First-Year Seminar Course Descriptions

Fall 2022

FS 115 American Environmental Imagination

This course is designed to introduce students to American literary and cultural representations of the natural environment, examining a variety of writings that have shaped the way that we understand and treat nature. We will consider a number of relevant disciplines, including environmental philosophy, politics, aesthetics, and ethics.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar

FS‐111 The Examined Life

In this course we will examine our lives by writing about them, using “lenses” from various fields (literature, history, philosophy, or psychology, for instance) to see ourselves from different angles. We will write personal narratives/memoirs of our own, using what we have learned to further explore the writing process and examine our own lives.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar

FS128: Journey Stories

We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others. This seminar reads, examines, and listens to the stories people tell. Students will tell their own stories, attend a Moth Story Slam, and interview other people to give them an opportunity to tell their own story. We will use these stories to develop a common language and understand both the inner and outer landscapes of our lives.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar

FS 155 – Race/Gender/Sexuality in Film

This course will explore stories about democracy and diversity in film, looking to the cultural and political contestation over race, gender, and sexuality in some of the most important works from countries around the world. Students will come to understand the different ways democracy and identity are explored, paying close attention to who tells stories and how they are told. Assignments will include a variety of styles of reflection and analysis.

FS‐156: A Memoir: LGBTQI Authors

Marking the 100th anniversary of white women’s suffrage and 50th of women’s enrollment at our college, this course examines critical autobiographies written by women from around the world that explore structural racism, misogyny, and homophobia, and that offer individual stories of self-discovery and resistance. Grounded in comparative reflections on identity in text and film, the course builds knowledge from the experience of what it means to be different and to act politically.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar

FS‐123 On Memory

What is memory? Why do we remember? What role does memory play in constructions of self and society? Can we exist without memory? This course will explore such questions on memory, which have been posed and debated since antiquity. Our study will be interdisciplinary, considering these problems through the lenses of psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and history.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar

FS‐153 Peace and Justice

This course is designed as an introduction to the subject of social justice through the study of social justice issues in the context of the lives of individuals who envision(ed) a more just society and endeavor(ed) to live by that vision. We will study issues such as nonviolence, racism, and social and economic inequality, and individuals such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Paul Farmer. CORE: First‐Year Seminar

FS‐118 Performance, Art, and Social Justice

This course examines how various forms of artistic performance and visual art are uniquely equipped to engage us in dialogue about divisive issues and lead us toward action to fight social injustice.

FS‐140 Place and Placelessness

This seminar examines conceptions and experiences of place. We live in a world of distinct, memorable, and meaning‐infused places. By exploring spaces and places which seem to resonate with meaning, we will probe how the essence of the meaning of place can be imposed and maintained (or resisted and denied?), and how we define ourselves and others through and within places.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar; Open to Honors Student

FS‐123 Technology and Ethics in Society

The interplay of technology, sociology, and ethics will be considered in this seminar course. We will consider both recent and historical impacts of technological innovation on the American landscape as well as the broader and more recent influence of globalization. Course participants will study current research and trends in computing and consider their impact on our society and the world. We will consider the ethical, sociological and economic dilemmas created by the introduction of new technologies.  CORE: First‐Year Seminar