Chapman students studying on Bert Williams Mall in front of Memorial Hall

»Freshman Foundation Courses

The Freshman Foundations Course (FFC) is the foundational portion of the Chapman General Education program. All entering freshmen enroll in an FFC section.  

The FFC course engages students in university-level critical inquiry and reflection. FFC courses focus more on critical engagement, exploration and communication related to complex issues than on mastering a body of material. More than 50 sections are offered on varying topics. Students select a topic according to their academic and personal interests. All of the sections offer students an intellectually enriching exploration of ideas, values, and disciplinary knowledge and methods. Working independently and collaboratively to frame issues and questions that have engaged the intellectual interests of historians, philosophers, fine arts, and media critics, scientists, economists and political theorists over the centuries, students develop their analytic, creative and expressive abilities.  

FFC is taught by a select group of faculty who are committed to supporting students in their transition to university-level inquiry. Field trips, guest speakers, collaborative research, multimedia projects and other forms of active learning are an important part of the course.

For course section numbers, meeting days, times, and locations, see WebAdvisor. For more information on a particular professor, view the Faculty Directory.


Photo not Available Julie Artman-M.F.A., MLIS Leatherby Libraries - Adjunct Professor of Theatre
Phone: (714) 532-7752
Office: Leatherby Libraries
Email: Julie Artman

American Theatre in Contemporary Culture
In this course, students will explore how theatre reflects challenges and triumphs in contemporary American culture. We will examine, discuss, and analyze pivotal events during the twentieth century through reading selected plays that reveal America's rich theatrical history. Reviewing performances will provide students with direct observational opportunities to expose the issues facing today's theatrical artists, and students will engage in both analytic and creative projects, individually and collaboratively. 3 credits.

Zeynep Akyol Ataman, Ph.D.-no photo available

Zeynep Akyol Ataman, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Biology
Phone: (714) 628-7255
Office: Hashinger Science Center 106
Email: Zeynep Akyol Ataman

From Jurassic Park to Contagion: Biology in Media and Reality
In all kinds of media, biological topics such as cloning, genetic mutations, viruses, and genetic engineering have been a source of fascination. We’ll consider these biological breakthroughs, the real-life controversies surrounding them, and the accuracy of books and films that depict them. From Dolly the sheep, the first mammal ever cloned (who died from multiple health complications six years after she was generated), to the recent Japanese scientific achievement of producing live mice from skin cells (attracting attention from the LGBT community, religious groups, and couples with fertility problems), this course will cover stem cell basics, scientific advances, the use of stem cells to treat diseases, and the public responses that arise from this research frontier; Genetically Modified Organisms and how much scientific intervention is acceptable when it comes to increasing population and decreasing food resources; and the loss of habitats due to deforestation that forces bats to move close to human/domestic animal populations, bringing zoonotic viruses like Menangle, Ebola and Marburg and a growing rate of viral infections. We’ll study the process of viral infections, potential treatments, and possible solutions to this environmentally-induced problem, and how the idea of the virus has spread outside of scientific work (computer “viruses,” “viral” YouTube videos). You’ll frame critical questions about the ideas, readings, visual materials (Jurassic Park, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, OutbreakContagion, World War Z), and other texts; we’ll have guest speakers from different religious, community, and animal rights groups; and you’ll actively engage in responding to the controversies using scientific knowledge to understand the social and ethical issues. 3 credits.

Gordon Bast

Gordon A. Babst, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science
Phone: (714) 744-7696
Office: DeMille Hall 150-C
Email: Gordon Babst

Globalization, Citizenship, and Consumption
The course introduces students to the contemporary phenomenon of globalization, analyzes the concept of globalization, and reviews processes of globalization. The course will examine globalization across a range of issue areas, with a special focus on globalization's effects on us and other people as world citizens and consumers, and our capacities to affect the course of globalization. 3 credits.

Ian Barnard, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Composition and Rhetoric

Ian Barnard, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Composition and Rhetoric
Phone: (714) 516-5775
Office: 428 N. Glassell Street, #104
Email: Ian Barnard

Queer Critique
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick famously asserted that "an understanding of virtually any aspect of modern Western culture must be, not merely incomplete, but damaged in its central substance to the degree that it does not incorporate a critical analysis of modern homo/heterosexual definition." Using Sedgwick's claim as a starting point, this section invites you to analyze the ways in which sexuality and gender are constructed and constitutive in our society, and how they define and are defined by race, class, colonialism, and other nexuses of power and identity. We'll consider challenges to conventional gender binaries offered by transgender studies.  We'll also examine and produce our own multimedia queer interventions into contemporary culture and politics, including engaging with queer critiques of the “it gets better” campaign and queering popular films and television shows. 3 credits.

