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Course Descriptions

First-Year Studies Courses

FIYS 102: Knowing Yourself and Others

(Knowing Yourself and Others: Socialization in College.) This course investigates the construct of Social Emotional Learning, and how that maps on to skills needed to be successful in college. Students will take on a "third person: perspective as researchers to observe social and emotional occurrences on campus while engaging in self-reflection to become more socially and emotionally competent, themselves. Assignments will include summaries of research articles, observation logs, research protocol development, self-narrative construction, and a culminating assignment having the students investigating a specific element within SEL (self-awareness, social-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, or relationship management), how it presents itself on campus, how it is presented in today’s society and in popular culture, and strategies for teaching improvement in this area. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 104: Africana Philosophy

This course serves as an introduction to the philosophies of the African diaspora, which are collectively referred to as Africana philosophy. Africana philosophy comprises three distinct philosophical traditions: African philosophy, African-American philosophy, and Afro-Caribbean philosophy. We will study the major figures, schools, concepts, and debates that animate these traditions. Although Africana philosophy is a broad category covering a multiplicity of different philosophical perspectives, all three philosophical traditions are concerned with the lived existence of Africans and African-descended peoples. We will analyze concepts such as 'reason,' 'double consciousness,' and 'creolization,' and we will examine disputes between philosophers, including the quarrel between Anthony Appiah and Lucius Outlaw over the significance of race. Some of the key questions we will answer include: What role did colonialism play in shaping the agenda of African philosophy? What is black feminist existential philosophy? How can the Haitian Revolution be understood from the standpoint of political philosophy? (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 105: Music in Chicago

Chicago offers its residents a musical soundscape as rich and as varied as any city in America. The city has a long history of classical music performances through organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Ravinia Festival. Jazz and the Blues evolved in Chicago and can be heard in clubs across the city. Chicago also offers a diverse collection of ethnic and world music festivals nearly every weekend of the year. In this course, we will explore Chicago's unique soundscape through three main areas: classical music, jazz and the blues, and world music. Our investigation will involve frequent field trips, some as a class and some in smaller groups. We will study the history of music in the city and will also cultivate active listening skills. This course requires participation in some evening and/or weekend field trips or events, so consider your other commitments (such as off-campus employment or a fall/winter sports participation) as you identify courses of interest to you. No prior musical skills are required. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 106: Medical Mysteries of the Mind

This course is for beginning students interested in exploring the human brain in a rigorous interdisciplinary way. If you are intensely interested in how your brain helps you think, feel, sense, read, write, eat, sleep, dream, learn and move, this course is for you. You will learn how brain dysfunction causes complex medical illnesses, like Alzheimer's, Autism, and Schizophrenia. You will meet Chicago's world-class neuroscientists through guest seminars and class-trips to famous laboratories. You will debate ethical dilemmas that face society and dissect human brains. Lastly, you will present at the Brain Awareness Week on campus. One year each of high school biology and chemistry is recommended. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 109: The Future

In the fall of 2015, according to the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II, Americans would be traveling in hovercars, wearing self-lacing sneakers, scooting around on hoverboards, and - most improbably - celebrating the victory of the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Predicting the future is clearly difficult. So-called experts in various fields have routinely failed to accurately predict events such as the housing bubble of 2007, weather catastrophes, the outcome of political races, whether bridges can withstand stress loads, pandemics, and so on. Yet, to be human is to make predictions. In this course, we will explore the ways people have tried to see into the future, both on a mundane and a profound level. Examining fields across the liberal arts curriculum, we will assess the quality of these predictions and ultimately make predictions of our own, to be placed in a time capsule for our future amusement. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 111: Race and Space in Chicago Schools

The history of American education has been marked by inequalities along racial, ethnic, economic, linguistic, religious, and cultural lines. Since the late twentieth century, the development of suburban and urban boundaries has come to redefine equity and social justice in schools. This course introduces students to social and institutional forces that make 'race' and 'space' tools for educational inequity. Focusing on Chicago-area schools, we will consider how the laws and collective actions of society have produced a 'poor urban' and 'affluent suburban' divide that continues to shape the educational experiences of students from various backgrounds. By learning how to read carefully and to write clearly about the issues of 'race' and 'space' in Chicago-area schools, students will develop basic strategies of research, writing and presentation. Travelling as a group accompanied by the instructor, students will visit pertinent Chicago-area schools to explore these issues in real-life educational contexts. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 112: Wild Chicago

(Wild Chicago: Exploring the Urban Jungle.) This course will offer students a clear understanding of the wildlife around us and how humans interact with their environment. The goal for the class is to help students think and write clearly and critically, form educated opinions and defend those opinions about a wide range of environmental issues in urban environments. Based on our own observations we will also learn how to ask educated questions about the relationships between humans and the environment. By visiting with a carefully selected group of environmental professionals and regularly observing and recording information on the environment in which we live, we will explore how wildlife interacts with humans on an everyday basis. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 113: Music and Math

In this course, students will investigate the connections between the fields of music and mathematics. Commonalities to be explored will include the musical concepts of rhythm, meter, scales, tuning, and temperament, and the mathematical concepts of geometric series, rational and irrational numbers, modular arithmetic, and symmetries of the square. No previous knowledge of music theory is required, only a desire to use critical and analytical skills to understand and appreciate music. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 114: Media Art & Technology

(From Now On: Media Art & Technology.) Digital media, technology and the arts have become potent forces creating changes in aesthetics, communication, social engagement, political movements, and economic conditions. From social media to Virtual Reality, the lines between reality and artifice blur. As these forces combine, reconfigure and create innovations, how will these changes impact our everyday experience? What we should expect in the world of work? Mass access to design software allows everyone to be a maker capable of creating shifts in cultural and social trends. How can one thrive in a such a dynamic world? Artists have played an important role as a counterpoint to mass-media by creating work that articulates important questions and examines such changes. Through discussions, readings, exercises and projects the course examines the impact of new fields in art and technology. This course will help students to identify, learn about, and potentially create tools to navigate a technologically dense future. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 115: Climate Change Across Disciplines

