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Current Course Offerings

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Fall 2019 August 27-December 5

Creating Shakespeare (MALS667-012)

Today you can buy Shakespeare finger puppets and Shakespearean insult mugs. You can read a choose-your-own-adventure Hamlet and watch Shakespeare's plays reimagined in works like 10 Things I Hate about You and The Lion King. You can even see the Bard's plays performed in a reconstructed Globe Theatre, complete with the only thatched roof in modern-day London. But how did Shakespeare become Shakespeare? How did this man transform from a working actor and playwright to the "be-all and the end-all" (to quote the man himself) of the English literary tradition? And what can Shakespeare-mania, or "Bardolatry," teach us about the ways that we construct a literary canon? To answer these questions, we will study Shakespeare's changing reputation over the centuries. Beginning with the late 17th century, when Samuel Pepys declared that Romeo and Juliet was the "worst [play] that ever I heard in my life," we will study the ways that writers "improved" Shakespeare by adding more music, dancing, and (occasionally) flying witches. As we study these textual adaptations, we will also work to reconstruct their performance histories, allowing us to imagine what these plays would have been like to witness. We will move through the 18th century, which saw the publication of new editions of Shakespeare's plays and first biographies, as well as memorable performances by celebrity actors like David Garrick. During this period, Arthur Murphy declared that Shakespeare had become a "kind of established religion in poetry." Over the course of the semester, students will write papers and make oral presentations, analyzing texts and other material objects that memorialize the playwright. 

Consistency and Change in U.S. Foreign Policy (MALS667-011)

This course will examine U.S. foreign policy, focusing on the period from WWII to the present.  It will reveal two essentially divergent paths in American foreign policy, the first arguing that commercial and security interests dominate (and should dominate) American foreign policy, the second proposing that furthering democratic and human rights institutions abroad helps to insure security at home while making the world more democratic and less likely to wage war.  Some political scientists believe that these divergent impulses can be traced to concepts of government first embraced and articulated by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.

The course will study specific policies that have emerged over the decades and thus will attempt to define some level of consistency in American foreign policy.  The class will also investigate significant changes in policies as demonstrated by particular presidential administrations, including of course the current one.

Students will read two textbooks related to the course.  Students will also be expected to keep abreast of current international news, notably by looking at sources such as BBC World News and CNN, and also by reading articles in prominent newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.  All of these sources are available online.

The course will entail a mid-term examination and a final research paper, both of which will be described in detail in the course syllabus.

Click here for a draft syllabus: US Foreign Policy Draft Syllabus.pdf

Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (MALS601-010)

  • Thursdays, 6-9 pm
  • Instructors: Aimee GeeTara Kee, writing instructor to be announced
  • Newark Campus

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 F18.pdf


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