Discovery Seminars - Fall 2018

Small, engaging one-credit classes for first-year students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. 

Are you ready to start your journey?

College is a time for exploration, self-discovery and personal reflection. Start your Sun Devil journey with a Discovery Seminar - a small, engaging one-credit course designed exclusively for first-year students. These courses offer an array of benefits for students, including:

Explore the seminars

A Study in Sherlock: Holmes from Doyle to Cumberbatch
Jared Klemp, Instructor- Department of English

In this seminar, we’ll investigate the world’s most famous “consulting detective" from his first appearance in Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet to his most recent manifestation in the BBC’s Sherlock. We’ll attempt to deduce why so seemingly singular a figure resonates across diverse historical and cultural contexts. What does our constant reinvention of Sherlock Holmes tell us about ourselves and who we think we are? It’s anything but elementary.

Session C
Th 3:00-3:50pm, PVW 159
SLN: 91043

Cartoons and Short Films in Latin American Pop Culture
Dulce Estevez, Lecturer- School of International Letters and Cultures

If you enjoy watching movies, reading comics, and exploring new perspectives and ideas join me in this swift survey of Latin American pop culture. Enrich your global perspective and cultural sensitivities in a fun and fast-paced course filled with engaging conversations in English or Spanish.

Session C
Tu 3:00-3:50pm, PVW 159
SLN: 91042

Drugs, Needles and People
Phillip Scharf, Assistant Vice President- Educational Outreach and Student Services

So, you want to be a doctor? Have you ever thought about going into healthcare? Are you curious what medical school and careers in healthcare might look like? Come find out first-hand what you need to do as undergraduate to be prepared for a successful career in medicine and other healthcare professions. We will tour medical school facilities, interact with current healthcare professionals, acquire skills to be prepared for the MCAT (the medical school entrance exam), and learn from current ASU upperclassmen who are on the journey to medical school. Gain the insights you need to become a successful candidate for a career in medicine.

Session C
M 4:10-5:00 PM, PVW 159
SLN: 91050

Functional Neuroimaging of the Human Mind
Gene Brewer, Associate Professor- Department of Psychology

In this course we will begin by reading and discussing a few neuroimaging papers that use EEG to study human cognition (e.g., memory).  We will then attempt to replicate one of the scientific findings in a selected paper.  This course will primarily be held in a neuroimaging laboratory under my guidance.  The students will get exposure to several concepts that are important for the scientific enterprise; reading literature, computer programming, data collection, statistics, and replication to name a few.

Session C
W 3:05-3:55pm, SCOB 316
SLN: 91045

King Arthur
Ryan Naughton, Instructor- Department of English

When he pulled the sword from the stone, King Arthur became a legend. For nearly 1000 years, that legend has been told and retold in numerous stories, films, TV shows, and video games. In this course, we will investigate these and other sources as we seek to find out where the legend comes from and why it continues to be popular.

Session C
W 4:10-5:00pm, PVW 163
SLN: 91051

Latin America: Up Close and Personal
Charles Ripley, Instructor- School of Politics and Global Studies

Drawing upon years of on-the-ground experience and in-depth field work, this class tells rich and compelling stories on Latin America.  We apply social science theories and methods to understand a broad range of phenomenon, from revolutionary struggles and economic development to the role of NGOs and IGOs in processes of peace and reconciliation, which is currently taking place in Colombia.   

Session C
Tu 3:00-3:50pm, PVW 163
SLN: 91040

Sociology of Summer Camp
Paul LePore, Associate Dean- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

For many, summer camp provides some of the most poignant memories from childhood and adolescence. So why do camps “work” and how might you  look at what happens at camp to understand and enhance how other complex organizations operate? Using a sociological lens, we’ll explore the history  of camps in the U.S., watch some classic camp movies, learn key social science research skills (so we can interview people about their camp  experiences) and culminate our course with a weekend camp trip in the valley. The mandatory campout is scheduled for October 27- October 28.  

Session C
W 4:10-5:00pm, PABLO 105
SLN: 91048

The Literature of Baseball
Julianne White, Instructor- Department of English

We will look at examples of literature that use baseball as its main motif, and talk about what aspects of the game lend itself to literary expression. 

