Academic Advising Center

Towson Seminar Course Offerings 2015-2016


Focusing on exploration and discovery, this course 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 in your first two semesters. Must earn a 2.0 grade or higher.


       Towson Seminar Topics Fall 2015

TSEM 102.001  
World Business Environment and the United States


Description: World business environment affecting the United States including economic and financial integration, international competitiveness, energy, labor force adjustment, demographic diversity and immigration, educational differences, cultural and geographic challenges, climate change, national security, ethical adaptation.

TSEM 102.002
Religion and Politics


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 102.003 
Manage your Money and Beyond


Description: The financial environment is continuously changing. This seminar provides you with an opportunity to learn how these changes affect your own life, the economy and other aspects of the society— career, family, health- through an active learning process. You are exposed to many difficult financial challenges through this course and will be expected to explore and discover multiple ways to resolve the dilemmas, and come up with an informed and educated decision. You are expected to use various resources to do research on multiple perspectives so as to identify the optimal solution for issues relating to financial and economic situations.

TSEM 102.004, 005
Innovation Through the Ages


Description: An integrated / multi-disciplinary perspective of institutional structure, innovation, and the process of economic change intended to provide insight into basic principles of economic reasoning applied on a comprehensive span of human history. Incorporates theories and examples from a number of social sciences and will demonstrate the advantages of liberal arts based education.

TSEM 102.006 
“Vampires on Campus: Exploring the Roles of the Vampire in Social Issues of Western Culture


Description: Examines contemporary society’s fascination with vampires, and explores how the lore of the vampire, from Count Dracula to Edward Cullen of the Twilight series, captivates our attention. The vampire, as a liminal figure, embodies or symbolizes a myriad of wide-ranging social themes including capitalism, human sexuality, life/death, illegal immigration, racism, HIV/AIDS, feminist ideologies, good vs. evil, identity, and adolescent angst. This reading- and writing-intensive course includes in-depth critical analysis and research projects.

TSEM 102.007, 022
Water - A Multi-Faucet Resource


Description: An interdisciplinary examination of water: its nature, uses, and abuses, and an introduction to student research and writing at the university level. Through readings, discussions, and assignments students will learn about the nature, behavior, and uses of water and about scholarship..

TSEM 102.008, 009  
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 102.010 
Islam and the West


Description: Exploration of differing perspectives on the relationship between the modern Muslim world and the West.

TSEM 102.011 
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 102.012, 013
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 102.014 
“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 102.015 
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 102.016 
Vampires: Blood, Lust and the American Dream


Description: Emphasizes active learning with content focusing on representations of vampires in popular media from literary origins in the late 19th century through to recent incarnations on screen.

TSEM 102.017 
To Hell and Back: Images of the Underworld in Pre-Modern Societies


Description: A survey of literary and historical documents from several pre-modern civilizations in order to investigate the manners in which the ancients conceptualized the idea of the Underworld..

TSEM 102.018 
Re-Fighting the Civil War: History, Memory, and the Continuing Struggle over America's Past


Description: Examination of the ways in which Americans have remembered the Civil War, their reasons for doing so, and the uses that memory has served. Historians’ interpretation of the war will be considered, but particular emphasis will be on the popular memory of the war, especially relating to issues of race and slavery.

TSEM 102.019 
Let’s Go to the Mall: The Culture and History of Shopping in America


Description: Examination of the history and culture of shopping in America from 1600 to the present, primarily from the perspective of history, but also the disciplines of material culture studies, art history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and marketing.

TSEM 102.020, 021
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 world view 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 102.024, 025
Maryland Plantations: Then and Now


Description:  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 102.026, 037, 042, 043, 047, 049, 053
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 102.027
Writing Baltimore


Description: Baltimore is a city of connections and contradictions. This class looks closely at texts written about the city from diverse perspectives: historical, sociological, environmental, journalistic, and literary. Approaches the city itself as a text to be explored; students will generate their own texts in response to their encounters with the city. Various themes will include the Chesapeake Bay, the sights and sounds of Baltimore, and urban history.

TSEM 102.028, 029
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 102.033
Body Image Through History


Description: A survey of attitudes toward the human body in different fields, eras, and cultures.


TSEM 102.036 
Media Literacy: The Active Media Consumer


Description: Seminar emphasizing active learning, with a focus on examining and analyzing the mass media as tools of education, socialization, and indoctrination that influence our understanding of the world..

TSEM 102.038, 039, 040, 044, 046, 050, 051, 052, 054, 057
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 102.041 , 045, 048
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 102.055,067
Information Visualization: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Communicating Information


Description: owing amounts of data about numerous aspects of our daily lives. Such data often remains useless until we are able to give it meaning by interpreting it correctly and transmitting its essence to others through simple yet effective visualizations. Survey multiple approaches to working with information, from the technical perspective of collecting and managing data to social and psychological aspects involved with the design of graphics and the different visualizations unique to various domains.

TSEM 102.058 
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 102.059 
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 102.065, 066
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.


spotlight on wireless network

Take advantage of this opportunity to choose interesting and challenging classes.You are embarking on a wonderful journey–enjoy it to the fullest!/p>



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