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					        First-Year Options 2012

Your intellectual adventure awaits...
     “Imagine yourself in one of these small classes,
  exploring intellectual issues and
engaging in stimulating conversations with faculty
      and fellow students.”
                    — Chester Gillis, Dean
                                               Office of the Dean

Dear College Class of 2016,

Congratulations on your acceptance to Georgetown College and on your decision to attend. You are
embarking on a journey of intellectual and personal discovery that we believe you will find challenging
and exciting.

This brochure describes unique seminars designed exclusively for first-year students in the College.
Faculty whom I have personally selected offer the Liberal Arts Seminar (full year for 30 participants)
and a range of Ignatius Seminars (first semester for 12–15 participants per seminar), each of which
is designed to enhance learning and to build academic community from the start of your study at

In these small classes, you will explore such diverse subjects as identity in post-revolutionary Egypt,
how the discovery of the New World profoundly affected European culture and consciousness, Italy
in the popular imagination, and how power, politics, sex and religion have shaped the Bible. All of
the seminars give you the opportunity to engage with outstanding faculty and your fellow students as
you investigate ideas and engage in research that expands your understanding of the world. You will
have the opportunity to get to know a faculty member well and to develop a relationship that often
continues for your four years at Georgetown and beyond.

Both the Liberal Arts and Ignatius Seminars appeal to different student interests and learning styles—
the choice is yours. As you peruse these offerings, imagine yourself in one of these small classes,
exploring intellectual issues and engaging in stimulating conversations with faculty and your fellow
students. Details of these courses are set out in the following pages and the brief description of the
application process is outlined at the end.

I also encourage you to watch a brief online video at, which
features informative interviews with students and professors who have taken part in the Ignatius
Seminar program.

Please select the seminars that you find of interest and return your completed essays to us as soon as
possible since there is a high demand for these courses.


Chester Gillis
Dean, Georgetown College
Georgetown University

                      108 White-Gravenor • Box 571003 • Washington, DC 20057-1003 • 202-687-6045

                                                                                           FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013   1
                                                “My Ignatius Seminar was my favorite class that I took fall
                                                semester. The class was engaging and the simulation taught
                                                    me in so many different ways the intricacies of how our
                                             government works and how we came up with the constitution
                                                that we have today. I loved getting to work with a professor
                                                   who taught primarily upper-level classes. He was always
                                             engaging and the style of this class was unique from any other
                                               class I have taken at Georgetown. Additionally, this seminar
                                                  was a great way to meet other first-year students who had
                                              similar interests. I could not be happier that I took this class.”

                                                                                           — Remi Cohen, C’15

    “With small class sizes and enthusiastic teachers, these
    seminars allow (first year students) to discover engaging subject
    matter without feeling intimidated by a sea of other students.
    My seminar was my favorite class first semester because I
    was so comfortable around my classmates and professor. Our
    monthly dinners out in the city to taste ethnic foods allowed us
    to get to know each other outside the classroom, contributing
    to the positive in-class environment and adding invaluable
    memories to my first year at Georgetown.”

    — Alexandra “Sasha” Elkin, C’14

2   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
First-Year Options
            his has been a year of big choices for      Option 2 – Ignatius Seminars (IS)
            you. “Which schools should I apply          Offered in the first semester, these courses introduce
            to?” followed quickly by “Which school      students to the depth and diversity of Georgetown’s
            should I attend?” We are glad you           dynamic intellectual community. Favorite topics of
chose Georgetown. During your next four years in        College faculty form the offerings for these seminars
the College, you have many additional choices to        that invite small student groups to join their
make. One of the most important choices will be the     professors in the creative exploration of mind and
selection of your courses for the fall term. The full   spirit. Students admitted to an Ignatius Seminar
set of registration materials for the regular course    register for their remaining courses in July.
program will come to you in early July. However,
here’s your first opportunity to make a course          Option 3 – Regular First-Year
selection through the First-Year Seminar program!       Academic Program
See page 20 for application instructions.               The two options described above should be viewed in
                                                        the context of the first-year curriculum, which the
Option 1 – Liberal Arts Seminar (LAS)                   majority of you will pursue. Later this summer, you will
A year-long multidisciplinary course exploring          have the opportunity to construct your class schedule
European culture in the period between the              from the full College curriculum offering many
Renaissance and the Enlightenment, with particular      comprehensive, engaging, and intensive courses. Most
focus on the impact of the New World on European        students begin with courses from the general
consciousness, on the struggles between faith and       education requirements as well as free elective
science, and on the connections between society,        courses that act as a springboard to possible majors.
literature, music, and the
figurative arts. This shared                                             Registration materials for the regular
intellectual experience of                                               course program will come to you in
cooperative learning builds a                                            July, so stay tuned! If you really
strong sense of community for                                            can’t wait, then visit http://www12.
student and faculty participants.                              
Students admitted to the LAS                                             bulletin/collegegen.html#general to
register for their remaining                                             learn more about the College general
courses in July.                                                         education requirements

                                                                            FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013           3
        Liberal Arts Seminar

    Tommaso Astarita, Department of History
    Anthony R. DelDonna, Department of Performing Arts
    Bryan McCann, Department of History
    Patrick R. O’Malley, Department of English