Julye Bidmead, Ph.D.-Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Chapman University Julye Bidmead, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Religious Studies
Phone: (714) 532-7709
Office: Wilkinson Hall 234
Email: Julye Bidmead

Heroines and Harlots: The Bible You Didn't Learn in Sunday School.
Women play a variety of roles in the Bible. They are wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, heroines, virgins, harlots, victims, villains, warriors, queens, and prophets, but their narratives are buried under years of religious misinterpretations that diminish or erase their worth. This course examines selected biblical texts and other ancient literature using multiple methodologies (feminist and gender critique, ideological criticism, comparative studies, literary criticism, and historical analysis) to uncover the stories and status of women in ancient Israel. 3 credits.

Arthur Blaser, Ph.D. - Professor of Political Science

Art Blaser, Ph.D. - Professor of Political Science
Phone: (714) 997-6612
Office: Reeves Hall 101
Email: Art Blaser

Tales from the Global Disability Rights Movement
In this course, we will analyze: (1) medical and socio-political approaches to studying disability issues; (2) the social movement behind adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; (3) implications of a disability rights framework globally, to places as varied as Dubai, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, India, Canada, and Costa Rica; and (4) implications of a slogan adopted by many movements worldwide: “Nothing about us without us!” We will explore parts of the global disability rights movement through descriptive accounts, biography, and memoirs from the United States, England, and India. 3 credits.

Jim Brown, Ph.D.-Professor of Education, Chapman University Jim Brown, Ph.D. - Professor of Education
Phone: (714) 997-6884
Office: Reeves Hall 104
Email: Jim Brown

Lies You Learned in School: Difficult Histories and Critical Theory
What histories did you learn in school? Should history only be the story of the dominant culture, or should it include narratives that contradict the “American Celebrationist” perspective? This course provides a critical analysis of important social themes (e.g., identity, conformity, and bystander vs. upstander) linked to key histories (e.g., the Holocaust and other genocides, America in Vietnam). The course is based on the assumption that if citizens in a democracy are to value their rights and take responsibility for their actions, they must know not only the triumphs of history but also the failures and tragedies. As students study the historical development and the lessons of “difficult” histories, they learn to make the essential connections between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. 3 credits.


Drew Chappell, Ph.D.-Adjunct Professor of Theatre

Andrew Chappell, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Theatre
Phone: TBA
Office: TBA
Email: Andrew Chappell

Fantastic Worlds in the Imagination and Performance: The Social Impact of Fantasy and Science Fiction in Literature, Stage, and Film
Students in this section will explore the role of the fantastic on individual and social cultural development.  Through reading and viewing work from the classic sci-fi and fantasy canons (Jules Verne, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis) to contemporary pieces with significant cultural currency (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who) to lesser-known works (Iain M Banks, Ursula K LeGuin, Philip K Dick, José Rivera) in conversation with each other, we will bring our critical faculties to bear on the following questions: how do fantastic worlds help us understand the dynamics of continuity and change? How does traveling to both possible futures and imagined pasts allow us to engage with, critique, and (possibly) transform our present? How have these genre works emerged from disregard to become significant additions to literature, art, and culture? 3 credits.

Douglas Cooney, B.A., J.D. - Adjunct Professor of English

Douglas Cooney, B.A., J.D. - Adjunct Professor of English
Phone: TBA
Office: TBA
Email: Douglas Cooney

The Writer's Life: The Craft and Practical Procedures of Celebrated Authors
How do writers do it? How did Toni Morrison or Ernest Hemingway find the words and deliver on deadline? Students will read a sampling of great authors and examine how these authors acquired their craft, what artistic principles drove their work, and what daily disciplines guided their progress. We will consider the wellspring of creativity in these writers' lives and investigate the practical procedures that shaped their imagination into published work.   Students will analyze texts and engage individually and collectively in journals and writing assignments, modeled after exercises recommended by the same authors we study. 3 Credits.

