Master of Liberal Studies

Course Catalog

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

BHSC 6100 Independent - Directed Study

BHSC 6110 (1). THE ARTICULATE VOICE. This short course is designed to help the student understand and practice the vocal skills that contribute to an effective and pleasant speaking voice, focusing on the processes underlying speech production: projection, articulation, and resonance. The emphasis is not on what is said, but on how it is said. Students are graded on individual performances, development, class participation, and improvement. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: communication, media, and technology.

BHSC 6115 (1). SPECIAL TOPICS SEMINAR. This seminar focuses on a single topic in the behavioral sciences through directed reading, seminar discussion, and a final paper.

BHSC 6302 (3). THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Training in speech performance and speech evaluation skills so students become more effective public speakers and more discerning consumers of public communication. Covers historical speeches and theory and practical applications related to the formulation, presentation, and evaluation of public speeches. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: communication, media, and technology.

BHSC 6303 (3). MARRIAGE AND FAMILY. Marital and family relationships today are changing rapidly and dramatically. As a consequence, debates about family values permeate Western society’s economic, political, and religious arenas. The course equips students to enter these discussions and debates knowledgeably, with an eye toward influencing their quality and outcome. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: organizational dynamics.

BHSC 6304 (3). THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF NARRATIVES. Explores the concepts of identity within the organization/collective change process and the importance of conversations/narratives as mediums for change. A major theme is that while organizations can shape identity, individuals have the ability to exercise voice and redefine their collective and individual identities through transformative dialogue and personal reflection (e.g., changing the conversation). Using a powerful memoir as the foundation, students are introduced to interdisciplinary views from Western literature, culture, human development, organizational change, and psychology. Students learn how to apply key concepts to form personal opinions and to develop awareness, analytical abilities, and understanding of individual and collective life narratives in the context of change. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: organizational dynamics; communication, media, and technology.

BHSC 6308 (3). INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIZATIONAL DYNAMICS. An introductory exploration into the domain of organizational dynamics, which is based on the premises that “organization” is a human collective (two or more people, including families, communities, and businesses) and that “dynamics” are the human connections, actions, and changes that are occurring within and between collectives. Examines organizational dynamics as living systems of human interrelationships. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: organizational dynamics; humanities.

BHSC 6310 (3). UNDERSTANDING THE MIND AND BEHAVIOR. Through an in-depth study of depression, students gain insight into their perceptions of the environment and the world around them. Students also examine the development of the “authentic self” as a product of biological and environmental influences; the examination of “self” is informed by psychological and physiological perspectives, including psychoanalytical, biological, cognitive, behavioral, socialistic, and humanistic theories.

BHSC 6311 (3). EXPLORING HUMAN POTENTIAL. Broadens the student’s understanding of how basic assumptions and perceived limitations about learning and development are influenced by perceptions, experiences, collectives and organizations, and culture. Introduces cutting-edge perspectives and research from the fields of brain science, cognitive and social psychology, and cultural anthropology. Students apply the knowledge and experience from this course to their personal learning and development journey within the program, their organizations, and beyond. This course may apply to the following curricular field concentration: organizational dynamics.

BHSC 6319 (3). PROFESSIONAL ETHICS AND ORGANIZATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Students study ethical issues connected with organizational management to develop their capacity to recognize and reason through ethical dilemmas. Cases and readings integrate ethical reflection and decision-making. Materials are selected based on topical relevance to contemporary managers, curricular relevance to liberal studies, and conceptual relevance to applied ethics. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: organizational dynamics.

BHSC 6320 (3). ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP. Describing and analyzing a wide variety of different theoretical approaches to leadership, this course gives special attention to how each theory can be, or has been, employed in real-world situations. Special application will be made through the readings of contemporary leadership books, classic cases, and great films.

BHSC 6322 (3). ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY OF MIND, BODY, AND HEALTH. This course explores the relationship between emotions and illness and the role of psychological factors in health and illness. Methods of coping with and treating illness are discussed as an introduction to major concepts and issues of abnormal health psychology.

BHSC 6326 (3). COMMUNICATION AND PERSUASION. Analyzes nonverbal communication’s role in structuring experiences and shaping interactions with, and the understanding of, others. Topics include the effects of space, time, body movements, environment, objects, and voice quality on human communication. Persuasive communication ideas and issues are discussed, including modern mass media, classical foundations of persuasive communication theories, and the ethics of persuasion. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: communication, media, and technology.

BHSC 6329 (3). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF. An exploration of the origins and development of people’s religious beliefs about the ultimate source(s) of power, meaning, and value in and beyond the cosmos. Particular attention is given to the appraisal of several classical and contemporary psychological interpretations of the functions that such beliefs serve in the quest for mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. The course focuses especially on psychoanalytic thought, both Freudian and post-Freudian. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

BHSC 6331 (3). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HATE. This course reviews and specifically details the leading and most recent theories of hate, and examines the depth of hate-related utility and its futility. It covers topics such as in-group/out-group bias, aggression and its origins, physiology of aggression, history of hate groups and hate crimes, hate on the Internet and in the media, pop culture’s representations of hate, hate speech, implications for victims of hate crimes, and motivations of perpetrators of hate-motivated crimes. Also, the relationship among aggression, hate, and violence; the pros and cons of group distinctions; the distinctions in hate crime and hate speech; the pros and cons of enhanced penalty legislation for hate crimes; the justifications for “isms;” and the brain chemistry and physiology behind aggression and anger. Students debate controversial topics in the areas of race, sexual orientation, gender, identity or expression, and religion. In addition, students develop personal ways to combat hate and violence. This course may be applied to the following concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; gender studies.

BHSC 6355 (3). PSYCHOLOGY: THE DISCOVERY OF SELF. This course examines the nature of personality development and explores the contributing factors of heredity vs. environment relative to birth order, intelligence, family, and cultural forces. Students have the opportunity to learn and reflect on their own personalities using the Keirsey-Bates Temperament Sorter and Survey. The course explores the many aspects of the personality through learning, behavioral changes, human interactions, and personal growth. The course also offers multiple perspectives with which to view and understand the characteristic changes in personality that make life so interesting. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

BHSC 6363 (3). THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE. An interdisciplinary approach to immigration in the U.S. that explores the historical, ethical, social, cultural, legal, and political dimensions of the immigrant experience, as well as America’s ambivalent and changing attitudes toward the immigrant. Topics include the peopling of America before the Civil War, current waves of immigration, the causes of migration, the growth of ethnic communities, the role of women, bilingual education, illegal immigration, and America as a multicultural society. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; American studies; human rights and social justice.

BHSC 6374 (3). THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CREATIVITY. Explores creativity as one of those human abilities that most see as a highly valuable yet mysterious, uncontrollable force. Examines the wealth of knowledge generated by psychologists and educators with respect to creativity and offers clear definitions of creativity while illustrating its complexities. Also, the roles that personality, cognition, biology, and development play in creative abilities as well as the social, historical, and cultural contexts in which one creates. This course reviews contemporary research (including multiple perspectives, methods, and answers), and how the research helps to debunk some myths about creativity.

BHSC 7351 (3). RELIGION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION: FLORENCE, ITALY. Study tour focusing on religion and conflict against the backdrop of the artistic and ecclesiastical history of the Italian Renaissance. This course educates students in a powerful transformative mediation model, interspersed with on-site tours that highlight the spirit of the artistic rivalry and revival, conflict, and creativity that blossomed in the Italian Renaissance. This interactive course is designed to prepare leaders to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. Although primarily focused on the religious environment, the skills learned are directly transferable to other settings and are invaluable to business managers, attorneys, mediators, and other professionals who manage conflict. The class satisfies the state of Texas mediation requirements and the mediation course requirements for the Dispute Resolution program. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; organizational dynamics.

BHSC 7352 (3). INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONAL CONSULTING AND COLLABORATION AT TRINITY COLLEGE: DUBLIN, IRELAND. This course is presented in the 16th-century halls of Trinity College in Dublin. The class focuses on the processes and approaches that have been successfully used by numerous organizations to build and sustain functional international relationships. The course incorporates a unique design format that includes one weekend at the SMU-in-Plano campus followed by a week of activities in Dublin. The format allows students ample time to explore Dublin and integrate a full cross-cultural experience with classroom learning. The course also makes use of a variety of guest speakers to offer students multiple perspectives on the field of international collaboration and consulting. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Humanities; organizational dynamics.

BHSC 7353 (3). CONFLICT AND TRAUMA IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY. This course examines the nexus between trauma and ongoing conflict through interaction with local experts and site visits. Students interact with conflict resolution/management and counseling professionals from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, investigating the dynamic created by ongoing trauma in conflict and postconflict societies. The course focuses on second-track conflict resolution and management projects affecting Israeli and Palestinian communities and families. Students must attend all of the lectures and demonstrations. The 7-day program combines a traditional lecture and discussion approach with an intense experiential component. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies; gender studies.

BHSC 7354 (3). MULTICULTURAL APPLICATIONS TO TEAMWORK AND TEAMBUILDING. This course introduces the skills required to work effectively within a multicultural or international setting. Students learn about other cultures and discuss the application of multicultural research to interpersonal skill areas as team building and conflict management. The course concludes with a 1-week residence in India. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; organizational dynamics; global studies.

BHSC 7355 (3). CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE: UNDERSTANDING LEADERSHIP IN CULTURALLY COMPLEX SITUATIONS. An academic exploration of an emerging field in the science of business and a seminar in the practical means by which people can increase their own cultural intelligence and teach cultural intelligence in a workplace environment. Explores theories of culture, cultural competence and cultural intelligence, methods for teaching cultural intelligence, and emerging pedagogies of cultural intelligence for the workplace. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; human rights and social justice; humanities; gender studies; organizational dynamics.

BHSC 7357 (3). THE MORAL AND SPIRITUAL WORLD OF CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE. This course offers for discussion and critical reflection a developmental perspective on moral reasoning and religious experience in childhood and adolescence, in light especially of the theories of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, and James Fowler. These theories are supplemented by a close look at the research of psychoanalyst Ana-Maria Rizzuto on the God-ideas of early childhood. A particular focus of the course is on how moral and religious development can be impeded by impositions of adult teaching on children and adolescents before their cognitive development is sufficient to permit assimilation and independent assessment of them. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

BHSC 7360 (3). THE PHILOSOPHY OF PSYCHOLOGY. The philosophy of psychology is the branch of philosophy focused primarily on the nature and mechanisms of cognition. The principal theme is the interplay between the different ways of studying cognition and behavior in philosophy, scientific psychology, and the neurosciences. This course explores how different conceptions of the mind operating in contemporary philosophy of psychology are grounded in different approaches to the scientific study of the mind. 

