In the last two hundred years, Europeans and Americans have frequently used the notion of alienation in conceiving of themselves. In fact, we might characterize these two centuries as a time in which, paradoxically enough, humans’ identity has been integrally linked with being, in some sense, ‘strange.’ The course will attempt to make sense of the many links and tensions between alienation and self-identity -- or strangeness and the self -- by examining strong voices in the development of the contemporary identity. While we will discuss all of the works in class, primary responsibility for composing a theory of the complex relationship between alienation and identity will rest upon the participants in the course. All written assignments will offer opportunities to articulate and develop those theories, as will class discussion and class presentations. The course will culminate in an examination of the artist Lucas Samaras for his modeling of the strange self.
The protection of public health meets many policy and ethical challenges while prioritizing community welfare. Disasters, epidemics, wars, and other health emergencies place special burdens on health care systems and medical professionals. Biomedical principles help to ensure that patient safety, human rights, and citizen involvement are respected during phases of public preparedness, communication, mobilization, treatment, and recovery. Particular attention is given to clinical ethics, triage ethics, pandemic ethics and vulnerable populations, vaccine and drug trials, research ethics and patient rights, justice in health care distribution, health surveillance, and big data. Many questions at the intersections of public health, medicine, and ethics will be explored: How have technoscience advances in the health sciences exemplified principled values at every stage – from experimental research to translational application? Why must the public carefully consider moral principles that motivate diverse and sometimes opposed convictions about public health programs? Where does the public’s ability to understand health science, and the public’s moral judgments about medicine, play a critical role in the development and deployment of new healthcare technologies? How might government measures to paternalistically protect and improve public health come into conflict with other important values such as liberty, autonomy, and justice? Where can balances be found between maximizing health benefits for a whole population and serving the particular needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and individuals?
In this course, we start from theological reasoning on basic human experience (suffering, pleasure, friendship, anger, etc.) with a focus on the perspective that such reasoning offers for critical issues in society (drug addiction, extreme social inequality, climate change, prison crisis, etc.). How does thinking theologically align with and even enhance other kinds of thinking about the establishment of civil society and the advancement of human prosperity? We first consider what we mean by theology. Is it even religious, strictly speaking? Then, in our pursuit of insight into the workings of the good society, we consider a range of readings, some overtly religious, others ostensibly scientific (in the broad sense of credible knowledge), all of which are meant to help us think more expansively and more creatively about problem-solving today.
Note: DLS Seminar 2, must take in sequence. DLS students only.
Understanding the philosophical basis and ethical responsibilities of research are critical to developing an appreciation for the tenor, methods and conduct of scholarly investigation. What is a hypothesis? What is a thesis? What is a theory, and how do we know that theories are valid? What evidence can we bring to bear to support or refute them? What are possible alternate explanations for the phenomena we observe? And fundamentally how is research engaged in ways that are technically right and morally “good”?
This course will introduce students to the basic philosophy of research as a scientific endeavor, and will ground the methods and conduct of such enterprise to an understanding of its apt effort as a human “good”. Concepts of inquiry, investigation and formal analyses will be discussed. Constructs of validity, reliability and value will be addressed. Obligate elements of responsible conduct of research will be detailed, and key ethico-legal issues and problems – and their avoidance and resolution will be provided.
Note: DLS Seminar 4, must take in sequence. Attendance at first class strongly advised.
“The past is the present. It’s the future, too.”
Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night
“The exchange and spread of…information, items, and inconveniences, and human responses to them, is what shapes history. What drives history is the human ambition to alter one’s condition to match one’s hopes.”
McNeill & McNeill, The Human Web
“The history of interactions among disparate peoples is what shaped the modern world.”
Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel
“…a long-term historical perspective does enable us to draw some meaningful conclusions about the past and present and to make educated forecasts for the future.”
Robert B. Marks, The Origins of the Modern World
This course is a selective introduction to some of the key issues and main themes of global history. History is a way of learning, and one goal of this course is to promote a better understanding of globalization and its impact on inter-societal relations by taking a broad historical approach.
“Norms and Ethics,” as an MALS foundational course, is intended to “examine basic methods and issues around moral and ethical concerns and enduring challenges of the human pursuit of the good life across cultures” (as defined on the “Curriculum” webpage). The course aims to equip students with intellectual and critical skills utilized across the curriculum. This course examines ethics, human inquiry that investigates the nature of the moral life, norms of right and wrong individual behavior and institutional structures, and the nature of human goods. Most fundamentally, ethics is a way of life—disciplined inquiry into some of the most basic modes of thought and action. Ethics is not mere puritanical counting up “dos” and “don’ts” but about how we shape our actions and behaviors in light of our most basic values, hopes, and goods. We will focus on these issues through a historical and theoretical examination of the major developments in ethics in the Western tradition and by thinking about norms and ethics framed by various concepts (e.g. justice) and areas of application (e.g. political institutions). We will consider comparative analysis, both its possibilities and limits. Religious and philosophical sources will be explored. Coupled with our historical examination of the core ethical traditions, we will explore their application in contemporary situations—personal relationships and individual lives, the workplace, professional settings, healthcare and bio-ethics, the environment, the military, politics, and business.