Elizabeth Eastman, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Chapman University

Elizabeth Eastman, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Political Science
Phone: (714) 532-7770
Office: Roosevelt Hall 207
Email: Elizabeth Eastman

Citizenship and Community
Membership in a community is one of the key aspects of human relationships.  Through the study of works from various time periods and cultures, we examine what it means to be a citizen, the citizen’s obligations to the larger community, and the many types of communities that people can form.  We also explore the numerous challenges that members of a political community—citizens—can experience such as denial of fundamental human rights and external influences that cause the breakdown of traditions and political order and imperil the community or cause it to take on a different form. 3 credits.

Logan Esdale, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of English

Logan Esdale, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of English
Phone: (714) 997-6750
Office: Wilkinson Hall 217
Email: Logan Esdale

Representing Racial Identity
In this section we will read fiction, poetry, and essays both theoretical and historical on the topic of racial identity, mainly from the first half of the 20th century, when the U.S. was officially a segregated society and European colonies were beginning to fall apart. In particular, we will debate the effectiveness of literature that represents black and white identities as open to change. We will consider the necessity that writers felt then to protest the social and legal status quo, a necessity that may compromise the modern definition of literature as quintessential free speech. The writers we will read may include Hawthorne, Northup, Chesnutt, Larsen, Schuyler, Oyono, Brooks, O’Connor, Walker, and Mullen.  Students will choose projects that let them explore these ideas in creative and/or critical form and in a range of media. 3 credits.

Robert Frelly, D.M.A.-Professor of Music Robert Frelly, D.M.A. - Professor of Music
Phone: (714) 997-6917
Office: Oliphant Hall 110
Email: Robert Frelly

From Bach to Rock: Music and Society
Does music affect society, or are various evolving musical styles simply a continual expression of the subcultures that created them?  Changes in social structure and hence in social needs have brought about changes in the function of music; these are the moving forces underlying the growth and development of music as an art throughout history.  This course explores the place of music in society and its relation to the life of its time. 3 credits.

Kelli Fuery, Ph.D.-Instructor of Communications, Chapman University Kelli Fuery, Ph.D. - Instructor of Communications
Phone: (714) 744-2183
Office: Smith Hall 116C
Email: Kelli Fuery

Mediated Lives and Cultural Industries
What are the roles that contemporary media and cultural industries play in our lives? Does watching violence or playing violent games really make us violent? How difficult is it to visually organize and represent an effective idea? What does it mean to be creative? Students are introduced to the core debates of the 21st century as they relate to the creative media and cultural industries, emphasizing how they inform our ideas of identity and technology within the contemporary media landscape. We evaluate the use and structure of media and explore the dynamic that exists between life, media and culture using critical approaches. Students are given the opportunity to design, curate and exhibit their own projects. 3 credits.

Lorin Geitner, J.D. & M.Rel-Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies Lorin Geitner, J.D. and M.Rel - Adjunct Professor of Religious Studies
Phone: (714) 628-2538
Office: Fowler School of Law Library
Email: Lorin Geitner

Religion and Politics-Contemporary Problems
Students will read about current issues involving the interaction and conflict of religious beliefs and practices with the political process. We will discuss the cultural and historical origins of the issues, connecting them to contemporary ways in which the issues continue to be relevant.  Most importantly, we will consider how academic arguments about this topic differ from the popular discussions, debates, and conflicts.  Topics we may consider include gay marriage, physician assisted suicide and religious expression and practice in the context of school, government or public settings. 3 credits.


Jeanne Gunner, Ph.D.-Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education and Professor of English

Jeanne Gunner, Ph.D. - Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education and Professor of English
Phone: (714) 744-7627
Office: Memorial Hall 212L
Email: Jeanne Gunner

Literary Bad Boys
In this course we’ll consider how and why bad-boy characters in Western literature become attractive figures through aesthetic treatment.  Do they represent liberation from social conventions?  Or alter egos, our “secret sharers,” providing safe outlets for aggression?  Is the imagination unleashed by experience of the extreme, the forbidden?  We’ll examine these issues through study of texts and figures that mix corruption with aesthetic, political, and philosophical notions of the good and the beautiful, including iconic detective Phillip Marlowe in Chandler’s The Big Sleep and psycho killer Anton Chigurh in McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men; Hwang’s M. Butterfly and stories from Diaz’s Drown; bad girls in Morrison’s Sula and Didion’s Play it as It Lays; oddballs in Krakauer’s Into the Wild and O’Brien’s story collection The Things They Carried. Students will study a bad-boy/bad-girl figure in film, carry out survey-based research, and complete creative projects. 3 credits.

