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Wesleyan Seminars (WES)

The Wesleyan Seminars bring students from across the university together in three seminar-style courses in which the process of liberal education is begun (Seminar I) and developed (Seminars II and III), at 4 semester hours each.  Seminars focus on topics chosen by the faculty and represent a wide variety of interests each semester. 

The Wesleyan Seminar sequence provides a common educational experience that fosters intellectual curiosity while also developing academic skills. WES courses have two interconnected goals: generating intellectual excitement and engagement in scholarly and academic work, and developing essential academic skills of reading, writing, and oral communication.

WES 100: Wesleyan Seminar I

An introduction to critical inquiry in the liberal arts and to intellectual discourse.  Students will engage with texts and ideas, learn how to identify problems, consult sources, question assumptions, consider disparate points of view, and be introduced to different strategies for articulating their own perspectives and conclusions for an audience.  Section topics vary from year to year.

Examples of past WES 100 topics are:

  • Technology and Society in Science Fiction Film
  • Meaning, Happiness and the Good Life
  • Religious Food Fights and Christian Identity
  • Markets and Morality
  • Art and Politics since 1945
  • Philosophy of Sport: Competition, Character, and the Good Life
  • Star Wars

WES 200: Wesleyan Seminar II

Continued development of the critical inquiry practices introduced in WES 100. Particular attention is paid to engagement with texts.  Students are asked to address the complexities of texts and contexts while clearly articulating their own points of view and discerning those from the perspectives of others. Section topics vary from year to year. 

Examples of past WES 200 topics are:

  • Race, Gender, and Personal Identity
  • Protest Music
  • American Buddhisms
  • Sherlock Holmes and Friends
  • The Grotesque and Violent in Flannery O’Connor’s Fiction
  • The Old Testament World
  • What is poetry?

WES 300: Wesleyan Seminar III

An intensive seminar experience building on the work done in WES 100 and WES 200. Students will engage more complex questions and produce more informed, imaginative responses. Section topics vary from year to year. 

Examples of past WES 300 topics are:

  • National Identity and American Art
  • Ecopoetry
  • German Cinema: Art and Politic
  • Theatre of Diversity
  • With Good Reason: The Art, the Science and the Philosophy of Thinking Well