Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

News and Conferences

GLS Symposium
AGLSP Annual Conference

West Coast Graduate Liberal Studies Symposium

This annual, interdisciplinary symposium provides an opportunity for students and alumni from west coast graduate liberal studies programs to come together to share their work and experiences, and to foster the intellectual community that is at the core of our programs. Approximately 45 students are selected to present papers from one of their GLS classes to an audience of their peers. The schools with GLS programs who participate include: Dominican University of California, Maastricht University (The Netherlands), Marylhurst University, Mount St. Mary's College, Reed College, San Diego State University, St. John's College Sante Fe, Simon Fraser University, Stanford University, and the University of Washington, Tacoma.

Tenth ANNUAL GLS Symposium
June 17-19, 2016
Hosted by Simon Fraser University

The symposium will open Friday with registration starting at 4:00 pm followed by a welcome reception. On Saturday, panel presentations are scheduled all day and breakfast will be included. Saturday will also include a special plenary of GLS Shadbolt Scholars: Panel presentations will continue Sunday morning after breakfast and conclude with a group meeting. An optional gallery tour will be offered Sunday afternoon.There is no cost to students and alumni to attend the symposium other than travel and lodging.

Students and alumni are encouraged to send 250-word paper proposals on the attached proposal form to their directors by March 10th. Selected papers will be organized into 3-4 speaker sessions. Paper-delivery should be limited to 20 minutes.

Please note that the SFU Vancouver campus at 515 West Hastings St. sits at the border of Vancouver's affluent downtown core, the gentrifying and "hip" Gastown quarter, and the impoverished Downtown Eastside. While the Downtown Eastside (six blocks east of campus) is not considered dangerous (crimes against people are extremely rare), one would expect to see homelessness and drug use if staying at hotels east of Cambie Street.

Special rates have been arranged at two downtown hotels, one across the street from campus and one twenty minutes away by bus in Vancouver's iconic English Bay:

Delta Inn and Suites Vancouver (across the street)
550 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1L6
Delta Suite:  Single or for Double: $219 Cdn. plus tax
Deluxe Suite:   Single or Double $244 Cdn. plus tax
Deadline for this rate is May 17th
To Book: Call Delta Inn and Suites 604-689 8188, or toll free @ 1-888-890-3222 to make reservations - Quote "Gradate Liberal Studies Program" for rate. Can also book online at
Sylvia Hotel (20 mins by bus)
1154 Gilford St. Vancouver BC  V6G 2P6
The cost of the rooms is $179.00 Cdn + tax for single rooms and $199.00 Cdn + tax for rooms with 2 beds.
This rate is available until May 17th.

To book a room:  Quote  "Grad Lib Program SFU" to book at this rate
Call hotel at: Phone: 604.681.9321; Toll Free: 1-877-681-9321

Ninth Annual GLS Symposium
June 19-21, 2015
Hosted by Reed College MALS
Information and registration:

Reed MALS students and alumna presented the following papers:
     Julie Felix, Helen's Autopsy: A Forensic Approach to Myth in Herodotus's
     Claire Michie, The Role of Practice Babies in Home Economics Education
          during the Great Depression

     Neil Ramiller, Representation of Technology and Place in Leslie Ragan's
          New 20th Century Limited

Eighth Annual GLS Symposium
June 20-22, 2014
Hosted by Mount St. Mary's College, Chalon campus (Los Angeles)
The full program, schedule and presentation topics are available through Mount St. Mary's College.

Reed MALS students presented papers on the following topics:
     James Cranston: Beneath the Mask of Collective Identity in Turkey
     Petra Fortes-Schramm: Seeing and Hearing Sex and Violence: Billy
          Holiday's "Strange Fruit"

     Neil Ramiller: Commanding Knowledge and Leadership Failure:
           Illustrations from the Literature of Early Modern Europe

     Maylorie Townsend: Writing, Feedback and Motivation
     Lynette Yetter: Searching for Lesbian Existence in "Sex in Public"

AGLSP Annual Conference

The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs is the professional organization of academic programs providing graduate interdisciplinary education in the liberal arts and sciences for working adults. The Association provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among the administrators of programs granting degrees such as Master of Liberal Arts, Master of Liberal Studies and Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and to programs with related curricula and goals. The AGLSP promotes the core concepts and goals of Graduate Liberal Studies, fosters high standards in GLS programs, provides guidance for institutions considering initiating and improving such programs, and promotes public awareness of the programs.The annual conference brings together faculty, administrators, students and alumni of graduate liberal studies programs across the U.S. and Canada for a long weekend each October.

2016 Conference, Tradition and Transformation   
Hosted by The University of Oklahoma college of liberal studies
October 20-22, Oklahoma City

Conference details, on-line registration and additional information may be found at the AGLSP site.

2012 Conference, The Crisis of the Book: Worlds of Opportunity, Worlds of Change  
Hosted by the Reed College MALS program
October 18-20, Portland, OR

From scroll to codex, printing press to computer screen, revolutions in technology have changed the way we receive and process information, and even the way we think about ideas. This interdisciplinary conference will place the transformation in print culture in a historical framework, and will reflect upon the changing nature of text delivery and the experience of reading.

How is knowledge produced? What role does the book play as cultural, material, and sacred object? What is the place of the modern library in the electronic age? How does the field of new media studies reflect evolving social contexts? How do we “see” graphic novels or navigate through hypertext fiction? What questions concerning copyright and intellectual property does the digital age raise?

Reading is at the heart of what we do in the academy, both personally and professionally. What is the future of your practice of reading?

Keynote Speakers:
" long as there are readers there will be scrolls"
Molly Raphael, 2011-12 president, American Library Association; former director of the Multonomah Country Library and District of Columbia Public Library systems.

"The Future is Medieval" Some Lessons about Books, Reading, and Information from the Dark Ages"
William J. Diebold, Jane Neuberger Goodsell Professor of Art History and Humanities, Reed College

Complete 2012 Conference Program available as a pdf file.