Photo not Available Charles Hughes, D.Phil. - Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy
Phone: (714) 997-6952
Office: Wilkinson Hall 227
Email: Charles Hughes

The Christ of History and the Jesus of Faith
Jesus Christ has been the dominant religious and cultural figure in Western civilization for two-thousand years.  But who was Jesus Christ?  Did the leaders of the early apostolic Christian Church work to suppress the truth about Jesus by creating myths about him in order to consolidate and enforce their own authority, or did the apostolic Church fathers instead protect the truth about Jesus by rejecting alternative false views about him?  In this class, we will identify and evaluate the historical, philosophical and theological assumptions that inform the positions of important contemporary Jesus scholars so that we can gain a better understanding of what the facts and evidence really are concerning Jesus and the development of early Christianity. 3 credits.

Alicia Kozameh, M.A.-Instructor of English

Alicia Kozameh, M.A. - Instructor of English
Phone: TBA
Office: TBA
Email: Alicia Kozameh

Literature Mirrors Society: Manifestations of Social Struggle and Political Repression in Latin American Fiction and Testimony
The struggle for social equality, justice and survival has been present, in various forms, throughout the existence of humanity.  During the second half of the twentieth century, Latin America experienced several processes of social struggle that were met with harsh political repressions--kidnapping, torture, disappearances, concentration camps, prison, and exile among them.  Latin American literature has expressed, in fiction and non-fiction, poetry and essay, this complex and violent experience.  This course will focus on the reading and discussion of fictional and testimonial texts that reflect the Latin American political and social experience. Students will analyze the way in which society can use creative literary elements to collectively deal with and work through the remnants of turbulent historical moments. 3 credits.

Judy Kriger, M.F.A. - Assistant Professor of Film and Media Arts

Judy Kriger, M.F.A. - Assistant Professor of Film and Media Arts
Phone: (714) 532-7774
Office: Marion Knott Studios 273A
Email: Judy Kriger

Social Justice on the Big Screen
How do political cartoons, graphic novels and animated documentaries inspire us to repair the world? Cartoons and animation aren’t only for the entertainment industry; the power of the hand-drawn or computer generated line can encourage, motivate and awaken us to make a difference. In Social Justice on the Big Screen students will watch animated documentaries, explore graphic novels and make short creative presentations to the class. 3 credits.

Kent Lehnhof, Ph.D.-Associate Professor of English Kent Lehnhof, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of English
Phone: (714) 628-2746
Office: Wilkinson Hall 211
Email: Kent Lehnhof

Close Reading
My father is fond of saying that "the devil is in the details," which is his way of saying that little things often turn out to be terribly important. My dad's saying could well be the unofficial motto of this course, for it will focus, from start to finish, on the little things. Content-wise, we will consider a wide range of "texts"--from Renaissance stageplays to modern short stories to contemporary films. But our objective in each instance will be the same: to attend to and analyze the particulars of each presentation. By asking questions like "What difference does it make to use this word instead of that word?" and "What difference does it make to show this shot instead of that shot?" we will practice a kind of close reading that promises to make meaning of all those devilish details. 3 credits.

Nina LeNoir, Ph.D. - Chair, Department of Theatre, Professor of Theatre

Nina LeNoir, Ph.D. - Chair, Department of Theatre, Professor of Theatre
Phone: (714) 997-6622
Office: Moulton Hall 136
Email: Nina LeNoir

Women Playwrights and the American Theatre
Only two plays in the 2013-2014 Broadway season were written by women (both of them now deceased).  Women playwrights are notoriously underrepresented on the stages of American theatres, not just on Broadway, and have been throughout the history of the American theatre.  We will examine this situation, specifically in the 20th century, when more plays by and about women were written and produced than in the past, and yet always at a much lower rate than plays by and about men.  What are the apparent and real barriers to theatre production of plays by women?  Why is it important that the work of women playwrights be seen on our stages today?  By examining specific plays by playwrights such as Lillian Hellman, Maria Irene Fornes, Marsha Norman, Wendy Wasserstein, and Theresa Rebeck, and by reading critical commentary on the plays and productions and on feminist theatre theory and practice, we will explore issues of gender, identity and the power of representation in the theatre, ideas that transfer to other forms of cultural construction in fields such as television, film, music, dance, and art.  We will also attend the upcoming production of Zealot by Theresa Rebeck at South Coast Repertory Theatre. 3 credits.


