First-Year Seminars First Year Courses

One of your four fall courses will be a first-year seminar (FSEM). Many FSEMs count toward the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum or may be equivalent to departmental or divisional offerings. For example, FSEM 111 fulfills the Communities and Identities CORE requirement, whereas FSEM 161 is equivalent to ENGL 200 and fulfills one-half of the Human Thought and Expression areas of inquiry. Each FSEM course description (available below) indicates any requirement it may fulfill and/or if it's an equivalent of a regularly offered course within the curriculum.  

Every effort will be made to register you for one of your highest preferred FSEM choices; however, due to small class size it is impossible to accommodate everyone. If we are unable to accommodate your highest FSEM preferences, you will be placed in an available FSEM that fits your schedule.

Courses

 

Professor Dauber 

Legacies of the Ancient World: Good Society 

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that have been continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. Moreover, the course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions, some of which lie beyond the geographical area of “The West.” Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added in individual sections or groups of sections. Thus, some groups of sections may have particular themes. These themes will be identified at registration every term. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement. 

In this section of Legacies of the Ancient World, students will focus on the various mentalities of antiquity--from the flinty Romanitas of Caesar's opponents to the apocalyptic visions of justice of the Hebrew prophets. Students will see how the great books of antiquity are both representative of these mentalities and critical of them. Above all, students will learn through the study of literary genre and ethical argument "how to think like a book." The emphasis will be on close reading, both in class and out, and on practicing writing analytically. 

Noah Dauber, associate professor of Political Science, specializes in the history of political thought. His focus is on the emergence of the idea of the state in early modern Europe.

Professor Gallucci 

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues, such as the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just, and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, poetry, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that human communities have continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. The course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions. Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added by faculty in individual sections. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement. 

John A. Gallucci is Professor of French at Colgate University. His area of specialization is in early French literature.

Professor Sindima 

Explores how the texts of the ancient world have informed the ethical, philosophical, political and religious thought of the modern West. Most of the texts are from the Mediterranean world, Greece and the Middle-East as these regions shaped Western civilization. Indeed, to speak of Western civilization, is to refer to the impact of Greek thought, Jewish, and Christian values. The ideas of democracy and ethical values, for instance, trace their roots to Greece and the Judeo-Christian tradition. Likewise, the idea of freedom of conscience is the product of the Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther and runs through Saint Augustine to Aristotle. So, the study of the ancient world is really an investigation into Greek philosophy and the Middle-Eastern religious values, or through Judaism and Christianity in particular. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement. 

Harvey Sindima is professor of philosophy and religion, and a Colgate Presidential Scholar. He teaches courses on world religions; the Christian tradition; religion, science, and the environment; and religion, war, peace and reconciliation. He has numerous publications in religions, Christian theology and theological movements, terrorism, religion and capitalism, and philosophy. The objectives of his FSEM are to familiarize students with the texts that shaped the foundations of Western thought, and to develop a deeper understanding of the power of philosophical and theological thought in shaping the social-political framework and structure.

Professor Stahlberg 

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; virtue and the good life; the true, the just and the beautiful; the difference between subjective opinion and objective knowledge. These texts exemplify basic modes of speech, literary forms, and patterns of thinking that establish the terminology of academic and intellectual discourse and critical thought across many different societies: epic, rhetoric, tragedy, epistemology, science, democracy, rationality, the soul, spirit, law, grace. Such terms have shaped the patterns of life, norms, and prejudices that have been continually challenged, criticized, and refashioned throughout history. To highlight both the dialogue and conflicts between the texts and the traditions they embody, this course, taught by a multidisciplinary staff and in an interdisciplinary manner, focuses on both the historical contexts of these texts and the ongoing retellings and reinterpretations of them through time. Moreover, the course includes texts from the ancient Mediterranean world that have given rise to some of the philosophical, political, religious, and artistic traditions associated with “The West,” emphasizing that Western traditions were not formed in a vacuum but developed in dialogue and conflict with other traditions, some of which lie beyond the geographical area of “The West.” Common to all sections of this component are classic works such as Homer, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, Plato, and a Roman text. Complementary texts or visual materials from the ancient period, in and beyond the Western world, and/or response texts from the medieval or contemporary periods are added in individual sections or groups of sections. Thus, some groups of sections may have particular themes. These themes will be identified at registration every term. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World requirement. 

Professor Ben Stahlberg is broadly interested in the ways in which intellectuals think about (and often re-envision) religion. Of late he has been working on the ways in which Jewish “practice” is rethought or re-conceived after the Holocaust.

Professor Coyle 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor of English, Michael Coyle is founding President of the Modernist Studies Association, Past President of the International T.S. Eliot Society, and has served on the advisory board of the National Poetry Foundation. He writes about modern poets like T.S. Eliot and Langston Hughes, jazz, race and modernist culture.

Professor Douglas 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Ray Douglas is a historian, with a particular interest in the ways in which bad ideas have tended to produce bad outcomes. The period under examination in this course has generated some of the worst and most damaging ideologies in human history. We'll have a lot to talk about.

Professor Stern 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity and this particular section pays particular attention to the interdependent and confluence of the material and ideological structures of class, colonialism, gender, race, and sexuality. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Mark Stern is the chair of the Department of Educational Studies whose interdisciplinary teaching and research looks at the relationship between education policy, urban policy, and political economy.

