Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

The Committee on Graduate Studies

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Faculty members of the Committee on Graduate Studies serve as advisers to MALS students, attend thesis orals boards, assist with the evaluation of initial and candidacy applications, and set policies and curriculum for the program. Membership in the committee varies from year to year. Members for the 2018–19 academic year include:

Laura Leibman, chair

Professor of English and Humanities
BA 1989 University of California, Davis. MA 1993, PhD 1995 University of California, Los Angeles. Reed College 1995—.
Academic interests: Early American literature and culture, American poetry, poetics and ethnopoetics, Native American literature and culture, postcolonial theory, gender theory, American studies.

Michael Breen

Professor of History and Humanities
BA 1989 University of Chicago. AM 1990, PhD 2000 Brown University. Reed College 2000—.
Academic interests: Old Regime France; medieval and early modern European legal, social, and cultural history; Renaissance Italy.

Jay Dickson

Professor of English and Humanities
AB 1988 Harvard College. PhD 1996 Princeton University. Reed College 1996-1999, 2001–.
Academic interests: The novel, British modernism, Victorian literature, queer studies, postcolonial studies.

Jacqueline Dirks

Cornelia Marvin Pierce Professor of History and Humanities
BA 1982 Reed College. MA, MPhil 1986, PhD 1996 Yale University. Reed College 1991—.
Academic interests: American social and cultural history, United States women's history.

Paul Silverstein

Professor of Anthropology
AB 1992 Princeton University. MA 1994, PhD 1998 University of Chicago. Reed College 2000—.
Academic interests: Race and ethnicity, colonialism and postcoloniality, migration, urbanity, social class, sport, practice theory, historical anthropology, France, North Africa, Middle East.

Testimonials

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Teaching a MALS course was a rare pleasure for me. The MALS students amaze me with their ability to bring so much energy to the classroom. They truly understand the value of learning for learning’s sake and they want to get the most of each minute of class discussion. Students like this energize a teacher. The classroom becomes a place where one has the ultimate luxury of bouncing ideas off of one another, trying out different interpretations of the text, and maybe even getting new perspectives on some of the really big questions. MALS students don’t ever take the classroom for granted – they know that, if everyone puts work into the conversation, it can be the locus of transformative discussions and collective refinement of great ideas.

The MALS students clearly have developed a culture of respect and generosity towards one another. I have the impression that over the course of several classes together, they know each other very well and enjoy the fact that they are in a small program. Everyone is comfortable with one another and this greatly increases the quality of discussion in the classroom.

ANN DELEHANTY
Professor of French & Humanities