Critical Strategies & Great Questions

This first seminar develops the skills of critical thinking, critical reading and writing, and shared inquiry that are foundational to the Collegiate Seminar Program.

Students learn strategies for engaging with a diversity of texts, asking meaningful questions about them, and effectively participating in collaborative discussions. Reading and writing assignments are specifically designed to support students’ development of these strategies and skills.

Reading List

  • Sherman Alexie, "What You Pawn I Will Redeem"

  • Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Books 8 & 9

  • Borges, "The South"

  • Jared Diamond, Collapse

  • Epictetus, The Handbook

  • Galileo, Starry Messenger

  • Homer, The Odyssey

  • Hughes, "Theme For English B"

  • Thomas Jefferson, "The Declaration of Independence"

  • Dana Johnson, "Melvin in the 6th Grade"

  • Martin Luther King Jr, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

  • Ursula LeGuin, "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas"

  • Margulis, "Life from Scum"

  • Matthew 5 – 7, Sermon on The Mount

  • Toni Morrison, "Lecture and Speech"

  • Plato,  "Allegory of the Cave"

  • Rumi, Selections

  • Sophocles, Antigone

  • Art Spiegelman, Maus

  • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, "Declaration of Sentiments"

  • Mo Tzu, "On Universal Love"

  • US Supreme Court, Korematsu v. United States

  • Virginia Woolf, "How One Should Read a Book"

  • Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet"