Courses: Transfer Year Seminars

Select Transfer-Year Seminars - usually covering Core Areas such as C1 Literature, D1 Philosophy, and D3 Ethics, along with Core A2 Rhetoric and Composition - are offered every Fall semester for incoming Transfer students.  In Spring semesters, only RHET 295 courses are offered for those Transfer students new to USF or those, typically in their second semester, who may still be in need of their Core A2 requirement. 

Questions can also addressed to the First-Year Seminar Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Academic Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, Jeffrey Paris.

Fall 2019

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 295-01 Identity Rhetorics

CRN # 42056
Nicole Gonzales Howell
Tue. & Thu. 9:55–11:40 a.m.

Who are you and how do you know?  This course focuses on investigating the role of identity labels/categories and how they influence public and private argument. As a mode of rhetorical argument, ethos is often described as “character and credibility.” We’ll discover how “character and credibility” get defined, and how our own ethos affects our ability to write, argue, and view the world. By exploring identity categories we’ll learn how our “character and credibility” gets established as well as others’. We’ll also consider conversations surrounding the politics of identity labels such as “American,” “Man,” “Woman,” among many others. This course asks students to consider how identity categories get disrupted, complicated, or simplified for multiple purposes! What does it mean to be a “techie” in SF versus Minneapolis? Why might someone call herself Chicana, rather than Hispanic? These and many more questions will be explored while we consider the powerful affect of labeling ones identity.

Core C1 - Literature

ENGL 295-01 Science Fiction

CRN # 41354
Patrick Schwieterman
Tue. & Thu. 9:55–11:40 a.m.

Science fiction has long been seen as an “escapist” literature that actively avoids engagement with the most pressing concerns of contemporary life. However, the futuristic or extra-planetary settings of the genre actually offer writers opportunities to explore abiding concerns through “thought experiments” that heighten the tensions implicit in a given topic. For example, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? explores the nature of humanness through the dilemma of a police detective charged with hunting down and “retiring” androids who are identical to humans in nearly every respect. Besides Dick’s work, the syllabus will feature texts by Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury, Pat Murphy, Naomi Kritzer, Mercurio D. Rivera, James Patrick Kelly, Ian McDonald, and others. We’ll also make trips off-campus for movies and readings by science fiction authors.

Core D3 - Philosophy

PHIL 295-01 Moral Responsibility

CRN # 42246
Jacqueline Taylor
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 3:30–4:35 p.m.

Why do we hold one another morally accountable? What are we responsible for: our intentions? our actions and their consequences? How far does responsibility extend? Does it extend to nations, or corporations, or to entities other than individual persons? In this seminar, we consider different philosophical approaches to moral responsibility, and will read about and discuss concepts such as blame, shame, and guilt, praise, pride and moral confidence, perpetrators and victims, forgiveness and mercy, and responsibility and social relations. We will also look at works by experts in related disciplines such as legal theory and psychology.

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