LACS: Liberal Studies
This is a required course available for matriculated MALS students only. In this course, students will explore the history of liberal studies and the controversies surrounding its composition and meaning in American universities and society. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own historically informed approaches to liberal study and apply their learning. There is a residency requirement for this course. This course was previously LIB-640501.
In this residency-based course, students will examine the concept of interdisciplinarity and establish the theoretical frameworks for their educational plans in the MALS program. Their work will culminate in the development of a degree program plan and rationale essay, presenting a coherent program of courses that lead to a tentative final project focus. The students’ activities, supported by their advisors, will enable them to articulate broadly the theoretical and methodological approaches that may be relevant to their respective fields of inquiry; understand research and critical methodology/ies in a field; select and develop skills in appropriate methodologies; and understand what it means to make a substantive knowledge claim in a field. Pre-Requisite: LACS-6020 OR LACS-6025 OR LACS-6030 OR LACS-6035 AND LACS-6005 Co-Requisite: LACS-6015 or by permission of program coordinator Note: This is a pass/fail only course This course was previously LIB-640676.
In this course, the student will begin to lay the foundation for future work in his or her area of interest through the examination of an individualized topic relevant to the student’s focus in the MALS program by means of completing a literature review. The literature review is a critically organized interpretation of secondary criticism on a specific topic; it is not a research paper nor is it an annotated bibliography. The literature review course will help the student develop relevant research, writing and analytic skills in order to define the topic; research and identify relevant sources and journals in the chosen field; identify key thinkers, debates, and the theoretical framework of a topic; develop appropriate methodological and writing skills; follow proper citation form; and develop a critical point of view. It is an important demonstration of graduate level writing and analytic ability that will be reviewed, along with the degree plan developed in Perspectives, by a MALS Program Review Committee before the student proceeds to the next stage of the program. Pre-Requisite: LACS-6005 This course was previously LIB-640682.
This track of Models of Critical Inquiry examines ways in which knowledge is produced and how it has been used, comparing a classic framework from the history of science and ideas with counterpart developments in the Arts. Art's paradigmatic moves in the last 25 years challenge 'high/low' aesthetics, what art is, and the sites of production and reception of the body, in a scene at once localized and distanced via media. This is a required course and is available to matriculated MA Liberal Studies students only. There is a residency requirement with this course. Co-Requisite: LACS-6005 or by permission of program coordinator
This version of Models of Critical Inquiry focuses on the relationship between schooling and society, and introduces students to major competing traditions of educational and social research. Students explore different perspectives on the dynamics of learning, and consider the role of race, class, ethnicity, language and gender on the experience of students and teachers. We learn how the assumptions one makes about the nature of knowledge influence our choices of what to focus a study upon, how we study it, and what interpretive framework we use to draw conclusions. This is a required course and is available to matriculated MA Liberal Studies students only. There is a residency requirement with this course. Corequisites: LACS-6005 or by permission of program coordinator This course was previously LIB-640505.
This track of Models of Critical Inquiry will examine questions of epistemology and knowledge through the question of “how do we know?” We will be looking at three broad areas of knowledge production and dissemination: science, story, and art. The course will examine how each of these areas functions as a way through which we know, engage, and understand the world. Note: This is a required course and is available to matriculated MA Liberal Studies students only. There is a residency requirement with this course.
This track of Models of Critical Inquiry will examine the paradigm shifts in how history is understood, constructed, and viewed today as well as considering the concept of social construction in our discussions of history. We will be looking at primary source materials, most often in a comparative manner and will be considering the place of oral history and its related narratives as well. The course will allow each student to follow his/her own particular interests after engaging in reading and discussion of some common resources, both primary and secondary. The key concept guiding this course is that history is really 'story' (history without the 'hi-'), and the question is whose stories from where and when. This is a required course and is available to matriculated MA Liberal Studies students only. There is a residency requirement with this course. Co-Requisite: LACS-6005 or by permission of program coordinator.
This track of Models of Critical Inquiry will study how politics and economics interact with science in the search for and production of knowledge. Some of the questions we will engage include: how do we know, and what can we know? What is objectivity? What is the interaction between knowledge and power? How should we understand current struggles around such issues as intelligent design, stem cell research, invasive species, or the homosexual gene? This is a required course and is available to matriculated MA Liberal Studies students only. There is a residency requirement with this course. Corequisites: LACS-6005 or by permission of program coordinator This course was previously LIB-640509.
This course takes up historical and cultural theory to examine how museums co-create history and public memory with communities. Through readings, research, discussion, and use of on-line resources, students explore institutional histories and current trends in the thinking and practices of academic and museum professionals, with a focus on identity, authority, and representation. They trace shifts in correspondent communities' and public expectations, with comparative views of venues and performance that represent history outside established institutions, including cross-cultural examples. They also consider how technology has changed certain museum practices and functions, in particular through the appraisal and comparison of on-line virtual museums and live visits to museums. This course is required for the Public History advanced certificate and the Heritage Preservation advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640628.
The goal of the course is to become acquainted with current cultural, policy, and philosophical aspects viewed across several types of museums and festivals, focusing on their role in society and the nature of decisions involved in selection, stakeholders, audiences and publics, and presentation. Students write two critical essays from directed readings and complete a project that involves visits or work with one or more museums on a focused theme. This course was previously LIB-640622.
American Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that looks at the literature, history, art, religion, media, film, policy, face, and culture of the United States. Using critical and cultural theory, the field interrogates what it means to be an American and what it means to understand Americans and the Americas. In this course, we will consider the beginnings of the field of study known as American Studies, as well as several distinct literary and historical moments. Each unit will focus on a different vision of America (and American Studies). The course will also develop students graduate level reading, writing and analytic abilities and familiarize students with resources in the field. This is a required course of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640660.
This course is designed to give the student an exposure to the history, theories, and methods of the changing and developing discipline of American Studies. American Studies has evolved to be a dynamic discipline engaging the multiplicity of American identities and the role of shifting global influences on American identity and national formation. In its theoretical approaches and methodological commitments, American Studies exists at the cutting edge of academic work. From its roots in the Myth-Symbol school, American Studies has gone on to embrace developments in literary and cultural theory and adapt them to it subject focus. Through a rich array of readings and engagement with primary sources, this course will help the student develop the skills and background of a practicing scholar in the field. This is a required course of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640661.
This course will look at 19th and 20th-century British novels by and about women. How do women reconcile traditional social roles of wife and mother with their personal desires as women, as intellectuals, and as individuals? How do issues of class and gender affect women’s sense of identity and self-realization? We will explore themes of identity and difference, resistance and transformation, silence and voice, self-definition and social identity in works by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Mary Shelley, and Virginia Woolf. We will also consider the critical context of such theorists as Elaine Showalter, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Nina Baym, Annette Kolodny, Judith Butler, Nina Auerbach and Nancy Miller among others.This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the Women and Gender Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640582.
The goal of this course is to help students develop and expand their abilities as writers by looking at some of the essential elements of fiction in greater depth. This course is intended to provide advanced students of fiction with the opportunity to diversify, extend and deepen their work. Students in this study will focus on both the craft and process of creating a compelling story, using intuition, attention to detail and fiction writing techniques. Experimentation with language and writing techniques is encouraged. This course was previously LIB-640574.
Creative Nonfiction: Like journalism it traffics in reality, reporting, and facts; unlike journalism, it values honesty over objectivity. Another essential difference is that creative nonfiction writers may not find themselves directed by the requirements of argument, but struggling with metaphor, dialogue, point of view, and other elements of composition associated with poetry, fiction and drama to create and explore their experience. Where standard nonfiction likes explanation or exposition that focuses on concepts, ideas and facts, creative nonfiction uses story, imagery, quotations, descriptions and the personal voice of the engaged author to bring experience to the reader. The assignments are designed to help students learn to function like working writers: that is, as they compose their works, they are also studying other writers and specific sub-genres as well as familiarizing themselves with specific elements of nonfiction (literal vs. invented truth, voice, memory, composing processes, relationship to other genres). This course was previously LIB-640572.
The objectives of this course are to acquaint students with the history and approaches that have characterized cultural criticism. Critical studies in this course form an intersection of types, including both cultural studies generally and critical social theory in particular, but with most attention devoted to forms of criticism borrowed broadly from a selection of theories in literature, philosophy, arts, and anthropology. The first two credits are based on common required readings. Third and fourth credits could be earned by choosing from options suggested by the mentor or proposed by the student, eventually narrowing the focus with the mentor’s input and guidance, for a final term project on a topic well integrated with the rest of the student’s overall program goals. This course was previously LIB-640550.
The goal of the course is to gain a current understanding of modern, postmodern, and contemporary theatrical dance studies from cultural theory, embodiment, and a chronology of social and aesthetic shifts from the 20th century through recent decades. Readings address modernism, postmodernism, difference, and cross-cultural issues of movement in performance. Students write two critical review essays from directed reading sources, also choosing a third project making and analyzing a performance piece, or doing a multiple critical review of several performances with an integral theme. Alternately, they write a research project approved by the instructor.
What is the role of cultural beliefs and practices in human beings’ understandings of themselves and their worlds of illness and health? How do cultural/subcultural understandings effect individuals’ experience of illnesses, and others’ view of these? Where do these converge and diverge? Finally, what are the effects of such interactions on those who suffer and those who view and/or care for them? The study begins with students’ self-analysis of their own orientation to the study and identification of learning goals. Then students become oriented to the influences of socio-cultural interpretations of self and others’ understandings of dis-ease by close reading, analysis and synthesis of texts selected and chosen. Engagement with the subject matter will be demonstrated through written, possible discussions, and research project/paper. The study culminates in a reflective analysis of students’ own learning, focusing on personal, educational and lifelong learning goals. This guided independent study is conducted at a distance with email and phone communication.. This course was previously LIB-640541.
This course will look at the culture of America in the 1920s known as the 'Jazz Age.' We will look at the emergence of what Gertrude Stein termed the 'lost generation' writers after World War I such as Ernest Hemingway, F.Scott Fitzgerald, and T.S. Eliot; the flowering of African-American literature and culture known as the 'Harlem Renaissance' with such writers as Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen; and the artistic contributions of such jazz legends as Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie and blues singers Bessie Smith, Josephine Baker, and Billie Holiday. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640629.
This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of gender and identity from a cultural and sociohistorical perspective. We will look at Women's and Gender Studies as an evolving field of study and explore the multiple voices that have shaped the conversation, past and present. Issues of gender equality, women’s suffrage, the women’s liberation movement, issues of gender and work, concepts of family, gender and violence, health and reproductive rights, representations of the body, gender and sexuality, gender, race and ethnicity, global feminism and activism will be considered. Authors such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Margaret Fuller, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, Kate Millett, Audre Lorde, Adrienne Rich, bell hooks, Angela Davis and Judith Butler will be examined. Attention will be paid to analysis of gender and sexuality in relation to race, ethnicity, class and national and transnational discourse. The student also will develop graduate-level research, writing and analytic abilities and become familiar with resources in the field of women’s and gender studies. This course was previously LIB-640654.
