General Education Courses and Descriptions

General Education Courses and Descriptions

Spring 2017

(GA, GH, GS, GN, GQ, GHA and GSW) 

At the core of a Penn State degree is our general education curriculum: a set of courses across a variety of disciplines that will enhance the knowledge base and professional skill set for any student, regardless of major. While all students are expected to take general education courses, you have the opportunity to select the courses that best suit your passions, secondary interests and future professional goals. Are you an engineering major with an interest in video gaming? A psychology major with a passion for painting? Or maybe a business major who really wants to know more about plants? We’ve got you covered! 

Below, please find very specific course content together with specific learning outcomes regarding some of the campus’ popular general education courses offered next semester. For a complete list of general education course list, please contact your adviser or visit the LionPATH site.

American Studies

AM ST 100 (GH)
Introduction to American Studies
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American history, culture, and identity. It is designed to present some of the major themes and ideas in American culture, as well as to familiarize you with some of the research and interpretations of the themes, traditions, and patterns that characterize America as a nation, an experience and a people. In addition, as a way of raising the question of what it means to be “American,” the course explores the disparity between America as it imagines itself and America as it is. This course will begin with a brief introduction to American Studies, its history and themes. The remainder of the course will focus on the social and economic times of America from the Colonial period (1607–1776), through the nineteenth and twentieth century. This course will create a link between local and national economic and social times.

AM ST 105 (GH)
Popular Culture & Folk Life
The popular culture of any country is an invaluable source of insight into what its people believe, value, and fear, and nowhere is that more true than the United States, the first truly mass polity and culture on the planet. Images, objects, and ideas from our popular culture define how the world sees us, and how we think of ourselves. In this class we will analyze monster movies, football games, television shows, hit singles, superhero comics, and glossy magazines for clues into American society and its complicated history with issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Be prepared to read, discuss, write, and think seriously about matters we often too quickly dismiss as trivial.

AM ST 140Y (GH)
Religion in America Life and Thought
The United States remains a religious country but in a way far different from its beginnings. Religion in America explores the relationship of religion and culture in the United States from a historical perspective. The course covers from the colonial period until the present. This is an opportunity for a student to come to her or his own understanding of the place of religion in U.S. life - past, present, and future.


ART 001 (GA)
Introduction to Visual Arts
(Intro to Watercolor)

This course will introduce students to the watercolor medium with an emphasis on the fundamentals of composition, value, color mixing, and watercolor techniques. Through the exploration of the watercolor medium, students will have the opportunity to practice basic wet and dry techniques, washes, blends, and use of transparency as they develop and complete their watercolor paintings. This is an introductory course. No prior painting experience is required.

ART 010 (GA)
Introduction to Visual Studies
Our Mobile-Selves, Instagram and Art, uses the smart phones in our pockets and the social media we use every day to dig into two big questions; could Instagram be used to make meaningful socially aware art and how do we think about and use Instagram as a tool in our lives? In the course we examine how art connects to social media throughout history and how we think about art today. We ask questions like, why is Kim K. so popular, what’s up with all the food pictures, and the impact of selfies on our world. You will learn and utilize what makes Instagram posts look good and how they get shared. Ultimately, this course is about discovering how to ask more of ourselves and others through posting images via Instagram and the act of making art and questioning that in an academic setting. In this course you will not only learn how to take and post really well constructed Instagram feeds, but those posts will offer a more significant and potentially progressive social contribution and exploration of our world.

This course is a collaborative learning, critical thinking, and problem solving course using digital media as a tool for social exploration that is applicable across disciplines, interests, and concentrations.

ART 020 (GA)
Introduction to Drawing
Drawing is a course built upon a traditional, observation-based approach to drawing. Our primary source is the human figure (nude models). Still life, landscape, and portraiture are also considered. Development of gestalt (the psychology of implied shape), space, figure-ground, and perspective are active components in this course. Materials are of a time-honored nature. Mainly, monochromatic "dry mediums," charcoal, conte crayon, chalk, etc. This course is taught at an introductory level and is predominantly technique-driven. Our student drawings, while based upon traditional approaches, are made in a Post-postmodern environment. What we gain from the lessons of antiquity, colliding with the pastiche of "the here and now."

