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First-Year Seminars (FSEM)

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

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FSEM 100, Legacies of the Ancient World
Faculty Profile for Professor Ammerman

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; the virtues 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: 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 one of these seminars will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement.

Rebecca Miller Ammerman is a classical archaeologist who is directing a new cycle of excavations at the Greco-Roman site of Paestum in southern Italy. Her research focuses on city-states that were founded by Greeks in the 7th century BCE and eventually conquered by Rome in the third century BCE. She is particularly interested in the religious practices of the different ethnic populations—Greeks, native Italic peoples, and later Romans—who inhabited these sites.

FSEM 101, Legacies of the Ancient World
Faculty Profile for Professor Dauber

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; the virtues 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: 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 one of these seminars 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.

FSEM 102, Legacies of the Ancient World
Faculty Profile for Professor Swain

Explores ancient texts that articulate perennial issues: the nature of the human and the divine; the virtues 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: 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 one of these seminars will satisfy the Legacies of the Ancient World core requirement.

Joseph P. Swain writes music criticism and critical theory.

FSEM 105, Challenges of Modernity
Faculty Profile for Professor Miller

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 these seminars students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. 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 one of these seminars will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement.

Matthew teaches in Colgate’s German Department and the Core Curriculum. A Germanist by training, his research addresses literature and culture across central Europe’s turbulent history, from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. In the Fall of 2018, he is teaching Core 152: Challenges of Modernity (a required component of Colgate’s Core Curriculum) as a First-Year Seminar to introduce incoming Colgate students to education in the liberal arts. Focusing on modernity and education, the course will address influential arguments regarding the value of education for society and the individual. Participating students are invited to grasp higher education as an impassioned, engaged, and critical pursuit of truth and integrity, in an embrace of the imagination and the intellect against manifestations of confusion, helplessness, and apathy in our troubled present.

FSEM 106, Challenges of Modernity
Faculty Profile for Professor Riley

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 these seminars students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. 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 one of these seminars will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement.

Patrick Riley teaches eighteenth-century French literature and philosophy and has written extensively on autobiography. He is a frequent contributor to the Challenges of Modernity component of the Core.

FSEM 107, Challenges of Modernity
Faculty Profile for Professor Haughwout

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 these seminars students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. 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.

This section of Challenges of Modernity will give you language and depth to think and speak across gendered, racial, and classed difference; help contextualize our globalized, networked society; and will frame how modernity has shaped our experience of the world beyond the human.

The materials supporting our inquiry are film, fiction, theoretical texts, and historical essays. Our work will materialize as reflective memoirs, dialog, essays, image analyses, and other writings. The work we do in this course will feed whatever discipline you choose to major in, whatever profession you assume…. And it will also sharpen your social media commentary. Students who successfully complete one of these seminars will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement.

Margaretha Haughwout’s personal and collaborative artwork explores the intersections between ideas of technology and wilderness, digital networks and the urban commons, cybernetics and whole systems permaculture — in the context of ecological, technological and human survival. Her expanded studio includes experimentation with both electrical and political power, interactive narratives, and the cultivation of biological systems. Haughwout’s active collaborations include the Guerrilla Grafters: an art/ activist group who graft fruit bearing branches onto non-fruit bearing, ornamental fruit trees, and the Coastal Reading Group: consisting of artists from different coasts who trouble the subjects of wilderness, speciation, humanness and ways of knowing through diverse engagements with non-humans.

FSEM 108, Challenges of Modernity
Faculty Profile for Professor McVaugh

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 these seminars students explore texts from a variety of media that engage with the ideas and phenomena central to modernity. 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 one of these seminars will satisfy the Challenges of Modernity core requirement.

Professor McVaugh’s current research focus is Colgate campus architecture and the architecture of liberal arts colleges in the 20th Century. He has been very active in the Colgate Core Curriculum for almost forty years.

FSEM 111, China
China in Relation, From Dao to Mao to Now

Faculty Profile for Professor Crespi

Explores the theme of Chinese relations: not international diplomacy, and certainly not your brother-in-law from Zhengzhou, but the creative forms and patterns through which Chinese people have imagined and reimagined their connections to the cosmos, one another, and the rest of the world. Our approach is interdisciplinary, chronological, and self-reflective. It is interdisciplinary in that students engage with philosophy, poetry, fiction, graphic art, language, film, and more. In terms of chronology, students start in antiquity and make our way by carefully chosen leaps and bounds from the works of Confucius, up through Maoist propaganda films, and into the issues facing China today. The course is self-reflective because from beginning to end you are asked to think about your own cultural assumptions, as well as your own connections to China—a task of crucial importance given China’s unprecedented and growing influence on global economics, politics, and the environment.

Alongside its specific content, this first-year seminar introduces college-level standards of critical reading, written composition, oral presentation, and research methodology. Assignments—from one-page responses to a final research project—aim for step-by-step enhancement of the thinking and expressive skills that will support you through four years at Colgate and beyond. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 165C and satisfy the Communities & Identities core requirement.

John A. Crespi is the Henry R. Luce Associate of Chinese. His research interests center upon Chinese literature and culture, with particular focus on modern poetry and the art of the cartoon.

FSEM 112, The Iroquois
Faculty Profile for Professor Vecsey

During this semester we shall examine the archaeology, culture, history, economics, religion, literature, arts, politics, law, and individual lives of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Indians -- Colgate’s closest Native American neighbors -- from the period before European contact to the present day. We shall place Iroquois experiences in North American Indian contexts (comparing the Iroquois, e.g., to the Cherokee), especially regarding the loss and persistence of tribal sovereignty; and we shall investigate Iroquois relations with New York State and the United States, especially in regard to competing land claims. On Saturday, October 20 we shall spend the day at the Native American Arts and Culture Festival in the Sanford Field House at Colgate. Artist demonstrations will include pottery, stone sculpture, lacrosse stick making, and interactive performances by the Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 188C and satisfy the Communities & Identities core requirement.

