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ENGLISH

ENG 102-1. Topic: Life of Bees: an Interdisciplinary Perspective (FYS)
The Life of Bees: an Interdisciplinary Perspective<p>This course will introduce students
to bees and beekeeping through the academic lenses of film studies, food studies, and
ecology. Bees are responsible for pollinating roughly 1/3 of human foods, and the rise of
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has raised awareness about their essential importance
to the present-day food economy. The class will consider the ways that bees, and this
crisis, have been represented in literature and film, will investigate the causes of this
crisis, and will propose collective action toward conservation. The course will include
field trips, guest speakers, and a collaboratively cooked meal, in addition to assigned

written work. (FYS) MOUTON

ENG 105- 1. Topic: Can We Be Kind to Strangers? (FYS)
Can we be kind to Strangers? This deceptively simple question implies an equally simple
answer: Yes, of course we can--and we should. Religious texts, folklore, and philosophy
from around the world and from different time periods all encourage us to show
kindness to strangers. But we seldom need stories that exhort us to do what we are
already doing; thus the stories also remind and encourage us to be kind to strangers,
even when we might rather pass by.Thus the question--can we be kind to strangers--
gives rise not to a simple answer but to challenging secondary questions. First, Is it in
fact possible to be kind to strangers? Is there a biological basis for helping others? Is
kindness to strangers altruistic or self-interested reciprocity? Next, in today's global,
internet-connected world, what do we mean by stranger? Finally, should we be kind to
strangers? what are the consequences and implications for the recipient and for the
giver? The course will begin with a foundation in the religious and philosophical
foundation for kindness to strangers and will then be organized around different
responses: religious, scientific, and social; individual, societal, and global. Students will
be expected to enroll in an online learning community and will receive ¼ additional

adjunct course credit for their participation during the fall semester. (FYS) REED

ENG 111-2. Topic: The Racial Imaginary (W)

Race is a social construct—an idea we imagine—but it’s an imagined idea so powerful it

shapes our histories, our social systems, and our daily lives. Using Claudia Rankine and

Beth Loffreda’s anthology The Racial Imaginary as a critical text, this course will

examine the role of race in the life of the mind, with particular attention to the

consequences of American racial conceptions in today’s literary, political, and

interpersonal spheres. What happens when, as one author writes, our imaginations are

“riddled with the stories racism built”? When “the voices least sanctioned to speak come

from the bodies most on display”? Or when an author is silent because “I’m afraid of

what I might say about race, afraid of examining what I think and feel about race”? We’ll

read a variety of texts—including James Baldwin’s memoirs, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah’s

criticism, and Eula Biss’s lyric investigations—in an attempt to address such questions,

and to learn how to better write about race and ethnicity ourselves. Students can expect

to pay significant attention to the research, drafting, and revision processes in this

writing-intensive class. Because this is a writing course, significant course time will be

spent on the writing process, with a focus on revision. Not open to students who have

previously completed the writing course (W) requirement and/or ENG 111. (Writing

Requirement) RUBENSTEIN

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