Self and Community

First-Year Seminar is a yearlong course that introduces you to some foundational texts and genres in regional cultures from across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Focusing on literary, philosophical, religious, and historical works, it explores various ways in which different civilizations, from antiquity to the contemporary era, have imagined and responded to the relationship between self and community. Topics to be considered include human existence, truth, love, authority, reason and religion as they have been explored by individuals and societies throughout history.

In the first semester, you will engage with texts that primarily address notions of selfhood and individuality. In the second semester, you will engage with texts that primarily address notions of community and collective identity.

As you embark upon your life as college students and/or rising professionals and grow into your roles as citizens of the wider world, questions about your place in that world become more urgent. First-Year Seminar invites you to reflect on a question that is fundamental to the humanities, the social sciences, and indeed to our own lives: how does each of us understand and articulate who we are? How does our individual “self” relate to other people and to the wider community? This year-long course, taken by all TSI's 3rd grade students, asks how writers and thinkers over the centuries have grappled with this question