FSEM Courses

Welcome! Here you’ll find a full list of all Fall 2021 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 100 | Sinatra’s America

    Frank Sinatra was a dominant figure in American culture for much of the twentieth century, embroiled in everything from music and film to politics and the mafia. He was an embodiment of American complexities, and he is worth talking about.

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    FSEM 100 H2 | The Idea of Cool

    What is Cool? Who decides? This first-year seminar studies the elusive but ever-so-attractive idea of Cool by looking at both historical and contemporary ideas of that quality. From its post-WWII emergence from the world of jazz into subgroups like the …

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    FSEM 100A4 | Autism in Contemporary Literature and Film

    This course will explore how an intensive immersion experience with cinematic and literary representations of autism might serve as a test case for how the neurodiversity perspective may not only help increase our awareness of popular attitudes toward disability but also even lead to acceptance and appreciation of autism as a natural form of human variation and difference.

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    FSEM 100F | The French New Wave: Cinema and Society

    In this FSEM, we will examine the major directors and films of this movement, as well as the the themes and social issues that animate these works. We will explore how these films revolutionized film production, form, and the portrayal of political and social changes.

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    FSEM 100G4 | Race & Revolution

    In this course, we will explore the life and work of James Farmer, an exemplary leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement who taught at Mary Washington during the 1990s. We will investigate the history of the concept of race and its impact on how we perceive ourselves and the world.

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    FSEM 100H3 | Holocaust in German and American Culture

    Are the 2,711 monumental concrete steles of the recently opened Holocaust Memorial in Berlin an appropriate way to remember the victims? This seminar will investigate the particular strengths and limits of a wide range of texts and images, facts and fictions, that each in its own way claims to represent some “truth” of the Holocaust.

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    FSEM 100JJ | Daily Life in Ancient Rome

    This course will examine what it meant to be a Roman of the second century of our era. While exploring the literary and physical remains of the period, students will uncover the basic structures of Roman society and intimate details found in the daily lives of individuals.

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