McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Freshmen Seminars

The freshmen seminar program offers first year students the opportunity to explore an intellectually stimulating scholarly topic in the company of a small group of fellow students and a faculty member of the college. Each seminar satisfies a core requirement of the college, and introduces or develops one or more Baccalaureate Competencies (critical thinking, effective communication, knowledge integration, social responsibility), while introducing students to the expectations of college-level work.

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Fall 2016


Freshman Topics in Africana Studies (AFST 1022 001)

  • This freshman seminar is designed to introduce students to the fascinating world of Africana Studies: the interdisciplinary study of the history, culture and politics of African, African American, Afro-Latin, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-European populations. Each class will do that through a different path. Topics and themes offered under this course number will be concerned with exploring aspects of the Africana experience and issues using the methods and theories of the social sciences.
  • BOK: DC, SS, Interdisciplinary


Language and Globalization (ANTH 1019 001)

  • From social media to the new economy and global pop culture, new ways of communicating and using language are both the product and the vehicle of the economic, political and cultural changes associated with globalization. Taking an ethnographic approach, we will look at how globalization is transforming the ways we use language in contemporary society, while critically reflecting on how new patterns of communication also contribute to structures of inequality on a global scale.
  • BOK: DC, SS


At the Zoo:  Animal Diversity (BIOL1001 001)

  • This course is designed for non-science majors and will begin by discussing basic animal classification with an emphasis on animals displayed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Basic characteristics and adaptations of these taxa will be discussed. Basic ecological principles will be described including evolution, adaptations to environmental pressures and population and community ecology. Many will be observed through Zoo tours and live animal demonstrations that will emphasize the animal's characteristics, adaptations, evolutionary relationships and basic ecological concepts.
  • BOK: NS


At the Zoo:  Animal Behavior (BIOL1002 001)

  • This course is designed for the non-science major and will begin by discussing basic ecological concepts, levels of organization in ecology, the role of an organism as an individual and its role in the population, community and biome. Biome distribution will be discussed with an emphasis on species diversity including ecological equivalents, endemic species, convergent evolution and the relevant need for conservation of species and habitats worldwide. Basic animal behavior will be describedTours of the Zoo's animal exhibits and in class animal demonstrations will support and illustrate class discussions.
  • BOK: NS


Sustainable Energy and Society (CHEM 1008 001)

  • This course is intended to introduce students to the important topic of energy usage in our society, and the role of chemistry in the development of renewable energy sources. We will cover the history of human energy usage, a detailed analysis of current energy sources and their consequences, and potential alternative sources of energy. You will engage in projects aimed at proposing scenarios for future energy production that both fills our growing needs and minimizes environmental impacts.
  • BOK: NS, Interdisciplinary


Communication and Society (COMM 1055 001)

  • This course will look at current trends and issues concerning the rapid growth in information and communication technologies on our everyday lives. You will be introduced to topics in communication that examine the diverse personal, interpersonal, and societal factors that shape communication in everyday life.
  • BOK: SS


English Comp: Urban Issues in Cincinnati (ENGL 1002 001)

  • While focused on our theme “Urban Issues in Cincinnati,” this course emphasizes critical reading, writing, and textual analysis with particular focus on argument and research-based writing.
  • BOK: EC

English Comp: Ideas in Pop Culture (ENGL 1002 002)

  • While focused on our theme “Ideas in Pop Culture,” this course emphasizes critical reading, writing, and textual analysis with particular focus on argument and research-based writing.
  • BOK: EC


English Comp: Food in American Culture (ENGL 1002 003)

  • While focused on our theme “Food in American Culture,” this course emphasizes critical reading, writing, and textual analysis with particular focus on argument and research-based writing.
  • BOK: EC


Literature of Pride and Protest (ENGL 1018 004)

  • “Lift every voice and sing/ till earth and heaven ring;/ Ring with the harmony/of liberty.”  Readers may first encounter these words variously as art, artifact, or song.  As page poetry, these words were penned in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson.  Set to music a year later by his brother, the words resonate to this day in many Black communities as ‘the Black National Anthem.”  In various cultures in the US, poems, essays, speeches, storytelling, and other literary works have taken on similar significance as agents of pride or protest, electrifying, unifying, challenging, or diversifying the culture they represent.  This course will explore how short works by James Baldwin, Emma Lazarus, Maxine Hong Kingston, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, Natalie Diaz, Nikki Giovanni, and others have leapt from the page as cultural paradigms or sources of inspiration and formation.  A multimodal group project and community outreach will be included.
  • BOK: HU


Medical Humanities (ENGL 1018 005)

