First-Year Writing Seminars
Every entering first-year student is required to elect a First-Year Writing Seminar. These courses are available only to first-year students, have a maximum enrollment of 17, and are offered by a number of departments. The First-Year Writing Seminar introduces students to critical reading and persuasive writing at Vassar, and helps them make the transition to college-level writing. These courses from across Vassar’s curriculum challenge students to enter sophisticated conversations by asserting compelling claims and supporting those claims through an organized presentation of evidence. Each First-Year Writing Seminar is built around a rich topic, giving students a complex set of readings, ques- tions, and debates to consider as they learn to engage with the ideas of others and articulate their positions.
You will note that most of the First-Year Writing Seminars are offered in the fall semester. The online pre-registration form will ask you to list four choices for a fall First-Year Writing Seminar. However, due to enrollment limits, not everyone will be placed in a fall First-Year Writing Seminar during summer pre-registration. There are additional opportunities to enroll in a fall First-Year Writing Seminar during orientation, as well as during the add period at the beginning of term. Students not taking a First-Year Writing Seminar in the fall will be given priority in select-ng a First-Year Writing Seminar for the spring semester. While you may elect more than one First-Year Writing Seminar in your first year, you may not enroll in more than one First-Year Writing Seminar per semester. AP credit will not exempt you from the requirement. For department policies on AP, see the “Departments of Instruction” section in this handbook.
Specific information about the English 101 sections:
- No first-year student should enroll in more than one English course in a single semester.
- English 101 may not be taken more than once.
- Students planning either to major in English or to pursue intermediate work in English are strongly encouraged to take 101 and 170 in sequence.
- Africana Studies 175a Mandela: Race, Resistance and Renaissance in South Africa
- American Studies 101a Sending Smoke Signals: Representations & Realities of Contemporary Native American Life
- Cognitive Science 110a The Science and Fiction of Mind
- Education 162a Education and Opportunity in the United States
- English 101a British Literature from Beowulf to Shakespeare
- English 101a What is a Classic?
- English 101a Reading and Writing About Poetry
- English 101a Sounds American
- English 101a Plague Literature
- English 101a The Essay Form
- English 101a Deception: Some Truths About Lies
- English 101a Sending Smoke Signals: Representations & Realities of Contemporary Native American Life
- English 101a The Story of a Text: How Did Christianity Happen?
- English 101a The Ends of Black Autobiography
- English 101a Jane Eyres
- English 101a Speculative Fiction
- English 101a Allegories of the Self
- English 101a Epidemic and Order: The Social Components and Consequences of Disease
- Environmental Studies 175a Women's Nature Writing
- French and Francophone 170a Down to Earth: An Ecocritical Venture.
- Greek and Roman Studies 103a Homer’s Iliad in Modern Adaptations
- History 160a American Moments: Rediscovering U.S. History
- History 174a The Emergence of the Modern Middle East
- History 175a Mandela: Race, Resistance and Renaissance in South Africa
- History 178a The Global Cold War
- Music 180a Orpheus and Eurydice in the Arts, from Ancient Greece to Hadestown
- Philosophy 104a Tragedy and Philosophy: Ancient and Modern Perspectives
- Psychological Science 108a Reading and Writing in Psychological Science
- Religion 183a Christian Theology and the Body
- Russian Studies 171a Russia and the Short Story (in English)
- Sociology 112a The House is on Fire!: Climate Change, Society and Environment