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. This course will explore some of the distinctive features of modernity – including the question of what we might mean by the term “modernity” itself. We will explore a variety of “texts” that embody and engage with this topic. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Jenna Reinbold studies the interaction of religion and law in the contemporary world. Her particular focuses include controversies over the separation of church and state in the U.S., and the role of religion and secularism in the spread of universal human rights.

Core Russia looks at Russian society, culture, and identity from Tsarism through the Bolshevik revolution and its aftermath and onto the present day. We study histories, primary texts (in translation), and also some fiction and poetry. Students will work on a paper that examines a contemporary phenomenon of their choice in the light of the past (though other possibilities are considered). Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 187C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement requirement. 

Professor Alice Nakhimovsky has written many books on Russian literature and culture, concentrating on the Soviet period and Soviet Jews. Her present project is a book called “Parallel Lives,” about the intertwined lives of seven Russian Jews, from 1900 to 1953.

Professor Etefa 

Surveys the culture, religion, communities, history, and socio-economic developments of Ethiopia from the ancient times to the modern period. Ethiopia is home to over 80 ethnic groups with striking cultures that are distinct from Western traditions. Major themes include peoples and languages; traditional customs and beliefs; Christianity and Islam; marriages; community service organizations; literature, novels; education; ethnic relations; traditional art and music; colonial resistance; sports; socio-economic developments; natural resources usage; Ethiopia and Europe; the Ethiopian revolution; Ethiopian immigrants in the United States; traditional harmful practices; and politics. Emphasis is also given to contemporary issues. Lectures are supplemented by discussions, film presentation, group activity, and coffee ceremony. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 173C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement. 

Originally from Ethiopia, Tsega Etefa is associate professor of history and Africana and Latin American studies program. His research focuses on ethnic relations in East Africa including Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya while his teachings include CORE Ethiopia, Darfur, Somalia, and other African history courses.

Professor Solomon

Aims to provide students with an overview of the social, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that have shaped life in South Africa. Students and faculty work together to better understand the way in which the country of South Africa came into being, how that national identity has been a site of struggle and contestation, particularly in the case of the struggle to overcome Apartheid, and how South Africans are working to overcome the legacy of racism and oppression that has marked much of the social and cultural experience of South Africa. In doing so, students investigate the changing dynamics of race, gender, and culture in South Africa, with a particular focus on understanding the ways South Africans are actively reshaping and unsettling existing social identities and distinctions. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 190C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement. 

Ryan Solomon is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. His research focuses on issues of citizenship and migration, mainly in the context of South Africa. His teaching largely focus on issues of democratic engagement and dialogue.

Professor Woolley 

Examines the fabric of California’s syncretic cultures in historical, geographic, sociologic, artistic, racial, literary, political, and economic contexts. The diverse settlement patterns, environmental and economic challenge/opportunity, explosion of art forms, and continuous creation of new communities often foreshadowed trends of the entire nation. Readings explore major themes and issues of California history, while literary and personal narratives provide insight into social and political realities, including the struggles of successive waves of immigrants to interact with the established populations. Artistic and architectural expressions that document cultural phenomena offer tangible examples of the creative forces that shaped Californian intellectual and physical communities. Sociological case studies as well as economic, political, and environmental reporting assist students to understand the challenges, failures, and victories of the composite California culture. Underlying all of this is a continuous study of the variegated geography of California, which has both offered and required substantial human choices. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 172C and satisfy the Communities and Identities core requirement. 

Susan Woolley is Associate Professor of Educational Studies and Director of LGBTQ Studies. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, and the experiences of LGBTQ students in California and New York K-12 public schools.

Professor Fuller 

Ecology and the Quality of the Environment 

Many of the key environmental problems that face society today involve how biotic systems are affected by alterations of physical and/or chemical factors. Students are introduced to ecological concepts that explain the nature of the environment and their relationship to environmental problems. Topics include human population dynamics, community and ecosystem dynamics, biodiversity and habitat fragmentation, invasive species, water pollution, hazardous waste disposal, renewable and nonrenewable resources, and climate change. Environmental degradation and pollution are approached from an ecological perspective, but also will address environmental ethics, environmental justice and economic and political aspects of environmental problems. Students read position papers that address both sides of an environmental problem and discuss the merits of both sides of different environmental issues. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 159S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Professor Fuller is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies whose research interests center on trophic relationships and energy flow in stream ecosystems, predator-prey interactions, algal-bacterial interactions and, more recently, he has been studying the delayed recovery of acid-stressed streams in the Adirondack Mountains. Professor Fuller teaches Evolution, Ecology and Diversity as well as Ecology, Limnology and Advanced Aquatic Ecology and in the Environmental Studies Program.

Professor McHugh 

Discovering Biology: Invasive Species 

Provides students with an introduction to biological processes through the lens of biological invasions. The practice of science and how we communicate science are considered through explorations of invasive plants and animals in terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Biological invasions are considered in the framework of broad ecological and evolutionary concepts, and in the context of global change. Students deliberate in written reports and class presentations on specific ways in which invasive species affect biodiversity, how they adapt to new environments, and how humans play a role in homogenizing biodiversity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 110S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Professor Damhnait McHugh is a marine biologist who studies the evolution of animal diversity, both ancient and recent. Recently she has become very interested in the ecology and evolution of animals and plants that humans introduce to new habitats, in the sea or on land.