ART 050 (GA)
Introduction to Painting
Painting is a course built upon a traditional, observation-based approach to painting. Our primary source is the still life. The course content has been constructed from the “nature morte” works of Giorgio Morandi. Development of gestalt (the psychology of implied shape), space, figure-ground, perspective, and color theory are active components in this course. Materials are of a time-honored nature. Mainly, acrylic paints, brushes, quality paper, sketchbooks, etc. This course is taught at an introductory level and is predominantly technique-driven. Our student paintings, while based upon traditional approaches, are made in a Post-postmodern environment. What we gain from the lessons of antiquity, colliding with the pastiche of the “here and now."


COMM 100 (GS)
The Mass Media and Society
When is the last time you checked social media? How much TV did you watch over the weekend? What is the last song you streamed? Odds are, if you are like most Americans today, you are constantly connected to some type of media device. After all, media are everywhere today. We browse the web. We watch TV. We read books. We listen to music. Yet, where did these media that we take for granted come from? This class explores the backgrounds of various media, and explains how they have come together in a modern world of media convergence.


CAS 100A (GWS)
Effective Speech
Angela Putman will be teaching Effective Speech (CAS 100A) on TR from 1:35-2:50 p.m. in Vairo 110. In this course, students will learn how to give effective presentations to an audience through the lens of social justice. Students will engage in the process of social justice activism by choosing a topic that reflects a social problem/injustice that is current and relevant to the world today. Recent topics that students have focused on include women's reproductive rights, discrimination against immigrants, police brutality, and sexual assault. Using their chosen injustice as their speech topic, the students will craft presentations through use of personal narratives, scholarly research, and current events.

CAS 100A (GWS)
Effective Speech
Josh Phillips will be teaching Effective Speech (CAS 100A) on MWF from 2:30-3:20 p.m. in Vairo 109. During this course, students will learn how to effectively conduct scholarly research, prepare a speech outline, present in front of an audience, and analyze public speeches. While students will be expected to conduct scholarly research, they will have the option of choosing their own speech topics. Throughout the years, students have chosen to inform their classmates on a variety of topics including historical events, sports, pop-culture trends, political issues, social controversies, and civic engagement.  


Juvenile Delinquency
This course is designed to teach students the evolution of the juvenile justice system in the United States, and specifically look at the main areas of law enforcement, the court system, and corrections. Students will learn what makes children and adolescents more vulnerable, or “at risk,” for breaking the law. The different categories, classifications, and definitions of delinquent acts will be discussed, as well as theories about why juveniles commit crimes and the consequences that may come along with the delinquent act. The main differences between the criminal justice system and the juvenile justice system are discussed, as well as methods of crime prevention. Current cases and events will be reviewed, as they relate to the juvenile justice field as they arise.

CRIMJ 100 (GS)
Intro to Criminal Justice
This course is designed to teach students a brief history of the field of criminal justice, and how it has evolved over time due to the changing needs of society. The course will discuss the main areas of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, the court system, and corrections. Students will learn about the different categories, classifications, and definitions of criminal acts, as well as theories about why people commit crimes and the consequences that may be a result of committing a criminal act. Current events in the United States and crime prevention will also be discussed, as they relate to the criminal justice field.


C I 280 (GH)
Introduction to Teaching English to English Language Learners 
Do you plan on working with clients or children who speak languages other than English? Or have you considered teaching English in another country? This course is designed to help you develop strategies so you can navigate communications with persons from cultures who speak languages other than English and help them learn English. Through case study analysis, readings, and multimedia sources, students in this course will explore issues of culture, language, learning contexts, instruction, and professionalism.  


EARTH 100 (GN)
Environment Earth
The overarching course goal is for students to understand, communicate examples, and make informed decisions relating to big ideas and supporting concepts of Earth science (in other words, to be an Earth-literate person!). All class meetings are collaborative, hands-on activities that work with authentic, real-time datasets, data visualizations, and address current events that challenge today’s Earth scientists. Students will read Elizabeth Kolbert’s book Field Notes from a Catastrophe, generate an annotated bibliography and author a page for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) wiki.