    “I        ntensive, interdisciplinary,
              inspiring. Bringing together
    the history, literature, music, and
                                                 Who may apply?
                                                 All first-year students
                                                 in Georgetown College.
                                                 Science and pre-med
                                                 students will need to
                                                                           Four general education
                                                                           requirements (two
                                                                           humanities and writing
                                                 arrange lab schedules     and two history).
    culture of a remarkable era, the             around the LAS.           Students with AP or IB
                                                                           credit in English or World
    Liberal Arts Seminar will be one             Course/credit             or European History will
                                                 equivalencies:            retain their AP/IB credits
    of the most challenging courses              Two courses and six       as free electives toward
                                                 credits each semester.    the Georgetown degree.
    that you take at Georgetown.
                                                 Semester or               Enroll in the LAS and
    And one of the most rewarding.”              year-long?                an Ignatius Seminar?
                                                 The LAS is a year-long    No, but you may apply
    — Professor Patrick R. O’Malley              commitment.               for both. Students who
                                                                           are selected for the LAS
                                                                           will only enroll in the
4   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
 “T            he Liberal Arts Seminar
               has proved to be the most
 rewarding experience I have had in
 my education. Not only have
 I learned more about the history
 of Europe and its colonies, but
 also how to thoroughly engage in
 a topic, led by fabulous instructors
 and peers.”
 — James Wolfe, C ‘15

                                      Intensive, intellectual, and interdisciplinary. A Georgetown
                                      College tradition since 1968, the Liberal Arts Seminar (LAS)
                                      connects first-year students to scholarship, to faculty, and
                                      to each other through cooperative learning. Together with
                                      the professors—a literature professor, a music professor, and
                                      two historians—the group of 30 participating students works
                                      through complex ideas.

                                               The LAS investigates the period between the
                                               Renaissance and the Enlightenment, focusing on
                                               Europe’s encounter with the New World and on the
                                               struggles and developments of reason, faith, science,
                                               literature, music, and the figurative arts. With emphasis
                                               on reading and discussion, learning is teamwork that
                                               builds a unique sense of community for students
                                               and faculty through a shared intellectual experience,
                                               extending beyond traditional departmental boundaries.

                                               The LAS integrates several of the College’s general
                                               education requirements into a year-long exploration,
                                               which emphasizes analytical reading, discussion, and
                                               writing within and across disciplines. The seminar
                                               builds a community of scholars that remains strong
throughout each student’s years at Georgetown. The LAS also offers its students and professors the
opportunity to participate in off-campus cultural enrichment activities together. In 2011-12, the class
attended two plays, one opera, and concerts, both on campus and at area venues, and visited two
museums, all related to the seminar’s subject matter and themes.

                                                                       FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013        5
                                   Ignatius Seminars

6   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
           rawing on the educational

D          insights of St. Ignatius of Loyola,
           the founder of the Jesuits, these
           courses seek to cultivate the
Ignatian ideal of cura personalis: care for
each person’s individuality and care for
                                                      Who may apply?
                                                      All first-year students in
                                                      Georgetown College.
                                                                                   Counts as one elective
                                                                                   course and three credits
                                                      Course/credit                toward graduation.
his or her integral wholeness. Like other
Renaissance educators, Jesuits sought to              One course and three         Enroll in an Ignatius
educate the whole person—mind, body,                  credits.                     Seminar and
and spirit—a tradition alive at Georgetown                                         another option?
College today. The Ignatius Seminars focus            Semester-long                Students may apply for

not only on conveying information and                 or year-long?                both the LAS and IS,
                                                      The Ignatius Seminar         but those admitted to
intellectual content, but also on building
                                                      is a fall semester           the LAS will only enroll
a home for wisdom and enriching all
                                                      commitment only.             in the LAS.
dimensions of our students’ lives.
                                                      Which one?
Designed for the intellectually adventurous           Please select your top
and curious student interested in an                  three choices.
integrative and personal approach to
learning, the small class setting of these
first-year seminars enables students to
get to know their professors and classmates well. In this atmosphere, the faculty can recognize
the strengths and educational needs of each student, creating a teaching and mentoring
environment. Each professor’s expression of his or her particular scholarly pursuit provides
students with a tangible example of the interplay of mind and spirit, of disciplined work and
intellectual excitement, of academic rigor and creative play.

The Ignatius Seminars initiate opportunities early in your time at Georgetown to cultivate basic
skills that faculty identify as important: reading a text with thought and insight, speaking clearly
and persuasively in an academic discussion, and writing a structured and sustained argument.
This is a chance to experience Georgetown College and university learning at its best.

                                                                           FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013       7
               Ignatius Seminars

               Faith, Fiction, and Film

    Bárbara Mujica, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

          s faith a fundamental human need or a psychological crutch?            Who am I? To the students to whom I teach
          Does faith liberate or stifle us? Why do we employ myth to             Don Quixote, Spanish theater, mysticism,
          convey what we see as spiritual truth? In what sense is fiction—       or “Early Modern Spanish Women”, I am
          whether expressed in stories, novels, plays or film—essential to       (I think) a stern taskmaster obsessed with
    spiritual expression?                                                        poetics. To the student veterans of distant
                                                                                 wars, to whom I am the faculty advisor,
    In this course we will explore both the role of faith in inspiring fiction   I am an ardent advocate for benefits and
    and the role of fiction in nurturing and reinforcing faith.                      recognition. To my colleagues in early
    We will consider the role of traditional religions                                                 Hispanism,
                                                                                               modern Hispanism I am the
    in today’s world, how they continue to speak                                                                theater journal
                                                                                                    editor of a the
    to us and how they fail. Finally, we will                                                            and the aauthor of books
    also examine the need to question our                                                                      Calderón and
                                                                                                            on Ca
    myths and how such questioning                                                                             Saint Teresa of
    can strengthen, weaken or alter our                                                                          Avila. To my
    beliefs.                                                                                                        department
                                                                                                                     chair, I am a
    We will approach our subject                                                                                      pain in the
    from diverse perspectives through                                                                                 neck who
    the works of authors of differing                                                                                 is always
    traditions, from Christians, Jews                                                                                 asking for
    and Muslims to Communists and                                                                                    money for
    atheists.                                                                                                       a speaker, a
                                                                                                                  library project,
    The works we will discuss are Don                                                                           or a theater
    Quixote (selections), by Miguel de                                                                       production. To
    Cervantes; “Man of La Mancha” (film);                                                                     agent,
                                                                                                          my agen I am a
    Monsignor Quixote, by Graham Greene
                                      e                                                               dawdling n novelist who
    (novel and film); “The Mission” (film); Sister                                               does not produce books nearly
    Teresa, by Bárbara Mujica (novel); Contact, by Carl                                  fast enough. To my husband and
    sagan (novel and film); “Higher Ground” (film); My Name is Asher Lev,        children, I am mom.
    by Chaim Potok (novel); The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell (novel);                                      —Bárbara Mujica
    and The Life of Pi, by Yan Martel (novel).