FINE ARTS

FNAR 6115 (1). CLASSIC WORKS AND TEXTS IN THE FINE ARTS. This course focuses on a single, seminal text or work of art in music, drama, or the visual arts through close, directed reading and seminar discussion. Topics can vary each term. One study begins with the premise that there is more than one way to read a painting by considering a variety of different scholarly interpretations of Manet’s last major painting, “Bar at the Folies-Bergere.” Critical readings are supplemented by background lectures on Manet’s significant place in the movements of realism and impressionism. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: arts and cultural traditions, and others based on the topic chosen.

FNAR 6301 (3). ACTION! DRAMATIC WRITING IN PRACTICE. Students participate in a hands-on writing course that focuses on basic requirements for dramatic writing (film, theatre, and solo performance): action, dialogue, and narrative. Geared for both beginners and those already writing screenplays or plays, students learn through a series of in-class exercises and writing assignments how to create a new work or rewrite a work in progress. Scenes from classic plays are studied and emulated. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: arts and cultural traditions; creative writing.

FNAR 6305 (3). FROM SUNRISE TO PSYCHO: FORM AND MEANING IN THE CINEMA. This course examines the evolution of cinematic methods of expression, from the end of the silent era, through the transition to sound and the subsequent development of the movie industry, to 1960. Students screen and closely examine sequences from 14 masterpieces of world cinema, beginning with F.W. Murnau’s great silent film “Sunrise” (1927) and concluding with Jean-Luc Godard’s “A Bout de Souffle (Breathless)” and Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960). Selected readings and screenings of short sequences from other relevant films explore the economic, social, and cultural context for these major artistic achievements. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; communication, media, and technology; and arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6306 (3). READING TO WRITE. Good writing is never imitative, but good writers always learn from other writers. Whether analyzing the successful techniques of a classic work by Hemingway, Faulkner, or Munro, or the latest best-seller, writers of fiction and nonfiction benefit from the study of others’ storytelling. Through literary analysis and application of techniques studied, writers enhance their creative projects. This course is a combination of close reading and creative writing. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: creative writing.

FNAR 6307 (3). CHEMISTRY AND TECHNOLOGY IN ART: FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. Students become acquainted with the major developments in science and technology through the ages and learn how these developments influenced materials and techniques used in art. Includes discussions on various artists’ materials such as dyes and pigments, clays, metals and alloys, glasses, and coatings and adhesives. The major art forms that employ these materials include painting, dyeing of textiles, manuscript illumination, glass and metalwork, and ceramics. Original sources from antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and more modern periods are used to learn how various materials were prepared and applied in art. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: communication, media, and technology; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6308 (3). CREATING TRUTHS. Narratives may be a way of giving flesh to the desire to know more about what it means to be human. Clearly, they are means of expressing, celebrating, and instructing others. But, stories can explore the margins of humanity as well. This course explores factual and fictional stories and how they work, how people read and appropriate what they read, and how narratives are important to everyday life. Conducted in a workshop setting, the course focuses on the analysis and the creation of stories, with in-seminar writing exercises. Interchanges between two genres (short fiction and creative nonfiction) assist in the crafting of stories in either and/or both genres. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: creative writing.

FNAR 6309 (3). ART OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY. This course explores painting, architecture, and sculpture during the Italian Renaissance, from its beginning in the early 14th century through the high renaissance in the 16th century. Major artists and their works are discussed within their cultural contexts, and focus is given to technique, stylistic influence, and iconographical developments. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6313 (3). APPROACHING CONTEMPORARY ART, FACING THE MILLENNIUM: 1980–2010. This course encompasses the 30 years of contemporary art straddling the turn of the century, 1980–2010. The art combines materials, methods, concepts, and subjects that challenge traditional boundaries and defy easy definition. Students witness ever-growing, new ideas developed by adventurous, mostly young artists worldwide. Contemporary art is the art of today produced by artists living in the 21st century. It is a window on contemporary society that helps people understand the world and themselves. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6314 (3). ARTHUR MILLER: ART, ACTIVISM, AND LIFE. Arthur Miller was, arguably, one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. In addition, he was a prolific essayist, often addressing political and social issues, as he did in his collection “On Politics and the Art of Acting.” The course examines Miller’s art through a variety of plays, including “All My Sons,” “Death of a Salesman,” and “The Crucible,” and it examines his activism and social conscience through his writing and life experiences. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; and American studies.

FNAR 6315 (3). CREATING THE MEMOIR. The memoir, a subgenre of creative nonfiction, explores the methodologies for writing about the self. Through the analysis of existing memoirs, suggested strategies for such writing, and a hands-on workshop setting, this seminar enables students to tell their stories. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: creative writing. Repeatable for credit.

FNAR 6316 (3). ON BEING FUNNY: PHYSICAL COMEDY AND BEYOND. This course explores the roots of comedy and asks what it is – historically as well as currently – that makes people laugh. Using commedia dell’arte and the European clown as a basis, the class researches and recreates physical comedy from its classical expressions to modern versions in film and television. Individual performance assignments complement the research and scholarship of the course. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6317 (3). THE ART OF THE BAROQUE. This course examines European painting, sculpture, and architecture of the 17th century, beginning with the foundation of the Baroque in Italy and traveling to France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Students study masterpieces by Bernini, Caravaggio, Poussin, Velazquez, Rubens, Rembrandt, and their contemporaries, explaining their significant contributions in terms of style and subject matter. For full interpretation, the works are discussed within their historical context, paying particular attention to patronage, the religious milieu, and the social position of the artist. Topics include the Counter-Reformation and Protestantism; the status of women artists; the emergence of the art market; and the increase in genre painting, the still life, and the landscape. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6322 (3). MODERN MOVEMENTS IN EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN PAINTING. Beginning with realism and impressionism, this course traces the development of the avant-garde through such modern styles as expressionism, cubism, futurism, Dadaism, surrealism, abstract expressionism, pop and op art, and photo-realism. Readings about the works of representative artists and critics are stressed. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6323 (3). MODERN EUROPEAN PAINTINGS IN FRANCE. (held off-campus) This course takes students in an art history tour to France. The tour explores modern French painting and the significant contributions of realism, impressionism, postimpressionism, fauvism, cubism, and the nonobjective. All lectures are delivered on-site, explaining the works of Courbet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Pissaro, Cezanne, Ganguin, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Kandinsky, Mondrian, and other artists. Highlights include special visits to artists’ studios and residences. A research paper is required to receive credit for the course. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies.

FNAR 6326 (3). SHAKESPEARE THOUGH THE EYES OF HIS CLOWNS. Present in most of Shakespeare’s plays, the fool or clown character is one of the most intriguing and integral figures in Shakespeare’s story telling. This course looks at the plays of Shakespeare – primarily the comedies – through the lens of the clown/fool role. Beginning with his roots in ancient Greece and England’s Saxon and medieval periods, the class defines and then investigates the importance of the clown in history. Moving to specific clown/fool characters in Shakespeare’s tales, the class looks at how the clowns pointed, low humor mirrors the high characters, advances and explicates Shakespeare’s plots, and gives insight into the politics of the polite world in Elizabethan England. Students mine Shakespeare’s texts for the embedded physical comedy in specific scenes, and hypothesize on how that comedy might have been played to support Shakespeare’s intent and the world of the play as well as bring his textual storytelling to life. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities and arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6333 (3). APPROACHING CONTEMPORARY ART: POST-WORLD WAR II, 1950–1980. This course presents art from the end of World War II to the close of the 20th century and sets the stage for students to explore new art. Students become familiar with fascinating artists, their signature styles, and their effect on the course of art history. Students also develop confidence looking at new art, enhancing their own aesthetic judgment, and enriching their lives culturally. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6336 (3). RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE ART IN ITALY. (held off-campus) This course presents a special opportunity to study in person many of the world’s most important works of art, those produced in Italy during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, circa 1300–1700. The class explores the works of the Early Renaissance in Pisa, Padua, and Siena; the full flowering of the Renaissance in Florence and Venice; and the grandeur of the Baroque era in Rome. Students study masterpieces in painting, sculpture, and architecture by such creative geniuses as Giotto, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, Titian, Bernini, Caravaggio, and Borromini. The course defines the significant contributions made by these artists in terms of style and subject matter and, for full interpretation, discusses the works within their historical context, paying particular attention to patronage, the religious milieu, and the social position of the artist. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies.

FNAR 6387 (3). INSPIRING CREATIVE MINDS THROUGH ORIGINAL ART. Most encounters with works of art are limited to learning objective information about them – when, where, why, and by whom they were created. Seldom are visitors invited to spend thoughtful time with the works and explore their complexities, and rarely are they encouraged to discover personal connections and construct their own meanings. This course invites students to consider works of art in a variety of contexts, to learn through them, and to be inspired to think and respond creatively to them. The course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6394 (3). CREATING POETRY. In this workshop, students read and interpret a wide variety of poems, craft poetry using different poetic forms, and critique and evaluate their classmates’ poems. Repeatable for credit. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: creative writing; arts and cultural traditions; humanities.

FNAR 6395 (3). THE SPECTACLE OF THEATRE. The origins, developments, and purpose of theatre. The playwright, director, actors, and designers all collaborate to shape how the audience interprets the performed word. Supporting the spoken word is an elaborate environment created by the design team in the areas of costume, scenery, sound, and lighting design. Whether the ancient Greek gore wagon or the flying rig in Spiderman, design though the eras shares many of the same traits and approaches. The course traces the origins of theatre from Greece to modern time, focusing on key moments in history to analyze the development of design and spectacle. Students get a sense of how theatre is made through the use of lecture, video, and interaction with local theatre performances. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: arts and cultural traditions.

FNAR 6396 (3). TIME PAST, TIME PRESENT: STORYTELLING WITH A BACKDROP OF HISTORY. All writing reflects a backdrop of history, whether the immediate past, the personal past, or the distant past. Storytelling in fiction and nonfiction becomes richer, more dramatic, and closer to the truth when a writer researches, explores, and incorporates historical context. By mining the past for stories waiting to be told, writers spark their creativity and enhance the richness of their creations. This course combines creative writing with literary analysis and historical research to reflect the benefits of close reading, learning from the masters, exploring the presentness of the past, and enhancing the creative process.

FNAR 6397 (3). DEVELOPING THE WRITER’S VOICE: INTERMEDIATE SKILLS. This course explores developing and writing longer works (short stories and scripts, for example), giving and receiving feedback on work in progress, and using revision and editing techniques. These three areas of writing are interwoven throughout the term, culminating in a final assignment of at least 60 pages. Follows FNAR 6301 (not a prerequisite) and requires some skills in writing and developing projects. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: creative writing.

FNAR 7350 (3). WRITING IN NATURE. This course provides students with the opportunity to explore the writing of either short fiction or poetry. The evocative natural setting of Taos serves as a reminder that nature, as setting, is at the very foundation of literature, frequently becoming a significant character itself. This reading, observing, and writing workshop includes site visits and presents students with opportunities for creating settings and characters of interest for their writing. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: creative writing; environmental sustainability.

