Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

First-Year Seminar

Seminar Video

Each Fall, we profile an FYS section or two. Have a look at some of the interviews and video we've collected.

First-year seminar students learn to wheel and deal

Students in Alison Marr's First-Year Seminar put on two game shows they developed for their final projects in Southwestern's "Wheels and Deals" seminar.


Going to the Dogs

Welcome to "Going to the Dogs," a First-Year Seminar offered in the past at Southwestern. The seminars are designed to be fun, yet at the same time expose students to important skills such as reading, writing, critical thinking, discussion and creativity.


Salt Cod and Cool Whip: First-Year Students take a Peek at Food and Culture

Food is an old subject. But the academic study of the way people produce, procure, prepare, and eat food as a path to understanding culture is relatively new. This seminar will situate itself at the multi-disciplinary interchange that characterizes this new field of inquiry and will introduce students to the ways in which practices of everyday life, as well as historical and literary texts, may be open to intellectual inquiry about food and eating.


First-Year Seminar debates "Fundamental Questions for Democracy"

In this student-driven seminar, which offers a very different way of learning, students "play" two complex Reacting to the Past "games" in which they re-enact two critical moments in western political history: the trial of Socrates, and the intersection of the suffragist movement with issues of immigration, labor, and race in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Students learn and inhabit the particular issues that drive public discourse during a time of important transformation and ask fundamental questions about the nature and practices of democracy, including who actually counts as the people.