Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Courses by Semester

2014 First Fall Session: August 18–October 8

Dates to Remember

August 18: Classes begin
August 22: Last day to drop/add
August 20: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
September 1: Labor Day holiday
September 12: Last day to withdraw without academic penalty
October 8: Last day of classes
December 11: Commencement

The Contemporary World

MLS610   CRN 83115

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

This course will examine contemporary global issues with a focus on the post-World War II period, from the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, to the complex, high-tech, evolving world of today. We will, as much as possible, view changes in the postwar period from the point of view of those undergoing them, including students in this course. Everyone has an "historical consciousness," an understanding of the way the world became what it is today. The main purpose of this course is to introduce students to alternative ways of interpreting history by weighing the merits of differing points of view. We will examine the world by regions, with a number of themes in mind: the Cold War; the rise and fall of communism; nationalism; de-colonization/neo-colonialism; the international economy; racial, ethnic, and religious conflict; the rise of terrorism; gender; class; and environmental issues. You should take from the course the skills to critically appraise varying historical arguments and to clearly express your own interpretation.

Ann Saab (Ph.D., Harvard) is Professor Emeritus of History at UNCG. She has served as Associate Dean of the UNCG Graduate School and Head of the History Department. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural understanding and misunderstandings.

Religion and Ecology

MLS610   CRN 83103

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Religions are commonly viewed as ways to transcend nature, not abide in it. Religious people often describe themselves as pilgrims "just a-passin' through" rather than at home on the earth.

Yet, the current environmental crisis has motivated many people to re-examine their traditions and to align themselves with the earth. Whether Buddhist or Christian, Jew or Hindu, they discover a religiously based eco-theology, an ethic or earth-care, a means of re-inhabitation, and rituals of sustainability—in short, and eco-spirituality.

A dialogue about the fate of the earth has begun. We will enter a discussion with Christians, Buddhists, Native Americans, Taoists, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, as well as with new voices of eco-feminism, deep ecology and sustainable design. Emphasis will be placed on what people and communities practice, and on new forms of Christian theology, and on the design of a sustainable future. This class is discussion oriented with readings and reflection papers. We will talk to each other through a discussion forum, post our papers for our peers' responses, and take advantage of relevant websites.

Charlie Headington (Ph.D., University of Chicago) teaches a variety of courses at UNCG and in the community. Most of them encourage people to examine themselves and society, and make constructive changes in how they think and live. He likes to garden, walk, cook, be with his family, and learn Italian.

The Global Economy

MLS620    CRN 83125

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

For the past decade or so, "globalization" has been the media buzzword used to describe changes in the U.S. and world economies, perhaps second in recent years only to "the New Economy" in frequency of use. For the most part, this discussion of globalization has focused on changes that seem apparent in contrast to the period following WWII. According to one popular version of this story, in the 1970s the barriers to cross-border trade and financial transactions began to come down. By the late 1990s, as one commentator put it, we lived on the cusp of a "borderless world" where people, information, equipment and ideas would flow freely. In this context, it was imagined, the world would prosper as never before.

During the post-war period, global cross-border trade and financial transactions were a fraction of what they are today. For many developed countries, the increased trade of the past few decades has meant a decline in the importance of manufacturing, as production of everything from cars to shoes has moved to places where labor was relatively cheap. For a few developing countries, this has meant increased investment from rich developed nations. But for many—especially countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, to say nothing of the ex-manufacturing sectors of the developed world—so called "globalization" has bought few, if any, of the beneficial effects once imagined. Or so it would seem.

This course begins where the theory of the global economy and its reality meet. In general, the course highlights the theory of free trade, since it is on the back of this theory that the promise of globalization—or we might say, economic liberalization—rests. As we will see, the most recent episode of economic liberalization is but a small part of the whole story, although our recent experiences can tell us a good deal about how free trade might or might not work, and for whose benefit. The course is divided into eight basic units, each exploring an important topic for understanding the global economy.

Jeff Sarbaum (Ph.D., SUNY Binghamton) is Lecturer of Economics at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has specialized in experimental, labor international and urban economics and is an award-winning economics teacher

Dangerous Minds: Terrorism

MLS620    CRN 88343

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

We live in dangerous times. Violence, mischief, and mayhem have long characterized criminal behaviors that represent humanity’s dark underbelly. While it may be possible to isolate certain psychological types susceptible to recruitment by terrorist organizations, it is simplistic to profile individual terrorists and religious extremists without understanding the true nature of the systems that spawn them. Because we cannot separate individuals from the societies they belong to, it is essential to understand the cultural, political, and economic conditions that encourage terrorism and violence. In response to pervasive frustrations or manifold abuses, violence can transcend the individual to become governmental policies or social movements, propelled and justified by revolutionary ideology or religious beliefs.

