Fiat Lux Freshman Seminar Program



Overview - What is Fiat Lux?
As a cornerstone of our innovative undergraduate curriculum, UCLA offers up to 200 seminars annually through the Fiat Lux Freshman Seminar Program. These seminars provide students and faculty with small group settings to engage in meaningful discussions on a range of topics. Students receive one-unit of academic credit (Pass/No Pass) and faculty members from across campus have the opportunity to share with undergraduates their areas of intellectual passion and expertise. True to the University of California's motto, "Fiat Lux - Let There Be Light," these seminars illuminate the many pathways of discovery!
Fiat Lux Spotlight
A&O SCI 19: Secrets of the Northern Lights: Earth's Aurora
When sun goes down and skies are clear, beautiful displays of colored light are often visible within oval-shaped regions surrounding magnetic poles. These displays are known as the northern/southern lights, or aurora, and they can sometimes be dramatically brilliant and dynamic and show a variety of color. Light originates at altitudes of 100-300 km (60-180 miles), and reflects release of energy that is carried by solar particles and becomes trapped within Earth's magnetic field far above surface. How is light emitted? What is variety of aurora patterns, and what do they mean? What releases energy that powers them? How do aurora and processes that give rise to it affect our lives? These questions, and more, are addressed.

CHICANO 19: Being Mixed Race at UCLA
Exploration of experience of being mixed-race student at UCLA. Through testimonies, readings, and videos, students examine experience of being mixed-race. Campus climate is an important topic of discussion. Goal is to produce edited book that gives voice to large mixed-race student population at UCLA.

HNRS 19: Clones vs. Zombies: Anxieties Around the Human
Study begins from two questions, one topical and one methodological: What can analysis of popular representations of zombies and clones tell us about what it means to be human, what we believe all humans share, and limits of human sociality?; and How can humanities approach to popular cultural products shed light on our own understanding of what it means to be human, and on fears and anxieties that help to structure our understanding of contemporary community? Exploration of formation and deformation of human being and human sociality by looking to figures of zombie and clone in popular fiction, graphic novels, film, animé, and television. Designed for participants in Humanities Residential College.

THEATER 19: Screening Sexualities
"Desire is what we make movies with" says Maggie Cheung, playing herself in Irma Vep. Investigation of varieties of ways sexualities are represented in mainstream and avant-garde film and video. Students look at examples from several cinematic traditions around the world. Topics include voyeuristic, narcissistic, and other perverse pleasures as well as modes of representing bodies, genders, and desires. Reading of some film theory and criticism, but emphasis on films themselves. No background in film studies required.