Mildred Lewis, M.F.A.-Assistant Professor of English Mildred Lewis, M.F.A. - Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (714) 744-7891
Office: DeMille Hall 167
Email: Mildred Lewis

Faith in Popular Culture
How can pop culture help us to understand an increasingly pluralistic world?  This course critically examines the representation of faith in pop culture, including narrative and documentary films, music videos, fashion, sports, graphic novels and the blogosphere.  The course will integrate the work of critical and contemporary scholars, including Aristotle, Frederic Jameson, Theodor Adorno, Teresa de Lauretis and Frantz Fanon.  The class emphasizes critical thinking, digital literacy, and the integration of scholarly and creative work. 3 credits.

Erik Linstead, Ph.D.-Instructional Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Erik Linstead, Ph.D. - Instructional Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Phone: (714)289-3159
Office: Hashinger Science Center 130
Email: Erik Linstead

The Science of Facebook: Mining Data for #Fun and #Profit
Social networks like Facebook hold the key to how we build our relationships. Trends on Twitter dictate what’s hot and what’s not. And your past purchases on Amazon are a crystal ball for what you, and people like you, will buy in the future. As technology races to get faster, cheaper, and smaller, the amount of data we produce and consume continues to grow at an alarming rate. Far from merely being a byproduct of our times—digital garbage—this data represents a treasure trove of knowledge for those who are brave enough to explore it. In this course we will focus on the challenge of Big Data, its origins, and its implications for the future of technology and business. Students will survey data mining problems from various disciplines, and gain hands-on experience with tools for analyzing, visualizing, and leveraging data on the large scale. 3 credits.

Allan MacVicar, Ph.D.-Instructor of French

Allan MacVicar, Ph.D.-Instructor of French
Phone: (714) 997-6843
Office: DeMille Hall 127
Email: Allan MacVicar

Memories of WWII in French Films
How does France remember the Second World War and how do filmmakers represent these memories in film? In this course, we will examine the debates and changing attitudes towards the war through the prism of film. As France came to terms with its participation in the war, and particularly with Germany’s occupation of France, different versions of the past gradually emerged. The myth that the majority of French citizens resisted the occupying force confronted the realities that many had been active collaborators or simply stood by, indifferent to the plight of their fellow citizens. We will explore how certain films produced in the last sixty years overemphasized some events of the war while obscuring others, and we will consider the ways in which these representations helped shape the image the French had of themselves. We will focus especially on the way in which these filmic memories shift and call into question earlier presuppositions. Films to be screened include works by Clément, Melville, Resnais, and Malle. Supplementary readings will provide context for the various periods discussed. 3 credits.

Clara Magliola, M.A.-Instructor of Sociology

Clara Magliola, M.A.-Instructor of Sociology
Phone: (714) 997-6621
Office: Roosevelt Hall 200
Email: Clara Magliola

From Botticelli to Maxim magazine, perhaps nothing has been more favored as an artistic subject—more glorified, nor more reviled—than the female body.  The “canon” of Western art as well as much contemporary visual culture systematically casts women as muses and objects, rather than as artists, creators, and agents themselves. This course focuses on and derives its spirit from the Women’s Art Movement of the 1970s in the US and utilizes feminist theory to rupture the “canon,” to interrogate contemporary visual culture, and to explore social activism and the revolutionary power of art and feminism. 3 credits.

Bernard McGrane, Ph.D. - Professor of Sociology

Bernard McGrane, Ph.D. - Professor of Sociology
Phone: (714) 997-6564
Office: Roosevelt Hall 216
Email: Bernard McGrane

Self and Society: the Social Construction of Reality
Where does society end and my self begin? Am I me or am I society? Why do I feel so pressured and “stressed” about what others think of me? Why do I care so much about my image in the human opinion, my reflection in society? Am I truly an individual or have I been deeply programmed and trained to want to be an individual? This course will be an examination, on both a critical scientific and a personal, experiential level, of “self” and “society."  We will make use of sociology with its focus on the primacy of social relations as well as psychology with its focus on the individual psyche, paying particular attention to the intersection of these ways of seeing human life. 3 credits.


