The seminar is based on the principle of a common theme and shared texts that are read at the same time by students and faculty in multiple course sections. The theme of the seminar and texts will vary annually, as will the faculty teaching the sections of the seminar.

Premises Informing the Initiative

  1. Students should be challenged by reading and thinking about texts with significant content and qualitative resonance during their first year. It is becoming increasingly easy for students to graduate from college, or any institution of higher education, without having encountered a legacy of ideas or significant intellectual traditions.
  2. The mandated skills of the First-Year seminar program at Dickinson (critical thinking and analysis, writing, library research), are best cultivated through significant course content that both solicits and demonstrates those skills rather than through independent structures that are disconnected from a meaningful process of thinking.
  3. A collaborative first-year seminar organized around a shared theme in the Humanities with significant content, provides an exciting opportunity for faculty and students not only to work together for the first time in this context, but also provides a model of education that has never before been offered at the College