Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Overview

What if you could get together with a diverse group of students on campus and communicate openly about difficult issues? Despite the increasingly diverse student population at MIT, students are often separated from each other by differences in race, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. They have little interaction with individuals who are different from themselves and are unable to benefit from the rich and diverse student population that exists on campus.

The goal of this seminar is to have fun conversations about serious issues in a non-stressful, informal setting. Here’s a chance for cultural exploration—both your own culture and the cultures of others. We hope to create a relaxed atmosphere in which people feel free to ask questions about “touchy” issues, flame about discrimination and stereotypes, and argue and intelligently discuss difficult issues.

Each semester of the class is different because the students in the class will choose many of the seminar themes.


There are two versions of this seminar: one that gives six credits, and one that gives nine.

Requirements for both versions are:

  • Attend class each week prepared to discuss the assignment and/or topic. Class sessions are mandatory and you can only miss 2 class sessions with excused absences.
  • Write a 2 page reflection paper on each class topic, incorporating the discussion from class and all of the readings.

To receive nine credits, a student also has to lead one class session. This includes research on the topic, selecting the readings, having an appropriate icebreaker, and making the discussion plan.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2012
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples
Problem Sets