    Activities will include guest lectures, a movie and dinner in town, and
    possibly trips to the National Cathedral, the National Shrine of the
    Immaculate Conception, a Carmelite monastery, and the National Air
    and Space Museum.

8   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
          Ignatius Seminars

          Shifting Selves:
          Changelings and Doubles
Marcia A. Morris, Department of Slavic Languages

Throughout the course of my life, I’ve been                          now thyself!” The
inclined to appreciate and understand the                            ancient Greeks paired
things that matter most to me by pursuing                            this injunction together
their opposites. At heart a lover of the rural                       with “nothing to excess!”
life, I happily spend ten months out of every      and believed that they had captured
year in a city. A confirmed homebody, I            the essence of the life well lived. We
nevertheless love to hike, bike and visit other    have been pursuing the quest for self-
countries. Ever the contrarian, although I         knowledge ever since, but from time to
sometimes crave solitude, I can’t live without     time a nagging unease has checked our
the classroom. My conviction that I best           efforts: What if we turn out to have no
learn about myself through learning about          whole, unified self? What if we are divided
others led me early in life to my great passion,   into multiple selves? Worse yet, what if
foreign languages and literatures. My              others can usurp our self? What, in other
undergraduate years belong to Georgetown,          words, if the self is ultimately shifting and
where I grappled with Russian and German           unstable?
and traveled abroad as often as possible. I
then spent two formative years in Cold War         What if, indeed? Is a shifting self good or bad? Is personal mutability
Moscow, learning first-hand what it meant          enriching or destructive? This seminar will center on fictive texts
to live life under a microscope—to be followed     and films that probe these unsettling questions. Doubles, impostors,
everywhere and to put friends at risk merely       werewolves, vampires—all have captured the imagination of some of
by being seen with them. I returned home           the finest minds in the Western creative tradition. We will begin our
with an infinitely greater appreciation for        study with the 19th century’s dense concentration of shifting selves,
the very different reality I had been born to      ranging from Gogol’s Nose and Dostoevsky’s Double to Wilde’s
but also with a conviction that Russia still       Portrait of Dorian Gray and Stoker’s Dracula. We will move on to the
had much to teach me. After receiving the          20th century, where we will turn increasingly to films such as “The
Ph.D. in Russian literature at Columbia            Return of Martin Guerre,” “Zelig,” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” but
University, I came back to Georgetown,             also to texts like Kafka’s Metamorphosis and John LeCarre’s Smiley’s
where I have taught for 24 much-enjoyed            People. Progressing to the current day, we will read Losing My Cool
years. A strong believer—like the ancient          by Georgetown alumnus Thomas Williams. Through our exploration
Greeks—in moderation, I have written                                             of the implications of “Know thyself!” we
two books about immoderates: Saints and                                          will find ourselves at the very heart of the
Revolutionaries: The Ascetic Hero in                                             humanistic tradition, the place where we
Russian Literature and The Literature of                                         have expressed both our brightest hopes
Roguery in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-                                          and our darkest fears.
Century Russia. I am currently at work on
a third, “Dynastic Ends: Familial Regicide
in the Russian Imagination.”
                        — Marcia A. Morris
                                                                                            FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013        9
             Ignatius Seminars

             Power, Politics, Sex
             and Religion in the Bible
     Fr. Robert B. Lawton, S.J., Catholic Studies Program

                        e tend                                                                  I fell in love with the Hebrew
                        to think                                                                Scriptures in a course in the Bible
                        of the                                                                  I had as a high school junior. The
                        Bible as                                                                attraction was simple: I loved
     primitive in its approach.                                                                 the stories. Had I not entered the
     It was, after all, shaped                                                                  Jesuits, I wanted to be a corporate
     thousands of years ago.                                                                    lawyer. But when I entered the
     But the Bible is actually                                                                  Society of Jesus it made sense to
     quite sophisticated                                                                        pursue my interest in Scripture.
     and sensitive to                                                                           That meant learning languages,
     complexity. The stories                                                                    so as an undergraduate at
     about Saul, David, and                                                                     Fordham I majored in Classics
     Solomon illustrate this                                                                    and also took courses in
     beautifully. It is almost                                                                  Hebrew and Aramaic. I then
     as if Shakespeare had                                                                      went to Harvard University’s
     written them. Saul was                                                                     Department of Near Eastern
     Israel’s first king and not                                                                Languages to get a Ph.D. That
     confident or comfortable                                                                   took six years, at the end of which
     in that role. He was                                                                       I came to Georgetown to teach.
     jealous of David who                                                                       After teaching for several years,
     eventually succeeded him.                                                                  I studied theology and related
     With David we get one                                                                      disciplines and was ordained
     of the most fascinating                                                                    a priest. I then spent a year in
     characters in history. We see him as an active young man and then as         Germany trying to improve my German
     increasingly distant. He arranges for Uriah to be killed in battle so that   (without much success!). I then began
     he could have Bathsheba. Eventually his own son rebels against him. The      teaching at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in
     plot, dialogue and setting portray David in all his complexity. His story    Rome. I lost my heart to Rome and have ever
     ends as a tragedy. Next is Solomon. Solomon is often called “wise,”          since imagined myself as an Italian! After
     but the Bible’s portrait of him is much more nuanced and we are left         two years there I was asked if I would like to
     wondering if he really was wise. We will read Robert Alter’s The Art of      become an Assistant Dean at Georgetown.
     Bibical Narrative for an overview of the literary approach to the Bible.     I said “yes” and that led eventually to my
     But most of the time will be spent with the biblical texts themselves,       becoming Dean of the College for ten years,
     analyzing and discussing them to observe their richness. We will also        and then President of Loyola Marymount
     consider the broader questions about what the Bible is telling us about      University in Los Angeles for eleven. After
     power, politics, religion and sex.                                           retiring from that job I have returned to
                                                                                  Georgetown to run the Catholic Studies
                                                                                                 —Fr. Robert B. Lawton, S.J.
10   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
         Ignatius Seminars

