First-Year Seminars

Elizabeth Markovits, Director of the First-Year Seminar Program

Overview and Contact Information

The First-Year Seminar Program welcomes students to Mount Holyoke College, inviting them to join in the pleasure of an intellectually adventurous education in the liberal arts. In these small, discussion-based seminars, students work with faculty to achieve the first Learning Goal of the Mount Holyoke curriculum, which will form the foundation for their education here: the ability to think analytically and critically by questioning assumptions, evaluating evidence, and articulating well-reasoned arguments.

All entering first-year students must complete a First-Year Seminar in their first semester at Mount Holyoke. Transfer students and Frances Perkins Scholars who enter with sophomore or junior standing are exempt from this requirement, although encouraged to take a First-Year Seminar, particularly in semesters when FYSEM-210 seminars are offered.  FYSEM-210 seminars are designed especially for new Frances Perkins and Transfer students.

First-year seminars do not meet other graduation requirements and must be approved courses at Mount Holyoke.

All first-year seminars share the same FYSEM subject designation, but they are taught by faculty from departments across the College.

Course Offerings

FYSEM-110 First-Year Seminar

FYSEM-110AL All About Love

Fall. Credits: 4

What is love? What are its causes? What kinds of love do we value? This interdisciplinary seminar explores different kinds of love (romantic, familial, divine, etc.) from diverse perspectives, including those of select philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, religious thinkers, and social justice activists.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
S. Mrozik
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.
Notes: This class may be especially suitable for students who do not identify as native speakers of English.

FYSEM-110AS Art and Society

Fall. Credits: 4

This course explores the interconnections between art and society using a sociological lens. We will examine topics such as the social construction of cultural authenticity; the relationship between cultural capital and group boundaries; and the legitimation of art forms.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
P. Banks
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110AV Women, Politics, and Activism in U.S. History

Fall. Credits: 4

On what basis have women claimed the authority to speak and to lead? From the founding of the United States to its arrival as a superpower, women have taken it upon themselves to act on their visions of a just--or a righteous--world. Some have gained entry into the halls of power, some have petitioned or agitated for change, others have planted their feet on colonized ground and stood against the injustices they felt and saw. How did they persuade others and move them to action? What historical circumstances aided or impeded their efforts? This course addresses conflicting perspectives within women's politics, with attention to the histories of racism, radicalism, and conservatism.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
M. Renda
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110BG Biology and the Other Humanities

Fall. Credits: 4

Living things have been a part of the human experience from its beginning. In this class, we will look at biology from perspectives that we usually associate with the humanities. We will read Aristotle and Lucretius, and we will examine insects painted into the margins of illuminated manuscripts. We will compare the evolution of sacred texts, the evolution of languages, and the evolution of life. Topics drawn from modern work include deep history (the study of human history before there were written records), the role of metaphor in biology, and whether we share our sense of what is beautiful with the other higher animals.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
S. Rachootin
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110BW Black Women Writers

Fall. Credits: 4

In this seminar we will explore various parts of the United States and the Caribbean through analyses of black women's contemporary literature and visual culture. The course will be organized around four themes prevalent in contemporary portrayals of the black female experience in the diaspora. The themes, Body, Voice, Memory, and Movement will allow us to examine notions of agency, representation and counter-narrative. How are narratives of resistance and possession appropriated by black women writers and image-makers and utilized for their own empowerment? What are the penalties inherent when a black woman 'comes to voice' in the arena of self-representation?

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. Brown
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110CL Representative Works of Modern Chinese Literature

Fall. Credits: 4

The twentieth century started with the downfall of the Chinese monarchy, numerous humiliations at the hands of Western countries, and the establishment of the Republic of China in 1911. In the spirit of reform and renaissance, a group of young writers, educated in both China and the West, spearheaded a new direction in Chinese literature. This group of writers abandoned the classical Chinese language, was keenly interested in social development and betterment, attacked Confucian tradition, and adopted Western ideals. The class will read representative works of these writers and try to understand their sociopolitical impact, while appreciating the artistic qualities of these writings. This class may be especially suitable for students who do not identify as native speakers of English.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
Y. Wang
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.
Notes: This class may be especially suitable for students who do not identify as native speakers of English.

