Liberal Studies Core/Capstone (MLSC)

MLSC 501 - THE SHAPING OF WESTERN THOUGHT

Short Title: THE SHAPING OF WESTERN THOUGHT

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Study of the foundational, intellectual and artistic texts of the western tradition from Ancient Greece to Medieval Islam. Consideration of texts and images over time and in their historical development as we reflect on who we are and how we got here. Readings would include: The Gilgamesh Epic, Homer's Illad, Thucydides' War, Plato's Republic, Book of Genesis, Virgil's Aeneid, Gospels of Luke and of Thomas, Augustine's Confessions and The Qur'an. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 502 - OUR ENVIRONMENT: SCIENCE AND CULTURE

Short Title: OUR ENVIRONMENT:SCIENCE & CULT

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: In this course, students will learn environmental concepts, the science and culture behind them and possible reactions to related problems from a political, economic and cultural perspective. The instructor will introduce the necessary background material in biology, ecology and chemistry as needed but the emphasis will be on obtaining scientific literacy in environmental studies. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 505 - SHAKESPEARE AND FILM

Short Title: SHAKESPEARE AND FILM

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will examine several Shakespeare plays and their theatrical productions. The instructor will teach each play as a text (and a script) first, and then study the films of these plays in an effort to understand the choices the film-makers have made in adapting Shakespeare's plays to the screen. In this course, then, we will be concerned with studying both Shakespeare's plays and what happens to those plays in the hands of a creative film-maker. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 506 - THE SOLAR SYSTEM, THE SUN AND THE MIND OF MAN

Short Title: SOLAR SYSTEM,SUN & MIND OF MAN

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will explore the beauty of our near-by cosmic environment, the solar system, both as a work of nature and also from the standpoint of a challenge to the observational and analytical capabilities of human beings. The course will follow two parallel tracks: a historical/conceptual understanding of the solar system and the various paradigms or models used to describe the physical "universe." In the second track we will tour the solar system beginning with the Sun, examining each planet and its satellite(s) in detail. The course will be non-mathematical; however, a few equations maybe show to illustrate a point. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 508 - EARTH SYSTEMS DYNAMICS

Short Title: EARTH SYSTEMS DYNAMICS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course involves exposing the advanced student to the interactions among the several mechanisms that combine to produce a working Earth. It would include concepts of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Meteorology and Ecology. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 509 - STEREOTYPES, PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION

Short Title: STEREOTYPES,PREJUDICE,DISCRIM

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: In the past century social scientists have learned an enormous amount about stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, yet they remain poorly understood by the public at large and especially by public policy makers. We all hold stereotypes, show prejudices and discriminate although not necessarily in traditional racist or sexist ways. This course will explore what social scientists, especially social psychologists, have learned about these issues especially in the last quarter century. While we will cover traditional racial and gender issues, we will also consider material related to obesity, homosexuality, mental and physical disability and age among other topics. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 510 - MUSIC AND OTHER ARTS: COLLABORATION AND FUSION

Short Title: MUSIC AND OTHER ARTS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will introduce students to the collaboration between music and other arts - poetry, drama, mythology, the visual arts (as applied to set and costume design) and dance - that often occurs during the creation of large musical works such as symphonies, operas and ballets. By investigating six musical masterpieces, it will be possible to discuss aspects of the collaborative process and how they lead to artistic fusion. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 513 - DNA: HUMAN IDENTITY AND ORIGINS

Short Title: DNA: HUMAN IDENTITY & ORIGINS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: "Who am I?" "Where did I come from?" All branches of knowledge address these fundamental questions. This course examines how DNA informs the structure and function of humans, and how humans have in turn used DNA as a source of information to solve mysteries and improve lives. We will introduce the structure of DNA and show how it influences physical traits and is passed on from parent to child. We will review the original goals of the Human Genome Project and discuss how the surprising results that emerged from it have altered the way we view the role of genes in human development. We will examine how breakthroughs in DNA technology have allowed us to answer questions about human origins, worldwide migrations and personal genealogy and aided criminal investigations and medical treatment. This course will also use the specifics of DNA investigation as examples of science in action. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 515 - SCIENCE IN THE FIRST PERSON

Short Title: SCIENCE IN THE FIRST PERSON

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Have you wondered what it would be like to participate in a major scientific discovery, or to deal with highly competitive or cantankerous colleagues, or to convince a skeptical world that your idea is right and the rest of the world has got it wrong? By reading material written by scientists who have made major discoveries, we will look at how science is done from the first-person perspective. We will see how scientists confront troubling thoughts when they see the modern world in conflict with the nature they love, and why science has been called a "contact sport." Department Permission Required.

