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Entrance to Fine Arts Instructional Center

First Year Introduction (FYI 100)

Taken in the fall semester of the first year, the First Year Introduction course (FYI 100) allows students to work closely with a faculty member, peer mentor, and fellow classmates to learn important study skills and transition to college successfully. This class also acquaints students with resources and services available on campus, as well as clubs, activities, and other programs vital to the Eastern experience.

Students may choose from a variety of FYI 100 course topics. Click on the class titles below to learn more about the offered course topics.

Fall 2021 FYI 100 Course Descriptions

  • Instructor: James Holland  |  Meeting times: MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm

    In The Art of Everyday Life, students will learn about and create art that connects with everyday life experience through various modes of expression, including sound, verbal communication, drawing, movement, and community building. The course will benefit people interested in all forms of creative expression, especially the visual arts, theatre, music, sports and sociology/anthropology. Pedagogically, the course is inspired by a mode of creative engagement that artist Josef Beuys termed "social sculpture,” as well as by Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. The class is thus thoroughly collaborative, physically engaging, and comprised of a combination of lecture and action-based production. In short, The Art of Everyday Life has less to do with "Art" in the conventional sense of the term (as encountered in galleries and art museums) than with the art and creativity that constitutes everyday life experience.

  • Instructor: Miriam Chirico  |  Meeting times: MWF 8:00am - 8:50am OR MWF 9:00am - 9:50am

    What makes us laugh? Can humor be used to fix a social injustice? Are certain subjects considered “taboo” for comedy? How do we use funny stories to explain who we are? In other words, how do we use comedy to depict and shape the human experience? In this first-year exploration of how comedy affects all areas of our society, we will consider the comedic plots and the jokes people use in politics, literature, and entertainment. We will analyze political cartoons, read short comedies, and study the work of stand-up comedians. By the end of the semester, we will have a more complex understanding of how comedy functions in our society and in their own lives.

  • Instructor: Joseph DeMartino  |  Meeting times: MW 5:30pm - 6:45pm

    Computing, Information and Technology will address benefits and social problems in data, information, and associated technology, including safety for various disciplinary studies and research. It will provide foundational concepts and contemporary skills in computing and technology. Students will learn about basic security concerns, information retrieval and management, web and computing concepts, data collection and analysis.

  • Instructor: Joseph DeMartino  |  Meeting times: MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm

    This course analyzes and critiques modern computer and technology solutions and their effectiveness as applied in our personal lives and society. Students will work towards understanding the original problems or opportunities technology innovations were designed to address, how they have actually been applied, where they have been effective, and where we have unintentional outcomes to overcome. The class will collectively look at pros, cons, options, and futures, with an overall theme of using technology to enable and enhance our lives and society without overwhelming them.

  • Instructor: DeRon S. Williams  |  Meeting times: TR 11:00am - 12:15pm

    This interdisciplinary course investigates the representation of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary plays as well as ways in which we exchange knowledge about these ideas in popular culture. In this course, we will interrogate plays and critical readings and study the tremendous influence that popular culture, in the form of music, film, and television, has on our identities, perceptions, values, and everyday lives. We will also investigate questions such as: How do racially and sexually marginalized groups use drama and popular culture to subvert existing social hierarchies? What notions of non-white culture emerge in contemporary television shows?

  • Instructor: Christine Garcia  |  Meeting times: MWF 9:00am - 9:50am

    This course will explore the "Five W's and One H" of culture in the United States. Our timeline will begin at the turn of the twentieth century and survey each decade through today. Our texts will range from ethnoautobiography, documentaries, websites, poetry, manifestos, speeches, plays and performance art, photography, vocal and instrumental music, murals and paintings, film, and iconography. These texts will allow us to examine the historical contexts in which culture manifests, who the creators of culture are, the audiences for which cultural artifacts are generated, and the functions of culture. Our course goals are to examine culture as dynamic and contested; critically examine paradigm shifts in understanding culture; analyze variability and heterogeneity within and across cultures; and engage in reflexivity about their own culture and identity.

  • Instructor: Kristen Morgan  |  Meeting times: TR 9:30am - 10:45am

    This course is designed as an introduction to learning in a university setting through examining the ethics of virtual worlds and other emerging digital spaces. Together, we will create a learning community that explores academic and college survival skills, and gain a sense of belonging and responsibility to our Eastern community. Through critical readings, analysis of video, small and large group discussion, and individual reflection we will seek to develop a common vocabulary, and a means for ethical thinking about emerging technologies.