FYSEM-110CM Coming of Age on Screen

Fall. Credits: 4

In this course we will trace the representation of teenage girls in television and film from the 1950s to the present as a way to better understand how moving images shape culture. We will look closely at the notion of "entertainment" and at the ways in which moving image texts create ways of seeing and meaning.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
R. Blaetz
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110CV The Civil Rights Movement

Fall. Credits: 4

We will examine the crusade for desegregation both within and beyond the South. Some attention will be given to the movement's Reconstruction precedents, but we will concentrate on the post-1954 period. Readings will cover how segregation was instituted; different phases of the movement; leaders, organization, and followers; the role of women and children; and post-movement history.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Morgan
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110CW Goodbye, Conventional Wisdom

Spring. Credits: 4

One of the hallmarks of a liberal arts education is to draw on a broad base of knowledge in order to interrogate common assumptions. No one exemplifies this critical approach better than French philosopher Michel Foucault. One of the most influential thinkers of recent times, Foucault revolutionized several academic disciplines and even questioned the very notion of a discipline itself. He did so by revealing the history and transformations of ideas now viewed as self-evident. This first-year seminar invites students to develop similar analytical skills. Following Foucault's lead, the course pays special attention to preconceptions about government, freedom, identity, and sexuality.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110CX Climate Change: Myth or Reality

Fall. Credits: 4

Described by some as "...the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," and "the most important environmental issue of our time" by others, climate change has become a significant polarizing issue in our society. This course examines the science of climate change. How does the climate system work, what do we know about past (geologic) climate change and what is the evidence that humans are warming the planet? What are the implications of a warmer world?

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
A. Werner
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110DG Learning in the Digital Age: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and More

Fall. Credits: 4

This course focuses on the ways digital technologies are used to enhance learning in educational settings and personal spaces. Students will have the opportunity to gain a foundation for empirical study of young people and their learning in schools, assess the effectiveness of a range of mobile devices and apps to assist in the learning process, and create their own digital toolkits for learning. Some of the topics we will address include transformative learning, participatory culture, information fluency, digital citizenship, flipped classrooms, digital storytelling, personal learning networks, digital distraction, and the "googlization" of everything.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
S. Lawrence
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110DV Adventures in Music

Fall. Credits: 4

Designed for students with or without prior musical experience, 'Adventures in Music' explores the materials of music. Through reading, hands-on interaction with instruments and their players, discussions and recordings, students will explore concepts of pitch, time, space, structure and timbre, thereby enriching their perception of the world of sound. The best way to access the indescribable in music is often to make music. With this in mind the class will embark in mini composition projects culminating in a final project that utilizes the knowledge acquired over the duration of the course.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
T. Ng
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.
Notes: This class may be especially suitable for students who do not identify as native speakers of English.

FYSEM-110EL Politics of the Self

Fall. Credits: 4

In an era where Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are ubiquitous, self-presentation is a constant concern and practice. What are the politics of self-presentation and -cultivation, if any? Do the choices we make about diet, how to dress, where to shop, and our friends have any political valence? To what extent can these choices be thought of as a form of resistance to popular culture in an era where rebellion is marketed to us? This course will probe these questions by considering the connections among self, appearances, discipline, and the way these are dependent upon the recognition of others. Readings will include the Stoics, American transcendentalists, Rousseau, Nietzsche, and Foucault.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
A. Aslam
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110ER Emergence of Animals

Spring. Credits: 4

The origin of animals was perhaps the most important event in the history of our planet. In this course we will review the history of Earth, learn basic geology, and then examine the problem of the origin of animals by studying Mount Holyoke College's unequaled collection of Precambrian and Cambrian fossils. The emergence of animals has been called the Cambrian Explosion. We will examine what this means for our understanding of evolution, and review the hypotheses proposed to explain this extraordinary event.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. McMenamin
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110FA Fashion, Style and Design

Fall. Credits: 4

This First Year Seminar will discuss the impact of political and social change on the fashion and decorative art movements of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Students will study how and why fashions were created, explore the meaning and significance of style, and examine the role of design in the popular imagination and cultural memory of the period.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
V. James
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110FC 20th Century American Short Fiction

