Towson Seminar

Focusing on exploration and discovery, TSEM 102 introduces students to the academic expectations for college-level work and to the intellectual, communication and collaborative skills needed for academic success. Seminar format emphasizes active learning, with variable content in different Towson-Seminar courses. Introduces multiple perspectives and may draw from more than one discipline. Must be taken during either of your first two semesters. Must earn a 2.0 grade or higher.

Towson Seminar Topics FALL 2017

TSEM 102.001, 003, 009, 011, 016, 017 Current Issues in Education: Excitement and Challenge of Extreme Teaching

Description: Explores teaching - a most exciting and challenging profession – through inspiring examples of excellent teaching practices in order to incorporate these best practices into every challenging teaching situation. Introduction to effective strategies for gathering, evaluating and communicating information. Students will use critical thinking, team collaboration and problem solving to examine the most current scholarship surrounding these topics.

TSEM 102. 005, 007, 008, 010, 012, 013, 015 Current Issues in Education: Living and Learning in a Digital Society
Description: Current issues in education related to living and learning in a digital society. This course emphasizes that critical, self-reflective understanding of the contexts of our technology use is central to becoming digital practitioners and effective teachers in a participatory culture. Students will be introduced to effective strategies for gathering, evaluating and communicating information.
TSEM 102.004, 006 Current Issues in Education: Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns
Description: Explores current issues in education related to how students learn and the need for a customized learning approach to maximize each student’s ability to learn.  Technology’s role, in the process of individualizing learning for students will be explored. Students will examine reasons why technology has not been the panacea to improve academic achievement it was first touted to be by applying the theory of disruptive innovation to technology implementation in schools. Students will be introduced to effective strategies for gathering, evaluating and communicating information. Students will use critical thinking, team collaboration and problem solving to examine the most current scholarship surrounding their topics.
TSEM 102.018 Psychology of Scientific Thinking
Description: The Scientific Method and the role it plays in society with emphasis on the psychological processes involved in decision making. Standards of evidence and critical thinking skills necessary to differentiate scientific from pseudoscientific claims regarding topics such as ESP, repressed memory, UFOs, etc.
TSEM 102.019 Traveling the World through Psychology
Description: Designed to provide a fundamental understanding of psychological concepts as they apply to individuals and society. Students will be exposed to the field of psychology, its core concepts, and its application to understanding and changing the world. This course will investigate the differences and similarities that exist between various cultures and how these differences influence the application and progression of psychological concepts in social, developmental, mental health, and work contexts.
TSEM 102.020, 021 Living a Meaningful Life: Well-Being and Occupation
Description: Introduces students to skills needed to function successfully at college, in the context of an exploration of the relationship of occupational engagement to well-being. Students will gain an understanding of the concept of occupation, and investigate the influence of various occupations on health, happiness, and well-being.
TSEM 102.022 War in Literature
Description: By studying evocative poems, plays, short stories, and novels, the seminar will examine the seeming paradox of war and literature, of violence and art, by understanding how battle is depicted in literature and how literature is often an aesthetic battleground of conflicting personal and national ideals.
TSEM 102.023, 024 The Senses
Description: Asks students to think critically about the sense experiences – their cultural significance, political consequences, and representations in written texts and visual media. Students will observe how representations of sense experiences shift through stylistic choices in the descriptive writing of marketers, artists, filmmakers, and social critics.
TSEM 102.025 The Harlem Renaissance: A Modernist Collection of Literature, Art, Music, Film and Dance
Description: An inter-disciplinary exploration of the Harlem Renaissance, a literary, artistic, cultural, and intellectual movement of the early 20th century.
TSEM 102.026 The Machine that Changed the World: Automobility in a Time of Scarcity
Description: A multidisciplinary examination of how the automobile has changed world cultures with an emphasis on economic, environmental, social and political factors.
TSEM 102.027 Religion and Politics in America
Description: An examination of how religion and politics influence each other in the United States, with attention given to civil religion, the First Amendment, and religious activism, among other issues. Draws on materials from political science, history, and religious studies.
TSEM 102.028 America’s War on Drugs
Description: Exploration of American drug policies. Emphasis on treatment and prevention options, debates regarding decriminalization and legalization, and the domestic and international drug trade. Attention to popular perceptions of addicts, the flaws in those perceptions, and how perceptions shape policies. The historical context of current drug policy.
TSEM 102.029 America’s War on Drugs
Description: Exploration of American drug policies. Emphasis on treatment and prevention options, debates regarding decriminalization and legalization, and the domestic and international drug trade. Attention to popular perceptions of addicts, the flaws in those perceptions, and how perceptions shape policies. The historical context of current drug policy.
TSEM 102.030 Towson University Students in the Upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s
Description: Investigates the history of students at Towson University in the 1960s and 1970s. These decades were years of rapid transformation in American politics and culture as the rights revolution, the Vietnam War, the rise of counter culture, and student activism reshaped society. At the forefront of driving these movements were students. Away from home for the first time, exposed to new ideas, and surrounded by new friends students pushed against cultural and political boundaries and helped reshape the United States. Working closely with the materials in the Towson University Archives students will endeavor to understand this turbulent period through the eyes of Towson students who went before them. Students will be expected to read critically, participate in class discussions of readings, movies, and music videos, and be willing to work interactively and collaboratively.
TSEM 102.031, 032 Facing the Inquisitor: Religious Persecution in Pre-Modern Times
Description: Based on translated documents from the archives of the Inquisition. The goal is to understand how religious and cultural differences were defined and repressed in pre-modern societies (13th to 18th centuries). Students will work throughout the semester in pairs by taking the perspective of either one specific inquisitor or one of his victims after they reconstruct, directly from the sources, each individual’s actions and reasons. Each team of two students will thus research one inquisitorial trial, and each individual student will present conclusions in a research paper and two aural reports to the class. Topics to be discussed: the origins of the medieval inquisitions in contrast with their later developments in Spain, Portugal and Italy; the debates surrounding the Inquisition since its origins and how its activities were perceived over time; the worldview of the inquisitor and that of the heretic in European and non-European colonial pre-modern societies; ideas of collective security, religious enforcement and social discipline in pre-modern societies. Will draw upon tools and research methods from disciplines such as history, anthropology, religious studies, and art history
TSEM 102.033 America in the 1960s: Decade of Conflict and Change
Description: An introduction to the cultural, political, social conflicts of the 1960s in America, with emphasis on development of research and critical thinking skills. Through their study of major figures, movements and events of this period, as well as through guided study of research methodology, students will become acquainted with historical ways of thinking and writing.
TSEM 102.034 TBD
TBD
TSEM 102.035 Risky Business
Description: Focuses on the ways in which families experience risk. Places emphasis on the diversity of risk both within the family unit as well as how risk is perceived by social forces outside the family. Introduces multiple perspectives on risk and resiliency using a multidisciplinary approach. Special attention will be paid to how individual differences have the potential to increase risk for individuals, families and communities.
TSEM 102.036 Mozart: the Man, the Myth, and the Music
Description: Consideration of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the greatest prodigy of western music and his growth as a maturing genius who helped to establish the Viennese classical style during his brief career. Seeks to separate the myths that have developed about this remarkable figure from the actual historical facts and place him in context of his peers and his role in the style of his time.
TSEM 102.037 Ludwig van Beethoven: The Hero and the Heroic Style
Description: Beethoven as a heroic figure who championed personal and political freedom and helped usher in the Romantic tradition in music.
TSEM 102.038 The Legacy of Colonialism in the Arts
Description: Historical survey of and artistic representations of the conditions and repercussions of colonialism through readings, videos, and movement experiences.
TSEM 102.040, 041, 042, 043, 059, 060 The Limits of Reason
Description: The role of reason throughout the history of Western philosophy, beginning with the Platonic formalism of the ancient era, continuing into the Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment with Rene Descartes’ rationalism, David Hume’s empiricism, and Immanuel Kant’s transcendentalism, and culminating in the contemporary perspectives of Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, and Alphonso Lingis on the limits of reason.
TSEM 102.044, 045 Green Eating on a Blue Planet
Description: An examination of food: what we eat, where we eat, how we eat, and what are the industrial, economic, technological, social and political factors that shape the production of food, and what these mean for the planet. An introduction to student research and writing at the university level. Through readings, discussions, and assignments students will learn about food production and distribution in order to feed nearly seven billion people and about the nature of scholarship
TSEM 102.046, 047, 048, 049 Mass Media and Medicine
Description: Through reflective writing, roundtable discussions, skills workshops, a research paper, and a group presentation, students will be introduced to the rigors of academic scholarship, explore collaborative learning, and engage in critically evaluating the content and impact of mediated messages on the practice and consumption of health care across cultures.
TSEM 102.050 - Class FULL - Choose another Topic.  Sleep - Who Needs It and Why?
Description: Effects of sleep and sleep deprivation on optimal functioning. Exploration of sleep, sleep disorders, long term effects of sleep deprivation and treatment options.
TSEM 102.051, 052 Understanding Globalization
Description: Introduction to globalization and its interrelated dimensions; the effect of globalization on how people live and think; the creation of a new global world society; world-wide debates and controversies over globalization, its social processes, and its consequences.
TSEM 102.053 Body Image Through History
Description: A survey of attitudes toward the human body in different fields, eras, and cultures.
TSEM 102.056 The Earth's Changing Climate - Past, Present, and Future

