FYS*101*36 Description

First-Year Seminar

At the settlement of Jamestown in 1607, John Smith called the Chesapeake "a fruitfull and delightsome land." He described in detail its remarkably abundant landscape-with an eye towards turning that abundance into profit for the Crown. Since then, successive generations have also valued the Bay's extensive tributaries for their ease of trade, and the Bay's productive environment for its potential riches-from tobacco and shad in the 18th century, oysters and waterfowl in the 20th, and crabs and-increasingly-invasive species in the 21st. Through species and commodity case studies, this class will explore how markets across the world shaped and were shaped by the Chesapeake's environment, culture, and industry over the past 400 years. Through lectures, readings, primary documents, and objects, students will gain a detailed understanding of the close historic and contemporary connection between the Chesapeake's incredible living resources and the unique cultures they have inspired. Assignments will include research-based writing assignments, class discussions and a final presentation to encourage critical contextual thinking and hone oral, communication skills.