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Current Course Offerings

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Fall 2020--September 1-December 10

Studies in Contemporary Culture: Encountering 'the Other' in Tourism and Travel (MALS626-010)

  • Thursdays, 6-9 p.m.
  • Instructor: Carla GuerrĂ³n Montero
  • Hybrid in-class and online via Zoom; option to do entire class online via Zoom

International tourism is the fastest growing industry in the world, and has produced one of the largest population movements in the history of humanity.  In this course, we will discuss tourism and travel as cultural practices as well as globalization phenomena. We will pay particular attention to tourism as an encounter in search for authenticity and otherness. The course will examine topics such as tourism and modernity, sexual and romantic tourism, ecotourism and environmental tourism.

How to Read an Election (MALS629-010)

How do people really make important decisions, like how to vote in an election? Why are lies so often effective, even when they're transparent? How is it possible for two apparently rational individuals to draw the opposite conclusions from the same evidence? How to Read an Election moves beyond partisan politics to delve into psychology, literature, and film for insights into these and other questions that inevitably arise during an election season. We'll read recent best-sellers, such as Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow (excerpts), in which he summarizes his Nobel-prize-winning research on how humans make and manipulate decisions; The Secret Life of Pronouns, in which psychologist James Pennebaker offers hints on how to read between the lines to understand what people are really saying; and Weaponized Lies, a primer of critical thinking by neuroscientist Daniel Levitin. We'll also discuss relevant literary works, such as Arthur Miller's The Crucible and George Orwell's 1984; and films like Dr. Strangelove and Wag the Dog. A course website will provide links to lectures and interviews by many of these authors. In addition to the reading, the course will involve two response papers, a personal essay, and a take-home final exam. 

Click here for a sample reading list: How to Read an Election Reading list.pdf

Black Bodies on Display: Race in Museums (MALS645-010)

  • Thursdays, 2-5 p.m.
  • Instructor: Julie McGee
  • Hybrid in-class and online via Zoom

The complex and performative nature of museums vis-a-vis race, remembrance and reconciliation with a focus on Black American and African Diasporic history and culture. What role[s] do objects, history, and culture perform under such curatorial and museum mandates and visions? How do changing socio-political and cultural landscapes and challenges to representational politics shape museum practices? Considered here are black cultural institutions, their formation and foundation as well as exhibition histories of black visual art and culture. (Cross-listed with Africana Studies).

Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (MALS601-010)

A gateway experience for incoming MALS students. Students learn the conventions and expectations of graduate-level reading, writing, research, and critical analysis and explore the concept of interdisciplinarity. Topics include documentation of sources, formulation and development of independent research projects, research methods, use of online databases. The content will be interdisciplinary and/or intercultural, and the course methodology will include lecture, discussion, independent research, and varied forms of academic writing.

Click here for a sample syllabus: MALS 601 Syllabus F19.pdf


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