You'll take a FYS within your first two semesters at Xavier. FYS is a rigorous, academic, 3-credit course. In the catalog, FYS is called CORE 100. Search under "Core Curriculum" to find these courses.

Spring 2020 

Saint Francis and Pope Francis     Gillian Ahlgren

What happens when the sincerity of one of Christianity's most famous saints meets the vision of history's first Jesuit pope? Why did Pope Francis choose the name "Francis"? What did/does he hope to accomplish? How do we in Jesuit institutions today walk in the footsteps of both of these spiritual leaders?

 

Old Texts, New Media     Kelly Austin

This seminar will explore adaptations of classic literature, including Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. We’ll examine a live production, traditional films, TV series, and even a YouTube adaptation. As part of the course, students will attend one live performance. Students will study theories on adaptation, digital media, and fandoms. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester, particularly in examining modern adaptations of classic texts.

 

Ethics, Justice and the Environment            Brent Blair

We each depend on the environment in obvious and subtle ways. But, how we perceive nature and choose to treat it depends on many factors including time period, culture, and economic status. In this course we will explore these ideas as well as how degraded environments impact human wellbeing differently depending on who you are (e.g., race, class & gender) and where you live. Basic ecological and environmental science principles will be explored. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Slow Food: We Are What We Eat       Kelly Blank

Slow Food is an international movement that began in Italy in 1986, emphasizing Good, Clean, and Fair food. In this First Year Seminar, we will discuss the history, philosophy, and influence of the Slow Food movement worldwide while examining the problems with the modern agricultural machine both in a local and in a global context. Topics of discussion will include the importance of local and seasonal produce, the inherent connections between plate and planet, the water footprint of food, labeling of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), biodiversity, and the ethics of meat production and consumption.

 

Games & Virtue     Greg Braun

This course looks at games of all types, with a focus on board, card, and role playing games. What can games today and throughout history tell us about humanity? What virtues and skills are valued by games, and by society? What does the mathematical field of game theory tell us about how people make decisions, particularly important ethical decisions? How do probability and the mechanics of games affect what we take away from them? What is the nature of play itself? Students will design a game as a group project throughout the semester.

 

Remembering the Days of Slavery     Randy Browne

In 1975, the Jamaican reggae artist Burning Spear recorded "Slavery Days." His song asked a simple question-"Do you remember the days of slavery?" And he urged, "Cry and remember, please remember." This course takes up Burning Spear's challenge, asking how the history of Atlantic slavery has been remembered, represented, and memorialized on both sides of the Atlantic. What have different people and institutions chosen to remember-and forget-about the history of Atlantic slavery? How should we decide which representations to accept or reject? And how do our memories of the past shape our understanding of the present and hopes for the future? This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

House of Dawn: Grand Canyon and Navajo Nation     Leon Chartrand

Sacred Navajo places-like Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly-teach us what it means to be human. In sacred places, we touch the pulse of a living planet. We feel fully alive because these places are fully alive. There, we discover the center of being. Flowing through us like breath are timeless lessons borne from a silence that transcends space and time. Just as the Ancient Ones did, we go to these places not for beauty and inspiration, but for the lessons. This course includes travel over Spring Break to the Grand Canyon and the Navajo Nation. You must pre-register and deposit at http://xavierexpeditions.com/

   

Searching for Meaning in a Scientific Age     Daniel Dwyer

Can science explain everything? Are yesterday's mysteries inevitably going to be tomorrow's scientific problems? In this seminar, we will discuss the relation between scientific explanations and the individual's search for a life that makes sense. We will explore contemporary questions about love, family, friendship; human excellence and dignity; teaching, learning, and truth. At stake is whether modern science can explain away these genuinely human phenomena, or whether they still leave room for a role for philosophy and theology to overcome the cynicism of today's youth.