FNAR 7360 (3). CREATING THE SHORT STORY. Students explore and create the short, short story (or flash fiction) and the longer short story. Conducted as a workshop, participants read and interpret a wide variety of short stories, craft short stories, and critique the stories written by their colleagues. The goal of the course is to move student work toward potential publication. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: creative writing; arts and cultural traditions; humanities. This course may be repeated for credit.

FNAR 7361 (3). CREATING COMPELLING NARRATIVE: WHO DID IT? WHO KNEW? WHY SHOULD A READER CARE?. Writers of thrillers, literary novels, and memoirs face a common challenge: compelling readers to continue reading. Powerful narrative results from an intriguing combination of what happens, who is involved, and why the characters act as they do. This course explores how narrative techniques like conflict, suspense, character motivation, plot complications, and resolution combine to engage readers whether used in prominent ways as in a mystery or with more subtlety in literary fiction. Through examination of classic fiction and current best sellers, students analyze effective storytelling and create compelling narratives, scene by scene. This course may be applied for the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; creative writing.

FNAR 7363 (3). NEW ART IN NEW MEXICO. Presents contemporary art that straddles the 21st century and sets the stage to explore new art in situ while studying at the SMU-in-Taos campus. Focuses on 50 familiar artists, their signature styles, and the ways they changed the course of art history. In particular, the course helps students develop confidence looking at new art, enhancing their own aesthetic judgment and expanding their awareness of how the southwestern environment influences artists and collectors. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: arts and cultural traditions; American studies; humanities.

FNAR 7364 (3). WRITING THE CITY. Students write short stories (perhaps beginning work toward a novel) with fictional individuals or characters living in U.S. and/or international cities selected as the primary locations for the students’ writing. Addresses all elements essential to the writing of good, literary fiction, with an emphasis on the development of effective, well-developed characterization and the uniqueness of specific settings. Any city selected (e.g., Oxford, England) will have its own literary history, and this history is introduced as part of the course. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; creative writing.

FNAR 7365 (3). CREATING THE NOVEL. This seminar on the craft of writing a novel includes workshops that focus on writing exercises and the analysis of novels relative to structure, characterization, theme, and plotline and its development. Students write 45–60 pages as a ground beginning to a novel, with the primary intention of writing toward the completion of a novel. Significant reading and writing are essential to successful achievement in this seminar. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; creative writing.

FNAR 7366 (3). CREATING THE STAGE PLAY. Focuses on the analysis and writing of one-act plays and explores a variety of stage play types (e.g., tragedy, comedic tragedy, comedy, and one-person monologue). Seriously examines drama of all types other than the musical. Special attention is given to character, story lines, theatricality, and theme. Conducted as a workshop that includes in-seminar and out-of-seminar writing exercises, with colleague critiques geared toward the goal of developing a tightly organized one-act play. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; creative writing. 

FNAR 7369 CITIES, SANCTUARIES AND TEMPLES: GREEK ART AND ARCHEOLOGY. Greek art and archaeology has inspired Western Civilization for millennia, with artistic and architectural achievements that have influenced art, architecture and culture up to the present. This course analyzes the material culture of the Greek world from the earliest Cycladic figurines, through Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, and into the period of Archaic art and the earliest temples. The great classical period of Greek art in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE will be reviewed as well as how Alexander the Great’s conquests led to the transformation of Greek art into the more inclusive culture of the Hellenistic world. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Arts and Cultural Traditions, Gender Studies, and Humanities.

HUMANITIES

HUMN 6100 Independent Study

HUMN 6104 (1). SACRED PLACES AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES: RESEARCH. (held on SMU’s campus near Taos, NM)
This course represents the writing component of HUMN 6204. A 20-page research paper is submitted after the trip. Students enrolling in this course must enroll in HUMN 6204 and 6104, for a total of 3 credit hours. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions. Corequisite: …..

HUMN 6105 (1). WOMEN IN THE SOUTHWEST: RESEARCH. This course is the writing component of HUMN 6205. A 20-page research paper is submitted after the trip. Students enrolling in HUMN 6105 for credit must also enroll in HUMN 6205, for a total of 3 credit hours. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies; gender studies; American studies. Corequisite: ….. (SMU-in-Taos)

HUMN 6106 (1). READING DARWIN. In this classic texts course, students read the essential chapters of “On the Origin of Species” and its sequel, “The Descent of Man” (1871), examining the care with which Darwin builds his case for speciation through natural selection, and exploring his profound and moving vision of the world of living beings. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; environmental sustainability.

HUMN 6115 (1). CLASSIC TEXTS SEMINAR. This 1-hour course focuses the student’s attention on a single, seminal text in the humanities through close and directed reading, seminar discussion, and a final paper. Texts and topics change each term; examples include Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway,” Dostoevsky’s “The Brothers Karamozov,” Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” Melville’s “Billy Budd,” Proust’s “Swann’s Way,” Aristotle’s “Nicomachian Ethics,” Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Ellison’s “The Invisible Man,” Erdrich’s “Love Medicine,” Shakespeare’s sonnets, and the short fiction of Poe and Welty. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6204 (2). SACRED PLACES AND SPIRITUAL PRACTICES. (held on SMU’s campus near Taos, NM) Students get a first-hand glimpse into several aesthetically beautiful, and spiritually potent, sacred places in the area around Taos – places where the spiritual disciplines of numerous traditions flourish. They travel to, and participate in, the religious/spiritual life of the following: the Monastery of Christ in the desert in Abiquiu, the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram in Taos, the Hacienda de Guru Ram Das in Espanola, the Haidakhandi Universal Ashram in Crestone, and the Crestone Mountain Zen Center. They also have the opportunity to participate in an authentic sweat lodge ceremony, led by Herman Quinones, a traditional Native American healer. Note: HUMN 6104 is the writing component of HUMN 6204. A 20-page research paper is submitted after the trip. Students enrolling for this course for credit must enroll in both HUMN 6204 and 6104, for a total of 3 credit hours. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies. Corequisite: ….. (SMU-in-Taos)

HUMN 6205 (2). WOMEN AND THE SOUTHWEST. When female artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and writers such as Mabel Dodge Luhan, Willa Cather, and Mary Austen arrived in the Taos area, they declared that this was the place where they as women, the intellectual artistic community, and even civilization could begin again. The environment becomes the classroom as students explore what, for example, inspired Luhan to lure to New Mexico the New York intellectual community, including such notables such as D.H. Lawrence and Ansel Adams. Students tour the Taos pueblo and the house Luhan constructed with her husband Tony Luhan, a Pueblo Indian. She dreamed their marriage would unite the two civilizations. Students also explore Indian ruins that resemble those in which Cather claims to have been reborn. Students visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and explore the country that so enthralled O’Keeffe. Students enrolling in HUMN 6205 for credit must also enroll in HUMN 6105, for a total of 3 credit hours. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies; gender studies; American studies. Corequisite: ….. (SMU-in-Taos)

HUMN 6304 (3). TECHNOLOGY, HUMANITY, AND CONCEPTS OF IDENTITY. This course explores how the use of Internet technology affects an individual’s concept of identity at both personal and societal levels. Using presentations, current events, cases, and online articles, students study topics such as exploring the digital person, digital surveillance and personal freedom, and issues of privacy in a wired world. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; communication, media, and technology.

HUMN 6305 (3). GREAT TRIALS IN HISTORY, THEATRE, AND FILM. Trials have inspired dramatists and intrigued audiences from ancient to present times. In this course, eight trials in history are discussed, as well as the plays or films inspired by them, examining the social, political, religious, and other forces behind the actual events and the artists’ responses. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; arts and cultural traditions; gender studies; global studies.

HUMN 6306 (3). MAJOR PHILOSOPHERS OF THE 19TH CENTURY. This course studies the life, thought, and significance of major philosophers of the 19th century, including Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Marx in Europe; Bentham and Mill in Britain; and Peirce and James in America. The course aims to develop the student’s critical assessment of these philosophers’ arguments and influence. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6308 (3). WOMEN’S LIVES AND WOMEN’S LITERARY TRADITION. This course examines classic texts in the American and British women’s literary tradition. Students focus on how texts reflect the ideals and conflicts in the portrayal of women’s lives. The course is organized in stages from childhood to old age. Students are introduced to selected modes of literary theory as a context for reading women’s literature. Authors include Alcott, Morrison, Austen, Bronte, and Eliot. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement and may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; gender studies; arts and cultural traditions; American studies.

HUMN 6309 (3). READING POETRY. This course develops the skills of analytical thinking and reading to make students informed readers of poetry, able to take emotional and intellectual pleasure in one of the most primal art forms in the world: the patterned words, sounds, sensations, and feelings of poetry. It also develops students’ skills in writing the clear, concise, evidence-based, focused, and analytical arguments necessary for graduate study. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

HUMN 6310 (3). TELL ABOUT THE SOUTH: VOICES IN FAULKNER’S NOVELS. William Faulkner’s novels belong to the tradition of Southern gothic, but their material is typically presented through the multiple voices of conflicting narrators. This course confronts Faulkner’s divergence from most modernist writers through the exploration of several novels, focusing on their value for students as readers and citizens. Works include “The Unvanquished,” “As I Lay Dying,” “The Sound and the Fury,” and “Light in August.” This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: arts and cultural traditions; humanities; American studies.

HUMN 6311 (3). OBJECTIVITY AND BIAS IN THE NEWS. This course identifies the various forces that critics say bias the news media and looks for evidence of these biases in media products. Students explicate the terms “bias” and “objectivity” and examine the different forms of alleged media bias, from the frequently cited partisan or ideological bias to the structural bias that often occurs as a result of the way newsrooms operate. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: communication, media, and technology; humanities; American studies.

HUMN 6312 (3). ODYSSEYS, ANCIENT AND MODERN. Odyssey, a journey of exploration and discovery, is coined from the Greek hero Odysseus and his adventurous travel homeward to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Earlier, the word described more generally the search for meaning through trials and enlightenment in the great Mesopotamian epic “Gilgamesh.” Students read selections from a number of works from this earliest epic through the modern era, and attempt to understand each within the context of its own cultural and compositional settings, as well as its larger significance in humanity’s eternal quest for meaning. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6314 (3). HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY: IDEALISM PAST AND PRESENT. In the history of philosophy, idealism is a concept used to describe the nature of reality and how life should be lived by human beings. Thus, idealism in philosophy means both metaphysics and ethics. This course focuses on the work of four notable advocates of both types of idealism: Plato (427–347 B.C.), George Berkeley (1685–1753), Georg Wilhelm Friederich Hegel (1770–1831), and Edgar Sheffield Brightman (1884–1953). This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6315 (3). GENDER AND SEX IN PREHISTORY. Sex and gender in past societies have been seriously studied by archeologists only in the last few decades. This course explores how and why archaeologists studied gender and sexual identities in the past and uncovers the diversity in these institutions across cultures through time. The course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities, gender studies, and global studies.

