Reed College Catalog

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) is an interdisciplinary graduate program in the liberal arts and sciences. An alternative to the highly specialized course of study characteristic of more traditional graduate programs, MALS is intended for those students who wish to pursue interdisciplinary graduate work in a flexible yet rigorous program. While the MALS degree does not focus on a specific vocational or professional direction, it can prepare students for a range of career options and further study. The program therefore attracts a diverse group of bright and intellectually curious students of varied interests, ages, and backgrounds who are motivated to learn and who wish to pursue learning with similarly motivated students and faculty members. In short, the program advocates a lifelong commitment to learning. Detailed information on the program may be found at .


The MALS curriculum incorporates a broad spectrum of courses in liberal studies: humanities, history and the social sciences, the arts, and mathematics and science. Graduate courses are offered in the evenings and summers. These courses are frequently interdisciplinary in nature and are taught by Reed faculty members from various departments. Normally there are three half-unit evening courses each fall and spring semester, and one full-unit course, along with an additional half-unit evening course, in the summer term. With the exception of the accelerated summer term, graduate courses meet one and one-half hours once a week for the duration of the semester.

MALS students also may select from 300- and 400-level undergraduate courses, with consent of the instructor, for their degree program, or from 100- and 200-level courses for undergraduate background credit and prerequisites, and thus are eligible to take courses in any of the 25 departmentally based majors at Reed. Students may petition the MALS office to create a 500-level course-based independent study from a 300- or 400-level undergraduate course. It is up to the individual instructor to determine any additional expectations or requirements for enrollment in the course at the graduate level. The program director, in consultation with the graduate studies committee, will take into consideration the individual student’s educational circumstances and the compelling nature of the proposal in evaluating the petition. If there is a MALS course offered on the same topic in the same semester as the desired undergraduate course, students must register in the MALS course (and may not petition to create an independent study course).

On an exceptional basis, a student may undertake a MALS independent study course where the student works one-on-one with a Reed faculty member. The course proposal must be approved in advance by the Committee on Graduate Studies, which will take into consideration the individual student’s personal and educational circumstances. A proposal for the course, signed by the instructor, must be submitted to the committee no later than the last day of classes of the preceding term.

MALS courses are conducted as discussion groups and generally enroll between 6 and 10 students, with a maximum enrollment of 15 and a minimum of 5. At least one MALS course each term is designated as liberal studies core. These courses are explicitly interdisciplinary and writing-intensive. Liberal studies core courses scheduled for the 2018–19 academic year are “The Immigrant as Protagonist” in fall, “Russian Culture under Putin: Submission and Resistance” in spring, and “Critical American Indian Studies” in summer 2019.

Course Load and Progression

The program does not specify a minimum number of courses required in a field of principal interest. The student’s total program, however, should lead to a clearly defined objective and provide the theoretical basis for the final thesis project. After completing two provisional Reed courses, one of which must be a liberal studies core course, all students must make application for formal candidacy to the program (see “Admission”). Upon candidacy approval, a faculty adviser and the director of the MALS program will assist students in designing a course of study that meets their particular intellectual interests while providing a broad academic base.

Almost all MALS students attend part-time; full-time status requires concurrent enrollment in both undergraduate courses and graduate courses, and is difficult to sustain for every semester of the program. Full-time enrollment in a regular semester is three units; half-time enrollment is one and one-half units. In the accelerated summer term, one unit is considered half-time enrollment; one and one-half units is full-time. While most students take three to six years to graduate, it is possible to complete the program in two years. The yearly course load for graduate students generally ranges from one to five academic units. There is no specified minimum or maximum course load, however, and students are not required to enroll each consecutive term. Complementing this flexibility in progression, however, is the expectation that all MALS students meet the following completion time frames:

  • If a student does not complete a course within three consecutive semesters, the student must submit a petition to continue in the program to the Committee on Graduate Studies by the last day of classes of the third term of nonenrollment. The petition for continuation must include enrollment in at least one of the next two semesters, a statement of continued interest, and a proposed time frame for completing the program. A student who does not meet these criteria and who wishes to continue study at a later date must reapply for admission to the program.
  • Students are expected to complete the MALS degree within six years of candidacy acceptance. Petitions to extend the time for degree completion must be approved in advance of the thesis semester by the Committee on Graduate Studies.


