First-Year Seminar Courses
Course Descriptions: Spring 2023
Roshawnda Derrick | Social Action & Justice Colloquium II
This introductory seminar in social action and justice will critique the topic of racial, ethnic, gender based and socio-economic ideologies and identities as they appear in contemporary Spanish speaking communities in Spain, Latin America and the United States. Analyses of these topics will be facilitated through individual and group discussion of a variety of oral and written texts as well as excerpts from: literary texts, television, music, film, magazines, and social media. These nations today reflect the outcomes of struggles between Amerindian peoples, European colonizers, and African slaves, as well as subsequent immigrants. In this respect, they are much like the United States. However, unlike the U.S., most of Latin America is widely regarded as having more fluid racial identities and a greater proportion of persons of mixed heritage. In this course, we will examine the mixed heritage of Spanish speakers as well as linguistic and cultural ideologies and how they interact with Eurocentric values.
David Lemley | Learning Well, Living Beautifully
“When am I going to use this in real life?” Pepperdine offers a unique educational experience, providing a foundation for living well. This course explores how to make the most of a Christian, liberal arts education. We will develop skills for seeking understanding and developing wisdom, in the classroom and beyond. We will look at the life and teachings of Jesus as a model for integrating heart, soul, and mind in what we learn, and how we learn. We will practice essential skills for thinking, inquiry, and discernment that support academic success across disciplines, as well as the pursuit of “the good life.”
Dusty Breeding | The Theory and Practice of Living Well
The Art and Science of Living Well challenges students to consider the question "What does it mean to live well?" Over the course of the semester the classroom discussions will explore academic research, wisdom literature from the past and the present, and various disciplines and practices related to the pursuit of a meaningful life. Discussions will be augmented by the thoughts and insights from various Christian theologians, psychologists, real world stories, and the student's own life experience.
Jason Blakely | Tyranny: Shakespeare on the Abuse of Political Power
William Shakespeare is widely considered the greatest literary mind to have worked within the English language. What fewer recognize is Shakespeare’s genius as an observer, interpreter, and thinker of political power and its abuses. In this freshmen seminar we will read a small handful of Shakespeare’s most famous political plays on tyranny and watch film adaptations of them. We will do so in order to talk about, write, and reflect on deep themes of politics such as corruption, the inner workings of power, the psychology of tyranny, popularity, war, theology, legitimacy, the nature of political knowledge, and more. Because this is an introductory, freshmen seminar reading assignments will be relatively short. And because Shakespeare wrote with the intention that his work be performed we will always supplement our classroom discussions with running excerpts of famous film adaptations of the relevant plays. All of this will then serve as a launchpad into classroom discussions and short writing assignments.