HUMN 6316 (3). THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE: AN INTRODUCTION TO GRADUATE LIBERAL STUDIES. In this required introductory course for the MLS program, students examine issues of human existence using interdisciplinary perspectives, primary readings, large-group presentations, and discussion groups. They learn the various disciplines of human thought and problems, and they contribute to the overall knowledge of the many ways in which humans try to understand themselves and the world around them. They study what it means to be human, including a consideration of the nature of products of human activity and the world in which humans find themselves. They also take a close look at the human condition and human creations such as social institutions, art, literature, and science. This course is required of all degree-seeking MLS students.

HUMN 6318 (3). AMERICANS IN PARIS: THE LIVES AND LITERATURE OF THE LOST GENERATION. After World War I, American artists and writers poured into Paris, and the friction between the two cultures sparked some of the great arts and letters of the 20th century. This course examines works by these expatriates, their influential precursors, and their European contemporaries. In the process, the course examines modernism and its major works in painting, science, philosophy, and music. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies.

HUMN 6319 (3). ETHICS AND LITERATURE. Because of their complexity and density, literary works are fruitful texts for the study of moral philosophy. The works studied in this course evoke questions about individual responsibility, free will, the nature of evil, and the resolution of conflicting moral claims. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; gender studies; global studies.

HUMN 6321 (3). INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AID IN A POST-COLD WAR WORLD. Examines modern day international responses to the emergency needs of people damaged by major natural disasters and by the multitude of inter- and intra-state conflicts that have arisen in much of the world since the end of the Cold War. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; American studies; human rights and social justice; humanities.

HUMN 6323 (3). THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE OF DREAMS. Dreams may or may not contain important insights, and even messages, about human life and destiny. Or, perhaps they are merely accidental byproducts of brain activity, of no real importance to the psyche and to human development. This course explores the meaning of dreams in human experience, with particular attention to the integration of psychological and religious understanding of dream material. Includes a close look at what several orientations in psychology, and one ancient religious tradition, have to say about the significance of dreams in human experience. Opportunities are provided for students to learn basic principles of dream interpretation, which they can apply to their own dreams. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6325 (3). WOMEN IN MODERN LITERATURE AND FILM. This course examines the representation of women in modern literature and film from the turn of the 20th century to the present. The course begins with late 19th-century works by Chekhov and Ibsen and discusses how these works present a crisis in the cultural context of women’s traditional roles. It also examines how women writers from Europe and the United States have struggled against narrow gender definitions in their writings and have tried to define women as active, autonomous, and intelligent beings. The course also looks at how women are represented in more recent European films that deal with the legacy of national socialism and that pose the question of women’s historical agency. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; gender studies; American studies.

HUMN 6326 (3). INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ RIGHTS IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY. Provides a critical overview of present-day issues facing indigenous peoples and how they have been categorized in relation to ethnic groups, colonization, and the international system of states. Examines the current debates within the United Nations about indigenous peoples and human rights, and looks at the law and economics of colonization and emerging issues of international trade and globalization. Also, explores the relationship between jurisprudence and tribal customs in literature, history, and anthropology. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: human rights and social justice; global studies; humanities; gender studies.

HUMN 6327 (3). WOMEN IN MODERN LITERATURE. This course considers the role of women, both as characters and very creative writers, in modern short fiction, poetry, and stage plays. Works considered begin with the 19th century and conclude with the present era. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; gender studies; American studies.

HUMN 6328 (3). LOVE AND TRANSFORMATION. The transforming and transformative power of love has generated great literature throughout history. In this course, students study a number of works, including plays, poetry, novels, and philosophical texts from the ancient Greek world to modern American literature. The goal is to analyze and understand how authors in different times, cultures, and places use the concept of love to inspire, motivate, and reconfigure their characters’ lives and the worlds they live in. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6330 (3). WIT AND HUMOR IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE. The goals of this course are to reach a better understanding of the aesthetics, cultural/historical experiences, and literary conventions of African-American writers. The focus is on traditional wit and humor in the selected works. Authors include traditional writers such as Hurston and Hughes, and contemporary writers such as Toni Morrison, J. California Cooper, and Ishmael Reed. Since African-American literature is based on oral tradition, students are expected to present individual readings/performances. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: arts and cultural traditions; humanities; American studies.

HUMN 6335 (3). THE BIBLE AND LITERARY CREATION. This study approaches the Bible from the standpoint that it is, among other things, a literary anthology, providing its readers with a cosmic vision and models of literary forms. In that sense, it is both a product of, and a means of stimulating, the imagination. The course aims to raise biblical literacy and awareness of the presence of the Bible in English and other Western literature. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6336 (3). PARADIGMS OF HUMANITY IN SCIENCE FICTION. Examines works in the genre of science fiction using a variety of novels, films, and short stories to question what it means to be human in relation to the alien/other and the alien machine. This course may be applied to fulfill the writing intensive requirement for the MLS program or toward the following curricular field concentration: humanities

HUMN 6338 (3). THE FIRE OF TRANSFORMATION: EXPLORING THE MYSTICAL LIFE. This course explores how certain individuals throughout the world and during different periods of history came to have powerful and transformative spiritual experiences. Students carefully examine the ways in which different religious traditions understand mysticism. They investigate a variety of spiritual techniques designed to catalyze, deepen, and stabilize these alternate levels of consciousness. Students delve into philosophical and social-scientific analyses of the dynamics of mystical states of awareness, and they probe the metaphysical, ethical, and psychological implications of mysticism in the modern world. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6341 (3). THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. The course examines a wide range of children’s literature, both historical and current, with an emphasis on building an adult understanding of the moral and cultural themes in these works. Issues of colonialism, race, ethnicity, gender, and class are confronted. Students become acquainted with different approaches to children’s literature by reviewing a variety of literary criticism. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; gender studies.

HUMN 6344 (3). THE KABBALAH AND JEWISH MYSTICAL TRADITION. Historical overview of the Jewish mystical tradition, commonly known as the Kabbalah, from its inception in biblical times until the end of the 18th century. Examines how the esoteric experiences and otherworldly journeys of the mystics reflected the condition and needs of the Jewish community, helping it to sustain its identity and to affirm, develop, and hone its beliefs and practices. Unraveling the highly symbolic, metaphoric, and allusive language of the mystical literature, students plumb its sometimes outlandish but invariably fascinating ideas about the godhead and the human soul, creation and end-time, good and evil, sin and repentance, suffering and redemption, angels and demons, and more. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies.

HUMN 6350 (3). THE ART OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN STORYTELLING. This course is designed to establish the traditional roots of African-American storytelling. In tracing the roots of African-American storytelling from Africa through the diaspora, students examine the survival, uses, and importance of verbal arts in the African-American culture. The course also allows examination of cultural clashes between descendants whose experiences are disparate: one group dominated by respect for the oral tradition and the other dominated by reliance on authorized written texts. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; American studies.

HUMN 6351 (3). INTERPRETATION AND PERFORMANCE OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN POETRY. This course is designed to extend the student’s knowledge and awareness of the African-American literary, aesthetic, and folk traditions. Historical, political, and sociological factors are strong influences in African-American poetry. Therefore, selected poets are chosen from early to contemporary periods. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; American studies.

HUMN 6352 (3). INTERPRETATION OF FOLKLORE IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN FICTION. This course examines selected African-American novelists whose works are strongly influenced by the legacy of the African oral tradition. Students utilize selected readings to engage in lively discourse and demonstrate basic performance skills. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; American studies.

HUMN 6354 (3). REMEMBERING THE ’60s: CULTURE AND CHANGE. This course examines eyewitness accounts, participants’ recollections, and fictional and film representations from one of the nation’s most controversial decades to discover how mass media influenced cultural perceptions and how later commentators on this era have constructed nostalgic or demonized versions (e.g., it was the decade that America came unraveled or it was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius) as ammunition in continuing contests over values. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; communication, media, and technology; arts and cultural traditions; global studies; American studies.

HUMN 6356 (3). ORAL INTERPRETATION OF LITERATURE. This course introduces the student to the study of literature through performance. Based on the assumption that performance is a method of understanding and enjoying literature, the student participates in performance readings of prose, poetry, and dramatic literature. Written work is assigned, but the focus of this course is on the discovery and exploration of literature through the medium of vocal and physical performance. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: communication, media, and technology.

HUMN 6358 (3). TRANCES AND DANCES: INVESTIGATIONS INTO ABORIGINAL RELIGIOUS LIFE. This course is designed to introduce students to the religious beliefs and practices of several non-Western (or pre-Western) cultures such as the Australian aboriginals, African tribal peoples, and native North and South Americans. Through readings, videos, lectures, classroom discussion, and in-class activities, students examine such phenomena as spirit possession, sacrifice, masks, shamanism, out-of-body experiences, spiritual healing, visions, and pilgrimage. Students delve into the psychological and social functions of trance, exorcism, and magic, and they explore the problems and possibilities of cross-cultural religious contact. They also seek out the hidden meanings of myths and dreams. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies; American studies.

HUMN 6360 (3). PHILOSOPHERS EXAMINE RELIGION I. From antiquity to the present, philosophers have studied religion seriously. Doing so has produced a significant body of literature worthy of careful reading and reflection. This study of the viewpoints of notable philosophers regarding religion and its claims begins with an in-depth look at the four classical arguments for the existence of God and moves to a careful consideration of such key topics in the philosophy of religion as religious experience, revelation, miracle, and faith. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6361 (3). THE LITERATURE OF RELIGIOUS REFLECTION. This course explores how writers from the Middle Ages to the present have used poetry and prose to express their spiritual emotions and concerns. Concentrating on poetry and fiction, students look at how English and American writers have expressed their concerns with good and evil, with their relationship with God, with the shape of a Christian life in the world, and with the problems of human suffering and the mysteriousness of God’s justice. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

HUMN 6363 (3). PHILOSOPHERS EXAMINE RELIGION II. This course builds on the foundation of HUMN 6360, continuing the study of notable philosophers on religion and its claims, and focusing on problems of evil and human destiny. HUMN 6360 is not a prerequisite for HUMN 6363; it is not necessary to take the courses in sequence. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6370 (3). THE LITERATE MIND AT WORK. This course ensures that beginning Master of Liberal Studies students have mastered the critical academic skills (reading, discussion, and writing the researched argumentative essay) required to succeed in graduate liberal studies. The course is writing intensive and includes drafting, rewriting, and editing as part of the writing process. Students learn basic research techniques and styles of annotation, and review academic integrity and issues of plagiarism. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

HUMN 6374 (3). WRITING AND THE SEARCH FOR SELF. What are the defining moments of student’s lives, and how do students incorporate the insights gained from these critical experiences into the stories they tell about themselves? Examining memoirs and autobiographies, and offering practical advice on journal keeping and overcoming writer’s block, this course is for students interested in developing a strong individual voice, one that can address issues of personal concern with the authority that comes from experience. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Humanities; arts and cultural traditions; creative writing.

