All first year students are invited to rank your top five Drew Seminar (DSEM) choices. The following is a list of DSEM courses for the Fall 2023 term:
 HUMAN GOODNESS: CONFUCIAN ETHICS AND THE FOUNDATION OF EAST ASIAN CULTURES
Confucianism is an ethical way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6th–5th century BCE and followed by the people of East Asia – China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam – for more than two millennia. Although transformed over time, Confucianism is still the substance of learning, the source of values, and the social code in East Asian societies. In this seminar we will explore three key ethical concepts of Confucianism: 1. Rites, the embodiment of human goodness; 2. Learning, the path to human goodness; 3. Filial Piety, the demonstration of human goodness. We will also discuss contemporary challenges to Confucian ethics.
 DRACULA AND HIS MINION IN LITERATURE AND FILM
This seminar explores Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 novel Dracula, as well as its many cinematic adaptations. This story about a vampire count has had an enduring appeal to readers and viewers for over a century due in large part to its macabre, erotic, and supernatural themes. We will examine how literature and film reflect the socio-political concerns of their time; for example, the concerns arising from sexuality, gender, war, disease, colonialism, and capitalism.
 LATINOS IN HOLLYWOOD: REPRESENTATIONS, STEREOTYPES, AND IDENTITIES
From West Side Story to In the Heights, from I Love Lucy to Jane the Virgin, from the Latin Lover to Jennifer López and Sofía Vergara… This Drew seminar examines U.S. Latinx images and representations in film and television from the silent era to the present day, along with their historical and sociopolitical frameworks. We explore the construction and perpetuation of Latinx stereotypes in mainstream media productions, and also consider how film and television have been used as political tools to subvert some depictions and promote others. In examining the history of U.S. Latinx participation both behind and in front of the camera, the seminar analyzes the interconnections between Latinx representations on the big and small screen and the shifting discourses on class, gender, ethnicity, and multicultural identities in the United States.
 ACTING THROUGH THE AGES: THE ACTOR AND THE TRUTH
What has dictated and defined the actor’s role in theatrical art from ancient to modern times, and what has constituted artistic success? We will study methods by which actors of various eras, in various parts of the globe, have been asked to “hold the mirror up to nature,” and by what standards they have been judged. Using historical documents, manifestos, critical responses, photographs and films (and by trying out various techniques ourselves) we will chart the principal artistic, cultural, and philosophical movements that have guided these human chameleons from the masked thespians of the ancient world to the thoroughly unmasked performers of our own moment in theatrical time. Along the way, we will consider dominant issues of race, gender, archetype, and stereotype as they have influenced artistic and critical endeavor surrounding the actor’s art.
 MAGIC BULLETS: THE ROLE AND LIMITATIONS OF SCIENCE IN MEDICINE
The germ theory of disease, and the subsequent development of vaccines and antibiotics, led to unprecedented medical advances in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These advances also transformed our view of medicine and doctors, with the belief that a biochemical “magic bullet” exists to cure any disease. From cancer, to mental illness, to the coronavirus pandemic, modern society waits for the miracle cure to come from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that will wipe away disease while leaving the patient in perfect health. This demand has created an enormous industry, with 378 billion dollars spent on retail drugs in the United States during 2021. How are these cures discovered, developed and tested? How successful are they, and do we have reasonable expectations for their success? What side effects are acceptable, and can they ever be completely eliminated? Why can’t we eradicate diseases even when we have effective treatments? We will explore these questions and more as we delve into the history, science, and social impact of developing modern medicines.
 PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, CIVIC DUTY, SOCIAL NEED: THE COMPLEXITIES OF CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Why do people volunteer their time or resources to help others? Why do you? What do you hope to accomplish? How can we maximize our impact? Should everyone be civically engaged in some way? Should volunteering be required? When might volunteer efforts have the potential to do harm? Is volunteering always the best way to address social needs and inequalities? Do we have responsibilities to other members of civic society? What happens when a majority of people do not engage in local service, political organizations, or elected government? When should individual choice take priority over the larger community? When should community needs take priority over individual needs? Civic engagement confronts us with so many questions! In this seminar, we will explore these and other questions through the lens of current issues we face in our communities and as individuals. Topics for discussion may include approaches to civic discourse and anti-racist communication; debates around healthcare, immigration, the environment, and education; the impact of income inequality, food and housing insecurity; incarceration; and/or voluntourism. Students will select their own topic for the final third of the course.
 FROM AMÉLIE TO EMILY IN PARIS: MYTH AND REALITY IN THE CITY OF LIGHTS
Paris is both the setting and the theme of numerous films and recent Netflix series. This seminar explores the representation of the French capital in these productions both as mythic and real through an analysis of plot construction, themes, and cinematography. In exploring a few “classics” as well as more recent examples (both French and non-French), we will discuss such questions as: How do narratives and cinematography perpetuate Paris as a mythic place? What myths does Paris embody on screen? How do individuals and groups relate to and respond to these myths versus real urban experiences? How do gender, race, and class affect Parisians’, Provincials’, immigrants’ and tourists’ experience of this city? Cinematographic techniques, city maps, urban history, and contemporary issues are employed to contextualize these representations.
 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MONEY
 GENDER QUESTIONS
In this seminar we will think together about the issues of gender that seem most salient in contemporary culture. Working from such cultural representations as films, novels, and short stories, we will investigate how these texts are gathering up and recirculating the pressing questions around gender in our time, from the most basic definitions of male and female to issues around reproductive rights, race and ethnicity, sexual identity, gender fluidity, and all of the ways that gender structures our society and our experiences as individuals. You will be working on your writing throughout the course while investigating these complex issues.