ARTH 110Y
ARTH 110Y - FYS: Michelangelo

This first-year seminar examines the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti (1474-1564). Although he is best known as a sculptor and painter, Michelangelo was also a poet, architect, civil engineer, and diplomat driven by complex artistic, religious, political, and economic motivations. His long career provides a framework for understanding the Italian Renaissance, and the mythology surrounding that career provides insight into changing perceptions of the artist and the individual during that time. We will focus on works of art and contemporary texts, as well as real or virtual visits to Wellesley’s Special Collections, Papermaking Studio, Book Arts Lab, Botanic Gardens, and Davis Museum, Harvard's Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Musacchio

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 112Y
BISC 112Y - FYS: Expl Cellular Bio w/Lab

Seminar-style introduction to life at the cellular and molecular level, designed as an alternative to BISC 110 for students with strong high school preparation (such as AP, IB, or other). The course will include eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell structure, function of biological macromolecules, molecular genetics, cellular metabolism, molecular genetics, and mechanisms of growth and differentiation, with an emphasis on experimental approaches to investigating these topics. This course will aim to develop students' skills in data analysis and scientific writing along with building foundational knowledge in the field. Lab sections are shared with BISC 110. This course differs from BISC 110 in its small class size and discussion-based format; it meets for one discussion and one lab session per week. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Open to First-Year students only. Biology AP/IB, or equivalent experience, or permission of instructor. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 110, BISC 110P or BISC 116.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory; NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

BISC 113Y
BISC 113Y - FYS: Expl Organismal Bio w/Lab

An exploration of the central questions, concepts, and methods of experimental analysis in selected areas of organismal biology, designed as an alternative to BISC 111 for students with strong high school preparation (such as AP, IB, or other). Topics include: the evolution and diversification of life, the form and function of plants and animals, and ecological interactions among organisms, with an emphasis on laboratory methods, data analysis, and science writing. Lab sections are shared with BISC 111. This course differs from BISC 111 in its smaller class size, a seminar-style format, and a focus on discussion of landmark scientific studies that shape this field; it meets for one discussion and one lab session per week. Either BISC 110, BISC 110P, BISC 112, BISC 112Y, or BISC 116; or BISC 111, BISC 111T, BISC 113, or BISC 113Y may be taken first. Students must attend lab during the first week in order to continue in the course.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: Open to First-Year students only. Biology AP/IB, or equivalent experience, or permission of instructor. Fulfillment of the Quantitative Reasoning (QR) component of the Quantitative Reasoning & Data Literacy requirement. Not open to students who have taken BISC 111, BISC 111T, or BISC 113Y.

Instructor: Staff

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences; LAB - Natural and Physical Sciences Laboratory

Degree Requirements: DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRDL); DL - Data Literacy (Formerly QRF)

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

CAMS 107Y
CAMS 107Y - FYS: Is Technology Evil?

In an age of algorithmic automation, mass surveillance, and the commodification of social relations, this course asks the question: is technology evil? Using that provocation as a means to investigate the design, use, and economics of social media and other digital objects, we will read a mix of academic and popular texts that treat new media as a problem—not as an unqualified ill, but as something to be carefully considered in all of its immense power and pervasiveness in everyday life. Through an introduction to the methodologies of visual analysis, and close reading, we will think critically about the role of mass media in the production of consuming subjects, of the representations of race, gender and sexuality in new media, and the nature and role of aesthetics and design in contemporary life.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: N. Gutierrez

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

CHEM 104Y
CHEM 104Y - FYS: Modelng Across Disciplines

Every person -- from an artist or linguist to an economist or scientist -- relies on models to make sense of her world, herself, and the relationships between the two. In this first-year seminar, we will explore what models are, how they are created, and how they are paradoxically useful due to their imperfections. Through primary literature and discussions, we will discuss the philosophical and psychological bases of model creation and limitation. We will also explore, apply, evaluate, and even create both qualitative and mathematical models across the disciplines aided by primary literature, hands-on activities, and guest speakers and faculty who engage with models within their fields, ranging from art to physical science. In this way, the course will serve as a "sampler" to introduce students to many academic disciplines while also preparing students to recognize both the power and limitations of models in their future learning.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: M. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving; EC - Epistemology and Cognition

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Concepts from calculus will occasionally be brought into the course, making it potentially informative for both students who want to get a taste of calculus before taking a full semester as well as for students who have had calculus and want to see potential applications. 