MLSC 517 - MODERN DRAMA ON FILM AND IN PERFORMANCE

Short Title: MODERN DRAMA

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will focus on drama not only as text but also as performance. We will read modern plays and discuss them as they are often discussed in English courses, concentrating on theme, character, world, imagery, language and dramatic action. In addition, we will also examine the "texts" as scripts, as working papers for actors and directors: in short, as source materials for performance. To this end we will also view movie versions of many of these plays. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 519 - PSYCHOLOGY OF BELIEFS

Short Title: PSYCHOLOGY OF BELIEFS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Beliefs are among the most primitive, important and central of mental constructs. Many of our reactions to others are based on our beliefs and our perceptions of theirs, and it is impossible to understand racism, prejudice, religious and national conflicts without considering disagreement over basic belief systems. While there are several ways to approach the study of beliefs, we will focus on problematic beliefs, sometimes called anomalous or bizarre beliefs. Examples are beliefs in ESP and the paranormal, astrology, the reality of events that could not possibly have occurred, scientific theories and medical cures that are rejected by most experts, as well as extreme religious and political ideas. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 523 - THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PUNISHMENT

Short Title: THEORY & PRACTICE OF PUNISHMNT

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will focus on the writings of some of the most influential scholars in sociology, legal philosophy and political theory who have contributed to the creation of ideal or normative views of legal punishment and exposing the harsh realities of how non-violent and violent criminals are actually punished. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 525 - PLAGUES AND POPULATIONS

Short Title: PLAGUES AND POPULATIONS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will examine the interaction of pathogens and human societies. It will cover the biological nature of pathogens and disease, the human immune system and therapeutic and societal interventions to prevent and cure disease. Specific diseases will be studied to determine the biology of the disease agent, its exploitation of the human host, its transmission and epidemiology and how the disease impacts the economic, political, social structure and values of the affected populations, and how the response to disease may limit its impact. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 526 - CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES

Short Title: CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The cardinal objective of the course is to stimulate students to analyze and evaluate the opposing viewpoints of some scholars who have expressed their views on some of the most disputed moral issues in contemporary American culture. Specifically, the required readings for the class focus on abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia, world hunger and poverty, sexual morality, drugs and addiction and affirmative action. Arrangements will be made for a tour of a prison unit and the opportunity to discuss the death penalty with several inmates. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 532 - THE GRAND DESIGN

Short Title: THE GRAND DESIGN

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The book “The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow asks the big questions: how did our universe begin and is it the only one or are there multiple parallel universes; why is there something rather than nothing; why are we here; why are the laws of nature so finely tuned that they allow a stable universe? Guided by the Hawking/Mlodinow book, this course will explore these questions. We will address the question: do the laws of physics provide for the possibility of a multiplicity of universes of which ours, by happenstance or probability, turned out to have the right set of physical constants to provide for a stable universe and hence the possibility of life or is a Devine Creator necessary? To address these questions we will take a layman’s tour of basic concepts of cosmology, quantum mechanics, relativity, string theory, and extra-dimensions. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 533 - SELF-DETERMINATION IN ARAB WORLD

Short Title: SELF-DETERMINATION ARAB WORLD

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course investigates the history of the struggle for self determination and democracy in the Arab world. It provides a historical perspective by exploring the antecedents to the current so-called "Arab Spring," specifically by comparing the anti-colonial nationalisms of the twentieth century with the today's pro-democracy movements. It will also examine the role of the West, including the United States, in hindering or promoting anti-colonialism, nationalism and democracy in the Arab world. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 534 - HUMAN RIGHTS IN WORLD AFFAIRS

