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 60 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 meeting days, times and locations, please view the Fall Schedule through the Student Center on My Chapman.


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

FFC 100-33 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

FFC 100-43&44 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.

Deepa Badrinarayana, S.J.D. - Professor of Law

Deepa Badrinarayana, S.J.D. - Professor of Law
Phone: (714) 628-2673
Office: Kennedy Hall 142
Email: Deepa Badrinarayana

FFC 100-45 The Carbonvore's Dilemma
In this course we will explore the challenges to reshaping the world’s energy policy in light of the threats presented by climate change. We will consider how myriad issues including global warming, energy policies, international trade, and technological innovation are interconnected and the collective bargaining problem they present internationally. 3 credits.

James Brown, Ph.D. - Professor of Scholarly Practice in Education

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

FFC 100-27&28 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.

Joshua M. Brown, Ph.D. - Lecturer, Ethnomusicology

Joshua M. Brown, Ph.D. - Lecturer, Ethnomusicology
Phone: (714) 532-7705
Office: Bertea Hall 221
Email: Joshua M. Brown

Popular Musics of the World
Music forms are deemed “popular” because they are either created or broadcast through mass media. The terms “World Pop,” “World Beat,” and “Global Fusion” encompass a seemingly infinite array of styles that bring together local and global sounds and sensibilities. Recording technologies, in particular, provide musicians and listeners with new ways of expressing themselves and connecting with other peoples and communities that are often physically inaccessible. In this course we will explore how such technologies enable artists and listeners to engage with otherness and difference, as well as repression and censorship, and enact change both locally and globally. We will survey a diverse group of popular musical cultures from across the globe and explore how these cultures both reflect and shape the social, spiritual, economic and political realities that surround them. Together, we will examine a number of case studies that speak to larger issues about the place of music in the world today.

Andrew R. Chappell, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor of Theatre

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

FFC 100-31 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.  Starting with works from the classic sci-fi and fantasy canons (Jules Verne, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis) as well as contemporary pieces with significant cultural currency (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones), we will critically analyze other works such as Doctor Who, Spirited Away, and Rocky Horror 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

FFC 100-8 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.

William L. Cumiford, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of History

William L. Cumiford, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of History
Phone: (714)532-6013
Office: Roosevelt Hall 219
Email: Bill Cumiford

FFC 100-39 The Classical Influence on America
This course explores some of the important bequests of the classical era to the modern United States. For example, the ancient Greeks initiated the Olympic Games of the ancient world, giving inspiration to modern Olympic competition while at the same time forging the first democracies.  Other classical contributions students will explore are  the connections between Roman gladiatorial combat and modern American football and how the great races at the Circus Maximus serves as a forerunner of American formula and stock car events. A highlight of the course focuses on the mentally unstable Roman emperors who endangered the republican values of traditional Rome and offered our Founders ammunition against the injustices of the British monarchy. Finally, the course offers an object lesson in the fragility of democratic and republican governing systems and poses questions about the future of American representative government. 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

FFC 100-9 Representing Racial Identity
This course examines representations of racial identity in texts primarily from the time when the U.S. was officially a segregated society. From the later nineteenth century through into the twentieth, there existed what was called “the color line,” an imaginary though lawfully prescribed line between white and black. Our texts attempt to prove the absurdity of artificially separating people from one another through representing black and white identities as open to change and inseparable; they suggest that segregation not only separates two people but also affects people internally, cutting off a part of who you are from yourself. The list of writers includes Northup, Chesnutt, Du Bois, Larsen, Schuyler, O’Connor, Walker and Otsuka. 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

FFC 100-10&11 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.

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

FFC 100-14 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 capital punishment. 3 credits.


Micol Hebron

Micol Hebron, MFA - Associate Professor, Art
Phone: (714) 744-7013
Office: Moulton Hall 221
Email: Micol Hebron

Social Media and the Meaning of Life: Understanding the History, Future, and Meaning of Social Media with Regard to Our Real and Virtual Selves.
From cat videos to crowdsourcing; bots to banners; googling to ‘gramming; social media has defined how we live, love, learn, and think. In this class we will take a critical look at the ways that we navigate social media today – and how to be conscientious and responsible with regard to online identities and actions. How do we construct our online identities? How has crowdsourcing changed the way we think about creativity, economics, or politics? Why are cute animal videos still so popular? What happened to Napster, Friendster, or MySpace? What happens to someone’s accounts after they die? How do we express our creativity through photos, language, art, or coding? What ways are there to intervene and deconstruct the cybersphere? We will examine the analog precedents that have lead to today’s digital universe; the rise and fall of social media platforms; and the challenges and opportunities that come with life online.

Ernesto Hernandez, J.D. - Professor of Law

Ernesto Hernandez, J.D. - Professor of Law
Phone: (714) 628-2621
Office: Kennedy Hall 417
Email: Ernesto Hernandez

FFC 100-46 Terror Films and Counterterror Policies: Analysis in Reel Time and Real Time
In this course, students will examine national security issues in movies and in current policy developments. Topics include war, terrorism, humanitarian crisis, cybersecurity, and diplomacy. We’ll begin with critical viewings of Syriana, Homeland, Battle of Algiers, and others popular culture examples. For “reel time,” students apply war film genre, national security studies, foreign relations, and post-colonial theories; for “real time,” students explore current policy challenges as they develop during the semester.  Students will critically read and present news developments and government policies.  This includes close readings of the New York Times, other news sources, and government documents such as Congressional testimony and Presidential orders.  Student requirements include active engaged discussion and close attention. 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

FFC 100-15 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.