This course will explore the most pressing issue of our time: climate change. We will examine the physical science of global warming, but more so we will focus on the social, political, ethical, psychological and artistic aspects of global warming. We will critically examine the predicted and current consequences of climate change and how it impacts groups of people differently. In addition, we will engage the following questions: What global and local political efforts have been made to address and deny the problem? What are the economic implications of climate change? What do ethics and the law say about global warming? How has modern literature and film imagined the future in a warming world? Is technology enough to get us out of this mess or will it require more systemic social change? As individuals and societies how do we cognitively perceive such a large problem? (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 116: Meteors, Dinosaurs and Science

(Dinosaurs, Meteors and Scientific Argumentation.) What caused the extinction of dinosaurs? What theories have been derived from what evidence about this extinction? This course will examine how scientists go about convincing others by focusing on this topic. In 1980, scientists from disparate disciplines advanced the theory that the impact of a meteor 66 million years ago set in motion the events that resulted in the extinction of some three-quarters of Earth's species, including dinosaurs. It was only in the 1990's that the larger scientific community came to the consensus around that notion. And there is an ongoing research question of why did the meteor strike then in the Yucatán Peninsula? In this seminar we will explore how scientists use observational evidence and calculations to advance persuasive arguments. This includes looking at the incomplete nature of contemporaneous scientific evidence as well as considering the questions of skeptical paleontologists, geologists and astronomers. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 117: Becoming Adult in Times of Change

(Becoming Adult in Times of Change: Liminal States.) You probably don't have a word for it, but the world right now is in a liminal state. In anthropology, a liminal state is a time of being betwixt and between, when things are not the same as they were before, but they haven't yet found a new normal. Starting college is also a liminal state, because you're not really a high school student anymore but not quite a college student. This course focuses on figuring out your liminal state in three ways: 1) exploring the idea of liminality, including the idea that all of college is a liminal space before adulthood; 2) challenging you (literally) to try something new on a regular basis, while maintaining a "beginner’s mind"; and 3) exposing you to tools you will need in your college and adult life, ranging from negotiating politics at dinner parties to exploring career options. If you've read this far and didn't get put off by the scary title or your assumptions about what this course would be, you have what it takes. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 118: Chicago, First City of Comedy

In 1955, Viola Spolin and Paul Sills founded the Compass Players in Chicago and established the city as the birthplace of improvisational theater. Chicagois now home to Second City and dozens of other improv clubs that both feature and train aspiring comedians and actors. It also hosts Chicago SketchFest, the world's largest sketch comedy festival. In this course we will examine the early development of improv in Chicago and analyze the role of Chicago improv in humor production today. We will take class trips to comedy clubs, to attend shows and discuss this genre with practitioners and instructors. Students will learn to distinguish among different types of humor production and reception, and will consider the value of improv beyond the realm of entertainment (e.g., how improvisational theater games may help individuals prepare for the unexpected on the stage and in life). (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 119: Chicago Media Industries

Over the last 170 years, Chicago has been home to a diverse and vibrant set of media industries. From the founding of the Chicago Tribune in 1847, to the production of iconic films like Ferris Buehler's Day Off in the 1980s, to the current boom in television production started by Dick Wolf's Chicago Fire franchise in 2012, there is no doubt that Chicago has made an indelible mark on the U.S. media landscape. In this class, we will examine the history, policies, and practices of Chicago media industries, including print, film, radio, and television. We will also look at the way Chicago media industries have been impacted by larger political and economic trends, such as new media's effect on the newspaper industry, and growing international competition for Hollywood investment, known as "runaway production." This course will include a field trip to a Chicago media company as well as famous movie locations around the city. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 120: Religious Violence and Coexistence

How do people of different religious faiths interact? How do they create professional and personal relationships - and what limits are placed on those relationships, either by law or by the individuals themselves? Conversely, what causes hostility and violence between faiths? This course investigates these eternal questions through an in-depth study of relations between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in the medieval Mediterranean world. We will begin with the earliest interactions between these religious traditions, as Christianity and Judaism diverged from common roots into separate faiths in the first two centuries CE, and as Islam emerged in the seventh century. In our second unit, we will study medieval Spain, where Christians, Jews, and Muslims coexisted relatively peacefully for centuries, but where that toleration crumbled in the later Middle Ages, culminating in the Spanish Inquisition. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 121: Street Art: Who Makes and Owns It?

(Street Art: The Politics of Authorship and Ownership.)This course will explore the history of visual expression in public spaces in its different renderings, from graffiti vandalism to outdoor art galleries. We will focus on the aesthetic side of street art, as well as on its social and political implications in their different cultural contexts. We will discuss how street art has challenged traditional notions of art, has redefined what being an artist means, and has changed the way spectators see, enjoy, and consume art. Special attention will be given to questions of authorship and ownership by discussing issues of cultural property and art reproductions. Films, guest lectures, and creative projects will supplement class meetings and readings. This course will include an excursion to the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, famous for its Latino street art. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 122: Future of Energy: the True Story

(Science of the Future of Energy: the True Story) In 1956, geologist M. King Hubbert predicted that the US oil production would begin to decline when half of the known reserves had been used. Inthe mid-1970s, there was an 'oil crisis,' when prices increased overnight and long lines formed at gasoline stations throughout the US. Indeed, Hubbert's prediction had come true, and the US became a large importer of oil. Now, in 2011, we are nearing the point at which one half of the known global reserves have been used. This course, as one of three linked First Year Studies courses exploring the broad topic of truth, will focus on the science of energy, its use, and the possible energy futures that lie ahead of us when global oil production begins to decline. As the world grapples with an inevitable shift to renewable energy sources, we'll explore the truth behind the many forces that resist the changes. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 123: Global Epidemics: From Aids to Zika