Short Title: HUMAN RIGHTS IN WORLD AFFAIRS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The course examines the history of human rights and humanitarianism from the eighteenth century Enlightenment era to the present. How did human rights become the premier moral language of our times and the idiom in which recent generations frame their idealism? While universal human rights may seem timeless, they have a long and checkered political and philosophical history. This seminar will explore that history through anthropology and legal studies as well as through case studies of non-governmental organizations. Special attention will be given to international law and shifts in international politics in the twentieth century. The course will also analyze the passions that motivated people to pursue human rights and the empathy that led them to uproot injustice. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 535 - "PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE": DICKENS, OLIVER TWIST, POVERTY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

Short Title: DICKENS, TWIST, SOCIAL JUSTICE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: During the worldwide celebrations of Charles Dickens's bicentenary in 2011-12 Oliver Twist received vibrant new attention because its treatment of children, welfare, poverty, domestic violence, and anti-Semitism seemed so relevant to contemporary issues. In this course we will read the novel alongside and against the economic and social theories and practices of Dickens's time, and ask many questions. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 536 - TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE AND ITS MODERN LEGACY

Short Title: TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: An analysis of the language, philosophy, religion, art, literature, institutions and social customs of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), the last imperial regime and a crucial bridge between "traditional" and "modern" China. Although this course is intended in part as an exercise in appreciation, it is designed primarily to encourage critical and creative thinking about another place and time. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 537 - PROFILES FROM THE PAST: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY

Short Title: PROFILES FROM THE PAST

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: What has happened during the course of time, regarding culture and human experience that has been transmitted from the ancient to the modern world? What ideas and concepts concerning subjects such as politics, art, music, and philosophy have been our legacy from the western past? This course will survey the answers to these questions covering the time of classical Greece through the period of the high middle ages. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 538 - OUR CHANGING PLANET

Short Title: OUR CHANGING PLANET

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The Earth can be studied by considering it to be made up of certain elements or systems that interact. The systems that we will consider in this course are the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Not quite earth, air, fire and water, but close. We will then explore how these systems interact and finally attempt to evaluate the human impact on the entire earth. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 539 - IMMIGRATION AND THE STATE: EUROPE AND THE US IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

Short Title: IMMIGRATION AND THE STTE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The course traces the history of immigration within and to Europe and to the United States from the late 19th century to the present. How did the United States and the European states elicit, regulate or contain successive waves of labor and colonial migrants, stateless persons and asylum seekers? And what type of legal, political and cultural debates did the "immigrant question" raise in the public sphere since the advent of mass migration? We will discuss key issue regarding immigration including political asylum, guest-worker programs, assimiliation and integration debates, and immigrants and the welfare state Department Permission Required.

MLSC 540 - IS ANYBODY OUT THERE: THE SEARCH FOR LIFE BEYOND EARTH

Short Title: IS ANYBODY OUT THERE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Imagine what the reaction would be if life were discovered on another planet in the solar system or on a planet orbiting another star. With the dawn of the space age tools have become available to tackle this problem with serious scientific research. This course will look at some of this research and examine the prospects for finding life. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 541 - HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER EQUALITY AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Short Title: EQUALITY & RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This class aims to explore the intertwined relationship between gender equality, human rights and religious beliefs globally. Additionally, the class will focus on realities and misconceptions on women's status in the Middle East and North Africa and explore the impact of the socio-cultural and political context on shaping gender relations across the region. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 542 - THE EPIC JOURNEY

Short Title: THE EPIC JOURNEY

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This class explores some of the classic texts of Western literature, books from the ancient world that have had, and continue to have a formative influence on who we are and how we got here. The works we will study all share a common theme: the epic journey. We explore different variations of this theme, follow ancient travelers on their journeys, and reflect with them about their discoveries. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 543 - THE CITY IN LITERATURE

Short Title: THE CITY IN LITERATURE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: We will read a variety of writers from both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For some historical background and city discourse, we will also read parts of Lewis Mumford's The City in History, Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and the essays of Michel de Certeau, Georg Simmel, E B White, among others. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 544 - WRITING LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN

Short Title: WRITING CHILDREN'S LITERATURE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Many of us have beloved stories we either read or that someone read to us when we were children. This course returns us to those roots and delves deeply into the meaning and purpose of children's literature with the ultimate goal of trying our hand at writing several original pieces. Students will produce a portfolio of creative work that includes poetry, fiction, and/or drama for very young and older children. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 545 - WINDOW TO THE SOUL: EXPLORING RELIGION AND ETHNICITY THROUGH MUSIC

