102 Courses

+ What are the 102 Seminars?

Freshman 102 Seminars offer first- year students the opportunity to work with experienced faculty who are passionate and knowledgeable about the seminar topic. 102 seminars are introductory in the sense that little prior background is expected, yet they are real inquiries into the methods, components, and substance of a particular subject. In addition to developing meaningful bonds with faculty and peers, 102 seminars provide an intellectually exciting way of transitioning to the university. The learning outcomes for the Freshman 102 seminars are:

  • Improve critical thinking by developing evaluative, problem-solving, and expressive skills.
  • Enhance group communication skills through discussions, small-group work, presentations or debates.
  • Develop intellectual curiosity and better understand the role of a student in an academic community.

+ How to choose your 102 Seminar:

Although timing and your overall course schedule will influence your choice of seminars, you should use this class as an opportunity to develop your overall academic experience. When you register for your 102 seminar, you should consider a few things:

  • What are your academic interests?
  • Would you like to meet faculty from a specific academic discipline?
  • Do any of the seminar topics align with your research or career goals?
  • Do any of the seminar topics intrigue you?
  • Use this as an opportunity to explore an idea or project or topic.

+ What to expect from your 102 Seminar:

The 102 seminars will be different than most of the other classes in your schedule.  Seminars are meant to be small and interactive. 

  • Attendance is essential to your overall success
  • You will be expected to participate in discussions with your professor and the rest of the class
  • Your discussions will be based on assigned readings, movies or activities
  • You will be expected to share your opinions and questions about the seminar content

Please consider the above recommendations when selecting your Freshman 102 Seminar. Also, the most updated scheduling information is available via SOLAR for these classes.


Tara Rider
Department: Sustainability Studies

GLS 102.1: Introduction to Global Environmental History

Day/Time: Monday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: While the natural world has shaped and conditioned human experiences, over time, man has made increasingly far-reaching alterations to their surroundings. Thus, this course will be an exploration of how natural environments have been transformed by mankind and how those environments have shaped man’s thinking about nature. Through case studies of places such as Easter Island and themes such as disease and war, we will study how nature is both natural and cultural.


Can Ozturk
Department: Technology and Society

GLS 102.2: Introduction to International Development

Day/Time: Tuesday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course aims to introduce the basic concepts of international development and give the students a broad-based understanding of the macro issues facing the world such as poverty, environmental destruction and the challenge of achieving sustainable development. Students learn about the different ways to measure development, and the social and economic development theories since the end of Second World War. Other topics discussed in classroom include international aid, disease burden, Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, and the impact of information technologies and mobile communication on developing countries.


Giuseppe Costa
Department: Language Learning and Research Center

GLS 102.3: Camorra: Italy's Bloodiest Mafia

Day/Time: Monday | 12:00PM-12:53PM
Location: SBS S110
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: Naples, Italy is one of the most controversial cities in the world; it is the land of the most powerful crime organization in Italy: the Camorra. With the help of various media we will analyze the historical and cultural roots of the oldest form of organized crime in Italy.


Giuseppe Costa
Department: Language Learning and Research Center

GLS 102.4: Heavy Metal Music: The Universal Language of Youth Angst

Day/Time: Friday | 12:00PM-12:53PM
Location: SBS S110
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: This seminar will focus on the sociological, philosophical and semiotic practices of heavy metal (music and lyrics). It will look at its anti-establishment culture, which originated from England and became a global phenomenon during the last thirty years, creating a worldwide network of followers.


Lois Lemonda
Department: European Languages, Literature, and Cultures

GLS 102.5: Italian Culture Through The Arts

Day/Time: Monday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The course would divulge into various topics in Italian Culture in order to engage students in a cross-cultural discussion with an emphasis upon the arts, specifically literature and film. Students would be exposed to various facets of Italian culture through these media and would reflect upon both their own backgrounds as well as their expectations/existing knowledge of Italian culture. Students would be afforded the opportunity to examine their own cultural beliefs in the context of another, thereby enriching the overall diverse and multicultural experience at Stony Brook University.