What makes an infectious disease become an epidemic, such as the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in west Africa, or that of Zika in Brazil in 2015? Moreover, how did COVID, which appeared in 2019, so quickly become a pandemic? Why does it take so long for pharmaceutical companies to construct a vaccine that protects against disease-causing organisms? In this course, we explore the medical, biological, and molecular complexities of a variety of infectious diseases that plague the world, such as malaria, Dengue fever, and COVID. We study the viruses, bacteria, and parasites that cause the diseases, how they are transmitted, and the chemical and biological challenges of making and distributing vaccines in less developed countries. In addition to class discussions, writing assignments, and oral presentations, students investigate microbial morphology through a high-powered laboratory microscope—and even make bacterial art. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 124: Social Labels and Identity

We use social labels (e.g., Hispanic, deaf, woman, heterosexual, working class) to identify ourselves and others. How do such labels shape our understanding of ourselves and how we view the world? How are these labels and identities influenced by the larger social contexts in which we live? How do social categories affect our attitudes about our own life circumstances? In this course we'll examine how personal identities form, and how they are influenced by social group memberships and larger social structures. We'll read about psychological research and feminist theory, participate in field trips, and listen to guest speakers. This course will demonstrate how academic research can help us understand our own experiences as we examine the lives of others. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 126: Mapping Chicago: How Space Matters

This course explores how space matters to human well-being. We will consider theories about how space affects education, health and income in an urban environment, with specific application to the city of Chicago. Using ArcGIS, a software system for managing geographic knowledge, students will learn to map and analyze relationships among socioeconomic, demographic, political and location variables. In individual projects, students will develop spatial analyses of such topics as education accessibility, income inequality, racial segregation, and crime. This course will focus on how spatial analysis can be used to enhance public policy. Students will also gain skill in data management and analysis. Knowledge of Excel is preferred, and additional training will be given in classes. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 128: Robots & Brains:Fantasies & Facts

Will computers ever become conscious? Will robots ever have the degree of sentience described in science fiction or shown in films? How does the human mind emerge from the workings of the human brain? How is our brain different from, and simultaneously similar to, the brains of other animals? How are the 'wet brains' of animals different from, and similar to, the 'dry brains' of computers? Readings will include introductory materials on the brain, on mind and consciousness, on science fiction stories about robots, on scholarly and popular articles from current work in neuroscience and artificial intelligence. The course will include films, computer simulations, guest lectures, and field trips, all related to brain, mind, robots, and artificial intelligence. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 130: The Science of Cooking

Since 1992, the term molecular gastronomy has become part of understanding the world’s cuisine. This course examines the chemistry and physics of cooking, and the physiology of taste and flavor. We explore such questions as what is the science behind making a foam or gel; how do you prevent food bacteria from forming; and what does it mean to temper chocolate? The science of cooking includes the important works of Hervé This, Heston Blumenthal, Ferran Adria, José Andrés, and Grant Achatz, among others. We read their work and not only become familiar with the latest materials and methods of the world’s most innovative cuisine, but also learn how these methods may be part of the solution to ending world hunger. We work with a chef to perform experiments to elucidate the theory we will be studying. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 131: Civil Disobedience/Pol Obligation

(Civil Disobedience and Political Obligation.) Every society imposes rules upon its members; without such rules societies could not exist. In liberal societies individuals agree to constrain their behavior through a social contract. That is, individuals consent to their own rule by the majority. Social contracts are considered the most just methods of social organization, because members consent and because rights are traditionally preserved. Rule is maintained through a codified law, made known to all, with proscribed punishments for failure to obey. But sometimes the obligation to obey society conflicts with other obligations: to family, to God, to justice. These conflicts cause crises in both the individual and in society. Our course will explore these crises historically and theoretically. Antigone, the heroine of Sophocles' ancient Greek play, made the choice of obeying the religious commandments but in doing so violated the laws of the city. Socrates, on being condemned to death by Athens, was offered the opportunity to escape the city and save his life, but refused for it would mean breaking the laws of the city. When individuals commit civil disobedience, when they purposely and publicly break a law they feel to be immoral or unjust, how should society react? Is there a minimum of obligation that can be demanded? Can civil disobedience be justified? If so, can violence against the state also be justified? Our course explores these questions through traditional literature, such as the writings of Plato, Shakespeare, Locke, Thoreau, King, and Malcolm X. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 135: Watchmen and Society

In 1986, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons publishedWatchmen, a groundbreaking twelve-issue limited comics series that imagined an alternate history in which comic-book superheroes were real, while exploring the moral ambiguities of the vigilantism and messianic fantasies that characterize the genre. Three decades later, the television writer and producer Damon Lindelof created the Watchmen TV series for HBO, a kind of sequel to the original comic that re-centered the story on America's history of racist violence, beginning with a vivid recreation of the 1921 massacre of Black Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moving into a story about racism and policing in 2019 Tulsa. Lindelof's widely acclaimed "remix" goes under the hood of Moore and Gibbons' original story to explore and ramify its complex themes, while placing an all-too-timely focus on issues of racialized violence. In this course, students read and discuss the original Watchmen with an eye to how Moore and Gibbons use the techniques unique to comics to tell their story; they then shift to watching and discussing the nine-episode series, examining the ways in which it deconstructs the already deconstructive original comic, reimagining its characters and situations to address the meanings of superheroes in the era of Black Lives Matter. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 138: Art in Chicago