Professor Geier 

Emerging Technologies: The Science and Potential Implications of Nanotechnology 

Imagine repairing your body without surgery and no longer burning fossil fuels. Imagine everyone enjoying abundance with no manufacturing costs. Imagine also the loss of all personal privacy and the irreversible poisoning of the planet. Such are the hopes, hype, and fears of nanotechnology—the study of materials and devices with dimensions on the nanoscale (1 x 10-9 m, the realm of assemblies of molecules). This course provides an introduction to the science and potential implications of molecular nanotechnology. Scientific and sensationalist visions of nanotechnology will be critically examined through a combination of readings, lectures, discussions, and student presentations. Students develop an appreciation for the nanoscale, an understanding of the excitement and challenges, and an awareness of societal and ethical implications. Through the lens of nanotechnology, students learn about the process of science, and gain insights applicable to the broad landscape of scientific discovery and emerging technologies. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 105S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Professor Rick Geier is an organic chemist whose research group studies reaction routes and conditions used to synthesize porphyrinoids. Porphyrinoids are important in nature (e.g., the red heme group responsible for oxygen transport in blood, and the green chlorophyll pigments that allow plants to absorb energy from the sun are members of the porphyrinoid family). Beyond their relevance in biology, porphyrinoids are used in molecular devices for application in solar energy, computing, data storage, catalysis, and medicine.

Professor Jimenez

Dogs are a fascinating study organism. From their very beginnings their evolutionary history contains unpredicted effects across all levels of biological organization. From the social construct of being a wild animal (wolf), to becoming dependent on man (domestication), and colonizing our homes and our beds (inter-species bonding). The history of this single species provides a rich learning opportunity to introductory biology students. Course readings and discussions include an exploration of most branches of biology, in an inter-disciplinary manner: evolution, ecology, genetics, physiology, and behavior, with the constant of exploring how dogs are unique to each of those branches in biology. Emphasis is on the interaction between wild animals and early humans, and tracks that interaction through time as the domestication of the dog has progressed. Further exploration includes physiological aspects of canine biology that are beneficial for humans, for example, cancer research. Students are challenged to formulate questions about science and how science relates to the inter-species relationship we have created with “man’s best friend” Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 188S and fulfill the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Professor Ana Jimenez is an animal physiologist interested in why small dog breeds live significantly longer than large breeds.

Professor Keating 

Reading People: The Art & Science of Nonverbal Communication 

Despite our very human way with words, much interpersonal communication flows through nonverbal channels. Facial gestures, gaze patterns, postures, vocal pitch and tone, touch and interpersonal distance, scents and odors, and even static, morphological structures of face and body channel crucial information about individual qualities and intentions. These messaging systems strongly influence how individuals "read" and respond to one another. However powerful, nonverbal cues can be difficult to precisely identify and measure. For example, perceivers attribute age, social status, sex, and even beauty at a glance, but which cues enable this, how, and why? Are emotions expressed the same way in every culture? Why are nonverbal first impressions so impactful; what makes them so “sticky?” Is there a nonverbal formula for charisma? If humans are so sensitive to nonverbal cues, why are they such poor lie detectors? These and other questions are probed by exploring the scientific literature on nonverbal communication and by conducting research designed to test some of its theoretical models. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Dr. Caroline (Carrie) Keating investigates the skills, traits, and motives associated with social dominance, leadership, and charisma. She teaches seminars in leadership, social bonds, cross-cultural human development, and nonverbal communication.

Professor Crotty 

Our current use of energy is unsustainable. Fossil fuels, which were deposited on Earth over hundreds of millions of years, will largely be exhausted over the course of just a few hundred years. Global climate change makes our situation even more unsustainable—we need to stop using fossil fuels long before they run out if we want to avoid catastrophic environmental change. This course takes a quantitative approach to learning about our current energy use, so that students can understand how our personal choices and lifestyles affect energy use. Please note that some of the assignments will require mathematics at the pre-calculus level. We also discuss how we might meet our energy needs in the future through renewable resources: what technologies are available now, what are their costs, and how much energy can they provide. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 101S and satisfy their Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Patrick Crotty is a theoretical physicist and uses techniques from physics, mathematics, and engineering to study the dynamics of neural networks. He also has longstanding extracurricular interests in history, sociology, and geography, in particular the factors (including resource usage/depletion) that influence the rise and fall of civilizations.

Professor Loranty 

Maps, Technology, and the Changing Geography of Exploration 

For centuries humans have created and used maps to explore our planet. Over the past few decades technology has radically altered the ways we generate and interact with maps. Students aim to understand the nature of these changes, and what they mean for how we explore the world around us. Students use GPS, drones, satellite data, and web-based tools to map and explore a variety of environments; from forests and trails on campus, to nearby cities. A series of case studies will help us to understand how these new geographic tools are advancing our scientific understanding of the physical and social processes that shape our world, and also how these tools impact society. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Professor Mike Loranty is a geographer who uses field and satellite data to study vegetation change in the Arctic. His current projects examine the effects of wildfire on forest regrowth and permafrost in Siberia.