Note: MALS student only. Required for MALS students.
This is one of four required foundational courses (humanities, social sciences, science & society, and norms & ethics) offered by the LSP to facilitate graduate-level interdisciplinary study and research throughout the MALS curriculum. They aim to improve your analytical, research, and writing skills so you can realize the full potential of your learning experience throughout the program. They provide a solid intellectual foundation for your elective courses; enhance your ability to conduct research on important issues treated in your other courses; and prepare you for success in your capstone thesis project.
This Social Sciences course will first, through assigned and self-selected readings and projects, provide a solid understanding of, and practical experience in, interdisciplinary studies and research methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative. It will examine the relationships between and among the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, with regard to both their subject matter and underlying theories. Focusing directly on anthropology, history, economics, psychology, sociology, and political science/international relations, it will explore their distinctive concepts and theories, and how their scholarly practitioners advance interdisciplinary theory and research. Finally, throughout the course we will reflect on how the humanities/social sciences/natural sciences implicate and engage issues of values, norms and ethics.
Note: For MALS students only. This is the third MALS required foundational course.
Effective Fall 2013, (a) this course will carry an automatic program fee of $500, (b) may only be taken once after receiving an "Incomplete" in Thesis Writing, and (c) has been re-numbered from 991/992.
If students do not complete Thesis Writing, s/he must register in the next semester in "MALS Thesis Continuous Registration I" which carries a $500 fee charge, is 0-credits and is part-time status. Students may take "MALS Thesis Continuous Reg. I" only once.
If the student decides to withdraw from Thesis Writing before the deadline, s/he can pursue the 36-cr./Coursework degree plan.
No exceptions will be considered.
Note: This section of MALS Thesis Proposal Workshop is for MALS students who matriculated before fall 2019.
During the MALS Thesis Proposal course, students work directly with the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies faculty director to produce an annotated bibliography (including the state of the question and the 20 most important works on the topic) and thesis statement, which prepare students for thesis writing in the subsequent semester. Students are expected to attend all class sessions, meetings with the University librarians for research consultations and any additional meetings determined by the faculty director.
Note: This course is required for all MALS students and counts for half-time status. MALS students must complete this course before registering for MALS Thesis Writing.
The MALS Thesis Writing course must be taken upon completion of the MALS Thesis Proposal course (LSHV 800) in the subsequent fall or spring semester and is the final curricular requirement for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree. In the MALS Thesis Writing course, students will work directly with their appointed thesis mentor to produce a master’s thesis and participate in a thesis defense. Students are expected to work directly with their thesis mentor and library representatives to actively write and produce the thesis argument. At the commencement of the thesis writing semester, students will develop milestones in consultation with the thesis mentor to ensure consistent progress.
Note: This course is required for and is restricted to MALS students. Only students who completed MALS Thesis Proposal with a grade of "B" or better are eligible to register.
This course will examine the interaction between the politics, policy, and the press and US national security. LSHV-350 will provide students the opportunity to study recurrent themes in political debates around defense, foreign policy, and security in the United States; the role of public opinion and media in shaping decisions, policy formation and implementation(and as a tool of US security policy); and how new media affects the national security of the United States.
The first half of the course (weeks 1–6 approx.) will focus primarily on the political institutions and processes around national defense, foreign, and intelligence policy. The second half of the course (weeks 7-13 approx.) will examine evolution in media, its impact on both the political process and national security.
The class will review and discuss the tension and conflict between constitutional, civic, and ethical responsibilities in relation to political ideology and questions of journalistic integrity and professional obligations versus artistic license — all as they relate to US national security.
There is no question that we are witnessing a revival of political theology as an academic discipline; a theology that has, through the ages, adapted to exigencies like secularization, modernization, globalization, et al. As an academic discipline, political theology addresses questions such as, the relationship between theology and politics; the relationship between Church and State; the role of religion in public life; and, to what extend religious belief might/should shape our political discourse.
Religious extremism is a reaction to the perceived chaos and loneliness of modern life, and un-derstanding why people join and how people leave is crucial. This course will take a socio-psychological approach to understanding how cults in America originate, who is attracted to join-ing, and the legal issues cults generate.
We will explore such issues as:
-Are cults protected under ‘religious liberty’ laws?
-What defines a religion?
-Why are some cults prone to violence?
-Is ‘brainwashing’ an actual phenomenon?
-Are cults always ‘bad’?