Christopher Vecsey is Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor of the Humanities, Native American Studies, and Religion. His most recent book (2012), Native Footsteps Along the Path of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, examines the life of the seventeenth-century Mohawk convert to Catholicism and the devotions to her by Native American Catholics today.

FSEM 113, Japan
Faculty Profile for Professor Mehl

Formerly known primarily for an extraordinarily vital economy, Japan today is best known abroad, probably, for cultural exports such as manga, anime, sushi, and J-pop. The phenomenon of Japan's "soft power" has much to do with ideas and preconceptions about Japaneseness, and in this course we will subject those ideas to a searching analysis. Through a close examination of, for example, Japanese literary texts; image-based works such as manga, anime, film, and painting; Japanese material culture; and primary and scholarly materials by scholars of Japanese studies, this course will help students lay a foundation for scholarly work on Japan. Students will also gain indispensable research and writing skills as they develop their own projects. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 167C and satisfy the Communities & Identities core requirement.

Scott Mehl's published research articles and translations focus on the connections between Japanese literature and other literary traditions. His teaching areas include Japanese literature and Japanese popular culture (such as manga and anime).

FSEM 126, The Biology of Women
The Biology of Women: Sex, Gender, Reproduction, and Disease

Faculty Profile for Professor Van Wynsberghe

A basic understanding of the biological differences between men and women, and the implications of these findings is essential in today’s world that contains both modern technologies and, in some circles, steadfast gender-based stereotypes. This course investigates the historical and environmental construction of gender, the biological aspects of sex, the unique characteristics of female anatomy and reproduction, and the effect of sexually transmitted diseases and cancer on female health. Through laboratory activities and written, oral, and visual presentations students will explore the scientific methods used to acquire our current understanding of hormonal signaling, genetic inheritance, microbial pathogenesis, and cell biology that underlie these topics. Social and ethical issues that exist and are raised by the biological differences between males and females will also be discussed, including hormonal therapy, in vitro fertilization, prenatal genetic testing, female genital mutilation, and the use of birth control to prevent AIDS transmission. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy their Scientific Perspectives core requirement. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 172S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Priscilla Van Wynsberghe is assistant professor of biology with a background in molecular genetics and microbiology. Her research investigates how genetic pathways, composed of small RNAs and proteins, regulate development of the nematode C. elegans.

FSEM 128, Sex, Drugs, and Chocolate
Faculty Profile for Professor Frey

This course explores the many tasty, interesting, mystical, and illegal uses of plants. Starting with a framework for understanding the origin of plant products and basic genetics, we shift to a thorough discussion of human-plant interactions. Students will help develop the topics covered, and it is common for us to investigate the following themes: agriculture, transgenic crops, and health consequences of pesticides (sex); the chemistry, pharmacology, and history of plants used in medicine and recreationally as drugs, including issues concerning the ownership of genetic stock material, bio-prospecting and the development of new pharmaceuticals (drugs); and, the history of chocolate and its intersection with religion and mysticism, ethical issues involved in the production of chocolate, and understanding why we like chocolate so much. Evaluation will primarily be based on a series of papers, class discussions, and class projects. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Frank M. Frey, professor of biology and environmental studies, has research interests in ethnobotany and traditional medicine, environmental health in southwestern Uganda, the adaptive nature of symmetry, and the genetic integration and adaptive nature of plant volatile emission, pigmentation, and reproductive traits. He has travelled with students to Australia, England, Uganda, and Wales, and maintains an active research laboratory involving many undergraduate students.

FSEM 131, From Paintings to Pixels
Faculty Profile for Professor Fourquet

From the beginning of history, art and technology have influenced each other. For example, during the Renaissance, Piero della Francesca, an artist-mathematician, and Leonardo da Vinci, an artist-engineer, made both scientific and artistic breakthroughs. The thread that links art and science, experiment and theory, is problem solving, which demands creativity and rigor.

This seminar introduces students to interdisciplinary thinking: they learn the elements of computer programming in the context of visual art, developing problem solving skills that bridge disciplines. Students formally analyze the visual structure of paintings to create abstractions, sketches and collages, which provide templates that structure the computer programs they write.

Through this interdisciplinary lens, students see how the principles of computer science respond naturally with other aspects of a liberal arts education, integrating today’s technology into the spirit of humanism. No prior programming experience is expected. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Elodie Fourquet is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science with research expertise in Computer Graphics and Visual Perception. In both research and teaching the interdisciplinary aspect of the Computer Science field is key to her approach.

FSEM 132, Water
Faculty Profile for Professor Tseng

How does water technology impact our civilization from the ancient times to now? This course explores the water technologies and their evolution through time and how the technologies related to water distribution and treatment evolve with human’s understanding of and interaction with water. Through the lens of science and engineering, students will examine the role water plays in human health, the environment, and sustainability. The course covers topics on the application and limitation of scientific knowledge and broader impacts that technology has on history and current events. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 178S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Water issues have always been a hot topic in Southern California, where Professor Linda Y. Tseng is from. Currently, she is continuing her research that focuses on wastewater and water quality.

FSEM 133, Fire
Faculty Profile for Professor Levy

Fire is the quintessential human technology. It is also a potent symbol whose meaning has become central to our national and community discourse. Fire is the at the root of countless traditions, myths, and foodways, and through controlled combustion of fossil fuels, fire has grown to be the central process at the heart of modern industrial and agricultural systems. This course will explore where the energy in combustion comes from, how humans harness that energy to do work, and how cultural perceptions of fire influence the choices individuals and societies make about what resources to burn, where to burn them, and what to do with the waste products. The course will focus on in-class laboratory investigations of combustion, field trips to local fire-related sites, and discussion of the costs, benefits, and consequences of building a civilization on a foundation of fire. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 184S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Joe Levy is an Assistant Professor of geology whose research focuses on understanding how Earth’s surface is shaped by climate processes and how we can read the record of climate change in the landforms climate processes leave behind. He specializes in polar and planetary science, exploring the compositions and chemistry of permafrost in Antarctica, Alaska, Mars, and beyond, through field sampling campaigns, satellite mapping, and lab investigations of dirt, rock, ice, and water.