Professor Keith

Elements, like iron, and alloys, like bronze, have entire “ages” name after them. Students read accounts of how elements and molecules have affected the course of civilization from ancient to current times. Students may be familiar with notorious elements like uranium and plutonium and their impact on world events, but how did tin change the course of history? Moving quickly from elements to molecules, the course looks at some of the roles molecules have played in colonization, health, environment, lifestyle, and so forth. The emphasis is not on the history of molecules, but rather molecules in history. As students explore these interesting histories, they pull in a few of the relevant scientific observations and molecular structures that give rise to the important characteristics of particular “world rocking” molecules. This course is centered on outside reading and class discussion with the addition of some short basic lectures on fundamental chemistry to provide context. The plan for this fall includes Uranium (energy and weapons), Salt (food preservation and conquest), Nitrogen (food production and explosives), Water (clean drinking and infrastructure), Ethanol (from fermentation and distillation to use and abuse), and Progesterone (birth control and women's rights). Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 158S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Jason Keith is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Colgate University. His research is based on the application of Density Functional Theory to various projects involving electronic structure, spectroscopy and mechanism. His primary research efforts focus on transition metal systems. While his research frequently focuses on fundamental concepts such as bonding, applied projects in his group are more commonplace and are often related to clean energy and the environment.

Professor Adams

Natural Disasters: Science, Media, and Movies 

Natural disasters are part of the normal processes that shape the Earth, but can have dramatic and tragic impacts on human populations around the globe. Many of us, however, only witness these events through news media coverage or movies. This course will (a) introduce the science behind many natural disasters – including earthquakes, asteroid impacts, storms, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis – while (b) also considering how media stories and films present, frame, or incorporate disaster science – and how this representation can impact our perception of natural disasters. Students gain a practical understanding of natural disasters, and learn to critically analyze the representation of science in popular media. NOTE: Attendance is required at movie screenings, in addition to the scheduled class meetings. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 176S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement. 

Professor Aubreya Adams is a geologist/geophysicist specializing in earthquakes, volcanos, and the drivers behind plate tectonics. She’s also a big fan of really bad disaster movies.

Professor Seo 

Statistics are everywhere. We find statistics in estimating the audience size of a popular show, interpreting political polls, forecasting the weather, projecting the stock market, etc. This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of statistical ideas and methods that primarily focus on how to collect, organize, analyze, and interpret applications in real life. Topics include experimental design, descriptive statistics to explore data, probability theory, Normal and sampling distributions, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing, and correlation and regression.Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for CORE 143S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement. 

Gunog Seo is an assistant professor of mathematics. Her research interests are mathematical biology, spatial ecology, population dynamics, mathematical modelling of infectious diseases, biological invasions, dynamical systems, bifurcation theory, differential equations.

Professor Padilla Rios 

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus states the following about his artistic mission, “I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning.” Modernity can be characterized as a period of increased mobility, exile, migration, and movement all over the globe. How have writers and artists responded to this increased sense of homelessness? Students look at modern fiction through the lens of migration and exile and at modernist writers such as Jean Rhys, as well as more contemporary voices like Michael Ondaatje.Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ENGL 207 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Javier Padilla is Assistant Professor of English at Colgate University. His current research project, The Poetics of the Instant, examines the work of several 20th century poets, philosophers, artists and thinkers around the discourse of immediacy and temporality—from Bergson and Heidegger's conceptualizations of time, Gaston Bachelard’s poetics of the instant; the post-romantic exploration of time in the poetry of Wallace Stevens, the poetics of temporal subjectivity in Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop; and W.B. Yeats’s and Derek Walcott’s postcolonial explorations of modernity and coloniality: a concept elaborated by philosopher Aníbal Quijano as a critique of Anglo-European temporality and historicism.

Professor Balakian 

Students read major poets whose work has had a revolutionary impact on the nature of language, human consciousness, social and political thought. Students explore the nature of poetry and why it is essential to a democratic society. Students explore the role of the poet in the broader domains of civic life and social change and the growth of self. Poets to be studied include: Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, Hart Crane, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Sylvia Plath, and Adrienne Rich. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Peter Balakian is the author of 7 books of poems and various books of prose. His recent book Ozone Journal won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. He has taught at Colgate since 1980.

Professor Lennertz 

An introduction to philosophy through engagement with some of the field’s most storied and challenging problems. Students begin by becoming familiar with the philosopher’s method of using arguments to establish philosophical conclusions. After that, students investigate five important philosophical problems. First, students inquire into the relationship between our minds and our bodies. Second, students look at a couple of famous arguments concerning belief in God. Students then grapple with the question of what makes an action right or wrong. Next, students ponder whether humans have free will. Finally, students study a pair of problems concerning our understanding of knowledge and justification. Students gain an appreciation for the range of topics and problems that interest philosophers and the novel ways that different philosophers have approached them. While students study a number of famous historical works, the focus is not on cataloguing famous philosophers’ ideas, but on doing philosophy – that is, on engaging with the problems themselves. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for PHIL 101 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Ben Lennertz’s research focuses on philosophical approaches to uncertainty - what it is and when it is rational. His teaching interests are in epistemology, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, the history of philosophy, and logic.

Professor Dudrick 

What is it to be human? How should we live? What is the meaning of life? Students confront these fundamental questions in our investigation of the philosophical movement known as existentialism. Existentialism came of age in 1940s Paris with the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Albert Camus, but its roots extend at least to Pascal, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. While they insist on rigor, these authors are no friends of abstraction: for them, philosophy must illuminate our actual, concrete, everyday lives. Their goal is always to challenge readers to confront these questions for themselves, a challenge that we will seek to meet – individually and collectively – in this course. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for PHIL 216 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

David Dudrick is the George Carleton Jr. Professor of Philosophy and co-author of “The Soul of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil” (Cambridge, 2012). He’s interested in the relationship between philosophy and the Christian faith, the viability of naturalism as a world view, and the profound ponderings of Jack Handey.