Reed welcomes applications from individuals who wish to pursue interdisciplinary graduate work in a program that is both flexible and rigorous. Those applicants are accepted who, in the view of the Committee on Graduate Studies, are most likely to become successful members of and contribute positively to the MALS community. Admission decisions are based on many integrated factors. We recognize that qualities of character—in particular, motivation, intellectual curiosity, and openness to constructive criticism—are important considerations in the selection process, beyond a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence.

Students may apply to enter in the fall, spring, or summer term. Online application forms are available at Initial, provisional admission to the MALS program requires submission of the following items:

  • Completed application form with personal statements that include a critical response to an essay or book of choice.
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and postbaccalaureate work from each originating school, with evidence of completion of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Two letters of recommendation: either a faculty member who recently taught the applicant in an academic subject, or an individual who is familiar with the applicant’s intellectual and personal abilities, motivation, and accomplishments.
  • $75 nonrefundable application fee.
  • Interview with the MALS director and a faculty member of the Committee on Graduate Studies upon completion of the above materials.

In addition, students are invited to submit a writing sample from a recent academic, personal, or business-related endeavor. Please note that GRE scores are welcome but not required.

Applicants must submit all required materials by the following deadlines:

  • No later than July 1 for fall entrance.
  • No later than December 1 for spring entrance.
  • No later than April 1 for summer entrance.

Because of space limitations, we encourage applicants to begin the process earlier by requesting transcripts and recommendations several months in advance. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year, and applicants are notified of the admission decision accordingly.

Students accepted for admission may request a deferral of entrance for up to two terms, and should attach a letter of intention to the enrollment form, explaining their reasons for the deferral. If students wish to enroll in courses elsewhere during the deferral term, they must notify the MALS office of their intention and submit an official transcript of the completed work to the MALS office for additional review.

All students are admitted to the program on a provisional basis. In order to be admitted formally as a candidate to the MALS program, the applicant must successfully complete two successive or concurrent Reed courses, at least one of which must be a liberal studies core course. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved in advance by the Committee on Graduate Studies. If an exception is approved, one of the student’s two preliminary courses must still be at the graduate level, and the student must take at least one liberal studies core course within two semesters of acceptance as a formal candidate. Within one term of completing the second preliminary course, the student must submit to the Committee on Graduate Studies a candidacy application that includes a self-evaluation, an outline of course progression and completion, and a class paper. The program director will solicit evaluations from the student’s instructors, including an assessment of the student’s potential to write a final thesis. Upon candidacy approval, credit for the completed courses will be applied to the MALS degree. Once accepted as a candidate, the student should consult with the faculty adviser and program director to plan a program of study consistent with the goals of the program, leading to the completion of all requirements for the MALS degree.

Special Students

Those individuals with an undergraduate degree who wish to sample a graduate course one time only may initiate a special student application to take one MALS course. Credit for the course may be applied to the MALS degree requirements if the student enters the degree-seeking program within five years of taking the course.

Reed undergraduate juniors and seniors may apply to take a fall or spring MALS course that does not have a comparable undergraduate offering within the same academic year. Enrollment priority is given to MALS students; undergraduate enrollment in any MALS class is limited to no more than two students. Interested students may contact the MALS office for an application and should apply at least 30 days in advance of the desired semester. Approval of enrollment is based on the application, an interview with the program director, and instructor permission.


Graduate courses are open only to students who have been admitted to the MALS program, and to undergraduate students with special permission (above). Students currently enrolled in the MALS program are eligible to audit undergraduate courses and should follow the guidelines outlined in the “Auditors” section of the undergraduate admission section of this catalog (under “Special Admission Groups”).