ENGL 136 (GH)
The Graphic Novel
In ENGL 136 we explore how comic books work, from their art to neurology. We study their history from WWII to the present day and consider how the American comic book has influenced comics around the world. And we read a bunch of comics! Dr. Kennedy

ENGL 234 (GH)
Sports, Ethics, and Literature
This course will study real-world ethical issues through discussions of sports literature and film.  We will read some of the best writing on sports in the 20th and 21st centuries, and view/study films dealing with a various sports including boxing, baseball, football, cross-country running, horse racing, and many others.  We will discuss how you have been shaped by your experiences as an athlete, as a fan, and as member of a community where sports can often serve as a mirror of society. Dr. deGategno and Dr. Malone

ENGL 263 (GH)
Reading Poetry
This course emphasizes analysis and appreciation of this ancient art through the study of selected poems from early periods through contemporary writing. Classroom discussion will focus upon close reading and interpretation in order to understand the elements and effects of poetry, including meter, rhythm, forms, rhyme and other devices of sound, image, etc.


GAME 140 (GS)
Gaming and Interactive Media
Do you want to know more about a multibillion-dollar industry that is ingrained in our culture and is increasingly infiltrating our lives? The video game industry is a major competitor in the interactive media/entertainment business, which boasts revenues greater than theatrical film exhibition and recorded music sales combined. This global industry is rapidly growing and the largest players are running multibillion-dollar, multinational operations employing thousands of people.

Join a guild in this “gamified” course that explores the exciting world of digital interactive media highlighting such topics as: video games and simulations, products for education, training, medicine, business, government/military and virtual environments for a range of applications. Students will learn about industry structures, basic economics, business models, work flow, types of enterprises, job descriptions, and opportunities. It examines both the national and global markets. It provides students with a factually and theoretically informed appreciation of these industries.

The course will build on the students’ personal and social experiences of these media, which extends to research on current trends in the industry. It is not a course about playing or designing games or mastering individual applications. No special knowledge or experience in playing video games, using “serious games” or experiencing virtual worlds is required. It will provide students with the foundation to make a well-informed choice about careers in this sector and respond to their natural curiosity about this pervasive part of their lives. 

GAME 160 (GH, US/IL)
Introduction to Video Game Culture
In 50 years, video and computer games have progressed from whimsical experiments conducted by computer scientists to a multibillion-dollar industry that helps define the landscape of modern culture. This class will examine the history, philosophy, and impact of video games on economics, art, popular culture, and society. Be prepared to take a serious look at a supposedly frivolous phenomenon as we study how video games have changed the way we think about books, movies, sports, education, and basic human interactions. Be ready to ponder some hard questions about the impact of video games on real-world behaviors like violence and gender relations. Finally, expect to synthesize what you have learned and create a proposal for a video game of your own design. Students will not need to know much about computers or coding, as this class will be studying video games as cultural artifacts rather than technological one.


History 20 (GH)
American Civilization to 1877
History 20 will explore the development of early America from 1492 through the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War. Particular attention will be devoted to examining the changing relationships between European, Native American, and African peoples as well as to the internal evolution of these diverse societies. Along the way we will explore such topics as colonization and cultural interactions between Europeans and Indians, the rise of slavery, the American Revolution, the beginning of industrialization, westward expansion, and the Civil War. The goal of the class will be to determine how race, geography, gender, class, and culture created competing worlds in America prior to 1877. This course is not intended to simply acquaint you with facts, but to teach students how to analyze those facts so that they can understand why historical events in America unfolded as they did.

HIST 021 (GH)
American Civilization Since 1877
Check out History 21 to find out how the United States became the world's leader. Learn about the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Henry Ford, FDR, Elvis, and more — lots of interesting people live on in History 21, come and share their experiences. Also, Uncle Sam wants you to know the difference between World War I and World War II. What was the role of the United States in each event? History 21 offers the answers to these questions and much more interesting stuff.


HD FS 129 (GS)
Introduction to Human Development and Family Studies
This course provides an introduction to interdisciplinary scholarship concerned with how human beings develop— physically, emotionally and intellectually— throughout their lives that is situated within particular sociocultural contexts.

HD FS 229 (GS)
Infant and Child Development
Have you ever wondered what that little baby in front of you is actually thinking or why the toddler in your family will throw things over his high chair over, and over, and over again? In this class, we explore how fetuses, infants, and children learn about the world around them — from learning about what they think, to how they move and when they start to feel emotions such as love, guilt, or jealousy. We also explore how the contexts of development (e.g., family, community, culture, etc) impact how we grow from a single-cell to a living, breathing (and sometimes annoying) child.