Professor Sullivan 

An academic introduction to the variety of the world's religions, such as Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and the indigenous faiths of Africa and America. Students explore and compare religious beliefs, values, practices, rituals, texts, images, and stories, in their historical, cultural, and political contexts. Students examine diversity and concordance within each tradition, encouraging thoughtful reflection on the nature of religion and the ways it shapes communities and individuals through the world. Students make use of the immense religious diversity available in nearby Utica and Central New York by visiting a local religious community in order to better understand the lived religion of the traditions studied in this course. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for RELG 101 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Brenton Sullivan is a scholar and teacher of Buddhism and the religions of China and Tibet. His research is focused on the role of religion in the political landscape of historical Tibet as well as the historical relationship between Tibet and China. He is interested in exploring the religious and ideological motivations that have driven people both to exploit and dominate others and to liberate themselves and resolve systems of inequality in the world.

Professor Godfrey

A studio-based introduction to methods artists use to model their relationships to the world, themselves and culture. Grounded in careful observation, we will examine how artists construct a point of view, physically, psychologically, socially and politically. We will investigate image construction –including exercises in composition, color, collage, translation between media, and the production of meaning; manipulating materials –stressing craft, embellishment, surface, texture, use of tools, and the use of material metaphor; time – a project that encourages students to address linear and non linear narrative; art as Idea – language and visual expression, conceptual art, art as system, chance effects, ephemeral art, art as a critical activity and alternative places and/or roles of artistic practice in our culture. We will draw on examples from disciplines other than artistic, forms other than fine art, and cultures different from our own. A series of short writing assignments and a substantial research project on an artist will be integral to the course.Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ARTS 100 and will satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor DeWitt Godfrey, in his 17th year at Colgate University, did his undergraduate work at Yale University, was a member of the inaugural group of CORE Fellows at the MFA Houston, and received his MFA from Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Artist’s Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists Fellowship, a Japan Foundation Artist’s Fellowship, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Artist Fellowship. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas and the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York. His commissioned work includes “Capital” in Seattle, WA; “Concordia” for Lexarts, Lexington, KY; “Quake” Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, MA; “Enspire” Traverse City, MI and installations at Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI; The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; and the Kennedy Art Museum, Ohio University, Athens, OH. “Odin” completed in 2014 (installed between Olin Hall and the Ho Science center) in collaboration with architect and engineer Daniel Bosia and mathematicians Tomaz Pisanski and Thomas Tucker and supported by the Picker Interdisciplinary Science Institute at Colgate University, marked an important turning point in his work. He continues to develop and refine these explorations in digital design and fabrication for municipal, institutional and private clients across the country.

Professor Guile 

Architecture in Conflict and Cataclysm 

Studies the impact of conflict and cataclysm on global architectural heritage c. 1400 to the present. The April 2019 fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is generating a vigorous debate about how (and how fast) to respond to the loss of historic architectural heritage. The contemporary architecture of Daniel Libeskind and Frank Gehry is always accompanied by dialogue about the nature of creative intervention and a local community's desires and expectations. Local stakeholders are working together with international agencies to assess and rebuild damaged heritage in Syria and Iraq. The 2004 reconstruction of the sixteenth-century Mostar Bridge aimed to heal the religious divisions of the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the Second World War, inhabitants of Warsaw had to decide on which image of their city to revive in reconstruction activities. Students study these case studies and others about the destruction, reconstruction, and preservation of architectural heritage. Students discuss religious iconoclasm, revolution, tactical destruction and cultural cleansing, monuments and memorialization, architectural reconstruction and “facadism,” looting/art theft, accident and natural disaster; the politics of representation will also figure prominently. What can we learn from these histories? How have the issues been theorized by practitioners? How do local communities participate? What is the future of historic preservation? Assignments will include short essays, a research project, and collaborative presentations. Students are also introduced to research fundamentals. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for a 200-level ARTS course and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Carolyn Guile’s research is focused on East-Central European arts and architecture, European architectural theory, and art historiography of the early modern period. Current projects include a study of cultural tradition, inheritance, and identity in the Renaissance and Baroque periods in Poland-Lithuania. She also writes on the impact of conflict on cultural heritage. She is Co-Director of Colgate's Center for Freedom and Western Civilization and Executive Officer for Red Arch Cultural Heritage Law & Policy Research.

Professor McVaugh 

The seminar will enrich and sharpen your understanding of buildings and the built environment. We spend most of our lives immersed in that environment without being really attentive to its qualities. Students develop techniques for seeing architecture clearly and analytically. Students build a conceptual framework and vocabulary that will enrich your appreciation of environments you know well; at the same time it will make you more astute as you visit unfamiliar places. Moreover, through a number of case studies, including St. Peter's in Rome, the Ise Shrine in Japan, and Washington, D. C., we will explore the myriad ways in which the built environment reflects and influences culture and history. Extensive use will be made of the campus as an architectural laboratory. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ARTS 105 and satisfy one half of their Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Robert McVaugh is an art historian with research interests in Modern European Art and Modern Architecture. He is currently researching the Architectural History of the Colgate Campus.