Only Reed MALS graduates are eligible to audit MALS courses. Graduates may apply to audit one MALS course per academic year. Graduates should submit an audit application to the MALS director no later than 30 days before the start of the desired semester. The director will consider the auditor’s statement of interest, instructor approval, and space availability in granting admission to the course.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of two of the nine units required for the degree may be satisfied by transfer credit. Transfer credit may not be used to meet the minimum requirement of four units of Reed coursework at the graduate level. The registrar and the Committee on Graduate Studies must approve all work submitted for transfer, preferably before enrollment in the transfer course. The decision for granting credit will be based on a careful evaluation of the following materials: an official transcript recording the course(s), a petition from the student that includes such course details as professor name and title, and a course description and syllabus. (If available, the student also should submit a course paper with instructor comments.) The coursework must be from a regionally accredited college or university, may not be applied to another degree, and should represent B or better work. Courses completed as a postbaccalaureate student should be comparable to upper-level undergraduate or graduate coursework offered at Reed. Transfer credit is not allowed for courses taught solely online. Normally, all courses approved for transfer must have been completed within the past five years.

Costs and Financial Assistance

Tuition is calculated on a per-unit basis at a rate reduced from that of the undergraduate program. For the 2018–19 academic year, the semester MALS tuition rates are as follows:

1/2 unit


  2 units


1 unit


  2 1/2 units


1 1/2 units


  3 or more units


Students enrolled at least half time (1.5 units in the fall or spring terms; 1 unit in the summer term) are eligible to participate in the Direct Loan program. Only courses at the 500 or 600 level that apply toward requirements for the degree may be used in determining financial aid eligibility.

Students wishing to borrow under the Direct Loan program must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In addition, for each semester that a graduate student is interested in borrowing a federal loan, the student should provide the financial aid office with a letter stating the semester of attendance (fall, spring, or summer), the course titles, and the number of units per course.

The FAFSA is available online at The Reed College code for the FAFSA is 003217. The maximum unsubsidized Direct Loan available to a graduate student is $20,500 per academic year. The exact amount of unsubsidized loan eligibility is based upon the number of units enrolled in at Reed each semester. Graduate students may, in some circumstances, borrow under the Graduate PLUS loan program to cover educational expenses. Eligibility for the Graduate PLUS program is credit-based and students wishing to borrow under this federal program must file a FAFSA. Generally, a student may borrow sufficient amounts to cover educational expenses under the Direct Loan program; therefore, it is unlikely that an MALS student will qualify for additional funding through the Graduate PLUS loan. Loan terms for the Direct Loan are more favorable than terms for the Graduate PLUS loan, and students should always borrow under the Direct Loan before considering the Graduate PLUS loan. New federal loan borrowers at Reed must also complete loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note.

For financial aid purposes, the academic year at Reed College begins in summer, continuing through fall and spring.

A Reed College monthly payment option, administered by Tuition Management Systems, offers a flexible alternative to semester payments to the college. Participants may enroll in a semester plan and make four, five, or six equal monthly payments, beginning May 15, July 15, or August 15. Please call TMS at 888/316-9620 or visit for information about this program. Families can also use TMS to make payments using a credit card or with a direct deduction from a checking or savings account. A convenience fee is charged for using a credit card and there is no fee for a direct deduction.

The MALS program also sponsors a small scholarship each year to help defray tuition costs for two or three students. Recipients are chosen by the Committee on Graduate Studies based on an application process that takes into account primarily financial need (as calculated from the FAFSA form), but also academic and personal merit. Generally, the committee will call for scholarship applications in the spring and make a final decision on awards no later than fall of the new academic year.

Degree Requirements

The MALS degree requires the completion of nine units of coursework. Each student designs an individual program, incorporating the following degree requirements:

  1. Eight units of courses.
    1. A minimum of four of the eight units must be in Reed MALS courses (numbered 500 or higher).
    2. No more than four units from 300- and 400-level undergraduate courses (including undergraduate course–based independent study 500-level classes) may be applied to the eight required units.
  2. A one-unit thesis.
  3. No more than five units (including thesis) in any one department or division, or in liberal studies core courses, may be applied to the total nine units required for graduation.

Exceptions to the above requirements must be approved in advance by the Committee on Graduate Studies. Petitions should be addressed to the committee no later than the first day of classes of the term before the thesis.

