Master of Liberal Studies

Summer 2014 Course Schedule

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

Summer I (Dallas) June 2 - July 1 (6:30 p.m. - 9:20 p.m.)

The Lively Mind  (HUM)
BHSC 6315
Class #2283
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

Proficient thinking is crucial in the global world of the twenty-first century. No matter one’s career, success depends upon how well one correlates, judges, and communicates information. This course will examine the processes of creative and critical thinking and explore the development of intellectual skills in these processes.

Instructor: Jody Potts 

Psychology: The Discovery of Self  (HUM)
BHSC 6355
Class #2282
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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. 

Instructor: Michael Lindsey

On Being Funny  (HUM), (ACT)
FNAR 6316
Class #2279
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours  

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.

Instructor: Sara Romersberger

Creating the Short Story (CRW), (HUM), (ACT)
FNAR 7360
Class #2281
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

Creating the short story is a course designed to explore and create both the short, short story (flash fiction) and the longer short story. Conducted as a workshop, this course will involve students in the reading and varieties of interpretations of assigned short stories and related materials. Focus will be on the crafting of student generated short stories and the critiquing of stories created by each colleague, as well as myself, as mentor. The aim of the course is to move student work toward potential publication. (This course may be repeated for credit.)


Instructor: Gary Swaim

Reading Poetry (WI), (HUM), (ACT)
HUMN 6309
Class #2280
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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. 

Instructor: Rick Bozorth

The Human Experience: Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies  (INTRO), (REQ)  
HUMN 6316 
Class #2276
Mondays, Wednesdays, 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: Martha Satz

Troubled Youth: Educating the Young in America  (WI), (HUM), (GEN), (AMS)
HUMN 6397
Class #2278 
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

Through fiction, nonfiction, and film, this course examines the paired problems of adolescence and education in America.

Instructor: Bruce Levy

(NEW) Human Rights in the Digital Age  (HRJ), (GLO), (HUM), (CMT) 
HUMN 6116
Class #2373
1 Credit Hour 

This class explores the connections between the Internet, computer and communications technologies, and human rights. As individuals become more connected and join the global society found in cyberspace, competing forces are reshaping the Internet. These forces need to take into account various human rights issues as the Internet grows and becomes more a part of everyday life for people across the world. For example, what is the correct balance between human rights for freedom of speech and information and organizational control over the Internet? Specifically, Jorgensen’s research frames the questions surrounding the Internet and human rights into four spheres: infrastructure, public sphere, culture, and medium. Looking at the digital age through the lens of human rights is the focus of this class. This course applies to the following curricular field concentrations: Human Rights and Social Justice, Global Studies, Gender Studies, Communication, Media and Technology, and Humanities.

Instructor: Martinella Dryburgh

The Cultural and Intellectual History of Europe: Renaissance to Enlightenment  (GLO), (HUM)  
SOSC 6376 
Class #2277
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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. 

Instructor: John Mears 

Summer II (Dallas) July 7 - August 5 (6:30 p.m. - 9:20 p.m.)

(NEW) Of Mad Women and Possessing Spirits: Gender and Psychopathology in Culture  (HRJ), (GEN), (GLO), (HUM), ACT)
BHSC 7361
Class #2375
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

How do people experience psychological distress, and what might its varied manifestations – psychiatric symptoms, somatic complaints, spirit afflictions, relational disruptions, to name a few – tell us about the social and cultural construction of psychopathology? While the suffering of psychological illnesses is an excruciating reality in the lives of many people around the world, its amelioration necessitates an understanding of how both the conception and experience of psychopathology is shaped by local values and conditions. This advanced course draws upon the fields of anthropology, psychology, psychiatry, history, religion, and gender and sexuality studies to explore the interrelationships between culture, gender and conceptualization of ‘madness’ in North America and other parts of the world. We will ask the following three questions in this course: (1) To what extent does madness ‘reside’ in the individual person and to what extent is it socially constructed? (2) In what ways is the experience and understanding of madness gendered, or in other words, do experiences of madness differ among men and women, and do they experience different kinds of madness? (3) What insights can be drawn about the processes of knowledge production and the shaping of public discourse on mental health and illness by employing a cultural and gendered lens to study psychopathology?

Instructor: Anubha Sood 

Religion and Theater (ACT), (HUM)
FNAR 7375
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

Born in homage to divinity, theatre in the Western world has told the stories and reflected the beliefs, practices, questions and conflicts within and between individuals, institutions and societies for five recorded millennia. From the Osiris Passion Play in ancient Egypt to “Angels in America” on Broadway, Religion and Theatre surveys the great plays and the societies they reflected. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Arts and Cultural Traditions, and Humanities.

Instructor: Holly Hill

“Tell About the South”: Voices in Faulkner’s Novels  (HUM)
HUMN 6310
Class #2285
Mondays, Wednesdays,Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: John Lewis

Women and Minorities in the Media  (CMT), (GEN), (HUM), (GLO)
HUMN 7367
Class #2284
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
3 Credit Hours

This course explores the topic - women, minorities and the media - with a critical eye. It approaches media criticism by incorporating feminist theory as well as a broader critical/cultural perspective that focuses on gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation. Analyzing the content produced by a handful of powerful conglomerates that today comprise "the mainstream media," this class looks below the surface of the media used for entertainment and/or information to explore what it says about our political economy, our norms and values, our society. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: American Studies, Communication, Media and Technology and Humanities.

