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Future Course Offerings

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A look ahead at upcoming semesters for your planning purposes

Winter 2022

Dates TBD

Science and Society: Contemplation and Technological Change (MALS619-010)

How do innovations change the nature of humanity and life on earth?  How can individuals prepare themselves ethically to confront technological issues as diverse as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, solar energy, carbon sequestration, clean water, and nuclear terror?  How can contemplative practices lead to better technological policy decisions?  “Contemplation and Technological Change” will integrate mindfulness, psychology, behavioral science, philosophy, and engineering to empower students to solve grand challenges for innovation and society.  The course is co-taught by three faculty from three Colleges, bringing expertise in engineering, entrepreneurship, and mindfulness.  The intensive five-week format will foster an interdisciplinary learning community.

Spring 2022

Writing in Liberal Studies: Memory Speaks--The Craft of Contemporary Memoir (MALS624)

To document, explore, commemorate, and ultimately to understand the relationship of ones' life to history is no easy undertaking, but this is the task of the memoirist.  From the initial recollection of events to the quest to bestow upon these events inward and outward meaning, memoir is a public genre, and it requires the imagination of the storyteller, the knowledge of the historian, and the discipline of the editor:  a delicate interplay of skill and talent that, with practice, yields memorable literature.  Creative, contemplative, and critical, Memory Speaks is a disciplined exploration of the theory and practice of written recollection, grounded in reading and discussion of influential memoirists' work as well as workshop discussion of participant work.

Studies in Contemporary Culture: American Nightmares (MALS626)

There is a tension in our culture between our aspirations idealized by the notion of the American Dream, and our fears that things are--or are on the verge of getting worse.  We might call these fears American Nightmares.  This seminar will explore some of these contemporary concerns about inequality, injustice, conspiracies, and the like.

Click here for a draft syllabus: MALS626 American Nightmares Draft Syllabus.pdf

Force, Conflict and Change (MALS610)

From antiquity to the present, the use of force and the resolution of conflict have been among humanity's enduring preoccupations. Examines ideas about these issues, and associated questions such as the meaning of "heroism" and "just war."

Fall 2022

Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (MALS601-010)
  • Instructors:  Aimee GeeTara Kee
  • Hybrid--online via Zoom with four in person classes on the 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: MALS601 Syllabus Fall 2020.pdf

How to Read an Election (MALS629)

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

Mozart Opera and the Enlightenment

  • Instructor: Larry Peterson

Using a book by Nicholas Till: Mozart and the Enlightenment: Truth, Virtue, and Beauty in Mozart's Operas, we will explore different productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, and Die Zauberflöte.  The operas will also be discussed against the backdrop of the Hapsburgs and Masonry in the late eighteenth century.

More to come...



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