CLCV 110Y
CLCV 110Y - FYS: Archaeology and Artifacts

This first-year seminar examines the past through direct engagement with objects from ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Working with a diverse collection of artifacts—including pottery, coins, and figurines—students will learn about the societies of the ancient Mediterranean as well as methods of artifact analysis and theories of material culture studies. We will explore the history of the objects now at Wellesley, with attention to ethical and legal aspects of collecting antiquities. We will also consider the presentation of ancient objects as art and artifact in various local museum settings. Students will work collaboratively to design an exhibition of select pieces.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Burns

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis; HS - Historical Studies

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

CPLT 175Y
CPLT 175Y - FYS: What is Truth

This course is an exploration of the status of the truth when it is considered from a variety of contexts and disciplines. While we all share the notion that facts are the basis for truth, there are some ways in which facts can also spawn untruths or be in question themselves. Starting from how different disciplines such as Physics, Math, Medicine, and Philosophy arrive at "truths," we will also consider notions of truth in fiction and fantasy. Can there be "truth" in any kind of fiction? What is the relationship between truth and reality? Each student will complete a final project, which will pursue the question: "What is truth?" in a delineated context or field.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Prabhu

Distribution Requirements: EC - Epistemology and Cognition

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

EDUC 103Y
EDUC 103Y/ WGST 102Y - FYS: Lessons of Childhood

From Disney films to Nickelodeon cartoons to Newberry award-winning texts, popular children's media offers us the opportunity to analyze how complex issues of identity are represented in cultural productions aimed at a young audience. This course takes as a site of analysis media aimed at children to investigate the lessons imparted and ideologies circulate in popular films and books. How is class drawn in Lady and the Tramp? What are politics of language at play in Moana? What are the sounds of masculinity in Beauty and the Beast? How does Mulan construct gender, race, and militarism? Using an intersectional frame of analysis, we will trace popular tropes, identify images of resistance, and map out the more popular messages children receive about difference in our world.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: EDUC 10 3Y

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Mata

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course. Registration in this section is restricted to students selected for the Wellesley Plus Program. Mandatory Credit/Non Credit.

ENG 150Y
ENG 150Y - FYS: Creating Memory

Participants in this seminar will delve into the workings of memory--a term that encompasses several different kinds of remembering and recollecting. What makes something memorable? Can we choose or shape what we remember? Does memory constitute identity? How has technology altered what and how we remember? As we ponder such questions, our primary focus will be on literature (including Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Emily Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Proust, Woolf, Borges, Nabokov, Toni Morrison). We'll also draw on philosophy, psychology, and cognitive science and explore creative arts such as drawing, photography, painting, sculpture, book arts, film, and music. Students will write in several genres--creative, critical, and reflective-and experiment with different ways of collecting, curating, and presenting memories in media of their choice.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Hickey

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit.

ES 105Y
ES 105Y/ PHIL 105Y - FYS: The Philosophy of Food

In this course we will examine the ethics of eating, from farm to table. Students will use philosophical methods to explore ethical issues surrounding topics such as world hunger, industrial agriculture, vegetarianism, cultural identity, paternalism, and individual responsibility. We will focus both on honing our argumentative skills and engaging critically with popular writing about food ethics.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: ES 10 5Y

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: E. Matthes (Philosophy)

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

GER 130Y
GER 130Y - FYS: Fairy Tales & Childrens Lit

This seminar focuses on fairy tales, their history, and their continued impact on contemporary culture. We begin by studying the tales themselves, trying to uncover their original meanings and purposes. Out of what historical moments and psychological needs did the tales arise? Why did the Brothers Grimm collect and compile them in the first place? We then consider the ways in which they have been rescripted and repurposed in everything from poetry to popular film, examining how cultural production appropriates these fairy tale structures, even while radically straying from them. We read these texts against the backdrop of a range of theoretical approaches to childhood and to literary and cultural criticism, in order to uncover their significance in the past and today.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Hans

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Every three years

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

HIST 114Y
HIST 114Y - FYS: American Hauntings

The American past is crowded with ghosts. In this seminar, we will trace the evolution of supernatural belief in America and analyze some of its most famous ghost stories. What about the nation’s history makes it such fertile terrain for ghosts? What happens when the dead refuse to stay in the past, relegated to history? Why, in short, is the American historical imagination so haunted? We’ll dig deeply into selected hauntings, drawn from across historical North America, and encounter the spirits of French Detroit, the Gettysburg battlefield, and colonial Jamaica, among others.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Grandjean

