First-year seminar is a yearlong combined reading seminar and writing workshop that introduces you to some foundational texts and genres of world culture from across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Focusing on literary, philosophical, religious and historical works, you will explore various ways in which different civilizations, from antiquity to the contemporary era, have imagined and responded to the relationship between self and community. You will consider such topics of human existence as truth, love, authority, reason and religion as they have been explored by individuals and societies throughout history.

In the first semester, you engaged with texts that primarily addressed notions of selfhood and individuality. In the second semester you will engage with texts that primarily address notions of community and collective identity and how they are expressed in theory and in practice.