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First-Year Foundation Seminars

Five students sitting inside Woodsworth College looking at a laptop together and smiling

Woodsworth College's First-Year Foundation Seminars are open only to newly-admitted, Faculty of Arts & Science students (students who have completed 3.5 credits or less). They are half-credit courses that focus on discussion of issues, questions and controversies surrounding a particular discipline (or several disciplines), taught in a small-group setting that encourages participation and engagement with faculty and fellow students. FYF seminars are as rigorous and demanding as any other first-year course, but with a special focus on preparing students for success by developing their critical thinking, research, writing, and oral presentation skills. With a maximum enrolment of 30 students each, they are an ideal way to have an enjoyable and challenging small-class experience in your first year.

First-Year Foundation Seminars:

  • Count as 1.0 or 0.5 of the 20 credits required for an HBA, HBSc or BCom degree.
  • First-Year Foundation Seminars are not required to get into any Program of Study. However, they may count towards your Program. Please check with your college Registrar for further details.
  • Can be counted towards the Breadth Requirement.  

Course enrolment instructions can be found on the Faculty of Arts & Science website.

Courses for 2021-2022:


WDW196H1 From Rayguns to Light Sabers: Science Fiction in Contemporary Culture (24S)

Course delivery: In Person 

Description: This course examines science fiction as pop culture genre, media industry, and sociocultural phenomenon, with attention to its key themes, key works and creators, and ongoing debates about its place in contemporary culture – e.g., does science fiction address vital issues, making it relevant for all of society, or is it just escapist entertainment for a niche audience of fans? We’ll explore science fiction in its literary forms, on film and television, and in comic books and graphic novels. We’ll also look at science fiction fandom and consider the role of fan activities in shaping science fiction’s wider impact and cultural status. Students will be able to draw on their own experience with science fiction, including determining some of the texts we’ll study.    

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)


WDW199H1 Indigenous Knowledge and Storytelling in Toronto (24S, 12T)

Course delivery: In Person

Description: The land now known as Toronto has a 13,000+ year old history of Indigenous presence that is still unfolding. This history is inscribed in the land – it is visible in the geographical features, place names, and contemporary urban form of the city and is represented through stories (oral and written) told by diverse members of Toronto’s Indigenous community. This course engages with stories of Indigenous history and presence in Toronto through a selection of Indigenous literary works about Toronto, Indigenous guest speakers, and a series of experiential Indigenous storytelling tours of significant locations across the city. Students will be introduced to Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing and will learn why storytelling remains a significant and culturally-appropriate means for keeping and sharing land-based Indigenous Knowledge. Students will gain a deeper appreciation of the city as a traditional Indigenous territory and will reflect on their own relationships and responsibilities within these lands.

Breadth Requirements: Creative and Cultural Representations (1)