Short Title: RELIGION & ETHNICITY MUSIC

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will explore the music of a variety of religious and ethnic groups in an attempt to bridge differences and create understanding among those of different traditions. Each class session will be based upon the music connected to a specific religious or ethnic group. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 546 - THE ROLE OF CHEMISTRY IN HISTORY

Short Title: ROLE OF CHEMISTRY IN HISTORY

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Could the outcome of a war be decided simply on the material chosen for the buttons on the soldier's garments? What in pantyhose was desired for WWII? How did phenols and formaldehyde lead to a worldwide revolution via plastics? These questions and more will be answered as we explore important molecules that have changed the course of human history. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 547 - PROFILES FROM THE PAST II: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY

Short Title: PROFILES FROM THE PAST II

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course covers the span of years from the end of the middle Ages through the eve of the French Revolution. In addition to the study of a selected group of people from these years, there will also be an examination of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and Absolutism. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 548 - HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY SET IN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTEXT

Short Title: HIST OF INTERSIC PHILOSOPHY

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will introduce students to leading figures, ideas and arguments of the history of western philosophy, set in interdisciplinary context in this interdisciplinary MLS program. For a general educated audience philosophy is best approached from multiple perspectives - historical, literary, scientific, religious, artistic - and we will take this approach.

MLSC 549 - COMPARATIVE IMPERIAL PLEASURE GARDENS: POWER AND LANDSCAPE

Short Title: IMPERIAL PLEASURE GARDENS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course examines pre-modern designed landscapes used for crating, declaring, and reading social and political claims. While understanding the garden as art form and sacred space, we focus on the relationship between landscape and power in a globally comparative context. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 550 - MODERN ASTRONOMY AND OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE

Short Title: MODERN ASTRONOMY

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: An introduction to modern astrophysics beyond the solar system including a brief history of astronomy from antiquity through Galileo and Newton. Our modern understanding of the formation, evolution, and death of stars; the composition and evolution of galaxies; the structure and evolution of the universe will then be surveyed. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 551 - PROFILES FROM THE PAST III: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY

Short Title: PROFILES FROM THE PAST III

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will cover the span of years from the beginning of the French Revolution to the middle of the 20th century. In addition to the study of selected individuals such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Czar Alexander I, Cecil Rhodes, Gregor Rasputin, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mohandas Gandhi, there will be examinations of Romanticism, Nationalism, Imperialism, and Fascism. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 552 - CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY

Short Title: CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Many scientists have coined the current geological age as the "Anthropocene" in reference to the impact of mankind on the planet. This course will examine biodiversity, how biodiversity influences our lives, the forces that affect biodiversity worldwide, and how we can protect it. Local species and ecosystems will be highlighted.

MLSC 553 - SOLVING THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE

Short Title: SOLVING THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course overviews climate science and explores strategies for transforming electricity, transportation, and agriculture to avert the impacts of abrupt climate change. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 554 - MY FAVORITE NOVELS - AND GREAT FILMS MADE FROM THEM

Short Title: MY FAVORITE NOVELS AND FILMS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: In this class we will carefully examine four great novels from different eras: "Pride and Prejudice," "Great Expectations," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and "Atonement," to see what makes them so successful. Then we will watch and discuss the great films made from them. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 600 - INTRODUCTION TO GRADUATE RESEARCH, ANALYSIS AND EXPOSITION

Short Title: INTRO GRAD RESEARCH & WRITING

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The goals of this course will be to develop the students' abilities to perform library or Internet scholarly research at a graduate level; conduct graduate-level analysis of representative graduate-level readings and topics similar to those encountered in the MLS program; demonstrate the advanced analytical and critical thinking abilities required inside and outside the graduate classroom; express the results of scholarly research and analysis and original ideas in the written formats that meet the criteria for graduate-level essays, papers and reports; use oral expression, discussion and presentation techniques at the level expected in graduate classrooms. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 604 - EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY IN ANTARCTICA