FSEM 136, The Unreliable Internet
Faculty Profile for Professor Gember-Jacobson

In our hyperconnected world, we expect the Internet, and its abundance of information, entertainment, social networking, e-commerce, and more, to always be accessible. Our expectations are usually satisfied thanks to a complex system of cables, specialized devices, and software. However, this infrastructure is susceptible to human error, cyber attacks, and censorship that compromise our ability to access (parts of) the Internet. In this course, we’ll examine how the Internet works and the ways in which it can malfunction or restrict access to content. Through a combination of readings, lecture, discussion, and experiments, we’ll explore flaws and limitations in the Internet’s design, and we’ll consider a variety of technology- and policy-based solutions for making the Internet more reliable and open. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Aaron Gember-Jacobson is an assistant professor of computer science specializing in computer networks. His research fuses ideas from networking, machine learning, and formal methods to make computer networks more reliable.

FSEM 138, Artful Brain: Neuro-aesthetics
The Artful Brain: An Exploration in Neuroaesthetics

Faculty Profile for Professor Hansen

This seminar will consist of an exploration in the aesthetic experience of visual art as it relates to the sensory and perceptual mechanisms of the brain. Many of the topics discussed in this seminar are centered on the view that the function of art and the function of the visual brain are one and the same. We will thus consider that the aims of the artist in rendering a particular piece of art essentially constitute an extension of the processes of the visual brain. By taking this point of view (through an introductory understanding of the sensory and perceptual processes of the visual brain) we will discuss possible outlines of a theory of aesthetics that is neurologically based. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 111S and satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement.

Bruce Hansen is associate professor of psychology and neuroscience. He has published numerous articles in the field of visual perception and cognition.

FSEM 140, Mind & Brain in Meditation
Faculty Profile for Professor Braaten

Meditation, zazen, ch’an, dhyana: These are all words for the ancient practice of mindful sitting. This simple practice has endured for millennia, and has thrived in a wide variety of cultures, including, most recently, the West. To the Western mind, this practice of “doing nothing” is full of paradox. Students will explore the practice, both academically and experientially. Students will study the psychological effects on concentration, memory, consciousness, and psychological well-being. Students will seek explanations from research on mind, brain, and behavior, for how “doing nothing” can have such profound effects. Students will sit regularly in meditation, and will use ourselves as subjects of our own research on the effects of meditation. This course should give students a better understanding of psychology, scientific research, and meditation, and no previous experience with any of these is necessary to fully participate in the course. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 145S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Professor Braaten is interested broadly in consciousness and cognition, with a special focus on mindfulness and meditation.

FSEM 141, Willpower: Sci of Self-Control
Faculty Profile for Professor Conti

Willpower allows people to delay gratification, resist temptations, and reach challenging long-term goals. Our ability to control our will influences nearly every area of our lives. This course is designed to be a unique opportunity to engage in this fascinating topic from a scientific perspective. Students will begin by sharing their own experiences with trying to exert willpower. Students will then explore psychological theories of self-control and then read the scientific research that supports and extends these theories. As a way of deepening understanding of this literature and developing our writing skills, students will keep a journal as they read. In addition, students will actually do some of this science. Together, we will attempt to replicate and extend a study from the literature. Doing so will engage the class in every stage of the scientific process and show, first hand, how research works. Students who successfully complete one of these seminars will satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement.

Regina Conti’s research investigates motivational processes in school, work, health, and family contexts. Most recently, she is exploring how the motivational dynamics of family life are influenced by a diagnosis of autism in a child. She finds that as parents adjust to the diagnosis, their parenting goals shift in the direction of compassion, which allows them to be more in tune with the unique needs of their child.

FSEM 142, Mathematics and Policy Making
Faculty Profile for Professor Christensen

Students will explore parts of the history and the role of mathematics in society. While its early uses were among philosophers and religious practitioners, we will focus on its role as a tool in policy making. In particular students will investigate if there are mathematical/statistical reasons for the emphasis on education in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Students will develop elementary statistical tools needed for our analysis, and through projects students will develop criteria that can be tested with statistical tools in order to decide if STEM education is really as important as we are made to believe. We all have different ideas of what makes something important, and this means that there is a great deal of flexibility when formulating projects. Students will define their own criteria for how important STEM fields are and will test those criteria using statistical techniques. Students who successfully complete this seminar will satisfy the Scientific Perspectives core requirement.

Jens Christensen is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Colgate University. His research is in wavelet and signal analysis, and it sits at the interface of analysis, algebra and geometry. Techniques from this area of research finds uses in cell phones, image compression and music analysis.

FSEM 144, Introduction to Statistics
Faculty Profile for Professor Lantz

Introduces students to statistical thinking by examining data collected to solve real-world problems. A wide range of applications are considered. Topics include experimental design, descriptive statistics, the normal curve, correlation and regression, probability theory, sampling, the central limit theorem, estimation, hypothesis testing, paired observations, and the chi-square test. Particular emphasis is given to the models that underlie statistical inference. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 143S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

David Lantz received his bachelor's in the secondary education of mathematics at Kutztown State College, and his master's and Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Kansas. He has taught at Colgate since 1977 and written or co-authored over 30 papers in the field of commutative algebra.

