Interdisciplinary Seminars for Undergraduates

In addition to the mentor relationship and the Theory and Methods Seminar, the third important component of Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry is the opportunity to apply and test the program’s intellectual concerns in the undergraduate classroom — and in a way that promises the possibility of wide benefit to the entire teaching effort of the College of Arts & Sciences.

A recent and extensive internal review by a special commission of faculty and students has made it clear that universal Freshman Seminars will soon become the bedrock of our undergraduate educational enterprise. The commission’s first recommendation is that such seminars, enrolling a maximum of 15, be available to all incoming students. We have already taken some experimental steps in this direction, with our Focus, Text & Tradition, Hewlett, and International Leadership programs; these programs currently enroll about half the freshman class on a first-come basis. But the best and most sustainable means of making such seminars available to all is still very much in question. An interdisciplinary freshman seminar drawing upon the concerns, experiences, and insights animating Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry would not only strengthen our offerings in this area, but also help to stimulate and guide the trans-departmental, college-wide conversations needed to make this new emphasis on introductory seminars genuinely exciting and productive for faculty and students alike. Postdoctoral Fellows in Modeling Interdisciplinary Inquiry will teach within the Freshman Seminar program as well as in the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities.

Click on the course titles on the right to see sample syllabi developed by Mellon postdoctoral fellows.