 

Sport at the Service of Humanity                            Sr. Rose Ann Fleming

How can sport serve humanity? Selected readings show how sport brings humanity together across global boundaries to celebrate human talent, regardless of religion, race, culture, beliefs, gender and ability.  Immersive experiences such as visits and interviews with members of professional teams and NCAA Division I teams, indicate how sport teaches men and women positive values of joy, respect, love, compassion, enlightenment and balance. Dialoguing with sport experts, and attendance at local sports games, enables the class participant to reflect, critique, and discuss, orally and in writing, the principles and values that sport offers humanity, as well as how to address the evils and scandals that can arise when the power of wealth and greed in sport corrupt the sport environment. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Entrepreneurship: How to Outswim the Sharks in the Tank       Mike Halloran

Course description coming soon

 

Transcending Humanity: The New Biology                      James Helmer

The American futurist and transhumanist thinker Ray Kurzweil has suggested that the essence of humanity is our creation and employment of technology. In exploring ethical and religious themes in relation to emerging biotechnologies, this seminar will engage "big questions" such as the reality of God/the Transcendent, the meaning of human existence, and the nature of the human condition (e.g., embodiment, life, death, sickness, disease, finitude, moral perfection). The seminar will give particular consideration to the ethics of employing such biotechnologies in order to overcome human limitation and to fundamentally alter the human condition. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Roots of the “Caravan”: A Look at U.S. Foreign Policy and Insights from the Jesuits in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras                                Irene Hodgson

In this course we will examine different questions and perspectives regarding immigration on the southern border and also to Cincinnati looking at history, culture, politics, religion, etc.  Is there an impending invasion of the migrant hordes or are individuals and groups asylum seekers? Are the conditions in their countries of origin related to U.S. foreign policy? If so, why would people seek to come here or send their children? How might the language we use to describe migrants reflect or shape our opinions and policies? How do we define who is an American? What do the Jesuits in those countries have to say to us about this? What does a commitment to the greater good require of us? This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Movies and their Meaning       David Inczauskis, S.J.

Some films are deep. They make us think and feel in new and challenging ways. In this class we will interpret a handful of particularly provocative movies. We will come to see how directors’ ideas influence the ways they craft their films. A close reading of several philosophers will provide us with a means of dialoguing with the films. 

 

The Game of Chess     Adam Konopka

This course examines the history, iconography, and educational benefits of the game of chess. Games like chess play an important, but often overlooked, role in the fabric of a society. Chess, in particular, is one of the most enduring and universal games in human history. How do historical variations of chess reflect the social structures in which they were played? How has chess become symbolic of the human condition in works of literature such as Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass? How are skills such as spatial reasoning, strategic decision making, and concentration learned through playing chess? This course is oriented to novice and advanced players alike. No familiarity with chess is necessary. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

The Power of Images: Photography and Social Justice       Johann Le Guelte

We are immersed in a visual culture, where images and iconographies, photographs and videos—whether seen on TV, the Internet or other digital platforms—determine the contours of our social identity and impact our perception of the world. Visual representations are undeniably powerful. So what can they teach us about issues of social justice? This course will examine how, exactly, images function and often mediate our understanding of history and the present. Topics covered will include photography and race, gender identity, migration, activism, politics, fashion, and more. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

  

Can Only One Religion Be True?     William Madges

Throughout history, Christianity has claimed to be the true religion. In light of the fact that there are many good people who are not Christian, can't more than one religion be true? But if religious beliefs and practices are different, how can all be true? The seminar explores what we mean by truth and salvation, and how to assess religious claims to truth.

 

The Human Need for Narrative     Anne McCarty

Story? Who needs it? For a phenomenon that seems to serve little practical purpose for human survival, narrative plays a significant and ongoing role in our lives. In this class, we'll explore various facets and functions of story and consider the following questions. How do we shape and how are we shaped by narrative? How do we employ narrative as we attempt to understand, cope with, and modify our past, present, and future both as individuals and as a society? How do the stories we currently produce and consume contribute to or detract from the greater good? This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

You, Me, and #MeToo: American Feminism and the Rise of #MeToo          Robert Bradley Nestheide

Recent high-profile cases of sexual harassment and abuse saw the popularization of the phrase "Me Too" and its rise to prominence as a succinct an empathetic expression of solidarity with the long-standing struggle of women for social, political, and economic equality. This course will examine the history and politics of American feminism and women's movements with a particular focus on sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and the emergence of the #MeToo movement. Additionally, the course will examine the role of modern social media and internet communications in both the spread of the movement and in its increased success in bringing social, political, and legal repercussions to sexual abusers. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