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

HIST 116Y
HIST 116Y - FYS: Vladimir Putin

With Russian military forces surging through Ukraine in an unprovoked and catastrophic war that few in Russia or the West had predicted, as President Vladimir Putin threatens the annihilation of Ukraine’s statehood and the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons, now is the time to plunge into a study of that authoritarian leader of the world’s largest country. What are the causes of this catastrophic conflict? How did Putin accumulate so much power? What have been his goals, values and operating principles? A product of Leningrad’s “mean streets,” the young Putin sought glory in the KGB, and after the demise of the Soviet Union—a collapse he rues to this day—moved into the heights of power. We will explore Vladimir Putin’s life path, political maneuvers and policies, ideas about Russia’s identity and place in the world, and his image as the epitome of both potent masculinity and the devil incarnate. Assignments will include biographical and autobiographical writings, speeches, videos and a plethora of images of this enigmatic, potent, and murderous leader.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Tumarkin

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

ITAS 104Y
ITAS 104Y - FYS: Cities of Italy (in Eng)

This seminar is dedicated to the representation of Italian cities in Italian literature, art, and cinema from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century. By presenting cities as spatial narratives, we will introduce students to some of the most important moments in Italian history and will invite them to examine the representation of urban landscape as a privileged vantage point to understand Italian culture. The seminar is designed to introduce students to the field of Italian Studies and to provide them with a solid background in Italian history and culture.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Parussa

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

MATH 123Y
MATH 123Y - FYS: Mathematics and Politics

How can a candidate in a political race win the majority of votes yet lose the election? How can two competing candidates interpret the same statistic as being in their favor? How can the geometry of the voting district disenfranchise entire groups of voters? Can we quantify the power the President of the United States has? In this course, we will look at the mathematics behind these and related questions that arise in politics. We will study topics such as fairness, voting paradoxes, social choice, game theory, apportionment, gerrymandering, and data interpretation. The goal of the class will be to illustrate the importance of rigorous reasoning in various social and political processes while providing an introduction to some fascinating mathematics.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Volic

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MATH 124Y
MATH 124Y - FYS: Discrete Mathematics

This course is a first-year seminar for students in the Wellesley Plus program. It will introduce students to important basic mathematical concepts as set theory, proof techniques, propositional and predicate calculus, graph theory, combinatorics, probability, and recursion.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Chang, Sohie Lee (Computer Science)

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

MATH 207Y
MATH 207Y - FYS: Knots, Molecules, Universe

What can we know about the shape of the universe? When is a molecule left- or right-handed and what does that mean? How can an inhabitant of a one- or two- or three-dimensional universe figure out the shape (geometry and topology) of their universe? This course provides an elementary introduction to mathematical topology (sometimes described as rubber-sheet geometry), and the tools to address questions such as these.  In this context, the notions of knot invariants and geodesics (shortest paths) arise, and students learn how to use these tools to classify knots, and to classify all closed surfaces. Applications of topology and geometry to chemistry and molecular biology will be discussed.
 
Students will learn about fundamental topological and geometric ideas and develop their visual intuition, which can provide a valuable framework for MATH 302 and MATH 307.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: MATH 116 or the equivalent. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Kerr

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MATH 223Y
MATH 223Y - FYS: Number Theory

Number theory is the study of the most basic mathematical objects: the natural numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). It begins by investigating simple patterns: for instance, which numbers can be written as sums of two squares? Do the primes go on forever? How can we be sure? The patterns and structures that emerge from studying the properties of numbers are so elegant, complex, and important that number theory has been called "the Queen of Mathematics." Once studied only for its intrinsic beauty, number theory has practical applications in cryptography and computer science. Topics include the Euclidean algorithm, modular arithmetic, Fermat's and Euler's Theorems, public-key cryptography, quadratic reciprocity. MATH 223 has a focus on learning to understand and write mathematical proofs; it can serve as valuable preparation for MATH 305.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Lange

Distribution Requirements: MM - Mathematical Modeling and Problem Solving

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

MUS 105Y
MUS 105Y - FYS: Rhythm and Form

One of the most fundamental ways that music moves us is through rhythm and the emotional highs and lows of musical form. This first year seminar will focus on the musical materials that aid in critically analyzing popular music and world music: rhythm and song form. In this seminar, students will hone their ability to hear the structures that make up the music in our daily lives through group discussion, guided listening journals, and practice with analysis. The semester will culminate in an analysis of a listening experience, such as an album, playlist, DJ set, or concert. Students need no prior experience with formal musical training: they need only to have the means to listen to music in private.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 10