HD FS 239 (GS)
Adolescent Development
Only in early infancy do minds, bodies, and abilities change as radically as they do during the teenage years. This course is an introductory course that explores the developmental processes that shape our lives between puberty and the end of college. Although each life unfolds in its own unique pattern, we will explore the ways biological, psychological, and sociological influences systematically combine to shape its course. This class will help to develop an understanding of the concepts, methods, and research findings central to the study of adolescent development. Special consideration is given to topics relevant to Penn State Brandywine students.


IST 110 (GS)
Information, People, and Technology
The course focuses on an action-oriented approach where students learn by doing, and is delivered with significant student interaction with technology both in class and as part of out-of-class assignments.

Three perspectives address the core issues in the course: information or the basic science of data encoding, transmission, and storage; people or the interactions among technologies, institutions, regulations, and users; and technology or the design and operation of basic information technology devices. Students completing the course will be confident users and consumers of information technology while developing research and analytical skills.

IST 110 is the introductory course in IST, and it is a required course for all IST majors and minors.  


Ballroom Dance (1.5 credits)
A course designed to provide students with basic dance skills and an understanding and appreciation of ballroom dance. This half semester course provides the basic skills and information necessary to develop and continue one's interest in ballroom dancing. Dance history and etiquette, cooperation with a partner, and learning the fundamentals of leading and following techniques are stressed. Some of the dances learned include the Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba, Jitterbug, Cha-Cha, and Merengue. We will also touch on some other dances such as the Tango and Salsa. Several line dances will also be introduced.

Introduction to Cardiovascular Activities (1.5 credits)
A half semester course designed to give students an introduction to various types of cardiovascular activities that can be used as part of a lifelong exercise program. Students should expect to participate in a variety of activities such as, but not limited to, walking/jogging, cycling, circuit training, and cardiovascular exercise machine use. Additionally, students will have an opportunity to learn skills and information necessary to create safe cardiovascular exercise programs while considering safety, injury prevention, and the importance of nutrition.

Students will be asked to participate in cardiovascular activities both during class and on their own. Additional reading assignments will be completed to increase knowledge of the importance of adding exercise and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Wellness Theory
Wellness theory is both about and for you. This course asks you to go beyond thinking about your health to taking charge and making healthy choices for yourself and your future. What you learn in this course depends on you. You have more control over your life and well-being than anything or anyone else does. The decisions you make and the habits you develop influence how well and perhaps how long you will live. In this course, you will explore your mind, your body, your spirit, your social ties, your needs and wants, your past, and potential. 

Action Methods for Stress Management
What if you were told that you could consume a drink that would make you feel less stressed when you have an exam, give a speech in front of a class, or when going to the dentist? How much would someone pay for this drink? Unfortunately, there is no such beverage. However, the same benefits can be gained in another way. You can learn, practice, and use stress management strategies and gain all the benefits of the mythical drink. As a result, you can become healthier and live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.


MATH 35 (GQ)
General View of Mathematics
This course covers a variety of topics and applications not generally covered in traditional high school mathematics courses. For example: In how many different ways can three people be chosen from a group to help move furniture? What are the odds you will get an “A” on the next test? Or what is the easiest approach to answering questions concerning survey data? To deal with these types of questions and others, the course content includes a study of problem solving, set theory, logic, counting methods, probability, and geometry in an integrated fashion designed to broaden the students understanding and application of the mathematical ideas.

MATH 200 (GQ)
Problem Solving in Mathematics
This course is designed to help students planning to be elementary school teachers organize and develop their understanding of teaching mathematics at that level. This course is also a very good alternative to the more algebra-based pre-calculus technical mathematics courses, which are designed to prepare students for courses like calculus. Students will be introduced to material that will help them organize their thinking in mathematical ways, become better problem solvers, and maybe fill in some holes in their understanding of the structure of mathematics. Multiple strategies for problem solving are emphasized and practiced throughout the courses in practical ways.