Gateway Course

One or two terms prior to the thesis semester, students must designate one of their courses as a gateway course that serves as preparation for writing the thesis. The designated course can be either a MALS or an upper-level undergraduate course that provides the student with an opportunity to write a substantial research paper. The topic of the paper is not restricted to the field of the thesis. The student and the instructor should agree on a process and topic that takes the place of any regular course papers and that includes a proposal, annotated bibliography, draft, and rewrite in the same format as required for the thesis. The student must submit to the MALS office a description of the research project, including the instructor’s note of approval, by the second week of classes of the gateway semester.


A required final project, the thesis is a one-unit, one-semester study of a specific topic that should emerge out of the student’s courses and critical studies. The experience of writing the thesis allows the student to investigate a particular topic in depth and to present a conclusion in the scholarly manner appropriate to the field(s) of inquiry. A description of the thesis topic and methodology, along with an outline, a bibliography, and due dates for chapter drafts, must be approved in advance by the Committee on Graduate Studies. The committee also encourages students to work with a thesis adviser from whom the student has taken a prior course. Candidates should submit the thesis proposal to the MALS office according to the following schedule:

  • Proposals for fall theses are due the last day of classes of the preceding spring term.
  • Proposals for spring theses are due the last day of classes of the preceding fall term.
  • Proposals for summer theses are due the first Monday in April of the preceding spring term.

The committee is cautious about approving creative thesis proposals and considers carefully the nature of the project, the educational benefit of the project for the student, and the availability of an appropriate adviser. It is imperative that the project arise out of prior coursework at Reed. Since creative projects also include a critical component, they generally require substantial work on the part of the student. Students may contact the MALS office for additional information on the creative thesis requirements and guidelines.

On an exceptional basis, students may petition to write a two-unit, two-term thesis, leading to a 10-unit degree program. This opportunity is for the student who wishes to research and write a longer, more ambitious paper. The student must explain in the thesis proposal the reasons for extending the project to two terms, and obtain explicit permission from the thesis adviser.

The thesis is due on the date specified in the academic calendar for undergraduate thesis submission. The college registrar and the MALS program director determine the schedule and deadlines for summer projects. The thesis requirement is completed with a two-hour oral defense of the project. The committee of examiners typically includes the student’s thesis adviser, one member of the Committee on Graduate Studies, at least one but occasionally two additional faculty members, and the program director. The committee should represent at least two different academic divisions of the college. The Reed library houses copies of all theses, easily accessible for both reference and borrowing.

When necessary, MALS students may take a three-day extension for submitting the thesis, provided a $50 late fee is paid and the bound copies are submitted to the library by the regular deadline. 

If a student does not earn a passing grade in the thesis, the student must submit a new proposal on a different topic to the committee, following the normal deadlines, and register again for thesis. A student who fails thesis a second time is ineligible for graduation.


MALS students are expected to perform at the graduate level and to earn grades of B− or better in all their courses. The grade of C is allowed for students who complete a course with credit, but whose work was unsatisfactory. The grade of F designates failure. Students are eligible for an incomplete grade with the same constraints applicable to undergraduate students. For thesis, B− is the lowest passing grade. The Committee on Graduate Studies conducts a grade review at the end of each semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Satisfactory academic progress refers to a minimum grade point average (GPA) expectation, the number of units completed during the academic year, and the time it normally would take to complete the MALS degree. For federal financial aid purposes, a student is expected to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. Full-time status at Reed is 3 units in a regular semester (fall or spring) and 1.5 units in summer. Based on the degree requirement of 9 units, a student attending full time would typically take two years to complete the program. Students are eligible for federal financial aid for up to 150 percent of the regular time frame to complete a degree; therefore, MALS students may be eligible for federal aid for up to two years of full-time study. A student who enrolls part-time during any semester may be eligible for additional semesters of federal aid.

Reed’s institutional definition of satisfactory academic progress for the number of completed units is the same as noted above in the federal definition. It differs, however, from the federal definition in minimum GPA and time frame. MALS students generally are expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. They must apply for formal candidacy in the program after completing their first two courses, take at least one course every three semesters, and complete the degree within six years of acceptance as a degree candidate.

