American University of Central Asia First Year Seminar I fys-100 (2980) Fall 2020

Download 147 Kb.
Hajmi147 Kb.
  1   2
AUCA FYS I (Fall 2020) - syllabus (1)

American University of Central Asia

First Year Seminar I

FYS-100 (2980)

Fall 2020

Section no.: 16

Instructor: Nicholas Walmsley E-mail:

Meetings: M 12:45–14:00

W 12:45–14:00

Classroom: Online, via Zoom


Office hours: Online, via Zoom (By Appointment)
Self and Community I: Who Am I?
Course Description

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 and in the second semester you will engage with texts that primarily address notions of community and collective identity.

Reading Guide: Brief Survey

Each of the readings has been chosen and arranged in an order to emphasize common themes and shared approaches to notions of selfhood. Some of these themes will be familiar to you from Academic Orientation “Knowledge and Values” and you should continuously think about ways to make connections between those texts and the ones you will read in FYS.

Several of these texts deal with a Crisis, in which the author or a character has to make a decision (or decisions) in response to a problem they face.2 For Gilgamesh, it is the problem of death and mortality. For Prince Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita he finds himself in conflict with his family, which leads him into a conversation with Krishna about proper behavior. St. Augustine in his Confessions describes a spiritual crisis in which he finds himself leading a life of sin as a result of becoming distant from God. In order to find out how this happened, he effectively composes an autobiography, telling the story of his life from childhood to adulthood.

How we ought to carry ourselves in our daily lives is the principal theme of both Confucius and Marcus Aurelius, particularly in relation to the kinds of problems we face. Confucius advised his students to think primarily of themselves in relation to the family and the state. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote within the philosophical tradition of Stoicism, which emphasized logic and reason over emotion as the foundation for life in a world beset by turmoil and tragedy. Both approaches required intense levels of self-awareness and self-interrogation.

This leads us onto the themes and forms of autobiography, biography, and memoir, i.e, the story (or stories) of someone’s life, which by their nature are inward-looking. Babur’s memoir Baburnama also deals with a crisis, namely the loss of his native land in the Fergana valley to foreign invaders and his search to establish a new kingdom, first in Afghanistan and then in India. Like St. Augustine, he provides us with rich details of his life, both virtues and vices, as well as descriptions of the politics, peoples, geography, and natural worlds of Central Asia and India in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Finally, Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is a personal reflection upon the challenges faced by women in nineteenth and early-twentieth century England, prompted by the establishment of the first all-women’s college of higher education. How ought women pursue an intellectual life when social and economic structures prevented them from acquiring financial independence or from even being able to attend university?

In summary the texts asks a couple of fundamental questions: who am I and how should I live my life? You should find that you will end up asking your own questions along these lines.
Course pillars

All the required readings will be included in the Course Reader, which will be circulated in a digital version and also posted to the Ecourse. It is required that you pay close attention to the texts and digitally annotate them. You must do the reading for every seminar and have it open during the synchronous sessions. Some of these texts are difficult and require to be read more than one time. Note that although it is expected that you will find difficulties in understanding, you are nonetheless responsible for reading the required material ahead of class.


Discussions will always take place in the context of and through a text. Although the issues raised by the readings have no fixed meaning, all of your interpretations must be rooted in the texts. Formation and development of your personal opinions are encouraged but always in relation to the class readings, which will be used as a base for class discussions and writing activities. You will also be prompted to continue thinking about and discussing these texts outside of the virtual classroom as part of your development as autonomous thinkers.


Writing is a key component of FYS. Throughout the semester you will practice two kinds of writing, “low-stakes” and “high-stakes.” “Low-stakes” writing is writing that is not meant to be good and is largely ungraded. You will generate this kind of writing in several kinds of ways: annotating texts; responding to in-class prompts; and notes taken during discussion and from the virtual board. Just because it is not graded does not mean it does not have to be done and does not mean that it not valuable, since it will form the basis for your graded, “high-stakes” writing. For this, you will need both an old-fashioned pen and notebook and a Google Doc, which you should be prepared to periodically share with your instructor.

“High-stakes” writing is writing that is meant to be good and will consist of formal assignments that are graded. Each of the assignments will be scaffolded, i.e., they will consist of a series of steps, beginning with brain-storming and continuing via outlining and drafts to the final version. You will work on all these steps both inside and outside the classroom. You should participate in all the stages because you will learn more about the complexity of the whole writing process and also avoid the stress of rushing to complete formal assignments at the last minute!

Download 147 Kb.

Do'stlaringiz bilan baham:
  1   2

Ma'lumotlar bazasi mualliflik huquqi bilan himoyalangan © 2024
ma'muriyatiga murojaat qiling

kiriting | ro'yxatdan o'tish
    Bosh sahifa
юртда тантана
Боғда битган
Бугун юртда
Эшитганлар жилманглар
Эшитмадим деманглар
битган бодомлар
Yangiariq tumani
qitish marakazi
Raqamli texnologiyalar
ilishida muhokamadan
tasdiqqa tavsiya
tavsiya etilgan
iqtisodiyot kafedrasi
steiermarkischen landesregierung
asarlaringizni yuboring
o'zingizning asarlaringizni
Iltimos faqat
faqat o'zingizning
steierm rkischen
landesregierung fachabteilung
rkischen landesregierung
hamshira loyihasi
loyihasi mavsum
faolyatining oqibatlari
asosiy adabiyotlar
fakulteti ahborot
ahborot havfsizligi
havfsizligi kafedrasi
fanidan bo’yicha
fakulteti iqtisodiyot
boshqaruv fakulteti
chiqarishda boshqaruv
ishlab chiqarishda
iqtisodiyot fakultet
multiservis tarmoqlari
fanidan asosiy
Uzbek fanidan
mavzulari potok
asosidagi multiservis
'aliyyil a'ziym
billahil 'aliyyil
illaa billahil
quvvata illaa
falah' deganida
Kompyuter savodxonligi
bo’yicha mustaqil
'alal falah'
Hayya 'alal
'alas soloh
Hayya 'alas
mavsum boyicha

yuklab olish