From the 19th century on in the U.S., the profession of medicine has played an increasingly important role in naturalizing the social constructions of gender and sexuality. From the development of mid- 19th century gynecological surgeries and treatments to curb female sexual drives which were perceived as socially dangerous, through the forced sterilizations of the eugenics movement, to the involuntary treatment of intersex infants in the present, medicine has had an important role in regulating gender and reinforcing social gender roles. At the same time, medicine has had potentially liberatory effects on social sexual restraints and provided a public arena to contest repressive social practices. From the development of birth control to the women’s health movement, medicine has been used to reframe social debates on acceptable sexual beliefs and practices. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies or the Women’s and Gender Studies advanced certificates.
Exhibitions serve as vehicles for the interpretation and presentation of historic objects and images. Whether it is hosted by a traditional museum, an online collection, or a governmental office, an exhibition offers a material version of history that is often far more accessible than a scholarly article or monograph. That accessibility makes exhibitions especially valuable to public historians. Building on the theory and practice learned in Museums and Public History, this class will ask students to work within a history museum (or equivalent collection) to produce an exhibition. This course is required for the Public History advanced certificate program. This course was previously LIB-640635.
Carl Jung’s work, always of interest to scholars and practitioners of psychology, is currently enjoying a resurgence of wider interest both popular and academic. No doubt this is due in part to the recent publication of the Red Book, a compendium of his work heretofore unavailable. But in addition, because his theory, particularly his theory of archetypes, seems to offer scholarly insight for those seeking to explain current popular experience, for writers from positions as diverse as historical scholarship and political punditry. In this study, we will be intrigued by Jung’s theory of archetypes, from original depiction to recent illustrations; beginning with examination of the theory and ending with application to contemporary representations. Jung’s work on archetypes often melds analytic thinking with visual depictions. This study, grounded in psychological theory, includes examination of visual images. Students might find this inquiry into Jung’s work of interest from intellectual and/or visual perspectives. This course was previously LIB-640637.
This interdisciplinary course explores a selection of issues central to feminist theory, such as ideologies of woman and man, sexual politics, the political economy of patriarchy, the construction of knowledge, and the intersections of gender and sexuality, race, ethnicity, dis/ability, age, nationality, class, queer theory, and other aspects of social identity. We will examine the various strategies of feminist theorists and debates within the field of feminist scholarship. We will develop a strong theoretical base for the analysis of ideology, culture, and texts in order to take action as critical thinkers, and we will apply feminist theory to our daily lives. This course can be taken as one of the core courses in the Women's and Gender Studies Advanced Certificate. This course was previously LIB-640655.
Our consumer lifestyle is part of our sense of self, our social identity, and our satisfaction with life. In this study, we will examine psychological aspects of money and how we spend it, materialism, variations among types of consumers as well as different populations of consumers, advertising, the relevance of consumption for self-definition, and the role of consuming in the search for well-being and happiness. There are six sets of readings that are accompanied by an introduction to the topics and questions for students to answer in writing. This course was previously LIB-640662.
This course is divided into two parts. In the first part the student will read and respond to several monographs that lay out the larger themes of 19th century US culture and society— the rise of labor; changes in the economy; race and slavery; territorial expansion; changes in the home; and industrialization. We will engage works by scholars such as Ronald Takaki, Nell Painter, David Roediger, Leo Marx, or Stephanie Coontz. In the second half of the study, the student will in consultation with the instructor, develop a research bibliography and produce a polished historical essay on a topic of their own choosing using the first readings as background and contextualization. This study is geared towards public historians, history teachers, historical novelists, and students who are interested in deepening their understanding of American society and culture through historical study.
The cultural and biological categories of sex, gender, and sexuality shape our lives in profound and intimate ways, defining how we know and inhabit our bodies, how we relate to and interact with other people in our societies, even how we understand what it means to be human. We will explore how gender and culture relate to other categories of social identity and difference, such as race and ethnicity, economic and social standing, urban or rural life, etc. Evaluating how social scientific theories and understandings of gender and sexuality have changed during the twentieth century, this course will equip students to view gender and sexuality not merely as 'natural' or inherent traits but instead as complex and contested fields of expression and representation that are bound up in broader relations of power including notions of race, ethnicity, religion, and class. Throughout the course an emphasis will be placed on exploring other cultures and societies as a way of better understanding and critiquing our own. This course was previously LIB-640668.
This course will build on concerns introduced in the first study. We will aim to develop practitioners’ awareness of cultural diversity factors in medicine nationally and internationally, as well as how the legacies of U. S. medicine may still complicate relationships between physicians and patients. Through an examination of historical and contemporary issues, this study seeks to foster an awareness and sensitivity to issues of diversity—locally, nationally, and globally. From the use of slaves as medical test subjects in the U.S. to international issues of surrogacy, this course seeks to explore the complex and sometimes contradictory role that medicine has had as it has shaped and been shaped by social attitudes and politics.