John Shandra
Department: Sociology

GLS 102.6: The Corporate Planet

Day/Time: Wednesday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course examines the impact of corporations like Apple and Walmart on the natural environment. We will focus on how corporations seek to lower their costs by moving operations across national borders and what the implications are for the environment. We will also discuss how other organization like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund help accomplish this task. We we conclude by talking about concerned citizens are fighting back.


Anna Hayward
Department: Social Welfare

GLS 102.7: Global perspectives on environmental justice

Day/Time: Thursday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course will provide students with a foundation in the principles of environmental and ecological justice from a local and global perspective. After developing a shared understanding of environmental justice and injustice, ecological justice, and environmental racism, we will explore examples of environmental inequity worldwide through case studies, documentary films, and student’s own identification of current and arising issues.


Ghanashyam Sharma
Department: Program of Writing and Rhetoric

GLS 102.8: Global Citizenship

Day/Time: Monday | 5:30PM-6:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: In this course, students will examine how ideas are shaped and conveyed in different contexts and cultures around the world, especially examining how "argumentation" (and even logic) is understood and approached differently in the process of communication—both written and oral. The course will help them enhance your ability to understand, discuss, and write about complex and globally significant issues by considering different perspectives. They will learn how contexts and cultures shape rhetoric, writing, and communication as a means of enhancing your sense of “global citizenship,” while also learning about this concept. Assignments will include writing and revising arguments by drawing on different rhetorical resources and conventions; in addition, students will collaboratively create and present multimodal projects in order to demonstrate different worldviews on seeming natural, logical, and universal concepts or phenomena. Drawing on the readings, class work, and other projects, they will also write a brief academic paper, which they may present at the URECA fair on campus.


Paul Firbas
Department: Hispanic Languages and Literature

GLS 102.9: Early texts and images of Spanish America (16th and 17th century

Day/Time: Monday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: Frey Hall 316
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course is designed as a seminar and a workshop in which students will be analyzing primary sources (images and narratives) on the European circumnavigations of the sixteenth century. The seminar will focus on the Strait of Magellan and Panama, which became geographical keys to articulate the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and opened the first global circulation of culture and commodities. Students will be working with old books (mostly from 1550 to 1650) held in our Special Collections at Melville Library, modern facsimiles and digital reproductions. As a final group project, students will be organizing a small book exhibit and creating a website (pictures and videos) that will display their work.


Jason Rose
Department: Political Science

GLS 102.10: Introduction to Nuclear Weapons

Day/Time: Wednesday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: Melville Library S1410D
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Fewer than ten states currently have nuclear weapons, but several dozen governments have at one time or another worked to develop or considered developing nuclear weapons. A few states are believed to be doing so now, but many more have done so in the past, including one state – South Africa – that built nuclear weapons and then gave them up. Is security the reason governments decide to pursue nuclear weapons? Are there other reasons that motivate states to do so? What are the factors that influence the decision whether or not to obtain nuclear weapons? We will look at Australia and Germany in the 1950s, and many other countries. We will ask whether Kim Il-Sung started North Korea’s nuclear weapons program for the same reasons Kim Jong-Il hid it from the IAEA, and for the same reasons Kim Jong-Un keeps it today?


Aruna Sharma
Department: Asian and American Studies

GLS 102.11: Introduction to Indian Music and its influence on Bollywood Cinema

Day/Time: Friday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: Humanities 3019
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Basic Elements of Indian Classical Music, such as the Raga music, Tala (Time Measure), different schools or Gharanas, classical forms such as Dhrupad, Khayal and Thumri are studied through the analysis of historical and contemporary masterpieces. The role of specific stringed and percussion instruments such as Tanpura and Tabla is studied. The intimate relationship exists between music, religion and ethnicity, especially in liturgical and popular music


Gregory Ruf
Department: Asian and American Studies

GLS 102.12: Classics of Ancient China

Day/Time: Tuesday | 11:30AM-12:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Introductory survey of selected texts from ancient China, with a wide-ranging discussion of their ideas, insights on human life and society, and their relevance for today.