Eileen Jankowski, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of English

Eileen Jankowski, Ph.D. - Director, Fellowships and Scholars Program and Assistant Professor of English
Phone: (714) 744-7661
Office: Wilkinson Hall 214
Email: Eileen Jankowski

FFC 100-34 Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: The Transformative Power of Greek Myth
Thomas Cahill, in his book Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea:  Why the Greeks Matter, argues for the seminal role Greek ideas, literature, and art played in shaping western culture.  This course will explore one of the ways the Greeks “matter”—namely, through their development of a grand array of myths that continue to inform Westerners’ views of themselves and others. Through a study of these stories as well as literature and film based on mythic figures or themes, students will analyze Greek myth’s social, historical, and psychological role in shaping cultural formations as well as individual identity.  Students will develop a deeper understanding of the conscious and unconscious roots of culture, both to celebrate and to critique the transformative power of myth.   In addition to our main text, course readings include The Epic of Gilgamesh, Homer’s The Odyssey, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, and selections from Joseph Campbell. 3 credits.

Louise Kleszyk, M.A. - Adjunct Professor of Philosophy

Louise Kleszyk, M.A. - Adjunct Professor of Philosophy
Phone: (714) 997-6636
Office: TBA
Email: Louise Kleszyk

FFC 100-41 (Re)Evolution: What Makes the World Go ‘Round
This course examines a number of theories about what makes the community clock tick in terms of natural evolution and scientific and cultural revolutions. Humanity, power, values, and progress will be the main themes that frame our discussion of a variety of texts from philosophy of science, ancient Greek and Chinese philosophy, and modern critiques of Western culture. Students use logic and careful thinking to read, analyze, and critique claims and arguments in addition to accurately and charitably recreating the arguments and claims of others. 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

FFC 100-22 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. In addition to watching animated documentaries and reading graphic novels, students will shoot photographs, produce original graphics, and publish to the web. 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

FFC 100-1&2 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

FFC 100-32 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.


Jon Levin, - Adjunct Professor of English

Jon Levin,  - Adjunct Professor of English
Phone: TBA
Office: TBA
Email: Jon Levin

FFC 100-47&48 Who Gets to be a Superhero? Race and Identity in Comics
What do comic books and superhero culture have to teach us? This course provides an analysis of important themes (such as race and identity). Imagine your favorite superhero characters if they were more like you. Using a critical perspective, this course will focus on the socio-cultural components of diversity available through superhero and other types of comics via global cultures, U.S. culture and sub-cultures. As students study the themes inherent in many comic books storylines, they will make connections between fiction, history and the moral dilemmas they encounter in their daily lives. 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

FFC 100-8 Faith in Popular Culture
How can pop culture help us to understand faith in 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, Audre Lorde, and Frantz Fanon. The class emphasizes critical thinking, digital literacy, and the integration of scholarly and creative work. In addition, students will conduct case studies (e.g., Boko Haram's use of social media) and create content for YouTube and blogs. 3 credits.

Eric Linstead, Ph.D Erik Linstead, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science
Phone: (714) 289-3159
Email: Erik Linstead

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, such as social media, business, biology, chemistry, and computer science. Additionally, students will gain hands-on experience with popular computational tools (such as Excel, Weka, Python, and R) for processing, visualizing, and analyzing big data.

Eric Linstead

Eric Linstead, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science
Phone: (714) 289-3159
Eric Linstead

Space: The Final Frontier
While the “space race” may only have lasted 20 years, our fascination with the final frontier is still going strong. From Sputnik, to the Space Shuttle, to the colonization of Mars, humans have sought, and continue to seek, ways to break the bonds of earth and explore the mysteries of the universe. In this course students will explore the history of space exploration, including achievements in human space flight, remote sensing and planetary missions, and space-based technologies that shape our day-to-day lives.

Atalia Lopez, M.A. - Adjunct Professor of English

Atalia Lopez, M.A. - Adjunct Professor of English
Phone: TBA
Office: TBA

FFC 100-35&36 Los Angeles in Film and Fiction
When Joyce Carol Oates asks, “If the City is a text, how shall we read it?” she presents a question that connects a dynamic and physical space to something more abstract. If a city is a text, as she proposes, how will we engage with it as “readers” and come to some level of greater understanding? In this course students will explore representations of the city of Los Angeles, with particular emphasis on its portrayal in films and literary texts. Throughout the semester we will read and view texts that prominently feature the urban space of Los Angeles. Through study, discussion, and research we will examine how the city functions within these imagined worlds and tackle some central questions and many others: how is Los Angeles different from other major American cities? What is the function of Los Angeles as an urban environment? What are some central themes that we can see developing across the texts we read/view? Does its representation differ at all between the mediums of film and literature? Texts may include films such as Sunset Blvd., Chinatown, Blade Runner, L.A. Confidential, Drive, and novels such as Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust, Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays, Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Charles Bukowski's Post Office, and T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain. 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

FFC 100-20 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.