On Common Ground: Mexico and the U.S.     Julia O'Hara

Mexico and the U.S. share one of the world's most important international partnerships. How has this relationship developed, and why has it become so tense? What does the greater good mean for the people of both nations? This class explores these and other questions through the history, politics and culture linking people on both sides of the border. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Villains and Antiheroes     Niamh J. O'Leary

This seminar asks if villains can serve the greater good and why we love good stories about bad guys. How do we as a society decide what makes a person "bad," and what value do we attach to that label? How has our understanding of a historical person's relative villainy or heroism changed over time? Together, we will consider the definitions of heroism and villainy, debate whether you can work toward justice from outside the system, and study nontraditional approaches to the good-from revenge narratives, to tales of vigilante justice, to fortunate falls, to damaged or despicable "everyman" heroes. This course includes a unit focused on issues of diversity and inclusion.

 

Borderlands of Being Human     Don Prues

This course keeps coming back to one three-pronged overarching question: What is the human animal, why do we think the way we think, and why do we act the way we act? Ultimately, this course will challenge our assumptions and our motivations about what we believe, what choices we make, what opinions we hold, what's in our nature, and what it means to be human.

 

It's Alive!: From Frankenstein to Artificial Intelligence     David Reid

In this multidisciplinary seminar, we’ll begin with a close reading of Mary Shelley’s timeless 1818 novelFrankenstein and will trace its evolution into the pop-culture icon it has become. Included in the first part of the course will be literary analysis that situates Shelley’s masterpiece in historical and philosophical context. In the second half of the course, we will extend the themes and ideas of Frankenstein into our modern world of artificial intelligence, considering issues of The Common Good along the way. The course materials will include four novels, one biography and several films. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein…200 years old…and yet…it’s alive! This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Native Americans and American Sovereignty     Frank Rzeczowski

Indians were the first inhabitants of what would become the United States--yet not until 1924 did all Native Americans become U.S. citizens. This course will examine the complex, unique, and often conflict-ridden relationship between Native Americans and the country they found themselves contained in, and exaine the struggle of Native peoples to become equal--yet remain separate--within American society.

 

Dante, Pilgrim of the Mind     Michael Sweeney

Dante will be our guide to college as a journey-a pilgrimage of the mind. Medieval pilgrimage was a physical journey to the Holy Land or to some other holy site that was meant to change and rehearse the journey of a life. In the Divine Comedy, Dante is often called a "pilgrim," but the Divine Comedy is a different kind of journey, an intellectual journey that is meant to change and rehearse the journey of a life. This course will propose the question whether college is merely job training or whether it is also an intellectual pilgrimage. We will read closely Dante's Divine Comedy with the assistance of selections from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Thomas Aquinas' Summa theologiae.

 

Exploring Real and Imagined Places     Rebecca Todd

We all make journeys in our lives, through the known to the unknown, and back again. Where and how do we find ourselves? This seminar’s focus will be exploring real and imagined places, through reading (and creating) maps, pop culture artifacts, fiction and non-fiction. Students will be asked to write traditional essays and create multimodal ones.

 

Marriage: Crisis & Renewal       Marita von Weissenberg

How do we know what marriage is? How, when, and why does marriage challenge or renew the greater good, and how can we even know? This course seeks to complicate our assumptions of marriage by exploring what marriage has been, is, and might yet become within the Western tradition. We will examine notions of marriage by examining ways history, law, psychology, and literature – to name a few – study marriage. 

 

Ireland, Culture, and Film     Timothy White

Employing film as a means of expressing and critiquing culture, this course explores the development of Irish nationalism and those who were not fully included in historic conceptions of Irish national identity. How did Irish nationalism marginalize women, Protestants, travellers, emigrants, new arrivals, and the poor in society? Have recent changes in Ireland contributed to a more inclusive national conception of the greater good? How has Northern Ireland developed a separate culture? Has historic Protestant ascendancy given way to parity of esteem and a true peace since the Good Friday Agreement? This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Should We Treat Mental Illness?                            Reneé Zucchero                             

To treat or not to treat mental illness, that is the question! Many people experience mental illness but do not receive treatment. Students will consider the experience and consequences of mental illness, various costs associated with treating and not treating mental illness, and form an educated opinion about whether it should be treated.

