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.)

  • Homewood Campus

    450.082.01 - MLA Capstone: Portfolio

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:01; 5/29 - 8/21

    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 like an independent study and there are no face-to-face meeting requirements.

    450.637.01 - Native American Art History

    Katharine Fernstrom

    Saturday 10:00 - 1:00; 6/1 - 8/17

    This course examines Native American art as both internal and external communication centered in American Indian households, workshops, studios, and communities. Internal communication has met community and Tribal expectations for thousands of years as art has been engaged in ongoing economic, religious, political, and social activities that have created and maintained ethnic identity. External communication has placed art in the relationship between American Indian communities and non-Indian participants in the process of military conquest and colonization; and in galleries, museums, Powwows, and other public events. From the Colonial period to the present day Native American art has been admired and collected and has, in this way, mediated the relationships between Native communities and dominant American culture. We will use powerpoint slides, readings, and in-person consideration of Native American art at the National Museum of the American Indian to look at stylistic characteristics of various regions and time periods, and the messages and relationships embodied in specific examples of art.

    450.830.01 - MLA Capstone: Graduate Project

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/29 - 8/21

    The Graduate Project allows students to conclude the MLA degree by completing a project of their own design on a topic of their choosing. Students complete this project under the guidance of a faculty member. The graduate project is interdisciplinary in scope and reflects an emphasis or interest that a student has discovered through the MLA program. The project provides the opportunity for the student to apply the concepts and knowledge gained through the program to an independent project of his/her design. The project should be thirty to fifty pages and can include a range of multimedia materials. The final project is generally in the form of a research paper, though it may be in a creative format as well (such as a play or visual arts project).

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

    450.850.01 - MLA Capstone: Internship

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/29 - 8/21

    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 like an independent study and there are no face-to-face meeting requirements.

    450.888.01 - Continuation of Enrollment

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/29 - 8/21

    This course is open to students who were enrolled in AS.450.830 - MLA Capstone: Graduate Project during Spring 2019 who have an incomplete from that course and need more time to complete their project.

  • Online Courses

    450.605.81 - Art Since 1960

    Kerr Houston

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    What is contemporary art, and what are the factors that shaped it? This course will attempt to answer those questions through a chronological and thematic investigation of some of the most influential artworks, movements, and theories of the past 60 years. Beginning with a close look at mid-century modernism, we will move into a consideration of Pop, Minimalism, conceptual art, land art, performance art, postmodernism, AIDS activism, and relational aesthetics. Along the way, we will also consider the relevance of feminist and phenomenological theory and of institutional critique and globalization; at the same time, we will explore ways in which art of our own time constitutes both an extension of, and reaction against, some of the historical ideas we encounter. Throughout, students will have a chance to read and discuss both primary and secondary texts, and a range of resources and assignments will offer a variety of analytical angles and interpretive possibilities.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.608.81 - Renaissance Women: Portraits, Patrons, and Painters

    Sarah Wilkins

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    This seminar will explore the artistic experience of women in Renaissance Italy. A large body of recent scholarship has sought to “recover those women...who have been erased from history in modern literature, rendered invisible or obscured by history or scholarship, as well as those who were overshadowed by male relatives, political accident, or spatial location” (Katherine A. McIver, preface to Wives, Widows, Mistresses and Nuns in Early Modern Italy). Drawing upon a consideration of both current research and primary sources, this course will investigate the role women played as the makers, the commissioners, and the subjects of art in Italy during the period from ca. 1250-1600. Among other issues, we will examine the constraints that limited women’s contribution to the arts in this period when women’s participation in public life were quite circumscribed, as well as the various means they found to overcome them. We will investigate what types of women were able to become artists. We will learn what categories of women were most likely to commission art, and what kinds of art they generally commissioned. Lastly, we will examine portraits of women, to understand what these representations tell us about the view of women in Renaissance society. Students will develop their own critical positions on the issues through a close reading of both texts and works of art, participation in online discussions, and in several substantial writing assignments.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.612.81 - Tough Neighborhood: A History of U.S.-Central American Relations

