This course will ask the following simple questions with their not-so-simple answers: What is the larger context into which the ideas of “death” and “the soul” fit? What did the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, among the myriad pagan, polytheistic traditions of antiquity, believe about death, the soul, and an afterlife? How did those beliefs change and not change with the advent of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam? How are the beliefs on this subject the same for these three “Abrahamic” traditions and how do they differ from each other? How has such thinking changed and how has it not, in arriving into the “modern“ era?
Note: This course is open to MALS and DLS students.
This course introduces the student to the history, rationale, and focus of graduate Liberal Studies as a doctoral field. It provides a framework for the entering doctoral student in terms of establishing the foundations and interdisciplinary focus of graduate work in the field. There are three stages to the course. (1) It begins with a broad overview of the pre-modern Western tradition, with guest lectures and readings from the classical to the early modern eras, designed to provide historical context for the emergence of modernity in the Western tradition. (2) In the second part, the emphasis shifts to methodology and research as a way of preparing the entering doctoral student for graduate Liberal Studies at Georgetown University. Readings and additional guest lectures help the student develop a fuller sense of how particular disciplines function within the context of interdisciplinary analysis. (3) The final section of the course involves an in-class workshop on research methods and then a final set of round table student presentations on their research topics for the term paper. The research topic will be chosen, in consultation with the professor, so the student can explore some aspect of his/her stated area of interest for the D.L.S
Students in the DLS program are joining a centuries-long series of conversations and heated debates concerning the deceptively simple questions that lie at the heart of Liberal Studies, philosophical inquiry, and human values: How do we know? How do we make meaning out of the world and experience? How do we represent reality? How do we interpret reality? How do we form and rewrite traditions of knowledge, language, and power? What does it mean to live a good life? In the third DLS core course, students will continue to explore how these questions have been posed and answers have been attempted in the modern and postmodern critical contexts (19th through early 21st century), centuries that have seen striking changes from positivist, humanist outlooks upon the world shift to deconstruction and “posthuman” perspectives. We will explore these questions through a series of paired readings in fiction and critical theory, divided into interrelated thematic units of signs, gender theory, ecocriticism and critical race theory. Our readings will focus on works that question and rewrite master narratives, explore the nature of subjectivity, the limits of self and other, and history and fiction. At the end of the semester, students will be familiar with some of the major currents in critical theory.
This section of DLS Qualifying Exam Prep is intended for students who have enrolled in the program primarily on a part-time basis (3-6 credits per semester) and who intend to complete their DLS Qualifying Exam at a similar pace. This section counts as Half-Time Status.
DLS students only.
36 hrs completed.
Student provides exam checklist to Asst. Dean by Sept. 15th.
Course certifies half-time status
Repeatable course Fall and Spring terms with DLS Director approval
Note: DLS students only. 36 hrs completed. Student provides exam checklist to Liberal Studies Dean's office by Sept. 30th. Course certifies half time status. Repeatable course Fall and Spring terms with DLS Director's approval
After successful completion of the Qualifying Examination, the DLS student reviews carefully the The Graduate Liberal Studies Guidelines for Thesis Writers,
liberalstudies.georgetown.edu/DLS students/resources/thesis, downloads the DLS Thesis Proposal Form and registers for DLS Thesis Proposal Preparation/Thesis Writing in either the fall or spring term following the successful completion of the DLS Qualifying Examinations. During or prior to that semester the student, with the assistance of the DLS Director as needed, determines the tentative thesis topic and the three faculty members representing research areas appropriate to the topic. These faculty constitute the student’s Doctoral Thesis Committee, a Chair and two Readers. In general the Thesis Proposal includes an explanation and an outline of the topic of study, a preliminary bibliography, a suggested table of contents, and any special methodologies.
Upon determining the topic and Thesis Committee and by mid-semester, the student must set a date for the “oral defense” of the completed Thesis Proposal by an examining board whose members are the student’s Thesis Committee and the members of the DLS Executive committee.
Upon final approval of the Thesis Proposal the student proceeds with the research and writing of the Doctoral Thesis. Students registered for DLS Thesis Proposal Prep./Thesis Writing are encouraged during that semester to participate in the two session (Saturday and one evening) DLS Thesis Proposal Workshop which is offered once each Fall and Spring semester
Note: DLS Students only. Prerequisite: satisfactory completion of qualifying exam. Course certifies 1/2 time status. Repeatable course Fall and Spring terms with DLS Director's approval. Successful defense of proposal required prior to completion of term.
The Doctor of Liberal Studies thesis is expected to demonstrate a level of competence and academic rigor in the field of interdisciplinary studies comparable to, though distinct from, the equivalent level of competence and rigor expected in a Ph.D. thesis in a disciplinary field.
Topics are limited to the liberal arts and social sciences and must be approved by the DLS Director. The Doctoral Thesis represents the creative synthesis of primary sources and secondary materials. Students must follow the Graduate Liberal Studies Guidelines for Thesis Writers provided each student upon successful completion of the Qualifying Examination for steps and procedures in the preparation and defense of the Thesis Proposal as well as the submission, defense, and approval of the DLS thesis. The Guidelines are also online, liberalstudies.georgetown.edu/DLS students/resources/thesis. Additionally, the student must follow the “rules” of manuscript preparation according to the methods provided in A Manual for Writers, 8th edition, Kate Turabian, in particular, the choice of one of the two suggested styles for citations.
