Curriculum

Cross-listed Leadership courses (LDR 506, LDR 508, LDR 512) are offered on our Main Campus through the Master of Arts in Leadership program, which follows the Accelerated Degree Program calendar.

LS 500 Examining Culture and Civilization: The Introductory Seminar

This course examines the study of culture from a variety of contemporary theoretical perspectives. Students will gain an understanding of such concepts as ethno-centrism and social construction, and learn to reflect critically on cultural comparisons. Through reading and writing about contemporary scholarship, students will develop their skills in graduate level research and writing. This course, a requirement for all Liberal Studies students, will help lay the foundation for work in other courses and the Final Project. 3 credits

LS 508 Romanticism and the Arts

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the concept of nineteenth-century Romanticism in literature, art, and music. We will consider the importance of emotion and imagination in Romanticism, as opposed to reason, and the idea of the artist in relation to Romantic ideas of the individual, the quest, and nature. Central Romantic preoccupations, such as exoticism, eroticism, and death, will also be examined. Students will encounter paintings by Géricault, Turner, and Friedrich, poetry by Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Keats, and music by Schubert, Beethoven, and Bizet 3 credits

LS 510 Text and World: An Examination of the Social

This course operates under the fundamental supposition that the world views (the “texts”) out of which we operate, and the ontological status which we assign to them, are essentially related to human action, which in turn shapes the world in which we live. Examining how “texts” are used to provide both ideological support and legitimization for given social systems’ as well as grounds for rebelling against a given social system, we will turn to three hermeneutics of suspicion developed by Marx, Freud and Nietzsche, and to a hermeneutics of “the given” developed by Paul Ricoeur under the influence of Heidegger and Gadamer. We will also examine theorists in the field of gender studies for their various hermeneutical stances and social implications 3 credits

LS 525 Eastern and Western Mysticism

This seminar is a comparative study of Eastern and Western mysticism. The phenomena of an immediate experience of the divine in a variety of religious traditions will be considered from religious, philosophical and historical perspectives. The art, literature, and music which are manifestations of mystical religion will also be considered. 3 credits

LS 527 Value: Cultural and Philosophical Bases for Economic Valuation

A seminar to trace the meaning and theories of value as formulated by Aristotle, the medievalists, the physiocrats, the mercantilists, the classical economists as well as the Marxists, the marginalists, and the Keynesians. Stress on the development of the theory of value during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Is value within us as a subjective, cultural concept or is it extrinsic and objective? Is it inherent in the objects around us? Readings and papers on various philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, theologians and economists are required. 3 credits

LS 539a/b Drafting the Self: Versions of Creativity

Since everything we experience—everything we read, see, hear, touch, analyze, judge, are smitten by—is a possible quarry for creation, the creative process is inherently cross disciplinary. As the “ultimate” interdisciplinary forum, this seminar is a meeting place, which acknowledges that every experience is a possible resource for the creative process and a possible contributor to the creative product. (a/b denotes a first or second mod for the student). 3 credits

LS 542 Utopia, or the Good Life

This course will explore various intellectual and real efforts to construct the perfect community. In addition to Thomas More’s classic, the course will include Plato’s Republic, Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward, Samuel Butler’s Erewhon, and B. F. Skinner’s Walden II. The students will also read and discuss the anti-Utopias of Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. 3 credits

LS 546 Human Genome

The complications and advantages surrounding our knowing the composition of the genetic self will be the subject of this course. The focus of investigative analysis will be upon such questions as: What is our genetic self? How can this material manifest itself into who we are and what we are? Are there flaws within my genetic self? Who deserves to know of these flaws, and who does not? Can someone actually own parts of me? The personal and social issues contained in this study offer the student an appreciation for, and an understanding of, this scientific development, while also providing a basis for critical analysis of its complexity within the human community. 3 credits

LS 548 Cultural Anthropology

Concerned with the diverse cultural, social and biological patterns of human societies, this course will explore the anthropological approach to culture as the all-encompassing web of shared understandings of human experience and world affecting and guiding human behavior. Cultural anthropology is holistic: it studies human beings within multidimensional relational contexts as cultural molds in which they have arisen in time and space, i.e., in history and particular societies. This course will look at universals and at diversity in human group behavior, and will include a consideration of the impact of economic globalization on cultural diversity. Cultural anthropology offers an objective scientific study of human persons as they shape and are shaped by societal and cultural patterns, enabling an understanding of humanity free from ethnocentric assumptions. 3 credits

LS 550 Special Topics

As new courses are developed for the Liberal Studies program, they are initially offered as Special Topics. Some of the new courses offered as Special Topics, include “Art and Social Change”; “Environmental Politics; “Human Health and Disease” and “The Politics of Food”. 3 credits

