Freshman Seminar: Seeing is Believing: Visuality, Power, and Truth


Contrary to popular perception, crises are a long time in the making. Families, diplomatic relations, economies seem to fall apart instantaneously, but behind each spectacular implosion can be found complex stories extending beyond a single moment of panic or despair. Calling something a "crisis," then, is less an answer than the opening of an interpretive problem. How did it get so bad? Who or what is at fault? And where do we go from here? This course explores these questions through financial crisis and its cultural representations. Starting with the 2008 meltdown in the US, we move outward to consider how financial crises are unevenly distributed across a global economic system. We will ask: What can imaginary characters or highly mediated plotlines tell us about real-life economic problems? How does understanding formal elements of narrative structure make us better readers of crisis narratives, even when these narratives occur outside of a fictional text? Students will produce several forms of writing, both academic and personal. Course is for first-year, non-transfer students only.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM

Section 01

First Year Seminar:
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