Geraldine McNenny, Ph.D.-Associate Professor of Education Geraldine McNenny, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Education
Phone: (714) 744-7936
Office: Reeves Hall 104
Email: Geraldine McNenny

Imagining a Sustainable Future
Imagining a sustainable future as a course invites you to consider what it means to live sustainably from multiple perspectives, from the food we eat and the water we drink, to the energy sources we rely on and the transportation systems we use to trade and work together, to the very structure of the cities and towns we construct and inhabit. For your final project, you will be asked to envision, research, and design your own sustainable solutions, in whatever area you choose.  This FFC section will have a multimedia emphasis as well. 3 credits.

M. Andrew Moshier, Ph.D.-Professor of Computer Science

M. Andrew Moshier, Ph.D. - Professor of Computer Science
Phone: (714) 997-6628
Office: Von Neumann Hall 113
Email: Drew Moshier

Puzzles and Paradoxes
From Zeno’s paradoxes to Einstein’s thought experiments, we humans have sought to understand the world via puzzles. Even the pleasure of working a crossword, or of reading a mystery novel, are familiar reflections of a fundamental human impulse to solve puzzles--and to pose new, yet more challenging ones. In this course we will meet some of the great puzzle masters of the ages: Zeno, Plato, the author of Job, Augustine, Galileo, Einstein, Cantor, Gödel, among others. We will pose and solve puzzles of our own, and will discover that understanding often comes by asking the next interesting question, not by having settled the last one. 3 credits.

Maiya Murphy - Adjunct Professor of Theatre

Maiya Murphy, - Adjunct Professor of Theatre
Phone: (714) 744-7087
Office: Moulton Center 138
Email: TBA

US Latina/o Theatre in Performance
Through a combination of reading and watching plays, students will investigate how theatre artists portray Latina/o life in America. We will study plays by and about Chicanas/Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, and Puerto-Rican Americans. We’ll focus on critical understanding how of race, class, gender, culture, and identity are represented in contemporary Latina and Latino plays. Students will have an opportunity be a part of the upcoming National Latina/o Theatre festival in LA: The 2014 Los Angeles Theatre Center Encuentro (Encounter)–the first festival of its kind in 25 years. 3 credits.

Kevin O'Leary, Ph.D.-Adjunct Professor of Political Science

Kevin O’Leary, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Political Science
Phone: (714) TBA
Office: Roosevelt Hall 101
Email: Kevin O'Leary

Thomas Paine, Edmund Burke and Modern Political Argument
This course explores how the French Revolution gave birth to modern political argument and the left-right divide.  British statesman Edmund Burke penned the conservative response to the bloodshed in Paris in his Reflections on the Revolution in France.  Thomas Paine, who earlier sparked the American Revolution with Common Sense, responded with The Rights of Man.  Burke remains a touchstone for conservative thought while Paine championed universal human rights.  Students will examine how political arguments are constructed, consider the importance of conviction and passion to great writing, trace the legacy of Burke and Paine to contemporary debates and ponder the roots of political ideologies. 3 credits.

Veronique Olivier, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Languages

Veronique Olivier, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Languages
Phone:(714) 628-7212
Office: DeMille Hall 116
Email: Veronique Olivier 

From France to Hollywood: Film Remakes and Adaptations
This course is designed to help students approach films from a critical perspective by comparing original French versions with their American remakes and adaptations.  In our evaluations, we will pay attention to cultural values (Three Men and a Baby), notions of national identity (The Return of Martin Guerre), and economic challenges in the production of film.  We will also question the simplistic assumption that the French film is by definition of a higher value, Hollywood being strictly interested in the box office when it comes to adapting or remaking a movie (Besson’s Nikita/ Point of No Return). Films will include various genres and periods. 3 credits.

Jan Osborn, Ph.D.-Assistant Professor of English

Jan Osborn, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (714) 628-7221
Office: Wilkinson Hall 223
Email: Jan Osborn

Humanomics: Exchange and the Human Condition
What makes a rich nation rich? What makes a good person good? And what do these questions have to do with one another? While exploring these and other questions about markets and ethics, students will challenge the perception of economics as distinct from the humanities.  Co-taught by professors from the Economic Science Institute and the English Department, this course combines the laboratory method of inquiry into the human propensity to exchange with the cultural interpretation of the human condition in novels, poems, and film. 3 credits.