Fall. Credits: 4

This course looks closely at short fiction of a number of American writers. These writers portray a changing American society and the complexities of family, race, class, and gender as well as the insidious dynamics of privilege and prejudice, sexism and racism, mental instability and disability, collective violence and self-destruction, and most especially "the human heart in conflict with itself." Tracing historical, cultural, and literary context, we will identify American themes and modernist techniques -- such as unreliable narration, shifting points of view, black humor, grotesqueries, apocalyptic transformations and other elements -- which complicate and enrich our reading of these texts.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
J. Creighton
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110FJ Celebrated Science: Fluorescent Jellyfish, River Blindness, and Stem Cells

Fall. Credits: 4

What do the Nobel Prizes have to do with everyday life? Are Nobel Laureates extraordinary scientists, or singled out from others equally worthy? Readings will include essays, short fiction, and scientific publications, from Nobel Laureates to Beatrix Potter. Students will look through microscopes, correspond with practicing scientists, and try many styles of writing. When the 2016 Nobel Prizes are announced in October, we will read press coverage to study how scientific discoveries are reported. Our semester will end at the time of the Nobel Awards ceremonies with a celebratory banquet. This course is open to all who are curious about the natural world; no science background required.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
R. Fink
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110GS Gender in Science

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines explanations for the underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with an eye to identifying how to increase the participation of women in science. The course will address questions about gender differences in cognition and ability, the role of stereotyping, as well as the "leaky pipeline" issue, that is, the rate and timing of the departure of women from scientific fields. Course readings will explore the psychology of gender, as it relates to STEM. In addition, we will read research from physical scientists, reports from professional organizations such as the American Physical Society, and reports from congressional committees.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
K. Aidala
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110GT Getting There

Fall. Credits: 4

A course about journeys: some real, most fictional, all metamorphic. We will focus on the ways that a change of location, especially a move from or to home, is marked not only by encounters with place, but also by new understandings of others, and by reshapings of the self. Readings will be selected for historical, cultural, and thematic range, likely including works by Homer, Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Eugene O'Neill, Doris Lessing, Charles Johnson, Jamaica Kincaid, Kazuo Ishiguro, Lan Cao, and Annie Proulx.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
S. Sutherland
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110GY Art in Paleontology

Fall. Credits: 4

Paleontological art brings ancient organisms back to life. In this course we will consider the role that art itself plays as a mode of scientific discovery. We will examine how artists can uncover key information about prehistoric life well in advance of its recognition by the scientific community. Coursework will track the evolution of paleoart from 1830s representations of Mary Anning's fossil discoveries to the emergence of digital art and CGI. In a collaborative class project, we will identify the best and most representative works for a proposed exhibition at the Mount Holyoke College Museum of Art. For individual final class projects, students may choose between a research paper and presentation, and their own paleontological artwork in any visual medium.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. McMenamin
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110JN Journalism: Writing the Story

Fall. Credits: 4

The finest journalists are professors to the people. They educate citizens so as to facilitate reasoned, fact-based dialogue on subjects as diverse as politics, poverty, war, science, and the arts. We will look at journalism's role in the culture with a particular view to some of the profession's failings and foibles. Students are expected to leave the comfortable confines of the classroom as they try their hand at covering an event, writing a profile, and reporting on an issue of local significance. Throughout the term we will employ the journalistic skills of interviewing, research, and thoughtful analysis to produce snapshots of the world inside and outside the College gates. Curiosity leads. Mastery follows.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
C. Manegold
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110LG Slang: Community/Power/Language

Fall. Credits: 4

Language is a living system. It grows and changes, despite efforts to preserve it. This course examines how slang participates in these changes. What separates slang from standard language, and who sets the standard? Through readings in linguistics and literature, this course examines how we use language to connect, create, and control. This class may be especially suitable for students who do not identify as native speakers of English.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Shea
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110MA Exploration of Mars

Fall. Credits: 4

Exploration of Mars is an ongoing effort that has greatly expanded our knowledge of the Red Planet and changed our vision of its surface. We will examine the history of the investigation and exploration of Mars. We will also plan future observations from orbiting spacecraft, engage with scientists involved in current missions, and imagine the best ways to explore Mars in upcoming decades. Developing physical intuition and analytical skills in astronomy, geology, physics and other sciences will be emphasized, as well as speaking and writing ability.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Dyar
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110ML U.S. Multiethnic Literatures: Refracting America

