Course Schedule

The courses below are those offered for the term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

  • Homewood Campus

    450.082.01 - MLA Portfolio

    $350

    Laura DeSisto

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/30 - 8/22

    The MLA Portfolio is a zero-credit Capstone option. Students who select the Portfolio option will take 10 courses in the program (one core course and 9 electives), and register for the zero-credit portfolio in their final semester. The portfolio will be completed within the same semester as the 10th course. The portfolio consists of a sampling of the best papers and projects written over the course of the student's graduate career, and it is designed to highlight the intellectual points of convergence in each student's course of study, presenting the student's reflections on knowledge gained and lessons learned.

    This course is open to all MLA students who are ready to complete their capstone and who choose to complete the portfolio option. It functions more like an independent study and there are no face-to-face meeting requirements.

    450.639.01 - The American Southwest:Crossroads of Cultures

    $2638

    George Scheper

    Saturday 9:30 - 2:50; 5/30 - 7/11

    The course begins at the time when the Southwest was the homeland of the ancient Pueblo people (the “Anasazi”). Our survey moves from the major archaeological sites such as Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde to the historical communities of the Hopi and Zuni and other Pueblo peoples of New Mexico and Arizona, along with the Navajo and Apache. We then move on to focus on the period of Spanish incursion, when the region became first part of colonial New Spain and then part of independent Mexico. We look at the narratives of the earliest Spanish arrival, and at the long tradition of Spanish colonial art and architecture, culture and religion in the region. We then move on to the incorporation of the region into the U.S. after the Mexican-American war, and with its impact on the Native American and Hispanic populations. The 19th century saw the arrival of the railroads and of an Anglo population of Easterners, and the genesis of the Southwest as a fine art center, sometimes called the Santa Fe-ization of the Southwest. More recently, the area has witnessed the “re-arrival” of a Mexican-American, or Chicano, population along with the retrieval and revival of Mexican cultural traditions such as the Day of the Dead and the cult of Guadalupe. Today the region, for all its cultural conflicts, is the site of an ongoing evolution of a modern ulticultural Southwest. The course includes reading and discussion of literary works by such authors as Willa Cather, Leslie Marmon Silko, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ed Abbey and Tony Hillerman, and an extensive look at the arts of the Pueblo and Navajo peoples, the paintings of the Taos School and the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, and the contemporary revival of Southwest folk art.

    Please note that this course is being offered during the first 6-week intensive summer semester.

    450.728.01 - On the Shoulders of Giants

    $2638

    Ernest Quarles

    Tuesday 6:30 - 9:40; 6/5 - 7/10
    Thursday 6:30 - 9:40; 5/31 - 7/5

    Since the year 1865 and the passage of the 13th Amendment, America has struggled with its ability to assure the right of all Americans to achieve full participation in our democracy. There have been short periods of advancement, but they have typically been followed by devastating rollbacks of hard fought gains. The new Jim Crow has a chameleon-like character, disguising its true intent and malevolent designs with code words and strategic policies that erode the rights of all citizens, but are detrimental to African Americans and communities of color more than to others.

    This course will focus on a number of social justice giants and critical movements or organizations from the 1940s through the present. Key topics will include an examination of certain critical flashpoints in U.S. history that are strikingly similar to the years immediately leading up to, encompassing and following the Obama presidency, with an eye to identifying the social, economic and cultural forces that are at once the precipitants and undoing of these unique movements in time. We will attempt to understand how these forces shaped and were in turn shaped by powerful women like Anna Julia Cooper, Nancy Cunard, and Audre Lord whose life work inspired and provided the intellectual framework for the activism of later generations, led by Angela Davis, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Kimberle Crenshaw. The poet, novelist, playwright, and columnist Langston Hughes, who, along with WEB Dubois, was one of the most committed artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance, provides a bridge from that period to a new vanguard of voices like James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, August Wilson and many others. This period of cultural literacy was also responsible for rediscovery of influential writers like Zora Neal Hurston, who shared the stage with Langston Hughes during the Renaissance. Hugh

    450.747.01 - Asian Theatre and Western Drama

    $2638

    Joseph Martin

    Wednesday 6:00 - 9:10; 5/30 - 7/11
    Monday 6:00 - 9:10; 6/4 - 7/9

    The course employs lectures and readings in South Asian and East Asian theatre, both the performance styles and the dramatic literature of India, China, Japan – and other countries. We will read a play from each theatre tradition we examine. Thereafter we will look at the influence these Asian theatre forms have had on Western Theatre in its period of renewal in the 20th and 21st centuries. In some cases, we will view video to examine the performance styles used in these different theatre traditions.

