Course Offerings | Freshman Studies



All first-year students are required to enroll in a Freshman Studies course during CentreTerm. Freshman Studies courses have three goals: to provide a small-group learning situation that will engage students and faculty in an intensive intellectual experience; to introduce students in an innovative fashion to a discipline's basic concepts, modes of thought, or procedures; and to foster basic educational skills--how to read critically, think logically, and communicate effectively.




Freshman Studies Courses

2005-2006 Offerings:

FRS 110 Judaism and Christianity in Dialogue
Friendship or fratricide: these are the alternatives that recent centuries have set before religions, and they have rarely been more stark. Since the end of World War II, however, Christians and Jews have begun to ask questions about one another's traditions, to break down age-old barriers of prejudice, and to explore not only differences, but similarities of faith as well. In this course, students will walk through some rich but very controversial terrain - the Bible, anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism, the Holocaust, the State of Israel, and challenges for the future. An overnight trip to visit the Holocaust Museum and other sites in Washington , D.C. is planned.

FRS 111 Under the Influence

This course explores human experience with beverage alcohol from earliest mysteries to modern fermentation and distillation technology. The products of these processes have provided an important "microscope" through which to study human culture and civilization. Students will be challenged to select a particularly important event or era in human cultural history (east or west) and assess the extent to which that event or era was influenced by the focal substance of this complex societal issue.

FRS 116 An Introduction to East Africa
To achieve insights and understandings about life and society in East Africa , this course will focus on the educational systems and literatures of Tanzania , Kenya , and Uganda . A study of schooling will reveal the struggle of the countries to develop their own education after British colonialism and to answer some fundamental questions such as what knowledge and values need to be passed on, who shall be chosen to receive the limited education that can be offered, and should Swahili or English be the language of instruction? Insights into the history, feelings, and aspirations of a people can be gained through its literature. Also the clash of cultures is evident in literature. Students will select a project that investigates a current East African problem such as educational practices or reform, the AIDS situation, the movement toward union of the three countries, or the place of women in the societies.

FRS 117 American Utopianism
Using the 1826 version of Edward Hicks' famous folk painting, The Peaceable Kingdom, as a starting point, the course will consider various experiments in utopian communities and visit two famous ones nearby, Shakertown and Gethsemene Abbey. During an overnight field trip to New Harmony, Indiana, students will present plans for their own versions of a workable utopian community.

FRS 118 Rainmaking: The Study of and Preparation for Leadership
This course will acquaint the student with the literature associated with leadership studies. The student will be exposed to a variety of authors, and have the opportunity to study and report on a 20th-Century leader of his or her choice. The class will feature several guest speakers (leaders in practice) from a variety of fields, and will include at least one field trip to explore the work of a leader in his or her workplace

FRS 119 An Introduction to Drawing
The course will introduce the fundamentals of drawing, including perspective, light and shade, expressive use of various media, and the principles of design. Studio work will be complemented by written and oral assignments that teach students how to discuss and criticize drawings. Lectures, a museum visit, and student copies made from masterworks will familiarize students with the cultural contributions made in this medium since the Renaissance.

FRS 121 Introduction to Poetry Writing
A class devoted to the writing of poetry and to relevant readings designed to guide and inspire the beginning writer. A workshop class where students will write 2-3 poems a week, responding to assignments given, which we will then workshop in class.

FRS 125 Shapeshifters: Literature and Film of Metamorphosis
This course focuses on the aesthetics of metamorphosis, a theme found in the literature of all ages and cultures, cutting across categories from social realism to fantasy. Discussion ranges widely, beginning with fairy tales and myths and continuing with fiction, drama, and contemporary film. Students have opportunities to respond to the material both imaginatively and analytically.

FRS 132 Your Automobile, Our Environment
No other invention has had such a dramatic impact on human lifestyles and the environment as the automobile. The course explores the social and environmental impact that our perceived need for personal transportation has had. Environmental impact is explored from a number of perspectives including: origins of the automobile and its evolution; impact of manufacturing technology; automobile utilization impacts on natural resources, climate, and the atmosphere; the impact of the automobile on urban design and potential alternatives to personal transportation.

FRS 148 The Curious Economics of Higher Education
A non-technical introduction to the economic analysis used to answer questions such as: Why does college cost so much? How to you price a good where the producers consume it and where the consumers produce it? How do you measure faculty productivity? Why is the education you are offered at Centre such a “good” deal? Why is it an even better “deal” at UK? Special attention is given to the differences in the answers to these and many other questions across the different types of higher education institutions in the U.S.

