Foundations of the Liberal Arts
Office: Haupt 222
Office Hours: MWF 12:30-2:20, TTh 3:00-4:30, and by appt.
The iDeal Reader: Interdisciplinary Studies
Elaine P. Maimon and Janice H. Peritz, A Writer’s Resource
Danticat, Brother, I’m Dying
Course Description: All students at Transylvania University take the two-course Foundations of the Liberal
Arts sequence; FLA provides the only academic experience common to all Transy students. This course gives
students an introduction to the nature of a liberal arts education, and thus serves as the gateway for the rest of
their college experience. The course achieves these goals by focusing on “critical reading, discussion, and
writing—all designed to enhance creative and critical reflection” (Course Policies).
Course Requirements: The Course Policies (attached) will cover these areas in more detail, but expect in this
course to think critically, read carefully, discuss thoughtfully, and write frequently and well.
Critical Thinking: The editors of your handbook comment as follows on thinking critically: “Critical thinking
is fundamental to all college work and to life in a democratic society. Thinking critically means getting involved,
not necessarily finding fault. Critical thinkers never simply gather information and present it without question.
They inquire about what they see, hear, and read” (Maimon et al. 28). This definition of critical thinking will
help guide our approach to the texts we read, the discussions we hold, and the papers we write throughout the
Reading: The absolutely essential first step to successful participation in this course is careful reading. Since
we will be exploring challenging, college-level texts, I expect you to read and re-read thoroughly, giving all the
assigned texts a great deal of attention and thought. Annotate carefully, look up words you do not know, ask
questions of the text. We will follow these