HUMN 6376 (3). OUR STORIES, OURSELVES. How people see themselves and how others see them are not just a matter of looking in the mirror. For better or for worse, self-image is embedded in the stories people tell about themselves, both internally and in their dealings with others. Students use journal writing as a means of bringing their life stories into focus and as a tool for change, growth, and understanding, with the goal of living a more effective and happier life. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; creative writing.

HUMN 6378 (3). LITERATURE OF THE GREAT PLAINS. Authors from Capote to Cather have been fascinated by the Great Plains. Indeed, one could argue that the Plains almost rise to the level of a character for some authors, a character complicated by the realities of a harsh and forbidding environment on the one hand, and the multilayered ambiguities of the region’s myths on the other. To help students explore the environment–myth nexus, the class examines major authors from (or who have written about) the Great Plains through two lenses: environmental history and mythology. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; environmental sustainability; American studies.

HUMN 6395 (3). NEWS IN THE DIGITAL AGE: FROM TRADITIONAL MEDIA TO CITIZEN MEDIA. Students examine the impact of digital technology on news and the free flow of information in a democratic society. The course covers the evolution of American journalism from its founding to its current-day forms. The standards and practices of journalism for traditional media (print, radio, and television) and new media (online reporting, blogging, video/audio podcasts, live streaming, and Web-feed formats such as RSS feeds) are closely reviewed. Students discover how the different technological methods of news distribution affect who does the coverage, what is covered, who is reached, and why these are important. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: communication, media, and technology; humanities; American studies.

HUMN 6396 (3). LITERATURE AND THE CULTURE OF DISABILITY. Students examine issues of disability from literary, cultural, and philosophical perspectives. They grapple with current debates in disability studies within a variety of contexts. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 6397 (3). EDUCATING TROUBLED YOUTH IN AMERICA. Through fiction, nonfiction, and film, this course examines the paired problems of adolescence and education in America.

HUMN 7300 (3). THESIS. Directed study toward thesis.

HUMN 7301 (3). GREEK MYTHOLOGY AND LITERATURE. This course examines the myths and legends of Ancient Greece through ancient poetry and plays. It is through myth that ancient societies examined their most complex questions about the relationships between gods and men, the nature of mortality, war and peace, glory and ignominy, and suffering and happiness. Ancient myths changed over time, manipulated by each generation and by innovative artists, to address new questions and to answer old questions in new ways. Students read the most important literary sources for Greek myth and discuss the roles of these works in ancient Greek cultures and their legacies across time. May be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 7302 (3). TRANSNATIONAL TRADITIONS. This comparative course, which focuses on the 20th- and 21st-century novel in the United States and Latin America, offers students the opportunity to think about the literary traditions of the Americas from a transnational, rather than national, perspective. Each of the novels chosen for this course addresses issues or themes central to the experiences of many different nations in the Americas and highlights the movements of their protagonists between one American nation and another. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies; global studies.

HUMN 7303 (3). THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF ROCK AND ROLL. Uses the prehistory and history of rock and roll as a means to explore American and transnational histories. Topics include the black diaspora, minstrelsy, the Great Migration, the Black Atlantic, youth culture, the sexual revolution, student uprisings, the civil rights movement, consumerism, and rock as oppositional in culture.

HUMN 7304 (3). MIDDLE EASTERN AMERICAN LIT. Middle Eastern Americans are creating a tributary into the mainstream of American culture. Poets, playwrights, fiction and non-fiction writers are sharing their perceptions and experiences of heritage and new beginnings, and their creative imaginations, with U.S. audiences. Middle Eastern American Literature offers students the opportunity to cross this new bridge into multi-cultured America.

HUMN 7311 (3). CAPSTONE: LIBERAL STUDIES. The capstone course is required of all M.L.S. students not undertaking a thesis. Conducted as an independent/directed study, it is the last course of a student’s program for the M.L.S. degree. Students earning a concentration must pursue a capstone project related to the curricular field area of their concentration. One month in advance of their last term, students must choose a faculty member with whom to work and – in consultation with that faculty member – propose to the M.L.S. director and Simmons School dean their topic and/or project. Students have a choice among the following capstone options to satisfactorily complete their degree program and to prepare for further graduate work: the portfolio project, the graduate project, an internship/service experience, or a creative project.

HUMN 7312 (3). ISLAM IN STATE AND SOCIETY. The emergence of so-called “political Islam” as a movement both to reform dominantly Muslim societies and to transform their relationship to non-Muslim nations has had a growing impact on American impressions of Islam and on U.S. foreign policy toward Muslim countries. This course examines the emergence of contemporary Islamic movements as they relate to the evolution of Muslim states and societies. The course first explores the historical rise of Islamic states and societies and the classical Islamic legal reasoning that justifies and shapes them. It then explores the emergence of contemporary Muslim discussions about the relationship of Islam to state and society in the modern context. It particularly explores the issues that surround Muslim minorities in non-Muslim states and societies and the rights of non-Muslims in dominantly Muslim states and societies. Important to this exploration is an understanding of human rights, gender, democracy, and economic structures in contemporary Islamic thought. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities, global studies; gender studies; and human rights and social justice.

HUMN 7315 (3). RELIGIONS OF ASIA. Since the first encounters of Europeans with India, China, and Southeast Asia, Westerners have been challenged by the philosophies, religions, and worldviews of Asia. Over the centuries, they have become, for many, new ways of thinking about the possibilities of being human and understanding the world. This course surveys Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese religions. Students are offered the opportunity to understand more fully the worldviews on traditional Asian societies, the ways in which their religions have met the spiritual and social needs of their adherents, and their present growth and relevance outside Asia. Through lectures and readings, students journey through these worldviews, learn the stories and rituals in which they are expressed, and discover the ways in which they function in individual lives and the societies as a whole. An important part of the course includes visits to Hindu and Buddhist religious communities in the Dallas area, as well as meetings and discussions with their members and leaders. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; humanities; human rights and social justice.

HUMN 7320 (3). LESBIAN AND GAY LITERATURE. This course focuses on the manifold ways same-sex love and desire have been represented in literature from ancient times through the present. Tracing the persistence of classical and biblical views and the rise of modern models of sexuality, the course follows ideas from Plato, the Bible, medieval poetry, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and Freud that frame the work of gay and lesbian writers today. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: gender studies; human rights and social justice.

HUMN 7333 (3). READING PLATO IN GATSBY. Plato’s “Symposium” and Petronius’ “Satyrica,” two seminal texts of classical literature, have greatly influenced later texts, both philosophical and literary, in many ways. This class considers the influence of “Symposium” and “Satyrica,” separately and jointly, on three important works of fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Henry James’ “Daisy Miller,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” and Evelyn Waugh’s “Vile Bodies,” in order to analyze how these modern writers use classical themes and models to present and articulate contemporary issues and concerns. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies; gender studies; arts and cultural traditions.

HUMN 7335 (3). THE MYTHS OF OUR TIME: INTRODUCTION TO MEDIA LITERACY. This course explores strategies for interpreting a variety of verbal and nonverbal languages and texts – from print ads and commercials to cable news, from political spots and game shows to church bulletins and alumni magazines, and from dress codes to supermarket displays. Students identify and analyze some of the most fundamental myths the culture employs to frame and interpret reality: myths of competition, celebrity, and happiness; the myth of fun (life as entertainment); myths of money, shopping, and the (transcendent) market; and myths of patriotism and the American dream. Students pay particular attention to the representation, in word and image, of gender, race, old age, economic class, childhood, etc. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: communications, media, and technology; humanities; human rights and social justice; gender studies; American studies.

HUMN 7336 (3). CREATIVITY: HISTORICAL AND PERSONAL. Through a historical analysis of aspects of the Renaissance (among the most creative of Western cultural times), this course explores methods for advancing personal creativity. Materials for the seminar are highly interdisciplinary, and the course aims to apply the ideas of creativity to each student’s current interests. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement.

HUMN 7345 (3). HOW THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK READ IT. This course presents a historical and modern perspective on how the Jewish people approach biblical text, critique it, and analyze every word with extreme care. Students experience the beauty of interpreting the text as it was really written. The course covers the textual analysis methods of several rabbis and scholars, and explores how medieval rabbis Rashi and Rashbam might explain the same text differently. Other topics include modern biblical criticism and archeology, how today’s scholars approach biblical text at the macro and micro level, and the scholarly consensus that helps answer many of the questions posed by classical biblical commentators. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies.

HUMN 7351 (3). WAR AND LITERATURE: SOLDIERS’ TALES. Explores how warfare has been represented in fiction and nonfiction, with a special emphasis on recent and contemporary wars. This course may be applied as a writing intensive course or to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies; global studies.

HUMN 7355 (3). EVIL, SUFFERING, AND DEATH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. Explores views on evil, suffering, death, and afterlife evinced by various New Testament authors. Students deal with questions concerning who is to blame for evil, suffering, and death (if anyone); how evil, suffering, and death are conceptualized; and how this relates to the world today. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities.

HUMN 7356 (3). DARWIN IN HIS TIME AND NOW. Charles Darwin was not merely a great naturalist; he was also a compelling writer. After closely reading parts of Darwin’s key works, students explore the scientific and philosophical currents that surrounded Darwin when he formulated his theory of evolution by means of natural selection. Also, reaction to his theory within the scientific community and the Victorian general public, the (sometimes questionable) application of his ideas to fields like economics and sociology, his impact on popular art and literature, and the revival of his ideas in the modern synthesis that has energized and unified biology in the last several decades. This course may fulfill the writing intensive requirement or be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 7357 (3). INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION. An overview of how differing worldviews, values, attitudes, and behaviors can affect the professional communication process as well as individual and organizational success. Students gain the skills (practical knowledge) and understanding (theoretical knowledge) needed to succeed in an increasingly international environment. Through a series of readings, reading responses, activities, class discussion, and formal papers, students experiment with and apply different concepts related to the intercultural communication process. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: communication, media, and technology.

HUMN 7358 (3). JEWS AND JUDAISM IN MODERN ISRAEL. Examines the forces that shape contemporary Jewish and Israeli identity in relationship to the state of Israel, and how these forces are manifest in the political life, legal system and laws, military, social relationships, and daily life of Israelis, Jews, and non-Jews alike. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies; human rights and social justice.