This study will examine the interconnected nature of the ideology of the nation state and its reliance on systems of power based on naturalized hierarchies of gender and race. Students will read the work of such theorists and historians as Anne McClintock, Ann Laura Stoler, and Margo Canaday to gain an understanding of the relationship between feminist theory and praxis while engaging topics that include a critical assessment of the concept of 'universal sisterhood' in the context of colonial power, the politics of the nation-state, and globalization. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the Women’s and Gender Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640514.
Geographically based dramatic differences in educational opportunities in the US are no surprise to anyone. We have come to accept these differences as natural and inevitable. However, these differences have a historical and political basis. This study is intended to offer students a historical approach to understanding the roots of educational inequality in the 20th and 21st century United States. The study will begin with general readings exploring immigration and racial issues in US history. The second part of the study will apply these general issues to their specific expression in education. The end of the study will ask the student to reflect on how these issues affect their own district and home.
This course aims to answer the question: how have women organized as women to challenge unequal gender power relations and to promote progressive social change in different global locations? This course explores contemporary global feminist movements from historical, sociological, political and cultural perspectives. We will examine global feminist movements as a particular type of global social movement in theory and practice, and in particular we’ll examine how global feminist movements addressed issues of religion and cultural tradition, human rights, and the environment and sustainable development, in global regions including the Middle East, Latin America, and in Africa. We will also examine the role of the United Nations - its forums, special agencies, commissions, and conferences from the 1970s onward - in defining and fostering global feminist movements.This course can be taken as a 3-credit elective in the Women's and Gender Studies Certificate This course was previously LIB-640653.
Climate and the environment are no longer just natural or biological issues, they are also now political and social issues. We have passed the point in the world’s natural system where the cessation of human activity would return the world to a previous natural balanced ecology. We are now firmly in the Anthropocene. A period of geological time that is marked by humanity as the main influence on climate and ecology. Terrestrially there are no practically untouched places left in the world. Even Mount Everest is now facing critical issues around trash, waste, and even a serious sewage problem. Any solution to our climate troubles will not just be technical or come through personal action. The climate is now more than ever a political problem and an economic problem. The readings in this study are intended to provide a history and background to the growing crisis and enable students to view the future with a clearer handle on its causes in the past and present.
This study will explore narrative approaches to counseling, which view the self as a narrative shaped by society and therapy as a space in which to 're-story' the self. The 'facts' and events that compose a life do not change, but meanings and perspectives can and do. The narrative perspective frames human experience and even the innermost sense of self as an internalized story; thus, counseling may be viewed as a process of story revision. This study will encompass an overview of historical, philosophical, and ideological aspects of narrative and social constructionist perspectives, and a focus on counseling practices that use narrative techniques. Objectives of this study are to become knowledgeable about the perspective of narrative counseling, and to explore possible applications of this perspective in various contexts (personal, academic, professional). This study will be individualized to meet the student’s needs and interests. This course was previously LIB-640601.
Language and Culture is a course designed to help students become familiar with the theory and research related to issues such as the ways in which language behavior reflects diverse cultural patterns; the role of language in the processes through which children and adolescents become members of particular groups in society; and the relationship between class, race, gender. In some terms, this study is offered in collaboration with an international partner university group to enhance cross-cultural perspective. This course was previously LIB-640687.
This course will serve as an introduction to the field of medical humanities, investigating the history, culture, and politics of Western medicine. We will examine the role of medicine in Western art and literature, such as the heroic dissection paintings of Rembrandt and popular TV shows like “The Knick.” We will look at how humanities based approaches can enrich our understanding of how medicine has interacted with and influenced other social forces—for instance, class politics in the Rembrandt paintings, or immigration politics in the US, based on ideas of medical and social hygiene—as well medicine’s continuing influence on national and global politics, society, and culture. Above all, this course will develop an understanding of the broader social influences on medicine, and in turn analyze its power to shape society.
This study will look at the development of immigrant literature in 20th-century America. We will consider themes of assimilation and identity, difference and otherness, ethnic, racial, and gender identity and American national identity. We will consider various genres, including the novel, short story, and memoir, and representative works from different ethnic groups, including Jewish, Irish, Italian, Asian, African, Latino, and Dominican immigrants. Writers may include Anzia Yezierska, Saul Bellow, W.E.B. DuBois, Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Frank McCourt. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640663.
This study is intended to provide a background in the figures who have thought critically about the way the world has come to be structured. The study will begin with a general survey of economic philosophers and move on to study the individual works of specific thinkers over time. We will move through dissident economists and economic sociologists such as Marx, Veblen, Polanyi, Selma James, and come to the present with David Harvey, Naomi Klein, and Robert Brenner. All of these thinkers help us to see and question the economic order that is so often portrayed as natural and inevitable in our current social language but is in actuality a system created by specific historical forces and politics. This study is intended to help students interested in both history and current affairs find alternate models through which to view and approach political and economic issues.
Literary Theory will provide an overview of the major schools of thought used in contemporary literary criticism: Formalism, Structuralism, Psychoanalysis, Marxism, Post-Structuralism, Feminism, Queer Theory, and Critical Race Theory. Students will work together to review and apply each school to specific works of literature. They will then work on their own on the major course assignment, either a literature review or a research paper. This course can also serve as a methodology/theory elective for students in appropriate fields of Cultural Studies. This course was previously LIB-640606.