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Goldschmitt

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

NEUR 125Y
NEUR 125Y - FYS: Brains, Minds & Machines

How is intelligent behavior produced by the brain and how can it be replicated in machines? What role, if any, does our conscious experience play in producing intelligent behavior? This seminar explores human intelligence through the perspectives of neuroscience, cognitive science, and computer science, integrating studies of the brain, the mind, and the computations needed to create intelligent machines. This interdisciplinary approach has accelerated the pace of research aimed at understanding how intelligent agents use vision to recognize objects and events; navigate through a complex, dynamic environment; use language to communicate; and develop a conscious awareness of the world. Through exploration of current research and hands-on computer activities, students will learn about methods used to probe neural circuits and visualize brain activity; investigate human performance and behavior; and build computer models that capture the remarkable abilities of biological systems.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Wiest

Distribution Requirements: NPS - Natural and Physical Sciences

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

PEAC 119Y
PEAC 119Y/ REL 119Y - FYS: Hiroshima Nagasaki Yasukuni

Discussion based seminar deals with Japan both as a victim and as a victimizer during and in the aftermath of the World War II. It probes what drove Japan to aspire toward world domination; how the "ultimate bomb to end all wars" was used twice on Japan in August 1945; and how the Japanese "war criminals" are enshrined today at Yasukuni as "divine beings"; and how Yasukuni Shinto Shrine remains a major barrier in establishing peace between Japan and its Asian neighbors. The seminar is intended for students interested in the comparative and historical study of religion, Peace and Justice Studies, and East Asian Studies. Requirements: active participation in discussion, joint paper writing and presentation; no exams.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Crosslisted Courses: PEAC 119Y

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Kodera

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

PHIL 106Y
PHIL 106Y - FYS: Intro to Moral Philosophy

This course is an introduction to moral philosophy. Our discussion will be split between normative ethics, applied ethics, and metaethics. When we talk about normative ethics we talk about moral values and ideals in an effort to guide human behavior. When we talk about applied ethics, we want to identify the particular values, rights, duties, and assumptions that are in play in a specific kind of situation, like: “Should we eat animals?” or “Is watching football immoral?” When we talk about metaethics, we engage with the question of whether “right” and “wrong” exist and whether “right” and “wrong” are the same for everyone, at all times, everywhere. This course will engage these topics across three themes: (1) Autonomy, Personhood, and Freedom; (2) Values and Relativism; (3) Justice and Oppression.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Walsh

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

PHIL 108Y
PHIL 108Y - FYS: Friendship

This seminar undertakes a philosophical examination of the nature and value of friendship. Two questions will animate the course: What is a friend? And, why are friends valuable? Drawing examples from literature and films, we will examine different types of friendships and the features that characterize and sustain them. Many philosophers have argued that the best kind of friendship is one in which the friend is loved for her own sake; we will consider whether this is truly possible or whether all friendships are ultimately instrumental. We'll also examine how the partiality inherent in friendship conflicts with the demands of standard moral theories. Finally, we will compare the love that characterizes friendship with the feelings that sustain relationships with parents, children, and lovers.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Gartner

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Registration in this section is restricted to students selected for the Wellesley Plus Program. Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

POL 105Y
POL 105Y - FYS: Money & International Politics

The course focuses on key topics in international finance such as the Great Depression, the 2008 crisis, the European crisis, central banks, and the rise of cryptocurrency. To study the politics of international finance one must engage with a wide variety of texts, including scholarly writings, policy reports, speeches by monetary authorities and financial decision-makers, editorials in newspapers, journalistic accounts concerning economic policy, as well as works of fiction. These texts address different audiences with different political and rhetorical aims, and students will compare their different styles with a critical eye. Through this examination, students will learn how to address multiple audiences through a variety of styles of analysis and argument in their own writings.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Sahasrabuddhe

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

POL 109Y
POL 109Y - FYS: Democracy in America

The premise of this course is that Alexis de Tocqueville's nineteenth-century masterpiece, Democracy in America, remains a useful starting point for understanding democracy, America, and politics across nations in the twenty-first century. Students in the course will read excerpts from Democracy in America alongside contemporary works in social science that take up some of the themes and concepts Tocqueville developed in his book. These themes and concepts will provide the fuel for class discussions and debates, and for student research that probes the contemporary relevance of the questions about democracy and America that Tocqueville raised so provocatively two centuries ago.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Burke

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit.