HUMN 7359 (3). JUST BETWEEN SISTERS: RELATIONSHIPS OF MIXED-RACE WOMEN AND GIRLS. A focus on intersectional and relational questions of first-generation African/African diasporic (black) and European (white) mixed-race women and girls through the use of novels, memoirs, and film. The intersectional questions refer to Kimberlé Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality: the ways in which race and gender interact to shape the multiple dimensions of black women’s lives. Crenshaw argues that the intersection of racism and sexism operate in black women’s lives in ways that a single-dimensional analysis fails to reveal. The course builds on Crenshaw’s concept to explore the various ways race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect in shaping the identity of mixed-race women and girls and their relationships with other women and girls. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; gender studies; human rights and social justice; humanities.

HUMN 7360 (3). SEX, DEATH, AND IDENTITY IN MODERN CHINA. This course explores some of the major social problems faced by China since the post-1978 economic reforms and examines their implications for China’s future. Topics to be explored include crime, drug abuse, prostitution, HIV/AIDS, nationalist conflict, corruption, family breakdown, juvenile delinquency, and environmental pollution. The course employs materials and methods from many scholarly disciplines and traditions: anthropology, sociology, history, political science, literature, economics, and cultural studies. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies; human rights and social justice; gender studies.

HUMN 7361 (3). SPIRITUAL AND MYSTICAL PATHS OF TODAY: A MULTIFAITH EXPLORATION. This course explores spiritual and mystical writings from different religious traditions, seeking resources that may shed light on the contemporary quest for meaning and for ways of healing a wounded Earth. It examines the lives and writings of notable figures since the last century and reflects on the contents and features of their spiritual praxis and vision and how these relate to personal and global healing. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies.

HUMN 7362 (3). THE ART OF PERSUASIVE WRITING: FROM CICERO TO CHURCHILL, MENCKEN, AND THE DAILY. This course examines the power of the written word to persuade in speeches, essays, newspaper columns, and new media. Students trace and discuss the development of commentaries that have had an impact on public culture. Course content includes classic compositions from Roman and Greek orators, the Founding Fathers, Winston Churchill, H.L. Mencken, Martin Luther King, broadcasters Edward R. Murrow and Andy Rooney, contemporary columnists such as Maureen Dowd and Peggy Noonan, and critic/essayists such as Christopher Hitchens and David Foster Wallace, as well as recent White House speechwriters such as Karen Hughes and Jon Favreau. Students explore the structure of effective exhortations, the importance of “voice” in a memorable argument, the use of facts versus emotion, the use of humor to disarm, the value of metaphors, and the elements involved in effectively closing an argument. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; communications, media, and technology.

HUMN 7364 (3). THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE IRRATIONAL, ANCIENT, AND MODERN. The individual’s relationship with the irrational has long fascinated thinkers and writers in every genre. In this course, students read key works of literature from Greek drama to Freud to modern novels that consider various aspects of the individual’s susceptibility to, attraction to, and management of the irrational. Students study each work both within the context of its time and culture as well as within the context of a broader understanding of the irrational and its workings in the human mind. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies; gender studies; American studies.

HUMN 7366 (3). REACTION AND RESISTANCE DURING THE HOLOCAUST. For many generations, Jews have looked to rabbinic responsa for rulings on ethical, ritual, and legal questions. Students analyze Holocaust responsa to gain a unique view into the day-to-day challenges of Jews throughout Nazi-controlled Europe and beyond. These writings provide insight into how human beings can rise above terrible circumstances, remain true to their beliefs, make positive moral and spiritual choices, and resist tyranny. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; human rights and social justice; arts and cultural traditions; humanities.

HUMN 7367 (3). WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN THE MEDIA. Explores women, minorities, and the media with a critical eye and with an approach toward media criticism that incorporates feminist theory as well as a broader critical/cultural perspective that focuses on gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Analyzing the content produced by a handful of powerful conglomerates that today comprise the mainstream media, students look below the surface of the media used for entertainment and/or information to explore what it says about the political economy, norms and values, and society. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; communication, media, and technology; humanities.

HUMN 7368 (3). GREAT HOAXES, MYTHS, AND FANTASIES: ARCHEOLOGY AND PSEUDOSCIENCE. Fantastic archaeology comprises reconstructions of the human past that do not follow the accepted rules of evidence and argument but assert that they have scientific support, use science terminology, or have claim to scientific validity. While they may seem frivolous at first, the claims of fantastic archaeologists can have a number of lasting harmful social, economic, and political effects, most frequently among indigenous or historically marginalized communities. Students examine famous examples of fantastic archaeology, strengthen their skills of logic and argumentation, increase their knowledge of world prehistory, and discover ways science can be used to promote the interests of some groups while marginalizing the interests of others. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities and global studies.

HUMN 7369 (3). BUSINESS AND THE AMERICAN DREAM IN LITERATURE. Examines the evolution of the American dream in literature from the 18th century to the present. Themes include the achievement and meaning of material success in America and the impact of business and technology on character development and human values. Seeks to identify leadership qualities that enhance the realization of the American dream and the types of organizational structure and culture that support or obstruct it. Covers how the American dream is defined, delivered, and distorted. Students study forms of literature, including autobiographies, novels, plays, essays, poetry, and films. Emphasis is placed on forms of writing such as the response paper, the literary analysis, and the research paper. This course may be used to fulfill the writing intensive requirement or applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; humanities; organizational dynamics.

HUMN 7371 (3). THE MORAL AND RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS. Explores the development of moral and religious reasoning in childhood and adolescence, based largely on the theories of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, and James Fowler as well as that of psychoanalyst Ana-Maria Rizzuto, whose research concerns the development of God-ideas in early childhood. The course gives particular attention to the developmental effects of moral and religious instruction on children and adolescents before their cognitive development is sufficient for them to make their own independent assessments. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

HUMN 7375 (3). THE AFRICAN DIASPORA: LITERATURE AND CULTURE OF BLACK LIBERATION. Throughout the African diaspora, struggles for African independence in the mid-20th century had their roots in cultural awakenings such as Pan-Africanism, the Harlem renaissance, negritude, African humanism, and the black arts movement. Drawing on an interdisciplinary framework and resources, students examine the slave trade and its impact, historical figures and their thoughts, and creative expressions on evolving notions of African diasporic identity. Primary texts are supplemented by film, music, historical essays, cultural criticism, and theories from the growing field of diaspora studies. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies; global studies; gender studies; human rights and social justice; arts and cultural traditions. 

SCIENCE AND CULTURE

SCCL 6100 Independent Study

SCCL 6303 (3). BIOETHICS AND PUBLIC POLICY. A study of the ethical dilemmas caused by rapidly changing medical technology. Issues to be examined include in vitro fertilization, reproductive medicine, stem cell research, genetic screening and manipulation, abortion, fetal tissue experimentation, use of human subjects in research, organ transplants, euthanasia, and end-of-life care. Public policy issues related to the allocation of medical resources are also discussed. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; global studies; humanities; gender studies.

SCCL 6305 (3). GENETICS AND ETHICS. The curriculum provides sufficient knowledge of genetics, biology, and medical ethics so that students can intelligently discuss the issues that permeate the headlines and present profound moral quandaries for everyone. Students explore issues such as stem cell research, genetic engineering, cloning, and prenatal genetic diagnosis. This course fulfills the writing intensive requirement and/or may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; humanities; gender studies; global studies.

SCCL 6306 (3). MATTERS OF LIFE AND DEATH. Explores new developments in science that impact personal and public health and well-being. Also, the principles of morality that undergird modern biomedical ethics such as respect for autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and a sense of justice. Topics include beginning of life issues (assisted reproduction, abortion, prenatal diagnosis of disease, embryo selection), end of life issues (hastening death vs. permitting to die, right to die, assisted suicide), inherited disorders and other disabilities, allocation of scarce medical resources (vaccines, organs for transplantation), genetic modification of existing organs (gene therapy, production of medically useful products), and genetically modified food for human consumption. The questions raised by such issues and the solutions offered touch human well-being so intimately that they may truly be classified matters of life and death. The science underlying these issues is described at a level consistent with the understanding of an educated layperson not involved in a scientific discipline. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; global studies; human rights and social justice; gender studies; environmental sustainability.

SCCL 6312 (3). ENERGY AND ECONOMY. This course examines the role of energy and economics in the development of a sustainable worldview. It surveys the fundamental sources of energy, the processes used to harness energy, and the prospects of an industrial economy dominated by fossil fuels. It examines how energy systems are woven into economic systems and how industrial capitalism began and evolved. The fundamental concepts behind sustainability (physical, philosophical, and political) are discussed with an eye to synthesizing information about the field of energetics and economic behavior in an environmentally challenged world. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; environmental sustainability; American studies.

SCCL 6335 (3). LITTLE BUT LETHAL: BIOLOGICAL MAN IN AN INFECTIOUS WORLD. Students study the dangers of new technology to men and women. This course examines critical problems confronting humanity in an age of rapidly advancing technology, including overpopulation, malnutrition, pollution, and major diseases. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; humanities; human rights and social justice; global studies.

SCCL 6389 (3). THE ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF LIFE. Students study the biological aspects of the origin of life on Earth, the history of the subsequent evolution of animal and plant life, and the environmental and geological settings throughout the ages. The mechanisms of evolution and man as an evolving biological species are discussed. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; global studies; humanities; human rights and social justice.

SCCL 6395 (3). ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: CURRENT ISSUES IN ENERGY, POLITICS, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Students examine current issues in the political economy of environmental sustainability: sustainable energy systems, political influence on Americans’ views of energy and environmental issues, use of the integrated systems approach to transform the energy infrastructure, and successful sustainable development. Students develop a thesis on environmental sustainability and defend it in a research paper written over the course of the term. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: environmental sustainability.

SCCL 6397 (3). EARTH MATTERS: AN INTRODUCTION TO GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY. A focus on the environment and the ways people interact with it. This course explores 1) environmental quality indicators for air, water, land, and climate (while introducing the pros and cons of environmental issues); 2) anthropogenic activities, impacts, and societal drivers; and 3) various measures for environmental performance and sustainability. Includes a student research project on a country or region. Students learn through readings, research, case studies, presentations, class and group discussions, guest lecturers, and/or videos. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; global studies.

SCCL 7105 (1). WILDFLOWERS OF THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES: RESEARCH PAPER. Students enrolled for SCCL 7205 may enroll for this course, which requires writing a substantial research paper on one selected plant family studied in the former course. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; environmental sustainability; global studies.