FSEM 145, Gender and Social Justice
Faculty Profile for Professor Simonson

In this course, we will explore gender, as it is understood and enacted by different people in various historical moments, geographical locations, and cultural contexts, focusing particularly on the way gender intersects with race, ethnicity, class, religion, sexuality, ability, and other markers of identity. We will think critically about oppression, activism, social change, and common assumptions about the world and people around us. One of our main goals in this course is to explore both the forces that feed into inequality and discrimination, and ways to resist, challenge, and overcome those forces. We will ask questions about bodies, work, families, identity, politics, medicine, history, and the media; our inquiries will largely be based in the United States, but we will also think about women’s movements and situations around the world. We will develop the vocabulary and tools to speak and think critically about oppression, patriarchy, and some of the issues that face us as both females and males today. This course will require sensitivity, respect, and substantial work in the form of reading, writing, and above all thinking. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for WMST 202 and fulfill the Global Engagement requirement.

Mary Simonson’s research interests include film music, American cinema and entertainment in the first half of the twentieth century, and filmed dance. Her teaching and scholarship focus on representations and performances of gender and sexuality on the stage and the screen.

FSEM 150, Immigrant Voices
Faculty Profile for Professor Maurer

Imagine packing for a long trip that will certainly challenge you and may change your life. What can you take with you? What must you leave behind? The things we will read and study in this course, all written by people who came to a place they had never been before, address these questions in intricate and provocative ways. Authors whose works we will read may include Quan Barry, Abraham Cahan, Edwidge Danticat (who will visit Colgate next fall in the Living Writers series), Jhumpa Lahiri, Chang-Rae Lee, Elaine Mar, Dinaw Mengestu, Michael Ondaatje, Anzia Yezierska. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for ENGL 207 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Margaret Maurer is the William Henry Crawshaw Professor of Literature in the department of English. She teaches Core 151, Shakespeare, and other British writers who lived around the same time Shakespeare did; but for this FSEM, she will work with students on more up-to-date things. The goal of this course is to encourage students to challenge themselves, refining their techniques of reading, writing, and research--in effect, in this new phase of their education, to decide what to take with them from what they have done before and what to leave behind.

FSEM 153, Ancient and Modern Lawgiver
Faculty Profile for Professor Rood

Why do we invoke the Founding Fathers when arguing, for example, about the right to bear arms? “That’s what the Founding Fathers said in the Constitution!” Who are these crafters of law and why do they hold such great authority? The figure of the lawgiver extends far back into antiquity. Around 1000 BCE, Hindu authors wrote about the first man and lawgiver, Manu; the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, is also dated around that time; and Minos, the lawgiver of Crete, was already considered ancient to the ancient Greeks. Lawgivers constitute a category of the heroic, who stand at the head of polities as far back as we can trace in the history of civilized life. In this course, we will study some great lawgivers of antiquity with a concluding comparison to the American Founders. Our readings will cover mythical, historical, biographical, philosophical, literary, and sacred texts; with authors such as Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, and Josephus, plus selections from the Bible and the American Founding. Questions we will address include: who can be a lawgiver? must he have divine sanction? why does a free people defer to its lawgiver? what is the purpose of law? should we always obey them? Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for 200-level CLAS course and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Naomi Rood is an Associate Professor of Classics. Her research focuses on archaic Greek poetry; she is currently interested in antiquity's thinking about its past in the form of ancient Greek ideas about the people and place of Minoan Crete as expressed in epic, tragedy, and philosophy.

FSEM 154, Introduction to Drama
Faculty Profile for Professor DuComb

Drama and theater predate recorded history and remain vital modes of artistic expression in the modern world. This seminar offers a selective introduction to dramatic literature, theater history, and performance theory from classical Athens through the early nineteenth century. Course readings explore the ritual origins of theater, as well as the relationship of theater to colonialism, sex, social class, and revolution. Plays on the syllabus include both classics of European drama and exemplary theater texts from other parts of the world. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for THEA 266 and satisfy one half of their Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Christian DuComb recently published his first book, Haunted City: Three Centuries of Racial Impersonation in Philadelphia (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017). As a theater historian, he researches the intersection of race and performance in America, with a focus on the nineteenth century. As a teacher, he believes that students should learn to read plays as living texts, continuously reinvented through historically and culturally specific practices of theatrical performance.

FSEM 156, Ethics
Faculty Profile for Professor Pendleton

We all make moral judgments. We deem some actions right, others wrong. We find some people good, others not. This course sheds light on what we’re doing when we make these kinds of judgments. If we judge that it is wrong to lie, for example, are we merely expressing a personal opinion or cultural attitude? Or is there an objective fact of the matter? If morality is somehow objective, how do we determine what it requires? Does morality derive from God’s commands, from our quest for happiness, from abstract principles, from something else? In this course we will examine answers that ancient and modern philosophers have given to these questions, and we will test their views by applying them to contemporary moral controversies. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for PHIL 111 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Professor Pendleton practiced law and clerked for a federal judge before turning to philosophy. Her research reflects her interests in both fields and includes the philosophy of law (especially justifications of punishment) and ethics (especially the role of principles in guiding action and in self-understanding). Her work draws on a range of sources in addition to philosophy, including personal narratives, novels, and writings on criminal justice.

FSEM 157, Paradoxes of Infinity
Faculty Profile for Professor Meyer

The infinite has puzzled thinkers since Greek antiquity, when the Eleatic philosopher Zeno convinced many that any talk of infinity is inherently contradictory. In this course, we will look at what these alleged problems are, how they have played out in the history of mathematics, philosophy and physics, and how many of them were finally resolved in the nineteenth century. We start with Zeno’s paradoxes of motion and Aristotle’s influential view about infinite collections. After that, we’ll explore how the Aristotelian view was challenged by Newton and Leibniz’s discovery of the calculus and the development of Cantor’s transfinite arithmetic. The final section of the seminar will be devoted to Russell’s Paradox of set theory and modern views about the infinite.

