Junior Seminars

As part of the College Studies curriculum, every student must take two courses in the Junior Seminars category. This category is divided into Liberal Arts Seminars and Integrative Professional Seminars. To complete your Junior Seminar requirement, you can take one of each, or two Liberal Arts Seminars (click here to see how Junior Seminars fit into the College Studies curriculum). In addition to the Liberal Arts Seminars listed in the PhilaU catalog, new courses are added to these categories periodically.  For the Spring 2012 semester, the following courses are being offered in the Liberal Arts Seminar and Integrative Professional Seminar categories.

All courses in the Junior Seminar category are writing-intensive, and they all have the same two prerequisites:SOC-2xx and WRTG-21x

Integrative Professional Seminars

HONORS: Applied Professional Ethics

This research and writing-intensive course introduces students to numerous concepts in Western and non-Western ethics that inform decisions about what we “ought” to do in our personal and professional lives. Students will read primary text selections from philosophers and analyze practical cases by applying what they have read

Liberal Arts Seminars
Telling Stories, Selling Stories: An Introduction to Narrative

We are constantly surrounded by stories in our daily lives — at home, at play, and in the workplace — and every day we create just as many stories of our own as we move through all of these spaces. In this course, we analyze, evaluate, and create narratives. We learn and discuss the parts that make up a narrative, and consider how these components are used by storytellers across media and disciplines to create narratives that are (or are not) effective, compelling, ethical, and successful at achieving their purpose.

African American Cultural Identities

This course will examine the range of questionable and legitimate religious expression; negative and redeeming popular images; and cultural movements of African Americans from slavery to the present. Its content will address themes including: slave culture; minstrelsy; popular music; blaxploitation media; aesthetics; color and class; and today’s heritage industries. Students will review electronic and print media excerpts as evidence to examine the complexity of African American identities.

Imaging the Middle East

This courses focuses on the various ways in which political cartoons, comics, graphic novels, and animated films are used as rhetorical devices, employed to shape how Arabs view Israel, Americans and the West and how, in turn Israelis, Americans and others use these tools to shape public opinion of the Arab World.  Through the reading and analysis of graphic images, students will gain a better understanding of the use of comices and cartoons as tools which serve to build and express national identity; further, they will also gain substantive knowledge about some of the thorny conflicts and misunderstandings which exist within the Middle East, as well as between the Middle East and the West.

Creative Writing: Shaping Narrative and Experience

In this hands-on course, students develop their knowledge of how to shape narrative and experience through forms of creative written expression such as poetry and fiction. Students will read and analyze work in these forms; experiment with these forms through writing their own creative drafts and revisions; and develop critiquing skills in a workshop environment. Students showcase their work in a final portfolio and a reading open to the University community.

From Fiction to Film

The study of the interrelationships between literature and film through case studies of the translation of significant novels (focus on 19th and 20th century) into works of cinema.

The Artist and Society in Literature and Film

An examination of the enigmatic figure of the artist depicted in literature (the short story, the novella and the novel). The genesis and complexity of artists as literary figures will be considered as they find themselves in conflict with society.

The U.S.: The Recent Past

This course focuses on social, cultural, political and economic changes within the United States since 1945. Topics such as beatniks and hippies, the New Left, the civil rights movement, student and anti-war movements, the women’s movement, the politics of conservatism and the fate of labor will be studied in the context of an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse society. Students will be encouraged to explore and write from a wide range of sources from across the disciplines.

Human Rights

The course will examine the question of whether there are certain rights that we all possess as human beings and the prominence of these rights in international relations. Students will monitor human-rights violations in the United States and other countries in order to determine how much we have achieved as a world community and how far we have yet to go.

The Urban Experience

This course discusses the origins and development of urban life. Special focus will be upon Philadelphia as it represents trends in the American experience of cities.