Instructor: Camille Kraeplin

(NEW) Latin American Literature and Culture: Revolution, Magical Realism, Feminine Writing, Dictatorship and Immigration  (HUM), (GLO), (HRJ), (GEN), (AMS)
HUMN 7376
Class #2374
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours  

Literature has been used as a revolutionary tool by cultures on every continent and it has often been a catalyst for social change and political action. This class examines the relationship between writing and politics, asking: What is the relationship between art and politics? How do we understand what a revolution is and specifically in the context of Latin America? How has revolution been fictionalized in Latin America? What roles have the arts played in the emergence of the imaginary in the Caribbean and Latin America? How were national consolidation and social heterogeneity reconciled in the literary discourses? We will take a journey through Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and study how different authors articulate, through poetry, novels, essays and short stories their perspective about cultural, social and political dynamics prevalent in their particular contexts. 

Instructor: María del Pilar Melgarejo

Organizational Communications   (CMT), (ORG), (HUM)
HUMN 7381
Class #2636
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays
3 Credit Hours

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the theory and research underlying the discipline of organizational communication. Particular emphasis will be given to the communicative approaches and processes that exist within many past and present organizational environments. Topics that are categorized as approaches and processes include: classical management theory, human relations and human resources approaches, organizational systems, organizational culture, ethics and critical theory, organizational socialization, decision-making, conflict management, organizational change, leadership, emotion in the workplace, organizational diversity, and technology in the workplace. These topics will be synthesized by virtue of relevant communication theory, research and practice through lecture, discussion and application.

Instructor: Cara Jacocks


New Art in New Mexico (ACT), (AMS), (GEN) (HUM)
July 6-14, 2014
FNAR 7363
Class #2292
3 Credit Hours

This course presents contemporary art that straddles the 21st century and sets the stage to explore new art in situ while studying at SMU's Taos campus. The course focuses on 50 familiar artists, their signature styles, and how they changed the course of art history. In particular, this course helps students develop confidence looking at new art, enchancing their own aesthetic judgment and expanding their awareness of how the southwestern environment impacts artists and collectors. This course may be applied to the following curricular field concentrations: Arts and Cultural Traditions, American Studies and Humanities.

Instructor: Joan Davidow

Wildflowers of the Southern Rockies   (ENV), (GLO), (AMS)
July 6-14, 2014
SCCL 7205/7105
Class #2287/2288
3 Credit Hours

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).

Instructor: John Ubelaker 


Renaissance and Baroque Art in Italy  (GLO), (HUM), (ACT)
June 7–21, 2014    
FNAR 6336
Class #2293
3 Credit Hours

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.

Instructor: Dianne Goode

Collective Memory, History and Conflict - MADRID  (HUM), (GLO), (CMT), (ORG)
June 15-21, 2014
BHSC 7363
3 Credit Hours

Memory is the manner in which humans process, remember, store information and reconstruct prior experiences. Memory allows us to learn from prior experiences, adapt, and build relationships. Through memory we can remember if someone has kept a promise, store our perceptions about individuals, and predict future actions. In many ways we construct who we are through the memories that we store in our memory. When memories are shared and agreed upon by a group, they become collective memories. Collective memories are produced within society and are passed on from generation to generation. Through collective memories individuals can recall events that they have not personally experienced (Hallbawchs 1992: 38). Memory allows us to connect with others, but it can also create differences that lead to conflict. Memory can be an instrument for social justice, or a tool for perpetuating injustices.

Please email for trip information.

Instructors: Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán & Betty Gilmore

(NEW) International Conflict Engagement – GENEVA  (HUM), (GLO), (CMT), ORG)
June 22-29, 2014

BHSC 7364
3 Credit Hours 

The study of conflict engagement in an international context can be framed in many ways. For this study abroad course we will look at the issues related to conflict engagement in a chronological spectrum that runs from what John Burton once called “provention” - work done before overt or physical conflict breaks out - through “engagement” during times when conflict is live and ongoing, to “peacebuilding” or “capacity building,” done when hot conflict has concluded or paused. The course will begin with a weekend session at SMU in Plano and conclude with a week in Geneva, Switzerland, visiting non-governmental organizations (NGO's) and international intervention offices.  Topics discussed in the Plano session and in the visit to Geneva will include approaches to direct intervention, the relationship of dispute resolution theory to actions in international conflict engagement, and the challenges of working in day-to-day high stress environments.

Please email for trip information.

Instructor: Dan Rainey

Human Rights Field Experience: Israel  (HRJ) (HUM) (GLO) (GEN)
Aug 4-16, 2014
SOSC 6300

The Embrey Human Rights Program invites you to travel to Israel.  Please email for trip information.

Instructor: Rick Halperin

Contact Us

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