Dropping Courses, Refunds, and Withdrawal from the Program

MALS students who drop courses during a semester must complete an add/drop form, available from the registrar’s office. The signatures of the instructor, adviser, and student are required for acceptance of the form. Deadlines for registration changes are published in the academic calendar. The date that the completed form is submitted to the registrar’s office is the effective date for determining any refund. Please refer to the costs section of this catalog, which addresses withdrawals, leaves, and refunds, for additional information regarding the refund schedule.

No deviations from the refund schedule will be made except in cases of extreme hardship, of which the college shall be the sole judge. The Administration Committee may, with the recommendation of the MALS program director, approve petitions for such exceptions. Reed College’s refund policy is based in part on the fact that it is an institution with a semester-based program and instructors are not required to take attendance. The refund policy applies to all graduate students who drop or withdraw from courses during a semester, whether or not they have federal Title IV financial aid, except as noted in the section below.

Any student who wishes to withdraw formally from the MALS program must provide written notification to the MALS office. If the student is enrolled at the time of withdrawal, the student must also complete the add/drop form.

Credit balances under $10 will not be refunded.

Tuition Refund for Federal Title IV Financial Aid Recipients

Federal Title IV financial aid is available to MALS students primarily through unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan. For students who are recipients of federal Title IV financial aid, additional calculations must be made for tuition refunds.

First, the college calculates the amount of Title IV aid earned by the student for the percentage of payment period completed. If the percentage of payment period completed is greater than 60 percent, the student is considered to have earned 100 percent of their Title IV aid; otherwise, the student has earned the actual percentage calculated.

Second, the college compares the amount earned with the amount disbursed to determine the amount that must be returned to the Title IV programs. The amount disbursed is that aid awarded and disbursed to the student’s account, plus the Title IV aid awarded that could have been disbursed to the student’s account (such as memo balances).

Third, the college determines the amount of Title IV aid that must be returned to the Title IV programs by the college and by the student. Aid is returned to the Title IV programs in the following order: unsubsidized Direct (Stafford) Loans, Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.

Health Insurance

All degree-seeking MALS students taking a half unit or more of Reed classes continuously each term, including summers, are eligible to enroll in the Reed College health plan. Students are allowed one term of nonenrollment in their progression to the MALS degree; a second term of nonenrollment would result in termination of coverage. A student who is unable to return to classes because of extenuating circumstances may qualify to purchase coverage for an additional period of time. The plan offers access to Pacific Source Health Plan’s network of preferred providers. Detailed information on the plan benefits and costs is available at or by calling Pacific Source at 855/274-9814.

MALS students may choose their own primary care providers off campus. In addition, currently enrolled MALS students who are on the Reed health plan, or who can show proof of major medical insurance with benefits and coverage comparable to the benefits provided through the Reed plan, may utilize the services of Reed’s health and counseling center. The health center requires students seeking their services to complete a confidential health history form and to provide proof of insurance at the time of scheduling the first appointment.

Course Offerings - The following courses are scheduled for the 2018–19 academic year:

Anthropology 520 - Race, Labor, and the Immigrant Experience

One-half course for one semester. Using the lens of critical race studies and labor history, the course explores the major ways in which historians, social scientists, and critics have approached the immigrant experience. Readings are taken from anthropology, sociology, history, and cultural studies. Comparing the immigrant contexts of North America, Europe, and Australia, the course considers both the politico-economic effects of and ideological contests over immigration. The course focuses on issues of identity formation and particularly on the ways in which immigrants are incorporated into and/or excluded from processes of nation formation and the national imagination through their radicalized, laboring bodies. In this respect, the course uses the immigrant experience to explore broader issues surrounding class and racial boundaries of contemporary citizenship and contemporary debates over multiculturalism in immigrant societies. Conference. Offered fall 2018.