Lilia Monzo, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Education

Lilia Monzo, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Education
Phone: (714) 628-2758
Office:  Reeves Hall 203
Email: Lilia Monzo

FFC 100-29 Education and Revolution: Activism and Social Movements for a Better World
In this course on specific social movements around the world and key figures in them, students will reflect on the world we live in and our roles as human beings in it. A primary goal is to have students become empowered to see themselves as active agents of their world, understanding that we are not merely passengers in life but the makers of history.  Students will have an opportunity to engage questions of leadership, collective action, and organizing for social change, as well as placing movements within historical contexts and analyzing both gains and losses that have come to bear on these movements. An important aspect of the course is the role of education, both formal and informal, in developing social consciousness and the ideological shifts necessary to create the impetus to act toward revolutionary changes. Specific social movements discussed may include the Paris Commune, Civil Rights, The Zapatistas, The Cuban Revolution, and Black Lives Matter. 3 credits.

M. Andrew Moshier, Ph.D. - Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science

M. Andrew Moshier, Ph.D. - Professor, Mathematics and Computer Science
Phone: (714) 997-6628
Email: Andrew Moshier

Puzzles and Paradoxes
From Zeno’s paradoxes to the modern thought experiments of physics, we humans have sought to understand the world via puzzles. The role of paradox in our quest is fundamental. By articulating a paradox (a claim that evidently neither can be true nor can it not be true), we get an intimate look at what we do not know. In this course we concentrate our attention on a family of puzzles and paradoxes from Zeno’s Paradox through Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, centering on self-reference. For example: If the following sentence is false, this course will interest you. The previous sentence is false.

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

FFC 100-18&19 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.

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

FFC 100-24 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.

Daniel Pilchman

Daniel Pilchman, Ph.D. - Adjunct Faculty, Philosophy

Phone: (714) 997-6636
Email: pilchman@chapman.eduFFC 100-40 Global Justice, Peace and War


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

FFC 100-3&4 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.

Richard Ruppel, Ph.D. - Professor of English

Richard Ruppel, Ph.D. - Professor of English
Phone: (714) 997-6754
Office: 428 N. Glassell Street, Rm 101
Email: Richard Ruppel

FFC 100-6 Neuroscience and Literature: A Cognitive Approach to Reading Fiction
Literature has always been centrally concerned with character—Odysseus: clever, loyal, very stubborn; Don Quixote: chivalrous, honorable, slightly crazy; Hamlet: noble, bitter, deeply conflicted; Satan: proud, rebellious, grandly wicked; Elizabeth Bennett: bright, witty, affectionate; Mrs. Dalloway: so changeable, so psychologically rich, she can barely be contained within the novel.  As readers, we know the characters in stories and novels better than we know our friends and family, better, sometimes, than we know ourselves. A cognitive approach to literature attempts to account for this and other miracles of reading. In this course, we’ll look at novels and short stories from a cognitive perspective while we explore discoveries in neuroscience that shed light on how writers write and readers read. 3 credits.

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

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

FFC 100-17 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.


Michael Shermer, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor

Michael Shermer, Ph.D. - Adjunct Professor
Phone: TBA
Office: TBA
Email: Michael Shermer

FFC 100-42 Skepticism 101, or How to Think Like a Scientist without Being a Geek
The founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and the “Skeptic” monthly columnist for Scientific American will introduce you to the world of skepticism and science through some of the most controversial ideas of our time: science and pseudoscience, superstition and the paranormal, evolution and intelligent design creationism, climate denial and “political” science, anti-vaccination and alternative medicine, pseudo-history and Holocaust denial, UFOs and alien abductions, the afterlife and reincarnation, God and religion, and religious-based morality vs. science-based morality. You will learn how to think critically and skeptically without becoming a science geek, and learn to be open-minded enough to accept new ideas without being so open-minded that your brains fall out. The course includes numerous in-class demonstrations, videos, magic, illusions, and examples from pop culture along with rigorous scientific research. Be prepared to have your worldviews challenged. 3 credits.

Andrew Smyth, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow, Economic Science Institute

Andrew Smyth, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow, Economic Science Institute
Phone: (714) TBA
Office: Wilkinson Hall 220
Email: Andrew Smyth

FFC 100-24 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.

Andrew Smyth, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow, Economic Science Institute

Mirella Valencia, M.S. Astronautical Engineering - Adjunct Instructor, Mathematics and Computer Science
Phone: (714) 744-7644
Email: TBA

Space: The Final Frontier
While the “space race” may only have lasted 20 years, our fascination with the final frontier is still going strong. From Sputnik, to the Space Shuttle, to the colonization of Mars, humans have sought, and continue to seek, ways to break the bonds of earth and explore the mysteries of the universe. In this course students will explore the history of space exploration, including achievements in human space flight, remote sensing and planetary missions, and space-based technologies that shape our day-to-day lives.

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

FFC 100-21 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.

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