         Creating and
         Sustaining Community
Jennifer Woolard, Department of Psychology

I was raised in a small town south of                      ach of us moves through a
Richmond, Virginia, as one of three siblings.              series of physical, emotional,
I grew up with a strong connection to my                   spiritual, and virtual
local community, even though I was definitely              communities. Early in life
ready to broaden my horizons when I left to     we may be placed in community by
attend the University of Virginia. During       circumstance, but from childhood onward
my undergraduate years, several experiences     we select and create many of our own
shaped my interest in community and law,        communities. How do we identify and
including internships working with victims      affiliate with a community? What does it
of crime generally and domestic violence        mean to belong?
specifically. After two years working in a
research lab and then at the National Center    Although communities are comprised of their own members, in
for Victims of Crime, I attended a graduate     some circumstances they exhibit a continuity and sustainability that
program in community psychology and was         transcends those individual members. We will explore the meaning of
hooked on using research for social change.     community, how it is formed and maintained. We will reflect on our
I now live in Virginia with my husband          own experiences of community and the process of joining and shaping
and two children. This seminar is part of       the Georgetown community, as well as the District of Columbia.
my continuous process of learning about the
DC metropolitan area, its various issues and    Communities, like individuals and families, move through time facing
constituents, and developing partnerships       opportunities and challenges. We will examine the individual and
with a variety of government and nonprofit      collective responses to challenge and disaster at various times and
groups, all with the goal of designing and      places, including the U.S. experiences of Hurricane Katrina, the attacks
implementing research that can be used for      of 9/11, race riots of the 1960s and coal mining disasters in Appalachia.
positive social change.                         Through these historical events we explore how individual experience,
                      — Jennifer Woolard        belief, and action are shaped by, and shape, the larger community,
                                                situated in a policy and cultural context. We will learn from several
                                                community partners about their perspectives and work on social
                                                change in the District.

                                                        We evaluate community psychology’s guiding principles,
                                                        including knowledge within a value system, the role of context,
                                                        importance of diversity, commitment to social change, and
                                                        orientation toward strengths. Because the field of community
                                                        psychology in the U.S. resulted from psychologists’ active
                                                        questioning of the prevailing models of science and practice in
                                                        the 1960s, the classroom will be an active space in which we
                                                        question, evaluate, and debate our views.

                                                                                        FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013        11
             Ignatius Seminars

             Italy and Imagination

     John Pfordresher, Department of English

           taly is a protean place. Its ribs of unstable mountains and volcanoes    A product of Jesuit education (St. Ignatius,
           reach down from the Alps deep into the Mediterranean creating            Chicago; Georgetown College) I’ve been
           an astonishing diversity of ecosystems, from the green Tyrolean          teaching on the hilltop since 1973. While
           valleys and grey, snow covered peaks of the north to the quasi-          Victorian British literature was the starting
     desert of the Sicilian plains, and the enormous black and smoking Mount        point of my advanced studies, and remains
     Etna in the south. In this bewilderingly various and rich place, many of the   a first love, I’m a cultural omnivore as
     most important cultures in Western history, from the Etruscans, Greeks,        interested in Bach, Hokusai, and Ludwig
     and Romans through the divisions of the medieval period to the surge           Mies van der Rohe as I am in exploring the
     in humanistic creativity in the Renaissance, and on to today’s flourishing     more remote churches of Venice, hiking the
     yet troubled modern society present an inexhaustible opportunity for           Austrian Alps, and cooking soup. Thanks in
     discovery, learning, and experience. Going “to” Italy, responding to Italy,    large part to Georgetown’s Villa le Balze,
     being transformed by Italy has become a part of world culture as the           I’ve lived and taught in Florence frequently
     swarms of contemporary visitors there from all over the globe affirm.          since 1993, and consider that city my second
     What Italy means to each is necessarily different. Some, perhaps the           home town. I prefer to say “working with
     most remarkable, visitors try to translate what they see, hear, touch,         students” to “teaching,” and think the best
     taste, smell, and feel through imagination into various forms of aesthetic     kind of education is collaborative in nature.
     expression. Simultaneously, of course, Italians through the centuries          This seminar will be a shared exploration
     have similarly responded to their homeland, its history, traditions,           with the working of our own imaginations as
     achievements, thus adding through their own imaginative responses              a primary consideration.
     to its ever growing cultural heritage. This phenomenon—how through                                   — John Pfordresher
     experience people come to imagine Italy—is the topic of the seminar.