This seminar is a mix between a philosophy and a mathematics class, plus a fair bit of intellectual history. Assignments will include both papers and problem sets, but we will not be doing any number crunching. We will focus on the more conceptual aspects of mathematics. There are no pre-requisites for this introductory course, but some high-school calculus would be an asset. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for 100-level PHIL course and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Ulrich Meyer is a member of the Philosophy Department, where he teaches courses in logic, philosophy of science, and metaphysics. If you are unsure whether this seminar would be right for you, or have any other questions about it, feel free to contact him via email at umeyer@colgate.edu.

FSEM 158, Global Bioethics and Religion
Faculty Profile for Professor Martin

The revolution in biotechnology has given humanity powers unimaginable a few decades ago. Bioethics examines moral and ethical dilemmas arising from the interface of human experience and emerging scientific advances in biology, medicine, and technology (human embryonic stem cell applications, cloning, genetic engineering, etc.). Global bioethics inquiry examines bioethics deliberations on the international stage, with a focused exploration of diverse and competing transnational theoretical debates. The course undertakes a critical study of comparative religious ethics and global bioethics issues within Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for RELG 265 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Clarice Martin is Professor of Philosophy and Religion. Her research focuses on Christian Origins in the Early and Late Antique Mediterranean; Global Bioethics and Religion; and Religion in the Genetic Age.

FSEM 159, Cyborgs
Faculty Profile for Professor Erley

What does it mean to be human? Can our species survive climate change? Can we build a utopian society on Mars?

These are questions that science fiction—a zone between the “two cultures” of science and the humanities—has posed and answered for over a century. Focusing on philosophical, ethical, and environmental questions, this course introduces students to several important works of science fiction literature and film, with a strong emphasis on works from Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe from the 20th century to the present day. This region offers some of the most sophisticated works of science fiction, owing to the radical “otherness” of its philosophical and political traditions and the challenges they pose to dominant Western constructions of self, nature, and society. The course places this tradition in conversation with works of fiction and film from other countries, in order to understand how political and economic systems set the values and boundaries that science fiction tests. Among other topics we will discuss human-machine interfaces and ethics, life extension and transhumanism, space travel and colonization, and the prospects and perils of the rationally planned society. Course readings are in English. No prior experience in Russian studies required. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for REST 250 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Mieka Erley studies the cultural history of Russia and Central Asia, and has traveled extensively through the ruins of techno-utopia throughout the former Soviet Union.

FSEM 160, Introduction to Studio Art
Faculty Profile for Professor Luthra

This course is an introduction to the methods and ideas central to contemporary art practice. Rather than focus on one particular medium, you will try a variety of ways of working, including drawing, collage and photography. Each project is an opportunity to test the material and expressive possibilities of different ways of making. You will be asked to link your visual choices to the production of meaning, develop technical skills, work through initial impressions to find conceptual depth, and actively engage with both artistic and social discourses. Projects will be given historical and theoretical context through slide shows, readings, and the Wednesday afternoon artist lecture series. Careful looking and thinking about visual art are key elements of the course, and are vital to any art practice. The course is designed to both familiarize you with the field of contemporary art practice, and help you find the ideas and processes that are meaningful to you. .” Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ARTS 100 and satisfy one half of their Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Lakshmi Luthra teaches Studio Art with an emphasis on photography, in the department of Art and Art History.

FSEM 161, Major British Writers
Faculty Profile for Professor Staley

This seminar is designed to introduce students to the major works of English literature, to prepare students in the techniques of literary analysis, and to offer a survey of British poetic traditions from the Anglo-Saxon period through the 20th Century, a sense of the history of poetic authority, language, and endeavor. The course involves readings, discussion, and writing.

Though Major British Writers is the gateway course to the English major, required of all majors and intended to be taken in the first or second year, it is not simply a course for potential English majors but for anyone who would like the opportunity to explore major works by major authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Alexander Pope, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and Robert Browning. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ENGL 200 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Lynn Staley, professor of English, teaches courses in English literature. Her specialty is medieval literature, medieval women writers, and medieval culture.

FSEM 162, American Lit & Environment
Faculty Profile for Professor Child

An introduction to literary study that focuses on human responses to their environments and ecologies. Explores representations of relationships between people, places, and non-human animals in American fiction, poetry, and non-fiction from the early American Renaissance to the postmodern period. Questions of how environments are inflected by gender and racial positions, as well as literature’s insights into issues of environmental justice and sustainability, are addressed through works by writers such as Wendell Berry, Charles Chesnutt, Annie Dillard, William Faulkner, bell hooks, Aldo Leopold, Marilynne Robinson, Wallace Stevens, Denis Johnson, and Jean Toomer. The course is subdivided into three sections—people and places; humans and/as animals; ethics of environment—with each unit developing overlapping lines of inquiry and interpretation. Crosslisted between English and Environmental Studies, this course also allows students to assess important issues in the emergent field of "ecocriticism." If the weather permits, we will try to make use of the unique physical environment of Hamilton, New York. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for ENGL/ENST 219 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Ben Child is an assistant professor in the English Department. He teaches and studies American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an emphasis on fiction and vernacular cultures. He has published articles on Bob Dylan, Cormac McCarthy, the Cinema Novo movement, William Faulkner, and the photographer William Eggleston.

