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Proposing a Theme Semester

Theme Semesters have been an integral part of the teaching and learning experience on campus for more than three decades, connecting the great intellectual and cultural strengths of the University of Michigan to the issues defining our world today. Anchored within LSA and given administrative support from the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, Theme Semesters provide intellectual and cultural immersion in a particular topic, while encouraging students to combine coursework with lectures, museum exhibits, music or theater performances, film series, and more. They are an important collaborative space for innovations in research and the curriculum.

Any member of the LSA faculty can submit a proposal for a Theme Semester. We also welcome ideas and submissions from students, though all proposals must have the endorsement of at least one LSA department. Preliminary proposals should be brief (two pages) and:

  • Explain the theme
  • List potential collaborating departments, programs,  or other U-M units and the person(s) offering to coordinate the project
  • List preliminary key courses related to the theme to be taught during the theme semester
  • Outline proposed public programs, such as a series of speakers, performances, exhibits
  • State how students and student organizations will be involved.

Your ideas and proposal can be submitted to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Angela Dillard.

Future Theme Semesters include two LSA-sponsored semesters in honor of the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial: “The Making of the University of Michigan” in Winter 2017 and “Michigan Horizons: Possible Futures of U-M” in Fall 2017.

Past Theme Semesters

Past Theme Semesters have included:

  • The Comedy Semester – Winter 1992
  • The Theory and Practice of Evil – Winter 1994
  • Food in Global History – Fall 1996
  • Genders, Bodies, Borders – Fall 1997
  • The Environmental Semester: Rethinking the Relationship – Winter 1998
  • Detroit 300 – Fall 2001
  • Brown v. Board of Education: 50th Anniversary Commemoration – Winter 2004
  • Cultural Treasures of the Middle East – Winter 2005
  • 100 Years Beyond Einstein – Fall 2005
  • ChinaNow – Fall 2007-Winter 2008
  • The Universe: Yours to Discover – Winter 2009
  • What Makes Life Worth Living? – Fall 2010
  • Translation – Fall 2012
  • Understanding Race – Winter 2013
  • India in the World – Winter 2013
  • Sport in the University – Fall 2014