     While we will concentrate on work from the past two centuries—the 19th
     and the 20th—since the writers, musicians, painters, and filmmakers we
     will be considering are themselves interested in the incredible diversity
     of the Italian past, we will necessarily also be talking about Rome, the
     Renaissance, Italy during the two World Wars of the 20th century, and
     so on. In each case we will consider how an artist imagines—thereby
     evoking and understanding—an Italy. Thus Byron, wandering down the
     peninsula in 1818, Nathaniel Hawthorne in Rome in the 1850’s, George
     Eliot re-creating the Florentine Renaissance in the 1860’s, Ernest
     Hemingway’s World War I, Giuseppe Tommasi di Lampedusa’s Sicily
     during national reunification from the 1950’s, and Michael Ondaatje’s
     World War II will carry us into a rich diversity of places, times, and
     people. While literary texts will be our principle focus we will be learning
     a lot about pictures, buildings, food, movies—you name it. And at the
     center: how human imagination works.

12   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
          Ignatius Seminars
            Science and Religion
            in the West: Historical
Fr. David J. Collins, S.J., Department of History

I was born and raised inside the Beltway. In                cience and religion have played powerful roles in shaping
fact, I was born on campus, at Georgetown’s                 Western civilization, and they share responsibility for many
hospital; but no, I was not a Jesuit at the time            of the West’s proudest accomplishments and cruelest
(that came a quarter century later). I credit               wrongdoings. Thought of together, science and religion
the origins of my love of history to my father,    conventionally conjure up images of conflict. Historical controversies
a navy engineer, who delighted in taking           over the structure of the cosmos and modern-day debates over the
his first-born to historical sites from Fort       science curriculum in U.S. high schools seem to support a conclusion
Ticonderoga to Yorktown.                           that science and religion exist in an unrelenting state of warfare.

My work as a historian now doesn’t require         The aim of this course is to test that
me to do much tramping across muddy                generalization by examining the actual
battlefield parks (though I do some of my          history. We will begin in late antiquity and
best historical ruminating while sailing           analyze early debates within the newly
the Chesapeake or hiking the Alps), but            Christianized Roman Empire over whether
I am attracted to messy situations. I’m a          pagan knowledge—and thus the natural
medievalist who revels in finding people in        sciences—should be learned at all. We will
the past who could think outside the boxes of      study the High Middle Ages as Westerners
their own time and place, and I like studying      became newly excited by Greek philosophical
them from perspectives that conventional           reflections on the natural world and their
historians don’t consider. The histories of        subsequent interpretation by Muslim and
science and religion are full of suitable people   Jewish thinkers and will explore whether some
and circumstances to study, and in particular      religions are more conducive to scientific
related to my latest research interest: the        development than others. In the Scientific
history of magic and the debates across the        Revolution we must also consider how and
centuries over where to draw line between          why religion could encourage the new thinking of Copernicus, but less
magic and religion and between magic and           than a century later squelch the theorizing of Galileo, and then how and
science.                                           why the natural sciences lent support to the witch hunts. The course
                                                   concludes with an examination of on-going controversies related to the
This then is at the heart of my love of history:   theories of evolution and the big bang that have significant social and
coming to understand historical people on          educational ramifications in the U.S.
their own terms and not necessarily in the
terms that make easiest sense to us, and           The “warfare thesis” may make for eye-catching headlines, but what we
learning to understand within different            will find is that the actual history of the relationship between science
cultures how individuals and groups come to        and religion in the West is far more complex, more constructive, more
think “outside the box” and in so doing effect     ambivalent, indeed more fascinating. How best to describe it in the
momentous change                                   end: that is the goal of the seminar.
                 — Fr. David J. Collins, S.J.

                                                                                            FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013      13
             Ignatius Seminars

             Computer Science:
             Past, Present and Future!
     Mahendran Velauthapillai, Department of Computer Science

                 here are many misconceptions about computation,                Growing up in Colombo Sri Lanka, a tear-
                 computers, and computer science. We mostly think               shaped country ravaged by political turmoil,
                 of computing as akin to doing arithmetic very quickly.         it was difficult to directly have experience
                 But looked at in the right way, we can see computation         with new technology. The only way we
     happening all around us as something fundamental to all life, as part      could learn about the latest advances was
     and parcel of being, and as the fundamental basis of the physical          by word of mouth or reading about it in
     universe. We will explore different definitions of computation and some    the local newspapers. I can still remember
     of their major consequences.                                               the marvel that engulfed me when Neil
                                                                                Armstrong first set foot on the moon. It
     We will also look at the architectural structure of rapidly evolving       was almost unbelievable. It certainly was
     computing machinery and how these technologies reflect the model           not possible without the invention of the
     underlying modern conceptions of computation. We will explore the          computer. It almost seems like yesterday that
     various parts used in building a computer and gain an understanding        the first hand-held calculator came along.
     of what a computational engine is and how it operates. We will see         The wonders of that miniature device and
     how this engine has at once shrunk to                                                                      its incredible
     sub-microscopic size while astronomically                                                                  ability to do
     increasing its speed and informational                                                                     arithmetic
     capacity becoming correspondingly cheaper                                                                  instantaneously
     and more efficient. We will see how this has                                                               were among
     driven their introduction into all aspects of                                                              the influences
     our lives until they have become ubiquitously                                                              that awoke
     present in everything from aircraft to                                                                     my interest
     appliances, laptops to cell phones.                                                                        and curiosity
                                                                                                                and drove me
     Finally, we will expound the differences                                                                   to want to
     between computers, computation, and                                                                        study computer
     computer science. We will discover that                                                                    science.
     a computer scientist is someone who thinks differently by switching        Since there was no formal computer science
     between multiple hierarchical levels of abstraction and concrete details   education in Sri Lanka, I studied its closest
     and searches for different ways to solve problems. Computer science        relative available, mathematics, and pursued
     can be broadly defined as a live science that works by looking through     it passionately. I knew that it would qualify
     the lens of finding cheap, efficient, fast, and alternative solutions to   me to study computer science one day. I came
     problems. We will gain an appreciation of how this applies to specific     to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in
     activities such as capturing and manipulating imagery, as well as how      computer science. My research centered on
     this shapes our intellectual perspectives and imagination. We will see     learning theory and networks. I also enjoy
     how computer science has had a massive impact in connecting people         working on current problems from various
     and eliminating time and geographical boundaries between them.             other areas of computer science that I find
14   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
                                                                                            — Mahendran Velauthapillai
          Ignatius Seminars
          Following in the Framers’
          Footsteps: Rewriting the
          Constitution for the 21st Century
James I. Lengle, Department of Government

I grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, one                         his course offers students an opportunity to reflect
of four siblings in a working class family. I                   on the U.S. Constitution and to evaluate its effects on
was an average student in high school and                       policymaking, governance, and democracy in the United
expected to follow my grandfather, father,                      States.
and older brother into a typical blue- collar
job. For a while, I worked on an automobile         Since the Framers wrote the Constitution over 200 years ago, the
assembly line, pumped gas, packed tractor           United States has experienced tremendous social, economic, and
trailers, and worked in an iron ore mine.           political change. Yet, except for 27 amendments, our Constitution
Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I           remains unchanged. This raises many interesting and important
would end up as a college professor at one of       questions. Are the Constitution and political system antiquated in light
the nation’s leading universities.                  of today’s world? Are the principles upon which our government is
                                                    based (e.g. federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances) still
I was the first in my family to attend college.     relevant to addressing and solving contemporary problems? Are the
My first-year grades were undistinguished.          rights and liberties protected by the Constitution (freedom of speech,
In the fall semester of my second year, I took      press, religion, assembly, etc.) still valued in light of the contemporary
my first political science class from a dedicated   moral climate and domestic and international security concerns? What
and caring professor. The topic excited and         parts of the Constitution still serve us well (e.g. bill of rights)? What
focused me. The professor motivated me. I           parts can be changed to serve us better (e.g. the powers of the
found a passion, a mentor, and a purpose            president, Congress and the courts, the electoral system, the amending
in life. As my grades improved                                                              process, the impeachment
dramatically, my aspirations                                                                process, etc.)?
changed as well.
                                                                                            This seminar is organized as a
I received my M.A. and Ph.D.                                                                constitutional convention. As the
in political science from the                                                               new Framers, your goals will be:
University of California, Berkeley.                                                         first, to assess the strengths and
I started teaching graduate                                                                 weaknesses of the Constitution
and undergraduate courses in                                                                and, second, to rewrite the
American politics at Georgetown                                                             document both in light of your
in 1977. After more than 30                                                                 evaluation and in response to
years as a college professor, I’ve                                                          contemporary American culture
never lost my passion for politics or my            and conditions. During the semester you will analyze, evaluate, and
enthusiasm for teaching and—because of my           debate important constitutional principles, the structure of our political
own personal life story—I walk into each            system, the formal powers of our political institutions, the relationships
classroom hoping to make a difference.              between the major branches of government, the responsibilities and
                            — James I. Lengle       rights of citizens, and the relationships among citizens and between
                                                    citizens and their government.

                                                                                            FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013         15
             Ignatius Seminars

             Culture and Identity
             in Egypt
     Reem Bassiouney, Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies

                   uring the Egyptian revolution that began on January 25,          I was asked to define myself. This is both
                   2011, Egyptians claimed that they have broken the barrier        challenging and yet interesting, and this is
                   of fear. However, more importantly they said, “We have           exactly the topic of this course. I grew up in
                   regained our true identity.”                                     Alexandria, Egypt, and if you ask me now
                                                                                    who I am, I will say: I am an Alexandrian
     Is identity an entity that you can lose and regain? Is there one ‘true’        first, and then an Egyptian. Why? What is so
     identity to all Egyptians? What distinguishes Egyptians from others?           special about Alexandrians?— They have a
     Is it common for nations and states to think of themselves as unique,          slightly different dialect and a long seashore.
                                                  and to regard their identities    Having obtained my bachelor’s degree in
                                                  and cultures as special?          Alexandria, I left for the U.K. and obtained
                                                  Did Egyptians need to             my master’s degree and doctorate at Oxford
                                                  topple a regime first before      University. I was so fond of Oxford that I
                                                  regaining their identity? And,    continued to live and work at the university
                                                  more importantly, do all          for years. My husband is neither Egyptian
                                                  Egyptians have one unified        nor British, but German, while my children
                                                  and coherent identity? Such       have a British passport … and feel American.
                                                  questions will recur often in     This is how intricate and yet essential issues
                                                  this course.                      of national identity are in my family. The
                                                                                    same is true for my work: I have written
                                                  Identity and culture are          a number of books on the relation between
                                                  non-exhaustive terms and          the Arabic language and Arab society. All
                                                  understanding both is our         my academic books have been written about
     purpose. To express culture and identity people employ language.               Arabic in English. At the same time, I am
     Language in this case is not just a means of communication but a               also a novelist and have published five novels.
     social process that enables us to understand our surroundings, our             All are written in Arabic, though two of them
     political aspirations, our frustrations, our defeats, and our glorious past.   have been translated into English. I was not
     In this course we will use Egyptian films, songs, poems, novels, and           the translator, nor can I be in the future. Two
     even translated Egyptian jokes. To understand culture we need to also          of my novels won awards: one in Egypt (in
     understand history and myths and to understand culture we need to              the Arabic original) and one in the U.S. (in
     tackle food, recipes, and their linguistic associations.                       translation). In short, language—whether
                                                                                    English or Arabic— is part and parcel of
     The aim of this course is also to make us consider issues of identity          my identity, which I keep defining and
     throughout the world and compare and contrast the Egyptian case                redefining throughout my life, and which (I
     with other cases.                                                              hope) will never be a finished product, but
                                                                                    one in a perpetual state of construction.
                                                                                                             —Reem Bassiouney