Professor Rajasingham 

Justice and Power in Postcolonial Literature 

An introduction to significant debates and texts in the field of postcolonial literatures. Explores how the field engages with questions of race, gender, sexuality, class, caste, and migration. Considers how writers located in the global south or in the West as migrants navigate their spaces when faced with inequality and marginalization. Examines both the legacies that empires have left and the nature of new empires that are being constructed. Fulfills the postcolonial requirement of the English major. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for ENGL 202 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Nimanthi Rajasingham teaches literatures from the global south, such as South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and the Middle-East, and Immigrant fictions from the US, UK and Canada. My teaching also uses critical race and feminist studies methodologies.

Professor Giurgea 

Theatre acting provides a lifelong foundation for independent inquiry. Focuses is on illuminating the correlations between mind, body, and brain, in the process of acting, cultivates students’ self awareness, attention, and concentration, and enhances their ability to communicate and adapt to collective work. Through practical and theoretical assignments, class activities and performance, students acquire skills in the art and craft of acting and learn about theatre. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for THEA 254 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Simona Giurgea studied theatre at the Academy of Theatre, Film and Television in Bucharest, Romania, where she earned her MFA in Acting and started teaching in 1991. She worked in repertory theatre from the age of eighteen. Her professional experience includes: acting, directing, set and costume design, coaching, movement instruction, musical theatre, television, film and radio credits, national (Romania) and international workshops and tours in Italy, Belgium, Germany, and Egypt. 

In the United States, she taught both in graduate and undergraduate programs at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, University of California at Riverside, California State University in Long Beach, Pomona College, and Colgate University. 

At Colgate University (2005-2019) she teaches classes in acting and directing, Children Theatre Workshop, Senior Seminar, supervises senior projects, and directs University Theatre productions.

Professor Cashman 

A survey of the great American art form, Jazz, covering styles from 1920 to the present. We will bring the music and main movers and shakers to life through readings, intensive study of recordings, videos and class lectures. Several topics are studied in depth: listening to Jazz, the quality of swing, group interaction, the development of solo improvisation, the blues, and the evolution of jazz performance practice. As a life-long Jazz musician, the instructor hopes to also provide a behind-the-scenes viewpoint of how the music works, what inspires Jazz musicians, and how performers acquire the necessary expertise to thrive in this improvisational world. Students write several short papers including an artist vignette, a blues lyric assignment, two track reviews and two live performance reviews. There will be mid-term and final exams that have both written and listening components. Weekly Listening Reactions enhance auditory perception. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for MUSI 161 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Glenn Cashman’s scholarly interests are connected to his ongoing Jazz activities, primarily in Los Angeles and Japan as a performer on saxophone, organ, and composer for his nonet, sextet, and quartet.

Professor Tober 

Alexander the Great: Fact & Fiction 

By the time of his death in 323 BCE, Alexander III, the young king of Macedon, had expanded his realm from northern Greece to the borders of India, in the process transforming the Mediterranean world and much of the Middle East and earning himself unparalleled fame. Indeed, Alexander the Great, as he came to be known, has remained one of the most iconic and recognizable names of antiquity: he crops up not only in Greek and Roman texts but also in Egyptian, Persian, and Indian tradition and in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scripture; the so-called Alexander Romance, an early novelization of his exploits, was one of Medieval Europe’s best-selling books; and he was recently named by Time Magazine as one of the top ten “most significant figures in history”, outstripping Thomas Jefferson, Julius Caesar, and the Buddha. Students examine the life and afterlife of Alexander, not only what Alexander did, why he did it, and how, but also the ways in which his life and achievements have been interpreted, emulated, used, and abused over the past 2300 years. While the brunt of our attention will be on Greek and Latin histories, students also work with other contemporary material, literary, archaeological, epigraphical, and numismatic (we shall even have the opportunity to familiarize ourselves firsthand with the extraordinary gold and bronze coinage produced by Alexander and his successors). The course will conclude with a unit on Alexander’s reception in twentieth-century literature and film (from Hollywood to Bollywood and beyond). Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for a 200-level CLAS course and satisfy one half of the human thought and expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Daniel Tober is an Assistant Professor of the Classics, focusing on Greek and Roman history. His current interests include community and memory in Greece and Rome, Hellenistic Athens, and Greek local historiography.

Professor Luciani

Examines the short stories of an international array of 20th- and 21st-century authors. Among the questions that the course will explore are: What are the essential characteristics of the short story genre, and how did the genre evolve? What choices of style, setting, characterization, narrative voice, and point of view do short story writers make, and with what effect? In what ways is the “short-short story” (or “sudden fiction,” “micro fiction,” or “flash fiction”) a special form of the genre? How do authors create book-length story collections, such as Joyce’s Dubliners and Hemingway’s In Our Time, in which the whole is more than the sum of its parts? What role can the “historical” and the “autobiographical” have in such collections? 

In addition to exams and short papers, each student will do a research project related to an individual author or subgenre of the short story. Based on our study of the evolution, the mechanics, and the many varieties of the genre, each student will write two original short stories, and these will be discussed by the class. As a final project, the class will produce an anthology of short stories with a contribution from each student. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy one half of their Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Frederick Luciani is professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies and publishes in the fields of Spanish and Latin American literature. His research interests include convent literature and culture of the colonial period, the Hispanic Baroque, Latin American Romanticism, 19th-century transatlantic literary relations, travel literature, and the short story.

