Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Advanced Entry Seminar

Seminar Summaries

Although every effort will be made to place you in your first-choice Seminar, you may be placed in any Seminar.

Seminar assignments, once made, will not be changed. Notification of AES assignments will be mailed beginning in mid-June with further information about your Seminar including any summer assignment that may be required.

Gender Myths: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Myths are foundational stories that can explain why the world is the way it is, and offer cognitive tools for negotiating everyday as well as extraordinary circumstances.  This class will explore a range of myths from around the world that convey what it means to be a human being in particular cultures through the lenses of gender and sexuality.  Some of the guiding questions will be: How do sex and gender vary across space, place, and time?  Why is the world gendered and sexed?  What are the consequences of living in a sexed and gendered world?

Going to the Dogs

Dogs appear at almost all major junctures in human history. According to the most recent census, more households in the U.S. include dogs than children.  Considering the dog-human relationship lends itself to interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives, therefore exposing students to different methods and approaches to learning, researching and writing that they will encounter across various disciplines.  In the seminar, portrayals of dogs in various media are analyzed, the biology of dogs is examined, the social implications of dogs (natural disasters, economic impact, etc…) are considered, dogs’ cognitive abilities are explored, and the overall Homo sapiens—Canis familiaris relationship is contemplated.

Virtual Worlds and Avatars: The Philosophy of Video Games

Video gaming inhabits both a wide and continually growing set of genres, and invites a number of philosophical questions.  What is the reality of gaming worlds or objects?  What is the relation of one’s personal identity and the identity of game avatars?  What is the relation of game experience to lived experience?  What does gaming tell us about the relation of the mind and body or about moral ideas and behavior?  This class will examine games with particular focus on narrative genres and those games that most involve the creation and maintenance of virtual worlds and virtual identities.