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 Spring 2019

TSEM 102.001, 002, 005, 007, 008, 013, 015, 018 Current Issues in Education: Living and Learning in a Digital Society

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 102.003, 009, 011, 012, 014, 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 102.004, 006, 010, 016 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 102.019, 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, 023 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 102.024  Notable Music-Makers: Women Composers of the Romantic Era.

Description: Immersive study of composers / performers / improvisers, their creative output, their historical and cultural context, and their continuing relevance in today’s music cultures.
Spring 2019: Course focuses on the music and achievements of three women composers of the Romantic Era: Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Clara Schumann, and Amy Beach.

 TSEM 102.025, 030 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 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 102.027 The Hero-Villain in Renaissance Drama

 Description: Investigates the development of destructive, monstrous, and evil protagonists in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama.

 TSEM 102.028 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 102.029 Exercise and the Brain

 Description: Review current research on the effects of exercise on the brain as it relates to psychological function. Students will be introduced to the fields of neuroscience and psychology while investigating the role of exercise in attention, memory, mood, stress, psychological disorders, and aging.

 TSEM 102.031 American Murals

 Description: Murals are paintings placed on culturally meaningful walls. “American Murals” will examine the creation and use of murals across many American ethnic and racial groups from pre-Colonial Native Americans, through the Colonial period, to the 21st Century including the 1930s Mexican Mural Movement, Works Progress Administration and mid-20th-century Civil Rights Movements.

 TSEM 102.032, 033, 034, 035, 036, 037, 038 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 102.039, 040 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 102.041, 043 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 102.042 Title: Social Media versus Dictators in the Middle East: The Arab Uprisings in Historical Perspective

 Description: Explores the Arab Uprisings, or the "Arab Spring," that erupted across the Arab world, including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria, in early 2011. Also examines the historical background of these states since World War II period to provide context for understanding why citizens stood in the public squares and rebelled against entrenched dictators some receiving political and financial support from the United States. Course is informed by the disciplines of history, Middle East studies, and media studies.

 TSEM 102.044, 045 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 102.046 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 102.047   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 102.048, 049 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 102.050 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.

 TSEM 102.051 Physics and Metaphysics

Description: Seminar format emphasizing active learning, with content drawn from primarily from physics and astrophysics, along with current scientific controversies.  Introduces multiple perspectives (e.g. Aristotelian vs. Newtonian). Does not count toward a major in physics or astrophysics.

 TSEM 102.052, 057 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 102.053, 058 Body Image Through History

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

 TSEM 102.054 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 102.055 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 102.056  Islam and the West

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

 TSEM 102.059 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 102.062  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 102.063, 064 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.