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines African American, Asian American, Chicana/o-Latina/o, and Native American literature and cultural politics. Examining the historical intersection of race, gender, and sexuality, we will explore themes of cultural identity, segregation and community formation, citizenship, labor, class, and family. Authors may include Toni Morrison, Danzy Senna, Josefina López, Sherman Alexie, Junot Díaz, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Joy Kogawa.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
I. Day
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110MU Multicultural Families

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the various ways the multicultural family in contemporary American, British, European, and South African culture is imagined by writers and filmmakers. Issues to be explored include: generational conflict, the struggle to 'break away,' and the claims of memory and nostalgia. Above all, the course seeks to explore the range of cultural forms in which these themes find expression.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
D. Weber
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110MW Mapping the World, the Mind, the Self

Fall. Credits: 4

Maps are essential tools for understanding the world around us. But do our maps show us the world as it is, or do they allow us to choose the world we will see? Texts for the course may include poetry by Elizabeth Bishop, Thomas Hardy and others; short fiction by Borges, Faulkner and others, and visual art from the College Art Museum. This class may be especially suitable for students who do not identify as native speakers of English.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Shea
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110NN The Nonhuman

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will examine representations of figures not considered human, focusing on the nonhuman animal, with attention to the monster and the machine. We will analyze the verbal and visual techniques with which these figures are depicted, the social and political concerns they address, and the tenuous boundary between human and nonhuman. Authors, filmmakers, and critics may include Bierce, Cronenberg, Dunbar, Kafka, London, Martel, Moore, Poe, Ritvo, Scott, Wells, and Sewell.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
E. Young
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110PQ Politics of Inequality: Social Movements in the U.S.

Fall. Credits: 4

The course explores comparative racial and ethnic politics in the U.S. during the twentieth century. We will analyze the creation and maintenance of structural inequalities through laws and policies targeted at persons of color in the areas of healthcare, transportation, immigration, labor, racial segregation, and education. Through readings, lectures and films, we will discuss critical histories of community struggle against social inequality, registering the central impact that race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship have had on efforts toward social justice.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
D. Hernández
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110PT Politics and Truth

Fall. Credits: 4

What is the relationship between truth and politics? Does democracy require truth or pervert it? Can truth thrive in any type of government? What's really at stake here? In this course, we will explore a variety of classic texts, ranging from such authors as Plato to Karl Marx to Hannah Arendt to Martin Luther King, Jr. to contemporary feminist theorists. We will focus on developing the ability to reflect on your own beliefs, analyze authors' arguments, and to articulate and defend your own perspective.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
E. Markovits
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.
Advisory: for students in their first two semesters at the College only

FYSEM-110PW Pursuit of Wellness

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines topics within the physical, mental, psychological and social dimensions of wellness. Current research and trends in health and wellness are emphasized and students will be encouraged to apply this knowledge in practical ways for healthful living. While this course is not activity based, a few classes will involve physical activity to promote wellness.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
L. Priest
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110PY Anthropology of Play

Fall. Credits: 4

We associate play with childhood, a time of spontaneous and creative activity, in contrast to the boring routine of adult responsibilities. And yet play is more than just fun and games. It is through play that children develop lasting cognitive and social skills. For adults too, there can be serious play--play that has real consequence--play that shapes the intimate lives of individuals, as well as entire social formations. In this course, we will explore play cross culturally, from the Balinese cockfight to American football, from gambling to role playing. We will design games based on the anthropological readings in order to appreciate the game-like qualities of many domains of life.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
J. Roth
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110QP Philosophical Questions in and about Literature

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines philosophical themes in literature and philosophical questions about works of literature. Can we learn about the world from reading works of fiction? What is the meaning of a work of literature, and how can we know it? Are the author's intentions relevant to how we should understand a work? Can works of literature be immoral? How is the identity of the reader relevant to the understanding of a literary work? We will read works such as Iris Murdoch's The Black Prince, Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, and Kafka's Metamorphosis.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
J. Harold
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110RR Remembering as Reconciliation in the Wake of Violence