This course will consider the literature of New York City and the Hudson River Valley in its historical, cultural, and sociological context. We will look at themes of regionalism, nature, industrialism, social class, race, gender, immigration, and identity in relation to the historical and cultural context of New York and to theories of urban studies, gender studies, and multiculturalism. Possible writers include Washington Irving, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Edith Wharton, Henry James, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Anzia Yezierska, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Audre Lorde, Diane di Prima, Don DeLillo, and Jay McInerney. Students are encouraged to visit related sights such as Irving’s Sunnyside estate in Tarrytown, Sugar Hill in Harlem, the garment district of the lower East side of Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Museum of the City of New York, the Tenement Museum, or Ellis Island. This course was previously LIB-640584.
While the Supreme Court has made marriage equality the law of the land, workplace equality lags far behind. Queer couples might be able to marry in 50 states, but in 28 states, said couples can be legally fired from their workplace due to their sexual orientation. Fighting for federal employment protection looks to be an even harder road than the fight for marriage. This study looks at the lives and struggles of LGBTQ people in their workplaces and unions, with an emphasis on historical and contemporary issues.
This study looks at the growth of African-American literature from the slave narratives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe to the notion of 'double consciousness' of W.E.B Du Bois to the 'Harlem Renaissance' after Word War I with such figures as Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes to the development of African-American literature after World War II with the social protest fiction of Richard Wright and the aesthetic realism of Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin to the post-modern novel of Toni Morrison. We will consider themes of slavery, racial equality, gender identity, assimilation, otherness, class difference, silence and voice, and social protest. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640678.
In this study, we will consider the major works of American art, looking for common patterns and themes. Through examining paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and buildings, we will determine how artists of various time periods understood themselves as artists and as Americans. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640671.
In this course, students will examine the period that brought America the utopian vision of Disneyland and the anxiety of the 'duck and cover' campaign, the chaos of rock ’n roll and the conformity of Levittown. Exploring such paradoxes in the films, music and literature of the late 1940s-the early 1960s allows students to gain an understanding of how such events as the nuclear arms race, the black freedom movement and the development of a distinct youth culture shaped the lives of Cold War Americans and left a legacy still felt today. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640515.
This study will examine US history since the Civil War through an investigation of US arts and culture. Students will read books and essays that link US history to specific aspects of US art and culture, as a way to examine the construction of American society. This study will explore the critical developments of urbanization, technology, political reform, and the expanding role of the United States internationally. Special attention will be given to issues of US identity and aspects of race, gender, and ethnicity, as Americans have embraced or reacted against the currents of modernism and modern social transformation. In addition to reading a selection of books and critical essays, students will watch films, listen to music, and view art, which will be available during meetings, online, or at local libraries and video stores. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640590.
In this study, we will become acquainted with perspectives on material culture and with a theoretical and methodological repertoire. We will begin with common readings and media, followed by choices among such focus areas as museum studies, consumption theories and patters, the concept of cultural property, or a closer focus on a specialty topic, such as a particular type of material or artifact and its history, use, and interpretation. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640672.
This course will examine the rise of modernism in American history with particular attention to issues of art and culture. The student will explore the critical developments of urbanization, technology, political reform and the expanding role of the United States internationally. Special attention will be given to issues of American identity and aspects of race, gender and ethnicity, as Americans embraced or reacted against the currents of modernism and modern social transformation. By focusing on specific key issues in American history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and engaging a broad variety of primary and secondary sources, the student will gain an understanding of the complexities of U.S. culture and society, achieve a deeper appreciation of art and culture, and develop the skills of a practicing historian. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the American Studies advanced certificate.
This study will look at the emergence of women writers in late 19th and 20th century American literature and the conflicts confronting the figure of women in literature. How do women reconcile traditional social roles of wife and mother with their personal desires as women, as intellectuals, and as individuals? How do issues of race, ethnicity, class and sexuality affect women’s sense of identity and self-realization? We will explore themes of identity and difference, resistance and transformation, silence and voice, self-definition and social identity in works by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Sandra Cisneros, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Audre Lorde. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies and the Women and Gender Studies advanced certificates. This course was previously LIB-640583.
This course will explore narrative in human experience, in which the perspective of 'story' serves as a metaphor to examine human experience and behavior. It is an interdisciplinary perspective concerned with the process of meaning-making, a framework for conceptualizing identity and lived experience. The concept of self as a narrative construct is a holistic one: a self story is an interactive narrative, an intricate interweaving of individual and context (arising from the way people interpret the role they play in the stories they live and the way those stories either nourish or diminish them). A self narrative is only relevant in the context of the larger stories within which it lives and breathes; we are all born into stories that began long before we arrived, and we become self within their borders: stories of culture and religion, of family and workplace, of politics and ideology . Objectives of this study are to become knowledgeable about the perspective of narrative in human experience, and to explore possible applications of this perspective in various contexts (personal, academic, professional). The study may focus on human development and identity, aging, illness, or other aspects of human experience depending on the student’s needs and interests. This course was previously LIB-640600.
Telling stories (to self and others) is one of the ways that human beings organize their experience and sense of self. Narrative research is a qualitative approach where stories are the primary research methodology. In some cases, stories are collected and then analyzed to produce data; in other cases, data is collected and stories are produced (oral history, biography). Often, life stories are the primary focus, but narrative research has also been used in organizational studies and educational inquiry, as well as ethnographic studies. Objectives of this study are to become knowledgeable about the perspective and methodology of narrative research, and to explore applications of this perspective in various research contexts. This study will be individualized to meet the student’s needs and interests. This course was previously LIB-640602.
This course offers an examination of tribal sovereignty and environmental mores as seen through the divergent lens of Tribal and American cultures. Building on a post-colonial approach to Native American Studies, this course will address, define, and analyze the history of intergovernmental consultations, the complex interactions of non-Indian and Indian worldviews, and the various events and ongoing discussions shaping Indian Country today. As part of this course, students will examine Native American fiction, archaeological studies, ethnographies, documentary film, and other materials as a way to conceptualize American Indian and Native cultures. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies advanced certificate.
Oral history is the process of interviewing people to record their memories of events that occurred in the past and to analyze the meaning and value of those memories. In one sense, an oral history interview is a primary document much like newspapers, photographs, or diaries. As with all documents, the oral historian must take care to critique the interview and put it in context with other data and documents. In another sense, the oral history is very different in that the oral historian and the interviewee are creating an historical document that did not exist before. This course is required for the Public History advanced certificate program. This course was previously LIB-640625.
For most people, it comes as a considerable surprise that writing and texts, the stuff and matter of the modern educational enterprise comprise relatively recent inventions in the overall span of the our species history, the last week of December were we to put them on an annual calendar as John Miles Foley suggests. The rise of studies outside the mainstream of Euro-centric male dominance in the last half century of historical studies has occurred in no small part due to the understanding that oral traditions have been held the history for by far the largest numbers of people of our globe: African, Native American, Pacific peoples, African American, Hispanic, women, and so on, while studies in narrative traditions, lately in writing, have shown a strong oral foundation, even for classics like the Homeric epics and the Bible. Exploring oral history and traditional narrative along with the performance – for orality presumes performance – will provide the substance of this course. This course was previously LIB-640542.
This course investigates key figures and movements in twentieth-century performance, aesthetics, and culture. The course develops chronologically beginning in the late nineteenth-century, addressing alternative strategies to realism including Symbolism, Expressionism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Constructivism. Our exploration of modernist and postmodernist performance through the twentieth-century includes topics such as the evolution of avant-garde theater, Happenings, Fluxus, body art, and performance art. Throughout, we will consider contested definitions and theories of performance. This course was previously LIB-640512.
This course will examine current issues of gender and sexuality in the humanities (literature, philosophy, history, etc.) through the lens of science fiction and fantastic literature (SFF). By focusing on specific key issues and texts in feminist SFF literature, and using additional readings from history and philosophy to put the main texts in an appropriate context, the student will gain an understanding of the complexities of gender and sexuality in U.S. culture and society, achieve a deeper appreciation of the issues of representation in literature, and develop the skills of analysis and interpretation. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the Women’s and Gender Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640554.
What is happiness, who is happy, and can we become happier? Along with analyzing the readings, we will examine the assumptions behind measures of well-being and values, learn about theories and research on happiness, about money and materialism in relation to happiness, and how the themes of the study apply to our lives. Students will choose an individualized topic to explore in a final research paper. This course was previously LIB-640608.
This course asks students to learn about preservation policies and laws. Questions of intellectual and cultural property, as understood within the United States and throughout the world, will be considered through study of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (including Section 106), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the US National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Register of Historic Places, the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), and the National Park Service. Students will also learn about the history of the preservation movement and the process of nominating properties for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. This is a required course of the Heritage Preservation advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640674.
This course allows students to become acquainted with perspectives on heritage preservation and a theoretical and methodological repertoire to realize new learning through investigation of particular subjects and issues. The study focuses on the intersections between heritage preservation and material culture (including art and architecture). Questions related to museum studies, consumption theories and patterns, the concept of cultural property, or a closer focus on a specialty topic, such as a particular type of material or artifact and its history, use, and interpretation will be considered. This is a required course of the Heritage Preservation advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640673.
To engage in this individualized graduate study, the learner should enter having identified a social, cultural, or community topic, issue, or stakeholder constituency’s point of view that she will explore through an embodied performance genre. Learners may enter with the intention of furthering their development and background in the literature from the perspective of organizers, writers/designers, or leaders/performers, whether in the performance disciplines of theater, dance, parades, demonstrations, live installations, or other genres. Each learner will first complete a combination of directed and self-directed reading selections and participate in discussions or written short commentaries on theory, concepts, and previous work in this area, building two short essays and then developing a final study project. The project could be a proposal and method design, a realization, or a reflective or comparative commentary as a spectator, participant, or witness. The nature of a second essay and final project depends upon the particular interests, choices, and the competencies that the learner brings to the study. The course cannot be taken as a studio practicum only; critical writing is a required part of the learning activities.
Our consumer lifestyle is part of our sense of self, our social identity, and our satisfaction with life. In this study, we will examine the meanings of money and possessions, the process of shopping and spending, different populations of consumers, advertising, the relevance of consumption for self-definition, and the role of consuming in the search for well-being and happiness. This course was previously LIB-640607.
The student will read and respond to works that engage particularly the roles of sexuality and gender in the building of US national identity and state production. The student will respond to a number of historical texts and examine queer historical issues and controversies. The student will be expected to apply these historical lessons to a current sociopolitical issue such as marriage, health, adoption, or bathroom access. By focusing on the specific key issues of sexuality and gender in the rise of the modern US state since the Civil War and engaging a broad variety of primary and secondary sources, the student will achieve an understanding of the complexities of US culture and society and develop the skills of a practicing historian. Additionally, by applying history and queer theory to issues in the present, the student will gain an appreciation for the roles of sexuality and gender in current politics and policy. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the Women’s and Gender Studies advanced certificates. This course was previously LIB-640686.
This guided study group will focus on the collection, preservation and presentation of queer life stories. This course will cover a number of issues in oral history and museum studies including oral history theory and methods (including ethics and regulations), museum display strategies with regard to design and installation, as well as issues of audience, and community development, Students will be involved in museum events and work toward a public presentation of their final projects. This course was previously LIB-640683.
The intent of this course is to investigate the complex ways in which gender, race and national identity are articulated in U.S. culture and society and to examine how that has historically shaped the social movements that challenged the prevailing order. By focusing on the interaction of race and gender in American history since the CivilWar and engaging a broad variety of primary and secondary sources,the student will achieve an understanding of the complexities of U.S. culture and social change and develop the skills of a practicing historian. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the American Studies advanced certificate. This course was previously LIB-640591.
This study is a historical and cultural examination of race and how it came to be codified and organized through cultural representation in U.S. culture, politics, and society. We will start in the 19th century with issues of cultural representation of African Americans through minstrelsy. We will move on to investigate representations of Asian Americans and Native Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will end with the movement of immigrant groups toward mainstream white identity. This study will look at history, and approach literature and art as cultural artifacts and historical evidence in the model of scholars in the field of American Studies. This study is one of the possible electives in the American Studies advanced certificate program and provides useful content for students interested in the cultural or social history of the U.S.
What does a wooden bowl say about a particular society? How can a photograph be read? In this course, students will examine the manner in which objects and images are used as cultural creations and primary source materials. The theoretical and methodological underpinnings of Material and Visual Culture Studies will be considered, as will the traditions of Culture Studies more generally. Among the texts to be considered are those by John Berger, Arjun Appadurai, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Eugene Rochberg-Halton, Marianne Hirsch, Kristin Hass, Mike Wallace, and Jules Prown. Students will be expected to submit a paper reviewing the research and scholarship of the field midway through the term and a final paper analyzing a particular object or image.
Many discerning citizens are becoming increasingly aware that essential work toward ecological sustainability and social justice should be grounded in an understanding of how cultural beliefs and practices frame the world in which we live. They also recognize that cultural institutions, such as formal education, represent a critically important place where cultural beliefs and practices are transmitted to new generations of citizens. This course examines the underlying assumptions that drive curricula of modern educational systems and explores both the process (how we learn) and content (what we learn) of education. How do we teach and learn culturally and ecologically? What constitutes ecological and cultural ways of knowing? How can ecological principles inform curriculum content as well as the process of teaching and learning? How can we move beyond just having ecological ideas to nurturing ecological identities and ecological selves? How do we become, as Arne Naess urges us to do, a member in the council of all beings? This course will draw on domestic and international examples of exemplary models of ecologically sound and social justice oriented educational philosophies and practices, This course was previously LIB-640539.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of the relationship between democracy and education. What tensions arise between different conceptions of the human condition, the social contract, and the role of education in developing particular behaviors, knowledge and skill sets among citizens in a democracy? What is the role of education in a democracy, and how is this different from other societies? What can schools do- and teach -to support democratic life, especially in our own, diverse society? Students will consider major themes in democracy and education through their readings, to include: John Dewey's Democracy in Education, Amy Gutmann's Democratic Education, S.J. Goodland's edited volume The Last Best Hope: A Democracy Reader, and Walter Parker's Teaching Democracy: Unity and Diversity in Public Life. This course was previously LIB-640516.
This study is a historical and cultural examination of queer sexualities in U.S. history and society. We will start in the late 19th century, when new patterns of industrial and urban life enabled new forms of community and sexual subcultures in the U.S., and continue through the 20th century and the rise of new organizations and sexual rights movements. This study will look at history, and approach literature and art as cultural artifacts and historical evidence in the model of scholars in the field of American Studies. This study is one of the possible electives in both the American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies certificates, and provides useful content for students interested in art, culture or the history of the U.S. in the 20th century. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement in the American Studies or the Women’s and Gender Studies advanced certificates. This course was previously LIB-640680.
This course will include current readings on how media impacts our lives, our cultural perceptions and sense of identity. Some attention is given to the psychology of celebrity and fandom as a basis for common reading and discussion. Students research, write and present on a topic of their choice, using theoretical frameworks from a discipline such as communications, psychology or sociology - as introduced in common readings. This course was previously LIB-640658.
This study will focus on intersectional identities and the changing nature [as well as the ongoing themes] in regard to bias and prejudice in the 21st century in global refugee policy [as determined at UN] and US refugee policy [as determined by Congress and US immigration law]. Various historic cases will be examined, to provide historical context and perspective on current global refugee cases, and contemporary humanitarian initiatives and public policy debates. This course examines themes such as gendered and racialized features of humanitarian relief; educational provision in resettlement host countries; special needs to support health and wellness of displaced populations. This course was previously LIB-640681.
This course explores our embodied experience and the ways that culture mediates the way we think about, represent, experience and use the human body. Our bodies and how we experience them are shaped by cultural norms, but the body is also a vehicle for self-expression, which implies innovative use of the body to create individual meaning. Students will develop conceptual tools to analyze the shifting relationships between individual agency and cultural construction, and the multiple meanings of bodies in culture. This course was previously LIB-640657.