While Chicago’s extensive contributions to modern architecture are known throughout the world, it’s been a critical center of visual art in all media since its earliest years. This course explores the rich and dynamic history of art-making in Chicago from before the Great Fire of 1871 to the present, as well as the city’s role as a center for experimentation and learning in the visual arts. Throughout its history, Chicago has been home to an art community that has always charted its own path, free from the constraints of more commercial centers like New York, and in so doing has had great impact on visual art and our broader visual culture. The city itself is a critical resource for this class, as course content - in the form of readings, discussion, and various activities - is augmented by visits to diverse art institutions and meetings with influential art-makers. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 140: Global Science Fiction

Science fiction is more popular than ever: it is almost impossible nowadays to avoid superhero movie “universes,” while dystopian novels such as The Handmaid’s Tale - and their TV adaptations - are everywhere. This market seems to be dominated by Anglo-American science fiction, but Anglophones do not have a monopoly on this genre. How does science fiction from other regions and languages embrace and address its (multi-) cultural diversity, and how does it differ from Anglo-American science fiction? Is the experience of reading science fiction different because that work originated in another language and culture? This course explores these questions through texts and films from all over the world. Even if originally published in other languages, all texts will be available in English. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 142: Dostoevsky on Good and Evil

Is a student who murders a wealthy old pawnbroker justified in his murder, if he uses her money for the common good? Can a novelist realistically represent a purely good person, or would readers regard such a person as nothing more than an "idiot"? If the Devil visited one's bedroom, what would he look like and what conversation might he make? These are just a few of the fascinating questions prompted by Fyodor Dostoevsky's novels. This course will explore the evolution of Dostoevsky's literary and intellectual work leading up to his final novel of ideas, The Brothers Karamazov. We will focus on the genesis and development of that novel through Dostoevsky's contact with other novelists, such as Turgenev and Dickens. We will explore the novel against Dostoevsky's dramatic biographical and historical context. And we will examine the provocative philosophical, theological, political and aesthetic debates his novel broaches--debates that are as relevant today as they were in Dostoevsky's day. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 144: Sacred Spaces in Chicago

What do high-steeple churches, personal shrines, pagan festivals, Japanese gardens, and Hindu temples have in common? All are examples of the creation, use, and maintenance of sacred spaces. Individuals and groups representing nearly every religious tradition employ specially designated buildings, grounds, and surrounding natural features. In this course we study several examples of sacred spaces, consider how they are formed, and why they are used as they are. We ask questions about architecture and design, and also focus on the employment of the spaces. We look to the spiritual practices that take place inside them: everything from worship, ritual, and meditation to eating and drinking. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 146: BFFs: Besties and Female Friendship

(BFFs: "Besties" and Female Friendship.) "Besties" are found everywhere in contemporary fiction, television, and film. Usually placed behind romantic relationships, female friendship is now understood to be a powerful and even transformative dynamic, one that is central to female identity. Men and lovers take a back seat: A "Coldplay song plays in my heart" whenever Hannah Horvath sees her two closest friends in "Girls." Are BFFs taking over the usual unions of romantic or erotic love? How much are girlfriends the focus of these stories? In this course, we examine these contemporary representations of female friendship, from television programs such as "Girls" to the erotic and dangerous "besties" of Emma Cline's The Girls. Throughout, we discover the many sides of this complex, and contradictory, relationship. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 147: Government and Markets

Why is the government involved in some aspects of our lives more than others? This question can be answered in many different ways, depending on one's theoretical background. Different economists would provide different analyses of the government's role, especially as it relates to business and markets. They would also base their arguments on fundamental economic theories. The primary goal of this course is to develop an understanding of economic markets and issues where governments have become important participants. Both in the United States and abroad, governments take an active role in the economics of education, the environment, health care, big business, poverty, and unemployment, among other issues. Although the course will be approached from an economic perspective, the topics relate to other fields of study as well, and particularly to the fields of politics and sociology. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 148: Fashion, Culture, and Communication

Fashion is more than simply how we dress. Among other things, it is a means of personal expression, a reflection of an historical moment, and an international industry. In this course we explore what fashion means at various points in history by considering how the political and social climate of the time period produces expectations for what should/should not be worn, by whom, and for what purpose. The course therefore situates fashion in terms of both its production and consumption, exploring its role in relation to identity and body politics (race, gender, sexuality, class), art and status, nationhood and the global economy, and celebrity and popular culture. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 150: Entrepreneurship in Action

Entrepreneurship involves more than merely starting a new business that addresses a problem worth solving or innovating within an existing organization; it is a life skill that contributes to success in any field. This course explores the history of entrepreneurship through case studies, articles, and other activities. Students investigate the evolution of entrepreneurial best practices and pitfalls throughout the years. We dissect recent successes and failures in the world of entrepreneurship, and examine the role of technology in the future of the field. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 152: The Politics of Population

When you were born, you joined about 6 billion other humans on this planet, but by 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion. What are we going to do with everyone? In this course, we explore the intersections between population growth and its impact on security, economics, and the environment. We explore a range of national efforts to manage population growth, from China’s infamous “One Child Policy” to measures implemented in Japan and Singapore to encourage childbearing. We investigate how the international community shifted from a population control approach to one that prioritizes reproductive health, with accompanying debates surrounding reproductive choice; whether imbalanced sex ratios in a society lead to increased violence, including sex trafficking; and how sustainable development goals inform demographic policies, with particular attention to the impact on both women worldwide and on citizens of the Global South. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 153: History Reversed; You to the World

Usually, history courses start deep in the past, and move towards the present. In this class, we flip the script, and start with you, right here, right now, at Lake Forest College. By tracing our individual ancestries, we will situate our local lives at the College and in the city of Chicago within a global historical context. Using large-scale datasets and wide-ranging historical sources, we will explore Chicago as a global city of immigrants and the Midwest as an ancient civilization of indigenous peoples. Rewinding from the present, the course will chart a global path back thousands of years to the origins of the human species in Africa. By investigating and debating how change happens over time, we will understand our own place in history. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 154: The Irish in Chicago

