Master of Arts in Liberal Studies


Megan Geigner (MALS '08) publishes two books

MALS alum Megan Geigner is the co-editor of two new books, Theatre after Empire and Makeshift Chicago Stages. Megan has had her work published in New Theatre QuarterlyTheatre JournalModern DramaTheatre History Studies, and Cosmopolitan Review. Her research focuses on the way performance creates ethnic, civic, and racial identity in and at such events as parades, world’s fairs, commemorative monuments, and traditional theatre. She is also an officer with the Association for Theatre in Higher Education and an artistic associate with Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre. From 2009-2016, she was served on the board of director of the Neo-Futurists (Chicago); from 2016-19, she was the director of the United States Naval Academy theatre program; and for the last twelve years, she has worked as a dramaturg at several theatres in Chicago. She is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Cook Family Writing Program at Northwestern University where she teaches courses on writing about identity, technical writing, and writing in business settings.

Lynette Yetter (MALS '21) presents at State of the Coast

Lynette Yetter presented her art and poetry at the State of the Coast virtual conference, which took place online November 5-6, 2020. Lynette won Best of Show! Visit this site to view Lynette's art and a video presentation.

Susie Callahan published

Susie Callahan's essay “Parading as a Means of Joyfully Choreographing a Future: Úumbal and Second-Lining” was published in the Spring 2020 issue of Confluence: The Journal of the AGLSP, and her essay “Why Read…Gertrude Stein?” will be published in Confluence’s Fall 2020 issueCallahan will present her work at the AGLSP 2020 virtual conference.

Lynette Yetter and Neil Ramiller present MALS work at AGLSP 2020

Lynette Yetter presents "Competing Cannibal Identities: Stradano’s America and Guaman Poma’s Allegory of Authorities Feared by the Indians" and Neil Ramiller (MALS ’17) presents "Hi-fi in Suburbia: Technology, Music, and Adult Male Identity in Cold War America" at the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs 2020 virtual conference.

Meg Cook (MALS '20) wins writing contest

Meg Cook (MALS ’20) has been named the winner of 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 will be honored at the 2020 virtual AGLSP Annual Conference, and her essay will be published in the Fall 2020 issue of Confluence: The Journal of the AGLSPMeg Cook was previously awarded the Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing, joining Mark Pettibone '18 who won the award in 2017. Click on their names to read their interviews.

MALS Book Club Reviews

A review of the October 2020 MALS Book Club discussion with Kim Clausing, author of Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital

A review of the April 2019 MALS Book Club discussion of Kamila Shamie's Home Fire

Meg Cook wins 2018 AGLSP writing contest

Meg Cook, Reed MALS '20 expected, was named the winner of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Program's 2018 Confluence Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing. The essay, "America's Poshlust Vacuum: The Young-Girl, Émigré, and Artist in Nabokov's Lolita," was modified from a paper she wrote for a spring '17 class on Nobokov with Professor Lena Lencek. The paper is published in the fall edition of Confluence.

2018 GLS Student Papers Published

Congratulations to Meg Cook, Libby O’Neil, and Mike Schock who will see their work published in the 2018 issue of Western Tributaries, the annual journal published by the Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) West Coast Joint Symposium. Western Tributaries showcases graduate student research, writing, and creative work presented at the annual GLS symposium, which all three students attended at Stanford in June 2018. Meg's paper on "America's Poshlust Vacuum: Understanding Commodity Fetishism, the Young-Girl, and the Role of the Artist in Nabokov's Lolita" also won the AGLSP national writing award. (Read her paper here.) Libby’s paper “Wedding (and Divorcing) the Brides of Christ” examined the martial discourse surrounding women religious during the Reformation. She argues that their status was linked to earthly marriage and thus can explain both the highly contested elimination of the convent in Protestant areas, as well as the drastically heighted focus on public vows, convent enclosure, and class-exclusivity in Catholic areas. Mike wrote his paper on Basic Structures of Ideological Communication in Traditional Hollywood Feature Film Narratives.” He argues that these films play a significant role in the framing and reframing of socio-cultural systems of belief, and provide qualitative statements on the values, ideas, and beliefs that inform human thought and behavior in relation to predominant ideologies of Western culture.

Visit Western Tributaries in December to view these and other papers presented at the GLS.

The MALS Alumni Book Club: A Classical Return

The MALS Alumni Book Club welcomed 20 readers in early November to discuss Euripides' the Bacchae with Walter Englert, Emeritus Professor of Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Humanities. The Bacchae is one of the greatest Greek tragedies produced at Athens in the fifth century BCE. Euripides tells the story of the introduction of the worship of the god Dionysus (also known as Bacchus) into ancient Thebes. The play, written just before Athens’ defeat at the end of its long and destructive war with Sparta, addresses many of the crucial issues facing his audience: the relationship between gods and human beings, reason and irrationality, male and female, city (polis) and countryside, speech and action, and it also questions the nature of wisdom and reality itself. The Bacchae has been interpreted in many ways; our discussion explored the nature of Dionysus, the meaning of the play, and its relevance to the modern era.

Both MALS alumni and prospective students are welcome to attend the MALS book club, held once per semester, to enjoy an evening of literary discussion and renewed acquaintances.

Reed MALS Turned 50!

MALS birthday cake

The graduate liberal studies concept dates from 1952 when Wesleyan University, CT established the first Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program. Reed designed its MALS program initially to complement and enhance teacher education preparation. With the support of the National Science Foundation, the Danforth Foundation and the Ford Foundation, Reed College formally established its Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program on December 6, 1966. The program was offered to high school teachers who wanted to increase mastery of subject matter in their teaching fields and to develop a broader background in the liberal arts.

In 1980 a college committee recommended that the program be revitalized with the inclusion of a more diverse population:

There appears to be a need for a post-baccaluareate program in the Portland area, one which does not have a specific vocational or professional orientation, which is flexible and which provides students with an opportunity to develop new goals, prepare for new courses in the most general way, and to enlarge their intellectual horizons in the same way that the liberal arts education serves to educate undergraduates.

The program held a celebratory gathering for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students on Friday June 10, 2016 during Reed Reunions Week.