Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
On-Campus Course Schedule for Spring 2024

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LSHV-6046-01

AI and Transhumanism

Transhumanism is the belief that technology can allow us to improve, enhance and overcome the limits of our biology. More specifically, transhumanists believe that by merging man and machine via biotechnology, molecular nanotechnologies and artificial super intelligence, one day science will yield humans that have increased cognitive abilities, are physically stronger, emotionally more stable and have indefinite life-spans. This path, they say, will eventually lead to "posthuman" intelligent (augmented) beings far superior to man - a near embodiment of god. This course is intended to give students an overview of a number of hot topics at the intersection of technical, scientific, ethical and religious debates in our society. Specifically, by the end of this course, students should be able to understand the major facts about the accelerated development of scientific concepts and technologies.

Note: This online course meets weekly via Zoom. MALS students: This course can count as the Science and Society foundational requirement. DLS students: This course counts as an elective.

  • Course #: LSHV-6046-01
  • CRN: 46360
  • Instructor: Cautis, D.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Thu 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

LSHV-8999-04

DLS Directed Reading

  • Course #: LSHV-8999-04
  • CRN: 47084
  • Instructor: Gray, M.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Fri 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM

LSHV-8999-01

DLS Directed Reading

  • Course #: LSHV-8999-01
  • CRN: 47081
  • Instructor: LeBeau, B.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Fri 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM

LSHV-8999-03

DLS Directed Reading

  • Course #: LSHV-8999-03
  • CRN: 47083
  • Instructor: Gray, M.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Fri 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

LSHV-8999-02

DLS Directed Reading

  • Course #: LSHV-8999-02
  • CRN: 47082
  • Instructor: Shook, J.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Fri 12:30 PM - 3:00 PM

LSHV-8001-01

DLS Foundational 2

This seminar examines cross-cultural thinking about the nature of knowledge. In Western philosophical terminology, this is a matter of epistemology, which determines the methods and criteria for attaining reliable knowing. In turn, epistemology is significantly determined by ontological assumptions or the determination of what actually exists when one gets beyond mere appearances to view the world correctly. A comparative examination reveals very different ways cultures have approached the nature of knowledge, revealing that there are different ways of defining it. We will explore these different ways of framing knowledge through Western and East Asian Daoist and Buddhist sources. The first half of the course lays out fundamental differences between them, particularly as applied to the realms of social theory, aesthetics, and theories of personhood. The second half of the course looks at how these comparative epistemological traditions play out in the contemporary debate about religion and science, and whether or not they are compatible. This examination triangulates between the voices of Christian theology, contemporary Western philosophy, and Buddhism. ,br> The examination of two different cultural approaches does not presume a neat division between them. Rather, comparison brings out innate tensions within Western tradition itself, which the perspective of a different cultural system helps to highlight. For that reason, comparative study enables greater understanding of one’s home tradition, in addition to expanding one’s knowledge base.

  • Course #: LSHV-8001-01
  • CRN: 44389
  • Instructor: Cho, F.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Wed 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

LSHV-8003-01

DLS Foundational 4

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.

  • Course #: LSHV-8003-01
  • CRN: 24909
  • Instructor: Shook, J.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Thu 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Syllabus: Download

LSHV-9997-101

DLS Qualifying Exam

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. Notes: 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

  • Course #: LSHV-9997-101
  • CRN: 26557
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024

LSHV-9998-101

DLS Thesis Proposal

After completing the DLS Qualifying Exams (LSHV 990), students are required to register for DLS Thesis Proposal (LSHV 995) before moving on to DLS Thesis Writing (LSHV 996) the following semester.

  • Course #: LSHV-9998-101
  • CRN: 20578
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024

LSHV-9999-101

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.

  • Course #: LSHV-9999-101
  • CRN: 20579
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024

LSHV-6044-01

History of Witch-Hunts in U.S.

As proposed in the nation’s Declaration of Independence, “government by the people” was built on the premise that the people could be trusted to govern in a free and open society. Underscoring that premise was the belief that such a nation had a special destiny that could only be defeated by internal corruption. The fear of such an “enemy within” arrived with the first settlers and has persisted in the nation’s history in “witch-hunts” once focused on those actually believed to be witches, but that have continued long after we – or at least most of us – have ceased to believe in witches. The ever popular, and often misunderstood, Salem witch trials, will serve as a case study, but the course will begin centuries earlier and continue down to the present time. In each case, common themes will be identified, and lessons drawn, as to causes and effects of witch-hunts that continue to threaten the premises on which the nation was founded.

  • Course #: LSHV-6044-01
  • CRN: 45818
  • Instructor: LeBeau, B.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Wed 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

LSHV-7992-101

MALS Continuous Reg. (HT)

Note: Must be taken by MALS candidates who have an "Incomplete" in Thesis Writing. No scheduled classes.

  • Course #: LSHV-7992-101
  • CRN: 33080
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024

LSHV-7990-101

MALS Thesis Proposal

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.

  • Course #: LSHV-7990-101
  • CRN: 40574
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024

LSHV-7991-101

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.

  • Course #: LSHV-7991-101
  • CRN: 40575
  • Instructor: McNelis, C.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024

LSHV-6002-01

Political Theology

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.

  • Course #: LSHV-6002-01
  • CRN: 45817
  • Instructor: Havrilak, G.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Mon 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Syllabus: Download

LSHV-6047-01

Theory, Culture & Society

In this course, we will examine significant theoretical texts which focus on subjects of nationalism, orientalism, colonialism, globalization, democracy, liberalism, identity, ideology, race, class, and gender. Spanning across historical moments as well as geographic spaces, we will look at how these topics have been shaped and reshaped in time and in different contexts. Using an interdisciplinary lens, we will begin by reading excerpts from seminal texts by Enlightenment and nineteenth-century thinkers such as Kant, Descartes, Voltaire, Locke, Adam Smith, Rousseau, Marx and Engels. We will then examine selected writings by Foucault, Said, Benedict Anderson, Fanon, and Césaire along with other major 20th- and 21st-century cultural theorists and writers, in particular from the Global South, who have fashioned the way we think about power, culture, politics, and society. We will also ask and answer the all-important question, “Why theory?” by applying what we read to a diverse and varied range of cultural and political (con)texts.

Note: MALS students: This course can count toward either the Social Sciences or Humanities foundational requirement. DLS students: This course counts as an elective.

  • Course #: LSHV-6047-01
  • CRN: 46401
  • Instructor: Goswami, S.
  • Dates: Jan 10 – May 11, 2024
  • Class Meetings:
    • Tue 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM