Junior Seminars

Here are the Junior Seminars offered in the college.

Junior Seminars / Faculty Synopses
Generation Y: Transitions to Adulthood

Assoc Prof Anne Raffin
This course explores the changes in the life transition from adolescence to adulthood in today’s developed world. We will look at some of the popular understandings of emerging adulthood by studying an age group of people called “adultolescents”, “twixters”, or “kippers”. We will also critically analyse aspects of emerging adulthood with regards to education, job opportunities, love and marriage, as well as parenting. Finally, we reflect on the kind of citizens these emerging adults are becoming, how they can engage in the community and what the future holds for them.
Hidden Communities

Dr Tan Lai Yong
There are various 'hidden communities' in Singapore that do not gain much public attention but whose members require special consideration from society. People with disabilities, children with learning difficulties, the elderly or migrant workers are among them. They face distinct challenges to live independent and productive lives. We will be learning about the challenges that these communities face, encounter some of the realities at grassroots level, and hear about some of the best practices in Singaporean and international contexts. Engaging with hidden communities in Singapore is one of the key features of understanding global issues in a local context, so-called 'Glocalisation' (globalisation + localisation) to form active citizenship in a healthy society.
Power and Ideas

Assoc Prof Reuben Wong
According to cultural theorists like Stuart Hall, Michel Foucault and Antonio Gramsci, the structures that support dominant ideas in society could be political, economic, religious or cultural, among others. This module examines the power structures behind the dominant ideas of our time, asking why these structures have an interest in promoting or discrediting ideas about what is ‘good’ for our community, and mankind. These ideas include human rights, citizenship, democracy, meritocracy, the ‘Washington Consensus,’ development, age of majority, and political correctness.
Technology and Human Progress (Healthcare focus)

Assoc Prof Alberto Corrias
Every time we are sick, we visit one or more doctors in the hope that our ailments will be correctly diagnosed and treated. For each set of symptoms, the doctor has at his/her disposal an arsenal of weapons ready to be unleashed in the war against disease. Doctors must know how to use these weapons appropriately: but have you ever wondered who makes those “weapons”? In this module, we will peek behind the scenes to see what happens when technology is employed in medicine. A wide variety of professionals – from engineers to biologists, from statisticians to politicians – have always conspired in an interdisciplinary effort to improve the available technology to fight disease. Millions of lives have been – and will be – saved thanks to such efforts of often unsung heroes. We will cover selected applications of technology applied to healthcare in a simple and non-technical way, focusing on how they came about, how they are used and the issues they face, including the ethical ones.
The Pursuit of Happiness

Assoc Prof Siok Kuan Tambyah
This module introduced a comprehensive perspective on ‘happiness’ and related social constructs such as satisfaction and quality of life. Drawing from multi-disciplinary research in Singapore and around the world, the following issues are discussed in detail: Does rising GDP lead to more happiness? Who are the people who are happy? Can money buy happiness? What really makes people happy? Can the government manufacture happiness for its citizens?
Systems, Systems Everywhere

Assoc Prof Seow Teck Keong
This course introduces and examines the idea of a “system”. It explores systems theory as a way of thinking about the goals, boundaries, complexities, stakeholders, and relationships between parts of a larger network (social, economic, knowledge-based etc). Topics include characteristics of a system, inter-relationships between different parts of a system, the effects of a system on its stakeholders and vice versa, and the limits and challenges of systems theory. Different national and community systems will be introduced. Students will also have the opportunity to investigate a system of their choice.
A Brief History of Inequality

Dr Daniel Jew
Should we believe claims that ‘country X has high inequality’ or that ‘inequality is increasing’? How does inequality today compare with inequality in past societies? Where does our modern concern about inequality come from – why did past societies accept inequality as a given? This module investigates the causes of inequality in different societies, from the Ancient world to modern Singapore. It also traces the development of the concept itself, using modern tools and frameworks from a range of disciplines to analyse the social, political and economic inequalities present in the world today.
Discovering Singapore’s Natural History and Heritage

Dr Joelle Lai
This multidisciplinary module traces the natural history of Singapore and the region via the Spice Trade, European colonialism and independence. The founding of the Botanic Gardens and LKCNHM are set in this historical context. This module explores the value of science and biodiversity research in the region. Students will apply and share this knowledge with the wider community by conceptualising an educational tour of LKCNHM, and help inspire a new found commitment to the natural world amongst urban Singaporeans.
Family in a Changing Singapore

Ms Sue Chang-Koh
Family is often considered the foundation of society. Families affect the way we live, play, and work, shaping our values and how we relate to others. In this module, students will investigate and engage with issues that surround and define what it means to be a Singaporean family in the 21st century. They will look at issues such as broken and single parent families, foster care, family leisure, family businesses etc – through economic, social, and psychological perspectives. The module emphasises experiential learning and application of readings outside the classroom through field trips, guest speakers and discussions/interviews with families and communities.
Games, Game Communities and Society

Dr Daniel Jew
The global games industry has overtaken film and music in annual revenue. Its reach has also extended beyond children and teens to working adults, including women. This module evaluates board and digital games and their influence on culture and communities. How do games impact our health, relationships, businesses, and behaviour? Can they change the ways we learn, interact, and understand the world? What makes games engaging or even potentially addictive? We engage communities such as professional gamers and their audiences, game designers, entrepreneurs, and women in gaming, and explore the impact of emerging technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality.
Bioethics in the 21st Century

Assoc Prof Seow Teck Keong
Bio-medicine and biotechnology are rapidly progressing technologies in the 21st century. Who carries responsibility for debating the ethical use of these innovations – national committees, or everyday citizens? Debating bioethics requires some knowledge of three areas: bio-medicine and biotechnology themselves, theories of ethics, and methods of logical reasoning with regards to the ethical applications of the technologies to people at different stages of life. We will explore issues running from the beginning of human life (such as cloning), throughout life (such as biological enhancements) and at life’s end (such as the ethics of assisted death).