This course places Irish history in context and examine the large-scale emigration from Ireland to the United States in the mid-19th century. It traces the destinations of the Irish as they settled in America and focuses primarily on those who came to Chicago. It researches where and how the Irish community lived in the city and surrounding areas. It examines how the Irish immigrants contended with the darker side of this new life through impoverished times and the rise of mob activity, and yet, how the cultural aspects of Irish life (among them sports, music, dance, art, crafts, literature, and theater) not only survived the transatlantic crossing, but thrived in their new home, and continue to be part of life for the Irish community in 21st-century Chicago. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 155: Chicago: Land of Hope

In the half-century following World War I, millions of African Americans left the American South in the Great Migration. Settling in northern cities like Chicago, which many called the “Land of Hope,” black migrants dramatically reshaped American life and culture. This course explores the connections between that history of northward movement and African American cultural production and experiences. We do this through a special focus on Chicago, where the black population grew from just over 44,000 to more than 1.1 million. We read closely and contextualize a variety of texts, including novels, plays, photographs, maps, sociological surveys, oral histories, and correspondence. We examine the historical significance of these texts from a variety of disciplinary perspectives - including history, literary and film criticism, sociology, critical race studies, and cultural studies (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 158: Women Onstage: Antigone to Beyoncé

(Women Onstage: From Antigone to Beyoncé.) "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman."—Simone deBeauvoir

Gender is learned—a collection of behaviors that we all learn to replicate through a kind of performance that happens on and offstage. In this course, we will think about how this understanding of gender plays out in performance spaces. We'll take a broad look at the ways women have been portrayed onstage in different kinds of theatrical performance, from plays to music. We'll look at how women have expressed themselves and addressed political issues through theatre and performance—and how their voices have, at times, been excluded. We'll look at the changing answers to the question—what is a woman? (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 163: Independent Media in Chicago

This course focuses on the role played by independent media in the contemporary cultural landscape. Students become familiar with the workings of different independent media, as represented by the workings of film-makers, music venues, newspapers, zines, comic books, video games, and record labels that survive without direct connections to the large corporations that dominate the mass mediated culture in the U.S. At all times, readings concerning the role of the media in society contextualize the importance of the independent media. This class features several trips to the sites where these media outlets operate, with likely visits to: Quimby’s Queer Store, The Hideout, Kartemquin Films, and The Chicago Reader. Paper assignments find students applying these experiences to the broader meanings of independent media. Students get a first-hand look at what the production of culture looks like in the context of independent media in Chicago. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 164: Archaeology of Chicago

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of archaeology by exploring the city of Chicago, using to discuss and to engage with the social complexity found in urban America. Archaeology, a disciplinary subfield of anthropology, considers the material traces of human behaviors. Urban archaeological research looks at the complex interrelation of materiality and the documentary record, revealing everyday experiences and social relations at several levels. Through the lens of archaeology, we will cover Chicago as important stop along a prehistoric trail system, its place as a multicultural fur trade entrepôt, the attention from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, and its current preeminence as a global city. Readings cover foundational concepts in archaeology, an introduction to historical archaeology, historical background on Chicago, and comparative urban case studies. Visits to current and future sites of archaeological excavations will be complemented with work on the preliminary archaeological assessment of a Chicago site. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 165: Theater in Chicago

The Chicago theater scene is internationally acknowledged to be the greatest in the U.S. In this course, you will have the opportunity to read, discuss, write about, and perform scenes from classic and modern plays, which you will see produced at a wide variety of Chicago theaters, ranging from small storefront companies to such institutions as the world-famous Goodman, Steppenwolf, and Chicago Shakespeare theaters. You will not only see the shows but you will also meet with some of the artists involved in the productions, both in the classroom and after the performances themselves, to talk about their work. This course requires participation in some evening and/or weekend field trips or events, so consider your other commitments (such as off-campus employment or a fall/winter sports participation) as you identify courses of interest to you. Note: The plays we read and attend will be dependent upon range of genres, ticket availability, scheduling, and ticket cost. A lab fee of $150 will be charged to your tuition account for this course to defray ticket and transportation costs. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 166: The Uses and Misuses of Psychology

Science can be a powerful tool to transform society, but the applications of scientific knowledge can result in either beneficial or detrimental outcomes, regardless of scientists’ intentions. This course examines the societal ramifications, both real and imagined, of landmark discoveries from the field of psychology. For example, the work of B.F. Skinner greatly increased our understanding of how both animal and human behavior can be shaped through interactions with the environment, but these same principles of operant conditioning have been used by the U.S. military to produce soldiers who are more effective at killing in combat. We consider social, cultural, political, financial, and historical contexts as influential moderators of both science itself as well as the ends for which it is used. Readings include a mix of scholarly literature, popular sources, and works of fiction. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 167: Baseball in Chicago

What does the study of baseball tell us about life in Chicago? In this course, we will examine this question from a variety of perspectives. We will explore both the history of baseball in Chicago as well its contemporary influences on civic and cultural life. Drawing on their field trips to both Wrigley Field (Cubs) and U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox), students will consider how the two different stadiums and fan bases help to illuminate some of Chicago's geographic, racial, and class-based divides. We will also examine the current political and economic controversies surrounding the renovation of Wrigley Field. In this interdisciplinary course, students will see how a variety of academic disciplines, including history, sociology, anthropology, economics, politics, and religion, illuminates our understanding of America's national pastime. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 168: Global Cultures: Chicago and Beyond