PH 565 Origin of Art

An examination of central theories in the West regarding the origin, nature, and epistemological and ontological status of works of art. Questions addressed include: What does it mean to call something a work of art? What is the relationship between art and reality? What determines an artwork’s meaning? Do artworks have a fixed meaning? What is the nature of aesthetic judgment? 3 credits

LDR 506 Moral Leadership: Defining the Character of Individuals in Organizations

In this course we will explore two important and related topics: leadership and ethics in organizations. Questions that will be explored include: What is leadership? How does it differ from management? Does it have an impact on organizational mission and performance? Where are leaders in organizations and what are their roles? What roles do leaders play in shaping the culture and in shaping what is considered right and wrong within the organization? Can ethical reasoning be taught, and if so, how can one learn the needed skills? How can one learn to make right vs. right decisions and explain their decisions to others? Since all organizational decisions are ultimately made and implemented by individuals, we will focus primarily on practical aspects of leadership and ethical decisionmaking as they impact the individual, rather than looking at more broad issues such as the social responsibility of businesses or organizations. 3 credits

LDR 508 Servant Leadership

This course is designed as a study of the theory and practice of Servant Leadership. It is also an exploration of how students can apply Servant Leadership in their own lives. Servant Leadership theory was developed by Robert Greenleaf more than 25 years ago. Since that time Servant Leadership has had a profound effect on the business and nonprofit world. Students will explore the gulf between those who lead in order to serve others, and those who lead in order to serve self. This exploration will be undertaken from a variety of angles. Students will trace the origins of the Servant Leader concept by reading the book from which Greenleaf obtained the original idea, Herman Hesse’s Journey to the East. Simultaneously students will explore modern-day examples of Servant Leadership in action through the writings of top management thinkers. Students will tie it all together by constructing practical applications of the Servant Leader theory to be used at work, school, and/or in their personal lives. 3 credits

LDR 512 Leadership & Diversity

This course will strive to enable students to understand the importance of valuing, as well as managing the diversity or many different kinds of people that are in the workplace. The term diversity goes far beyond race and gender although these two forms of differences have been disadvantaged and underutilized at work. The course will link the potential impact of diversity to individual, group and organizational levels in organizations. There are many employees and managers in organizations who have never engaged in such a course thus students will be asked to consider the loss of teamwork, cohesiveness, synergy, productivity, creativity and other forms of potential in organizations. In this regard, students will be asked to make the classroom a very safe place where differing opinions and ideas may be expressed and in fact, serve as a further basis of the learning. Active class participation will be required; both from students of dominant and non-dominant cultures and social groups. Listening deeply to each other as well as expressing deeply to each other will be encouraged and valued with regard to the grading of the participation factor.3 credits

LS 568 Postmodernism

This course introduces students to the concept of postmodernism. It asks, ‘what is postmodernism?’ It familiarizes students with key texts, authors, and debates in the field of postmodernist theory, and it introduces a variety of accounts of the postmodern (e.g., historical, economic, aesthetic, philosophical, political, cinematic, literary). Students at the graduate level in the humanities ought to have some rudimentary understanding of what is meant by postmodernism, since it has become a key descriptor in the humanities since the ‘seventies. Intellectually, therefore, familiarization with postmodernism contributes to the student’s ability to engage in an informed way with contemporary conversations in a variety fields that comprise ‘liberal studies’ (anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, cultural studies, political science, sociology and so on). Postmodernism opens up a discussion about the nature of the world we live in, questions related to truth, meaning, value, beauty, morality, justice, and how these things are reconstituted in and by the specific formations of the postmodern world.3 credits

LS 569 Religion, Society and Culture

This course will attempt to explore some fundamental aspects of culture and society under the powerful and pervasive presence of religion. In exploring some of the theories and sociological interpretations of religion, establishing a relationship between religion and culture will be emphasized. The recognition and understanding of sacred and profane as religious and sociological entities will provide a useful tool to address real and present issues such as the tension and relationship between modernity and tradition and acceptance and appreciation of cultural values. Even though American culture and American society will be the primary emphasis of this course, there will be opportunity to expand the discussion to other cultures and other societies, both modern and traditional.3 credits

LS 570 Technology, Science, and Culture

This course will attempt to explore some fundamental aspects of culture and society under the powerful and pervasive presence of technology. The role of technology in society will be reviewed from prehistoric to the present times—paying particular attention to its rapid and exponential growth in the West. Topics ranging from the industrial revolution to the digital era, from classical science to quantum mechanics will be studied to identify their relationship to identifiable and distinct cultural and intellectual movements such as “Modernity” and ‘Post modernity’. These and more recent ones will be explored and studied through art and architecture. The question of whether Modernism’s avowed project of “demythification” has succeeded in totally destroying myth, will be raised.3 credits

