Skip to Content

Fall 2018 First Year Seminar

Choose a course to view details about it and to find out who the professor will be!

Please note that some FSEMs will be removed from the PDA-Personal Data Advising Form-as they become filled.

FSEM 100-01 (CRN 4618) Energy & the Environment

One of the most important challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century is to identify and develop sustainable sources of energy in order to maintain a reasonable standard of living while also minimizing our impact on the environment. This seminar will discuss the science of energy production and usage for a variety of energy sources and energy conservation strategies, and also examine the environmental advantages and drawbacks of each source or strategy. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the nuclear disaster in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 illustrate just some of the dangers underlying our current energy production portfolio. The science regarding the challenge of global climate change will also be discussed. While the seminar is discussion based and writing intensive, students will be introduced to the basic physical principles and skills necessary to understand the issues involved in energy systems and sustainability, including physical units conversion and problem-solving techniques. The course will also include course blog postings and discussion of topics of current interest regarding energy and environmental issues found in the popular press.

Your Professor

Kevin Riggs holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Minnesota and specializes in research on magnetic materials useful for magnetic recording and information storage. He also holds an M.S. in Physics/Musical-acoustics from Case Western Reserve University and has an active research program using laser-based holographic techniques to image the vibration patterns of musical instruments. He teaches many advanced courses for physics majors, but especially enjoys interacting with students from a wide range of backgrounds in his general education course on musical acoustics titled "The Science of Music" and his new first-year seminar titled "Energy and the Environment." In his spare time, Riggs enjoys playing guitar in a Stetson University faculty jazz quartet, the "Thin Film Magnetism."

FSEM 100-02 (CRN 4619) Writing for the Health of It

Is writing good for your health? Many writers describe their creative process as a sort of spiritual practice from which they gain insight. And many of us have experienced the way we can write our way to answers in our lives and discover our inner wisdom. Numerous fictional works explore illness- are writers drawing from their related experiences and instinctively moving toward wellness when they write? Is it that same impulse that drives others to keep journals and diaries or turn their troubles into poems? Scientific studies on the impact of writing on health- both emotional and physical- show remarkable results, supporting what those who love to read and write have known all along: the written word is powerful medicine. Where do writing, spirituality, and wellness meet? This course explores that intersection through a variety of texts, discussion, and written responses. In addition, students will learn the sort of writing that has been found to be healing and have the opportunity to experience its potential through journaling and creative writing. This course includes a service-learning component, in which students will be assigned to work with an elderly citizen.

Your Professor

Gail Radley received her B.A. in independent studies with an emphasis in creative writing from Mary Baldwin College and her M.A. in English from Stetson. Besides journaling and dabbling in poetry, she is the author of 24 books for children as well as articles and short stories for adults. One of these, "Writing With the Ink of Light on the Tablet of the Spirit," a paper Radley presented at the annual Writing and Wellness Conference, was published in Writing and Wellness Connections (Evans: Idyll Arbor, 2010). Radley has been teaching in the English Department since 1993 and began teaching Writing for the Health of It when the FSEM program began at Stetson.

FSEM 100-10 (CRN 4627) Self and World (required for first-year Bonner Scholars)

What does the term "individual" mean apart from "the community"? What does "community" mean apart from the concept of "the individual"? This seminar will explore the relationship between these two concepts with a view to understanding how the community shapes the individual and how the individual can, and should, shape the community. We will think about issues pertaining to social justice and ask what responsibility the individual has for her or his own formation and what responsibility the individual has for the formation and well-being of the community. Service learning in the community is central to this exploration.

Your Professor

After earning his B.A. from Stetson University, Greg Sapp went on to earn an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from the University of Virginia. He is particularly interested in the formation of Christian thought and doctrine. He has published articles and presented papers in the fields of doctrinal development, historical philosophy and theology, and religion and culture. His latest work is in the area of sports and religion. He returned to Stetson in 2006 and holds the Hal S. Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility. He comes to us most recently from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he was awarded the 2005 Spencer B. King Distinguished Faculty Award. He has taught first-year seminars for 12 years now.

FSEM 100-14 (CRN 4631) Food and Humans: The Past, the Present and the Future.

This course will explore how humans have changed food through the ages, and, in turn, how food has changed humans. After air and water, food is the most important need for humans, and scientists, sociologists, and archaeologists, among others, have been very interested in tracing the origin of food. Topics will include the invention of farming, how food created social structure, how the industrialization of nations affected food production, and the use of food in war. Modernist cuisine, also known as molecular gastronomy, will be an additional topic for investigation.

Your Professor

Ramee Indralingam started teaching at Stetson University after she received a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Florida. She teaches general chemistry, analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis. She has also taught forensic chemistry in the Honors Program at Stetson. She is interested in determining the volatile and medicinal components of herbs and spices, as well as developing new and innovative lab experiments for the curriculum. A recent success was in developing a technique to determine the amount of iron in the yolk of an egg. She carries out her research with the collaboration of chemistry and biochemistry majors.

