Fall 2023 Sophomore Seminars Announced
The Sophomore Success Initiative is delighted to be offering the following six seminars for 2nd year students at St. Lawrence this coming fall. There is also a special living-learning community being designed exclusively for sophomores.
AAH 3095 SophSEM: Pinhole Camera and Alternative Processes
Tuesday/Thursday 1:30–4:00 PM; 1-unit
This course will focus on the basic functionality of cameras and the physics of light by making a variety of pinhole cameras and experimenting with alternative processes within photography. Many unusual things can become a camera: a shoebox, a soda can, or even your mouth. In each section, we will build and experiment with photographing with new types of pinhole cameras. We will also learn about cyanotypes, an archaic photographic process created with sunlight. Part of this process entails learning to make digital negatives, which will give a foundation for an array of alternative photographic methods. We will be working outdoors and shooting in different off-campus locations throughout the semester. Fulfills ARTS distribution.
GOVT 3047 SophSEM: Rural Planning and Land Use Decision-Making
Tuesday/Thursday 8:30 AM-10:00 AM; 1-unit
This sophomore seminar will analyze how and why different land use decisions are made while considering multiple perspectives on development. The class will focus on the built environment of rural areas in general and St. Lawrence County in particular. Along the way, we will talk with local officials, observe different communities on foot, analyze and create maps of the area, look at government documents, and delve into local land use controversies. Students will leave the class with a better grasp of the government processes and philosophies that underlie rural land use policy, along with the incentives, paradigms, frameworks, and inequities they create. During our time together, we will analyze key housing, transportation, economic development, safety, accessibility, environmental, and aesthetic questions facing small towns and the governmental systems through which they may be addressed. Fulfills SS distribution.
History 200A-01/English 200A-01 CW:SophSEM: Her/stories
Liz Regosin and Natalia Singer
Monday/Wednesday 2:30-4:00 PM; 1-unit
The notion of “historical fiction” may seem like an oxymoron, but both history and fiction are rooted in storytelling. In this seminar, we’ll explore the genre as creative writers and as historians by reading and writing historical fiction about women in America. We’ll begin by exploring the roots and conventions of historical fiction writing by examining Octavia Butler’s classic, Kindred, a novel published in 1979 that involves time travel and is based on slave narratives. We’ll also read and discuss recent examples of the genre, like Paula McClain’s popular Love and Ruin, which depicts the life of the fiercely independent journalist, Martha Gellhorn, who reported on the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s; and the work of acclaimed short story writer Andrea Barrett, whose new collection, Natural History, depicts scientists, botanists, and teachers in Central New York and New England in the 19th century. Students will then conduct their own historical research about an American woman, learn more about the craft of fiction, and write and revise a piece of historical fiction on their own. This hands-on dual-listed course will feature active learning through large and small group discussions, in-class writing, visits to the ODY archives, and peer review writing workshops. Fulfills ARTS distribution.
EDUC 3062 SophSEM: Resilience and Purpose, Lessons from Ancient Greece
Tuesday/Thursday 12:40-2:10 PM; 1-unit
In this course, we will build essential academic skills around close reading and writing, while also building essential life skills related to building resilience and finding purpose. The readings for the course will be challenging—Homer, Sophocles, Aristotle—but my focus will be on making sure that each student experiences success. So, expect to read, but also expect a lot of support from me. Additionally, students will receive mentoring on everything from studying abroad to career exploration to selecting internships and other educational opportunities. This course counts towards the educational studies minor and fulfills the HU general education requirement.
HIST 200B-01 SophSEM:World War II: Morality, Myth, and Memory
Tuesday/Thursday 12:40-2:10 PM; 1-unit
In this seminar we will ponder the complexities of a war that often is depicted simplistically in terms of "good" versus "evil." In studying people and events in multiple nations, we will contemplate moral questions, scrutinize common myths, and examine ways that the war is memorialized and remembered. In addition to reading and discussing scholarship, we’ll examine historical sources such as letters from North Country people who served in the war, a Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist’s depiction of his parents’ experiences and memories of the Holocaust and his own reactions to these, and movies created during and after the war. This course also invites you to consider your own interests, concerns, character, and values. Please note: This seminar is NOT the same as the HIST 299 seminar required of History majors and minors. For History majors and minors: This course’s geographic designation is “Transnational.”
ND 100, SophSEM, Careers 101: Exploring the Liberal Arts and Careers
Wednesday 8:50-10:20 AM; 0.5-units
This course provides students with the foundational skills, resources, and tools necessary to explore, assess, and pursue a career. It will show how a liberal arts education helps students become leaders, innovators, and global citizens. Through a series of projects and case studies, students will develop and apply their new skills and knowledge. By the end of the course, students will write and revise relevant job materials that will create success in searching for employment. Topics covered include networking with alumni, interviewing, resumes, digital profiles, cover letters, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, skills assessments, developing new skills as needed (upskilling), cultivating resiliency, and critically reflecting on the intersection of the liberal arts and your career trajectory.
Sophomore Living-Learning Community: Finding Your Purpose at SLU
Apply Through Residence Life by March 29th
Please note: this community will meet together each Sunday at 6:15 during the semester
A trick to getting the most from your college education is thinking deeply about the purpose of a college education and your purpose for being here at SLU. Over the course of the semester, we will do readings and activities that help us consider the purpose of a college education, while also doing activities that help each student consider their unique purpose. Living with students taking this course will help you build a supportive community that challenges each student to find ways to make the most of their sophomore year. As well, the course instructor is committed to offering personalized mentoring. His goal will be to point students in the direction of opportunities on and off campus that will help each student explore their purpose and potential. Students who register for the .25 credit fall course will also enroll in the .25 credit spring course called “Deepening Your Purpose at SLU.” Contact Dr. Jeff Frank with questions.