FSEM 163, LGBTQ Cinema/Transnational
Faculty Profile for Professor Maitra

How is cinema queer? Cinema’s fascination with same-sex desire is as old as cinema itself. The 1930 Hollywood film _Morocco_, for instance, shocked audiences because its “straight” female lead—a glamorous cabaret singer—finishes her opening number by kissing another female character. But alongside the emergence of a global LGBTQ movement over the last three decades, cinema has traveled far beyond innuendos, becoming a powerful and popular medium for queer visibility and self-expression. In fact, cinema has played a crucial role in making queer politics and identities transnational and global. In this class, we will explore these cinematic (and other) attributes of queerness through a rich variety of films from Asia, Europe, and North America, paying close attention to their social and political contexts. This course will introduce students to the basics of film analysis and a global archive of queer cinema. We will also learn to critically examine Euro-American LGBTQ politics through the transnational representations of race, ethnicity, class, and religion in many of these films. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 200-level FMST class, the Global Engagements CORE requirement, and for one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for FMST 230 and satisfy the Global Engagements requirements.

Professor Maitra's research interests include transnational film and media, queer politics, and Marxist aesthetics. He is currently watching and eager to chat about _Sense8_. He is also finishing a book on identity as a "media effect" in a capitalist economy.

FSEM 163L, LGBTQ Cinema/Film Screening
Required co-requisite to FSEM 163, LGBT Cinema in a Transnational Frame. See FSEM 163 description for details.

FSEM 165, Basic Acting: Openings
Faculty Profile for Professor Sweeney

Basic Acting: Openings (Touching the Source)

Provides a theoretical and practical introduction to acting. Explores individual and collective creative potential, familiarizes students with the rigors of creating theater and introduces them to the fundamentals of acting training. Through intensive individual and ensemble exploratory work, students are familiarized with the fundamentals of acting as art, discipline and craft; the course aims to expand the student’s intellectual and creative potential. Acting teaches not only poise and presence, vocal and physical coordination, before a group, but also how to follow a line inquiry both physically and intellectually. Through warm-ups, improvisation, exercises, and scene work, students will acquire a working vocabulary in the fundamentals of making theater through acting exercises and theory, rehearsal and script analysis. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for THEA 254 and satisfy one half of their Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

April Sweeney is an actor and theater maker originally from Dallas, Texas. She teaches acting and performance classes in the Department of Theater and directs Colgate students in both Studio and University mainstage productions. She has performed in theaters and festivals in the U.S., Latin America and Europe; from basements to Off-Broadway; the Bolivian jungle to Regional Theater and everything in between. Professor Sweeney believes in the transformative power of theater to cultivate the agency of the imagination and develop important tools that can be applied to any field of endeavor. In fall 2018, she is teaching a First-Year Seminar in acting to introduce students to the exciting and unpredictable creative process of making theater.

FSEM 170, The Musical Experience
Faculty Profile for Professor Endris

These three composers stand for classical music at its most “Classic.” Their names and some of their music are familiar to all, but fewer people have engaged seriously with this high point of Western culture. This course shows how that can be done with no prior knowledge of music or music theory: its goal is to teach students how to listen to, think, talk, and write about classical music in an informed manner. Students will study Mozart’s iconic “Requiem,” while Haydn’s work is represented by “The Creation,” a musical retelling of the story from Genesis. Among other works of Beethoven, students will study the Ninth Symphony with its “Ode to Joy,” now the European Union's official anthem. Students will study other well-known works outside of the Classical era that further their understanding of its music, such as Handel’s “Messiah.” Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for MUSI 151 and satisfy one half of their Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.

Professor Endris is Director of Choral and Vocal Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Colgate, where he conducts the University Chorus and Chamber Singers. He has conducted choirs and clinics both domestically and internationally, including Austria, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, and Slovakia. Currently his research focuses on recording and publishing the music of Antonio Juanas, an 18th-century composer who worked at the Mexico City Cathedral. Professor Endris resides in Hamilton with his dogs Jack and Ollie.

FSEM 171, Discovering African Literature
Faculty Profile for 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 with travel experience to France or other francophone 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 associate 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.

FSEM 172, Writing by Design
Faculty Profile for Professor Lutman

What do designers do? They work “by design,” of course, or according to a plan. Beyond this bare definition, however, consider some common associations with the term “designer”: do you picture someone creative, or someone with a strong or distinctive sense of style? In this writing course, we will explore Aristotle’s concept of techne, a Greek term commonly translated as “craftsmanship” or “art,” and you will compose essays in which you experiment with newly learned techniques and make increasingly intentional choices as writers. We’ll study the work of model writers, including essays by current and former Colgate students, and consider how, in particular contexts, writers have successfully negotiated their rhetorical constraints of genre, topic, audience, and purpose. Although the course is not a grammar course, “writing by design” does include drawing on an understanding of how syntax and punctuation communicate meaning in particular written contexts; we will therefore devote some attention to studying language conventions and attitudes surrounding them, with particular focus on Standard Edited English. Course assignments will include informal written exercises, a handwritten journal, and a Final Portfolio consisting of writing installments submitted and revised throughout the semester. Writers will have choice when selecting topics and genres for composition; the course is not exclusively focused on academic writing, although students may certainly find that it helps with such. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for a 100-level WRIT course, satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement, and satisfy the Priority Writing requirement.

Jennifer Lutman directs the Colgate Writing and Speaking Center. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing and has been teaching writing courses at Colgate for the past twelve years. In her scholarship she focuses on stylistics, writing pedagogy, and writing center theory.

FSEM 177, Geology Outdoors
Faculty Profile for 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 fieldtrips 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 satisfy one half of the Natural Sciences & Mathematics area of inquiry requirement.

