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 Capstone: Portfolio

    Laura DeSisto

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/31 - 8/16

    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.

    450.801.01 - MLA Independent Study

    Ashley Acosta-Fox

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/31 - 8/16

    450.801.02 - MLA Independent Study

    Edward Papenfuse

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/31 - 7/7

    450.830.01 - MLA Capstone: Graduate Project

    Tristan Cabello

    Sunday 12:00 - 12:00; 5/31 - 8/16

    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; 5/31 - 8/16

    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; 5/31 - 8/16

  • Online Courses

    450.620.81 - Gender and Media

    Gloria Gonzalez

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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

    450.634.81 - Italian Renaissance Art and Thought

    Kerr Houston

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    450.638.81 - MLA Core: What is History?

    Tristan Cabello

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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 All MLA students must take 1 core course within their first 3 courses in the MLA program. Any additional core courses they take will count as electives.

    450.646.81 - Religion of Politics, Politics of Religion

    Christopher Paris

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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: $200.00

    450.648.81 - Fakes, Lies, and Forgeries: A History of “Fake News” from The Flood to the Apocalypse

    Earle Havens

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    In our digital age of hacking, on-line bots, and trolls stealing, faking, and confounding information across the Internet, it is often forgotten that “fake news” has, in fact, always been with us. The history of fakes, lies, and forgeries transcends human history and encompasses nearly every discipline within the liberal Arts, from literature, art, and philosophy, to history, religion, and archaeology. Human civilization has been filling gaps in the historical record and inventing alternative narratives for all sorts of reasons: political, commercial, evangelical, and personal. This course examines this dark undercurrent within human achievement across historical time, exploring specific examples of historical and literary forgeries that date from the biblical Flood to the future Apocalypse.

    We will exploring the textual traditions of false archaeological discoveries and fabricated epigraphic fragments from classical antiquity, manufactured time capsules bearing pagan prophecies of the coming of Jesus, fake “illuminations” of Christopher Columbus and Joan of Arc, preposterous accounts of the world’s great “travel liars,” and even look at books from Shakespeare’s own library bearing his personal “annotations.” In the process, we will learn that history’s fakes and forgeries are also, in part, creative and imaginative enterprises that require considerable knowledge, creativity, and even inspiration, to pull them off effectively. At every stage this on-line course will draw upon the riches of JHU’s own Bibliotheca Fictiva, the world’s premier rare book and manuscript research collection dedicated to literary forgeries across the millennia.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    450.694.81 - Philosophy of Beauty

    Firmin DeBrabander

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    Since Plato, "Beauty" has proven to be a crucial topic in Western Philosophy. Philosophers have seen fit to address numerous questions surrounding the topic: what is beauty, what distinguishes and constitutes it, who can create it, who can discern and appreciate it? Is it subjective or objective? We will consider a variety of other critical questions via the prominent thinkers we will read in this class, such as: what is the point in creating art? Who or what is it for? What is its desired or intended impact on the audience? What are the germs of creativity, or what is the critical environment for its emergence? Is creativity and artistic inspiration an individual privilege, or can it be shared broadly in society, or in a community? What is the political role or place of the artist and his/her work? Philosophers read in this class may include Plato, of course, but also Aristotle, Augustin, Aquinas, Hume, Burke, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, among others. If time permits, we will also look at more recent philosophers writing on the topic--and why beauty might no longer be a concern for art and artists.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    450.695.81 - American Political Theory and Practice

    Michael Harding

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    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 5/27 - 8/18

    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 5/27 - 8/18

    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

    450.781.81 - The Global Cold War

    Jason Ridler

    Online 5/27 - 8/18

    The Cold War was anything but for much of the so-called Third World. Although the United States and Soviet Union did not come to blows, millions of lives were lost throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia as the superpower struggle fueled local and transnational conflicts over decolonization and modernization. This course will examine the Cold War’s effects across the globe and, conversely, the ways in which conflicts and actors in the global South shaped the outcome of the US-Soviet standoff and shaped the contemporary geopolitical landscape. Sources will include works of scholarship such as Conflicting Missions, Hanoi’s War, and The Last Colonial Massacre; primary works like Discourse on Colonialism and essays from Jawharlal Nehru, Fidel Castro, and Ché Guevara; and films such as The Battle of Chile and The Act of Killing.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

  • Online Courses (Cross-Listed)

    470.698.81 - American Exceptionalism

    Dorothea Wolfson

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 5/27 - 8/18

    This course will seek to give students a deeper understanding of where the idea of American exceptionalism comes from and what its implications are for America, both domestically and abroad. Students will gain this understanding from reading classic works in the area that trace America’s political development, starting with its Puritan heritage. Early American works will be studied from this period, along with Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. Seminal works of modern political science scholarship on this question will also be assigned, including works from Seymour Martin Lipset, Louis Hartz, Daniel Boorstin, and others. The course will then extrapolate from these historic roots to contemporary issues of America’s foreign policy and rationale for its foreign interventions. The course will conclude with questions of America’s standing in the world, which has in recent years, declined and seek to understand why this is so and what it means for the future understanding of American exceptionalism.

    Technology Fee: $200.00 This course counts towards the Concentration in Democracy Studies and Governance as well as Security Studies.