First Year Seminar 2020-21 Annual Theme

One of the great strengths of the First Year Seminar program is the diversity of intellectual approaches to knowledge representing a wide range of fields. In an effort to foster inter-seminar connections between students and highlight how different disciplines can offer unique perspectives while also cumulatively enriching the understanding of a given topic, the First Year Seminar Program is partnering with other programs and offices to offer events in the fall and spring semesters organized around an annual theme and targeted specifically at first-year students.

For the 2021-22 academic year, the theme is Justice.

Required Events

In order to gain a better understanding of the intellectual offerings of the College and to connect with peers, all students enrolled in First Year Seminars in Spring 2022 are required to attend two of the following events this semester:

  • Visit the Middlebury College Museum of Art, exploring specifically the new installation of the permanent collection galleries. Think carefully about the efforts the museum curators have made to move away from traditional chronological presentation of art, focusing instead on cross-cultural thematic connections that allow for more inclusivity and accessibility. Let the museum know what you saw by engaging them on social media (@middartmuseum).
  • Attend a panel at the Spring Student Symposium, scheduled for Friday, April 22.
  • Attend a social event organized by FYS leadership in early May.

Additional Events

Here is an additional list of talks, films, and performances that intersect with the annual theme and provide alternative options to satisfy attendance requirements. The list of relevant events and ways to participate will be updated here regularly. All first-year students are strongly encouraged to attend as many of these events as possible.

Howard E. Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium Series: ”Environmental and Earth Narratives, How to Belong?“ by Sarah K Khan, Maker/Scholar, Artist-in Residence @ ArtHx, Princeton University.
February 24, 2022
12:30–1:20 PM ET, in person
Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

WITNESS, the latest project from Arlekin’s Zero Gravity (zero-G) Virtual Theater Lab, is a new documentary theater piece about Jewish immigration in the face of antisemitism.
February 26, 2022
8:00 PM, Online (registration required)

Human Flow, a Film by Ai Weiwei
Film Screening
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
7:30 -10:00 PM ET, in person
McCullough Student Center, Wilson Hall

Digital Health: Supporting the Decentralization of Health Care to Increase Access to Quality Care Globally,” by Meg McLaughin, global health practitioner.
March 2, 2022
7:00–8:00 PM ET
Virtual Middlebury

Million Dollar Hoods: Mapping the Cost of Mass Incarceration,” by UCLA professor Kelly Lytle Hernández.
March 8, 2022
4:00–5:30 PM ET
Virtual Middlebury

Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series: ”Humanities in Action: Case Studies from Midd’s Public Humanities Labs Initiative,” by an interdisciplinary panel of Middlebury faculty.
March 9, 2022
4:30–6:00 PM ET, in person
Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

Playground [original title, Un monde]
(Laura Wandel, Belgium, 2022, 1h 12min)
3:00 PM and 8:00PM, Dana Auditorium (in-person only)

Towards a Decolonial Pedagogy: African Music and Dance Performance in the American Academy,” by professor Damascus Kafumbe.
May 4, 2022
12:30–1:30 PM ET
Virtual Middlebury