 

Fall 2019

Ethics, Justice and the Environment            Brent Blair

We each depend on the environment in obvious and subtle ways. But, how we perceive nature and choose to treat it depends on many factors including time period, culture, and economic status. In this course we will explore these ideas as well as how degraded environments impact human wellbeing differently depending on who you are (e.g., race, class & gender) and where you live. Basic ecological and environmental science principles will be explored. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Remembering the Days of Slavery             Randy Browne

In 1975, the Jamaican reggae artist Burning Spear recorded "Slavery Days." His song asked a simple question-"Do you remember the days of slavery?" And he urged, "Cry and remember, please remember." This course takes up Burning Spear's challenge, asking how the history of Atlantic slavery has been remembered, represented, and memorialized on both sides of the Atlantic. What have different people and institutions chosen to remember-and forget-about the history of Atlantic slavery? How should we decide which representations to accept or reject? And how do our memories of the past shape our understanding of the present and hopes for the future? This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Black Literature and Faith                                              Adam Clark

This First Year Seminar explores the legacy of faith, struggle, resistance and hope in the African American community through great works in black literature. Through a combination of close reading of texts and shared reflection, students will engage the particular genius and beauty of African American writers, poets, and ordinary people of faith as they contend with institutional racism, poverty and social marginalization in US society and the church. The Jesuit/Ignatian tradition of “seeing with the eyes of the heart” will frame our inquiry throughout. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Life and Death in the Gospels                                            Art Dewey

How did Anti-Semitism happen? What are the roots of the tragic relationship between Jews and Christians? This course focuses on the texts and traditions that led ultimately to the Holocaust. How can we learn to read critically texts that have spawned such a tragic history? What must we know of the rhetorical, economic, social contexts of these deadly texts? How can we take our place responsibly in a world increasingly violent due to the lack of interreligious dialogue?

 

Sport at the Service of Humanity                            Sr. Rose Ann Fleming

How can sport serve humanity? Selected readings show how sport brings humanity together across global boundaries to celebrate human talent, regardless of religion, race, culture, beliefs, gender and ability.  Immersive experiences such as visits and interviews with members of professional teams and NCAA Division I teams, indicate how sport teaches men and women positive values of joy, respect, love, compassion, enlightenment and balance. Dialoguing with sport experts, and attendance at local sports games, enables the class participant to reflect, critique, and discuss, orally and in writing, the principles and values that sport offers humanity, as well as how to address the evils and scandals that can arise when the power of wealth and greed in sport corrupt the sport environment. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Personal Writing, Public Good                                 Renea Frey

Personal expression takes many forms (diaries, letters, memoires, art, etc.), and while we might view this communication as focused on an individual, personal expression can transmit experience, create empathy, and move an audience toward a kind of “shared wisdom.” In this course, we’ll explore personal expression that seeks to move the personal into the public to bring about change for the greater good.

 

Karl Marx and the Communist Revolution                           Gabriel Gottlieb

What is socialism? How is it different from communism or capitalism? Is one better or more just than the other? These questions are at the heart of Karl Marx’s philosophy, a figure vilified by both liberals and conservatives. This first-year seminar will introduce students to Karl Marx’s philosophy through a close reading of The Communist Manifesto. We will historically situate Marx’s thought, and examine socialist and communist revolutions inspired by his ideas. In conclusion, we will attempt to understand whether or not Marx’s ideas are relevant to our lives today.

 

Bob Dylan                                                      Graley Herren  


This seminar will trace the artistic evolution of Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan. Along with careful analysis of his songs as written and performed, we will examine his work in various contexts: musical, literary, cultural, historical, political, and autobiographical. This course includes a unit focused on issues of diversity and inclusion.

 

Roots of the “Caravan”: A Look at U.S. Foreign Policy and Insights from the Jesuits in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras                                Irene Hodgson

In this course we will examine different questions and perspectives regarding immigration on the southern border and also to Cincinnati looking at history, culture, politics, religion, etc.  Is there an impending invasion of the migrant hordes or are individuals and groups asylum seekers? Are the conditions in their countries of origin related to U.S. foreign policy? If so, why would people seek to come here or send their children? How might the language we use to describe migrants reflect or shape our opinions and policies? How do we define who is an American? What do the Jesuits in those countries have to say to us about this? What does a commitment to the greater good require of us? This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

The Game of Chess                                      Adam Konopka

This course examines the history, iconography, and educational benefits of the game of chess. Games like chess play an important, but often overlooked, role in the fabric of a society. Chess, in particular, is one of the most enduring and universal games in human history. How do historical variations of chess reflect the social structures in which they were played? How has chess become symbolic of the human condition in works of literature such as Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass? How are skills such as spatial reasoning, strategic decision making, and concentration learned through playing chess? This course is oriented to novice and advanced players alike. No familiarity with chess is necessary. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

The Tudors                                    Fr. John LaRocca, S. J. 

