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iConnect 2007-2008

ICON 100-01: Monsters: Myth, Perception, and Identity
Matt Smith

This seminar-style course introduces you to college life and academic thinking.  You will be an active participant in this course through close reading, contributing to class discussions, taking part in online assignments, and displaying your intellectual curiosity through a variety of activities. In addition to the common-course readings, including Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein and a biography of Saint Francis, we will read Beowulf, John Gardner’s Grendel and Ishmael Beah’s A Long Way Gone:, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. We will use these texts to trace and articulate our ideas of monsters from myth to reality. Not only will we investigate cultural representations of monsters, but we will examine our own perceptions of monsters. As well as stretching you intellectually, the class will facilitate your connection with the University of Saint Francis and the academic life.

ICON 100-02 McMonsters, Marlboros and Media
Katie Wiedman

In this course, designed to aid you in adapting to college life, we will use the media to develop your mental agility in terms of research, inquiry, analysis and synthesis. The media and free enterprise will act as our “Frankenstein” who creates the “monster” and chooses how we will allow it to affect our very lives. We will study monsters’ grotesque “appeal” and emotional responses they provoke through an investigation of the emotional “appeal” of the media and its ability to influence our health decisions. We will critically analyze and reflect on the roles of both monsters and the media using a variety of methods which will allow you to hone your skills in reading, writing, discussion, small group work, note taking and using available technology. Students who attend class regularly and participate enthusiastically will gain insights into their personal study skills, find their place in the USF community, learn how their health decisions are influenced by a variety of environmental forces and have a fiendishly good time while earning credit.

ICON 100-03 Monsters, Sacrifice and Redemption
Jane Martin

We will be exploring monsters of film, television and popular culture in this section. We will look at the monster as villain and hero and what this character type teaches us about being human, especially relating to the themes of sacrifice and redemption.  We will explore the monster as the misunderstood and how it can be a metaphor for those shunned by society. Media clips, short essays and popular texts will be resources for developing our context in our search to understand and unravel the meaning of Monsters.

ICON 100-04 Monsters, Global Village and Character
Kristina Bowman

The Dynamic Global Business Environment: Friend to the World or Out of Control Monster? Readings from “The World is Flat” are planned to address the global issues that face society from a business/technology perspective. This text will be presented to illustrate the impact, both positive and negative, of globalization on all of us as global citizens. A debate format supplemented with a PBS video series will be used to discuss the globalization issue, specifically, “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?”.

ICON 100-05 Monsters, Disease and Contradiction
Jean Elick

In this course, students will be exposed to the human drama associated with several devastating diseases. In addition to a general discussion on the science behind these diseases, we will explore of the horrific social and ethical consequences of disease. Students will be drawn into discussions that will allow them to explore their own views of human beings who are burdened with disfigurements, or especially contagious diseases.

ICON 100-06 Monsters, Metaphors, and Artistic Invention
Esperanca Camara

Monsters have long served as metaphors for the dark side of human nature as well as for the unknown or unfamiliar. Artists since the Middle Ages have given visual form to these concepts through fantastical creations that reveal the breadth of the human imagination. Through the study of texts such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the works of artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, this course will examine how writers and artists have used the theme of monsters to express the spiritual, social, and scientific concerns of their society.

ICON 100-07 How to deal with a monster
Jenny Fawbush

Everyone has their own set of monsters in their life. These “monsters” are aspects of our life that have been dealt to us and cause us struggles. In the sixteen week period of this course we will read about and discuss ways in which individuals have fought against their monsters. Focus will be given to Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning and a biography of Saint Francis. We will investigate what our role is in creating our destiny. Additionally we discuss combating societal monsters through discussions of writings by Rosa Parks. To continue with the Monsters theme “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley will be read and discussed during the course.

ICON 100-08 Margins, Monsters, and Me
Earl Kumfer

Fictional and real life figures who stand at the center and edges of our lives will be examined as paradigms for dealing with that which we do not understand but cannot ignore. Among others we consider St Francis’ lepers, Horton the Elephant, Hitler, the Golem, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the Matrix. We will identify what we interpret as serious threats or mistakes (monster and nemeses) or models (heroes and martyrs) as we shape our development (as individuals and cultures). Figurative language and images will be used as tools of indirect and reflective analysis. Plenary and small group work will characterize most classroom activity. Readings, interviews and experimentation will provide resource information for group discussion and projects. Course materials will include books, film, video and internet searches. This section is uniquely linked to and scheduled immediately after a section of English Composition (ENGL 101-11). Activities and assignments of both courses are consciously coordinated to promote integrated learning and student collaboration in learning communities.

ADVISORS: For maximum benefit, the student should be registered in both ICON 100-08 and ENGL 101-11.

ICON 100-09 The Greatest Monster of All - War and Its Impact on Children
Jan Nes

Throughout history, human beings have demonstrated an extraordinary capacity for exploitation of others in their greedy quests for power, authority and domination over people, cultures and societies. On a global level, many countries in our modern times, have become our world’s greatest monsters through these quests and have severely impacted the lives of our most precious global resource: children. Over two million children died in the 1990’s as a result of armed conflicts; many more have been physically maimed for life and psychologically brutalized. This course will examine the impact of war on children and how our world’s monsters have corrupted and destroyed childhood. Students will be asked to reflect on the meaning of childhood, on violence, on their own relationships with power, authority and domination and how we might individually work toward a restoration of human rights to children and childhood in our own work and on a global level.

ICON 100-10 Conquering My Monsters: Eating, Praying and Loving
Nancy Hankee

The theme “individual monsters” will be explored in the course. How does one interact with personal monsters as we seek a purposeful balanced life? Small group work will engage in discussions focusing on the power of eating, traveling, praying and loving. Do these activities quiet our individual monsters and lead us to what we really want in life or do they mask the journey to emotional and spiritual contentment? Is our final destination the place we find love, happiness, peace and harmony? Through dialogue, readings and reflections, the course will move the student to their own self discovery.