Session C
M 4:10-5:00pm, PABLO 105
SLN: 91047

Borders in Motion
Francisco Lara-Valencia, Associate Professor- School of Transborder Studies

People tend to think of borders as fixed lines in the sand and rarely realize that borders are fluid realities constructed and settled through constant negotiation of differences and commonalities. Come learn that borders are in motion and multiplying across the world from international experts. Discover for yourself the reality of the border in the Arizona-Sonora borderlands through in-situ exploration of experiences and places.

Session B
F 2:00-3:50pm, PVW 163
SLN: 91033

Glimpses Of Phoenix
David William Foster, Regents' Professor of Spanish and Women and Gender Studies- School of International Letters and Cultures

There is the prevalent belief that Phoenix has no history and, as a consequence no significant cultural production: people tend to believe that the history of Phoenix began when they arrived. This courses will examine significant issues in Phoenix history and culture, including actually exploring the city on foot.

Session B
W 2:00-3:50pm, PVW 163
SLN: 91032

Have you been plutoed?
Danielle Alfandre, Lecturer- Department of English

Language change is constant and unavoidable. This course asks where these changes come from and evaluates the stigma associated with non-standard language use as well as the subsequent acceptance and codification. We will explore the current culture of language in the United States both in and out of academics.

Session A
W 2:00-3:50pm, PVW 163
SLN: 91029

Life in 22nd Century: Comparing Scientific Trends with Science Fiction
Kenro Kusumi, Professor and Associate Dean- School of Life Sciences and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Science fiction has played a key role in stimulating public imagination, presenting both utopian and dystopian future worlds. In this class, we will review science fiction through a scientific lens, critically examining what is supported by current scientific theory versus what verges into the realm of fantasy.

Session A
M 4:10-6:00pm, PVW 159
SLN: 91034

Marvel Comics vs DC Comics: Exploring Civil Disagreements in College
Earl Lee, Coordinator- International Student Engagement

Learn to be a hero with your words. Students will discuss current events and issues by roleplaying as a popular comic hero, basing their arguments on that character's values. Techniques for civil dialogue and reasoned debate will be covered. Students will form a deeper understanding of how to disagree while showing dignity, respect and humanity. 

Session A
W 4:10-6:00pm, PVW 159
SLN: 91035

Pets Are Us: History, Society & Culture
Soren Hammerschmidt, Instructor- Department of English

Have you ever wondered why we keep pets? And if not, why have you not? We will investigate the social, emotional, and economic ties that humans form with some animals and not with others to better understand the history, ethics, and cultural representation of pets. Dog-spotting videos and cat memes are almost guaranteed.

Session A
F 2:00-3:50pm, PVW 163
SLN: 91030

Snitches, Rats, and Whistle Blowers
C.T. Mexica, Postdoctoral Researcher- School of Social Transformation

According to prominent novelist Cormac McCarthy, "It was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily." We will explore the enduring concepts of betrayal and snitching in film and literature. We will also examine the concepts of loyalty, ethics, and principles among mafiosi, police officers, officers of the court, and nation-states.  

Session B
W 4:10-6:00pm, PVW 159
SLN: 91038

Zombies and the Sociological Imagination
Angela Gonzales, Associate Professor- School of Social Transformation

What would happen if society was suddenly wiped out by a zombie apocalypse?  No government, no jobs, no law...complete social chaos.   How would people react?  Would they turn into savages in order to survive?  Or, would they try to maintain the "old" rules and ways of civilization?   The post-apocalyptic world depicted in T.V. shows like "The Walking Dead" will be used to examine the dynamics in the post-apolyptic work where survivors are not only trying to stay alive, but maintain their humanity.  This course will examine zombie movies and literature through a sociological perspective to consider social order as a system linking social structures, institutions, relations, customs, values and practices, that conserve, maintain and enforce certain patterns of relating and behaving. The post-apocalyptic world invites us to consider the relationship between self and society as the force of social structures, institutions, norms and values, family and community in defining what it truly means to be "human." 

Session B
M 4:10-6:00pm, PVW 159
SLN: 91037

*A session duration: January 8 to February 27
*B session duration: March 12 to April 27
*C session duration: January 8 to April 27