Course description coming soon.

 

#CollegeCulture                             Jacki Lyon

Many first year students arrive on campus excited for the anticipated “college experience,” but what does this passage look like? #CollegeCulture examines college social justice themes including the hookup culture, racism, mental health as well as gender issues. Through nonfiction texts, academic research and expert speakers, students will examine normative beliefs as well as causes and effects related to these ethical and social concepts. The course is academically rigorous founded in research papers, reflective writing, and class presentations. #College Culture will prepare students to become active members in the community of scholars who embrace serving the Greater Good mission of Xavier.

 

God on Trial                                                  Martin Madar

This seminar will examine the religious dimension of human existence in relation to a number of problems and challenges: the problem of knowledge; the relation of faith and reason; various historical, social and existential critiques of belief; the challenge of atheism and humanism.

 

You, Me, and #MeToo: American Feminism and the Rise of #MeToo          Robert Bradley Nestheide

Recent high-profile cases of sexual harassment and abuse saw the popularization of the phrase "Me Too" and its rise to prominence as a succinct an empathetic expression of solidarity with the long-standing struggle of women for social, political, and economic equality. This course will examine the history and politics of American feminism and women's movements with a particular focus on sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and the emergence of the #MeToo movement. Additionally, the course will examine the role of modern social media and internet communications in both the spread of the movement and in its increased success in bringing social, political, and legal repercussions to sexual abusers. This course addresses issues of diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Villains and Antiheroes                               Niamh J. O’Leary

This seminar asks if villains can serve the greater good and why we love good stories about bad guys. How do we as a society decide what makes a person "bad," and what value do we attach to that label? How has our understanding of a historical person's relative villainy or heroism changed over time? Together, we will consider the definitions of heroism and villainy, debate whether you can work toward justice from outside the system, and study nontraditional approaches to the good-from revenge narratives, to tales of vigilante justice, to fortunate falls, to damaged or despicable "everyman" heroes. This course includes a unit focused on issues of diversity and inclusion.

 

The Anthropocene                                       Lisa Ottum

According to scientists, historians, and cultural observers, we are living in the Anthropocene, a geological epoch caused by human activity.  While experts disagree about when exactly the Anthropocene started, it’s clear that we—people—have profoundly modified the atmosphere, ocean ecology, and even the ground beneath our feet.  We’ve changed the planet in ways that imperil our own long-term survival and thriving (not to mention that of countless other species).  What does it mean to live in the Anthropocene?  How should we proceed as a society—and how should we cope, as individuals and as collectives, with feelings of fear, guilt, and frustration?  We’ll explore answers from science, philosophy, history, art, and other fields.

 

Borderlands of Being Human                     Don Prues

This course keeps coming back to one three-pronged overarching question: What is the human animal, why do we think the way we think, and why do we act the way we act? Ultimately, this course will challenge our assumptions and our motivations about what we believe, what choices we make, what opinions we hold, what’s in our nature, and what it means to be human.

 

Theory of American Polity               John Ray

Detailed reading of key texts in political philosophy and American constitutionalism on the moral foundations of the American polity. We will read selections from John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, the Federalist Papers, and Tocqueville's Democracy in America. What conception of political life is advanced by these texts? What are the strengths and weaknesses of liberal life with property? What, more broadly, are the conditions of human freedom and/or human excellence? Does modern mass commercial democracy make human flourishing more or less likely? The emphasis will be on student discussion of these and other questions.

