Master of Liberal Studies

Fall 2014 Course Schedule

SPECIAL NOTE:  Classes, dates, and times are subject to cancelation/change based on enrollment. 
Fall Course Schedule downloadable pdf.  

MONDAY CLASSES 6:30 - 9:20 P.M.

Marriage and Family (ORG), (HUM)
BHSC 6303
Class #5817
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Leroy Howe

(NEW) Understanding Strategy: Government, Business and Social Movements  (ORG), (HUM), (CMT), (GLO)
BHSC 7362
Class #6005
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

This course seeks to provide an understanding of strategy through the ages followed by an in-depth examination of the strategy of two case studies each in the military, business, and social movements. This course explores concepts of strategy and focuses students on how to think more strategically.

Instructor: Andrew Weaver

Creating Poetry (CRW), (HUM), (ACT)
FNAR 6394
Class #5815
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Gary Swaim

Indigenous Rights in a Global Economy  (HRJ), (GLO), (HUM), (GEN)
HUMN 6326
Class #5816
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: John Vernon

The Art of African-American Storytelling  (ACT), (HUM), (HRJ), (GEN), (AMS)
HUMN 6350
Class #5818
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Njoki McElroy

Special Topics in Human Rights: The Holocaust  (HRJ), (GEN), (GLO), (HUM)
SOSC 7305
Class #5814
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Rick Halperin 

(NEW) Climate Change and Society  (ENV), (ORG), (HUM), (AMS), (GLO), (HRJ) 
SCCL 7303 
Class #6006
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

Quality of life on planet Earth depends upon a sustainable climate, a secured environment, and adaptation to the change in climate. Scientists around the world are seeking solutions to mitigate effects of climate change. Scientists have revealed that our climate is warming due to anthropogenic impacts. The science of Climate Change is at the forefront of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and global societies. A sustainable climate reduces carbon emissions to protect the environment, public health and welfare. Greenhouse gases have been determined to be a significant contributor to climate change. This course allows students to learn about the science of climate change, human activities and greenhouse gas emissions, history of carbon and climate, worldwide effects and carbon pollution, and what sustainable measures are being considered. This course focuses on developing climate change strategies, reporting on global activities, and following the United Nations Peoples’ Sustainability Treaties, along with other activities. It offers a broad education on climate change and impacts.

Instructor: Joyce Stubblefield

(NEW) Capitalism and Literature (FEI), (HUM)
SOSC 7361
Class #6721
Mondays
3 Credit Hours

The “great transformation” by which a traditional moral economy gave way to a modern market econ-omy, first remade Western societies in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and now, in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries, global society. This transformation was celebrated in classical economics and condemned in Marxian economics; it motivated the rise of human sciences; and it has been a central preoccupation of modern philosophy and theology.  Less noticed, but no less significant, has been the literary exploration of the meaning of markets.  This course considers several of the more significant contributions to what is an extensive literature of capitalism.  Readings include Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders and extracts from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, and Emile Zola’s Woman’s Paradise, Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, and Mohsin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in New Asia.  These readings will be supplemented by a number of short stories, poetry (in particular, from the English Romantic poets), short plays (in particular, by David Mamet and Caryl Churchill), and possibly, if time permits, one short film. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Humanities, Global Studies, Arts and Cultural Traditions, and Organizational Dynamics. It also qualifies for the Free Enterprise Scholarship designated for teachers.

Instructor: Charles Sullivan

TUESDAY CLASSES 6:30 - 9:20 P.M.

Abnormal Psychology of Mind, Body and Health (HUM)
BHSC 6322
Class #5821
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Michael Lindsey

(NEW) Roman Art and Architecture   (HUM), (ACT), (GEN)
FNAR 7372
Class #6007
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

Roman art and archaeology is a cornerstone of Mediterranean and European civilization and resonates in many aspects of Western civilization in general.  In this course we will study the material culture of the Roman world from its beginnings among the Seven Hills of Rome, its engagement with the Etruscans and their art and civilization to the north, and its growth and expansion into the rest of Italy.  We will consider the artistic and archaeological record of its conquest of Carthage and the western Mediterranean on the one hand, and Greece and the eastern Mediterranean on the other.  We will analyze Rome’s military, architectural, and engineering feats, and learn how Rome developed its own artistic and architectural culture and language.  We will consider the great diversity of peoples and cultures that created the artistic achievements of the Roman Empire, and how that geographical diversity led not only to a political but also to a cultural and artistic divergence as the Mediterranean world split into East and West in the late Roman Empire.

