ENGAGING WITH THE CONCEPT OF PLACE

Courses in the Finding Your Place program provide entering students with a profound and intimate knowledge of the University, the surrounding region, and the world by closely engaging with a range of topics--the environment, community, history, literature, politics, art, and more. With the guidance of professors and student mentors, first-year students will begin finding their path and place through field trips, readings, reflective writing, and small-group discussions. Below are the 2022 FYP courses and faculty, who can be contacted easily if you have questions about a section.

CREATING PLACE—ROBERT BACHMAN

This course considers both how natural chemical processes shape our surroundings and how place is created by the intentional manipulation of matter to create objects of everyday use as well as of symbolic, cultural, or artistic importance. While developing an understanding of place-making broadly, the course focuses on both nature's creation of place and the role of art and cultural materials in defining place. Field trips and plenary lectures allow students to explore the local and regional context of place formation, engage in the practice of place-making, and synthesize knowledge across disciplines. Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration. 

PLACE, MEMORY, AND PRESERVING TRADITION—RICHARD APGAR

This course examines the history of German-speaking communities in the area, including what brought the communities here, what elements of the "home" culture were maintained, and how memories and connections have been preserved across generations. Students engage these communities through historical records and through conversation with community members, while also reflecting on practices of cultural preservation as a form of identity and means of place-making. Field trips and plenary lectures allow students to explore the region, engage in the practice of place-making, and synthesize knowledge across disciplines. Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.

MAKING A PLACE FOR LITERARY IMAGINATION—HANNAH HUBER

In this course students reflect on forms of literary expression—stories, poems, and nonfictional accounts—that most vividly color and capture humanity's sense of place. How we imagine and write about sites that matter to us not only records them but truly helps to create them—as storied places, not just spaces on the map. Reading will focus on American texts, those evocative of scenes close to home in Sewanee as well as farther away. Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.

COMMUNITY NARRATIVES OF THE SOUTH CUMBERLAND PLATEAU—DANIEL CARTER

This course introduces students to people, places, and events that helped shape the history, culture, and environment of the South Cumberland Plateau. Students explore multiple cultural, historical, and political narratives that tell the story of the region. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of historical and current land-use in shaping local environmental attitudes and perceptions. Field trips and plenary lectures allow students to explore the region, engage in the practice of place-making, and synthesize knowledge across disciplines. Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.

LOCATING SLAVERY'S LEGACIES AT SEWANEE—WOODY REGISTER

An exploration of how slavery and its legacies of discrimination and injustice marked the landscape and people of Sewanee, from its pre-Civil War roots in the slave-holding South through the university’s integration in the 1950s and 1960s. The course also considers how African Americans living in Sewanee challenged second-class citizenship and contributed importantly to the life of the university. Field trips and plenary lectures allow students to explore the region, engage in the practice of place-making, and synthesize knowledge across disciplines. Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.

THE ARTIST AS COLLECTOR—JESSICA WOHL

The impulse to collect and accumulate is human, and most everyone collects something whether they know it or not. This course will consider why people collect and what truths can be revealed through the study of collections from the historical and place-based to the personal and seemingly meaningless. Visits to the University Archives, regional museums, flea markets, homes and local collections of oddities will give insight to why people collect and what collections reveal about their owners and the places they reside. In this studio-based course, students will generate their own collections that may include drawing and sketching, taking pictures, writing, object-making, gathering and more. Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.

TAKING (FROM) PLACE(S): COLLECTIONS AND LOCAL KNOWLEDGE IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE—KELLY WHITMER

Collecting, naming, and organizing local knowledge(s) were important activities to practitioners of the sciences in the past. This course takes a close look at natural history collecting and its entanglements with colonizing projects, the history of capitalism and the displacement of indigenous peoples since c. 1500. Using special collections materials and engagement with regional natural history collections, it considers the legacies of historical links between collecting and appropriation, while also introducing students to ongoing efforts to respond to these legacies by contemporary curators and scholars.  Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.

FINDING HOME: DISPLACEMENT AND BELONGING IN NARRATIVES OF HISTORICALLY EXCLUDED COMMUNITIES—LUCIA GARCIA-SANTANA

This course examines the experience of (un)belonging reflected in diverse forms of cultural expression—literature, visual art, music—by historically underrepresented communities in the US. Students reflect on these cultural products as vehicles to channel the experiences of displacement and social exclusion, claim social justice, and celebrate traditions. Working primarily on Latinx and Afro-Latinx production and the local community, students will also explore other voices connected to the experience of exclusion. Field trips to community-building and human rights organizations will foster a deeper experiential understanding.  Capstone projects provide opportunities for in-depth exploration.