Professor Albertson 

This introduction to the Japanese language develops basic proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. The course emphasizes mastery of basic Japanese grammar and vocabulary through intensive aural-oral practice. Students also learn to read and write the two kana syllabaries and about 100 kanji. In addition, short investigations and reflections will develop information literacy and help you become a more effective, culturally perceptive, and self-aware language learner. Students learn about Japanese culture through learning to use the language in context. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for JAPN 121 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Nick Albertson researches modern Japanese poetry, with special interests in gender and ecocriticism. He also teaches and studies the literature and cinema of natural and unnatural disasters, and he translates poetry and short stories from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Professor Cheng 

In the sixties, the Beatles revolutionized popular music. Students experience an in-depth study of the music of the Beatles with a focus on their songwriting. The goals are to learn how to analyze their songs, to gain insights into their music and lyrics, and to understand why the songs were so successful. Students discuss how their personal lives intersected with their work. A focus will be on critical thinking. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for MUSI 101 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression requirement. 

Professor Marietta Cheng teaches the History of Rock, The Beatles, and has been the conductor of the student and professional Colgate University Orchestra since 1993. She has served as Chair of the Music Department for 11.5 years. In addition to having been named a Colgate Presidential Scholar, she has received two teaching awards: the Colgate AAUP Professor of the Year and the Colgate University Alumni Board Distinguished Teaching Award.

Professor Julien 

How do we come to be who we are? How do we tell our own stories? What can we learn from each other? What does it mean to be a human community? These are some of the questions this course invites us to consider as we discover texts written by various prominent authors from West and North Africa. The product of a complex history, this is a literature where cultures, identities, genres, and languages intersect. It gives voice to rich questions of identity and self-definition through the exploration of traditional as well as innovative forms of writing. Together, we will engage in close reading of these texts and have broader discussions on themes and concepts such as imperialism and colonialism, post-colonialism, cultural translocation, gender, race, sexuality, religion, and multilingualism. In doing so, we will encounter new ways of reflecting on questions and issues that concern us all, our self-definition, and the way we relate to others. This course is taught in English but should especially be of interest to students with some experience with the French language or in French-speaking countries. There will be the opportunity of a separate optional “Foreign Language Across the Curriculum” component. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for FREN 222 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. 

Hélène M. Julien is professor of French and Women’s Studies. With a specific focus on contemporary French literature and literature from North Africa and its diaspora, her research explores the ways in which personal and collective selves find their voices in relation to history, memory, gender, race, sexuality, and culture.

Professor Balonek

Deciphering the Sky: Practical and Historic Astronomy 

An investigation of the observed motions of the stars, Sun, Moon and planets in the celestial sky. Study of the physical models that explain these motions. The historic and cultural development of our understanding of celestial motions will be considered. Using the planetarium capabilities of the Ho Tung Visualization Laboratory, observations will be made of the night sky from different locations on Earth over time intervals ranging from minutes to centuries. Basic algebra, trigonometry and graphs will be used to quantify and visualize these motions. As part of a semester-long project, students develop their own instructional module that utilizes the "VisLab" to demonstrate and explain a celestial motion. Additional outdoor observing sessions will supplement the class instruction. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for ASTR 220 and satisfy one half of the Natural Science and Mathematics area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Tom Balonek is an observational astronomer whose research focuses on the study of the variability of quasars – a class of active galactic nuclei. He and his research students utilize the Colgate Foggy Bottom Observatory in this research. He enjoys stargazing from the dark skies at Colgate.

Professor Peck 

Central New York has changed dramatically throughout geologic time. A billion years ago, the area around Colgate was underneath a mountain belt the size of the Himalayas; 400 million years ago, the area was in the tropics and covered by a shallow sea. And as recently as 20,000 years ago, an ice sheet a mile thick covered Hamilton. How can we possibly know these things? The evidence is actually in the landscape all around us; we just need to learn how to read the clues left behind. And what better way to learn about these events than to be outside! This unique field-based seminar is designed to use the area around Colgate as a natural laboratory to study the geologic history of the region. The highlight of the course will be Monday afternoon field trips to local areas where we will learn first-hand how to observe and interpret evidence for these and other dramatic geologic changes. Therefore, if you enroll in this seminar, you should plan to keep your Monday afternoons free from 1:20 to 5:00 PM. Evaluation will be based on semi-weekly writing assignments and a final research project on the geologic history of New York. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 100-level GEOL course and satisfy one half of the Natural Sciences & Mathematics area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor William Peck is a member of the geology department and has taught at Colgate since 2000. His teaching focus is on the origin of rocks and how they form deep in the crust. William’s research with students examines the plate tectonics of a billion years ago that formed the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

Required co-requisite to FSEM 177, Geology Outdoors. See FSEM 177 description for details.

Professor De Lucia 

Cultures across the globe and through time have had very different understandings of death that may appear strange or even shocking to many people today. For archaeologists, burials (both human and non-human) provide a key line of evidence for understanding conceptions of death, grief, mortuary rituals, and belief systems in the past. We can also learn about the world of the living through the study of human remains and burial practices. Bioarchaeologists study how social identity, political change, colonialism, social inequality, warfare, and other large-scale social processes manifest physically in the human body. Students take a closer look at cross-cultural variation in understandings of death and mortuary practices through archaeological evidence. Students also consider what we can learn from the study of human remains in the archaeological record. Students have the opportunity to examine archaeological datasets and conduct hands-on analyses with material objects. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 100-level ANTH course and satisfy one half of their Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement. 