SCCL 7106 (1). BIOTIC COMMUNITIES AND ENVIRONMENTS OF THE SOUTHWEST: RESEARCH COMPONENT. Each student brings his or her hiking shoes, hat, water container, backpack, rain gear, and sunscreen and explores the major life zones of the Southern Rocky Mountains of north central New Mexico. In an area 7,000 feet in elevation, this course provides a wealth of field experience. Field trips include the Fort Burgwin campus and a trip to the Taos Pueblo, followed by trips to Bandelier National Monument, Ghost Ranch, the La Junta clear-cut forest, Trail 69, Italionalis canyon, and finally a longer trip to Williams Lake in Ski Valley. This course takes full advantage of the rich environment of Taos, New Mexico, in order to examine the major life zones of the Southwest. Students enrolling in this course for credit must enroll in both SCCL 7206 and SCCL 7106, for a total of three credit hours. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; American studies. (SMU-in-Taos)

SCCL 7205 (2). FLOWERING PLANTS OF THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES. Taught on location at the Fort Burgwin campus in Taos. The southern Rocky Mountains in north-central New Mexico are renowned for spectacular shows of wildflowers in late July and August. The various ecological zones, Alpine, Canadian, Transition, and Upper Sonoran, have a distinctive array of wildflowers allowing for an identification of plant families that is unequaled in the United States. The course introduces flowering plant families in various settings, with daily field trips to different habitats within the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Students learn the botanical language, plant names, and classifications, and collect and mount 20 specimens for display. An additional 1 hour of credit may be earned by writing a paper on one plant family (register separately for SCCL 7105). This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American studies; environmental sustainability; global studies.

SCCL 7206 (2). BIOTIC COMMUNITIES AND ENVIRONMENTS OF THE SOUTHWEST. Each student brings his or her hiking shoes, hat, water container, backpack, rain gear, and sunscreen and explores the major life zones of the Southern Rocky Mountains of north central New Mexico. In an area 7,000 feet in elevation, this course provides a wealth of field experience. Field trips include the Fort Burgwin campus and a trip to the Taos Pueblo, followed by trips to Bandelier National Monument, Ghost Ranch, the La Junta clear-cut forest, Trail 69, Italionalis canyon, and finally a longer trip to Williams Lake in Ski Valley. This course takes full advantage of the rich environment of Taos, New Mexico, in order to examine the major life zones of the Southwest. Students enrolling in this course for credit must enroll in both SCCL 7206 and SCCL 7106, for a total of three credit hours. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; American studies. (SMU-in-Taos)

SCCL 7301 (3). ENERGY, ECONOMY, AND ECOLOGY: FOUNDATIONS OF SUSTAINABILITY.
Addresses some of today’s defining challenges: the preservation of the biosphere; the transformation of the energy infrastructure; and the widespread collaboration among local and national governments, citizens, and the private sector required to address these enormous goals. Topics include the historical, scientific, and philosophical roots of sustainability; the underlying principles of sustainability; the fundamental sources of energy and how to harness them; selected historical issues and characteristics of industrial economy; the general aspects of the biosphere and one’s role in it; the current environmentally challenged world dominated by fossil fuels and industrial capitalism; how to develop a sustainable human economy based on sound philosophical and scientific methodology; and the relation between energy, economy, and ecology in human social evolution. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: environmental sustainability; global studies.

SOCIAL SCIENCE

SOSC 6100 Independent Study

SOSC 6102 (1). TRAVELING THROUGH THE MIDDLE AGES. During the Middle Ages, humanity did not cease to move: to buy and sell, to explore, to work, to fight and conquer, to convert, and to escape persecution. On foot or by mule, by wagon or by boat, travelers crossed the continent of Europe, eventually reaching the Far East, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas. The Middle Ages started with the massive migration of the German tribes into the Roman Empire boundaries and ended with the first sea expeditions commissioned by the kings of Spain and Portugal. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

SOSC 6115 (1). CLASSIC TEXTS IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES. This course focuses the student’s attention on a single, seminal text in the social sciences through close and directed reading, seminar discussion, and a final paper. Texts and topics vary, and may include “The Federalist Papers,” Walter Prescott Webb’s “The Great Plains,” Josiah Gregg’s “The Commerce of the Prairies,” Andy Adams’ “The Log of a Cowboy,” Marx and Engels’ “The Communist Manifesto,” and “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.”

SOSC 6301 (3). TERRORISM, TORTURE, AND INTERNATIONAL LAW. The purpose of this course is to analyze the crimes of terror and torture from the perspective of international law, government, literature, culture, and philosophy. The course examines the origins and development of terror and torture in literature and the legal status of rights under U.S. domestic law and international law. It analyzes tensions between universal and culturally specific definitions of rights, state sovereignty, and humanitarian intervention. Finally, it looks at regulating terrorism and torture in international law in the future. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies; gender studies; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6302 (3). DEMOCRACY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. Are democratic values universal? What role does economic development play in promoting democracy? Is there an alternative to the Western model of political and economic progress? These are the overarching questions this course considers as it explores how countries in Southeast Asia negotiate the paths of democratization and development. Southeast Asia’s record of remarkable economic growth under diverse political regimes offers a range of fascinating case studies that challenge conventional wisdom about democracy and economic development. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; humanities.

SOSC 6305 (3). THE HISTORY OF TIME. The passing of time is a universal human experience, but the control, measure, and politics of time differ among cultures. This reading seminar addresses changing perceptions of time from the rise of astronomy and astrology in the ancient Near East to medieval and Renaissance ideas of time and the development of clocks and other modern ideas and scientific theories. The course concludes with an examination of the social and political consciousness of and control over time in American society. Readings incorporate the works of historians, archeologists, scientists, novelists, and poets, from the classical Greeks to H.G. Wells. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

SOSC 6309 (3). THE STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: AMERICA’S DILEMMA. The course examines certain violations of human rights within their historical context. Attention is also given to the evolution of civil and human rights as entities within global political thought and practice. Students learn to recognize the use of propaganda to justify or deny violations of human rights, from torture to terrorism and from slavery to genocide. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Humanities; human rights and social justice; gender studies; global studies; American studies.

SOSC 6310 (3). DIGNITAS AND DECADENCE: THE SOCIETY AND CULTURE OF IMPERIAL ROME. This course examines the main currents and ideas of Roman imperial society from the establishment of monarchical rule by the first emperor, Augustus, to the fall of the empire in the fifth century A.D. Students examine the profound social changes experienced by Roman society as a result of its military expansion; the incorporation of new peoples; developments in polytheistic and monotheistic religion; the spread of Stoic philosophy; and changes in the definition of Romanitas and Roman citizenship, including developments in gender- and class-based rights. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Humanities; global studies; human rights and social justice; arts and cultural traditions.

SOSC 6314 (3). LIVING THROUGH THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. This course explores the social history of the American Revolution and its meaning for the many different people who experienced it. Focusing on one stage in the historical process of becoming American, the course shows how these people took part in a set of large-scale transforming events that changed the course of history and themselves. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6315 (3). FROM HANNIBAL TO THE FALL OF ROME: EMPIRE AT WAR. This course provides an introduction to Roman warfare and diplomacy, with special attention to Roman theories of imperialism and the just war. These scholarly problems are particularly familiar to modern Americans. Focus is on primary texts, monuments, and artifacts that illustrate Roman expansionism and military life. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

SOSC 6319 (3). THE MEDIEVAL CITY. This course covers the historical importance and cultural creativity of the European urban tradition from the time of the Roman Empire to the end of the Middle Ages. Since the greatest achievements of human energy and talent have taken place within the urban environment, the study of cities provides a singular perspective upon European history. The class follows a chronological and thematic path and leads students through the evolution of the urban settlement system, bearing in mind not only “the city of stones” but also “the living city.” Class discussions focus on understanding the men and women who lived in the medieval city, their ideas, and the differences between their world and the 21st century. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

SOSC 6327 (3). AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP. This seminar weaves together the disciplines of history, law, and political science to confront the problems of American citizenship in the past, present, and future. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies.

SOSC 6329 (3). THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY. The course examines issues concerning the modern or postwar presidency, an institution at the center of the political system that is fascinating, perplexing, and in many senses paradoxical. This study exposes students to a variety of perspectives and methods that can be employed to analyze the institution, and the decisions and effectiveness of specific presidential administrations. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; American studies.

SOSC 6330 (3). POLITICS AND FILM. Designed to use film as a vehicle for enhancing students’ understanding of real-world politics and culture in the United States, the course considers political ambition, electoral politics, the nature of political leadership, theories of decision-making, and the role of the media in politics. Additionally, the course examines two faces of film: a portrayal (accurate or not) of politics, and a political act in itself. From the 1940s to the present, films have had the potential to deepen people’s understanding of political change but have also raised questions as to the political agenda of their makers, the use or misuse of history, and the extent to which filmmaking is motivated by the profit incentive and the cultural norms that govern the industry. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies; communications, media, and technology; American studies; arts and cultural traditions.

SOSC 6331 (3). PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AND AMERICAN POLITICS. This course studies presidential elections in the United States in two tracks. The first track examines the modern history of presidential elections, the methods used to study these contests, and the conclusions of the research community that analyzes these elections, and it covers the nomination phase and the general election campaign. This examination provides the intellectual background necessary to follow and to understand modern presidential election campaigns and American politics generally. The second track looks specifically at the most recent presidential campaign or election process. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; American studies.

SOSC 6332 (3). IDEAS SHAPING THE AMERICAN CHARACTER I: 1607–1876. Through the biographies and writings of key early Americans, this course explores the political, economic, religious, social, intellectual, and artistic ideas that have shaped the American character. Specific attention is given to the free enterprise system and democracy as twin pillars upholding the edifice of the republic. Discussion begins with key figures, including John Winthrop, Anne Hutchinson, and John Edwards; moves to the founding members of the republic; continues with 18th-century figures such as Tecumseh, Emerson, Thorough, and Frederick Douglass; includes feminists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, and Susan B. Anthony; and concludes with Civil War figures Jefferson David and Abraham Lincoln. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6333 (3). IDEAS SHAPING THE AMERICAN CHARACTER II: 1877–PRESENT. Through the biographies and writings of key early Americans, the course explores the political, economic, religious, social, intellectual, and artistic ideas that have shaped the American character. Specific attention is given to the free enterprise system and democracy as twin pillars upholding the edifice of the republic. Key figures include Frederick Jackson Turner, Willa Cather, Eugene Debs, W.E.B. Dubois, Carrie Chapman Carr, Frank Lloyd Wright, Bob Dylan, Ronald Reagan, and Madeleine Albright. Note: This course constitutes the second half of Ideas Shaping the American Character but is self-contained; SOSC 6332 is not a prerequisite for this course. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6342 (3). AMERICA’S DEFINING MOMENT: THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION. The modern South has yet to shake the tragedy of the War Between the States. This course examines the origins of this struggle and the reasons it continues to fascinate Americans, the battles, the reasons for the North’s victory, and the effect on today’s South. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Humanities; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6343 (3). THE POLITICS OF A CAPITALIST DEMOCRACY. This course examines the special relationship between American democratic politics and the free market economy, as well as the rationale of free enterprise. Individuals interested in the political and philosophical questions raised by this country’s system of democratic capitalism find the course particularly relevant. Current issues, problems, values, and criticisms of the free enterprise system are discussed. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies.

