PLEASE NOTE: Some course offerings might have changed since you received your Seminar for Freshmen brochure. Please review the list carefully to see the new options.

Additional options are also available for honors students.

  • SF-1128 Sustainable Media

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Contrary to a popular perception that information, communication and entertainment technologies are clean, ecologically benign and paperless, the reality of an increasingly digital life is that our fascination with the next best thing in mobile phones, video game consoles, personal computers, digital cameras, tablets, etc., has devastating impacts on our environment. These media devices are manufactured using toxic ingredients in poisonous working condition, require an abundance of energy to operate, and create hazardous waste when disposed. Media technology companies and the advertising industry that markets their wares have successfully persuaded consumers to accept rapid obsolescence and to highly anticipate the latest upgrade. But some consumers, electronics manufacturers, policy makers, and environmental groups are working to change the culture of consumption in favor of sustainable media practices that lessen the environmental footprint of the digital devices we use everyday. The purpose of this course is to understand the problem of unsustainable media, and the possible solutions for a sustainable media system.

  • SF-1129 Beacon Hill: Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    The course will explore the physical geography, history, and image in literature, film, and pop culture of Suffolk University's Beacon Hill neighborhood. The purpose and objective of the course is to provide students with a deep knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Beacon Hill through examination of written and visual sources, and feet-on and eyes-on experience of the public parts of the Hill.

  • SF-126 The Boston Theatre Scene: the Inside Experience

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Using the current Boston theatre season as its syllabus, this writing- and analysis-intensive course will explore several plays in production at some of Boston's many professional theatres. We will study the script of four to five plays before attending performances of those works. Students will gain insights on the world of theatre through backstage tours and conversations with theatre professionals such as producers, directors, actors, designers, playwrights, and critics. Students must be available for evening (usually Wednesday) performances. A fee for student-rate tickets will be assessed.

  • SF-190 Asia in America Fiction and Fact

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Through selected readings, movies, and a field trip to Chinatown, we will study important socio-cultural events related to Asian immigrants throughout American history. This seminar will help students gain a better understanding of racial and cultural relations and appreciate the dynamics of cultural interactions in the twenty-first century.

    Type:

    Cultural Diversity Opt A

  • SF-197 Sustainability, Energy, and Technology At Suffolk University

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    In this project and team-based course, students study a sustainability problem at Suffolk University and spend the semester developing proposals to address the problem. At the end of the course students will present their proposals to Suffolk University's sustainability committee, and will exhibit their websites and visual aids in the Donahue lobby to educate the Suffolk community about sustainability. If their proposals are well-researched and well-communicated, students can see their ideas actualized while they are still undergraduates.

  • SF-183 Politics, Power and the Media

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Is there a relationship between accumulated political power and mass media representations? Is news content impacted by existing political power relations? It is the object of this course to critically analyze the role of the mass media within the framework of existing political power relations in the United States. In particular, the course will focus on the role the mass media plays in promoting and reinforcing dominant political practices and ideologies. The course will begin by exploring various theories of the press, notably its function in a democratic society, as well as the concepts of power and propaganda. We will continue with a series of case studies, complemented by secondary sources that highlight how media representations affect the contemporary distribution of political power in the US. Topics of discussion will include the current US war on terrorism, the ongoing health care debate, the public disavowal of big government", and the concept of a liberal media.

  • SF-198 Music and the Brain

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    What accounts for the power of music to move us so profoundly? This course explores how our brains and music evolved together: What music can teach us about the brain, what the brain can teach us about music, and what both can teach us about ourselves.

  • SF-102 Economics and the Environment

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This seminar will establish a clear link between the environment and the macroeconomy. We will examine how environmental decisions are also economic decisions that affect output and employment, among other things. We will also establish that environmental issues are global in nature and have political and economic effects beyond our borders. Students will do a significant amount of research and writing and will engage in group discussions.

  • SF-132 The Beatles: Here, There & Everywhere

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This seminar will investigate the impact and legacy of the Beatles. The Fab Four deserve our scholarly attention as musical innovators and as cultural avatars of the 1960s, an era that still exerts influence today. We will examine the many ways in which the Beatles rocked the establishment and became defining figures in post-war youth culture. We will also discuss other media (the visual arts, film, fashion, style) and fields of study (mass media, marketing, recording technology, copyright law, English history) using the Beatles as our guides.