FSEM 100-16 (CRN 4633) The West in Question

It is impossible to read a newspaper, surf the Internet, or watch the nightly news without hearing how "western values" are under assault. Chinese economic might, Islamic terrorism, Russian imperialism-the so-called "West" faces numerous challenges. Such challenges are hardly new, of course. From the Thirty Years War and The French Revolution to the Holocaust and the Cold War, "Westerners" have debated, fought, and even killed each other in the name of "freedom", "equality", "nation", "democracy," and "Judeo-Christian" values. By analyzing major questions in Modern European History, this First Year Seminar will inquire whether "The West" possesses a coherent set of values and whether those values continue to have relevance at the outset of the twenty-first century. This course includes a weekly success lab.

Your Professor

Eric Kurlander, Professor of Modern European History, studied at Bowdoin College (BA) and Harvard University (MA, Ph.D.) before coming to Stetson in 2001. His most recent book (co-edited with Joanne Miyang Cho and Douglas McGetchin), Transcultural Encounters between Germany and India: Kindred Spirits in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Routledge, 2013), looks at the history of German-Indian relations in the spheres of culture, politics, and intellectual life. His last book, Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich (Yale University Press, 2009), examines the ways in which German liberals negotiated, resisted, and in some ways accommodated the Third Reich. His first book, The Price of Exclusion: Ethnicity, National Identity, and the Decline of German Liberalism, 1898-1933, appeared in 2006. He has published articles in leading journals, including Central European History, German History, and The Journal of Contemporary History, and held research and writing fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the German Historical Institute; the German Academic Exchange Service; the Krupp Foundation; and Harvard University's Program for the Study of Germany and Europe. His current projects include a textbook, The West in Question: Continuity and Change (Pearson-Longman, 2014), an edited volume (with Monica Black), The Nazi Soul Between Science and Religion: Revisiting the Occult Roots and Legacies of Nazism. (Camden House, 2015), and a monograph, Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich (Yale, 2016). In his free time, Kurlander enjoys parenting, reading, travel, sports, and popular culture.

FSEM 100-21 (CRN 4638) American Freedom in Action

Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, due process of law- commonly recognized terms, but what do they mean in practice? Using public schools as our backdrop, we will examine American freedom by reading and discussing exciting legal cases with a primary focus on U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Can students protest? Pray? Advocate illegal behavior? Be strip-searched? Can a school post the Ten Commandments? Censor student publications? Teach intelligent design alongside evolution? Compel students to accept diversity? Ban the expression of uncomfortable ideas?

We also consider the inevitable conflict between the twin pillars of the American experience: freedom and democracy. When individual freedoms clash with the desires of the majority, how are we to referee the disagreement? Should the majority always rule? Are there instances where one's individual rights are so important that it does not matter what the majority believe? Where do we draw the line between individual liberties and majority rule? Anyone who is considering a career in law, education, religion, politics- or who is passionate about liberty- will enjoy this hands-on study of America's experience in defining individual freedom while preserving democratic order.

Your Professor

Glen Epley has been a sportswriter, high school history teacher, professor at three universities, deputy superintendent of a 55,000 student school district, and a senior executive for the world's 8th largest insurance brokerage. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Stetson where he teaches graduate courses in school law and school finance. He has published his research on separation of church and state, due process in student discipline, censorship in schools, legal issues of child abuse, teachers and tort liability, in loco parentis, educational malpractice, and the constitutional rights of parents. He earned his Ph.D. from Duke University.

FSEM 100-24 (CRN 4955) USA, The Natural Experiment: Environmental Debates

The course includes an examination of American history in terms of the environmental features of often-familiar events. The great achievements of American civilization have included, in effect, a grand experiment on the landscape, with a whole range of results for good and ill. After learning how we have developed toward our present relationship with the environment, students will then learn inventive suggestions about next steps and do guided research for putting forth their own proposals. In short, this class grapples with The Three Whats: what has happened (in the human relation with the environment); so what (why should we care?); and now what (what's the next step?).

Your Professor

Paul Croce, Ph.D., has been interested in nature since he was a child; as a little kid, he loved animals, wanted to learn about them, and got upset at the rising number of extinctions. As an adult, he has become concerned not only about the current fate of the natural world, but also about the way people with different ideologies talk right past each other rather than find solutions on what to do. As a researcher, he has written on the impact of science and religion on our views of nature, and on ways to conciliate cultural and political differences (especially as these ideas show up in the work of American psychologist William James). As a professor in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, he is committed to hearing out different values and enlisting different disciplines for finding paths to environmental health. No matter each student's field of interest, he is committed in fostering environmental awareness-a value in itself, and big plus to countless individual career goals.

FSEM 100-26 (CRN 4967) Medicines, Drugs and Toxins

In modern society, individuals are bombarded with information about chemical compounds and their impact on human health and well-being. This information about compounds such as pharmaceuticals, drugs, environmental toxins, and nutritional supplements, is often difficult for people to interpret or understand. Sometimes, the scientific basis of such information is wrong or even purposefully misleading. In this course, students will explore the impact of selected chemical compounds on human health. Discussions will focus on the use of both man-made and natural compounds, investigating both their beneficial and harmful effects on individuals and society. Students will also explore how various classes of chemical compounds are viewed by people in our society and how these views are affected by social, political, and economic factors. Some topics to be discussed include Drugs and Medicines; Poisons and Toxins; Foods and Nutrients; DNA and Genetic Testing/Modification.

