First-Year Studies, formerly Freshman Studies, lectures serve two purposes, in addition to providing a context for class discussions, lectures help to create a sense of intellectual community among the students and teachers at Lawrence. Students take First-Year Studies in their first two terms on campus. Each section of the course includes about fifteen students, allowing for close relationships between students and teachers. Because each section uses the same reading list, First-Year Studies also helps students to join in the life of a larger intellectual community, one that now includes generations of Lawrentians. There is a separate lecture for every work on the syllabus, and the lecturers are chosen for their expertise in the fields covered by particular works.

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Lectures from 2023

Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

Communication and Collective Goods - Jeremy Waldron: The Harm in Hate Speech, Mark Phelan

Eric Scerri: The Periodic Table, Allison Fleshman

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches, Copeland Woodruff

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Jesús Smith

Lectures from 2022

Jaya Semara, Sonja Downing

Knowing the Strangers in the Shogun's City, Brigid E. Vance

An Expressive Way to Document New York: Berenice Abbott’s Tri-Boro Barber School Photograph, Beth Zinsli

Plato’s Republic: There and Back Again, Chloe Armstrong

Native Guard and the Power of Limitation, Charles Austin Segrest

Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

Doing More Good Better: Poor Economics, Dylan Fitz

Eric Scerri: The Periodic Table, Allison Fleshman

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches, Copeland Woodruff

Communication and Collective Goods - Jeremy Waldron: The Harm in Hate Speech, Mark Phelan

Lectures from 2021

Knowing the Strangers in the Shogun's City, Brigid E. Vance

An Expressive Way to Document New York: Berenice Abbott’s Tri-Boro Barber School Photograph, Beth Zinsli

Plato’s Republic: There and Back Again, Chloe Armstrong

From Appledore to Appleton: Unexpected Lessons from Seeley's Honeybee Democracy, Alyssa Hakes

More Than a Moment's Monument: Sonnets in Native Guard, Melissa Range

Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

The Arabian Nights, Martyn Smith

Periodic Table: A Perpetual Discovery, Allison Fleshman

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Part 1: Millennium Approaches, Copeland Woodruff

Banerjee and Duflo’s Poor Economics, Dylan Fitz

Lectures from 2020

An Expressive Way to Document New York: Berenice Abbott’s Tri-Boro Barber School Photograph, Beth Zinsli

Housekeeping: A Book of Ruth for 1950s America, Catherine Gunther Kodat

Plato’s Republic: There and Back Again, Chloe Armstrong

From Appledore to Appleton: Unexpected Lessons from Seeley's Honeybee Democracy, Alyssa Hakes

More Than a Moment's Monument: Sonnets in Native Guard, Melissa Range

Davis: Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

Banerjee & Duflo: Poor Economics, Ameya Balsekar

Kushner: Angels in America, Copeland Woodruff

The Arabian Nights, Martyn Smith

Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, Constance Kassor

Lectures from 2019

Plato: The Republic, Chloe Armstrong

Robinson: Housekeeping, Catherine Kodat

Seeley: Honeybee Democracy, Alyssa Hakes

Trethewey: Native Guard, Melissa Range

Davis: Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

The Arabian Nights, Martyn Smith

Banerjee & Duflo: Poor Economics, Ameya Balsekar

Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, Lavanya Proctor

Seeley: Honeybee Democracy, Alyssa Hakes

Lectures from 2018

Robinson: Housekeeping, Catherine Kodat

Bruegel: Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, Ben Tilghman

Trethewey: Native Guard, Melissa Range

Davis: Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

Banerjee and Duflo: Poor Economics, Ameya Balsekar

The Arabian Nights, Martyn Smith

Feynman: The Character of Physical Law, Douglas Martin

Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, Lavanya Proctor

Lectures from 2017

Bechdel: Fun Home, Helen Boyd Kramer

Mintz: Sweetness and Power, Mark Jenike

Bruegel: Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, Ben Tilghman

Plato: The Republic, Chloe Armstrong

Trethewey: Native Guard, Melissa Range

Davis: Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

Banerjee and Duflo: Poor Economics, Ameya Balsekar

Borges: Collected Fictions, Madera Allan

Feynman: The Character of Physical Law, Douglas Martin

Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, Lavanya Proctor

Lectures from 2016

Bechdel: Fun Home, Helen Boyd Kramer

Bruegel: Landscape With the Fall of Icarus, Benjamin Tilghman

Brecht: The Life of Galileo, Timothy Troy

Plato: The Republic, Mark Phelan

Trethewey: Native Guard, Melissa Range

Davis: Kind of Blue, Mark Urness

Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Martyn Smith

Borges: Collected Fictions, Madera Allan

Feynman: The Character of Physical Law, Douglas Martin

Lectures from 2015

Bechdel: Fun Home, Helen Boyd Kramer

Schelling: Micromotives and Macrobehavior, David Gerard

Brecht: The Life of Galileo, Timothy Troy

Plato: The Republic, Mark Phelan

Trethewey: Native Guard, Melissa Range

Adams: Doctor Atomic, Gene Biringer

Borges: Collected Fictions, Madera Allan

Feynman: The Character of Physical Law, Jeff Collett

Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Martyn Smith

Bhagavad-Gita: Krishna's Counsel in Time of War, Dirck Vorenkamp

Lectures from 2014

Bechdel: Fun Home, David McGlynn

Lange: Migrant Mother, Beth Zinsli

Schelling: Micromotives and Macrobehavior, David Gerard

Plato: The Republic, Mark Phelan

Brecht: The Life of Galileo, Timothy Troy

Adams: Doctor Atomic, Gene Biringer

Borges: Collected Fictions, Madera Allan

Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Martyn Smith

Feynman: The Character of Physical Law, Douglas Martin

Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Kimberly Dickson

Lectures from 2013

FDR: First Inaugural Address, Arnold Shober

Lange: Migrant Mother, John Shimon

Woolf: A Room of One's Own, Karen Hoffman

Bechdel: Fun Home, David McGlynn

Brecht: The Life of Galileo, Timothy Troy

Stravinsky: Rite of Spring, Julie McQuinn

Borges: Collected Fictions, Madera Allan

Pontecorvo: The Battle of Algiers, Martyn Smith

West: Race Matters, Ameya Balsekar, Carla Daughtry, and Jerald Podair