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

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

FSEM 181, Earth, Society, Sustainability
Faculty Profile for Professor Klepeis

People have always modified nature, but the scale of environmental change over the last 300 years is unprecedented. Many scholars now refer to the industrial age as the anthropocene; akin to a geologic force, society now has the capacity to alter the very structure and function of the biosphere. Drawing on environmental history, multidisciplinary nature-society research, and case studies from around the world, students investigate a broad range of environmental issues – including tropical deforestation, natural resource consumption, and the global food system. Students are pressed to question their assumptions about resource use and environmental change dynamics, and consider how society should shape future environments. Is sustainable development possible? Along with films, discussion, role-playing, lectures, and a diverse mix of scholarly and popular press readings, students will engage the subject via Jim Sterba’s Nature Wars and Mark Whitehead’s Environmental Transformations. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for GEOG 121 and satisfy one half of Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Peter Klepeis is a professor of geography. He conducts research about people and the environment in many far-flung places, including the Adirondack State Park, Ethiopia, Uganda, Mexico, Chile, and Australia.

FSEM 182, The American School
Faculty Profile for Professor Woolley

The American School: Race, Class, and Educational Inequity

You have done a lot schooling by this point, but do you know why the American School is such a controversial institution? Because schools are a major socializing force, their roles and responsibilities are highly politicized and fraught topics. What makes a school public? Is education a public good? Who gets to decide what is taught? Are schools responsible for correcting or managing inequalities? What economic and structural arrangements are fair in education? What kinds of pedagogical practices should be used in classrooms? This course looks at the American School as a historical and contemporary institution central to social values and processes of citizenship, equality, achievement, power, fairness, access, and opportunity. We will ask what it means to school and be schooled within a democracy, examining the role that differences of class, race, gender, sexuality, ability, religion, and politics play within educational systems. We will discuss how these differences are created, maintained, and challenged within schools, and how schools both contribute to and mitigate structural inequalities. In doing so, you’ll be asked to examine your own schooling experiences and your identity as a student. How have you been schooled? Students are evaluated through a range of written, collaborative, and multimedia assignments. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for EDUC 101 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Professor Woolley teaches in Educational Studies and LGBTQ Studies, and she is the interim director of Women's Studies. Her scholarship focused on gender, sexuality, and LGBTQ topics in schools.

FSEM 184, Geographies of Nature,Econ,Soc
Faculty Profile for Professor Meyer

Many Americans are unfamiliar with geography as an advanced academic discipline. This course acquaints students with the approaches and subject matter of its social-science branches, human and nature-society geography. Geography’s longstanding central concerns distinguish it from other fields; these concerns include spatial location and patterns (“the why of where”), the nature and significance of places, and the interactions of human society and the natural world. To answer questions that arise in these areas, geographers employ such ways of knowing as spatial representation and analysis, integrative cross-disciplinary synthesis, and attention to the ways in which space and environment are not merely physical realities but socially constituted as well. This course will show how geographers use these perspectives and tools to study crucial issues that include patterns of human well-being and inequality across the world, economic and sociocultural globalization, population growth and movement, human impacts on the environment, and the challenges of sustainable development in the Anthropocene. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit from GEOG 211 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

William Meyer, Associate Professor of Geography, teaches and researches such topics as the role of cities in environmental change, urban residential patterns, the environmental history of the United States, and the history of geographic and environmental thought.

FSEM 185, Contested Ident: Pop Cult/US
Faculty Profile for Professor Lopes

Contested Identities: Popular Culture in the United States

This course looks at popular culture in the United States as an ongoing politics of social identity and social transformation. The construction of an American Identity has been an ongoing process of contention and formation, as different communities in the United States negotiated the complex nature of national as well as social identities. The course looks at how ethnic, racial, gender, class, sexual and other social identities shaped the production and reception of popular culture. The course will study theater, public amusements, sports, film, television, popular music, and social media. This course is designed to challenge students to reexamine the nature of popular culture, social identities, and fundamental questions about American national identity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for a 200-level SOCI course and satisfy one half of Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Paul Lopes, Associate Professor of Sociology, specializes in art, media and American Studies. His research combines a focus on the nature of innovation and diversity in American art and media with an interest in popular culture as a site of struggles over social identity and social status. His first book, The Rise of a Jazz Art World, explores how transformations in jazz music during the twentieth century were shaped by race and class struggles over the social identity and status in the United States. His second book, Demanding Respect: the Evolution of the American Comic Book, looks at the struggle of artists, publishers and fans to transform the comic book from simply an entertainment for children and adolescents to a serious art form worthy of the same legitimacy as fine literature or fine art.

FSEM 187, Geographies of Human Rights
Faculty Profile for Professor Hays-Mitchell

Interest in the protection of human rights has expanded steadily since the end of World War II. Yet despite the laws, institutions, and movements organized around the protection of human rights, widespread and systematic violations continue. In this seminar, we will explore specific cases in order to understand the local, national and global contexts of human rights. Case studies will further allow us to examine social and legal responses to human rights abuses, particularly the activities of truth commissions and international courts, as well as address contemporary debates regarding such pressing issues as violence and power, memory and history, trauma and testimony, recovery and reconciliation. We will also identify new challenges to traditional conceptualizations of human rights posed by issues such as climate change, conservation, disasters, displacement, and poverty. Because this is a vast subject, we will ground our seminar in the landscapes of terror and hope of Latin America and move to other world regions to examine unique cases of human rights violations, prosecution and/or reconciliation. Research projects (organized in a series of stages) may address the subject of human rights in any region of the world. This seminar is reading, discussion and research oriented. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for a 100-level GEOG course and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Maureen Hays-Mitchell is a human geographer who studies the social geography of political violence in the Global South, with particular focus on Latin America. Currently, she is exploring the gendered dimensions of memory and memorialization in the reconciliation process of post-conflict Peru as well as initiatives to address the legacy of gender-based violence.

