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Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
Black Panther, Hamilton, Díaz, and Other Wondrous Lives
This IntroSem concerns the design and analysis of imaginary (or constructed) worlds for narratives and media such as films, Broadway musicals, and sci-fi literary texts. The seminar's primary goal is to help participants understand the creation of better imaginary worlds—ultimately all our efforts should serve that higher purpose. Some of the things we will consider when taking on the analysis of a new world include: What are its primary features—spatial, cultural, bio-historical, fantastic, cosmological? What is the world's ethos (the guiding beliefs or ideologies that characterize the world)? What are the precise strategies that are used by the artist to convey the world to us and us to the world? How are the text’s major and minoritized characters connected to the world? And how are we—the viewer or reader—connected (through imaginary transference) to the world? Students will have opportunities to explore and develop their own analysis of these new worlds through class discussions, presentations, and essays.