    Aaron Bell

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    This course examines the tumultuous history of the United States’ relationship with Central America, from William Walker’s filibustering in the 1850s to the recent wave of migration from the Northern Triangle. We will consider how US policymakers, organizations, and individuals have judged the isthmus in economic and national security terms and intervened accordingly, and we will examine how Central Americans have viewed the United States as a model of modernization, an interloper, and a site of refuge, as well as the ways in which they have shaped the North-South relationship despite the asymmetry of political, economic, and military power. Sources will include works of scholarship such as Confronting the American Dream and The Last Colonial Massacre, as well as texts from Central American authors, including the poetry of Roque Dalton, the personal testimony of Rigoberta Menchu, and the reporting of Óscar Martínez.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.617.81 - The Constitution and the Criminal Justice System

    Jason Drucker

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    Examines how the Supreme Court establishes and enforces the constitutional rules that govern law enforcement in the United States, including the 4th Amendment's provisions on searches and arrests, the 5th and 6th Amendment protections for individuals charged with a crime, and the 8th Amendment's requirement for bail and its ban on cruel and unusual punishments. We will also examine what it means to have a fair trial, the process of plea bargaining which resolves most criminal cases, and the continuing controversy over criminal sentencing. And we will continually be exploring the meaning and the reality of "justice."

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.620.81 - Gender and Media

    Gloria Gonzalez

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    This course addresses the intersection of communication, culture, and identity through an examination of gender and the U.S. media system. The course will first introduce students to key approaches to studying gender and media, and will subsequently examine: 1) media representations of gender, sexuality, and intersectionality; 2) diversity in media industries and gendered labor markets; 3) gendered audiences and fan cultures; and 4) gender, power, and identity in a digital era of communication. We will explore these topics through literature from communication and media studies, cultural studies, feminist theory, internet/new media studies, and sociology.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.638.81 - MLA Core: What is History?

    Tristan Cabello

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    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: $200.00

    450.695.81 - American Political Theory and Practice

    Michael Harding

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    Our purpose in this course is not to provide an account of the mechanics of American government, but to examine the principles that underlie those mechanics, and the way in which those principles change over time. In other words, we are going to examine the political philosophy that serves as a basis for the American regime (or regimes, if one is so inclined). This means that in addition to questions of justice and right we will examine how the thinkers of the Founding era understood the human being, and the sort of governmental structures that are built on this understanding. We will also consider the revolution in American politics that occurs in the 20th century. The progressive movement of the 20th century builds on a different view of human nature and metaphysics (originating in, but ultimately transcending, Hegelian Idealism), and therefore finds itself in tension with the principles of the Founding. This tension is one of the animating forces of American political partisanship today, so an understanding of the development of American political theory will help us to better understand political disagreements in our own day. (Available online)

    Technology fee: $200.00

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

    Ashley Acosta-Fox

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    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. Approaching medieval England through the broad lenses of myth-making, nation-building, and identity-creation, we will focus on some of the larger 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. Our exploration will take the shape of a multidisciplinary journey and will include in-depth analysis of art and literature as well as religious and political texts.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.746.81 - Deep Ecology: Environmental Ethic

    Eglute Trinkauskaite

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    Today, the concerns of Deep Ecology’s movement that started in the so-called Ecological Revolution of the 1960s continue to be debated and addressed as “climate change” with a sense of immediate urgency. Deep Ecology asks deep questions and aims to bring about long-range goals in moving away from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism, calling for a major paradigm shift in perception, values, and lifestyles. Planetary and human survival is at stake due to climate change — this is humanity’s global ultimate concern. Scientists, environmental activists, and representatives of humanities agree that we need a new paradigm shift, that it is unsustainable to treat the living earth organism as an infinite resource of “energy.” Western environmental practices have been based on anthropocentric view of nature where humans occupy the top of the hierarchy in the chain of life. There is an urgent need for a new environmental ethic that will fundamentally reorient humans in their thinking and relating to the natural environment. The course examines cross-cultural perspectives of environmental ethics that are rooted in Western/scientific, Eastern, and Indigenous worldviews and religions. This semester’s readings include current debates concerning climate change, selections from Deep Ecology movement and indigenous perspectives.

    Technology fee: $200.00

    450.790.81 - Six Degrees of Miles Davis

    Matthew Belzer

    Online 5/29 - 8/21

    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: $200.00