  • SF-156 The Mask Behind the Face: Personas, Personalities, and Perception. Acting in /Out Life

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    The theatre has always been a metaphor for life. In modern times life has become theatre. This seminar will confront the idea of real life and the eroding boundary between performers and audience. Students will study the roots of the contemporary obsession with stars and stardom, a mania that began in the 18th century and flourished in the 19th century. We will look at performance studies, performers memoirs, plays, and films that dramatize this dilemma.

  • SF-173 Crime in American Society

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Popular beliefs about crime are often inspired by the media and by specific criminological theories. These theories about and media images of crime will be examined in detail, including the hits and misses.

  • SF-174 Tragedy and Literature

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will focus on classic works of ancient and modern literature that examine the human condition from a tragic perspective. We will concentrate on close readings from the following texts: Homer's Iliad, Sophocles' Antigone, The Bhagavad-Gita, Shakespeare's Othello, Chekhov's short stories, and Joyce's Dubliners.

  • SF-178 Sacred Hoops & Sneaker Pimps: Understanding the American Hoop Dream

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course is about the basketball hoop dream played out at the high school and college levels. We will study a wide variety of materials - novels, films, websites, reference works - to understand both the construction, and destruction, of the hoop dream in such diverse places as New York City, Seattle, rural Indiana, suburban Georgia, and the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Issues of race and culture will serve as guiding themes as we develop critical theory explaining why the hoop dream has persisted, and adapted, over time, to fit the needs of its believers and supporters.

    Type:

    Cultural Diversity Opt A

  • SF-182 Heroes, Antiheroes and Outsiders: Reading the Graphic Novel

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    How is it that comics", a genre often viewed as entertainment for children and adolescents, has become one of the most exciting forms of narrative and visual art? To answer this question, this seminar will examine a range of graphic novels, from those that celebrate their origins in superhero comics, such as Alan Moore's Watchmen, to those that treat subjects not usually considered proper to the comics genre, such as Art Spiegelman's Maus, about the Holocaust, and Alison Bechdel's Fun Home, about the complexities of sexual identity. As we read these works, we will look at how the combination of words and still images makes the graphic novel a unique storytelling form, as well as how artists and writers push the envelope to create new styles and challenge our expectations. In addition to class discussions and writing assignments, we will take a field trip to the Museum of Fine Arts and create a collaborative group graphic novel step-by-step over the course of the semester (all abilities welcome).

  • SF-1118 Pageantry: Competitive Beauty

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    In this seminar, we will explore the history and mystique of pageantry in our country. We will study the roots of these programs (such as Miss America) and look for lessons learned about women as we follow the progression of competitive beauty through to the crowning of a young woman students may come to see as someone not too different from themselves. This exercise in exploration and examination of the American beauty queen should intrigue all her peers, and challenge supporters and critics of pageants alike to redefine their opinions of the modern pageant woman.

  • SF-1122 The Ethics of Peace and War: From The Ancient World to the Present

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will explore historical, ethical and political issues concerned with matters of peace and war. We will examine a variety of different texts: religious, historical, philosophical and literary, but the main emphasis will be philosophical justifications for war and philosophical visions of just peace, with an eye to contemporary questions in the War on Terror. To the extent that we use non-philosophical texts, this will be in the service of focusing the imagination on the philosophical issues and applying theoretical frameworks to historical events.

  • SF-101 Fixing the World- Energy and Water: The Science of Solutions

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Two of the most daunting challenges the world faces (or will face) is how to provide for both its growing energy needs and potable drinking water. Regular news events include climate change, droughts, flooding, and petroleum struggles. Human nature often requires a severe crisis before it responds. This course will investigate the historical science driving the use of energy since the Industrial Revolution to convert energy resources into work, including the steam engine, the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine. It will also consider alternative energy options to fossil fuels, such as solar, wind, geothermal, and ocean power. Along the way we will consider the evidence for Global Warming and Climate Change. We will look into human nature, simple life styles, conspiracy theories, and the influence of those in power to shape human opinion. We will also consider how our water supply is provided and where it goes after being used. What options do developing countries or drought racked areas have to remedy their water needs? Although the course pursues a scientific understanding of these issues, the mathematics used will be gentle, and a larger emphasis will be placed on the intuitive appreciation of these concerns.

