First-year Seminar (FYSM) courses are smaller classes (with a maximum of 30 students) designed to give students the unique opportunity to discuss and research topics of interest in a core subject area.

While most university students have to wait until their third or fourth year of study before having the chance to participate in a more intimate seminar setting, as a Carleton University Bachelor of Arts student, the engaging seminar experience is available to you at the first-year level.

2020-2021 Courses at a Glance

FYSM 1600A – Contemporary Controversies in Canadian Society

Instructor Miranda Leibel

This course is designed to help explore the current debates in Canadian society (e.g. nationalism, race, language and ethnicity, sexuality, gender, Aboriginal governance, globalization, the environment, and human rights) while simultaneously building key academic skills that will serve you throughout your undergraduate degree. We are going to focus extensively on how the social debates in contemporary Canada are interconnected and co-emerge. We will question what underlying assumptions define these social issues and will explore our own (and our community/national/global) investments in these debates.


FYSM 1104B – Blackness & Anti-Racism

Instructor Kisha McPherson

This Human Rights course focuses on the significance of representation and resistance in the struggle for racial justice in the United States and Canada. Focusing on movements for social justice, which include hashtags such as #blacklivesmatter and #defundthepolice, participants in this course will examine historical and contemporary issues and events to consider how race and power influence political debates and activism strategies that result in cultural shifts.


FYSM 1408 – World Literature in French

Professors Catherine Khordoc and Christine Duff

Catherine Khordoc

Calling all bilingual or French Immersion students! This is the perfect course for you to discover the incredible diversity of literature in French from around the world! From
West Africa to Vietnam, Québec to Lebanon to Haiti, this seminar will introduce you to the many different cultural and geographic contexts of literature written in French. Through a variety of genres (novels, a play, a graphic novel), you’ll learn about culture, history, and different ways of telling stories. Along the way, you will also develop some of the valuable skills you’ll need in university, such as using library databases and reading your academic audit. Delivered in French, this seminar will give you the opportunity to practice and continue to develop your French skills.

Click to view a full list of all the FYSM course offerings for 2020-2021

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