Short Title: EXPLOR & DISC IN ANTARCTICA

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will introduce students to the seventh continent through the history of austral exploration and through an explanation of the scientific research that has happened, is happening and will happen there. This course will begin with a basic scientific description of the highest, driest, coldest, windiest continent on Earth. Participants will then study journals of some of the original explorers as well as recent works analyzing the "glory days" of polar exploration. The class will then move from the period of exploration, through the early scientific work, and on to the modern hypothesis-driven science that is taking place now and is being planned for the future. The class will close with an examination of tourism and its effects on the nature of the Antarctic ecosystems and cryosphere. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 606 - THE HEBREW BIBLE AND ITS INTERPRETERS

Short Title: HEBREW BIBLE/ITS INTERPRETERS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This seminar seeks to acquaint students with the principal parts of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, with the modern, historical-critical study of the Bible as an academic discipline, and a few episodes in the recent history of the Bible in the West. Our reading of the biblical literature will primarily be historical-critical in the sense that it emphasizes that the Hebrew Bible is rooted in the ancient Near East, its history and literature. At the same time we will be sensitive to traditional, Jewish and Christian readings of the Bible as they evolved over two millennia and examine how these faith-based traditions arose, how they differ from modern critical approaches and how the two can complement each other. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 610 - PSYCHOLOGY OF HAPPINESS

Short Title: PSYCHOLOGY OF HAPPINESS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Truth, beauty and, yes, happiness, are issues that have engaged thoughtful people over the centuries. What is happiness (and what makes us happy)? Until recently we have relied on philosophers and religious thinkers for answers to that question, and many of them have provided useful recipes that seem to work for at least some people some of the time. The last century or so has seen many psychologists and self-help gurus who have also handed out (well, more often sold) recipes that generally seem to be less satisfactory than the wisdom of the ancients. Interestingly until recently psychologists have tended to ignore this seeming important topic, but in the past 10 or so years social and personality psychologists, neuroscientists and even economists have begun to pose empirically answerable questions about happiness and to find some data-based answers to what makes people happy. In this course we will read some of the traditional wisdom provided by religious and philosophical thinkers, but we will focus primarily on questions and issues that are subject to empirical resolution. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 612 - THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

Short Title: THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls a little over a half a century ago in the Judean desert has been celebrated as the most significant manuscript discovery of the 20th century. Students will study the fascinating history of the discovery and publication of the Scrolls. They will read the most important Scrolls, learn about the beliefs and practices of the Jewish group that authored them and discuss what can be learned from the Scrolls about the nature of Early Judaism and the origins of Christianity. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 614 - PUBLIC SPEAKING

Short Title: PUBLIC SPEAKING

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course is designed to give the student exposure to and experience using basic principles and skills of oral communication in the public context. Emphasis will be on the development of speech organization, support and delivery. Informative and persuasive speeches will be practiced. An important outcome of the course is that the student better understand and appreciate the important role public speaking plays in modern society. Instructor Permission Required.

MLSC 615 - TEN MASTERPEICES OF NORTHERN RENAISSANCE ART

Short Title: MASTERPIECES OF REN ART

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will introduce students to the great "masterpieces" of painting produced in Northern Europe during the Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Each week we will focus on a single work of art from this period and explore a constellation of issues around the creation and reception of the painting. Students will learn in-depth methods of visual analysis and interpretation of works within their historical context. These same skills and strategies may be applied to the full range of western painting and provide useful tools for enriching visits to museums or experiences of European travel. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 617 - CREATIVE NONFICTION

Short Title: CREATIVE NONFICTION

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Creative nonfiction takes many forms, including expository writing, personal essay, narrative story-telling, literary journalism, memoir, nature and science writing, travel and food writing, historical narrative, biographical narrative, and academic and cultural criticism. This course is designed to help students read and write creative nonfiction with a focus on the voice, structure, messages, style, and technique found in contemporary creative nonfiction. The material covered applies to the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences. Department Permission Required. Repeatable for Credit.