Description: Understand the critical and often contentious issue of climate change, and to introduce students to scholarship. Scientific evidence and analysis, and an interdisciplinary perspective are needed to deal with the pressing issue of global climate change. This course will provide students with the critical thinking and analytical skills needed to weigh the evidence supporting or refuting claims of climate change or its consequences and to help students develop the research and writing skills required of college graduates.

TSEM 102.057, 058 Maryland Plantations: Then and Now

Focuses on the plantations of Maryland and the larger Chesapeake from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. It investigates complexes of planters’ houses and slave quarters to uncover the material reality of plantation life, for both men and women in the elite planter class as well as those who were enslaved. Its primary approach is historical, but it also employs perspectives and approaches drawn from the disciplines of material culture, art history, architectural history, gender studies, anthropology, and museum studies. A primary component of the course will be analysis of museums’ interpretation of plantations to the general public. A trip to Hampton Plantation will allow students to consider museums’ decisions about what to preserve and how to interpret the lives of masters, mistresses, and slaves. Students will be expected to read critically, participate in class discussions of readings, films, and historic sites, and be willing to work interactively and collaboratively. Topics covered include slavery, southern architecture, women’s history, rising levels of consumption, the making of historical memory, and public history.

TSEM 102.061  Journey of Self-Discovery 

Description: The theme of the journey as the most enduring and complex in the literature of Western civilization. The epistemological value of the journey as exploration of self and others’ identities, the notions of quest and epic hero, the issue of ancient and modern migrations as a crossing of geographical and cultural borders.

TSEM 102.062 Cultural Identity Through Music: Latino Music

Description: Considers expressions of cultural identity through Latino music. Cultural resistance, hybridity, authenticity, and globalization are themes that will be discussed and that will serve as the point of departure for the analysis of particular musical genres, including flamenco, corrido (narrative ballad), salsa, regguetón, and Brazilian Popular Music (MPB).  The characteristics, historical roots, and commercialization of each genre will be examined as well as the genre’s place in both official and alternative views of nationhood.