First Year Seminar

First Year Seminars, Hartwick College 2015

These were the First Year Seminars offered at Hartwick College for fall 2015.

ANTH-150-04 Introduction to Forensic Osteology
Professor Connie Anderson
Working in the Anthropology Laboratory of Hartwick’s Yager Hall, students will receive a whole or half-skeleton which they will analyze and describe. They will learn what information can be gleaned from bones and study some important cases, including remains from Stonehenge, Inca tombs in the Andes, 1607 Jamestown, and other examples. We will discuss contentious issues in forensic osteology, and each student will share a presentation on an issue, method or discovery near the end of the semester. Evaluation will consist of regular quizzes dealing with the bones themselves, the final presentation, and three essay exams combining casework and theory.

ART-113-24 2-D Design & Drawing
Professor Rich Barlow
By taking a multidisciplinary approach, students learn the basic design elements and principles common to all two-dimensional art, while also developing many basic drawing skills. Students explore these elements and principles through reading, lecture, discussion and exercises; they then put to use this design vocabulary in discussion, critique, written assignments, and drawing projects. Students will explore the possibilities of drawing materials by making compositions from observation and from the imagination. They will learn to render basic formal elements (line, shape, value, color, texture, mass, color) as they investigate perspective, composition, and pictorial space. Using various combinations of media, subject and approach to drawing, students become aware of the relationship of the whole to the parts by working on numerous compositional and design ideas. Students will also learn to view and analyze works of art, and how to present finished artwork professionally. Open to students with no previous experience or with some art background. This course fulfills the ART 113 & 115 pre-requisites for further study in the Art Department.

ART-250-FH$ Women in Photography: Beginning Photography Workshop
Professor Katharine Kreisher
Through this studio art course students learn traditional silver photography techniques (film camera and wet darkroom) while exploring the history of photographic images made by women working in the field from 1839 to the present. Research projects and presentation will assist class members to understand historical trends and contemporary issues of the medium, as well as to define some of the unique aspects of photography by women and consider how gender may affect art-making. Students will produce a portfolio of their own images influenced by their research and new understanding. Film camera with variable aperture and shutterspeed is required. Digital point-and-shoot or cell phone camera is useful for color work. Research leads to a 6-8 page paper and a PowerPoint presentation. This course is equivalent to Art 241 (Photo I) and also carries a WGS (Women and Gender Studies) designation.

BIOL-101-1BD Biology in Practice: Salamander Science
Professor Stan Sessions
“Salamander Science”. Salamanders can regenerate their body parts, such as legs, tails, and even hearts and brains, and so they are of great interest in biomedical research. Salamanders have more DNA in their genomes than humans, so they are also interesting at the molecular level. One of the goals of this course will be to become familiar with all of the kinds of living salamanders, how to tell them apart from each other, where they are found, how they live (their ecology), their physiology, their anatomy, and behavior. We will especially focus on those species of salamanders that are found near Hartwick College-the class features field trips to various localities where we are likely to find salamanders, including the Hartwick’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus. This course will help you gain a good understanding of what biology is all about, and successful completion of this course will also fulfill a Biology Laboratory credit.

BIOL 101-5bd Biology in Practice: Microbiology of Food
Professor Mary Allen
Fermented foods are formed when microorganisms change the texture and flavor of foods, producing new products as diverse as yogurt, cheese, kimchi and soy sauce. In addition to benefitting from microbes humans also must control for disease-causing microorganisms that routinely contaminate food. This course will explore the scientific connections between microorganisms and food by doing biology, not merely accumulating science “facts.” As such the course will emphasize how scientists go about gathering, analyzing, interpreting and communicating biological information. Over the course of the semester students, acting as scientists, will carry out numerous scientific investigations into topics including the making of cheese curds and the antimicrobial properties of spices. The course culminates with an independently designed research project investigating a connection between microbiology and food.