  • Instructor: Michele Bacholle  |  Meeting times: MWF 10:00am - 10:50am

    In this course, we will reflect on what it means to be exiled. Using films, hands-on activities, and short works of fiction and readings, we will investigate different facets of the condition, including being exiled in a foreign land, in one’s country, in oneself, in one's body, gender, or sexuality. Critical reading and discussion of the primary material and of current news will expose students to non-US, even non-Western, outlooks on the world. Students will gain awareness of global cultures and globalization, all the while developing their critical thinking and academic research skills and learning how to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

  • Instructor: Karyn Eves  |  Meeting times: MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm OR MWF 5:30pm - 6:45pm

    The course will deconstruct the image of the Disney princesses and discuss the underlying messages these creations have in light of the movements in US Feminist thought.

  • Instructor: Stefan Kamola  |  Meeting times: MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm OR MW 5:30pm - 6:45pm

    This class is an inquiry into games, their histories, and the interpretive challenges they present. We will focus on board, card, and dice games, with some class time dedicated to sports and video games. We will take an expansive approach to ‘history’ in its original Greek meaning, inquiry. This means we will not only explore the stories lying behind games, but also the historical themes that some games recreate. We will also dig into the mechanics of the games themselves, to better understand the choices and chances that make them work and that keep people playing them.

  • Instructor: Richard Devine  |  Meeting times: TR 11:00am - 12:15pm OR TR 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    In this course, students will gain new perspectives on culture, language, and lifestyles by learning about hidden minorities, including the Romany people, called "Gypsies" by outsiders, who were the first people of color to arrive in Europe, and the Irish Travelers, who have also encountered severe discrimination by outsiders to their culture. Students will also learn about other ethnic groups that are hidden from the majority culture.

  • Instructor: Jessica Gagnon  |  Meeting times: TR 4:00pm - 5:15pm

    This course offers first-time, full-time students interested in the Social Work Major a rich and comprehensive introduction to academics, campus life and the liberal arts philosophy, and the social work major at Eastern. Students will learn about the history and evolution of the social work profession. Through a variety of class activities and interaction with peer mentors, fellow classmates, and the instructor, students will be introduced and integrated into Eastern’s social work community. By the end of this course, students will know if they would like to pursue a career in social work and will be familiar with the resources, services, clubs, and other programs on campus.

    This course section is recommended for Pre-Social Work majors and anyone who is interested in the Social Work Program.

  • Instructor: Sukeshini Grandhi  |  Meeting times: TR 12:30pm-1:45pm

    Some call it misinformation and others call it bullsh*t. They are referring to false information that is put forth regardless of the intent to mislead or not. This course will explore the nature of misinformation, how and why it originates and spreads. Students will learn how to apply critical thinking to spot and refute misinformation in public spheres as well as in scholarly work.

  • Instructor: Maeve Doyle  |  Meeting times: F 2:00pm - 2:50pm

    This class is joined to the ART 211 section required of all first-year Art majors. It will introduce students to the Department of Art and Art History and will provide support for--and develop a learning community centered on--departmental curricula and various issues related to campus life, such as meeting with professors/advisors and developing proper academic writing, etc..

    Students enrolled in this course will also be enrolled in ART 211 Art History: Pre-History to 1400 (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 12:00pm - 1:10pm).

  • Instructor: Alycia Bright-Holland  |  Meeting time: M 1:00pm - 1:50pm

    This course combines a contextual and experiential approach from the perspective of the artist-practitioner and his/her work onstage in film, dance, video, and other representational mediums. The course will emphasize key concepts in dance and choreography and methodologies globally from past and present. Students will become critical observers through viewing, attending live performance, readings, discussion, and experiential practice of dance styles. This course must be taken in conjunction with THE 180.03 Performance in Context: Dance/Choreography, which meets TR 2-3:15 pm.

    Students enrolled in this course will also be enrolled in THE 180 Performance in Context: Dance/Choreography (Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00pm - 3:15pm).

  • Instructor: David Stoloff  |  Meeting times: TR 3:20pm - 3:50pm

    Students will form friendships that they may keep throughout Eastern’s teacher certification programs and will fulfill part of the field experience requirements for admissions into these programs. The course will also help students confirm their interests in specific levels of teaching.

    Students enrolled in this course will also be enrolled in EDU 110 Contemporary Issues in the Education of Children (Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00pm - 3:50pm).

  • Instructor: Lynn-Ann DeLima  |  Meeting times: TR 9:30am - 10:45am

    This course introduces students to the history of our parks and the question of how to define green spaces. Students will examine the carrying capacity of various parks and learn to assess human impacts on their ecosystems. The social and environmental effects of park use, the importance of creating a stake-holdership, and the role that ecotourism plays in park conservation efforts will be explored.

  • Instructor: Paul Swift  |  Meeting times: MWF 11:00am - 11:50am

    Philosophy of the Martial Arts addresses issues of character development in philosophy of sport and introduces students to the history and cultures of the martial arts through Uechiryu karate. Students will learn basic movements to promote health, longevity, and self-defense, as well as learn about the history of virtue-based ethics from global philosophical perspectives to explore their relevance to practical life in the present day.

  • Instructor: Robert Blush | Meeting times: MWF 10:00am-10:50am

    Reality and Performance focuses on how performance, literature, art, and other media attempt to capture and document "real life." Although our primary focus will be on theatre, film, and television, we will also examine how the goal of "holding a mirror up to nature" has evolved historically and across cultures and has informed social media, documentaries, and so-called reality television. We will compare historical evidence and the “archive” with representational forms to gauge how "facts" can be fitted to narrative formulas and how they might serve to reflect, shape, or resist public opinion and social or politcal realities.

  • Instructor: Samantha Pinckney  |  Meeting times: TR 11:00am - 12:15pm OR TR 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    This course is designed to introduce first-year students to academics, campus life, and the liberal arts philosophy at Eastern by creating a learning community of collaboration both in and outside of the classroom. As Renaissance art was almost always a collaborative effort between artists, assistants, and patrons, this theme can be effectively employed in achieving the goals of a learning community.

  • Instructor: Elena Varshavskaya  |  Meeting times: TR 12:30pm - 1:45pm

    Among flowers, the cherry blossom; among men, the samurai: this old Japanese saying captures the essence of the samurai as a perfect warrior, a paragon of will power and moral discipline, equally versed in martial and artistic matters. This colloquium explores samurai ethos and a variety of samurai arts.

  • Instructors: Elizabeth Cowles, Barbara Murdoch, Laura Rodriguez, & Kim Ward  |  Meeting times: MW 4:00pm - 5:15pm

    This course will examine a wide range of unusual claims and paranormal phenomena with the goal of learning how to critically examine "strange and unusual” things. We will consider the features that characterize science and discuss how pseudoscience deviates from these. The class will investigate some of the psychological issues associated with perceptions and belief—e.g., misinterpretation of data, biased perceptions, fallacies of thought, and illogical behaviors—to see how these can lead to accepting/embracing unsubstantiated claims. Students will learn about the scientific methods in designing experiments to test extraordinary claims and to investigate paranormal phenomena. The class will explore a variety of unusual phenomena and examples of pseudoscience, including such topics as astrology, alien encounters, ESP, channeling, near-death experiences, brain tuning, homeopathy, electromagnetic therapy, psychic “powers,” therapeutic touch, and "creation science."

  • Instructor: Reginald Flood  |  Meeting times: MWF 11:00am - 11:50am

    This first-year introduction class is about negotiating intimacy and artistic practice while taking on the challenge of changing the world around us. It is about the strength of the written word and how the process of observing, writing and performing changes the way individuals live their lives. We will write about ourselves, we will write about the work of others, and we will use our words (and our lives) to create original Spoken Word poetry. And, in the process we will improve our critical reading and thinking skills by listening carefully, talking thoughtfully and writing fiercely. One of the ways we will do this is to grapple with these questions. How does a piece of art work? What does it do and how? What is the connection between the body, activism and artistic practice? One of our main goals is to help you realize and then implement ways to construct a more creative life. The other (and tad more practical goal) is to help you learn basic strategies for gathering ideas, critical reading and thinking, and to learn to embrace the process of revision.

  • Instructor: Khai Zhi Sim  |  Meeting times: TR 9:30am - 10:45am OR TR 11:00am - 12:15pm

    This class uses video games to introduce various economic concepts. The topics that will be introduced include scarcity, externalities, public goods, taxation, and trade. These topics will then be used to explain the decision making processes in the video games. The main theme of the class is to allow the students to learn to apply theoretical economic concepts on their daily lives, specifically in how they make decisions when playing these video games.

  • Instructor: Steve Muchiri  |  Meeting times: TR 9:30am - 10:45am

    **Enrollment in this course is restricted to students in the Honors Program.**

    Centered on the GapMinder Project and the Dollar Street platform, this class builds on image-based assignments that center on how families in different countries and across various levels of household incomes live. We will compare and contrast their health, education, family sizes, living conditions, and even their next big purchases. Students will connect abstract concepts with unique, vivid, and easy-to-remember photographs in an effort to better understand how differences in household income levels may affect benefits and costs of various public policies (e.g., infrastructure investment, collection of taxes, and additional sources of government revenue).

  • Instructor: Brian Day  |  Meeting times: TR 11:00am - 12:15pm

    Humans communicate through images. Visual images have been used to tell stories for centuries. Films, photographs, paintings, drawings, animation, etc., all tell stories through images. There is a visual structure to these images. This course will break down and examine the visual structure and the components used to tell visual stories. Students will learn about the components in class and then put them into practice in weekly assignments. Students will learn to think critically about images and will build a better understanding of telling stories through images.