    We will begin with an exploration of the Sanskrit drama that flourished for a thousand years in India: including the classic The Dream of Vasavadatta, and short excerpts from the Natyashastra, an ancient text of theory and practice in theatre; the Yuan drama of China with reference to the Beijing Opera that sprang from these literary dramatic forms; the Noh Theatre of Japan; Bunraku puppet performance and the flamboyant Kabuki theatre. In the second part of the term, we will examine the impact these classical forms had on Bertolt Brecht (The Good Woman of Sezchuan and He Who Says Yes), WB Yeats (Purgatory), the work of Theatre Yugen in San Francisco and that of director Arianne Mnouchkine in Paris. The course will conclude with a close examination of world famous director Peter Brook’s landmark production of the Hindu epic The Mahabharata. After reading Part I of Jean-Claude Carrière's three-part script for that production, we will view a 3-hour TV version of the 10-hour production that toured the world for years with a multinational cast, changing modern theatre. (Live performance footage will be used where possible).

    450.830.01 - MLA Graduate Thesis

    $2638

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/30 - 8/22

    The graduate thesis a second option inis part of the MLA Capstone. Students who choose this option take one IC course, 8 electives, and register for the graduate thesis as their tenth elective. Most students enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts program with a focus who have on a particular pursued a particular concentration or subject area conclude their degree requirements by writing an independent graduate thesis under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Before registering for the graduate thesis, a student must submit a proposal and receive approval from the faculty sponsor and the MLA program director.

    This course is open to all MLA students who are ready to complete their capstone and who choose to complete the thesis/graduate project option. It functions more like an independent study and there are no face-to-face meeting requirements.

    450.850.01 - Internship

    $2638

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/30 - 8/22

    A third option in the MLA Capstone is the Internship; students who choose this option take one IC course, 8 electives, and register for a particular internship, which will culminate in a detailed research report, as the their tenth course. Please contact the program director for more information on internship options.

    This course is open to all MLA students who are ready to complete their capstone and who choose to complete the internship option. It functions more like an independent study and there are no face-to-face meeting requirements.

  • Online Courses

    450.634.81 - Italian Renaissance Art and Thought

    $2638

    Sarah Wilkins

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    In what sorts of intellectual contexts was Italian Renaissance art produced and received? What, in other words, were the connections among Renaissance art, philosophy, theology, mathematics, rhetoric, and history? This seminar will investigate a number of answers to such questions through a consideration of primary evidence and recent scholarship. Among other things, we will consider Aristotle’s theory of magnificence as it was applied to Renaissance architecture, the development of perspectival systems, the notion of a Renaissance or golden age, and Vasari’s efforts to conceptualize art of the Renaissance in metaphorical terms. Several substantial writing assignments will allow students to develop critical positions of their own, and throughout the term there will be an emphasis upon close reading of both texts and artworks. (Available online)

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.638.81 - What is History?

    $2638

    Tristan Cabello

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    What is history? What makes history, as a field of scholarship and a way of knowing, different from any other discipline? This course will introduce students to a vibrant and evolving field of study, and to the tensions, diversity, debates and controversies that shape it. Themes explored will include an examination of the parameters of the field (such as the relationship between popular and academic history; the tension between description and interpretation; the evaluation of sources; the role of the historian as a public intellectual; the craft of historical writing; and digital history as a new field of study) as well as an analysis of the topics and approaches undertaken by contemporary historians (such as the reframing of dominant narratives; the emergence of dominated voices and of new thematic fields such as sexuality, globalism and popular culture; and ongoing critiques of previously established narratives and theoretical frameworks). Students will read historical scholarship in a wide variety of fields, as well as critical theory, popular literature and documentaries.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.644.81 - U.S. Environmental History

    $2638

    Eileen McGurty

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    Environmentalism is a multifaceted phenomenon infused with many different schools of thought about the nature of environmental problems as well as the most appropriate solutions for those problems. This course will examine the major historical influences on the varied approaches to environmentalism and environmental practice. Students will explore the influence of environmental ideas and actions in the US from the 19th century to the present. The goal is to deepen our understanding of contemporary environmental practice – by others and ourselves – by tracing the influence of these historical trends in current debates and actions. Topics include conservationism, preservationism, transcendentalism and green romanticism, toxic construct, the wilderness construct, and sustainability.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.646.81 - Religion of Politics, Politics of Religion: Conflict and Convergence in Sacred Authority and Temporal Hierarchies