  • SF-1133 Problems and Solutions in Early American History

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course will examine four major problems in the early American republic: forming a government; bridging vast distances on the American continent; slavery; international relations. We will explore the various proposed solutions to these problems. Some of the solutions worked well, others were more disastrous than the initial problem. We will read primary documents pertaining to these issues, and try to imagine how men and women considering the problems might have responded to them. What solutions could be proposed? What solutions would work? What were the political, economic, or social difficulties generated by the problem and by the proposed solutions? In considering the problems, we will also learn how to use the various archives close at hand: the Sawyer Library, the Boston Public Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Massachusetts State Archives. Students will also post their findings on a class blog, and present their work to one another in class.

  • SF-1135 Women Warriors: Stories of Captivity, Conversion, and Confession

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Since the beginning of time, women have been doing battle to themselves, while men have gone to battle against others. Whether it is through converting to Christ, yielding to captors in order to survive, or carrying a baby, this course introduces students to the many ways in which, whatever battles they face, women are warriors; they survive. Utilizing an array of captivity, conversion, and confession narratives by women, and pairing them across the centuries, students will make connections and draw conclusions between early-and mid-19th-century-American and contemporary women. Students will connect, for example, the trials of the 17th-century Puritan captive, Mary Rowlandson, and contemporary hostage, Elizabeth Smart, to explore how women (no matter how different they seem) draw upon unique inner resources to survive.

  • SF-1136 Varieties of Religious Experiences

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course is designed as an exploration into the various depths, dimensions, and meanings of religious thought and practice. World religions and belief systems will be presented in terms of their underlying experiential, psychology and spiritual significance in our ordinary thinking. The ancient wisdom teachings of world religions, philosophy and myth will be examined as metaphysical claims about the nature of the universe and our understanding of it. Special emphasis will be placed on challenging current traditions concerning the role of consciousness and religious experience. Students will be required to actively participate in exploring other/alternative religions and religious centers in the greater Boston area. Classes will be conducted by means of lecture, primary texts in translation and meditation exercises.

  • SF-1137 Urban Geography: the Story of North American Cities

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This course examines the history and contemporary processes of urbanization, primarily in the North American context. In particular, we are concerned with the geography of these processes, resulting in differentiation of space and the creation of distinct places. Urban geography requires a spatial approach: understanding and explaining why something is where it is, and the overall spatial patterns of a city, or a system of cities. This course covers a range of topics relevant to cities, including historical development, governance, social patterns, economic roles, planning, contemporary problems, and the linkages among all of these. We will examine the geography of urbanization at several scales, ranging from the development of the North American urban system to the experiences of neighborhoods within cities.

  • SF-189 American Gothic: Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O'Connor and Annie Proulx

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This literature seminar will study and compare the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, Flannery O'Connor, and Annie Proulx. Beginning with Poe as the father of the short story genre in America and exploring his critical theory of the grotesque and arabesque", the class will examine the emergence of the gothic literary idiom as a classic American genre. Critical essays on the gothic aesthetic will be analyzed and film adaptations and documentaries will be viewed.

  • SF-1127 The Vietnam and Iraq Wars: Polarized Perspectives

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This class will examine some of the many controversies surrounding the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, two conflicts that have been profoundly polarizing for the American people. There are widely divergent perspectives regarding the fundamental questions surrounding each war. Were the reasons for American involvement just? To what extent were the methods used by the United States military during each war just? To what extent did the media play an appropriate role before, during, and after each war? Did opposition to these wars serve primarily to benefit the enemies of the United States or did it constitute a form of patriotism and love of country? This interdisciplinary course will address these and other complex questions by examining the histories, literature, and films (both documentaries and dramatic) that have been produced in response to these wars.

  • SF-1110 Decoding Boston: Signs and the City

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the buildings, monuments, sites, and signs around Boston from the point of view of Visual and Culture Studies. In addition to providing a compelling introduction to the history, major landmarks, and culture of the city, the seminar is specifically intended to improve students' visual literacy: that is, their awareness of their visual environment and their ability to critically analyze the rhetoric of the spaces, buildings, and images with which they are surrounded.