FRS 149 The Great War
An examination of the causes and consequences of “The Great War,” the First World War. The nature and psychology of combat, the imact of the War on gender roles, on the rise of modern mass movements, particularly communism and fascism, and on growing tensions in the Middle East, India, and China are among the topics to be examined. The documentary film series entitled The Great War will be used in the course.

FRS 150 Topics in Computing and Society: Multimedia Bit by Bit
The class will examine digital media, especially images, but perhaps sounds or movies, through computation. Why and how are various digital media encoded? How can the encodings be manipulated? Our study will help us learn about computation: How does computation work? What kinds of choices are made? Digitization of media is a computational process. Can some technical understanding give us better insight into issues surrounding digital media? Students will learn some programming, often by example.

FRS 152 The Holocaust: Image and Reality
The Holocaust is one of the defining events of the modern era. It has taught us much about the power of a totalitarian state, the mechanisms of genocide, the power and persistence of anti-semitism, and the human capacity for evil as well as suffering. This event has also revealed something of the ability of media of various kinds to capture and convey an act of untimate evil. The course will study and reflect upon the Holocaust in terms of origins, enactment and aftermath as well as the literary, musical, dramatic, and cinematic response to the event. The class will take an overnight trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the Holocaust Museum.

FRS 155 The Beatles
The class will examine the career of the Beatles, from their beginnings in Liverpool up through the band's breakup in 1970, from cultural and musical points of view. We will study the social context in which the Beatles worked and the ways in which they constantly reinvented themselves and their music, with substantial time devoted to analysis of the band's lyrics and music. We will also explore the enormous impact the Beatles phenomenon had on the world of rock ‘n ‘roll. In the last week the class will travel to Cleveland to visit the Rock ‘n ‘Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Ability to read music is not required for this course.

FRS 156 Neanderthal
A seminar/workshop introduction and overview of the Neanderthal controversy in anthropology, looking at current ecological and evolutionary issues. Most of the course involves hands-on lab/workshop where a disarticulated Homo Sapiens sapiens skeleton is put together as a prelude to the construction of a disarticulated Neanderthal skeleton, derived from a composite of several fossil casts from different sites. The course format includes an overnight trip to Chicago to the Field Museum to see their Neanderthal collection.

FRS 157 A Vicarious Trip to the Middle East
A class where students become highly engaged in literature that propels them into ardent discussions of life in modern Afghanistan . The discussions are based on various social issues relevant to living in the Middle East . We will center our discussions on three realistic contemporary fiction books dealing with modern Afghanistan : two short stories, The Bread Winner and its sequel Parvana's Journey both written by Deborah Ellis. The third book is The Kite Runner by Kahaled Hosseini. The student will find himself or herself responding to quality literature with fervor, orally and in writing, after small and whole group discussions where human rights as well as children's rights will be considered.

FRS 158 African Politics in Fiction and Film
A study of contemporary Africa through the historical and political analysis of novels and films authored and directed by Africans. The course will focus on important themes that emerge in such works. Examples of these themes include neocolonialism, the nature of dictatorship, foreign aid, apartheid, gender roles, and tradition vs. modernity.

FRS 159 Freakonomics, or The Many Applications of the Not-So-Dismal Science
This non-technical course explores contempory social and political issues from the perspective of a novice economist in the vein of the current bestseller Freakonomics. Beginning with a brief introduction to economic principles and public speaking, students seek to explain phenomena they observe directly in the local community and indirectly via the media. Students develop critical thinking skills and gain speaking experience as they present and discuss their observations and analyses.

FRS 160 The Art of Porcelain
Porcelain is a luminous ceramic material once valued more highly than gold. The long and storied history of porcelain will be explored while students learn to create with this demanding material. Students will model, mold, carve, and glaze porcelain in order to explore its properties of whiteness and translucency. A visiting artist will demonstrate their techniques of using porcelain.

FRS 161 The Open Studio: Investigating Contemporary Art Practices
Essential questions in contemporary art are investigated in three ways: 1) through intensive study of specific practices and strategies in the creative processes of a small number of current art practitioners in various media, 2) through the group creation of a portable sonic artwork which the class will install at various sites during the term, and 3) through students' individual research that will take the forms of class presentations and art performances. The class will take a day-trip to Cincinnati 's Contemporary Art Center and at least one commercial gallery.


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