CC100 & CC120


Taken during a student's first semester, the first-year foundations course sequence (CC100: Critical Inquiry Seminar & CC120: First-Year Writing Seminar) serve as the foundation to CC's General Education plan.

As a sequence, these courses provide an introduction to disciplinary scholarship, the nature of the liberal arts, and learning on the block. In the first block (CC100), students begin to understand the liberal arts as a specific kind of community comprised of various epistemological and methodological cultures. The goal of this class is to help students understand that different fields of study construct and organize knowledge differently, each with its own paradigms and assumptions. The second block (CC120) builds on the outcomes of CC100 to engage students in understanding the relationship between disciplinary practices and writing. The goal of this class is to help students understand that each discipline operates within specific discourse communities each with their own structures, styles, and forms.

All CC100 & CC120 courses are linked, meaning that students in the same CC100 course will move into the linked CC120 course as a cohort. These links serve to reinforce the social connections developed in the first block and allow students more time to learn together on the block.

Fall CC100 courses are also grouped into "thematic clusters." These clusters are designed to help facilitate students' thinking about disciplinary knowledge production in a comparative framework. Courses are clustered around a shared topic, question, or theme (i.e. "Operations of Power"). Although students are enrolled in a single CC100/CC120 course sequence, all courses in a cluster will offer periodic "convergence experiences" that offer students the opportunity to engage across courses to compare the different approaches to knowledge creation taking place in their respective courses in relationship to the shared topic.

thematic clusters (fall start)

Animal-Human Boundaries

Courses in this cluster will examine the complex relationship between humans and non-human organisms, including plants, animals, and microscopic bacteria and viruses with emphasis on the ecological, ethical, social, and cultural dimensions of what separates us from other species. Click here to read more.

Crisis and Sustainability

Courses in this cluster will examine the tenuous position that the world finds itself in today, including the ways that humans on individual and societal levels have impacted the global climate, how we measure those impacts, and the global and demographic populations most dramatically affected. Click here to read more.

Global Exchange

Courses in this cluster will examine the dynamic intersections of culture, language, and identity. Students will engage with diverse perspectives and experiences to foster a deeper understanding of the complex cultural boundaries that shape our world and learn how to build bridges of understanding and connection. Click here to read more.

- Modern Technology and Social Impacts

Courses in this cluster will examine the way that modern technological advancements, from the discovery of new antibiotics to social media and artificial intelligence, have changed the way that we interact with one another and the world at large. Click here to read more.

Negotiating Identities

Courses in this cluster will examine how historical events, geographic location, and cultural bias impact identity development, how the identities we carry impact the way we experience the world, and the importance/development of community. Click here to read more.

Past and Present in Critical Dialogue

Courses in this cluster will examine the dynamic interplay between historical and contemporary perspectives on culture and politics, including how cultural and political practices from the past shape and inform current issues, debates, and challenges in the global landscape. Click here to read more.

Power, Culture, and Resistance

Courses in this cluster will examine the complex interplay between power, culture, and resistance in various societies and historical contexts. Students will explore how different forms of power and authority shape cultural norms and expressions, while also investigating the diverse strategies and mechanisms of resistance that challenge dominant power structures. Click here to read more.

Stories and Storytelling

Courses in this cluster will examine storytelling traditions across cultures and time. While these courses approach storytelling from different academic perspectives, they all address the importance of storytelling and the way that the storyteller influences society (and vice versa). Click here to read more.

Ways of Knowing

Courses in this cluster will examine the diverse and context-dependent ways of knowing and understanding the world, while exploring how these perspectives shape individual and collective experiences, beliefs, and values. Click here to read more.

Winter Start Course Descriptions (20254)

CC105: Title forthcoming.

Instructor: Michelle Gevedon
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Scientific Analysis
Block: 5

Description forthcoming.

CC120: Primate Narratives & Multispecies Ethnographies

Instructor: Krista Fish
Block: 6

Primatology, a specialty within biological anthropology, has a rich history of storytelling. From documentaries that highlight the challenges of surviving in a rainforest to books such as Jane Goodall’s earliest account of her research with chimpanzees, many people have gained an understanding of our close relatives through narrative. Students will explore primate narratives that are presented in documentaries, field narratives written for the general public, and scientific reports on primate behavior. In addition to comparing differences in storytelling between these diverse narrative formats, we will also examine human-animal relationships through the lens of “multispecies ethnographies,” an emerging line of inquiry from cultural anthropology. Students will investigate how these different ways of telling stories about human-nonhuman interactions adds to our understanding of ourselves and the world that we inhabit.

Up to two afternoon class meetings – one field trip to the zoo and one documentary screening.


CC106: The Political Science of Critical Issues

Instructor: Elizabeth Coggins
Learning Across the Liberal Arts Designation: Societies & Human Behavior
Block: 5

CC100 courses are designed to help students begin to understand the liberal arts as a specific kind of community comprised of various epistemological and methodological cultures. Different fields of study construct and organize knowledge differently—and political science, like other fields, has its own paradigms and assumptions. In this particular course, we will use three “critical issues” of our time as vehicles for developing a deeper understanding of how political scientists observe, question, and theorize about political phenomena. In other words, we will use these issues to uncover some of the paradigms and assumptions of political science. In particular we will focus on polarization, climate change, and race relations. These urgent sociopolitical issues will guide us in our journey to “think like a political scientist.” We will critically engage original research—both seminal and cutting edge—to address these issues. Perhaps most importantly, we will develop the tools to evaluate issues beyond the scope of the course and issues yet to emerge on the agenda of U.S. politics. 

CC120: Reading Fiction

Instructor: George Butte
Block: 6

The purpose of this literature class is to help you become a better reader of stories. We will read a wide variety of fictions, from different periods and cultures. Understanding how narrative works is a fundamental cultural skill. You will also practice writing about that understanding, including revising papers after one-on-one tutorials. Questions we will address: how to read fiction, themes and form? How do we read our reading? What assumptions underlie our processes? And how can your writing and argumentation improve? We will look at different kinds of academic writing (assumptions, conventions). We will also discuss the racism, classism, and sexism of Standard (White) English. We will discuss a major conflict at the College: on one hand, we are anti-racist, anti-classist, anti-sexist, and you will have the opportunity to write free of Standard English values. But on the other hand, to succeed after college in many professional careers (at least until the revolution comes), at Yale Law School or the New York Times, you will have to write good Standard English, and so endorse some racist and classist values. This class allows you to choose between those options.


Report an issue - Last updated: 07/05/2024