SOSC 6344 (3). CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC ISSUES I. Economics topics are subject to intense political, philosophical, and moral debate. How should society care for the poor? Is the current distribution of wealth and income fair? Should Americans allow jobs to be outsourced? What is the role of government in restricting or promoting business objectives? This course examines the market in the context of efficiency, fairness, and moral justifications. Through a combination of lectures, readings, and class discussions, students examine the theoretical basis of capitalism and its variations as a means of organizing and allocating resources. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; humanities; American studies.

SOSC 6345 (3). CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC ISSUES II. Economics topics are subject to intense political, philosophical, and moral debate. How should society care for the poor? Is the current distribution of wealth and income fair? Should Americans allow jobs to be outsourced? What is the role of government in restricting or promoting business objectives? This course examines the market in the context of efficiency, fairness, and moral justifications. Through a combination of lectures, readings, and class discussions, students examine the theoretical basis of capitalism and its variations as a means of organizing and allocating resources. Note: SOSC 6344 is not a prerequisite for this course. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; humanities; American studies.

SOSC 6348 (3). THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF POLITICAL THOUGHT. Political theory gives people ways of seeing, describing, and altering the political world. This course is an introduction to the way political thinkers do these things in the process of creating political theory. There is no single, agreed-upon definition of politics, no privileged methodology for examining politics, and no universal agreement as to the values that should shape politics. It is important to understand why this is so. The course addresses this situation and examines the questions raised by theorists such as Emma Goldman, Ayn Rand, John Locke, and John Stuart Mill. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; global studies.

SOSC 6350 (3). FIRST-PERSON AMERICAN LIVES. Since the 17th century, Americans have been telling their stories. Two of the most famous storytellers are Benjamin Franklin and Malcolm X. Students read a wide range of first-person American stories describing the authors’ lives, as well as the times in which the authors lived, the problems each faced, and about how they dealt with their difficulties. This course explores not only what made each of these people unique, but also what they held in common. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies.

SOSC 6353 (3). WOMEN IN U.S. HISTORY. Students survey the history of women in the United States from the Colonial era to the present. They explore the diverse historical experiences of Native-American women, African-American women, immigrants, workers, girls, wives, mothers, reformers, feminists, and other women. They examine the changes and continuities over time in women’s roles, status, private and public experiences, and sense of self and identity. They pay careful attention to the ways in which gender – as a conceptual category and a system of power relations – shaped and was shaped by larger currents of social, economic, cultural, intellectual, and political change during the course of U.S. history. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; gender studies; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6355 (3). AMERICA ENRAGED: FROM INTEGRATION TO WATERGATE 1954-1974. The 20-year era spanning 1954–1974 was tumultuous, exalting, foreboding and bewildering. A nation that had prided itself on political stability found its political system no longer capable of meeting the demands for change. A nation that had taken for granted a collective commitment to public order suddenly was stunned by the fragility of its institutions and the assault upon the values professed by the society. In this era, Americans for the first time took to the streets by the thousands, sometimes by the tens of thousands, to resolve disputes once left to the established governmental processes. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; American studies.

SOSC 6356 (3). CIVIL RIGHTS: THE UNFINISHED REVOLUTION. This course involves a week off-campus that focuses on the history and politics of the movement that destroyed the system of racial segregation, dissolved barriers to political participation by African Americans, and influenced the culture and politics of the United States. The course combines readings and classroom discussion with an extended trip over spring break to historical civil rights venues. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities, human rights and social justice, gender studies; American studies.

SOSC 6367 (3). COMPARATIVE REVOLUTIONS: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE. What is the nature of modern political revolutions? What are the conditions that tend to produce a revolutionary explosion? What are the characteristics of revolutionary leaders? Why do people follow them? By considering these and other related questions, this course provides interdisciplinary perspectives on a topic of special interest in this age of monumental upheaval and rapid societal change. While highlighting the unique or distinctive characteristics of particular revolutions, it utilizes comparative analysis to underscore the common denominators of the modern revolutionary experience. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; humanities; human rights and social justice.

SOSC 6376 (3). CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE: RENAISSANCE TO ENLIGHTENMENT. This course analyzes predominant themes in the literature, philosophy, art, and music of European civilization, from the Italian Renaissance through the French Enlightenment. It emphasizes those aspects of the European heritage that have been of primary importance in shaping Western culture in the 20th century. This course is part one of a two-part series, but the two courses need not be taken sequentially. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies.

SOSC 6377 (3). CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE: ROMANTICISM TO THE PRESENT. This course explores major trends in the development of European literature, philosophy, art, and music in the 19th and 20th centuries. Primary attention is devoted to the role of arts and ideas in the shaping of the contemporary world. Part two of a two-part series; part one is not a prerequisite. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; arts and cultural traditions; global studies.

SOSC 6378 (3). MOBILIZATION AND MOVEMENTS IN NONDEMOCRACIES. This course seeks answers to why and how people engage in collective action in nondemocracies. The absence of open and responsive public institutions under authoritarian regimes makes civil society a vital arena of contentious politics. Students study the many forms of mobilization and the power of mass action, explore how various movements interact with the state and the state’s responses, and consider the types of popular change that may result in the state and in civil society.

SOSC 7100 (1). SPECIAL TOPICS IN HUMAN RIGHTS. The study of human rights requires a sense of history and moral courage, for no nation or society in human history has been totally innocent of human rights abuses. This course examines certain violations of human rights within their historical context, and focuses on America’s human rights record with regard to its own policies and its relationship to human rights violations in other countries. Attention is given to the evolution of both civil and human rights as entities within global political thought and practice. Students are encouraged to rely on reasonable evidence and critical thinking when studying these historical controversies, rather than on biased accounts or emotional arguments. Students discuss special topics in the status of human rights in the world today, from torture to terrorism and from slavery to genocide. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; gender studies; global studies.

SOSC 7305 (3). SPECIAL TOPICS IN HUMAN RIGHTS. The study of human rights requires a sense of history and moral courage, for no nation or society in human history has been totally innocent of human rights abuses. This course examines certain violations of human rights within their historical context, and focuses on America’s human rights record with regard to its own policies and its relationship to human rights violations in other countries. Attention is given to the evolution of both civil and human rights as entities within global political thought and practice. Students are encouraged to rely on reasonable evidence and critical thinking when studying these historical controversies, rather than on biased accounts or emotional arguments. Students discuss special topics in the status of human rights in the world today, from torture to terrorism and from slavery to genocide. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; gender studies; global studies.

SOSC 7308 (3). THE GREAT ENCOUNTER: HOW THE INDIANS AND EUROPEANS MET. Something absolutely without precedent in all of human history began when Christopher Columbus arrived in the Western Hemisphere: complete strangers met, with no knowledge of one another and no mental equipment for dealing with one another. Until 1492, the Atlantic Ocean had been an absolute barrier between the peoples of Europe and the New World; from then on, Europeans knew they were likely to discover previously unknown places and to find people in those places. Even confirmed evidence of life on an extrasolar planet (which would imply the development of life more or less throughout the cosmos) will be less surprising, if or when such evidence comes. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; American studies; human rights and social justice.

SOSC 7313 (3). ATHENS AND DEMOCRACY: THE GREAT EXPERIMENT. Covers one of the great stories of Western civilization, from its beginnings with the reforms of Draco, to its height under Pericles, to its fall and restoration at the end of the Peloponnesian War. This riveting story is explored through primary readings and other texts, slide presentations, and ongoing discussions about the form and nature of ancient democracy and its modern counterparts. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: global studies; humanities.

SOSC 7318 (3). MAN AND FOOD: NOURISHMENT THROUGH THE MIDDLE AGES. The historical role and prominence of food, with a focus on different experiences, customs, and cultural mixtures during the Middle Ages. In this nontraditional approach, students examine general elements of food history on the economic, social, and cultural level as a means for understanding former civilizations in the western, eastern, and Mediterranean areas/regions of Europe as well as other areas. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; environmental sustainability.

SOSC 7320 (3). ALEXANDER THE GREAT: MYTH AND REALITY. Alexander the Great, one of the most charismatic figures in history, conquered the known world through a combination of brilliant leadership, masterful tactical and strategic war victories, and sheer grit and determination. He spread Greek culture all the way to India and ushered in the so-called Hellenistic era of broad Greek influence throughout the eastern Mediterranean world. Students study his life and career and consider where and how myth became reality and vice versa with this transformative figure. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentration: humanities.

SOSC 7324 (3). THE IMPACT OF THE ARAB SPRING ON ISRAEL AND MIDDLE EAST. Analyzes the impact of the Arab Spring on the Islamic legal system, the Muslim religion and social order, Israel, the West, and international law. Students explore numerous areas of Islamic and Israeli law, international law, culture, crimes and punishments, economic developments, fundamentalism, and moderation. The course also focuses on human rights in the Islamic legal tradition and in all countries of the Middle East and North Africa in light of international human rights standards, and examines the Arab Spring in light of historical and present Islamic thought. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: human rights and social justice; global studies; humanities.

SOSC 7351 (3). GENDER IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY: TRADITION AND CHANGE. This course explores the cultural and social concepts of gender from a global perspective by using studies from the United States and various other countries. It presents a synthesis of a wide range of ethnographic and historical data concerning the roles of women and men in different types of societies such as bands, tribes, chiefdoms, and agricultural and industrial states. It explores various perceptions of gender issues by examining concepts and theories from fields such as health care, religion, language, fashion, and mass media.

SOSC 7355 (3). THE HISTORY OF RACIAL THINKING TO 1850. Examines the history and development of racial thinking from the ancient world to the beginnings of Western anthropology in the first half of the 19th century. Students analyze early racial thinking from a rigorous historical perspective and according to a particular set of traditions and cultural circumstances. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice.

SOSC 7356 (3). THE HISTORY OF 19TH-CENTURY RACIAL THINKING BEFORE AND AFTER DARWIN. Examines the history and development of Western racial thinking during the 19th century before and after Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” (1859). Racial thinking is analyzed from a rigorous historical perspective and a particular set of traditions and cultural circumstances. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; global studies.

SOSC 7358 (3). REFUGEES AND DISPLACED PEOPLE: VICTIMS OF WAR, GENOCIDE, AND ETHNIC CONFLICT. An estimated 43.7 million people are currently displaced worldwide. Of the total, 15.4 million are refugees; 10.55 million refugees are under the care of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and 4.82 million are registered with the United Nations as Palestinian refugees. Some 27.5 million people are displaced internally by conflict and 837,500 are asylum-seekers. This course focuses on the causes of the massive displacement of ordinary people; the actions of those responsible for aiding them; the modern history of forced displacement; and the legal, charitable, and political structures that deal with the problem. It examines the various governments, international organizations, and private religious and secular charities that provide help to the displaced. Through the stories this cast tells about the problems they face, students gain a greater understanding of this little-known humanitarian crisis and the people involved. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: humanities; human rights and social justice; global studies.