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, 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.
Note: DLS students only. This course is held via Zoom and requires attendance at all weekly Zoom class meetings. This course does not meet in person on campus.
Note: This course is a seminar exploration of forbidden texts, defined broadly, through in-depth examination of texts which were banned at some point, somewhere, in some fashion. The class will analyze each text’s social context, authorship, reasons for censorship or scandal, and historical legacy. Concurrently, we will examine how the scholarly literature has evaluated the works in question; fit them into a historical framework; and constructed various theories as to what constitutes a text worth forbidding. Following analysis of such cases, students should be able to construct a typology of factors which might render a work controversial, and test that typology against an outlined creation of their own.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The notion of responsibility is a core moral category and cuts across a wide range of practical moral problems. This course will investigate the nature of responsibility in ethics, with attention to its historical meaning in philosophy and theology and the major role it plays in a few key modern figures like Kant, particularly the idea of moral agency and imputation. Relatedly we will explore the role of responsibility in modern theological ethics (Schweiker, Jonas, etc.) and the connections to technology. Then we will explore responsibility in a few key moral areas, including: a) the notion of "professional responsibility" in the professions, b) the notion of "corporate responsibility," c) "responsibility to protect" in human rights and international affairs, d) responsibility for others in the idea of global solidarity, e) responsibility for the environment/climate, and f) responsibility toward integrity in craft and work. Attention will be paid to cross-cultural conceptualizations of responsibility.
Note: This course can be applied to MALS Foundational: Norms and Ethics (LSHV 401). Please email your advisor if you have any questions about your curricular requirements (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note: 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.