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Theme Semester

An annual theme semester will showcase our college, our outstanding faculty, and the range and relevance of our innovative courses and programs while also illustrating our commitment to undergraduate education both in and outside the classroom.

Theme Semester 2021  |  Climates

Our Fall 2021 Theme Semester focuses on Climates.

“Climate” can refer to any region of the earth; the prevailing atmospheric phenomena and conditions of a country or region; and the mental, moral, and emotional environment or atmosphere prevailing in a body of people.

The plural noun emphasizes the idea of climate in all senses. The Fall 2021 theme semester will explore the word’s multiple meanings. The chosen theme was based on a proposal that Dr. Jennifer R. Pournelle from the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment submitted in consultation with a wide range of college faculty.

For details on courses and events being offered in Theme Semester, please see our public Theme Semester website.


Previous Theme Semesters

2020  |  Justice

The theme of the inaugural Fall College of Arts and Sciences Theme Semester was “Justice.”

Justice is an idea, topic, and aspiration that connects people across academic, political, and everyday spaces. Though a seemingly universal concept, the term is inextricably bound to political and cultural contexts that make it difficult to define: What kinds of (in)justice exist? What injustices should be addressed?  Whose definition of justice should prevail?

Theme Semester 2020 offered opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage in debate, inquiry, and conversation about issues of justice relevant across arts and sciences disciplines—from social inequality, electoral politics, criminal justice, land use, biomedical innovation, and climate change, to health, immigration, international relations, law, language, ethics, and economics.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.