You are here: Sophomore Seminars

Sophomore Seminars

Sophomore Seminars are interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary courses that integrate approaches and methods from two or more disciplines. Students are exposed to multiple modes of thinking about subjects, concepts, and problems, and engage in evaluating complementary and competing ways of knowing.

The Sophomore Seminars offered in Spring 2015 are:

GNED-213-001 Global Cinema, Global Music - Lindsey Green-Simms, Literature and Shalini Ayyagari, Performing Arts
This course explores the intersections of film and music in the Global South by exploring film soundtracks and the more general connections between a culture's musical practices, filmmaking, and technological innovation. The course is cross-cultural and comparative, taking a global approach to examining both sound and image, and focuses on the diversity and commonalities of cultural practices in India, West Africa, and Brazil. Through readings, detailed listening sessions, film screenings, guest lectures, and in-class discussions, students develop and hone methods for analyzing music and film and gain the technical and cultural vocabulary to discuss such topics in the context of the Global South.

GNED-234-001 Our Digital Planet - Jill Klein, Information Technology
As digital technology continues to change the ways we work, live and communicate, digital citizens must understand the implications of accessing, managing, exchanging and disseminating information electronically. Fair information practices, ethical, legal, privacy and security issues will be introduced through course readings and lectures, combined with virtual labs and discussions of current events. Students may apply the course credit toward either Area 3 or Area 4 of General Education.

Previous Sophomore Seminars

GNED-2125-001 Science and Literature: Bridging the Two Cultures - Nathan Harshman, Physics & Richard Sha, Literature
C.P. Snow described the polarization in western intellectual life into "Two Cultures," with literary intellectuals and physical scientists straddling a vast gulf of non-communication. Although the different methods of the disciplines can create tension, they also can provide complementary perspectives on the big questions, like "What is life?", "What is matter?" and "What is thought?". We will negotiate across the gulf by exploring historic and modern texts by Mary Shelley, Benjamin Franklin, and Richard Powers, and by applying methods across disciplinary lines. Students may choose to use this course for Area 1, 2 OR 5.

GNED-213-002 Performing Arts as International Communication - Caleen Jennings, Performing Arts

This interdisciplinary course enables students to consciously apply their knowledge of cross-cultural communications to the concepts and skills of a performing artist and envision themselves on a continuum and in harmony with artists from other cultures. At the heart of this course is the core commitment to cultivating ways in which humanity can communicate on a deeply human, aesthetically pleasing level, thereby mitigating conflict, violence, and other negative forms of interaction. Prerequisite: SIS-140. Students may apply the course credit toward either Area 1 or Area 3 of General Education.

Submit a proposal

Have an idea for an outstanding, innovative General Education course? We want to hear it! Call us at 202-885-3879, or drop us a line at if you'd like to run an idea by us. When you're ready, submit a formal proposal using the form available on the Office of the Registrar's website.