Your Professor

John York received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and worked for the DuPont chemical company in New Jersey. After realizing that teaching was his true calling in life, he obtained a degree in Secondary Science Education from the University of Wyoming, followed by a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. York teaches a variety of chemistry classes at Stetson, ranging from introductory General Chemistry to advanced classes like Biological Inorganic Chemistry. He is very interested in research involving the chemistry of metals in biological systems and in industrial processes, and actively recruits undergraduate students to participate in this research. In addition, York is always working to develop new and better ways for teaching chemistry to undergraduate students. In his spare time, York likes to play music with several other Stetson professors and spend time with his wife and three sons.

FSEM 100-37 (CRN 4993) Diversity in the 21st Century Classroom

In this course, we will examine the meaning of diversity and its relation to global education. Through literature and film, we will discuss the broad definition of diversity, focusing on the study of race, ethnicity, language, gender, social class, sexual orientation, religion, and emotional and physical disabilities. All students will use field placements in local schools or non-profit organizations to provide practical experiences that will illuminate our class's major concepts.

Your Professor

Bette Heins holds the Nina B. Hollis Chair of Educational Reform in the Department of Teacher Education. She directs the Hollis Institute for Educational Reform and teaches educational psychology, exceptional student education, and classroom management. Her research interests include single-gender education, reading issues and classroom management. She loves teaching about diversity in the classroom and, in her words, "celebrates deviancy on a daily basis." 

FSEM 100-48 (CRN 5242) The Anxiety of Identity

I think therefore I am... I think? Our identity, we wish to believe, is housed in our control over our inner thoughts, in the choices and memories we have made. What does it mean, then, when someone else takes control of my "I"? Even scarier, what happens when I cannot avoid this "I," and "I" takes me places where I don't want to go? Art often taunts this anxiety, teasing us with competing concepts of the self that shake the stability of identity. That "I" scams people (me, too!), commits crimes, stalks victims. All the while, I uncomfortably enjoy the alienating experience. In this course, we will concentrate on analyzing literature and films which use this "I" to question the stability of the self. We will explore novels and short stories, mystery and horror films, and other narrative forms with which we engage daily that all work to creatively manipulate first-person narration for different, often subversive purposes.

Your Professor

Nicole Denner, Ph.D., attended Indiana University for her undergraduate and master's degree and received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Northwestern University. She studied horror films at IU and eighteenth-century Enlightenment literature for her doctorate (they aren't so different after all). She has taught at Stetson since 2001 in both the French and English departments. She is most interested in how and why texts so frequently turn inward and comment upon themselves. 

FSEM 100-51 (CRN 5251) Writing the Revolution: Civic Engagement and Rhetoric

Regardless of political orientation, class, nationality (or any perspective that informs a worldview), everyone is in agreement that something is wrong with the "system." As we examine a wide range of historical reform figures and their strategies to effect social and institutional change (i.e., Lycurgus, Cicero, Gandhi, Assange), you will work to emulate and/or adapt these models to achieve some degree of measurable civic improvement, either in a local or national context. Given this purpose, your success in the course will depend, at least partly, on the written, verifiable impact you have. For example, for every meaningful email response you receive (from city/county leaders) or for any published letter to the editor, you will receive credit. All non-violent political perspectives (and agendas) are welcome. Significant research is required, with a portfolio that consists of your accumulated research, communications, and action narratives which, taken together, argue for your overall ability to persuade others of your point of view.

Your Professor

While intermittently working on his graduate degrees (Clemson, M.A., English; University of South Carolina, Ph.D., Composition and Rhetoric), Michael Barnes taught, wrote and traveled in the Far East, calling Tokyo home for four years. Tenured at Stetson University in 2006, his current research interests focus on computer-facilitated empirical studies on academia via overlooked institutional artifacts (textbooks, internal communiques and so forth). Pedagogically a sophist, most of his courses push students to "argue both sides equally well."

FSEM 100-59 (CRN 5451) Comics and Graphic Novels

Stories told in words and pictures go by many different names all around the world, such as comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, manga, bandes dessinées, fumetti, tebeos, comix, imagetexts, sequential art, and graphic narratives. Whatever they are called, comics and their influence are everywhere-on magazine racks, online, in literary journals, in museum galleries, and on movie screens. They have been used to tell the simplest of jokes, to create the wildest fantasy worlds, and to explore the depths of the most profound human experiences. This course will examine the art form that the French call "The 9th Art" in order to: Examine how words and pictures combine to make meanings; Survey a variety of texts from different times and places; Investigate where comics have come from, where they are now, and where they might go in the future. We will work together on reading visual/verbal texts closely, on writing analytically, and on finding ideas and presenting them in class. Students will have the opportunity to design a creative project in which they make their own comic or create a work of art about comics.

Your Professor

Joseph "Rusty" Witek, professor of humanities, has been teaching English and Humanities courses at Stetson University since 1989. He is known as one of the first academics in the United States to focus on comics as an art form, making Stetson one of the first universities to offer regularly scheduled courses on comics and graphic novels. He has published books and articles on such topics as comics criticism and theory, autobiography and history in comics, war comics, 9/11 in comics, and the fact that Donald Duck can't fly. He is presently working on a book project that examines some of the worst comics ever published.

