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.
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, “Reading through Time” students will continue to explore how these questions have been posed and answers have been attempted in pre-modern, modern, and postmodern critical contexts, in which positivist, humanist outlooks upon the world have radically shifted 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. Our readings will focus on works that question and rewrite master narratives, and explore the nature of subjectivity, the limits of self and others, 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 register for this course after completing all 36 credits of coursework. This course must be successfully completed before students can progress to DLS Thesis Proposal and DLS Thesis Writing.
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: This is the final step in the DLS thesis process. Students must register for this course in both fall and spring to remain active while writing the doctoral thesis.
Free Speech is very much about line-drawing. We are generally agreed that political speech, no matter how heated, is the hallmark of an open society, and highly protected under the First Amendment. We are also generally agreed (per Justice Holmes) that you can't cry fire in a crowded theater when there is no fire; and that child pornography is bereft of any constitutional protection. Those are easy. What about the gray areas, where unfettered speech is a threat to safety, to reputation, to national security, to morality? In pushing the free speech envelope, how far is too far? Where (if at all) should society -- and the Supreme Court -- draw the line? Justice Brandeis, a champion of free speech, noted that "freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth." Justice Jackson, also a proponent, nonetheless cautioned that speech free of reasonable fetter, if unchecked, can lead to anarchy and convert the Bill of Rights "into a suicide pact." Who is right? Or are they all right? When is speech so uncivil that domestic tranquility takes precedence? What is lost and what is gained as a society in resolving these tensions? This course grapples with these issues. Through historical analysis and case study of the leading Supreme Court speech cases from the Founding to the present, we will examine the interplay between speech and censorship, liberty and order; majoritarianism and libertarianism; and the legal, societal and ethical implications of the Supreme Court's First Amendment pronouncements in this volatile, contentious/perpetually vexing area.
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.
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).
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 all MALS students and can only be taken after all coursework is complete.
The natural sciences and social sciences have constructed theories of nature and conceptions of human nature. If our species is entirely natural then physics, ecology, evolutionary biology, and physiology may determine what human beings basically are, and which features define our humanity. Building from that anthropological definition, sociology and psychology try to explain human drives, behaviors, relationships, and cultures with theories yielding insights into our values, ethics, laws, and politics. Are we really so easily categorizable and predictable? We still think of ourselves in non-natural ways, such as beliefs about conscious choice, free will, moral responsibility, and spirituality. Today, genetic engineering, neurotechnology, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence are changing what it means to be human, and how to become more than human. At the same time, leaving human nature in the hands of technoscience could be impeding progress towards liberation, equality, and justice. Satisfies the science and society MALS course.
Note: This elective also counts toward the MALS FND: Science and Society (LSHV 7000) foundational requirement. Open to both 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 and poverty? To answer this question, we will explore the ways in which the Global South, especially its politics, is represented and described in literature and film from regions as diverse as the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia, and Oceania. We will examine whether literary and cinematic representations reinforce, transform, or disrupt notions of a developing Global South. In doing so, we will also consider and interrogate the idea of a “developed” Global North.