The course asks hard questions not only about the perpetrators of political and religious extremism around the world, but also about the social, economic, and political structures that give rise to violent acts against perceived enemies. The dangers we face in a liberal democracy are not imagined. The lesson of 9/11 is that our enemies are real. While we may easily identify one strand of radical Islamic orthodoxy as a legitimate enemy committed to our destruction, we must also ask what, if any, real differences separate a Christian fundamentalist who terrorizes abortion clinics in Florida from a Muslim suicide bomber intent on our destruction.

More than an analysis of individual personality types, the course examines the premise that all social, political, and economic systems have their darker sides. It seeks to engage those contradictions through films, readings, and dialogue to imagine creative solutions that enhance our lives as well transform the structures that encourage terrorism.

Carrie Levesque (Ph.D., Duke University) is a Lecturer in Liberal Studies at UNCG. With a background in Russian literature and Women’s Studies, she has a wide variety of teaching interests, from women’s memoirs of war and terror to social and economic issues in American motherhood. She spends her free time studying Norwegian (and Norwegians) after moving with her family to Bergen, Norway, in fall 2012.

2014 Second Fall Session: October 9–December 5

Dates to Remember

October 9: Classes begin
October 17: Last day to drop/add
October 11: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
October 13-14: Fall Break
November 6: Last day to withdraw without academic penalty
November 26-28: Thanksgiving holiday
December 5: Last day of classes
December 11: Commencement

Passion of the Western Mind

MLS610   CRN 88341

ONLINE COURSE

Syllabus coming soon.

Click here for the course's book list.

There are many big stories in the history of western civilization, stories that unfold over centuries and across many periods of western history. This is one of them. It has to do with the formation of an enduring world view that connects human beings in intimate ways to the universe and proves a sense of meaning to human existence. This worldview also furnishes a direction and goal for human activity. Or, to put it another way, gives human existence purpose.

This worldview in its essential elements takes shape in the world of ancient Greece in the late 5th and 4th centuries BC and it lasts for nearly 2000 years in one form or another. We might thus see it as "the western outlook." But for a number of reasons, this worldview collapses—ends up being impossible to sustain by the late 17th century. This collapse produces part 2 of our big story—the quest for a new, equally satisfying worldview with an equally compelling picture of human meaning and purpose. The quest has gone on now for 300 years without success. These are the stories we will explore in this class.

Stephen Ruzicka (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is an esteemed historian and professor with a career in publishing and teaching spanning more than 35 years. Dr. Ruzicka has taught history at UNCG since 1980, and his research specializations include Ancient History, Classics, Early Christian Literature, and World History. A contributor to various academic journals and publications, his most recent book is Trouble in the West: The Persian Empire and Egypt, 525-332 B.C.

Age of Revolutions

MLS610    CRN 88340

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Changes in the Western world over the last 600 years have been so profound as to constitute a series of revolutions. This course examines this "Age of Revolutions," and figures out how each one, from the Commercial Revolution to the Sexual Revolution, helped shape the modern age. In each revolutionary episode, we will look at the institutions, practices, and ideas that were overthrown or radically altered by new developments; examine the individuals and texts that played a critical role; and trace the impact the new institutions, practices, and ideas had on the revolution brought forth.

Susan W. Thomas (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro) has taught in the History Department at UNCG since 2008. Her primary research interests concern the social, political, and economic development of the American South, with an emphasis on the early twentieth century penal system, racial identity, and the working class. Dr. Thomas incorporates a global perspective in her teaching and challenges her students to recognize the close relationship between the past and events in the world around them.

Global Human Rights

MLS620    CRN 83136

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

The setting of this course is a virtual grassroots, intensely-focused, and highly respected human rights organization. MALS students "join" the organization as trainees to become human rights monitors (investigators). The highly interactive training program requires new monitors to learn by exploring human rights issues around the world. The research requires virtual travel to current conflicts to investigate allegations of genocide in Darfur, sex slavery in Thailand, detainee abuse in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and growing threats to civil liberties.

Students develop critical familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its historical antecedents in the U.S. Bill of Rights and the French Rights of Man, and explore their cultural and political foundations. Most required readings are available online, but students are expected to view documentaries and films as well as read additional materials that inform their human rights research.