Is the world getting smaller? Will increased cultural mixing and homogenization eventually make cultural differences a thing of the past? Or will resistance to cultural change provoke greater conflict and stronger cultural identification? In this course we will examine the accelerating trend of cultural globalization through the lens of cultural encounters and their impact on changing perceptions of identity, particularly in Chicago. Other global cities, such as New York, Shanghai, Beirut, and Paris, will provide further examples of shifting cultural associations and new ways of constructing social identity. Excursions to Chicago will enhance our discussions of the critical essays, literature and films we'll study, all pertaining to Chicago's historical and current cultural influences of various Latino, African American, Chinese and French-speaking groups. Guest speakers with different perspectives on globalization will help us to construct a wider vision of this trend and envision potential future scenarios such as increased cultural hegemony, balkanization, hybridity, integration, and assimilation. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 169: Recreational Mathematics

Puzzles, paradoxes, and brain teasers have inspired many young people to pursue careers in science, and more than one achievement in mathematics has emerged from the desire to solve difficult puzzles. In this course we will examine many famous (and not-so-famous) puzzles, and explore famous games such as Sudoku, tic-tac-toe, and monopoly, to gain insight into all manner of phenomena. To guide us in our mathematical diversions, we will read essays by Martin Gardner, Ian Stewart, Peter Winkler, Terence Tao, and other popular mathematics writers. In addition, we will view documentaries and conduct group discussions to explore multiple aspects of mathematics. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 170: Representation,Political & Personal

The first year of college is an opportunity to consider what sociologist Erving Goffman called the “presentation of self,” or the ways that individuals try to make a favorable impression upon others. This course employs an interdisciplinary approach, with a bit of sociology, a bit of psychology, and a lot of political science, to investigate the ways in which people seek, as Dale Carnegie put it, to “win friends and influence people.” Many case studies are drawn from the interactions between politicians and the voters whose support they hope to win; after all, few individuals spend more time thinking rigorously about their presentation of self than elected officials and their staffers. We use examples from national politics, but also take field trips to meet with and observe elected officials around the North Shore and in Chicago. We investigate the art of political representation and how elected officials seek to win constituents’ trust, as well as the possibilities of personal “re-presentation” that first-year students engage in when they arrive in this new college environment. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 171: My Brain Made Me Do It

(My Brain Made Me Do It: Neuroscientific Challenges to Free Will.) We assume that people have free will. If someone decided to take this course, for instance, we would assume that they chose to take it freely. And if someone did something immoral like steal, we would think that they acted freely and that they should be held morally responsible for their actions as a result. While we may take free will for granted, many neuroscientists and philosophers claim that recent neuroscientific evidence offers new challenges to it. If, for example, our brains show patterns of activity that suggest we will make a particular decision before we are conscious of making it, did we decide freely or was our decision pre-determined? We explore these new challenges to free will and moral responsibility and the important moral puzzles that follow from them. For instance, should someone who commits assault - potentially due to the effects of an undiagnosed brain tumor - be imprisoned for that crime? In the course, students develop their analytic writing skills by clearly representing the arguments of the authors who present these new challenges and then by developing their own responses to them. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 173: Am I a “Normal” Kid?

(Am I a “Normal” Kid? Analyzing Messages of Power and Cultural Hegemony in Youth Texts.) Every type of text that young people encounter, from books and cartoons to songs, movies, and magazines, contains underlying messages about what is deemed “normal,” valued, and expected in our society. Such texts reflect the worldviews of dominant cultural groups (i.e., white, middle class, heteronormative), which serve to legitimize these views and minimize and oppress the norms and values of non-dominant groups. This course addresses issues of culture, power, oppression, and social justice; critical literacy theories. such as critical race theory and queer theory; and content/text analysis research methods. Students analyze a variety of texts aimed at youth such as advertisements, songs, and fiction books to study how the texts indirectly send messages about what is “normal” in our society and how they perpetuate the systemic marginalization of non-dominant cultural groups. Students also read scholarly works about cultural hegemony and critical literacy to inform their analysis of the youth texts. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 174: Chicago's Museums

Chicago's renowned museums and exhibition spaces make it a destination for culture lovers the world over. From the Field and DuSable Museums to Hull House and the Art Institute, Chicago is home to a vast array of cultural, historical, and scientific repositories whose holdings include some of the greatest artifacts of human endeavor, contributing immensely to the city’s identity. This course introduces students to some of these museums, with an emphasis on art institutions, while also examining their historic and current roles in the life of the city. Topics include the management, collections, curation, audience, programming, and architecture of these institutions. One museum will be selected for in-depth investigation. Working individually and in small groups, students will research its various functions and present their findings to the class. Because of conflicts with field trips, fall and winter athletes should not register for this course. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 175: Frankenstein: Myth of the Monstrous

It's alive! This course will take Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, first published in 1818, as its jumping-off point for a semester's exploration of this uncannily persistent tale of horror, now a byword for the dark side of science and modernity. Shelley's novel gives us so much - the archetypes of mad scientist and monster, inquiries into the origins of evil and nature versus nurture, questions about gender, sexuality, class, and race - that we could easily spend the whole semester studying the novel and the gothic culture that it emerged from. But we will also look at film adaptations, read plays, stories, and poems on the theme of the monstrous, and consider contemporary "Frankensteins," from atomic energy to drag queens to genetically engineered corn. This writing-intensive course will keep literature at its center but will also, as the above suggests, take turns into cultural studies and other disciplines. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 177: Black Activism in Chicago