POL 112Y
POL 112Y - FYS: Wars of Ideas

This first-year seminar examines "wars of ideas" in international politics. How do changes in ideas shape international conflict? To what extent do ideas and identities motivate foreign policies? Has international relations moved beyond states and their security interests, and is now driven by a "clash of civilizations"? Historically, we will explore the role of religion in shaping the modern state system in the 17th century, nationalism and imperialism in the 19th century, and fascism, liberalism, and communism in the 20th century. Contemporary case studies will look at ethnic conflict, the "resurgence" of religion in international politics, and the role of American national identity in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Goddard

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

PSYC 123Y
PSYC 123Y - FYS: Mind and the Media

The media have evolved techniques for engaging our sensations, feelings, and thoughts. Yet as we consume media, we are changed by it. This course examines how different media, from print, to film, to social media take advantage of characteristics of human cognition to maximize audience engagement. In turn, we will investigate how media consumption changes the human brain and behavior. Our investigation will take us to the Davis Museum of Art, the College Archives, and a local movie theater.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: PSYC 123Y

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Pyers

Distribution Requirements: EC - Epistemology and Cognition

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

REL 111Y
REL 111Y - FYS: Jesus of Nazareth

This introductory course focuses on Jesus of Nazareth. We will study key texts within the Jewish and Christian Bibles, examining not only their composition in the context of empire and diasporic Judaism in the ancient world, but also how they are still used to debate contemporary ethical and political actions. We will consider 1) biblical texts in their historical context and their earliest interpretations; 2) recent trends in Jesus studies, including feminist, queer, and postcolonial interpretation; Black Jesus; and contemporary popular culture; 3) Jesus in global, pluralistic, and multi-religious contexts.

Visits to the Wellesley Davis Museum and the Harvard Art and Near Eastern Museums are planned.

All persons and perspectives are welcome in this class. Previous knowledge or personal experience with the Bible or religious traditions is neither presumed nor necessary.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Jarrard

Distribution Requirements: REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy; HS - Historical Studies

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Typical Periods Offered: Every three years

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

THST 101Y
THST 101Y - FYS: Can We Have An Argument?

This course will apply theatrical performance training to the art of public speaking or rhetoric. One of the three original Liberal Arts, the art of discourse has long been recognized as fundamental to the creation of knowledge, and the development of thought. Employing dramatic and nondramatic texts, original student-written work, and an occasional Saturday Night Live sketch, students will discover the power of words to change hearts and minds, as well as their ability to undercut the speaker who does not know how to use them properly. The course is intended to develop communicative and expressive skills in students who might not be drawn to the fine arts, but who might benefit from theatrical training to become more effective thinkers, writers, and speakers.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Prerequisites: Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Arciniegas

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course.

THST 106Y
THST 106Y - FYS: Speaking Truth to Power

This course will introduce students to the art of developing personal narrative as a means to creating a viable piece of theatre. Through guided writing exercises and exposure to the works of Nora Ephron, Billie Holiday, and Susanna Kaysen, and others, students will explore the intricacies of their own and their family histories. Based on the techniques that have produced numerous original plays here at Wellesley, the weekly exercises will be centered around various aspects of life such as race, gender, class, body image, and personal history. Students will hear and critique each other weekly while preparing for a final evening of “stories” to be offered to the public at the end of the semester. The class will also focus on the final composition of the evening, and the journey each student makes to bring it to fruition. Emphasis is on the development and refinement of the dramatic content while building confidence for even the least experienced student.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 16

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Roach

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: Mandatory Credit/Non Credit

WGST 100Y
WGST 100Y - FYS: The Body

This course explores the ways in which the body, as a reflection and construction of the self, is tied to social, cultural and political relations.  Through this examination of the role that our bodies play in daily life we will delve into the study of gender, race,  sexuality and power. Topics vary yearly but include: (1) after Roe and the medicalization of bodies (contraception, abortion, new reproductive technologies), (2) sex education and  the Internet as sites of bodily learning (3) body work (nail salons, surrogacy) (4) the use of the body as a vehicle for performance, self-expression and identity (drag queens, fashion). Throughout the course we will discuss how ideas about bodies are transported across national borders and social, sexual and class hierarchies.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Hertz

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Other Categories: FYS - First Year Seminar

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Ann E. Maurer '51 Speaking Intensive Course. Mandatory Credit/Non Credit.