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Academic Bulletin Freshman Tutorials - 2010-11 - 10 FT 10

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Freshman Tutorial

General Description of Freshman Tutorials

During the fall semester of his freshman year, every Wabash student enrolls in a Freshman Tutorial. This class, limited to fifteen members, introduces you to academic experiences characteristic of the liberal arts at Wabash College and emphasizes academic skills basic to your Wabash education. Instructors (note: your tutorial instructor may also be your academic advisor) select topics of importance to them and ones they judge to be of interest to students.

You need not have had previous experience with the topic in order to enroll in a particular tutorial. Although the topics, often interdisciplinary and non-traditional, vary among the tutorials, all students engage in common intellectual experiences and practice both written and oral self-expression. Reading, speaking, research, and writing assignments, of course, will vary with individual instructors, but the goals of every tutorial remain the same: to read texts with sensitivity, to think with clarity, and to express one's thoughts (orally and in writing) with precision and persuasion—all in terms of each tutorial's particular subject.

Seventeen tutorials will be offered in the Fall Semester, and all tutorials will meet on Tuesday-Thursday at 9:45 a.m. The schedule of your other classes will be set so as not to conflict with the tutorial. Tutorial Assignments are determined in the order of electronic selection (first respond-first assigned).

Tutorial Selection

Read the following list of available Tutorial Titles and Instructors. Click on a title to read a full description of the tutorial’s content, readings, and class activities. Click here for a printable list of all tutorials with course descriptions.

Select a tutorial that is interesting to you, regardless of your concerns about possible majors. Once assigned to a tutorial, you will not be able to register for another tutorial, so before making your final decision, read the course descriptions for several of the tutorials whose titles interest you. SELECT CAREFULLY AND RESPOND PROMPTLY! IF YOU DO NOT REGISTER FOR A TUTORIAL, YOU WILL BE RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO ONE. As each tutorial is filled, the title and description will be removed from the following list.

To select a tutorial, click on the tutorial’s name, read the description, and click on “Sign Up For This Course.” If you get into the course or the course fills up, you will be notified immediately.

Tutorial Titles and Descriptions

FT 010-A In the Future We Will Play: The Art and History of Interactive Media

Professor Michael Abbott, Department of Theater, 9:45 TTh
In 1903, anthropologist W.H. Holmes reported: "The popular notion that games are trivial in nature and of no particular significance as a subject has given way to an adequate appreciation of their importance as an integral part of human culture." Playing is not reading. Yet, increasingly, video games and other forms of interactive media are challenging us to reassess the ways we think about storytelling, authorship, and representation. Aside from their obvious popular appeal, games such as “The Sims,” “Fallout 3,” and “Today I Die’ test our current ways of understanding semiotics and engagement with the reader/player. Increasingly, gaming can be seen as a convergence point where media as diverse as film, literature, art, music, and design meet and coalesce to form a new, unique art form that fits squarely and comfortably within the Humanities.

We must develop a methodology for "reading" videogames that affords this new medium the scrutiny it richly deserves. This tutorial will explore a variety of ways to accomplish this - borrowing, adapting, and revising familiar methodologies and proposing new strategies for seeing and critically comprehending video games. To this end, we will play, analyze, discuss, research, and write about videogames as a modern emerging art form.

Abbott, Michael S.
Credits: 1