COMPLIT 140 - First-Year Literary Seminar
Winter 2018, Section 001 - True/False/Neither
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Comparative Literature (COMPLIT)
Department: LSA Comparative Literature
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Requirements & Distribution:
FYSem, WorldLit
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s).
Primary Instructor:


What is true and what is false? The desire to define the nature of reality, of history, and of current events is at the heart of power, including political power. It is also, of course, the mission of the university. Knowing how to tell good information from bad information is the most important skill you need to succeed as a college student and as a citizen, so we will spend the semester pondering questions such as:

  • What is fake news? How can you tell? Who decides? Why does it matter?
  • What is truth? Is there a widely accepted definition, or is the concept of truth itself contested? By whom and for what purposes?
  • Does there need to be a final arbiter (e.g., "God") to anchor the notion of truth?
  • What about instances where "true" or "false" depends on the eye of the beholder? Are there things that are neither true nor false? How do we conduct ourselves when faced with the undecidable?
We will talk about politics, religion, philosophy, social media, and the nature of science. These discussions can get emotional and heated, so be prepared to engage both passionately and with respect and sensitivity.

Course Requirements:

Your grade will be determined by attendance and participation (30%), the quality of your homework assignments (30%), and a final project (40%) you will develop in a small group.


COMPLIT 140 - First-Year Literary Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 5:30PM - 7:00PM
1/3/18 - 4/17/18

Textbooks/Other Materials

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