Lebanon Valley College New Students

FYS Course Descriptions

The First-Year Seminar (FYS 100) is an alternative means of fulfilling the English Communications (ENG 111) requirement for first-semester students.  Below are course descriptions for the Seminars that will be offered in Fall 2014.  If any of these look interesting to you, you may want to enroll in FYS 100 instead of ENG 111.  It doesn’t matter what your major is, nor does it matter whether you have declared a major—any first-semester student may enroll in either FYS 100 or ENG 111 in order to fulfill the first-year writing requirement.  You should discuss this decision and your preferences when you meet with your academic advisor in May.

FYS 100–01, 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 Bongiovanni, MWF 8-8:50 p.m.

FYS 100-02, 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 8-8:50 a.m.

FYS 100-03, 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 Bongiovanni, MWF 9-9:50 p.m.

FYS 100-04, Selves and Masks: Literature and Personal Identity. How do we know who we are?  That may seem like a silly question, but American literature suggests that we often fool ourselves and others by devising “masks” or playing roles.  Indeed, the word “person” derives from the Latin “persona,” which means “mask.”  In Six Characters in Search of an Author, one of the fictional characters tells the playwright: “A character in fiction or in art may come and ask you who you are,” and we may find that these characters shed a certain kind of light on the selves or masks that we construct or inhabit ourselves.  Some of the texts we may read in the seminar include The Red Badge of Courage, The Awakening, The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, and In the Lake of the Woods.   Professor Grieve-Carlson, MWF 9-9:50 a.m.

FYS 100-05, Selves and Masks: Literature and Personal Identity.  How do we know who we are?  That may seem like a silly question, but American literature suggests that we often fool ourselves and others by devising “masks” or playing roles.  Indeed, the word “person” derives from the Latin “persona,” which means “mask.”  In Six Characters in Search of an Author, one of the fictional characters tells the playwright: “A character in fiction or in art may come and ask you who you are,” and we may find that these characters shed a certain kind of light on the selves or masks that we construct or inhabit ourselves.  Some of the texts we may read in the seminar include The Red Badge of Courage, The Awakening, The Great Gatsby, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, and In the Lake of the Woods.   Professor Grieve-Carlson, MWF 10-10:50 a.m.

FYS 100-06, 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.

FYS 100-07, 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 100-08, 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 100-09, 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, MWF 1-1:50 p.m.

FYS 100-10, 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 8-9:20 a.m.

FYS 100-11, 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 9:30-10:50 a.m.

FYS 100-12, 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 100-13, 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 100-14, 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 12:30-1:50 p.m.

FYS 100-15, Women and Gender in Latin America. Gender relations and relations of power are central topics in this course. We will use a variety of texts (testimonials, literary works, documentaries, and films) in order to explore the history of women and to analyze gender relations in Latin America. A central focus of the course will be to explore the intersection between women, authoritarian regimes, violence, and revolution. This course also analyzes other important topics such as national identity, ethnicity, and migration. One of the main questions of this course is:  How are women and their experiences represented in texts, art, music, videos, and films? Professor McEvoy TTH 12:30-1:50 p.m.

FYS 100-16, Food and Philosophy.  Food is often the answer, but when does food become the question?  While eating may be one of the most basic and necessary operations of the human body, the consumption of food often takes on other kinds of significance: food as a commodity for profit; food as a stimulus or escape; food as a source of personal or cultural identity; food as a luxurious excess; food as a means to a better body, better image, better place in society; food as a political device; and even food as an enemy. This seminar will examine the various ways in which the consumption of food is never simply eating.  We will read and discuss the insights of philosophers, epicureans, scientists, and journalists—food lovers, food haters, and food activists—in an attempt to discover the various ways in which food can teach us how to think rather than just consume.  Professor Valgenti, MW 3-4:20 p.m.