Kristin De Lucia is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology. She is an archaeologist specializing in the rise and decline of the Aztec Empire in Mexico and has previous experience in bioarchaeology. She is particularly interested in studying the daily lives of commoners, the development of inequality, and gender in prehistory.

Professor Hyslop 

Focuses on the impact of the First and Second World Wars on societies across the world. These catastrophic events led to the rise of the US to world economic dominance, the challenge of Soviet Communism to the global order, and the collapse of the European colonial empires. Understanding this period is therefore essential to our understanding of our own world. Students consider how these wars led to unprecedentedly brutal and technologically advanced forms of mass killing. But also look at how, paradoxically, they accelerated innovation and weakened social inequality. In addition, students look back to the colonial wars that preceded these great conflicts, and forward to the start of the Cold War, which followed them. Students consider how war was represented in film, art and literature, and how culture has shaped our view of war. Students are introduced to some of the basic concepts of history and sociology and the fundamental debates about how social change occurs. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy one half of their Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Jonathan Hyslop is a historian and sociologist. He is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford, Birmingham, London and the Witwatersrand. Before coming to Colgate, he spent most of his academic career in South Africa. In 2015-6, he was a visiting fellow at Humboldt University in Berlin. He is the author of many articles and book chapters on the history of southern Africa, warfare, ships and the sea, and labor.

Professor Cooper 

Late Medieval England: Piety, Imagination, and Revolt 

In the years after the Black Death, English society underwent profound change. War, political upheaval, and social revolt all changed the way in which people looked at themselves and the world around them. Students examine the rich and varied texts from the period to try to explore the mentalities, fears, and dreams of late-medieval men and women and to reconstruct their world-view on the eve of modernity. The texts to be studied include the Canterbury Tales, the writings of female mystics, John Mandeville’s fabulous travel yarns, the earliest stories of Robin Hood, and the conflicting accounts of the Peasants’ Revolt. Poetry, political satire, chronicles, religious polemics, visions, court records, family letters, maps, music, architecture, and paintings will all be encountered. No prior knowledge is required; a passion for the subject is vital, however, as active classroom participation will be a major part of your grade. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for HIST 199 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents are of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Alan Cooper is a historian who works on the intersection of cultural history and the history of power in the European Middle Ages. His current project is about how psychological trauma caused the rhetoric of the Crusades to enter European politics.

Professor Kraynak 

What is a just society? What is the best form of government? How should we live as individuals and citizens of a political community? These questions lie at the foundations of political thought and have been debated since the time of the ancient Greeks to modern America. Students examine and discuss the works of Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, the American founders, Rousseau, and Nietzsche for their answers to these enduring and challenging questions. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for POSC 260 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement. 

Professor Robert Kraynak teaches political science with special interests in classical political philosophy, religion and politics, and the political theory of the American founding.

Professor Sparber 

Economics is about decision-making: How do people respond to incentives? How do we allocate scarce resources? How can a country’s elected officials act to improve the welfare of its citizens? Economists examine questions like these using advanced mathematical and statistical tools, but we also try to share our thinking using intuitive arguments and simple data summaries. In this course, students read several recent books – written for a general audience – that analyze current economic challenges. The course should be especially appealing to students interested in policy issues, whether they intend to major in economics or not. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement. 

Chad Sparber is entering his 14th year at Colgate and is an external research fellow at the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London and The Institute for the Study of Labor in Germany. His research examines the economic causes and consequences of immigration with a focus on the connection between immigration and skills in the American economy. He received a National Science Foundation grant in 2015 to support his research on the H-1B program. His research has been published in The Review of Economics and StatisticsThe American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and The Journal of Labor Economics. It has also been covered by media outlets that include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Chad received his PhD from the University of California – Davis in 2006 and his BA from Western Washington University in 2000.

Professor Barreto 

Modernity is a crucial element of the intellectual legacy to which we are heirs. A matrix of intellectual, social, and material forces that have transformed the world over the last quarter millennium, modernity has introduced new problems and possibilities into human life. Within modernity, issues of meaning, identity, and morality have been critiqued in distinctive ways. People of different social classes, racial groups, ethnic backgrounds, genders and sexual identities have contributed to an increasingly rich public discourse. The human psyche has been problematized, and the dynamic character of the world, both natural and social, has been explored. Urbanization and technological development have transformed the patterns of everyday life. Imperialism has had a complex and lasting impact on the entire globe. The human capability to ameliorate social and physical ills has increased exponentially, and yet so has the human capacity for mass destruction and exploitation. In this course, taught by an interdisciplinary staff, students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. To ensure a substantially common experience for students, the staff each year chooses texts to be taught in all sections of the course. This component of the Core Curriculum encourages students to think broadly and critically about the world that they inhabit, asking them to see their contemporary concerns in the perspective of the long-standing discourses of modernity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement. 

Professor Danny Barreto is an Assistant Professor of LGBTQ Studies program and regularly teaches courses on masculinity, gender and sexuality in Latin America and Spain. His research is on issues of sexuality, language, nationalism and migration in Galicia, a territory in northwest Spain.