FSEM 100-61 (CRN 5457) Asian History in the Cinema

Have you ever watched a film which depicts a major historical event and asked yourself what really happened? Are you a fan of Jet Li or have you wondered what it was like to be a samurai? If you are curious about any of these issues and or some aspect of Asian culture or history, consider taking this course. This course will examine films about Asia's past, including both Asian and Western blockbusters. It will analyze how filmmakers have influenced both Western and Asian perceptions of Asia's past by using artistic license while portraying important events and personalities. Case studies for this fall 2014 semester will include a recent samurai blockbuster based on a popular manga, one of the highest-grossing South Korean films of all time, an award-winning Chinese film about an event which has been called "the forgotten Holocaust of World War II," and a film which set the record for most number of nominations in Hong Kong Film Awards history.

Your Professor

Leander Seah, Ph.D., teaches East Asian history, Southeast Asian history, and modern world history at Stetson. In terms of research, as an ethnic Chinese citizen of Singapore who lives in the United States, he is particularly interested in migration and diasporas, maritime China and maritime Southeast Asia, modern China, modern Japan, and transnational and world history. He has published journal articles, has presented his work at conferences in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China, and is currently revising a book manuscript based on his doctoral dissertation, "Conceptualizing the Chinese World: Jinan University, Nanyang Migrants, and Trans-Regionalism, 1900-1941." His accolades include seventeen fellowships, research grants and awards from the Association for Asian Studies, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the National Library Board of Singapore, the National University of Singapore, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stetson University. Funding from many of these sources has enabled him to carry out research in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States. His current personal interests include traveling, supporting Liverpool Football Club (soccer) and the Philadelphia Phillies, enjoying Asian movies and Asian cuisine, reading historical fiction, and collecting academic books.

FSEM 100-83 (CRN 6126) The Spirit of Travel

In this course, we’ll look at the relationship between travel and spirit, in other words, the relationship between outer journeys and the inner ones. Pilgrimages have long been a part of religious and cultural traditions. Consider, for example, the centuries of trips to the Holy Land, Mecca, Bodh Gaya, Lourdes, and Santiago de Compostela. Think about secular pilgrimages to places like the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Vietnam War Memorial, or Graceland. Besides pilgrimages to one specific place, many travelers have more free-ranging objectives: for example, the Australian walkabout or even the post-college rite of backpacking around Europe.

Why is travel such a catalyst for spiritual growth? In this course, we’ll focus on the ways in which travel--especially unpredictable travel outside one’s comfort zone--has an effect on the spirit. We’ll read books and essays—fiction and non-fiction—and watch movies and videos, alas jumping-off points for thoughtful insights, discussions, and writings about the spiritual transformations of travel.

Your Professor

Nancy Barber has been a lecturer at Stetson University since 1998. She majored in political science at Davidson College, then worked as a journalist before getting an M.A. in English at Stetson, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida. Barber specializes in creative nonfiction. Among her other writings, she published an essay on human cannonballs in Raritan Quarterly in 2006 and co-wrote Meals Worth Stopping for in Florida: Local Restaurants within 10 Miles of the Interstate, published by Globe Pequot Press in 2008. She is also a veteran of both sacred and secular pilgrimages. 

FSEM 100-84 (CRN 6135) Living Our Values

For several years, Stetson University has explicitly promoted institutional commitments to global citizenship, personal growth and intellectual development. This course will critically examine specific aspects of this endeavor, paying special attention to issues of diversity, religion and spirituality, health and wellness, social justice, and gender. We will explore each of these topics broadly and then examine how the University itself strives to "practice what it preaches." The course includes a focus on ways our developing awareness of values implies and informs change on an individual level, potentially leading to personal transformation. We will enjoy interactions with key values-oriented figures at Stetson as well as with carefully selected community leaders. This is a class designed to challenge your ideas with the goal of enhancing your own life experience.

Your Professor

Robert Sitler teaches Spanish and Latin American Studies courses at Stetson. He is especially passionate about the Native peoples of Latin America, the Maya in particular, a culture that has powerfully shaped his life. He is a radical environmentalist, a committed social activist, a lover of experiential learning, and a strong proponent of natural living and preventive approaches to illness. He loves free-diving in local springs, learning within Latin American Native communities, eating high-quality food, exploring his own "spirituality," and walking every day to work. Professor Sitler travels extensively in Latin America and his experiences there powerfully inform his teaching. He has lead groups of Stetson students to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Argentina and Peru.

FSEM 100-85 (CRN 6177) The Sociology of Power in National and International Contexts

Have you ever wondered how race/nationality/ethnicity can affect decision-making, not only in this country but around the globe? What about gender? Environmental considerations? How do these concepts shape culture and affect our physical environment? This course explores the different perspectives that analyze these relationships. In addition to discussion and in-class group work, this course uses activities such as developing guidelines for and conducting group observational research, individual field trips, and physically charting/mapping globalization to determine these social concepts' effects on social and physical environments. We then consider how an understanding of these concepts may contribute to the betterment of humankind.

Your Professor

Sven Smith holds a Ph.D. in Law and Society from the University of Florida and has an active research program regarding group organizations, critical race theory and globalization. He also holds a law degree from Florida state University and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has recently completed a multi-method research project on the structural effects of group organization on judicial decision making. He teaches beginning as well as advanced sociology courses and seeks to make the classroom a vibrant learning center wherein students learn conceptually and through experiencing sociology. In his spare time, Dr.Smith enjoys playing music, attending the cultural events here at Stetson and reading.