Students become proficient in research methodologies that encourage investigative independence and creativity while maintaining academic rigor in order to understand complex issues and recommend achievable solutions in their reports to the agency director.

Alexandra Schultheis Moore (Ph.D., University of Rochester) associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, teaches postcolonial studies and human rights in literature and film. She is the author of Regenerative Fictions: Postcolonialism, Psychoanalysis, and the Nation as Family (2004) and co-editor, with Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, of Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature (2011). They are also co-editing a volume on Teaching Human Rights in Literary and Cultural Studies. Moore has published essays in journals including Genders, Humanity, Peace Review, South Asian Review, and Twentieth-Century Literature as well as in various edited collections. Her current monograph project, Between Mourning and Advocacy, examines human rights as a mode of framing and reception for contemporary literature.

Reason to Relativity: Revolutions in Scientific Thought

MLS630    CRN 88345

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

For centuries Aristotle's interpretation of the physical world stood as the gold standard. It shaped how generations of scholars and scientists saw and described their own world—until Newton arrived on the scene. Much later, Einstein filled in the gaps that Newton's vision didn't adequately explain. Today, Einstein's theories are being simultaneously verified and challenged by the next generation of scientists. This dynamic process has had its ups and downs since Aristotle's time—both revolutionary and evolutionary—while the search for truth goes valiantly on. Our goal is to view discoveries and revelations in the context of both their historical and scientific importance and discover what prompted great minds to take these leaps forward.

Bob Miller (Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology) is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry. As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences he was instrumental in the founding of the MALS program in 1985.

2014 Fall Ten Week Classes: September 8–November 18

Dates to Remember

September 8: Classes begin
September 10: Last day to drop/add
September 10: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
October 10: Last day to drop without academic penalty
October 13-14: Fall Break
November 18: Last day of classes
December 11: Commencement

London's Fictions

MLS610   CRN 88342

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

From the Restoration until the death of Queen Victoria the development of London as a metropolis, a national capital, and a center of empire made it the first truly modern European city. Writers in two “new” literary forms – the novel and manners comedy – described vividly the pleasures, perils, and problems of London life during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This course will look at London’s growth, as interpreted in Roy Porter’s London: A Social History, in relation to its fictional representations by novelists (Dickens, Fielding) and dramatists (Wilde, Sheridan, Congreve). These authors’ images of wealth and crime, entertainment and alienation, spectacle and terror shaped our sense of what it means to inhabit a city.

Joseph Rosenblum (Ph.D., Duke University) grew up in Connecticut in a family where the greatest sin was raising one’s voice, though buying retail ran a close second. Since 1980, he has taught at UNCG. Among his books are “Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography” (1992), “A Reader’s Guide to Shakespeare” (1998) and “The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare” (2005). In 1990, he won second prize in the Oxford University Press English Detective Fiction contest with a story about a thief who leaves Shakespearean quotations in lieu of the objects he steals.

2015 Winter Session: December 15–January 20

Dates to Remember

December 15: Classes begin
December 16: Last day to drop/add
December 16: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
July 3: Independence Day Holiday
January 5: Last day to drop without academic penalty
January 20: Last day of classes

The Reel World

MLS610    CRN 14216

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

This course will focus on contemporary global issues in the post-World War II period through film. Although the Contemporary World course is not a prerequisite, we will use the lessons and other information from that course as background to examine the issues and themes raised therein via a wide variety of U.S. and foreign films as our source base. This is not a film course per se, as we will not emphasize issues of art, cinematography, or the directing involved in making the films we view. Rather, we will use film as our window unto the world, examining the historical context of the films themselves as well as reviews and articles about our selected films to emphasize and critique the varying interpretations of history as presented on the big screen.

Jeff Jones (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an Assistant Professor of History. His specific area of research is Russian-Soviet history and he is interested in 20th century global history. Dr. Jones recently received the UCEA (University Continuing Education Association) Excellence in Teaching Award, which is presented to individuals who have provided outstanding teaching, course development, mentoring of students, and service to continuing education.

The Global Economy

MLS620    CRN 14219

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

For the past decade or so, “globalization” has been the media buzzword used to describe changes in the U.S. and world economies, perhaps second in recent years only to “the New Economy” in frequency of use. For the most part, this discussion of globalization has focused on changes that seem apparent in contrast to the period following WWII. According to one popular version of this story, in the 1970s the barriers to cross-border trade and financial transactions began to come down. By the late 1990s, as one commentator put it, we lived on the cusp of a “borderless world” where people, information, equipment and ideas would flow freely. In this context, it was imagined, the world would prosper as never before.

