Free Thinking Women Seminars
Free Thinking Women Seminars afford faculty members the opportunity to work with small interdisciplinary teams (2-3) of colleagues in the development of a core experience for Spelman students. While these seminars will vary in theme, each will serve as a foundational experience for Spelman women and will introduce and affirm the institution’s commitment to intellectual engagement, inquiry and rigor. Free Thinking Women Seminars are a core part of the desired Signature Experience for Spelman Women.
Free Thinking Women Seminars:
- are interdisciplinary and reflective of the College’s institutional identity of a place of rigorous and creative study;
- may be short term seminar (6 week) experiences if incorporated into an existing structure, i.e. First Year Assembly or Sophomore Assembly;
- explore ideas central to the liberal arts;
- place the intellectual work/scholarly production of women of African descent in conversation with other scholars studied in the seminar;
- may be organized around: (1) “Big Questions;” (2) Specific Topics; (3) “Conversations” among scholars/intellectuals; and
- are developed in consultation and conversation with colleagues across the campus;
- include a peer-based evaluation system that is integrated into ongoing course design.
These FTW seminars or modules MUST:
- Place the intellectual work/scholarly production of women of African descent in conversation with other scholars studied in the seminar (General Education Learning Outcomes);
- Reflect the College's institutional identity (Strategic Plan);
- Reflect Departmental and/or General Education Learning Outcomes;
- Be organized around: (1) "Big Questions;" (2) Specific Topics; (3) "Conversations" among scholars/intellectuals; and
- Be developed in consultation and conversation with colleagues across the campus.
All seminar/module proposals (no more than 6-8 pages) MUST:
- Indicate what makes the proposed module or seminar interdisciplinary;
- Address each of the criterion listed above;
- Include a draft bibliography;
- Indicate how the proposed seminar meets departmental and/or general education core learning goals;
- Interdisciplinarity as Process: Include a specific strategy for planning the course or module in collaboration with colleagues.
- Include a letter of support from the Department Chair (s) detailing: (1) How proposed seminar/course complements departmental goals; and (2) Plans for piloting or offering the proposed seminar/course.
...Since free thinking women understand the critical questions of the day cannot be understood within the confines of any one discipline, interdisciplinarity is a central value of the Spelman College core curriculum.... (General Education Statement of Purpose, 2008).
Funded Free Thinking Women Seminars, and Modules:
- FTWS: Germs, Genes, and Zombies: Narrating Biomedicine; Narratives of Biomedicine (Stephen Knadler, PhD., Department of English)
- FTWModule: Women and Science/module inserted into First Year Experience Aditi Pai, PhD., Biology; Professor Katrina Harden-Williams, M.A., Mathematics)
- FTWSeminar: Women and Globalization (Sandra Sims-Patterson, PhD., Department of Psychology)
- FTWModule: Gender, Race and Health (Bruce Wade, PhD., Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Jack Stone, Ph.D., Department of Economics)
- The Living Classroom: Ideas for Making the World a Free-Thinking Women's Seminar (Patricia Ventura, Ph.D., Department of English)
- English 424: New U.S. Immigrant Women's Literature (Pushpa Parekh, PhD., Department of English)