("You Can’t Jail the Revolution:" Black Activism in Chicago.) Since its original non-native settlement in 1780 by Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, a Black man of Haitian descent, Chicago has been a space for Black people to make their presence felt. This visibility has often come with struggle and strife. From Ida B. Wells to Fred Hampton to Camesha Jones, Black women and men in Chicago have claimed space and freedom despite the institutions working against them. This course will look at the history of Black activism in the city, using a variety of sources, including newspaper articles, speeches, autobiographies, interviews, documentaries, and films. This course will also utilize our proximity to Chicago and engage in field trips to witness Black activism in Chicago in action. We will investigate what it means to be an activist, what issues are important to Black activists in and around the city, what strategies Black activists have used over time, and what the costs of activism are. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 178: Politics in Film, Politics of Film

In this course, we discuss political questions as presented in American and foreign films, both classic (Dr. Strangelove [UK, 1964], The Cranes are Flying [USSR, 1957]) and modern (Thank You for Smoking [USA, 2005], Parasite [South Korea, 2020], The Lives of Others [Germany, 2006], I Saw the Sun [Turkey, 2009]). We focus on five major themes: democracy and dictatorships, migration and citizenship, capitalism and inequality, social movements and revolutions, and international conflicts and wars. We investigate how and why these issues are depicted in films in different ways, depending on where and when the film was produced. Students discuss the appeal of political films as entertainment; they also read political science scholarship that critically examines political issues raised in films. Films thus serve, in this course, as the medium through which to examine how and why political problems emerge and are resolved. We also ponder the question: do films shape the way we think about politics or does politics shape the way we view films? (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 180: Philosophy of Humans and Animals

Western philosophers since Aristotle - at least - have claimed that human beings, as a species and alone among species, are capable of complex reasoning. The seventeenth-century French philosopher Descartes, famously, denied that non-human animals have minds or could think, claiming that they are essentially robots. From these kinds of premises, philosophers have inferred a wide range of ethical and religious claims, e.g., it is ethically permissible to eat non-human animals. Alternative claims, however, have just as long a history. In this course, we will read and discuss an array of philosophical opinions on the similarities and differences between humans and other animals, and the practices of industrial farming, training animals to work or entertain, building and patronizing zoos, animal experimentation, and other controversial topics. This course requires participation in some evening and/or weekend field trips or events, so consider your other commitments (such as off-campus employment or a fall/winter sports participation) as you identify courses of interest to you. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 182: Borders and Boundaries

This is an uncontroversial claim: nouns are persons, places, things, and ideas. Yet, the precise lines separating a person, place, or thing—and thus delineating their purpose and nature—are more complex. Consider, for example, the type of existence that a historical artifact has in a museum. Labeled and placed within a glass case, it becomes an object of study and observation. However, in its original deployment, it may have been a tool to complete a task, a document that communicated information, or a good exchanged in trade. Whether as an object in a museum or as a thing in a world, its very being emerges from an intricate web of relations. What we determine the object to be is very much affected by where we find it. In different ways, the boundaries surrounding persons, groups (such as a group of citizens of a nation), and places also have hidden intricacies. This course is a study of these limits and the way that their openness or rigidity affects many features of the human and natural world. We study philosophical sources from ancient India, the United States, and Europe, alongside material from the disciplines of history, robotics, film, and literature. Moreover, students engage with case studies of boundaries claimed within the city of Chicago, the nation of the US, and groups around the world. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 183: Law, Literature and Logic

A lawyer arguing a case tries to shape that case into a coherent, persuasive story: a dry recitation of facts and law is not enough. So, law is a literary - a story-telling - enterprise. And a dramatic one: fiction writers and filmmakers use crimes, investigations, court proceedings, and punishments to generate interest in their works. And yet, we still tend to think of literary flourishes as deceptive - after all, one meaning of “to tell a story” is “to tell a lie.” Legal reasoning, moreover, often seems arcane or merely manipulative, aimed more at obscuring the truth than revealing it. In this course we look into the complex and often bewildering interplay among law, literature, and logic, with the hope of illuminating all three - and with the hope of improving your writing skills, your reasoning skills, your rhetorical skills, and your argumentative skills. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 184: Why College? A Chicago Story

Why go to college? Over time, students, families, teachers, employers, and politicians have answered this question in very different ways. In this course, we will explore the changing meaning and realities of college-going in Chicagoland from the 18th to the 21st centuries: from classical finishing school for white clergymen, to teacher-training for new cohorts of women and African Americans, to socialization into a radical youth culture, to "human capital" investment for a knowledge economy. We'll use a range of historical and contemporary sources to answer the questions: Why go to college? Who gets to go to college? Why is college so expensive? Through discussions, debates, and written reflection, we will dig into the past struggles and policy decisions that shape what college means for you here at Lake Forest College today. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 186: Free Speech

Undoubtedly, one of the most important rights that citizens in liberal democracies possess is the right to freely express themselves without fear of governmental sanction. However, while it may be easy to defend the right of free speech in the abstract, when faced with particular utterances that offend, shock, and/or harm, many of us will defend certain limitations on speech as morally appropriate or politically necessary. This course will be an examination of when, if ever, it is appropriate to restrict speech. Is there an absolute right to free speech? If so, does it only apply in certain public settings? And is the notion of "hate speech" a coherent idea? We will examine such questions (and many others) through a rigorous examination of iconic Supreme Court cases, classic works in political philosophy, and contemporary debates in politics, sociology, and psychology. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 187: Religion in Gilded Age Chicago

Students in this course will study the history and context of religion in Chicago at the turn of the century, roughly 1870-1930. We will examine pivotal events in the shaping of Chicago's religious communities, including religious immigration and the building of the city's major churches and synagogues, the World's Parliament of Religions in 1894, the rise of faith healer and self proclaimed prophet John Dowie, the arrival of the Baha'i movement, and new occult and metaphysical movements. In addition to written histories, this course makes use of field trips and historical archival material. This course requires participation in some evening and/or weekend field trips or events, so consider your other commitments (such as off-campus employment or a fall/winter sports participation) as you identify courses of interest to you. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 188: Cultural Diversity and Dialogue