MUSIC 009 (GA)
Introduction to World Music
(Music, Conflict, and Peace Building)

This course surveys ways in which music is involved in conflict and conflict resolution. Topics include African war drumming; musical revitalization in Cambodia after war and the Khmer Rouge genocide; drumming in Caribbean anti-colonial uprisings; American popular music and the civil rights movement; and heavy metal in Nepal, Israel, and Serbia. How does music strengthen division or galvanize a people for war? How does music reconcile, voice concerns, or (re-) build identity? How might music be a vehicle of peace building and resolution? Other topics include: music and gender, intellectual property, intangible cultural heritage, and the politics of representation.


NUTR 251 (GHA)
Introductory Principles of Nutrition
This course is designed for nutrition majors and non-majors to provide a broad understanding of general principles of nutrition. Concepts covered on most essential nutrients include: digestion, absorption, transport, function, and food sources. Additionally, major health issues related to some nutrients which are of public health concern in the U.S. are discussed in more detail giving insight into cause, treatment, and prevention. Of major importance to students' lives are health and nutrition implication of overweight, heart disease, bone health, and energy balance as affected by diet and physical activity. Understanding of nutritional needs throughout the life span is introduced. Lastly, students will explore topics related to hunger and food insecurity. All of these concepts at this introductory level are important for students in the major so that they are prepared for upper division courses. Application of knowledge to personal health is accomplished through a series of assignments and activities. Students record and analyze their own food intake for three days by using a USDA website. Students then assess these records using dietary guidelines, and nutrition standards. Students work individually and sometimes in small groups to critically evaluate their food behaviors; then they make decisions to formulate dietary plans which may reduce their risks for chronic diseases later in life. The last assignment has them design a nutritionally sound diet with their particular food preferences and habits in mind. In addition, students will apply their knowledge during the course by doing short case studies. The course is evaluated with quizzes and exams with multiple-choice and short-answer questions. Some questions are designed as case studies and involve problem-solving. Assignments include, the diet self-assessment process described above, which includes some short essays. An additional assignment on the use of Internet sites for reliable nutrition information gathering is required. These assignments promote active learning, analyzing and evaluating, making critical judgments, and using current technologies. Approximately 70-80 percent of the points are associated with the quizzes and examinations; the balance of the points are from the various projects.


PHIL 007 (GH)
Asian Philosophy
This course is an exploration of the philosophies and religions of Asia. As a class, we will examine the texts, traditions, and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Special attention will be given to the ethical, aesthetic, and political aspects of these perspectives. Together, we will consider such topics as knowledge, love, death, evil, truth, enlightenment, war, morality, and government as they are developed within nonwestern writings and cultures. We will also consider the influence upon and relation of such philosophies to the West, and, in the process, engage in comparative East-West analysis through figures such as Gandhi, Alan Watts, and Herman Hesse. During the course of the semester, we will have an opportunity to view several Asian movies with philosophical themes. Class discussion and debate will be encouraged. 

PHIL 12 (GQ)
Symbolic Logic
This course provides an introduction to the study of symbolic logic. Logic develops one’s ability to evaluate arguments, an important task in many professions and areas of life. Symbolic logic is a useful tool in analyzing complex forms of reasoning because it represents claims, conclusions, and inferences with symbols, thereby greatly reducing the possibility of error and cutting down on time-consuming evaluations of everyday language. If you enjoy thinking clearly, this course is a good one for you. If you would like to think more clearly, this course is also a good one for you.

PHIL 103 (GH)
This course involves an examination of philosophical aspects of ethics and morality. After an exploration of major normative theories of ethics, the remainder of the semester will focus upon practical moral problems and applied issues. We will investigate such topics as euthanasia, punishment, cloning, friendship, treatment of nonhuman animals, poverty, terrorism, war, and sexuality. In the process, we will look at relevant legal cases and court decisions to help illuminate our subjects. Students will participate in regular class discussions and debates and offer summaries or short presentations from time to time. We will try to grapple with other contemporary ethical topics as they emerge in the media and politics. We may have the opportunity to view several films that raise ethical dilemmas. 


PL SC 14 (GS, IL)
International Politics
This course introduces students to the major concepts and pertinent history of international relations within the framework of “strategic history.” The course requires extensive class participation and attendance is very important. Students will be expected to read and to discuss assigned texts and current events relevant to the subject matter of the course.