During the post-war period, global cross-border trade and financial transactions were a fraction of what they are today. For many developed countries, the increased trade of the past few decades has meant a decline in the importance of manufacturing, as production of everything from cars to shoes has moved to places where labor was relatively cheap. For a few developing countries, this has meant increased investment from rich developed nations. But for many—especially countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, to say nothing of the ex-manufacturing sectors of the developed world—so called “globalization” has bought few, if any, of the beneficial effects once imagined. Or so it would seem.

This course begins where the theory of the global economy and its reality meet. In general, the course highlights the theory of free trade, since it is on the back of this theory that the promise of globalization—or we might say, economic liberalization—rests. As we will see, the most recent episode of economic liberalization is but a small part of the whole story, although our recent experiences can tell us a good deal about how free trade might or might not work, and for whose benefit. The course is divided into eight basic units, each exploring an important topic for understanding the global economy.

Jeff Sarbaum (Ph.D., SUNY Binghamton) is Lecturer of Economics at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has specialized in experimental, labor international and urban economics and is an award-winning economics teacher.

2015 Spring First Session: January 12–March 4

Dates to Remember

January 12: First day of classes
January 14: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
January 16: Last day to drop/add
January 19: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday
January 20: Deadline for graduate students to apply to graduate May 2015
February 6: Last day to withdraw without academic penalty
March 4: Last day of classes

Shakespeare: A Muse of Fire

MLS610   CRN14212

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Why do we still read and study Shakespeare? Every day, somewhere on the planet, a group is staging a Shakespeare play. Every day people all over the world unwittingly, wittingly, and sometimes even wittily quote him: "To thine own self be true." "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." "The lady doth protest too much."

Shakespeare lives on as well in adaptations such as A Thousand Acres (King Lear), My Own Private Idaho (Henry V), and West Side Story and Shakespeare in Love (Romeo and Juliet). Shakespeare lies at the heart of Western Civilization. In fact, it's not much exaggeration to say that Shakespeare IS Western Civilization. To discover Shakespeare's plays is to discover ourselves and our world.

Many people find Shakespeare daunting. After all, his work is "great literature," and his language is so different. This course will (re)introduce you to Shakespeare as the working playwright who used spectacle, great speeches, high drama, low comedy, and even bawdy jokes to entertain the London crowds. Come join us as a "groundling" for a tour of Shakespeare's life and times, and enjoy the rollicking romantic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream, the thrilling Henry VI, and the heart wrenching Othello.

Lord David Cecil, who taught at Oxford, said that the first duty of the student is to enjoy. We plan to have fun as we learn about England's greatest writer.

Joseph Rosenblum (Ph.D., Duke University) grew up in Connecticut in a family where the greatest sin was raising one’s voice, though buying retail ran a close second. Since 1980, he has taught at UNCG. Among his books are “Shakespeare: An Annotated Bibliography” (1992), “A Reader’s Guide to Shakespeare” (1998) and “The Greenwood Companion to Shakespeare” (2005). In 1990, he won second prize in the Oxford University Press English Detective Fiction contest with a story about a thief who leaves Shakespearean quotations in lieu of the objects he steals.

Global Arts: into the HeARTS of Other Cultures

MLS610    CRN 14212

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Can we appreciate the arts of cultures foreign to us? Is a translation process necessary? Does a culture's sense of time and space affect its artistic expressions? Study of global arts provides a helpful window into the hearts of other cultures. In this course we will expand our understanding of our ways of thinking/sensing/feeling to prepare for a comparative exploration of the arts of four different cultural contexts beyond our own. We will survey the past and present arts of these countries in search of clues to common themes and ideas while attempting to discover the distinct world views represented.

Larry Lavender (Ph.D., New York University) is Professor of Dance at UNCG. He holds an M.F.A. in Choreography from UC Irvine and a Ph.D. in Dance Education. Prior to coming to UNCG in 2002, Larry was Head of Dance and Director of the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate degree program at the University of New Mexico. Larry's primary areas of teaching are dance criticism, choreography, writing about art, and creativity studies.

Voices from Latin America

MLS610    CRN 14214

ONLINE COURSE

Course description and syllabus coming soon.

