Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

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), 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.

Thirteenth Annual GLS Symposium
June 7-9, 2019
Hosted by St. John's College, Santa Fe, NM
Information on the Program:

Reed MALS students presented the following papers:

  • Mary Lou Anderson, The Snow was General
  • Neil Ramiller, Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society and the Making of Modern Science
  • Lynette Yetter, Searching for Coya Queens in the List of Twelve Inka Kings

2019 GLS Symposium

Reed MALS presenters and director 2019 St. John's GLS Symposium

Twelfth Annual GLS Symposium
June 22-1248, 2018
Hosted by Stanford University, Palo Alto CA

Reed MALS students presented the following papers:

  • Meg Cook, America's Poshlust Vaccum: Understanding Commodity Fetishism, the Young-Girl, and the Role of the Artist in Nabokov's Lolita
  • Derek Finn, Émigré Identity in Vladimir Nabokov's Pnin
  • Claire Michie, Touching Texts to See How They Sound: Vladimir Nabokov as Reader's Guide to the Sensory and Physical Pleasures of Reading
  • Elizabeth O'Neil, Wedding (and Divorcing) the Brides of Christ
  • Michael Schock, Basic Structures of ideological Communication in Traditional Hollywood Feature Film Narratives
  • Lynette Yetter, Sita Sings the Blues: "A woman like me" as deity and creator

    Reed MALS presenters and director 2018 Stanford Symposium

Eleventh Annual GLS Symposium
June 16-18, 2017
Hosted by University of Washington, Tacoma

Reed MALS students and alumnus presented the following papers:

  • Derek Finn, Plato, Protagoras, and the Problem with Democracy
  • Elizabeth O'Neil, Who Can Change the World?: Gendered Citizenship and Non-Resistance in American Abolitionism
  • Neil Ramiller, Inventorying 'Ithaca': Things, Identity, and Character in James Joyce's Ulysses
  • Lynette Yetter, Virgin Mary/Pachamama Syncretism: Exploring filial ayni relationship with the Divine Feminine in early-colonial Copacabana, Bolivia

    group with lynette image
    Reed MALS presenters and director 2017 UWTacoma Symposium

    Read more about the 2017 GLS Symposium and the four Reed students who presented papers!

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 Histories
  • 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

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.

2020 Conference, History, Heritage, and Identity
Hosted virtually by AGLSP
October 8-10

Two Reed MALS students presented papers: Lynette Yetter presented "Competing Cannibal Identities: Stradano’s America and Guaman Poma’s Allegory of Authorities Feared by the Indians" and Susie Callahan presented “Parading as a Means of Joyfully Choreographing a Future: Úumbal and Second-Lining,” which was published in the Spring 2020 issue of Confluence. MALS alum Neil Ramiller (MALS '17) presented his paper "Hi-fi in Suburbia: Technology, Music, and Adult Male Identity in Cold War America." Meg Cook (MALS '20) accepted the 2020 Confluence Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing for her essay “Reception Theory and the Kafka Reader.” The Confluence awards celebrate excellence in creative and interdisciplinary writing by graduate students and recent alumnae/i of member programs of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. Cook was honored at the 2020 virtual AGLSP Annual Conference, and her essay was published in the Fall 2020 issue of Confluence: The Journal of the AGLSP.

2018 Conference, Borders and Migrations
Hosted by Arizona State University
October 11-13, Tempe

IMG_5180.jpgMary Lou, Director Amen, Mark, Libby, and Meg at 2018 AGLSP Conference

Team Reed made an impressive showing at the Arizona conference. Two students, Mark Pettibone and Meg Cook, were in attendance to receive their awards and recognition for winning the national best interdisciplinary writing awards in 2017 and 2018 respectively. (Read their interviews on the home page under News & Announcements.) In addition, two students presented papers from their recent MALS classes:  Mary Lou Anderson, "Navigating the Digital Divide" and Libby O'Neil, "Meet Alexa": Voice-Mediated Consumption and Gendered Artificial Intelligence." Libby's paper was selected as one of the three best student presentations at the conference (which included close to 20 student presentations).

IMG_5189.jpgMark Pettibone, Libby O'Neil, and Meg Cook at AGLSP conference

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 Multnomah 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.