PSYCH 212 (GS)
Introduction to Developmental Psychology
Have you ever wondered what that little baby in front of you is actually thinking or why the toddler in your family will throw things over his high chair over, and over, and over again? In this class, we explore how fetuses, infants, and children learn about the world around them - from learning about what they think, to how they move and when they start to feel emotions such as love, guilt, or jealousy. We also explore how the contexts of development (e.g., family, community, culture, etc) impact how we grow from a single-cell to a living, breathing (and sometimes annoying) child.

PSYCH 238 (GS)
Introduction to Personality Psychology
The purpose of this course is to make yourself familiar with major theories of personality and current personality research. By the end of the semester, you will be able to answer the questions, “What is personality?” and “What determines personality?” As you will see, these are questions that many scholars have struggled to answer throughout time, and while there is no one correct answer, there are some fundamentals that are generally accepted by psychologists today. To these basic theoretical perspectives, you will add your own opinions and ideas during the course of the semester.

PSYCH 253 (GS)
Introduction to Psychology of Perception
This course provides an overview of human perception, which is the process of taking in and processing information from the environment. The well-studied domains of vision and audition are discussed in depth, but tactile and chemical senses, and complex behaviors involving perception (e.g., language, attention) are discussed. For each sense, we complete laboratory activities to illustrate how our senses affect our real-world behaviors.


RHS 100 (GS)
Introduction to Disability Culture
Introduction to disability culture explores how culture affects disability. It seeks to answer questions such as: What is a disability? How is disability perceived and treated in the United States and in other countries? How do concepts of universal design improve environments for all? 


RL ST 123 (GH)
Judaism, Christianity and Islam is a comparative historical and theological study of the world's 3 major monotheistic religions. This is a timely course given the current situations in the Middle East and the United States. The goal is for a student to come to an understanding, if not an appreciation of each of these religions as well as their relationships.

RL ST 140 (GH)
Religion in American Life
The United States remains a religious country but in a way far different from its beginnings. Religion in America explores the relationship of religion and culture in the United States from a historical perspective. The course covers from the colonial period until the present. This is an opportunity for a student to come to her or his own understanding of the place of religion in U.S. life - past, present, and future.


SRA 111 (GS)
Security and Risk Analysis
The overarching course goal is for students to understand, communicate, and make informed decisions relating to virtual and physical security in a variety of small and large environments. As a class, we will explore security needs for individuals, singular computers and home networks. We will compare and contrast the security needs of businesses and even nations versus individuals.


THEA 105 (GA)
Introduction to Theatre: How Theatre Happens
We sit in a darkened room and while actors share stories, expressing dreams and fears, we recognize ourselves. When we leave, we have made a connection to our world, for good or ill, which is profoundly personal. Theater is a vital part of the cultural landscape in which it is created, a way of understanding our world and ourselves in real time, live, and in person. In this course, we examine the elements of the theatrical production process as a means of both understanding how and why theater works and developing a greater appreciation of the art and the craft of theater. We’ll explore the historical, analytical, and practical aspects of the Western theatrical tradition, through production videos, lecture, and in-class activities. 

THEA 208 (GA)
Workshop: Theatre in Diverse Cultures
In this class we will explore the broad cultural diversity that exists in artistic expression and production and how that diversity is making its way onto Western onto stage and screen.  We will focus on the differences between cultural influences and cultural appropriation, and on the efforts of women, the LGBT community, and people of color to get their stories told both onstage and in film.  Looking primarily at Western theatre performances and texts, we will examine the theatrical traditions that have paradoxically both encouraged us to and prevented us from fully embracing the rich cultural diversity of our performers and audiences.  Our goals are to develop and enhance an appreciation for multicultural theatrical presentations; to help sensitize students to the need for a broader cultural diversity in theatrical and film performance; and to provide students with a broader understanding of, and engagement with, drama.


Representing Women and Gender in Literature, Art, and Popular Cultures
Explore the lives of women in Afghanistan, Botswana, India, Vietnam, the Caribbean, South Korea, and the U.S. through art, literature, music, drama, and film. Look at the world of fine art through the eyes of the Guerrilla Girls, a wisecracking group of gorilla-masked women artists. Learn about the war in Vietnam from the autobiography of a Vietnamese peasant woman. And imagine the future in the United States with a fundamentalist government in an award winning novel by Margaret Atwood.