FSEM 100-87 (CRN 6224) Vengeance, Ethics and Performance: An Exploration of Revenge Drama

Within western civilization, the theatre arts has a rich cultural history of exploring the theme of revenge. From the earliest recorded history of theatrical activity, we see playwrights and performers struggling with the moral, spiritual and ethical dimensions of the concept of vengeance. Characters and spectators alike must wrestle with the following kinds of questions: is an act of revenge ever justified? Who has the right to seek out vengeance? By acting on an impulse for revenge, does one lose their sense of humanity? Is it ever possible to achieve a sense of peace through revenge? Is it possible to remain objective when pursuing a course of revenge? These are just some of the questions that will guide this course as we study several preeminent works of dramatic literature and performance. Some of the plays that we will study include Greek classics such as Medea, Renaissance and Jacobean classics such as Hamlet and The Revenger's Tragedy, and modern musical classics such as Sweeney Todd.

Your Professor

Dr. Julie Schmitt earned her Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Stetson University in 1997. She received her M.A. and her Ph.D. in theatre from Bowling Green State University. Upon graduation, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Lon Morris College. In 2004, she accepted a position to teach theatre and direct theatre productions here at Stetson University and in 2010 she was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. She currently serves as Director of the Theatre Arts Program. She also serves as an officer in the focus group Theatre as a Liberal Art in the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. Her primary area of expertise falls within the realms of theatre history, theatre theory and dramatic literature. Her areas of scholarly research include feminist studies, Renaissance and Jacobean dramatic literature, and theatre pedagogy.

FSEM 100-97 (CRN 6578) Call of (civic) Duty: Video Games in Society

From Pong to Grand Theft Auto 5, this course will examine how video games have become a part of our society over the last 40 years. Video games have gone from primitive pixels on the screen to complex narrative devices. During that time they have been hailed as everything from the epitome of art to purveyors of violence and depravity. Portrayals of violence, sex, gender and race will be considered as they appear in video games. So too will the issue of moral panics and how society can sometimes overreact, even in absurd ways, to new media. This course will examine how society reacts to video games and other new media and, in turn, how video games have shaped society.

Your Professor

Chris Ferguson is a professor of psychology and has extensively studied the impact of video games on human behavior. He participated in discussions about video game effects hosted by Vice President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. He has published numerous research articles, particularly on the topic of video game violence, but also on moral panics and how video games have sometimes been (mainly falsely) accused of causing serious societal ills. He enjoys the occasional game of Bioshock himself but mainly plays Lego games with his 13-year-old son and can only watch with befuddlement as his beautiful wife obsesses over Mahjong. 

FSEM 100-102 (CRN 6591) Ghost Stories: East and West

A few buildings at Stetson University are said to be haunted, most notably Elizabeth Hall and the remnants of Hulley Tower. Central Florida abounds in ghost stories overall and such tales can be found all over the world. Students may be familiar with the misty apparitions that glide through walls or walk noisily upstairs in the middle of the night, but what about the life-sucking powers of Chinese fox spirits, the gory appetites of Tibetan flesh-eating demons, or the unrelenting stalking of Japanese vengeance ghosts? This course will introduce students to both classic examples of Western ghost stories and gothic tales as well as folklore and fictional accounts from India, Tibet, China, and Japan. Western examples will include the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, M.R. James, and H.P. Lovecraft, while eastern stories will include Indian tales by Rudyard Kipling, Pu Songling's "Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio," and the Japanese "Tales of Moonlight and Rain" by Akinari Ueda. Students will read these stories and compare and contrast how ghosts and otherworldly spirits are portrayed between cultures. Assignments will also focus on how these stories reflect the societies in which they were written and include viewings of popular Chinese and Japanese horror films.

Your Professor

Christopher Bell received his B.A and M.A from Florida State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His specialization is in Tibetan Buddhism, with a secondary concentration in Asian religions overall. He is particularly interested in Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese demonologies. He has presented papers and published articles on Tibetan deity cults, oracles, and divination. Prior to joining Stetson in the fall of 2013, he taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, conducted fieldwork in Tibet and India, and lived in the south of Turkey. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. 

FSEM 100-104 (CRN 6604) Social Justice in Film: Prejudice, Discrimination and Persecution

The class will examine films with social justice-related themes; specifically prejudice, discrimination, and persecution related to Apartheid and the Holocaust. The course will review various movies such as The Power of One, Skin, Conspiracy, Sophie's Choice, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Perlasca. We will discuss the issues and concepts related to prejudice and discrimination as represented in these films and cover social justice from an academic standpoint to better understand the concepts dealt with in the films. We will go beyond prejudice and discrimination to discuss the personal and social implications of diversity for both majority and minority group members. We will consider how historical, political, economic, and societal factors shape the way people think about and respond to diversity. Be prepared to be involved in thought-provoking class discussions.

Your Professor

Stuart Michelson is the Roland and Sarah George Professor of Finance. He teaches corporate finance and investments at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He was formerly Dean of the Stetson School of Business Administration (three years) and Director of the Executive M.B.A. program (four years). He is editor of the refereed academic journal Financial Services Review. He is a member of the editorial board of several scholarly journals, a board member of Financial Executives International, and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is a past president of the Academy of Financial Services, Financial Executives International (Central Florida) and the Academy of Business Education. Michelson has published over 50 refereed academic journal research articles. His current research areas include behavioral finance, tax efficiency in retirement accounts, the use of alpha to increase portfolio returns, the use of technology in education, mutual funds, portfolio risk budgeting, and academic honesty. He received the School of Business Administration Professor of the Year award in 2009, Researcher of the Year for several years (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007), and Outstanding Service Award in 2008. He received the Stetson University Hand Award for Outstanding Research in 2008. 