This course allows you to become acquainted with perspectives on material culture and a theoretical and methodological repertoire to realize new learning through investigation of particular subjects and issues related to your program. We begin with common readings and media, followed by choices among such focus areas as museum studies, consumption theories and patterns, the concept of cultural property, or a closer focus on a specialty topic, such as a particular type of material or artifact and its history, use, and interpretation. Two substantial reading and writing projects (perhaps also with some observing or making) comprise the scholarly activities, requiring at least one revision each, and at least two informal discussions take place, whether by e-mail with the course instructor or on the supporting Web site with class members. This course was previously LIB-640543.
In this course we will examine the human endeavor of art and the human experience of creativity through a psychological lens. We will study the psychological explanations for the processes and urge of creative artistic expression. The course is designed to begin with a common experience of learning from readings and discussion/written assignment, followed by extended individual inquiry. Students can choose their own path of inquiry or participate in an inquiry directed by the instructor. These individual paths may be structured as further exploration of a type of artistic endeavor or a particular inquiry – a question to be answered by this course. This course was previously LIB-640540.
This course will introduce students to the history of archives and the basic theories and practices of administering archives and manuscript collections (appraisal, acquisition, arrangement and description, reference, and preservation). As well, the course will address the public dimension of archives and their use in research, outreach programs, and historic editing and publishing. Finally, the course will cover ethical and legal issues and the ways new information technologies affect archival administration and use. This course is required for the Advanced Certificate in Public History. This course was previously LIB-640634.
What is women’s humor? Why has humor by women been largely resisted or overlooked? This course will examine women’s use of humor as a form of social protest. In particular we will look at the movement away from domestic humor of 19th century writers like Fanny Fern and Francis Miriam Whitcher toward the use of satire by such 20th century women of wit as Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Alice Childress, Betty MacDonald, Jean Kerr, and Erma Bombeck. Students will gain knowledge of theories of humor and satire as well as an understanding of the changing role of women in America from the 1850s to the 1960s. This course satisfies one 3-credit elective requirement of the American Studies and the Women and Gender Studies advanced certificates. This course was previously LIB-640576.
This course will assist students in designing a research strategy appropriate for a variety of social science questions. The student will examine issues of social inquiry, operationalization of social theory, as well as procedures for gathering and organizing data including surveys, interviewing, focus groups and participant observation. The student will then examine procedures to analyze their data such as hypothesis testing, analysis of data, techniques for generalizing from samples to populations, and finally pursue strategies for reporting their results. This course was previously LIB-640641.
Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies is an umbrella enrollment for matriculated MALS students. Students will arrange this study with an individual mentor and plan the readings, assignments, and evaluation procedures with that faculty member. It reflects an individualized, co-designed study that fits within each student’s degree program plan, and is typically conducted as a tutorial. Regardless of chosen subject area, it is key that the student pursue the topic in a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary method which is at the heart of the program. Students will be evaluated through their writing, participation online (if applicable) and discussion with the mentor. This course was previously LIB-640689.
Topics in Liberal Studies is an umbrella enrollment for matriculated MALS students. Students will arrange this study with an individual mentor and plan the readings, assignments, and evaluation procedures with that faculty member. It reflects an individualized, co-designed study that fits within each student’s degree program plan, and is typically conducted as a tutorial. Regardless of chosen subject area, it is key that the student pursue the topic in a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary method which is at the heart of the program. Students will be evaluated through their writing, participation online (if applicable) and discussion with the mentor. This course was previously LIB-640688.
The content of this course will vary by term and section. Students may repeat this course for credit as long as the topic differs. Please refer to the Term Guide for course topic offerings.
The content of this course will vary by term and section. Students may repeat this course for credit as long as the topic differs. Please refer to the Term Guide for course topic offerings.
Students have the opportunity to develop individualized studies with their mentor/advisor in Liberal Studies (LACS). Please contact your mentor/advisor for more details.
The Public History Internship is the final course in both the Advanced Certificates in Public History and Heritage Preservation. Upon completing the other courses within those certificates, students find a public history and/or heritage preservation site at which they may put their theoretical and methodological knowledge to work. The internship site must be approved by the Coordinator of the certificates and by the college’s Career Services Office. All students registering for an internship or field/clinical experience must complete form PFC-001 and submit it to the Office of Career Services (https://www.esc.edu/student-affairs/career-services/internships/) before activities begin.
This study is available for matriculated MALS students only. In this study, students articulate a research method and/or critical perspective to be used in their final project. The course is individualized to ensure competence in the methodological or analytic approach involved. An accepted final project proposal is one of the outcomes of this project. Prerequisites (must complete before registering): LACS-6010, LACS-6015 This course was previously LIB-640510.
This is the capstone course in the MA in Liberal Studies program. Please contact your academic advisor to discuss your project. Once you have an approved Final Project Proposal, you will be eligible to register. The academic advisor will initiate the registration process for this capstone course. Pre-Requisite: All required core courses and LACS-7010 This course was previously LIB-640595.
As the concluding study in the 30-credit Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program, the student will prepare a Capstone project based on their approved prospectus developed in LACS 6010 Perspectives in Interdisciplinary Study, which is on file at the School for Graduate Studies Office. The student will work with his/her instructor in the Final Capstone study to complete the proposed project and write a 7-10 page essay in which they synthesize/integrate their learning by explaining the interdisciplinary intersections of their choice of electives and capstone project.
Students have the opportunity to develop individualized studies with their mentor/advisor in Liberal Studies (LACS). Please contact your mentor/advisor for more details.