In a culturally and socially diverse society like that of our own time, to confront and explore issues of difference, conflict, and community helps facilitate understanding and improve relations among social and cultural groups. This course provides an introduction to cultural diversity and social justice. By way of readings, discussion, and experiential activities designed to facilitate dialogue among students, we will examine crucial issues in contemporary life that focus on cultural diversity. By examining historical, psychological, and sociological texts as well as interactive exercises, students will be challenged to increase personal awareness of their own cultural experience, expand knowledge of the historical and social realities of diverse groups, and take action as agents of positive social change in their communities. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 189: Public Sculpture in Chicago

This course is devoted to a first-hand examination of public sculpture in Chicago and its suburbs. Using intensive field study with photographic documentation, background readings and research, group discussions, individual research-based and analytical writings, and the development of an original public sculpture proposal, students will gain insight into the factors involved in the ideation, planning, funding and execution of public sculpture in urban and suburban venues. The class will tackle problems of community interest, artistic invention and intervention, accessibility, patronage, 'name-branding,' and symbolism in an effort to gain practical academic skills while learning about an important facet of the rich cultural experience that Chicago holds for residents, commuters and tourists. This course requires participation in some evening and/or weekend field trips or events, so consider your other commitments (such as off-campus employment or a fall/winter sports participation) as you identify courses of interest to you. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 193: Writing Chicago

Students in this course will explore how poets, writers, and other artists have described, imagined, and reimagined the city of Chicago as, alternately, "nature's metropolis," the economic dynamo of the American dream, and as a nightmarish dystopia of corruption, pollution, violence, and injustice. Starting with the Burnham Plan, students will pair the investigation of particular sites and neighborhoods with the study of literary texts and cultural histories, as well as artworks and architecture. Urban spaces as envisioned by women, immigrants, African Americans, and the LGBT community will be a particular focus of the course, and students will produce their own creative and critical writings about the city. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 194: Peace Studies

This course explores the interdisciplinary field of scholarly inquiry and advocacy known as Peace Studies, which seeks paths to end violent conflict and build ethical and harmonious interpersonal, societal, and global relationships. The course considers a range of peace-related topics, including peace concepts and disputes, peace networks, trends in violence, and gender and security. Much of this course focuses on the peace advocacy of one of Chicago’s most famous social activists, Jane Addams (1860-1935). Best known for her settlement work with poor immigrants in Chicago, Addams believed that pacifism would benefit marginalized populations, from poor immigrants in Chicago’s 19th Ward to industrial workers and farmers across the United States. She passionately opposed World War I, believing strongly that people from different nations and cultures were capable of interacting peacefully to advance their shared interests, and that it was necessary to form international institutions that would resolve disputes diplomatically and ensure lasting international peace, security, prosperity, and justice. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 196: American Playwrights in Chicago

Chicago is home to a vivid and diverse theater scene that includes everything from tiny stages in the back rooms of bars to glitzy Broadway-style productions. This course examines a selection of American-authored plays from the Chicago season as the materials for an introduction to literary studies. As such, the course considers the plays we see and read as an occasion to develop skills in critical thinking, research, and writing. A secondary objective is to connect the various plays to particular moments or themes in American history and culture. We proceed from the acquisition of a simple critical vocabulary for describing a play’s form and content, through character study, to more complex questions of the director’s decisions in taking a play from the page to the stage. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 197: Tools of Science, Mysteries of Art

How are forged works of art detected? Conversely, how is the authenticity of cultural heritage material determined? How do museums identify colorants and use them to date artwork? Can the identification of dyes and pigments help decipher trade routes? Scientists have developed tools to help answer these and other questions posed by curators, art historians, and collectors. In this course, students learn about the scientific tools used to study cultural heritage materials, including carbon dating, infrared spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Students read introductory material, newspaper articles, scholarly articles, and case studies to examine how scientific tools have been used to decipher an artist’s intent, date works of art, identify trade routes, authenticate artwork, and discover forgeries. This course includes a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 198: Criminal Justice in Chicago

In Criminal Justice in Chicago, we will analyze historical and contemporary Chicago criminal cases to consider how criminal justice is doled out in the Second City. We will focus on the seemingly disparate cases of four Chicagoans: Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, notorious jazz-age murderers, legendary R & B artist R Kelly, and Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, convicted in the murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Despite the differences in the defendants, nature of crimes, backgrounds, and outcomes of these cases, we will examine some of the common themes surrounding their cases to gain a better understanding of how high-profile criminal justice cases are handled in Chicago. We will also draw distinctions between such high-profile cases and more routine violent crime cases charged and tried in Chicago. This class will include classroom visits by professionals from a variety of fields (e.g., legal, media) with personal ties to the cases. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )


FIYS 199: The Past and Future of a Plague

This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of a disease that has afflicted humanity for its entire history: tuberculosis (TB). We begin by establishing a baseline understanding of the etiology, epidemiology, symptoms, and treatments (past and present) of tuberculosis. We then turn to the unique history of this illness and its cultural, economic, and political impact. TB may be the only epidemic disease closely equated with glamor and genius: idealized in the nineteenth century as a "beautiful death," TB influenced understanding of beauty, fashion, and the creative process. The reality of TB, however, is that of a terrible disease that particularly ravages marginalized groups, including the poor, industrial laborers, sex workers, migrants, the unhoused, and indigenous or enslaved peoples in European colonial empires. Our study of TB thus illuminates the intersection of disease with systems of oppression based on race, class, and gender. The course concludes with an examination of the recent history and possible futures of TB, including its deadly confluence with HIV/AIDS and the evolution of multi-drug resistant strains of the bacterium. (Under the Forester Fundamental Curriculum, this course meets the First Year Studies requirement. )