Gregory Ruf
Department: Asian and American Studies

GLS 102.13: Classics of Ancient China

Day/Time: Tuesday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Introductory survey of selected texts from ancient China, with a wide-ranging discussion of their ideas, insights on human life and society, and their relevance for today.


Gregory Ruf
Department: Asian and American Studies

GLS 102.14: Ethnographic Methods

Day/Time: Wednesday | 10:00AM-11:20AM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: How do can one interpret and understand a foreign culture? What is it like to do long-term field research in another culture? This course offers an introduction to the techniques and challenges of participant-observation used by cultural anthropologists to conduct ethnographic research.


Arlene Cassidy
Department: Sustainability Studies

GLS 102.15: Introduction to Environmental Economics

Day/Time: Wednesday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: Melville Library W0518
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: This course will examine current issues involving production, consumption and distribution choices individuals and society make with trade-offs related to environmental quality issues.


Aruna Sharma
Department: Asian and American Studies

GLS 102.16: Introduction to Indian Music and its influence on Bollywood Cinema

Day/Time: Friday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: Humanities 3019
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Basic Elements of Indian Classical Music, such as the Raga music, Tala (Time Measure), different schools or Gharanas, classical forms such as Dhrupad, Khayal and Thumri are studied through the analysis of historical and contemporary masterpieces. The role of specific stringed and percussion instruments such as Tanpura and Tabla is studied. The intimate relationship exists between music, religion and ethnicity, especially in liturgical and popular music


Sini Sanou
Department: European Languages, Literature, and Cultures

GLS 102.17: Francophone African Diaspora: Politics and Protest through Music

Day/Time: Wednesday | 7:00PM-8:20PM
Location: Humanities 2047
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: An introduction to Francophone African Diaspora through rebel and protest music. The course focuses on how “la musique engagée” from the Francophone African diaspora reflects attitudes towards destiny, life and death, and becomes a site of resistance to multiple systems of oppression. Revolutionary movements in France and in the Francophone African World (decolonization, liberation struggles, resistance, “altermondialisme”, and empowerment) are addressed through rebel songs from France and the Francophone African Diaspora. Students will have an understanding of the clashes between art, government, and the culture of political/social activism by studying radical/protest musical responses to key event in the history of France and the Francophone African World.


Lois Lemonda
Department: European Languages, Literature, and Cultures

GLS 102.18: Italian Culture Through The Arts

Day/Time: Thursday | 10:00AM-11:20AM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The course would divulge into various topics in Italian Culture in order to engage students in a cross-cultural discussion with an emphasis upon the arts, specifically literature and film. Students would be exposed to various facets of Italian culture through these media and would reflect upon both their own backgrounds as well as their expectations/existing knowledge of Italian culture. Students would be afforded the opportunity to examine their own cultural beliefs in the context of another, thereby enriching the overall diverse and multicultural experience at Stony Brook University.


Anna-Marie Wellins
Department: Nursing

GLS 102.19: Determinants of Health and Extreme Poverty

Day/Time: Monday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The context of complex social, economic and physical environments impact poverty. It is important to examine determinants of health in order to mitigate poverty, especially extreme poverty. This course will explore barriers of income, social status, education, physical environments and support networks on health equity. Through class discussions, individual inquiry and group projects, a understanding of strategies can be fostered to close gaps through action, advocacy and policy changes needed to improve population based health.


B. Hyun Choo
Department: Asian and American Studies

GLS 102.20: Introduction to Buddhist Meditation

Day/Time: Wednesday | 2:30PM-3:50PM
Location: HDV Center 121
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Buddhism is profoundly concerned with the healing of human suffering, teaching that the introspective investigation of one’s self can lead to tranquility and insight.This seminar will examine the essential teachings of Buddhism and its practice, focusing on mindfulness and Zen meditations that can enrich one’s life and academic work. The course format will include meditation exercises, discussions, films, and readings.