CISC-118-3Ab Computer Game Programming
Professor Robert Gann
In this course, you will learn to program Android smartphones and tablets using the Lua language and the Corona libraries, the same ones used to create wildly popular games like Angry Birds. To get a little taste of Corona, check out this Creating Your First Project video. Once you have built up your skills, you will create your very own game or app. We’ll also learn about the computer game and app industry by interviewing faculty members across campus and doing library research. What are the economics of the gaming industry? What about computer game music and art? How can mythology and history enrich computer games? The entire campus will be looking forward to the results of your research. The critical skills in this class are learning to solve problems, learning to learn new things, learning to work with people from different backgrounds and from different places, learning to think critically, and learning to communicate effectively. Briefly put, a liberal arts background makes you a better computer scientist, and enhances any career path.

ECON-150-Cd The Marketplace
Professor Carli Ficano
Food–we eat it every day, but we rarely think about where it comes from and how much our food habits change our world. This course analyzes the underlying economic, political, and social aspects of food. We also take a firsthand look at the growing movement to recognize the value of food choices and intentionally direct those choices toward promoting local sustainable production and consumption. We begin the class with fieldwork in the Oneonta Farmers’ Market and visits to local farms. We then take that knowledge into the classroom where we will analyze the economics of small-scale versus large-scale agricultural production. Building on this foundation, we will interview farmers, chefs, professors, and fellow students as part of Hartwick’s Campus Theme on “Food and Community.” The course culminates in a research project that documents and celebrates the value of a local food-shed–we will share these projects at the campus-wide FYS Symposium. This course will feature some linked activities with the course “Ideas and Practice of Sustainability” (Professor Mark Davies, INTR-201).

ENGL-155-Ab On Being a Man (Honors)
Professor Susan Navarette
This course takes as its subject the content and import of select representations of “masculine” behavior in contemporary American popular culture, with feature films, documentaries, fiction, and essays constituting course content. The works of writers such as Ernest Hemingway, William Tenn, James Thurber, Margaret Talbot, Judith Butler, and Norah Vincent, and films such as Tarzan the Ape Man (Van Dyke, 1932), Shane (Stevens, 1953), On the Waterfront (Kazan, 1954), The Graduate (Nichols, 1967), Do the Right Thing (Lee 1989), Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino, 1992), and Fight Club (Fincher, 1999) serve as so many “opportunities”–disguised as cultural artifacts–to examine the myths, models, and modes of masculine behavior that are circulated through a culture, establishing popular conceptions and constructions of men, their manhood, and the competing masculinities that constitute a contemporary sense of what it means to be “a real man”–or, at least, to act like one.

HIST-216-02 Witchcraft & Witch Hunting
Professor Peter Wallace
Between 1450 and 1750, perhaps 100,000 European and American men and women were tried as witches, and at least 45,000 were executed, often after gruesome torture. Initial accusations of witchcraft normally came from nervous neighbors worried about black magic. The crimes, for which witches were punished, however, usually included devil worship. The witch-hunts challenge historians because modern thinkers don’t believe that people can harm one another by means of magic or that the devil can appear and do someone’s bidding or inhabit someone’s being. If witches could not really fly on broomsticks to massive sabbats, how can we make sense of the witch-hunts? If there were no secret underground sects of devil worshippers, what, if anything, was happening and why did the authorities fear such groups? In short, what can analyzing the witch-hunts teach us about the past, and what might early modern witch-hunting teach us about ourselves? We will read, discuss, and write about dozens of documents from the lurid descriptions of demonologists, to trial transcripts, to tales of possession and exorcisms. We will also read, discuss, and write about numerous modern interpretations of the inter-personal dynamics of witchcraft and the motives of witch-hunting. Each student will apply their knowledge in a substantial research paper on some aspect of witchcraft and the early modern witch-hunts.