FSEM 188, Living&Dying/Early Mod Britain
Faculty Profile for Professor Tomlinson

Living and Dying in Early Modern Britain

Big personalities and names dominate popular consciousness of early modern Great Britain: Henry VIII; Mary, Queen of Scots; Elizabeth; Oliver Cromwell. We can acknowledge the importance of such figures, however, without crowding out other, less prominent stories that are crucial for understanding this tumultuous period in British History. Britain underwent major political and religious changes between the late fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries, from the English and Scottish Reformations to the formation of the British state in 1707 from what had been the independent kingdoms of England and Scotland. Yet, these were far more than just high political developments. They had significant, and often hugely disruptive and traumatic effects on people’s lives and communities, and on how people saw themselves in the world. Nonetheless, life went on, in ways that can seem both alien and surprisingly familiar—and we will use the myriad historical sources for this period, including diaries, newspapers, government records, and visual art, to do the imaginative and analytic work to understand how regular people experienced everyday life and major historical developments. In doing so, students will also gain insight into the deep historical roots of modern social and political issues such as Brexit and the status of Northern Ireland. . Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for HIST 241 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Tristan Tomlinson is senior lecturer in University Studies and History. He specializes in the histories of early modern Britain and its empire, and is particularly interested in issues of health, population, and interconnections throughout the British Atlantic World.

FSEM 190, Women's Lives/Europe 1500-Pres
Faculty Profile for Professor Harsin

This course focuses on the experiences of women in Europe from the Renaissance to the present. Topics include women in the work force, family, and religion; women as leaders and activists and women as subjects of legal and political inequalities; women in relation to evolving definitions of gender, sexuality, class, and race; and the changing priorities of feminist ideologies. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for HIST 248 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Jill Harsin, professor of history, teaches courses in early modern and modern Europe, with a specialty in modern France.

FSEM 191, America as a Democracy
Faculty Profile for Professor Luttig

This course provides an introduction to American politics. We will analyze various facets of American government, from the founding era and the Constitution to the major political institutions and contemporary public opinion. The emphasis in the course is to critically evaluate our system of government by assessing its strengths and weaknesses, placing our political system in broader comparative context, and by tracing the evolution of our government throughout America’s history. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for POSC 150 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Professor Luttig’s research interests are in American politics, with a particular emphasis on public opinion and political psychology. He has published research on various issues in American politics, including: the consequences of economic inequality on Americans’ attitudes towards redistribution, the role of race and racial attitudes in recent campaigns and elections, and the psychological nature and origins of political polarization, among others. His current research agenda is twofold: first, writing a book about the political psychology of polarization and partisan antagonism in American politics; second, working on a series of articles about the political attitudes of Millennials, including a look at the ways in which Millennials think about race and how racial attitudes affect Millennials’ political preferences.

FSEM 194, Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Faculty Profile for Professor Bigenho

Many people think anthropology is the study of foreign cultures elsewhere. However, the cultural anthropological project is about both “making the strange familiar” and “making the familiar strange.” Through looking at different cultural contexts--some quite far from most students’ experiences, and others not so far from home--students will become familiar with the questions anthropologists ask. The seminar is designed to introduce students to key areas of critical inquiry in cultural anthropology--culture theory, institutionalized racism, social inequalities, sex/gender systems, kinship structures, and language in society. Through readings, students also gain perspectives on two cutting edge areas of anthropology today: medical anthropology and legal anthropology. Although engagement with cultural difference is a major project of anthropology, reflecting back on one’s own culture is also part of the discipline’s approach. This seminar aims to transform the way students look at everyday life in the world today. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for ANTH 102 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Michelle Bigenho, Professor of Anthropology and Africana & Latin American Studies, looks forward to working with students who are curious about and engaged with the complex world we inhabit. She believes that learning a foreign language is one of the most transformative things students can do. Music performance on the violin has shaped her research projects, as can be read in her books: Intimate Distance: Andean Music in Japan, and Sounding Indigenous: Authenticity in Bolivian Music Performance.

FSEM 198, Fundamentals-Int'l Relations
Faculty Profile for Professor Lupton

What are the causes of war and the conditions for peace in international politics? This course answers this question by providing students with an introduction to critical and enduring approaches to understanding international relations. Students examine theories about what states want in the international system, how states achieve these aims, and how states handle contemporary problems facing the world today. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, the causes of war, alliance politics, globalization, nuclear weapons, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, and cybersecurity. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for POSC 232 and satisfy one half of the Social Relations, Institutions, and Agents area of inquiry requirement.

Professor Lupton's research examines the influence of world leaders on international conflict and security. Her specialties include elite decision-making, nuclear deterrence, U.S. foreign policy, political psychology, and civil-military relations. Her research has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, and her media appearances include CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.

FSEM 199, The Air Up There
OPEN TO BENTON SCHOLARS ONLY

Faculty Profile for Professor Levine

Weather and climate command our attention because they deeply affect life on Earth, in ways both ordinary and extraordinary. Life on Earth also affects weather and climate, now more profoundly than ever, and with vitally important scientific, political, cultural, and ethical implications. This seminar examines what we know and don't know about the atmosphere, exploring its motion and moisture, its temperature and transparency, and its make-up and break-down. It also investigates the limitations of science and efforts to predict weather and climate.

Because of the atmosphere's impact on our lives, this seminar also investigates how science interacts with other human endeavors. To what extent does fore-knowledge of atmospheric events such as hurricanes and tornadoes allow people to make wise decisions? How does the science of global warming intersect with the politics and ethics of this issue? What kinds of questions are amenable to scientific investigation, and what kinds of questions are not?

Students in this seminar will cultivate a better understanding of the atmosphere, weather phenomena, the greenhouse effect, global climate change, and the power and limitations of scientific inquiry. Students will share and strengthen their knowledge through written, oral, and visual presentations. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive credit for CORE 166S and satisfy the Scientific Perspective core requirement.

Jonathan Levine is a planetary physicist whose research seeks to understand the history of the Solar System. He is part of a team seeking to build a novel kind of mass spectrometer capable of dating rocks, with the aim of flying on a future space mission to the Moon or Mars.