Foundations of Contemporary Culture

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Director of the College Core Curriculum

Associate Professor Ertman

Director of the Foundations of Contemporary Culture

Clinical Professor Renzi

The Foundations of Contemporary Culture (FCC) sequence of the College Core Curriculum seeks to provide students with perspective and intellectual methods to comprehend the development of our human cultures. The four FCC courses introduce students to the modes of inquiry by which societies may be studied, social issues analyzed, and artistic activity explored. Together, they give undergraduates a broad methodological background on which to draw when later engaged in the more focused work of their major courses of study. As a result, students receive a richer education than any single major could provide.

Through this core experience in humanistic and social-scientific inquiry the FCC framework allows students to enter into dialogue with one another despite differences in their course schedules, and in this way also encourages lifelong habits of intellectual curiosity and engagement.

As they learn the sound employment of the academic approaches at the center of their FCC classes, students develop their abilities to read critically, think rigorously, and write effectively. By building these skills and an appreciation of the diversity of human experience, the FCC seeks to prepare students for their continued learning in and beyond college, for active participation in their communities, and for lives in a rapidly changing world.

All FCC courses are taught by regular faculty, including some of the University’s most distinguished professors. In addition to two lectures a week, every FCC course includes weekly recitation sections, allowing for small-group discussion of the readings, close attention to students’ written work, and personal concern for students’ progress.