INTR-201-Cd Ideas and Practice of Sustainability (Honors)
Professor Mark Davies
Sustainability represents much more than just recycling plastics or buying “green” products. The idea of sustainability invites bigger questions about how we live and how we can change habits to preserve vital resources for the future. This course integrates the ideas, theories, and practices of sustainability to study a local, real world problem and discover solutions. Students will utilize concepts of sustainability through an in-depth analysis of the local foodshed’s barriers and potential for growth. The study of the foodshed will be informed by several field experiences where we will meet farmers, food producers, restaurant owners, and local consumers as we investigate the environmental, social and economic issues that limit, threaten, or promote a sustainable food system. Coursework will include writing papers examining practical aspects of sustainability, and an action research project which aims to explore and celebrate the value of our local foodshed. This course will feature some linked activities with the course “The Marketplace” (Professor Carli Ficano, ECON-150-Cd).

INTR-150-02 Sports in Jim Crow US
Dean Bob Drake
This course will examine the many trials and tribulations that life in Jim Crow America posed for some of its pioneers, African American athletes. Athletes like Jesse Owens, Joe Louis, and Jackie Robinson not only possessed talent, they represented the hopes and dreams of African Americans in all regions of the United States. They were heroes whose impact on future generations of Americans was lasting and meaningful. However, the white press 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. After exploring the many ways that the press and film were used to help control and degrade African Americans, each student will turn their attention to applying that knowledge by looking at various real-life examples and by producing a piece of media that will synthesize the many disciplines encountered in the course.

NURS-134 Fundamentals in Nursing Science (Nursing Majors Only)
Professor Maia Silber and Professor 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.

POSC-150-02 Political Change
Professor Amy Forster Rothbart
Why movements for political change arise and what they are able to achieve are questions of importance to scholars, policymakers and citizens. This class will take a comparative perspective on political change, looking at movements for change in six countries, including the United States. We will examine both historical and ongoing movements and political transitions. Through an extended role play exercise, students will be put in the places of the framers of South Africa’s first post-apartheid constitution and make the decisions necessary to navigate one of the most dramatic contemporary examples of political and social change.

RELS-123-05 Pluralism & Fundamentalism
Professor Lisle Dalton
The people of the United States take great pride in the nation’s commitment to religious freedom and the fact that it has become home to thousands of religious groups from all over the globe. But this variety also brings complications. How can all the religions reconcile their often conflicting claims to having special access to divine truth? What role should religions play in other spheres of life like education and politics? Can all the groups get along? Can they work together on issues of common concern? This course will explore these and other questions using ideas and methods from many different scholarly disciplines, including history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and religious studies. We will also make a “case study” of the religious pluralism found in our city of Oneonta and the surrounding region. Along the way, the course will help you sharpen critical thinking skills, learn how to use the library databases and book collections, and improve your writing. Finally, in the last weeks of the course, teams of students will learn how to make documentary films that explore topics related to religious pluralism.

THEA-140-Gh Fundamentals of Acting
Professor Marc Shaw
This course does not require previous exposure to actor training: where you are is where you start. We will work together as a group creating a collaborative ensemble consisting of twenty various Hartwick students. Be open to experiencing new things. You will learn basic techniques for actor preparation, the fundamental vocabulary and technical skills of acting, and an appreciation of the art. If “basic techniques for actor preparation” seems suspiciously vague, let me explain further in this list of course objectives: Release inhibitions; Build self-confidence; Develop trust in yourself; Develop concentration skills; Increase power of observation; Increase spontaneity; Explore “human beingness”; Develop trust in classmates; Increase sensory awareness; Tell stories effectively; Recognize good acting in others; Cultivate your imagination; Work toward physical expressiveness and non-verbal communication; Exercise self-discipline and responsibility; Focus, align and center your body; Physical conditioning: endurance, flexibility, control, relaxation. How can all that be accomplished (in 14 or less weeks!)? Through game playing, improvisation, non-verbal exercises, problem-solving assignments, scene work, journal-keeping, and a regimen of physical warm-ups.

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