  • This Freshman Seminar course uses readings, guest lectures from language department faculty and international campus services, and participation in international events on campus and in the community to introduce skills and concepts required for language study and intercultural competence. This course emphasizes the importance of language as component of cultural identity and develops sensitivity toward the values and norms of other cultures.
  • BOK: HU


French Film Today (FREN 1042 001)

  • This freshman seminar is the study of French Film and/or francophone literature and culture. An introduction to the topic, its theoretical implications, and the most important representations will be provided. Several important cultural aspects will be studied in detail and will be analyzed from the point of view of the topic under study.
  • BOK: DC, HU


Mapping Climate Change (GEOG 1065C 001)

  • Students will create maps using GIS software and aircraft and satellite data to study the causes and solutions to global climate change and explore the most cost-effective methods and the best locations to reduce global warming. This is a user-friendly, hands-on course using state-of-the-art mapping tools, articles, videos and in class lectures.
  • BOK: NS


Legacies and Landscapes of Yucatan (GEOG 1073 001)

  • "Legacies and Landscapes of Yucatan" is a freshman seminar that studies the changes in the landscape of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula over time, going back to 300 AD, focusing on the human impact on the environment through time and space. Concepts such as "environmental determinism" will be discussed. Additionally, the course provides students with an opportunity to explore and learn in a foreign setting, via a winter-break field trip to the Yucatan, where they can practice language skills, appreciate different cultures, and become aware of world problems in a third world setting. The course methodology includes field work, observation, journal writing, and interactive experiences.
  • BOK: DC, SS


Earth, Sea, and Sky (GEOL 1020 001)

  • Seen from space, Earth is a "blue planet" blanketed in an atmosphere, covered in oceans and glaciers, and dappled with vegetation. This course is an introduction to earth science through the study of its interconnected systems -- the solid earth (minerals and resources, topography, plate tectonics), the hydrosphere (oceans, glaciers, the water cycle), and the atmosphere (wind, weather, climate) -- with a focus on the interactions between these systems. Students will use Google Earth, digital topography, and interactive simulations of the basic physics to enhance understanding of the processes that make the Eartha dynamic and exciting place to live.
  • BOK: NS, Interdisciplinary


Exploring Languages and Intercultural Competence (GRMN 1000 001)

  • This Freshman Seminar course uses readings, guest lectures from language department faculty and international campus services, and participation in international events on campus and in the community to introduce skills and concepts required for language study and intercultural competence. This course emphasizes the importance of language as a component of cultural identity and develops sensitivity toward the values and norms of other cultures. 
  • BOK: DC


History of Black Masculinity (HIST 1099 001)

  • The Freshman Topics in History course is designed to introduce first-year students to key topics of the human past in an engaging yet rigorous manner. Enrollment in these courses is limited to a small number of students. Instruction is based on a seminar format, emphasizing discussion and direct student-professor interaction.
  • BOK: HP


History of Health and Medicine (HIST 1099 002)

  • The Freshman Topics in History course is designed to introduce first-year students to key topics of the human past in an engaging yet rigorous manner. Enrollment in these courses is limited to a small number of students. Instruction is based on a seminar format, emphasizing discussion and direct student-professor interaction.
  • BOK: HP


Social Media & J. in the Digital Age (JOUR1020 001)

  • Social Media & Journalism will cover both the practical and theoretical aspects of social media in journalism in the digital age, including its impact on professional branding, sourcing/source attribution, the merging of journalists' personal and professional lives, as well as conversations between journalists and the public that take place on social media.  A primary theme of the course will be balancing the risks and rewards of social media.
  • BOK: DC, SE


Ancient Stories of Creation (JUDC 1050 001)

  • An overview and comparison of different accounts of the creation of the universe and the origins of humankind. This course will focus on writings from the Near East, including but not going beyond the standard biblical accounts, with discussions of modern religious and cultural perspectives. 
  • BOK: DC, HU, Interdisciplinary


Making Sense of Race and Racism (MLTI 1064 001-007)

  • Issues involving race and racism are part of our national history and continue to affect our daily lives in subtle and overt ways. In this course, we will use several disciplinary perspectives to understand the history and contemporary realities of race and racism in the United States.
  • BOK: DC, SE 


Revolutionary Women (WGS 1051 001)

  • This course examines women’s participation over time and in varying parts of the world in movements for social change, whether through participating in actual revolutions for national liberation or working for causes that revolutionized ways of thinking about culture and society. The course will consider women’s participation in revolutionary work at the individual, societal, and global levels. 
  • BOK, DC, SE, Interdisciplinary