16   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
        Ignatius Seminars
        Us and Them: The United
        States and Mexico in
        Film and History
John Tutino, Department of History

 I grew up in Massachusetts in the                     ew nations live more entangled than the United States and Mexico.
 1950s and 1960s, far from Mexico in                   We share much of a continent. At the moment of independence
 distance and culture. A great high school             in 1776, Spain ruled far more of the current territory of the U.S.
 Spanish teacher got me to Mexico in                   than Britain. Key regions from Texas to California were Mexican
 1965, before I started college. I began     until 1847. Today, Mexicans form the largest part of a Hispanic population
 to understand people I still saw as         becoming the largest “minority” in the U.S.—as minorities approach majority
 “them.” A decision to pursue a Ph.D. in     status. Meanwhile, Mexicans in Mexico produce energy, food, cars, and
 Latin American history brought me to        workers essential to the U.S. economy in the age of NAFTA and globalization.
 Texas in 1969. There I came to know
 Mexicans working hard to become “us”        Still, we view each other with suspicion. Many Mexicans cannot forget that
 while living among many Texans who          the U.S. invaded Mexico in 1847 to take the regions from Texas to California—
 were not sure they could or should.         regions essential to U.S. prosperity. Many in the United States see floods of
                                             Mexicans coming to work in the U.S. as another invasion, taking jobs and
 I became a historian of Mexico, writing     prosperity from “us.”
 a book called From Insurrection to
 Revolution in Mexico published in both      This seminar looks at key 20th century portrayals to explore how people in
 English and Spanish. My academic            the United States have understood Mexico and Mexicans. The classic 1950s
 conversations crossed the border, but I     film “Viva Zapata” was written by John Steinbeck, directed by Elia Kazan, and
 was still studying “them.” It was my        starred Marlon Brando—all trying to interpret the 1910 Mexican Revolution
 teaching in undergraduate surveys,          for Americans facing the Cold War. Later in the decade “Giant” took on the
 seminars for doctoral students, and         rise of Texas within the U.S., focusing upon Anglo-Mexican relations during
 summer seminars for high school             and after World War II—the challenge brought to national attention by
 teachers that students taught me to         Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean. More recently, “La Familia”
 break and surmount the dichotomy.           explored city life, “Lone Star” took on border challenges, while “Traffic” made
                                             “us” face the dark side of a drug economy that is not entirely “them.”
 I have tried to become a historian of
 North America, teaching across the          This seminar will engage such films along with related contemporary
 border. I am about to publish a book        texts (narratives of migrant life from the novels of Francisco Jimenez, to
 entitled Making a New World and             the autobiography of a Mexican migrant worker in the 1980s, to recent
 an edited volume on Mexico and              journalistic inquiries) along with scholarly studies (John Womack’s Zapata
 Mexicans in the Making of the               and the Mexican Revolution; Patrick Carroll’s Felix Longoria’s Wake; and
 United States. In both I attempt to         Ruben Hernandez-Leon’s Metropolitan Migrants), and more to seek a better
 integrate histories too often seen as       understanding of how diverse people in the U.S. have understood Mexico and
 separate and in conflict. I look forward    Mexicans. Participants should gain a new understanding of Mexico, the United
 to my third Ignatius Seminar aiming to      States, and themselves—wherever their origins and current lives place them
 continue learning.                          in relations of us and them that are ever more entangled.
                        — John Tutino

                                                                                      FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013             17
             Ignatius Seminars
             Working on Ourselves:
             Imagination, Interior
             Freedom and the Academy
     John J. DeGioia, President, Georgetown University

           n his Letters to a Young Poet, Rainier Maria Rilke encouraged        I discovered my vocation here at Georgetown.
           his interlocutor to “Live the Questions Now.” By “living the         I arrived as a first-year student and I have
           questions”—the most urgent ones we face as human beings,             been here ever since. At every stage in my
           we are able to identify the influences, values, and assumptions      formation, Georgetown provided me with an
     that give form and order to our lives. There is no better time and         opportunity to develop myself to the very best
     no better place to engage this work than as undergraduates in a            of my talents and abilities. Here, I studied
     university community. The effort begins in this seminar, where we will     with extraordinary women and men—the
     read widely in literature, history, philosophy, and anthropology. Our      faculty of Georgetown—as well as incredibly
     intensive classroom discussions will help us build upon these individual   gifted students. There is a generosity of
     explorations. The conviction that animates Working on Ourselves is that    spirit that has characterized my experience
     by learning how to develop an awareness of the shape—the form and          with our faculty and students. As an
     order, breadth and depth—of our lives, we will be able to expand the       undergraduate, my major was English, with
     range of choices we can make about the values and responsibilities, to     a focus on poetry. When it came time for my
     ourselves and others, that come to define us. This awareness, a lifelong   graduate studies, the emerging strength of our
     practice that begins together in the classroom, provides the conditions    Department of Philosophy in Applied Ethics
     for greater freedom—an interior freedom—that becomes a way of life.        made this the very best place for me to be. For
                                                                                nearly 30 years now, I have served in a range
     In our seminar we will draw from the resources of the Academy—a            of administrative positions. In this Ignatius
     place of incomparable opportunities to engage in the work of               Seminar, I hope to capture the “both/and” of
     deepening our interior freedom and grasping                                my academic life and my a  administrative life
     the nature of our responsibilities. In particular, we
                                                         e                      at Georgetown.
     will seek to understand the world we are living in                                                   — John J. DeGioia
     today—the various assumptions, explicit and implicit,
     that define the horizon of our times. We will imagine,
     analyze, characterize, and evaluate our relationship
     to these assumptions and our responses to them.
     Throughout we will be asking questions of the world:
     What is it? How do we see it? How do we engage
     in it? How do we live in it? And we will be asking
     questions of ourselves: How do we sustain our
     efforts in engaging in these “living questions?”
     This is the work of interior freedom and
     requires a lifelong commitment. And we will
     explore what such a commitment requires.