James A. Wood (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is professor of Latin American history. He teaches courses in Latin American history, modern world history, and historical research methods at NC A&T University. His book, The Society of Equality: Popular Republicanism and Democracy in Santiago de Chile, 1818-1851, earned honorable mention from SECOLAS’s Alfred B. Thomas Award Committee in 2012. Wood’s most recent publication is a new edition of the popular reader, Problems in Modern Latin American History: Sources and Interpretations, 4th edition.

2015 Spring Ten Week Classes: January 26–April 10

Dates to Remember

January 26: Classes begin
January 28: Last day to drop/add
January 28: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
February 29: Last day to drop without academic penalty
March 9-13: Spring Break
April 3: Spring Holiday
April 10: Last day of classes

Clue: Detective and Mystery Fiction

MLS610    CRN 16748

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for syllabus.

Who done it, how, and why? Those are the questions that pull us into the mystery. In Clue: Detective and Mystery Fiction, you’ll have a chance to answer those questions about mystery fiction itself. How does the mystery writer draw us in and capture us as readers? And as you investigate the hows and whys of the genre, you’ll have a chance to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the greatest detectives—Auguste Dupin, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot—and some of the most intriguing mysteries in fiction, including Poe’s "Murders in the Rue Morgue," Conan Doyle’s "Silver Blaze," Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Dorothy Sayer’s Oxford classic, Gaudy Night. Along the way, you will investigate crimes that have horrified the public (Jack the Ripper) and learn about forensic techniques as well. Come join us online for this "ripping good time" in literary investigation.

Joseph Rosenblum (Ph.D., Duke University) grew up in Connecticut in a family where the greatest sin was raising one's voice, though buying retail ran a close second. In 1990, he won second prize in the Oxford University Press English Detective Fiction contest with a story about a thief who leaves Shakespearean quotations in lieu of the objects he steals.

Livable and Sustainable Cities

MLS620    CRN 16748

ONLINE COURSE

September 10–November 20

This course asks students to learn a language composed of interlocking patterns that connect the people and buildings of a city with their history and natural ecology. We begin with an overview of the historical and social roots of the problem in James Kunstler's Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-made Landscapes. Christopher Alexander's A Pattern Language, the main text of the course, provides us with a catalog of 100 urban patterns with which we can analyze any city landscape and design a better one. With this new language, each student conducts a study of what works well in their neighborhood and city. After several weeks a clear picture of the problems and possibilities of each urban space will become evident.

We will add to our pattern recognition by incorporating the latest thinking of the leading theorist of sustainable places, William McDonough, in Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. He shows how to effectively integrate the economic necessities of life with the surrounding environment. Finally, we conclude with a study of patterns of sustainability in Timothy Beatley's The Ecology of Place: Planning for Environment, Economy and Community. Students choose their own patterns that enhance a community's sustainability and apply them to a particular case study in their own community.

Charlie Headington (Ph.D., University of Chicago) teaches a variety of courses at UNCG and in the community. Most of them encourage people to examine themselves and society, and make constructive changes in how they think and live. He likes to garden, walk, cook, be with his family, and learn Italian.

2015 Spring Second Session: March 16–May 6

Dates to Remember

March 16: Classes begin
March 18: Last day to drop/add
March 20: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
April 9: Last day to drop without academic penalty
May 6: Last day of classes

Modern China: The Dragon Awakes

MLS610    CRN 16746

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Napoleon once famously admonished Europe to "let China sleep, for when she awakes she will shake the world." In recent years the People's Republic of China has certainly stirred, and the whole world has taken notice. However, China's economic stirrings have been accompanied by mounting social and cultural tensions at the heart of Chinese society. In this course we will examine the political, social and cultural roots of modern China and discuss the varied nature of the nation's future challenges. Topics will include state, society, and mass culture in the throes of reform, the global implications of China's economic and diplomatic "Grand Strategy," the widening urban-rural divide, and the role of the individual and individual dissent in modern Chinese society.

Dr. James A. Anderson (Ph.D. University of Washington) is an Associate Professor in the History department at UNCG. His fields of study include Late Imperial China, Modern China, Pre-modern Southeast Asia, and High Medieval Europe. He is the recipient of several awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship for the 2006-2007 academic year in Beijing and a Luce Fellowship at the Library of Congress in 2004. His new book is The Rebel Den of Nung Tri Cao: Eleventh-Century Rebellion and Response along the Sino-Vietnamese Frontier.