FSEM 100-106 (CRN 6607) Here We Are: Latinos and Latinidades in the U.S.

By the year 2050, the United States will have the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. This interdisciplinary course will explore a wide range of Latina/o issues in the US and its relationship to Latin America. As a class, we will explore the complex and historically specific processes of identity construction among Latinos by examining the intersection of race, gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity, politics, citizenship, and 'national origins' (place and location). Throughout this course, we will raise questions such as: What are the political differences and implications of calling oneself a "Latino" or a "Hispanic"? What is "Spanglish" and what does it tell us about processes of "assimilation"? Which elements unite and separate Latinos in the U.S? Students will actively engage with course material including artistic, historical, and literary representations of Latinos. We will also analyze popular culture, including television programs, political speeches, cartoons, and news reports. Students will bolster their classroom discussions with experiential learning opportunities on campus through La Casita Cultural Latina. In addition, students will collaborate with local organizations that cater to the Latino community, including the Farmworkers Association and schools (among others) in order to deepen their analysis and learn how Latina/o studies as a scholarly discipline can help us better understand the complexities and diversity of the lived experiences of Latinos in the United States.

*No Spanish is required to fully participate in this course.*

Your Professor

Pamela Cappas-Toro, Ph.D., earned a B.A. in Physical Education from the University of Puerto Rico (2001) and an M.A. in Spanish & Latin American Cultures from the University of Texas in San Antonio (2006). She earned a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013) where she taught numerous ESL, Latina/o Studies, and Afro-Latin American workshops at the Education Justice Project at Danville Correctional Center, Illinois, a model college-in-prison program that demonstrates the positive impacts of higher education upon incarcerated people, their communities, and families. At Stetson University, Cappas-Toro teaches the Spanish language, Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures, Latina/o studies, and Portuguese and Brazilian studies as well. Cappas-Toro's passion for social justice, community engagement and commitment to undergraduate education guide her efforts as the director of La Casita Cultural Latina at Stetson University. This program creates bridges between Stetson University's classrooms and our Latino/a communities. It prepares students to forge a meaningful partnership with Latino/a communities while promoting critical awareness about social justice issues and institutionalized disparities.

FSEM 100-107 (CRN 6630) SALSA: Multicultural Music of the Caribbean

Have you ever been to a Latino party? Have you ever listened to SALSA? Have you ever danced SALSA? What do you know about SALSA? This course explores the origin and history of one of the most versatile and popular musical genres of the 20th and 21st centuries. SALSA has transcended the borders of the Caribbean and the entire American continent to European and Asian latitudes because of its complex and irresistible rhythms, its attractive melodies, and its sensual and romantic lyrics. What is the musical power of SALSA? What is inside of this contagious rhythm that communes magically with the content of a text? How can performers improvise words and new phrases without departing from the main message? We will examine the different styles of SALSA in its various forms and its vocabulary and slangs to identify musical momentums, as well as to recognize their rhythmic structures and sounds. Will you dare to play it, dance it, and sing it?

Your Professor

Jesus Alfonzo is associate professor of music in viola, chamber music and music history at Stetson University, where he also conducts the Viola Consort and leads the Viola Clinic. He is also a member of the Bach Festival Orchestra in Winter Park, Fla. and has been a member of the Rios Reyna String Quartet since 1987. He received a diploma and post-graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School of Music and master of music and doctorate in musical arts degrees from the Michigan State University.

Alfonzo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a founding member of the EL SISTEMA, The Venezuelan National System of Youth Orchestras, in which he had the opportunity to develop both his teaching and playing skills. In 1980 and 1981, he was principal violist of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. Later, he became principal violist of Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for sixteen years. In his vast orchestral experience he has worked with distinguished conductors and soloists including Claudio Abbado, Gustavo Dudamel, Leonard Bernstein, Jose Antonio Abreu, Maxim Schostakovitch,Kristoff Penderecki, Zubin Mehta, Serge Baudo, Carlos Chavez, Jerzy Semkov, Eduardo Mata, Claudio Arrau, Joseph Silverstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, PinchasZukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Monserrat Caballe, Jean PierreRampal, Yehudi Menuhin and Henry Szeryng. He has taught in Venezuela at the Conservatorio de Musica Simon Bolivar, the Institute of Musical Studies and the ColegioEmil Friedman.

Since 1998, he has given an annual series of viola and string pedagogy master classes at EL SISTEMA in almost every state of Venezuela. In 2008, he wrote the First Catalogue for Latin American Viola Music.

FSEM 100-120 (CRN 6886) Disney's Musical Universe

Music permeates every aspect of the Disney experience. Disney cartoons, films, Broadway shows, TV channels, parades, theme-park attractions, resorts--each is saturated with music. What does all this music do? Among other things, music functions as a tool for marketing, education, and, most of all, of identity construction—Disney's own, children’s, and adults'. Are these identities real or imagined? And what are the consequences of using music in such ways? In this course we will attempt to answer these and other questions by exploring the culture, phenomenon, and implications of Disney’s music. We will ponder the way music in Disney interacts with the moving image, visual art, architecture, cuisine, and much else. The course is conceived in two broad units: the first considers the role of music in Disney films (covering, among others, Fantasia, Mary Poppins, and Frozen); the second examines music as part of the Disney theme-park experience. We will take full advantage of our proximity to the Walt Disney World, designing creative projects around it. We will also have guests--people associated with music-making at Disney--visit our class.