Joseph Rachiele, Instructor of Philosophy

Joseph Rachiele, B.A., - Instructor of Philosophy
Phone: TBA
Office: Wilkinson Hall 229
Email: Joseph Rachiele

Philosophy and Science Fiction
Time-travel, teleportation, artificial intelligence, and the simulation of experience each raise difficult philosophical problems. We will use these and other science fiction scenarios to initiate our philosophical inquiry, reading and discussing philosophy articles that address the problems raised by science fiction scenarios. 3 credits.

Jana Remy, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of History and Associate Director, Academic Technology

Jana Remy, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of History, and Associate Director, Academic Technology
Phone: (714) 744-7934
Office: Beckman Hall 405F
Email: Jana Remy

An Environmental History of the American West
This course will examine the ever-changing relationship between humans and the lands of the American West, from the frontier era to the present day.  We will discuss the ways in which early settlers understood and exploited natural resources and what the consequences are for those of us who now inhabit the West.  Our approach will be wide-ranging, from studying Native Americans, farmers, and Silicon-valley executives, to naturalists, Mormons, and oilmen.  Our geographic focus will also be a moving target, as we explore how the definition of the "West" has changed over time.  This class will use web-based tools for collaboration and for visualizing western landscapes. 3 credits.

Sarah Robblee, M.A.-Instructor of English

Sarah Robblee, M.A. - Instructor of English
Phone: (714) 997-6750
Office: Wilkinson Hall 217
Email: Sarah Robblee

Reading and Creating the Autobiography: Constructing Meaning from Experience
How can we construct meaning from our experiences of life events and effectively communicate that meaning? In this course, we will examine the selected memories and events of autobiographical works and how they reflect an author’s personal philosophy. We will critically analyze the form, style, and content of autobiographies such as Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, and David Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day. We will discuss the reliability of authors, the formation of identity, the purpose for writing, plot structure, types of memoirs, themes, and other rhetorical features of self-writing. Students will also write their own autobiographical work as their major project for this course. 3 credits.

Brent Russo-Adjunct Professor of English-no photo available

Brent Russo - Adjunct Professor of English
Phone: (714) 997-6750
Office: Wilkinson Hall 217
Email: Brent Russo

Relationship in Poetry and Song
Lyrics, whether set to music in song or shaped into verse on the page, almost always describe relationships: with nature, with a lover, with a place or an object, with God, society, or oneself. Sometimes, they may express the highest states of satisfaction, of transcendent love of another, mystical union with the universe, or peace finally achieved. At other times, and just as easily, they may represent privations of relationship, states of grief, alienation, longing, and distrust. In this course, we’ll explore the ways relationships are formed in (and by) lyrics, studying a range of artists (from Sappho to Rilke to Tom Waits), schools (Romanticism, Imagism, Confessionalism), and genres (haiku, free verse, soul, folk, blues, hip hop, and more). How do poets and songwriters influence our perception of relationships? What social, psychological, existential, or cultural problems do they address? And perhaps most intriguingly, what kinds of relationships do they form with us?  Course work will include close reading and discussion, presentations and recitations, analytical and creative writing, and critical-creative projects (such as curated mix-tapes, adaptations of poetry to song, modernizations of poems, or interpretive blogs). 3 credits.

Fredric Smoller, Ph.D.-Associate Professor of Political Science

Fredric Smoller, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Political Science
Phone: (714) 585-2990
Office: Roosevelt Hall 101
Email: Fredric Smoller

Politics and Film
This course promotes citizen engagement by exposing students to vital political issues and American political institutions. Students will critically analyze some old and more recent classic films that have shaped political discourse in the United States. We will also explore and critically analyze Hollywood's complex relationship with government and the political process. 3 credits.

Eric Schniter, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Economics, Economic Science Institute

Eric Schniter, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Economics, Economic Science Institute
Phone: (714) 628-2830
Office: Wilkinson Hall 1st Floor
Email: Eric Schniter

Human Universals – Human Diversity
This course considers evidence for “human universals” (behavioral or cognitive traits common to all humans) in a world full of diversity. Students learn how to evaluate traits for qualification as universals, considering functional design explanations, prehistoric and phylogenetic evidence, developmental patterns, and cross-cultural comparison. 3 credits.