    $2638

    Christopher Paris

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    This course examines patterns of authority in religion and politics by exploring the connection between the sacred and the secular. The class will address questions concerning political power and religious influence in order to better understand the complex relationship between the two. Students will consider societies where religion and politics seem inextricable, societies that attempt to separate the two, and societies that attempt to eliminate religion from the equation. The class will recognize the ways in which nations develop their own civil religions. A variety of religious experiences and political ideologies will be considered. Special attention will be given to the role of religion and politics in social change.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.646.82 - Religion of Politics, Politics of Religion: Conflict and Convergence in Sacred Authority and Temporal Hierarchies

    $2638

    Christopher Paris

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    This course examines patterns of authority in religion and politics by exploring the connection between the sacred and the secular. The class will address questions concerning political power and religious influence in order to better understand the complex relationship between the two. Students will consider societies where religion and politics seem inextricable, societies that attempt to separate the two, and societies that attempt to eliminate religion from the equation. The class will recognize the ways in which nations develop their own civil religions. A variety of religious experiences and political ideologies will be considered. Special attention will be given to the role of religion and politics in social change.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.717.81 - School and Society: Education Reimagined, Possibilities Disclosed

    $2638

    Laura DeSisto

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    This course will engage in a discussion of the current realities and challenges present within the United States’ PK-12 education system. We will examine a range of perspectives on what does (and doesn’t) work in our educational policies and practices. While this endeavor will entail a critical examination of the status quo, it also will invite students to recognize what is possible and inspiring in the work many courageous educators accomplish in the midst of challenging times. The course will address the following questions:

    • What are the aims and purposes of education?
    • What should be the content of the curriculum?
    • What are the implications of structural inequality in schools?
    • What are the roles and responsibilities of teachers and students?
    • What are the issues that impact 21st century schools?

    Instead of seeking tidy answers to these course questions, you should approach this class as an invitation to enter into an ongoing discussion of:

    • The factors that characterize the relationship that exists between school and society;
    • The principles that underlie the decisions made by those who have the power or capacity to alter that relationship; and
    • The challenges faced by those who strive (and usually struggle) to resolve competing demands upon this relationship.

    Please note: this course does not require a background in the field of education. Although practicing teachers are welcome to join this course, it has been developed for a wider audience.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.717.82 - School and Society: Education Reimagined, Possibilities Disclosed

    $2638

    Laura DeSisto

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    This course will engage in a discussion of the current realities and challenges present within the United States’ PK-12 education system. We will examine a range of perspectives on what does (and doesn’t) work in our educational policies and practices. While this endeavor will entail a critical examination of the status quo, it also will invite students to recognize what is possible and inspiring in the work many courageous educators accomplish in the midst of challenging times. The course will address the following questions:

    • What are the aims and purposes of education?
    • What should be the content of the curriculum?
    • What are the implications of structural inequality in schools?
    • What are the roles and responsibilities of teachers and students?
    • What are the issues that impact 21st century schools?

    Instead of seeking tidy answers to these course questions, you should approach this class as an invitation to enter into an ongoing discussion of:

    • The factors that characterize the relationship that exists between school and society;
    • The principles that underlie the decisions made by those who have the power or capacity to alter that relationship; and
    • The challenges faced by those who strive (and usually struggle) to resolve competing demands upon this relationship.

    Please note: this course does not require a background in the field of education. Although practicing teachers are welcome to join this course, it has been developed for a wider audience.

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.736.81 - Medieval England: From Beowulf to the Battle of Bosworth

    $2638

    Keith Sisson

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    This course traces this history of England from the Anglo-Saxon invasions of the fifth and sixth centuries to the political unrest and economic crises of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This course will focus on the trends and developments that help explain the distinctive liberalism and individualism of English culture, e.g. the breakdown of feudalism, life in the medieval town and on the manor, the origins and evolution of the common law, and the rise of Parliament. (Available online)

    Technology Fee: $175.00

    450.790.81 - Six Degrees of Miles Davis

    $2638

    Matthew Belzer

    Online 5/30 - 8/22

    Miles Davis is one of the most important and influential figures in modern music. His innovations as a bandleader, composer, and musician have made an enormous impact on our concept of jazz music as well as our perception of a jazz musician. Following his personal life leads to Picasso, Norman Mailer, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Cecily Tyson, and many more. This course will examine his contributions to jazz in particular and his impact on society in general through his autobiography, biographies, and documentaries with special emphasis on his recorded works. We will also use the popular ‘six degrees of separation’ theory as a starting point in discussing the nature of innovation. (Available online)

    Technology Fee: $175.00