FSEM Courses

Welcome! Here you’ll find a full list of all Fall 2020 First-Year Seminar (FSEM) offerings. Browse through the pages of classes, select a course from the first drop down menu, or browse by subject area. Please note that this site shows the FSEMs regardless of whether or not they are full, so there is no guarantee that a course will still be open at the time of your registration


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    FSEM 100A1 | American Ideas of Inequality

    This FSEM explores the idea of equality from the perspective of cultural anthropology. You will learn just enough anthropology so that you can acquire this perspective, and then collectively we will try to figure out what equality means in America.

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    FSEM 100C7 | Sexuality in Southern Literature

      This section of FSEM is designated as an honors course and satisfies the requirements for students enrolled in the University Honors Program. This Honors first-year seminar will explore how southern literature of the twentieth and twenty-first c …

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    FSEM 100H8 | Everybody’s a Little Bit Racist

    Do you think your race colored your high school experience in any way? Do you expect that your race will affect your academic and social life at University of Mary Washington? Does racism exist in higher education? If so, what forms does racism take? We will explore these questions by first reading scholarly works on race and higher education.

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    FSEM 100M9 | Down the Rabbit Hole

    In Lewis Carroll’s classic story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the title character falls into a land of magical and unpredictable characters, actions, and communications, which is an experience you might share as you enter the new world of college. This seminar will have at its core Carroll’s literary works and photography in a study that will lead us into examinations of philosophy, identity, sexuality, language, authority, hallucination, justice, visual art, madness, ethics, gender, psychology, film, logic, childhood, mathematics, the body, narrative, education, social codes, memory, time—and reality itself.

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    FSEM 100N3 | Climate Change and Energy Resources

    Many people, including most climate scientists, have concluded that human-generated greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuels, are creating profound changes in the Earth’s climate system. In this class we will evaluate the evidence that human use of fossil fuels is responsible for altering Earth’s climate.

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    FSEM 100N5 | Inequality and the American Dream

    The United States has long been thought of as a classless society—or more precisely, one in which nearly everyone is middle class. The average wage rate, adjusted for inflation, has remained stagnant, and the majority of income gains in the U.S. have gone to those already with the highest incomes. What has caused these trends? Most importantly, what, if anything, can and should be done about them?

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    FSEM 100Q6 | Shakespeare and Popular Culture

    This FSEM examines representations of William Shakespeare and his most famous plays in contemporary literature, film, and popular culture, discussing what these twentieth and twenty-first century incarnations of Shakespeare reveal about his plays and our continued investment in them.

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    HIST 201 | First-Year Seminar: European History: The Early Crusades

    What were the Crusades? Were they the first stirrings of European colonialism, medieval style? Were they the heroic attempts to rescue Jerusalem from the Infidel (whether the infidels were Christian or Muslim)? In this seminar, you will have the chance to answer these questions by reading the words of participants and witnesses to these brutal, cataclysmic, and apocalyptic wars for control of sites holy to three religions.

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