Instructor: Marsha McCoy

(NEW) Lone Star Art Stars: Contemporary Texas Artists  (ACT), (AMS), (HUM)
FNAR 7373
Class#6008
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

This course presents contemporary art by Texas artists that began with the Lone Star Regionalists in the 1930s and now straddles the 21st century. The course engages students to explore the art of our region (3rd largest artist population in US) in area galleries, museums, art spaces, and private collections. Students become familiar with Texas artists, their signature styles, and how their art continues to mature and develop confidence looking at new art, enhancing their own aesthetic judgment and gaining confidence in personal collecting. This class seeks to expand students' awareness of how the North Texas environment impacts artists and collectors by visiting galleries, studios, and private collections.

Instructor: Joan Davidow

(NEW) Mythic Image in Pop Music and Technology  (CMT), (ACT), (HUM)
FNAR 7374
Class #6009
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

With an in-depth analysis of myth, pop music, and contemporary music technology, this course examines the phenomenon of pop music acting in ways that mimic and often replace the traditional functions of the culturally informing myth. The course will specifically focus on technology from 1877 to the present, address issues of myth’s presence and viability in a modern world, and investigate, as modern mythic figures, a multitude of pop icons, including Lady Gaga, Rush, and Ice-T, and the means with which their music affects communities of listeners both locally and globally.

Instructor: Brian Fennig

The Literature of Religious Reflection  (WI), (HUM)
HUMN 6361
Class #5819
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Rick Bozorth

The Cultural Politics of Pop, Rock and Rap (HUM), (ACT), (AMS)
HUMN 7303
Class #5820
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

This course 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.

Instructor: Bruce Levy

Waking Up: The Philosophy of Yoga and the Practice of Meditation (HUM), (ACT), (GEN), (GLO)
HUMN 7380
Class #6722
Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30pm–1:50pm

3 Credit Hours

This course explores the foundational philosophical and psychological assumptions of the rich (and often controversial) Hindu traditions of yoga and tantra. The course involves equal emphasis on theory, experience and practice as it relates to yogic/tantric vision, energy centers, breathing techniques, modes of meditation, and gods and goddesses. It provides for profound understandings of the nature of selfhood and consciousness, the sacralization of sexuality and daily life and the goal of full awakening to one's Divine Nature.

Instructor: Bill Barnard

(NEW) Global Sport and Nationalism  (GLO), (HRJ), (GEN)
SOSC 7362
Class #6010
Tuesdays
3 Credit Hours

This course examines nationalism from the perspective of international sports competitions, including the Olympic Games, the Asian Games and the World Cup. Beginning with a study of nationalism and identity theories in anthropology and the social sciences, the course applies such theoretical approaches to study how countries have fostered and manipulated their nationalist discourse within the context of the modern international sports competitions. Materials and methods from many scholarly disciplines and traditions are employed: principally from anthropology, and also including sociology, history, political science, literature, economics, and cultural studies. Students write a final culminating paper on the topic of nationalism and sport in one particular country or region.

Instructor: Justin Rudelson

WEDNESDAY CLASSES  6:30 - 9:20 P.M.

(NEW) The Art of Public Speaking: Art and Science of American Public Address (CMT), (HUM), (ACT)
BHSC 6302
Class #6373
Wednesdays 
3 Credit Hours

The history and culture of America can be traced through its rich tradition of public oration. This course uses the history of American public address as a backdrop for understanding the theories and practices of public speaking. It is designed to create an understanding of the processes that create great speeches and provide the analytical tools for understanding and critiquing contemporary public address. Topics to be explored include speech writing, delivery, utilizing the rhetorical situation, persuasion and rhetorical critique. The course employs both primary and secondary sources as a method for understanding the art and science of American public address.

Instructor: Christopher Salinas

Modern European and American Painting  (ACT), (AMS), (GLO), (HUM)
FNAR 6322
Class #5825
Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Dianne Goode

Women’s Lives and Literature   (WI), (HRJ), (HUM), (GEN), (ACT)
HUMN 6308
Class #5826
Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Martha Satz

THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE (REQ - INTRO)
HUMN 6316
Class #5822
Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

Examine issues of human existence using interdisciplinary perspectives, primary readings, large group presentations and discussion groups. Learn the various disciplines of human thought and problems. Contribute to the overall knowledge of the many ways in which humans try to understand themselves and the world around them. 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. Take a close look at the human condition, human creations such as social institutions, art and literature, and science. 

Instructor: Michael Callaghan 

Bioethics and Public Policy   (ENV), (AMS), (GLO), (HRJ)
SCCL 6303
Class #5824
Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Tom McFaul

The Cultural and Intellectual History of Europe: Romanticism to Present  (GLO), (HUM), (ACT)
SOSC 6377
Class #5828
Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

Explores major trends in the development of European literature, philosophy, art, and music in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Primary attention is devoted to the role of arts and ideas in the shaping of our contemporary world. Part II of a two-part series; Part I is not a prerequisite.