Note: DLS Students only. Prerequisite:DLS thesis proposal and satisfactory defense of proposal. Course certifies 1/2 time status. Repeatable course Fall and Spring terms with DLS Director's approval. Pending graduate thesis defense must occur before Dec.1
This course uses literature and film as case studies to explore the challenges and
complexities of making ethical and moral decisions in our working and
professional lives. The use of literature and film allows students to examine the
nature of moral dilemmas and moral decision-making in real-life situations that are
most often ambiguous, involve trade-offs and sacrifices, and that are influenced by
a multitude of internal and external factors. The class will be open and interactive,
including discussion, debate, student presentations, and student sharing of their
own personal work experiences that they feel relate to the materials and issues
The particular literary works and films used in this course have been chosen so that
they have clear application to the kinds of moral conflicts that arise in work
settings such as personal values vs. institutional or enterprise values, loyalty vs.
misplaced loyalty, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, the morality of
money, the morality of “selling,” women’s roles and sexual harassment, pressure
to conform, and moral courage.
Note: This course is open to MALS and DLS students and is cross-listed with MPMC 520-01 (MPS in Integrated Marketing and Communications). This course is held at the Downtown Campus (640 Mass Ave NW).
This course is a seminar exploration of the modern history of human rights, humanitarianism, and war crimes, conducted through the examination of several cases of mass violence, some of which have come to be labeled “genocide.” The class will first consider genocide in world history, then the rise of “human rights” and humanitarian activism since the 19th century founding of the Red Cross. The class will then interrogate the evolution of the terms “war crimes” and “genocide,” their technical meaning in international case law, and reported abuse of the term “genocide” to further state and group interests. Following such theoretical orientation, students present the literature covering several outbreaks of systemic violence. During this course we explore how engaged activists, diplomats, and historians think about, analyze, and interpret such violence; discuss the nature of our historical knowledge; and evaluate different theories that ground our views of such violence.
Note: This course is open to MALS and DLS students.
Note: Continuous Registration must be taken by MALS candidates who have an Incomplete in Thesis Writing. No scheduled classes. Final Thesis approval due date is Nov. 1, 2017. Course certifies 1/2 time status.
The history of science and its ongoing discoveries are surveyed, to track methods of empirical inquiry and examine major impacts of scientific theories on the understanding of humans, our capabilities, and our interactions with each other and the world. Scientific and humanistic perspectives upon being human, and on trying to be more human, are often deeply divergent. Yet the methods of scientific inquiry are as cognitively and creatively human as any endeavor we undertake, for better comprehending our humanity and our place in the world. Through the standpoint of science, and innovations in technosciences, it is
possible to reimagine and reinterpret how we experience life and engage with the social world. Scientific advances powerfully interact with the cultural context of moral norms, social institutions, political forces, and legal regulations, which in turn shape the utilization of emerging technosciences. This course examines these engagements from the 1940s to the present day and into the perceivable near-future. The course emphasizes the public understanding of science and technology, ethical viewpoints on important technosciences, and broader social impacts due to technoscience on global scales.
Note: For MALS students only. This is the first MALS required foundational course.
Note: Graduate Liberal Studies only. This is a required course for the 30 credit/thesis track MALS degree. Full time status with one course, Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Students must attend all four sessions and have mentor and topic selected before the first session. Repeatable course with Liberal Studies Dean's office approval
Course #: LSHV-983-01
Dates: Aug 26 – Dec 18, 2020
MALS Thesis Prop. Wksp. (HT)
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: Graduate Liberal Studies only. This is a required course for the 30 credit/thesis track MALS degree that meets a total of four times. Meeting dates TBD.
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 is the first required course in the MALS thesis process for students who matriculated during or after fall 2019. Students must successfully complete this course before advancing to the final required course, MALS Thesis Writing (LSHV 801).
Note: Pre-req 27 earned credits and satisfactory in MALS Thesis Proposal. Thesis Writing not repeatable. Mentor and Dean thesis approval due Nov. 1, 2017. Course certifies 1/2 time status. No scheduled classes.
This course is grounded in the belief that without knowledge of the past one cannot understand the present. The course is based on a diversity of sources, including fiction, travelogues and variety of professional fields including history, political science, and journalism. Students will examine different and often opposing points of views on Russia’s past, present, and conceivably future. To complement class readings, the class also will view three films.
A key goal of this course is to promote a better understanding of the role of Russia in today’s world by looking at the historical and present-day images of it in order to understand they have affected Russia’s relations with the West. An additional goal of the course is to help students think critically about modern political events in part through drawing on historical precedent. Historical analysis is at its core an examination of cause and effect and change over time. As the historian Robert B. Marks noted in book The Origins of the Modern World, “…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.”
Note: This course is open to MALS and DLS students.
This course looks at the geographical, cultural, and political notion of a "Global South" through the lens of literature and film. The term "Global South" is a geographical reference to regions that have large inequalities in living standards, life expectancy, and access to resources. However, should the Global South just be reduced to a metaphor for underdevelopment? What are some of the ways in which the Global South is represented in literature and film? In particular, I would focus on the following regions: the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, and Oceania. Some of the authors I would consider are: Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Arvind Adiga, Witi Ihimaera, J. M. Coetzee, among others.
What do the films Black Panther (2018), Akira (1988) and Metropolis (1927) have in common? How is dark world of The Handmaid’s Tale related to Pixar’s comedy Wall-E? This interdisciplinary course will seek to understand and analyze human visions of our planet’s future. Philosophers, priests and artists have long speculated about the nature of the “perfect society,” how to achieve it and where to find it. We will move between history, literature, political theory, cinema and urban studies to explore contesting visions of Utopia. Although ancient authors long discussed the idea, an Englishman Sir Thomas More gave a name to the ideal society that has now become part of our common language: utopia. In the 503 years since More’s book Utopia appeared, changes in human history, including enormous advances in science and technology, the spread of liberal democracy, the challenges of climate change and globalization, have radically altered the deployment of the word. How can we understand this concept in the 21st century? How has it been articulated in non-Western worlds? And do we still need Utopia? Particular attention will be paid to feminist works as well as Russian and Japanese traditions.