18   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
“Professor Lengle’s class on Constitutional Reform
provided a unique, intimate environment perfect for my
first semester at Georgetown. My Ignatius Seminar was a
great way to bond with a small group of students who had
similar interests. Engaging in passionate debate, I really
was able to get a first-hand account of politics and its
consequences on individuals. Some things I learned about
myself were even somewhat surprising.
The class quickly became my favorite of
the semester, and to date, is the most
memorable class I have taken during my
academic career at Georgetown. I highly
recommend it for any incoming first-year
students. Those who take it will learn a
great deal about our nation’s policies—
ensuring them a strong foundation for their
time at Georgetown, and also the rest of
their lives.”
— Matthew Caplan, C‘15

                                                                     “I had the pleasure of taking
                                                                 Professor Morris’ Shifting Selves:
                                                                 Changelings and Doubles Ignatius
                                                                 Seminar the fall of my first year.
                                                                The decision to take this seminar
                                                                   was by far one of the smartest
                                                                     decisions I have made in my
                                                                Georgetown career thus far. Not
                                                              only did it expose me to a new rich
                                                             literary culture, in Russian Folklore,
                                                             but it also was the first course where
                                                                I experienced the responsibilities
                                                             and joys of being a true independent

                                                                               — Blair Meek, C ‘14

                                                                 FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013         19
     First Year Options Application Instructions
     After reviewing all the information about the Liberal   To apply to the seminar(s) of your choice, please
     Arts Seminar and Ignatius Seminar options, we           answer the following question(s):
     hope that you apply for one of these exciting and
     rewarding courses.                                      • Liberal Arts Seminar Application Question: Please
                                                               write a brief essay (no more than one page) telling
     To apply, please go to the first-year academic            us why you would like to participate in the Liberal
     options website:             Arts Seminar. Please tell us why the topic interests
     college/firstyears/seminars/                              you and how it relates to your academic goals.

     On this website, there is a link to the online          • Ignatius Seminar Application Question: You will
     application. You will be asked to log in using your       be asked to list your top three Ignatius Seminar
     Georgetown NetID and password. Applications must          choices and write a brief essay (no more than one
     be submitted by Monday, June 11, 2012, 9:00 a.m.          page) for each Ignatius Seminar to which you are
     EST in order to be considered.                            applying. Please tell us why each seminar interests
                                                               you and how it relates to your academic goals.

                                                             If you do not have Web access, please phone the
                                                             Dean’s Office at 202-687-6045 for application

                                                             Students will be notified of their acceptance to the
                                                             first-year programs in their pre-registration packets,
                                                             which are mailed during the first week of July. The
                                                             mailing will include instructions for registering for
                                                             the appropriate seminar and additional courses.

20   FIRST-YEAR OPTIONS 2012-2013
Course Titles and Meeting Times
Ignatius Seminars                                                                   Liberal Arts Seminar
IDST 010-01                  IDST 010-06                  IDST 010-10               IDST 001-01
Faith, Fiction,              Science and Religion         Us and Them:              IDST 003-01
and Film                     in the West: Historical      The United States and     Tommaso Astarita
Bárbara Mujica               Perspectives                 Mexico in Film and        Anthony R. DelDonna
T/TH 2:00–3:15               Fr. David J. Collins, S.J.   History                   Brian McCann
                             T/TH 3:30 – 4:45             John Tutino               Patrick R. O’Malley
IDST 010-02                                               T 5:00 – 6:15             M/W/F 1:00 – 2:40
Shifting Selves:             IDST 010-07                  TH 5:00 – 7:30 (Film
Changelings and              Computer Science: Past,      Showing)
Doubles                      Present and Future!
Marcia A. Morris             Mahendran                    IDST 010-11
T/TH 5:00 – 6:15             Velauthapillai               Working on Ourselves:
                             M/W 2:00 – 3:15              Imagination, Interior
IDST 010-03                                               Freedom and the
Power, Politics, Sex and     IDST 010-08                  Academy
Religion in the Bible        Following in the             John J. DeGioia
Fr. Robert B. Lawton, S.J.   Framers’ Footsteps:          M 9:00 – 10:45
M/W 3:30 – 4:45              Rewriting the                (Additional class times
                             Constitution for             to be added in the
IDST 010-04                  the 21st Century             evenings.)

Creating and Sustaining      James I. Lengle
Community                    T/TH 3:30 – 4:45
Jennifer Woolard
T/TH 2:00 – 3:15             IDST 010-09
                             Culture and Identity in
IDST 010-05                  Egypt
Italy and Imagination        Reem Bassiouney
John Pfordresher             M/W 3:30 – 4:45
T/TH 3:30 – 4:45
Office of the Dean
Georgetown College
Intercultural Center 303
Box 571058
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057-1003

Tel: 202-687-6045

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