Instructor: John Mears 

Refugees and Displaced Persons (HUM), (GLO), (HRJ), (GEN)
SOSC 7358
Class #5827
Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

An estimated 43.7 million people are currently displaced worldwide. Of the total, 15.4 million are refugees - 10.55 million under the care of the UN High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) and 4.82 million registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Some 27.5 million people are displaced internally by conflict and 837,500 are asylum-seekers. This course will focus 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. Throughout the course, attempts will be made to understand the problems faced by these people by hearing their stories. Upon completion, students will have an understanding of this cast and little known humanitarian crisis.

Instructor: Hugh Parmer 

THURSDAY CLASSES 6:30 - 9:20 P.M.

Time Past, Time Present – Storytelling with a Backdrop of History  (CRW), (HUM)
FNAR 6396
Class #5832
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Janet Harris

The Human Experience: An Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (INTRO), (REQ)
HUMN 6316
Class #5823
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Gary Swaim

Consuming News in the Digital Age (CMT), (GLO), (HUM), (AMS)    
HUMN 6395  
Class #5853   
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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. 

Instructor: Yolette Garcia

Darwin in His Time and Ours (WI), (HUM)
HUMN 7356
Class #5830
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: John Lewis

(NEW) Literature and Mental Illness  (HUM)
HUMN 7377
Class #6723
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

This course will examine how several serious psychological disorders manifest themselves in selected works of imaginative literature—including fiction, drama, poetry, and film.  Disorders to be considered will include dissociative disorders, bipolar and depressive disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders and schizophrenic disorders.  Rather than looking at these disorders merely as labels to stigmatize certain behaviors, we will seek to understand the origins of these disorders in certain characters.  We will look at the ways that they impact the thought patterns and behavior of the character, in isolation, and in interaction with other characters and what special insights, if any, a character with a given disorder may reach because of or in spite of that disorder.  We will also pay attention to what psychological and/or artistic resolution, if any, occurs within the context of the literary work.  In addition, we will examine some of the literary techniques, such as stream of consciousness and magical realism, through which the stories are told.  Furthermore, inquiry will be made into the relation between the author’s mental state and the disorders exhibited by the characters created.

Instructor: Gerry Perkus 

Waking Up: The Philosophy of Yoga and the Practice of Meditation (HUM), (ACT), (GEN), (GLO)
HUMN 7380
Class #6722
Thursdays and Tuesdays 12:30pm–1:50pm
3 Credit Hours

This course explores the foundational philosophical and psychological assumptions of the rich (and often controversial) Hindu traditions of yoga and tantra. The course involves equal emphasis on theory, experience and practice as it relates to yogic/tantric vision, energy centers, breathing techniques, modes of meditation, and gods and goddesses. It provides for profound understandings of the nature of selfhood and consciousness, the sacralization of sexuality and daily life and the goal of full awakening to one's Divine Nature.

Instructor: Bill Barnard

Democracy in SE Asia  (GLO – NW), (HUM)   
SOSC 6302
Class #5829 
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: LaiYee Leong

Presidential Elections and Politics  (AMS), (GLO), (GEN) , (CMT) 
SOSC 6331 
Class #5833  
Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Dennis Simon 

SATURDAY CLASSES  8:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.

Living Systems: Understanding Organizational Dynamics (HUM), (ORG) - PLANO CAMPUS (8:30AM-12:00PM)
BHSC 6308
Class #5831
Saturdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Charlotte Barner

Conflict and Communication  (CMT), (ORG), (GEN), (HUM) - DALLAS CAMPUS (9:30AM-12:20PM)
BHSC 7358
Class #6774
Saturdays
3 Credit Hours

This course examines the psychological dynamics associated with the process and consequences of interpersonal conflict. Students learn how people understand, explain, and respond to the various conflicts that comprise their reality: internal, interpersonal, and intergroup struggles. Cognitive, affective, and motivational processes are presented and discussed in the context of different philosophical and scientific explanations. The course explores the moral, political, and cultural dimensions of conflict as they shape the identity of individuals and groups. Didactic and experiential learning is emphasized.

Instructor: Tony Picchioni

STUDY AWAY PROGRAMS

INDEPENDENT HUMAN RIGHTS STUDY
In the Camps: Poland Holocaust Sites (December 18-30, 2014)
SOSC 6300 

Travel and lecture course that combines a visit to major Nazi death camps in Poland and a study of why and how genocide can happen in any time period.

Instructor:  Rick Halperin

Contact Us

Email: mls@smu.edu  
Phone: 214-768-4273
Fax: 214-768-2104
Postal Mail: Master of Liberal Studies, Southern Methodist University, P.O. Box 750253, Dallas, TX 75275-0253