Dance 551 - Dance and Identity on the Global Stage

One-half course for one semester. This course considers how contemporary dance practices reflect and/or contest racialized, gendered, sexualized, and classed social identities as they are formed in national and transnational contexts. “Contemporary dance,” for the purposes of this course, signals a broad genre of choreography that gained prominence during the late twentieth century. While most closely associated with influences from the Euro-American concert tradition (ballet, modern and postmodern dance), contemporary dance works frequently expand beyond these bounds. The works that we will consider invoke dances of the African diaspora, kathak (a form of Indian classical dance), Khon (Thai dance drama), and Latin/o American social dance forms, among others. Focusing our attention on a select set of concert works from the late 1990s to the present, we will examine both the formal strategies (movement vocabulary, structure, etc.) that choreographers employ to address issues of identity and the global political economies that shape the creation of their work. Through viewings of the works themselves as well as readings drawn from within and beyond the interdisciplinary field of critical dance studies, students will explore methods for describing, interpreting, and critically analyzing how dance makes meaning. In our approach to both primary and secondary source material, we will consider how the critical study of dance contributes to scholarly conversations in critical race theory, globalization theory, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies. Conference. Offered summer 2019.

English 540 - August Wilson's Twentieth-Century Cycle

One-half course for one semester. Between 1982 and 2005, African American playwright August Wilson wrote 10 plays, one for each decade of the twentieth century, in which he offered an alternative view of American history as seen through the perspective of black characters. Those formally marginalized now took center stage, and the cycle celebrates their struggles to establish community and maintain a sense of history. We will read the entire cycle chronologically by decade depicted, starting with Gem of the Ocean (1900s) (2003) and concluding with Radio Golf (1990s) (2005). This is thus a course in both African American history and literature. Conference. Offered fall 2018.

History 516 - The Power of American Things: United States and its Stuff in the Twentieth-Century World

One-half course for one semester. This course investigates the nature of American power in the twentieth century by focusing on the political, cultural, and economic value of the materials the nation has produced and consumed in establishing and maintaining its global hegemony. That is, the course focuses on American “stuff.” Where have Americans and their institutions found the raw materials they have needed to build and maintain the nation?  How have they gone about procuring these precious materials and commodities, and what have these things come to mean, both to Americans and to their friends and enemies abroad? Beginning with key agricultural commodities that helped the nation rise to global economic power in the late nineteenth century—particularly wheat and sugar—we will investigate what important substances like cotton, rubber, bananas, aluminum, petroleum, drugs, nylons, and Coca-Cola can tell us about the relationships between the United States and the world, and between the nation and the nonhuman environment, as those relationships changed over the course of the twentieth century. In the process, we also will begin to tease out some of the important and overlapping environmental, economic, political, and cultural foundations of modern globalization. Conference. Offered spring 2019.

Liberal Studies 513 - Critical American Indian Studies

Full course for one semester. The course begins with a critical examination of the origins of the field of American Indian studies. We will engage with Indian authors who helped usher in an era of critical American Indian thought, including Vine Deloria Jr., Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, Beatrice Medicine, Walter Echo-Hawk, and Robert Warrior. Similar to the origins of the field, this course will maintain a primarily legalistic and philosophic approach to the condition of “being Indian.” How is Indian belonging determined, and by whom? What are the legal conditions that have shaped the image and recognition of Indians in contemporary North American pop culture? The “Indian as legal construct” will be our point of departure for examining contemporary themes such as representation and identity, queer indigeneity, social and political activism, decolonization movements, tribal justice systems, and tribal sovereignties. We will end the semester by pulling the great Indian renaissance in literature to the present day with Scott Momaday and James Welch, and with plays by Tomson Highway and Drew Hayden Taylor. While focused primarily on North American Indian peoples, this course will also utilize authors addressing native Hawaiian issues of decolonized research, tribal belonging, and sovereignty. Conference. Offered summer 2019.

Liberal Studies 538 - The Immigrant as Protagonist

One-half course for one semester. The immigrant, a highly contested figure in today’s global arena, has played a pivotal role in shaping the modern experience. The course explores this paradigmatic figure of displacement, as represented through artistic imagination. We will examine how the immigrant as protagonist and its variants—the emigrant, the exile, the refugee, the displaced, the outsider, and the expatriate—function as an aesthetic and critical ground for negotiating the boundaries of cultural encounters. While the readings primarily focus on German-language texts in translation from the twentieth century to the present, we also will employ a world-literature approach by drawing on selected works from other national and cultural contexts. Genres to be considered include fiction, memoir, essay, and film. Diverse representations of the immigrant are informed by a rich array of themes and techniques:  the immigrant as victim or hero; exile as catastrophe or a new state of freedom; voluntary and forced displacement; the immigrant and urban space; multicultural societies; and the immigrant at the intersection of local, national, and global identities are among the topics to be examined. Along with these thematic inquiries, we will discuss linguistic and stylistic experiments that shape the writings on or by immigrants. Conference. Offered fall 2018.