 

It's Alive! Rereading Frankenstein                           David Reid

In this multidisciplinary seminar, we'll dig deeply into Mary Shelley's timeless masterpiece, Frankenstein, and trace its evolution into the pop culture icon it has become. In the first part of the course, we'll do a close reading of the original 1818 text. We'll follow that up with an historical look at the fascinating life of the author and her remarkable circle of family and friends, weaving important 20th century film versions into the discussion. We'll read a reimagined version of the novel that portrays the Enlightenment and its Romantic reaction in dramatic fashion, and conclude with a wide variety of philosophical essays on the novel's ongoing implications for our lives and the Greater Good. 200 years old...and yet: It's Alive!

 

Confederate Monuments                 Frank Rzeczkowski 

This seminar examines the current controversies over monuments to the Confederacy through an examination of the broader historical, social, cultural, and political contexts surrounding the issue. We will also explore the ideas and purposes behind memorialization in a broader sense (including on Xavier’s campus), and seek to understand the decision-making process behind memorialization and the messages memorials seek to convey.

 

Happiness                                         Jill Segerman

What is happiness? How do you become happy? Should happiness be a priority? We will explore these questions and more as we investigate happiness through the lens of experts, popular writers, researchers and ourselves. We will also look at happiness form different angles like relationships, culture, religion, and work.

 

Bicycling Our Bioregion                                                      Kathleen Smythe

This experiential course will introduce students to Cincinnati, its larger bioregion, including other towns. Students will participate in seven half-day bicycling history and ecology excursions around Cincinnati meeting a wide variety of people and end with a three-day trip up the Little Miami River valley. Students will also meet once/week (for approximately 10 weeks) to discuss readings and prepare for the bike trips. The course is built on themes prominent in sustainability education, including ways of viewing humans as part of nature. There is a $100 fee to enroll in this course to cover lodging, guest speakers and entrance to historical sites. In addition, students are responsible for necessary equipment (including their own bicycle) while on excursions.

 

Dante, Pilgrim of the Mind                           Michael Sweeney

Dante will be our guide to college as a journey—a pilgrimage of the mind. Medieval pilgrimage was a physical journey to the Holy Land or to some other holy site that was meant to change and rehearse the journey of a life. In the Divine Comedy, Dante is often called a "pilgrim," but the Divine Comedy is a different kind of journey, an intellectual journey that is meant to change and rehearse the journey of a life. This course will propose the question whether college is merely job training or whether it is also an intellectual pilgrimage. We will read closely Dante's Divine Comedy with the assistance of selections from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Thomas Aquinas' Summa theologiae.

 

Locked-up Living                                        Fr. Nathan Wendt, S.J.

How does systemic incarceration form who we are as a society and persons? What does it say about who God is, the values of society, and who we become? The seminar explores the roots of incarceration, its relation with the Biblical God, culture, and the human subject, while delving into practices of punishment, survival, restoration, and justice.

 

Ireland, Culture, & Film                                Timothy White 

This course explores Irish culture since the late nineteenth century focusing on the development of Irish identity and how this identity has been challenged by those not included in the historic conception of Irish national identity.

 

Pride and Prejudice: Then and Now                                  Jodi Wyett

We will study Jane Austen’s most enduring novel, Pride and Prejudice (1814), and some of the myriad ways it has been adapted in our time, focusing on the novel’s concern with the greater good both in relation to Austen’s social and cultural conditions and to our own. Assignments include curating and editing a historical artifact from late- eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain and creating an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice for our own time, both to be posted on a course website.  This course addresses diversity and inclusion throughout the semester.

 

Rowling, Lucas, Disney: Passion as Career                     Stephen Yandell

This course considers three artists who generated wildly creative, meaningful careers by pursuing their deepest passions: J. K. Rowling, George Lucas, and Walt Disney.  These three, arguably some of the most influential storytellers of the past fifty years, serve as models for a range of passions on which a career might be built: an individual’s life pursuits, skills, and creative outputs.  Texts by these and others will allow students to engage in critical analysis about the nature of passion and its connection to their lives.  Students will have the opportunity to consider the passions of individuals they admire, articulate the most significant of their own passions, explore new ones, and reflect on passions’ connections to lifelong careers—callings that are not simply fulfilling to an individual, but contribute to society’s greater good.

 

Should We Treat Mental Illness?                            Renee’ Zucchero                             

To treat or not to treat mental illness, that is the question! Many people experience mental illness but do not receive treatment. Students will consider the experience and consequences of mental illness, various costs associated with treating and not treating mental illness, and form an educated opinion about whether it should be treated.