Elisabeth Spettel
Department: Africana Studies

GLS 102.21: Art and Activism

Day/Time: Thursday | 4:00PM-5:20PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: Art is a human object produced in a historical, social and political context. Artists can be inspired by this context; some of them even want to change its rules and reality. To what extent can the artist "transform the world"? Can art be a form of political activism and can political activism be a form of art? We will study these issues through different periods and countries (European avant-gardes movements such as Dadaism and Surrealism from 1916 to 1945, Fluxus in New York in the 60’s, Black Art Movements, Street Art…). This course will take a multi-disciplinary approach including in-class discussions, analyses of texts and artworks, video clips (movies and interviews), workshops and visits to exhibits. No prior experience and/or talent is required – all are welcome.


Ritch Calvin
Department: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

GLS 102.22: Global Science Fiction

Day/Time: Thursday | 11:30AM-12:50PM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The course will consider the global output of science fiction. We will read very contemporary shorts stories and watch very contemporary short SF films.


Jose Elias-Ulloa
Department: Linguistics

GLS 102.23: Language myths

Day/Time: Tuesday | 10:00AM-11:20AM
Location: GLS Center 109
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: The course is about debunking general ideas and misconceptions people have about language and languages in general (e.g. language accents, dialects, language and writing systems, languages without grammars, languages better than others, correct versus incorrect language, linguistic stereotypes, etc.)


Andrea Fedi
Department: Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature

GLS 102.24: Under the Tuscan Sun: Anthropological Travel in Tuscany

Day/Time: Friday | 1:00PM-2:20PM
Location: SBS S110
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour 20 mins/ week for 10 weeks (January 23 to April 7)

Course Description: By the end of the 19th century, when many popular books of travel focused on the exotic destinations that could be found outside of Europe, there were still British and American travelers who went to Tuscany looking for an alternative experience. Wandering off the beaten path of the major cities (Florence, Pisa, Siena), they visited and described smaller, more remote communities, which appeared to offer a distinctive human experience. Their hope was to find intellectual, artistic and social practices which would help them understand the great civilizations and cultures of the past in Tuscany, from the Etruscans to the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.


Georges Fouron
Department: Africana Studies

GLS 102.25: Mapping Immigrants Identities: Place, Space and Communities in the United States

Day/Time: Wednesday | 11:00AM-11:53AM
Location: Melville Library N3090
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: Since the end of World War II, immigration from Europe has subsided significantly. Instead, the majority of immigrants are coming from the developing countries of Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The majority of them are not familiar with the American dominant cultural norms that are European. At the same time, the American population is not familiar with their cultural characteristics either. Yet, as foreigners, they have to find their place in their new society. The questions this course will address are as follows: How are these immigrants received upon their arrival in the United States? Are they being forced to be absorbed into the U.S. society on the basis of their race and ethnicity? Do these immigrants comply with the impositions of the host nation? Do they retain their primary loyalty to their home country instead? Do they totally “melt” into American culture? The course will also address the notion of “who belongs” and how “one belongs” in the United States by looking at what happens after these new immigrants had settled in this country. In general, the new immigrants are behaving like the European immigrants that preceded them by embracing American society as their own, albeit in their own terms. However, increasingly, scholars of migration are writing about many among these immigrants who are developing a new form of identity, which they call “transnational identity.” Instead of choosing either their old country or their new home, they prefer to live simultaneously in both societies. Is this a new phenomenon? Does this adaptive strategy differ from group to group? How does it affect the United States social cohesiveness?


Paul Vitello
Department: Journalism

GLS 102.26: Global Studies: A Multiverse Perspective

Day/Time: Tuesday | 2:30PM-3:23PM
Location: Melville Library N3090
Meeting Pattern: 1 hour/ week for 14 weeks (January 23 to May 5)

Course Description: By now it is a cliché to refer to the world as a global village. But how much do we really know about the cultural norms, politics and daily life of people in Russia, Nigeria, China, Chile and the rest of the roughly 200 countries that form the patchwork quilt of our “village”? Over the course of this semester, we will look at how people in other countries live, relative to our economic and political standards; how they get their information; how that differs from the American way of knowing things; how they define their national interests, and understand their place in the world; who they see as their national allies and rivals, and why.



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