MLSC 618 - THE AWAKENING OF RUSSIA: A MUSICAL AND HISTORICAL PASSAGE

Short Title: THE AWAKENING OF RUSSIA

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: There was a spectacular flowering of Russian culture in the aftermath of the death of Czar Nicholas I (1825-55). Ushered in was a relatively liberal ear which, combined with a powerful natural upsurge, yielded a period of remarkable creativity - noted especially in this course by Russian music. This interdisciplinary course will couple the historical and musical threads of Russian culture. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 620 - MASTERPIECES OF THE POETIC TRADITION

Short Title: POETIC TRADITION MASTERPIECES

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will introduce students to the appreciation and analysis of poetic masterpieces. We will focus on poetry produced in the English and American literary tradition, with particular attention paid to the poems, poets, and cultures that influence the development of those traditions. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 621 - ART MUSIC IN WESTERN EUROPEAN CULTURE II

Short Title: ART MUSIC EUROPEAN CULTURE II

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This is the second course in a sequence devoted to advanced musical understanding. In the first part of this sequence (Art Music in Western European Culture I) we will examine a wide range of music from a single time period. In this, the second part of the sequence, we will instead concentrate in depth upon one piece of music per class and will combine a focus upon advanced listening skills with music specific research techniques. The first weeks of the class will review musical listening, discourse, and the specialized skills necessary for musical research. Subsequently, each class session will focus upon a major work by a significant composer such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mahler, and Debussy, among others. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 622 - THE SCEPTER'D ISLE: ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL BRITAIN

Short Title: ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL BRITAIN

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: From the murky prehistoric times of Stonehenge and New Grange to the tumultuous times of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, the dramatic combinations of history and myth have continually fascinated lovers of the British Isles. This course will explore ancient and medieval Britain, meandering from prehistoric sites to the early invaders, from the delightful legends of Glastonbury to the centuries of Roman invasions, from the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy to the Norman invasion, and from the hegemony of the Roman Catholic church to the challenge of secular kings. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 623 - WHAT MODERN WAS: CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL

Short Title: CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: What constituted "modern music" in 1912? Works such as Arnold Schoenberg's Perrot lunaire, Claude Debussy's Jeux, and compositions by American composers Henry Cowell and Charles Ives set the bar for musical modernism that year. But other pieces from France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Hungary and England suggested that the future would present major changes. What did audiences in the United States know about such music? What did they think about it? What did the founders of the Rice Institute think about the new musical trends? How did the music played at the opening festivities of the Rice Institute reflect these perceptions of musical modernism? This course will consider these questions from a variety of parameters and get a sense of "what modern was" and its relationship to the momentous events of 1912 in Houston, Texas. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 624 - ADVANCED CREATIVE NONFICTION

Short Title: ADVANCED CREATIVE NONFICTION

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course offers students an opportunity to continue to practice writing creative nonfiction in a guided workshop format. The primary emphasis in the course will be on the professor and students reading and providing constructive feedback on the students' creative nonfiction writings. In addition, the students will read further examples of various types of creative nonfiction writing and complete writing exercises designed to allow them to work on the voice, structure, and technique of their writing. This course is designed for students with experience in writing creative nonfiction, such as completion of MLSC 617 or a similar course or creative writing workshop experience elsewhere. For those who have not taken a creative nonfiction course in the MLS program, consultation with the instructor is recommended before enrolling. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 625 - THE SHAPES OF POETRY: A WORKSHOP

Short Title: THE SHAPES OF POETRY

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course examines fundamental architecture of poetry. How do poets create a sense of shape? What are the nuts and bolts of a poem? Students will read widely in the history of poetry, from traditional meters and historical forms to contemporary free verse and experimental or open forms. Part workshop and part seminar, this course will feature critical and creative assignments and is designed for writers and non-writers of any level of experience. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 626 - THE BROTHERHOOD: LIVES AND LOVES OF THE PRE-RAPHAELITES

Short Title: PRE-RAPHAELITES LIVES & LOVES

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), founded in 1848, was a small group of British artists who boldly challenged the conventions of Victorian-era art and the materialism of industrialized England. While the PRB influenced the British art world for the remainder of the century, this course will focus on the intriguing personal lives of the artists, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John Millais, rather than the art they created. These artists, along with their wives, paramours, and models (often all one and the same) were part of a highly prolific Victorian creative class which for this course will revolve around the locale of central London and the influence of the towering figure of art and architecture - critic John Ruskin. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 627 - JOHN RUSKIN AND HIS WORLD

Short Title: JOHN RUSKIN AND HIS WORLD

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course will examine John Ruskin (1819-1900), who rose from a troubled childhood to become one of the most influential critics of art and architecture of his century, forever fulminating the notion that art had a moral purpose and especially that art and architecture produced in France and Italy in the Middle Ages. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 628 - THE BIRTH OF MODERNISM, THE GREAT WAR, THE AFTERMTH: 1910-1920

