Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Wednesday, June 20, 2018, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2014-2015 Course Catalog

Period: 2017-20182016-20172015-20162014-20152013-2014

This catalog was created on Wednesday, June 20, 2018.


Freshman Studies

Associate professors:G. Bond (English, chair term III), E. Carlson (Art and Art History, chair terms I and II)

Freshman Studies has been the cornerstone of the Lawrence curriculum for over 60 years. Designed by Nathan Pusey, who left Lawrence for the presidency at Harvard, it was first taught in 1945 and is still best understood as an introduction to liberal learning.

Students take Freshman Studies in their first two terms on campus. Each section of the course includes about fifteen students, allowing for close relationships between students and teachers. Because each section uses the same reading list, Freshman Studies also helps students to join in the life of a larger intellectual community, one that now includes generations of Lawrentians.

In keeping with such goals, Freshman Studies is expansive and inclusive. Instead of endorsing a single point of view, the course embraces works from many different traditions. Every division of the curriculum is represented on the syllabus, and recent versions of the course have included works by Plato and Shakespeare, Bishop and Einstein, Borges and Kandinsky, Zhuangzi, Stravinsky, and Milgram.

Through their encounters with such works, students gain an appreciation of different approaches to knowledge. They also join each other in exploring a host of important questions: What is the best sort of life for human beings? Are there limits to human knowledge? How should we respond to injustice and suffering? In addition to raising these questions, Freshman Studies serves more immediate and practical goals. The course encourages lively discussion and introduces students to the conventions of academic writing. In the first term, for example, students learn that a paper must serve the needs of an intelligent, curious reader. They also learn that a good paper should be organized around a central claim or thesis and supported with evidence from the text.

In the second term, students build on these foundations, moving on to more complex forms of argument. Students may be asked to assess the interpretations of earlier scholars or to contrast the treatment of a crucial theme in two very different texts. Through their work in Freshman Studies, then, students begin to master the skills needed for success in more advanced courses.


Courses - Freshman Studies

FRST 100: Freshman Studies I

Required of first-year students and selected transfer students. Through the study of works representing a variety of intellectual and cultural traditions, students develop fundamental skills: the ability to read closely, to speak and write clearly, to persuade a reader and express themselves. Regular class work is supplemented by lectures and performances by Lawrence faculty members or by visiting scholars or artists.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Registration through Dean of Student Academic Services

FRST 101: Freshman Studies II

Required of first-year students and selected transfer students. A continuation of Freshman Studies I, this course is designed to help students refine their abilities as readers, writers, and thinkers. As in Freshman Studies I, instructors stress close reading, cogent discussion, and clear writing. Regular class sessions are again supplemented by lectures and performances by Lawrence faculty members or by visiting scholars or artists.
Units: 6.
Prerequisite: Registration through Dean of Student Academic Services

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