LS 571 Myth and Architecture

Buildings are unavoidably part of us. We are inescapably involved with buildings. Yet, buildings can be objects indifferent to us as real, thriving, living beings. Architecture as art, particularly in the present and recent past, and architecture as embodied realizations of Modernity, may have sacrificed us for who we are, as real, thriving, living beings, for other concerns—some quite trivial. What, then is architecture (or should be) about? Architecture is a remarkably faithful reflection of our values. This course will use architecture to explore these cultural values. As a rationale we will explore the idea that value is ultimately mythical as opposed to technological. Myth and technology will be studied as equally vital forces in our conscious relation to the world. The definitions, implications, and edifications of myth will be the principle subject of this course.3 credits

LS 572 Consumer Society

This course examines the role of consumption as a defining feature of American social life since World War II. We explore its impact on work, leisure and identity formation, its epistemological implications (i.e., the relationship between image and reality), and notable theories and theorists of modernism/postmodernism and consumer society3 credits

LS 573 Introduction to Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies has emerged as an important interdisciplinary field of study bridging the humanities and social sciences. Its roots are usually traced to two institutional settings: the Frankfurt School (the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt) beginning in the 1920s, and the Birmingham School (the Center for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, England) beginning in the late 1950s. This course focuses on the British tradition of Cultural Studies, including its engagements with the German tradition, as well as its impact on American Cultural Studies. By becoming familiar with this tradition of academic exploration, students will demonstrate understanding of, and ability to perform, theories and methods of the study of culture, and they will engage key issues and debates within the field. These include the relationships between culture and social structures, on the one hand, and between culture and social struggles, on the other hand; cultural absolutism v. cultural hybridity; identity formation; globalization; media studies; postcolonialism; postmodernism; race and gender; and the politics of cultural representation.3 credits

LS 699 Final Project Writing Seminar

The purpose of this seminar is to provide students with instruction on the process of writing their Master of Liberal Studies Final Project. This course will focus on scholarly research, information literacy, and the proper techniques for documenting, editing, and revising academic papers. The seminar format will also allow students to learn from the research and writing experiences of other students in the course. Students will develop Final Project proposals of approximately 1,250 words, plus working bibliography with sources appropriate to graduate level work formatted in MLA or APA Style.3 credits

LS 700 Final Project

The Final Project is an independent “capstone” work, demonstrating the student’s understanding of the program’s thematic areas as well as the ability to integrate them into a unified vision, showing how the student’s work contributes to a larger understanding of the self and world. The student will be advised by a faculty member appointed by the Director. After the project is completed to the advisor’s satisfaction, it will be submitted to a second reader, assigned by the Director, for approval. Approval and acceptance of the student’s Final Project is a requirement for the Liberal Studies degree. One copy (hardbound or pdf file) of the approved project must be submitted to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program Director and one to the Director of the Library. 3 credits

Requirements: Students will follow one of the following formats, scholarly or creative:

  1. The scholarly project will offer an in-depth analysis of a topic chosen by the student, informed by relevant sources suitable for graduate-level work. The student will explore the topic in the context of one or more of the four thematic areas of the program, the Self in relation to Society, Nature, Transcendence, or Itself. The project will be between 45 and 60 pages, with an appropriate number of scholarly sources in the bibliography. It must be formatted in MLA or APA Style, with in-text citations and a bibliography of Works Cited. Students will use academically appropriate language and revise their writing to eliminate grammatical and mechanical errors.
  2. The creative project will employ literary or artistic media to engage with one or more of the four thematic areas of the program. It will be prefaced by a chapter of 25–30 pages, with an appropriate number of creative and/or scholarly sources in the bibliography, in which the student will articulate his or her artistic goals in relation to those of the program, drawing upon relevant scholarly sources to situate the creative work in its aesthetic and theoretical contexts. It must be formatted in MLA or APA Style, with in-text citations and a bibliography of Works Cited. Students will use academically appropriate language and revise their writing to eliminate grammatical and mechanical errors

Prerequisites: In order to register for LS 700, students must have successfully completed LS699 as well as the MALS course requirements (30 credits) with a minimum 3.0 G.P.A.

Registration: Students register for their Final Project at the beginning of a mod after successfully completing LS 699 and have sixteen weeks to submit the complete project. At the end of sixteen weeks, students registered for LS 700 who have not submitted their complete project must pay a continuing enrollment fee of $200.00 to continue in LS 700. This fee will subsequently be applied every twelve weeks until the advisor is satisfied the project is complete and has assigned a grade. In order to participate in commencement a student must have completed LS 700 by the end of Mod 4 of that year.