Short Title: THE BIRTH OF MODERNISM

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: One hundred years have passed since the momentous decade that brought us the beginnings of modernism, the "war to end all wars," and post war cynicism. This course will examine those tumultuous years from the perspective of the wide array of music written to satisfy all types of tastes and circumstances. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 629 - EFFECTIVE THINKING

Short Title: EFFECTIVE THINKING

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The basis of success in everything, academics, personal relationships, professional life, business leadership, or anything, is effective thinking. This course will address the process and practice of how to think effectively, analytically, and creatively. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 630 - POST-BOP: JAZZ'S GOLDEN AGE

Short Title: JAZZ'S GOLDEN AGE

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: In this course we will explore the music of some of the most influential and important jazz musicians of the period, and we will also study the social, cultural and political context within which the music was created. We will focus in particular on Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and John Coltrane. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 631 - INTRODUCTION TO READING AND WRITING FICTION

Short Title: INTRO READING WRITING FICTION

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: This course provides an introduction to reading fiction critically and writing short fiction successfully. The reading portion of the class focuses on the primary elements of fiction: scenes, tension and conflict, character, point of view, structure, voice, and dialogue. For the writing portion, students will compose original prose and provide feedback on one another’s work in a workshop format. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 632 - MUSIC MYTH AND MADNESS

Short Title: MUSIC MYTH AND MADNESS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: A study of biographical narratives about musicians including Bach, Bod Dylan, Thelonious Monk, Mozart, and Schumann. Considers the nature of creativity and inspiration. Examines the extent to which biography borrows from mythology and literary fiction. Materials include memoirs, letters, novels, and films. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 700 - CAPSTONE I

Short Title: CAPSTONE I

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: The capstone course is designed to help students utilize the knowledge gained in the previous courses and to demonstrate mastery of the intellectual skills required for a Master of Liberal Studies degree. The capstone course will culminate in an extensive written paper (or original creative work such as poetry or fiction) and an oral presentation to MLS faculty and fellow students. The capstone course may be completed in one term as one course, or, optionally, the student may with the advisor's approval, take two terms to complete the capstone. The determination as to whether the capstone will be a one or two term project should, in most cases, be made before the start of the first term. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 701 - CAPSTONE II

Short Title: CAPSTONE II

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to students with a major in Liberal Studies. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Continuation of MLSC 700 Capstone I; or for students who plan to take only one term to complete the capstone. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 750 - INTRODUCTION TO DIPLOMA RESEARCH

Short Title: INTRO TO DIPLOMA RESEARCH

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the DLS program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Open only to students in the Diploma in Liberal Studies Program. The purpose of this course is to prepare students for diploma research in general and for the diploma project research in particular. The course will accomplish this by giving students an opportunity to gain knowledge of research in the two chosen disciplines outlined in their Diploma Proposal. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 797 - ADVANCED INDEPENDENT READINGS

Short Title: ADVANCED INDEPENDENT READINGS

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Independent Study

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the DLS program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Independent study under faculty supervision and open only to students in the Diploma in Liberal Studies Program. The primary purpose of this course is to allow for study centrally relevant to the two disciplines chose by the DLS student not covered by existing coursework in liberal studies curriculum. Department Permission Required. Repeatable for Credit.

MLSC 798 - DIPLOMA PROJECT I

Short Title: DIPLOMA PROJECT I

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the DLS program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Research for Diploma Project. Open only to students in the Diploma in Liberal Studies program. This is the first of a two-term course sequence in which the diploma student works on his or her diploma project under the supervision of the diploma first reader (advisor), second reader and third reader. Department Permission Required.

MLSC 799 - DIPLOMA PROJECT II

Short Title: DIPLOMA PROJECT II

Department: School of Continuing Studies

Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment limited to students in the DLS program. Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.

Course Level: Graduate

Description: Research for Diploma Project. Open only to students in the Diploma in Liberal Studies program. This is the second and final course in the two-term course sequence in which the diploma student works on his or her diploma project under the supervision of the diploma first reader (advisor), second reader and third reader. Department Permission Required.