Liberal Studies 539 - Russian Culture under Putin: Submission and Resistance

One-half course for one semester. This course examines main cultural developments in Russia over the last two decades—the developments that took place in a conservative social climate and under the pressure of increasingly repressive government policies. We will discuss heterogeneous materials: works of literature (both fiction and nonfiction), film, poetry, performance art, journalist and scholarly writings, TV, and internet texts. As we explore both Russian “high culture” and “mass culture,” we will pay special attention to both the techniques of submission and the strategies of resistance, as adopted by the Russian creative class. Among the topics that we will address are historical memory and its manipulations, new nationalism, corruption and its impact on society, economic inequality and cultural divisions, and Russian versions of artistic and political postmodernism. Conference. Offered spring 2019.

Literature 527 - Drugs, Gangs, and Aliens

One-half course for one semester. In this course, we will address and think critically about the interrelated nature of irregular immigration to the United States, the drug trade and the “War on Drugs,” and the expansion and criminalization of gangs throughout the Americas. We will examine how cornerstones of state sovereignty such as the rule of law, the care and control of space and population, and the monopoly on violence are being challenged by these phenomena, as well as analyze, question, and discuss their representation and problematization in Latin and North American literary works, essays, chronicles and films in relation to theoretical concepts such as sovereignty, violence, neoliberalism, border, immunity and community. Conference. Offered spring 2019.

MALS 670 - Thesis

Full course for one semester or one year.


Recent Courses - The following graduate courses have been offered in the past five years:

Art 508 Renaissance Space
Art 544 Video, Media, Politics (1968–present)
Art 551 Theories of Visuality
Biology 505 The Biological Legacy of Lewis and Clark
Biology 530 Science and Society: Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
Classics 531 Socrates and Plato
Dance 560 Gender, Form, and Identity in Contemporary Dance
English 530 Race and Region: Representing the American South
History 510 Family History in the Twentieth Century U.S.
History 544 The Psychoanalytic Tradition
Liberal Studies 505 Transformation and Identity in the Roman Empire
Liberal Studies 509 Religious Reformations and Social Transformations in Early Modern Europe
Liberal Studies 511 Horror and the Sublime in Russian Culture
Liberal Studies 520 Turn-of-the-Century Vienna and Prague
Liberal Studies 524 American Dead and Undead
Liberal Studies 525 Hindu Religious Traditions
Liberal Studies 534 The Politics of Genre
Liberal Studies 537 Women in the Ancient World
Liberal Studies 552 Classical Traditions and Receptions
Liberal Studies 554 Media, Persons, and Publics in a Globalized World
Liberal Studies 556 Race and the Immigrant Experience
Liberal Studies 558 Islam in the Modern World
Liberal Studies 564 The Modern Middle East: History, Culture, Politics
Liberal Studies 575 The Art of Speech
Liberal Studies 578 Politics, Culture, and the Great Depression
Literature 510 Modern Turkish Literature: East-West Trajectories
Literature 524 Red Sci-Fi: Science Fiction in Soviet Literature and Film
Literature 528 Late Tolstoy: From Anna Karenina to a Religious Teaching
Literature 537 James Joyce
Literature 547 The Literature of Love
Literature 550 The Unknown Holocaust Cinema
Literature 554 The Novels of Vladimir Nabokov: A Study
Literature 571 Critical Race Theory
Mathematics 547 The Geometry of Light
Music 560 Music and the Black Freedom Struggle
Political Science 553 American Climate Change Politics
Theatre 521 “The Mirror Up to Nature”: Reading Theatre History 
Theatre 540 Race in American Theatre