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Skidmore College
First-Year Experience

Scribner Seminar Program Fall 2011
Course Description

Human Dilemmas


  • Mary DiSanto-Rose, Dance
  • Michael C. Ennis-McMillan, Anthropology
  • Sarah Goodwin, English
  • Pat Hilleren, Biology
  • Sue Layden, Student Academic Services
  • Peter McCarthy, Social Work
  • Viviana Rangil, Foreign Language & Literature
  • Sheldon Solomon, Psychology

As you begin college, you are confronting the recurring dilemmas that define and shape our lives: Who am I? What exactly am I? What is my relationship to others? What is my responsibility to them and to the world? As biologist E. O. Wilson contends in his 2003 book The Future of Life, life is "an insoluble problem, a dynamic process in search of an indefinable goal. [It is] neither a celebration nor a spectacle but rather, as a later philosopher put it, a predicament" (xxii). "Human Dilemmas" will challenge your conventional assumptions surrounding these predicaments as we focus our attention on interdisciplinary readings, critical thinking, and academic inquiry. Debates, field trips, and writing will move us toward an understanding of what it means to be human in our contemporary world.