, we will learn about new media’s impact on literacy, education, community interaction, journalism, democracy, and creativity.  We’ll start with a brief overview of Internet history and read a wide selection of materials that both demonstrate how we use this technology and how we talk about it in an academic setting. Professor Pettice, TTh 8:00-9:20 a.m.

FYS 100-05, Going Viral: Social Media and Digital Technologies.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, online gaming, blogging, and other digital platforms entertain us, teach us, and allow us to reach out to others.  Very often these platforms are the center of debates over privacy and social change.  In this class, we will learn about new media’s impact on literacy, education, community interaction, journalism, democracy, and creativity.  We’ll start with a brief overview of Internet history and read a wide selection of materials that both demonstrate how we use this technology and how we talk about it in an academic setting. Professor Pettice, TTh 9:30-10:50 a.m.

FYS 100-06, Girls Meet Sex and the City: Exploring Different Perspectives on Sexuality.  Explore modern-day issues of sexuality ranging from balancing careers, to body image, to different eras of feminism and self-esteem, to dating and relationships through the wildly popular HBO series Girls and Sex and the City.  We’ll be watching different episodes, reading a variety of essays and articles, and discussing our personal views while relating them to the programs and readings.  Professor Walker, TTh 9:30-10:50 a.m.

FYS 100-07, Give Me Liberty.  We say “it’s a free country,” but what we mean by “freedom” has changed since the beginning of European settlement in America.  Who gets to define freedom?  Who has it?  Who doesn’t?  In this seminar we’ll examine the various meanings of freedom and the struggle to expand it, from colonial days to the Civil War.  Indians, white male landowners, men without property, women, and African Americans all argued for their particular versions of liberty in a nation that proclaimed itself founded on the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal and . . . endowed with certain inalienable rights.”  Professor Broussard, TTh 2:00-3:20 p.m.

Fall 2015 English Communications Options