Your Professor

Daniil Zavlunov earned a B.A. from Queens College - CUNY, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is a musicologist specializing in 19th century opera, with a particular emphasis on the Russian and Italian traditions. His current work focuses on Mikhail Glinka, and he is in the process of writing a cultural history of opera in Russia during the reign of Nicholas I (1825-1855) at the center of which are Glinka's two operas. Daniil's other research interests include 17th and 18th century music, Soviet music and intellectual thought about music, theories of musical form, and music analysis. In addition to scholarly pursuits, he is also an avid harpsichordist.

FSEM 100-127 (CRN 7081) Water, Peace and Prosperity

This class will study how societies allocate a critical natural resource, water. Analysis will range from the Incas in Peru to the Fertile Crescent in the Near East for historical context, then study modern water use in the Western US and Israel. You will learn the economics of water allocation and the environmental, political and social impacts of water policies.

Your Professor

Dr. de Bodisco is an environmental economist whose focus is water allocation issues in Florida and globally. His secondary interest is economic development, also with both local and global applications.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from New College of the University of South Florida. After earning his doctorate, Dr. de Bodisco conducted applied research on agricultural and public water demand at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) at the University of Florida. More recently, he conducted a range of environmental policy analyses (e.g. protection of Florida’s source waters, and optimal policies to mitigate damage from sea level rise for Florida’s coastal communities) as an economic consultant in Orlando.

FSEM 100-128 (CRN 7083) Psychology of Popular Fiction

It is impossible to avoid "pop psychology" in books, movies, and television shows today. Some of it is based in research, and some of it is pseudoscience. How do we know what's true about the mind and human behavior? Moreover, what it is about heroes or villains that make them appealing to an audience? Students will analyze and integrate ideas about the intersection of the reality of Psychology and how it is represented in the media, including Harry Potter, Star Trek, and Hannibal. Students will choose their own topics (subject to approval) in order to critique the flaws and identify the correct representations of psychology in a fictional work. Students will also give two oral presentations on the psychological principles in a work of fiction.

Your Professor

Laura Crysel is a social psychologist whose research focuses on the dark side of human nature. Dr. Crysel received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2014. She is particularly excited to teach this course because it will encourage individuals to understand the value of scientific truth and artistic experience. In her spare time, Laura attends comic conventions and goes to theme parks. Her hobbies include swimming, photography, and rock climbing.

FSEM 100-130 (CRN 7139) Still Free: The Road to Serenity

“I don’t care, I’m still free,

You can’t take the sky from me.”

Firefly and the follow-up film Serenity have become cult classics, and their popularity is still growing ten years after the show was canceled. Part of the Joss Whedon universe, Firefly & Serenity presents us with a thought-provoking and genre-bending space western. We will discuss a wide range of themes found in the stories such as social class, culture, religion, ethics, effects of war, and colonialism, among others. Assignments will respond to the works and critical essays focused on the series and film. Be prepared to have thoughtful conversations, substantive analysis, critical thought, & reflection. Students will need to have consistent, reliable access to Firefly & Serenity (available via Netflix, Amazon, and other sources). NOTE: Prior knowledge of (or an affinity for) the series is not necessary.

Your Professor

Michele Randall holds degrees in Technical Writing (BA), Creative Writing (MA), and Poetry (MFA), and has taught College Writing, Composition, Creative Writing, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. Her book, Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books) was published in 2015, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming from Painted Bride Quarterly, The Potomac Review, Newport Review (First Prize Flash Fiction), and elsewhere. Her current work focuses on the new-realities of mental health patients and was a finalist for the Peter Meinke Poetry Prize. She appreciates a good sense of humor and has been known to geek out over Dr. Who, Torchwood, Star Trek, and Star Wars.

FSEM 100-135 (CRN 7380) Health and Human Rights

This seminar will introduce students to human rights and their impact on health. Students will learn how the violation of human rights negatively impacts the health of individuals and communities. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the historical, political, cultural, and religious roots for human rights abuses and their interaction with mortality and morbidity. The course is interdisciplinary as students will learn about various topics such as genocide, war and conflict, terrorism, sexual discrimination and violence, racism, and sexism. Students will analyze how these experiences ultimately affect victims' physical, mental and social well-being. This seminar prepares students for intellectual engagement in discussing challenging topics by reviewing current human rights issues and their health implications (e.g. Syria's civil war).

Your Professor

Asal Mohamadi Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H. is an assistant professor of integrative health science at Stetson University. She was awarded her Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Florida State University and received her M.P.H. in epidemiology from Georgia Southern University. She has a bachelor's degree in economics and a second master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Tehran. She previously held visiting professorships at Florida State University and Georgia Southern University, where she taught an array of courses including sustainable development, statistics, international studies and global health. Her research focus encompasses a dynamic, interdisciplinary spectrum pertaining to health and the built environment. Some current research interests include social epidemiology; epidemiology of chronic diseases; and environmental and ecological impacts on health disparities. Exploration of these various but interrelated themes has afforded her the opportunity to employ a multi-layered perspective in understanding the connection between health, the built environment, and social justice.