Doug Sweet, M.A. - Instructor of English

Doug Sweet, M.A. - Instructor of English
Phone: (714) 744-7060
Office: DeMille Hall 133
Email: Doug Sweet

Humanity Against Itself: From Ethnic Cleansing to Global Warming
Students examine acts of genocides throughout history to examine how these disparate events share historical roots and developmental patterns.  Our overarching question is whether human social organization, as such, contains seeds of its own destruction in its structural/conceptual operations. Students will continue research for the “History of Genocide” project already created by previous FFC classes as we move from physical to electronic display of the mural. This will be a writing-intensive course for those who want to strengthen and broaden their experience with academic discourse, offering a rhetorical approach to university-level writing. 3 credits.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Music
Phone: (714) 744-7066
Office: Oliphant Hall 111
Email: Louise Thomas

What’s Opera, Doc?
An exploration of the musical and logistical elements involved in Opera production. Students will review Operas on film and hear arias from the great Operas in the repertoire. We will also consider factors such as the technical aspects of opera production and the economics of the major companies over the course of Opera’s rich history.  Class will be held in a media-based room and will have live piano access. 3 credits.

Walter Tschacher, Ph.D.-Professor of Languages

Walter Tschacher, Ph.D. - Professor of Languages
Phone: (714) 628-7276
Office: DeMille Hall 125
Email: Walter Tschacher

Literature and Film
In this course students will critically examine films in relation to their source material (both English and in translation) and the social, historical, and cultural contexts of both. Possible texts/films include Death in Venice (Thomas Mann/Visconti) and Room with a View (E. M. Forster/J. Ivory). We will consider not only the adaptation of literary works but also the inverse process, called novelization (i.e., the film serves as the basis for literature; for instance, some James Bond and Star War films underwent novelization). The course will take up such questions as: How does the change in medium produce a new text/meaning? When comparing and contrasting literature and film, what are their relative strengths and weaknesses? How is literary and visual art affected by commerce, and vice-versa—how, for example, is "popular" art coded as more or less authentic than "high" art? 3 credits.

Justine Van Meter, Ph.D.-Assistant Professor of English, Chapman University Justine Van Meter, Ph.D.-Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (714) 997-6750
Office: DeMille Hall 134
Email: Justine Van Meter

Beauties, Beasts, and the Construction of Western Culture
Through the study of the origins and transformations of Western myths and fairy tales, in particular, we will explore how storytelling shapes our sense of ourselves and others. We will investigate how social values and expectations are reflected in or constructed by these tales. We will also explore whom the authors of these tales were addressing and what political, historical, and social realities were influencing and guiding their writings. Inevitably, we will ask why and how the recurring motifs within the tales have endured and why and how contemporary authors have subverted or reinforced the themes and lessons of the traditional tales. Above all, we will address how these tales have influenced - and continue to influence - how we understand and define our individual and collective selves as well as those who are other to us. Be prepared: the land of Disney may be near, but our explorations will prove that there is more to these tales than magic castles, sleeping beauties, and singing teacups. 3 credits.

Andrew Wagner

Andrew Wagner, M.F.A. - Adjunct Professor of Film
Phone: (714) 997-6765
Office: Marion Knott Studios
Email: Andrew Wagner

The Psychology of Character
In this section we’ll closely examine and have detailed analytic discussions of a central component of film:  the dominant motive that inspires character behavior and drives story. Studying classic American and foreign films, students will deepen their understanding of the connection and difference between character want and need, and how both support the narrative apparatus.  Projects will be creative and analytical.  All majors welcome. 3 credits.

Bart Wilson, Ph.D.-Professor of Economics and Law, Chapman University Bart Wilson, Ph.D. - Professor of Economics and Law
Phone: (714) 628-7306
Office: Wilkinson Hall 109
Email: Bart Wilson

Humanomics: Exchange and the Human Condition
What makes a rich nation rich? What makes a good person good? And what do these questions have to do with one another? While exploring these and other questions about markets and ethics, students will challenge the perception of economics as distinct from the humanities.  Co-taught by professors from the Economic Science Institute and the English Department, this course combines the laboratory method of inquiry into the human propensity to exchange with the cultural interpretation of the human condition in novels, poems, and film. 3 credits.

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