Fall 2020

Transformative Ideas

Listed in: First Year Seminar, as FYSE-119

Moodle site: Course


Thomas L. Dumm (Section 01)


This course is an exploration of ideas that have changed the way humans think about the world. This year, we will study thinkers who have written about race, racism, and other forms of subjugation. Among those we will consider reading and discussing are Tzvetan Todorov, Toni Morrison, William Apess, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Dubois, Franz Fanon, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, bell hooks, Cornel West, Judith Butler, and others.

This course emphasizes the development of several skills, including close reading, interpretation, and expository writing. Students are required to pose and post critical questions concerning the readings posted to the course blog on the night prior to each meeting. Each week students will write a brief essay commenting on a passage in the week’s reading. These essays are evaluated for grammar, style, logical coherence, and clarity.

Fall semester. Professor Dumm.

If Overenrolled: Dean's office determines this.


Attention to Writing, Online Only


2020-21: Offered in Fall 2020
Other years: Offered in Fall 2019, Fall 2020