Fall. Credits: 4

We explore how memorialization and reconciliation take place in societies that have experienced extreme violence. How do survivors, perpetrators and their descendants record the experience of atrocity through testimonials and memorials in ways that contrast with 'official' national narratives of the past? In what ways does memorialization end cycles of violence without re-triggering trauma? How does restorative justice, for example, address feelings of despair or guilt that get passed down from one generation to another? Our transnational study will include examples from Germany, Japan, Rwanda, and Cambodia primarily, with other examples included based on student interest.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. Remmler
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110RW Short Stories from Around the World

Fall. Credits: 4

This first-year seminar explores short stories from American, Irish, New Zealand, Indian, and Canadian writers. The range of stories allows students to experience the diverse writing of many traditions, as well as exploring why short story traditions might be more prevalent in particular cultures. The course includes discussion on the influence of oral storytelling traditions, the concept of the short story collection, and the notion of the narrative voice. Texts include stories by James Joyce, Claire Keegan, Katherine Mansfield, Patricia Grace, Margaret Atwood, and Jhumpa Lahiri.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. O'Callaghan
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110SR Stress and Resiliency

Fall. Credits: 4

Is it true that what does not kill us makes us stronger? What is stress management? What is "stress culture"? This first year seminar will explore these questions, focusing on the relationship between stress and resiliency. We will consider different ideas about stress, adaptive coping, psychological resilience and their relationship to psychological and physical well-being. We will consider cultural differences in approaches to stress, as well as explore the impact of stress on our lives and society.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
A. Douglas
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-110TG Transgressive Music

Fall. Credits: 4

The seminar will introduce and discuss various musical works and genres that fall under rock critic Ann Powers' definitions of 'Violator Art,' exploring them within the context of their wanton and disturbing appeal, as well as their often scandalous social impact. Topics will include the Second Viennese School, free jazz, protest music, punk rock, hip-hop, works such as J. S. Bach's 'Cantata No. 179,' Strauss's 'Salome,' Stravinsky's 'Le Sacre du printemps,' Billie Holiday's 'Strange Fruit,' George Crumb's 'Black Angels,' and artists such as Frank Zappa, Donna Summer, Prince, and Nirvana.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
D. Sanford
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.
Notes: Students should be prepared for mature themes and some coarse language.

FYSEM-110TM All Things Shining: The Films of Terrence Malick

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will examine the work of contemporary American filmmaker Terrence Malick. While taking into account technical aspects (cinematography, music), ours will be a largely thematic discussion, looking at recurring themes such as good vs. evil, nature vs. culture and spirituality. Selected critical essays will deepen our conversation and reveal some of the myriad literary, philosophical and theological texts that serve as the conceptual underpinnings of Malick's films. We will also discuss why these films, especially The Tree of Life (2011), have proved so polarizing, provoking intense and vehement reactions -- both positive and negative -- on the part of spectators.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
C. Rivers
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.
Notes: The course will include several evening screenings, attendance at which will be strongly encouraged but not required.

FYSEM-110VT Jack the Ripper and the Making of Late-Victorian London

Fall. Credits: 4

In the summer and fall of 1888, a series of gruesome murders captured the attention of Londoners and brought questions of class, gender, race and social-economic change to the forefront of public debate. Though the culprit was never identified, Jack the Ripper became synonymous with the perceived dangers of late-Victorian London. Using newspapers, periodicals, police archives, and other sources from the period, this course will set students on an historical investigation of the "Whitechapel Murders," seeking to understand the event, its historical context, and the way historians have interpreted its meaning.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Fitz-Gibbon
Restrictions: First-year students only, by placement.

FYSEM-210 First-Year Seminar for Frances Perkins and Transfer Students

FYSEM-210RC First-Year Seminar for Frances Perkins and Transfer Students: 'Reading Closely, Thinking Broadly'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course is designed to introduce Francis Perkins scholars and other transfer students to Mount Holyoke's intellectual community and liberal arts curriculum. It will develop the academic skills required for intellectual confidence and success through a series of close readings, analytic writing exercises, and longer research projects. Thematically, course material will focus on some of the primary thinkers whose ideas form the basis of many areas of the curriculum.

Applies to requirement(s): Meets No Distribution Requirement
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Steinfels
Restrictions: Course limited to new Frances Perkins and transfer students.