FSEM 100-139 (CRN 7422) Democratic Deliberation

This course we will consider the challenge of democratic deliberation and decision-making within societies and institutions by examining contemporary democratic practices. Rather than seeing democracy merely as a governmental system characterized by voting and representation, this class will look at a larger series of practices (speech, film, protest, etc.) that occur in a wide variety of arenas (workplace, education, etc.). Through course readings, assignments, and class discussions we will (1) attempt to define the term democracy; (2) explore democracy's possibilities and limitations; and (3) study democratic practices and techniques for participation.

Your Professor

Antonio Golan was born and raised in New York City, and received his B.A. in Cinema Studies and M.A. in Cinema & Media Studies from the College of Staten Island (CUNY). He is currently finishing his disseration on the democratization of the Spanish State, which focuses on the role of rhetoric and public memory.  He is is particularly interested in how, despite being universally celebrated in Western societies, democracy is often contained by social forces, conventions, and laws. At the same time, he is also interested in how citizens attempt, and sometimes succeed, in influencing institutions and society (despite existing barriers to civic paricipation). 

HON 101-01 (CRN 5706) Enduring Questions (Honors Only)

"We should live sustainably!" seems a recent exhortation, but perhaps it is no more than a return to the literary tradition of Utopias. Are we not telling stories about an intentional community based on idealistic visions? How do such comparisons between sustainability and Utopias fail to account for contemporary realities? What are the dystopic aspects to sustainability? The primary work of this course will be to historically situate the sustainability movement within a historicity of Utopian and dystopian thought. What is the relationship between contemporary calls for sustainable living and the rich tradition of Utopian thought? In what ways can the Brundtland Report, which popularized the notion of sustainability, be seen as continuous with a corpus as heterogeneous as Plato's Republic, Augustine's The City of God, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party?

Your Professor

John Tichenor is the chair of the Department of Management in the School of Business Administration. He teaches a wide variety of courses at Stetson, including business ethics, business thesis, a first-year seminar on innovation and creativity and a junior seminar on corporate social responsibility. Before coming to Stetson in 1996, John worked in applied social research settings for the East Carolina University School of Medicine, the State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, the Vanderbilt University Institute for Public Policy Studies and the Florida Office of Comprehensive Health Planning. John has worn many Stetson hats over seventeen years, teaching statistics courses, serving as director of institutional research and university registrar. John is also an avid drummer in local jazz and rock bands (you can currently hear him in the DaVinci Jazz Experiment). His academic background includes a B.A. and an M.A. from Baylor University and Ph.D. in sociology from Florida State University. John and his family enjoy traveling and often participate in Stetson's study abroad program in Innsbruck, Austria.

HON 101-02 (CRN 5707) Enduring Questions (Honors Only)

"We should live sustainably!" seems a recent exhortation, but perhaps it is no more than a return to the literary tradition of Utopias. Are we not telling stories about an intentional community based on idealistic visions? How do such comparisons between sustainability and Utopias fail to account for contemporary realities? What are the dystopic aspects to sustainability? The primary work of this course will be to historically situate the sustainability movement within a historicity of Utopian and dystopian thought. What is the relationship between contemporary calls for sustainable living and the rich tradition of Utopian thought? In what ways can the Brundtland Report, which popularized the notion of sustainability, be seen as continuous with a corpus as heterogeneous as Plato's Republic, Augustine's The City of God, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party?

Your Professor

Jason Evans is an interdisciplinary systems and landscape ecologist broadly interested in the emergent geo-spatial interfaces between human and natural systems. Most of his current research projects involve collaborations with several regional Sea Grant programs to assist local governments along the southeastern U.S. coast with sea level rise adaptation. Communities Evans is working with on such work include Monroe County and the Village of Islamorada, Florida; St. Marys and Tybee Island, Georgia; and Hyde County, North Carolina. Another body of his recent research has focused on land cover change, wildlife habitat and life cycle assessments for various bioenergy systems (including ethanol, biogas, and wood pellets) across the U.S. Evans also has extensive experience and very strong ongoing interest in the ecology, management and restoration of Florida springs ecosystems.

HON 101-03 (CRN 5708) Enduring Questions (Honors Only)

"We should live sustainably!" seems a recent exhortation, but perhaps it is no more than a return to the literary tradition of Utopias. Are we not telling stories about an intentional community based on idealistic visions? How do such comparisons between sustainability and Utopias fail to account for contemporary realities? What are the dystopic aspects to sustainability? The primary work of this course will be to historically situate the sustainability movement within a historicity of Utopian and dystopian thought. What is the relationship between contemporary calls for sustainable living and the rich tradition of Utopian thought? In what ways can the Brundtland Report, which popularized the notion of sustainability, be seen as continuous with a corpus as heterogeneous as Plato's Republic, Augustine's The City of God, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party?

Your Professor

Melinda C. Hall is an assistant professor of philosophy at Stetson University. She specializes in bioethics and continental philosophy, and her research interests include the intersection of contemporary bioethics and disability studies, the ethics of human enhancement and the social and cultural construction of disability. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University; her dissertation developed a critique of the notion that enhancement - especially the genetic selection of one's offspring - is a moral obligation. Her work is published in the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics and the Disability Studies Quarterly.