In Search of the Church

MLS610    CRN 16747

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Moved by both the memory of Jesus and the anticipation of the kingdom of God, Christianity always looks backward as well as forward. In fact, over the centuries the changes and reforms which have created new futures for Christianity have always occurred as a result of attempts to rediscover and return to a church past. The roots of the modern church thus lie not only in the reforms and reformers of 16th century Europe but also just as much in the earlier Church as the reformers apprehended and understood it. This course will embark on a similar journey and try to understand better the beginnings of the church present by investigating the church past, moving backward in time from the world of the 16th century reformers to the first century world of Peter and Paul.

Stephen Ruzicka (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is Associate Professor of History at UNCG. His interests as a classical historian focus on periods of cultural change. He is the recipient of the 2000 Alumni Teaching Excellence Award.

Current Problems in the Middle East: An Historical Perspective

MLS610    CRN 14213

ONLINE COURSE

Syllabus coming soon.

Many Americans are curious about the Middle East. We aren't exactly sure who "they" are or how our relationships became so troubled. This course explores the complex political and religious heritage of Judaism, Islam, the Arab Caliphate, and the Ottoman Empire as the context for today's states and peoples. Focus then turns to the process of modernization in the twentieth century to discover why it created as many losers as winners, as many enemies of the West as friends. Finally, building on this background, we revisit recent crises in the hope that each of us can arrive at more informed opinions.

Ann Saab (Ph.D., Harvard) is Professor Emeritus of History at UNCG. She has served as Associate Dean of the UNCG Graduate School and Head of the History Department. Her research interests focus on cross-cultural understanding and misunderstandings.

Global Human Rights

MLS620    CRN 14221

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

The setting of this course is a virtual grassroots, intensely-focused, and highly respected human rights organization. MALS students "join" the organization as trainees to become human rights monitors (investigators). The highly interactive training program requires new monitors to learn by exploring human rights issues around the world. The research requires virtual travel to current conflicts to investigate allegations of genocide in Darfur, sex slavery in Thailand, detainee abuse in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and growing threats to civil liberties.

Students develop critical familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, its historical antecedents in the U.S. Bill of Rights and the French Rights of Man, and explore their cultural and political foundations. Most required readings are available online, but students are expected to view documentaries and films as well as read additional materials that inform their human rights research.

Students become proficient in research methodologies that encourage investigative independence and creativity while maintaining academic rigor in order to understand complex issues and recommend achievable solutions in their reports to the agency director.

Alexandra Schultheis Moore (Ph.D., University of Rochester) associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, teaches postcolonial studies and human rights in literature and film. She is the author of Regenerative Fictions: Postcolonialism, Psychoanalysis, and the Nation as Family (2004) and co-editor, with Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg, of Theoretical Perspectives on Human Rights and Literature (2011). They are also co-editing a volume on Teaching Human Rights in Literary and Cultural Studies. Moore has published essays in journals including Genders, Humanity, Peace Review, South Asian Review, and Twentieth-Century Literature as well as in various edited collections. Her current monograph project, Between Mourning and Advocacy, examines human rights as a mode of framing and reception for contemporary literature.

2015 Spring Fifteen Week Classes: January 12–April 28

Dates to Remember

January 12: First day of classes
January 16: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
January 16: Last day to drop/add
March 6: Last day to withdraw without academic penalty
March 9-13: Spring Break
April 3: Spring Holiday
April 28: Last day of classes

Global Perspectives in Biology

MLS610    CRN 14223

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Biology affects us on a global scale. It touches our lives every day, and understanding biological principles and concepts is vital for all citizens of the 21st century. In this course, you think and learn about some of the smallest organisms on the planet: bacteria and viruses that cause human diseases. Diseases caused by microbes have had an enormous impact on human health throughout history, and they continue to challenge us today. Although the Germ Theory of Disease was recognized in the 19th century and antibiotics were discovered in the 20th, we have not been able to eliminate the worldwide scourge of infectious diseases, especially in developing countries. In this course, we focus on several diseases caused by bacteria or viruses, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, influenza, and cholera. These diseases become models for understanding basic biological principles. In addition, we'll learn about their global consequences (past and present) and about the approaches used today to try to control infectious diseases.

Janne G. Cannon (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, where she worked for more than thirty years, teaching microbiology and doing research on infectious diseases in humans. Her particular research focus for most of that time was on the bacterium that causes the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea. Since 2009, she has been an Adjunct Professor of Liberal Studies at UNCG where she has taught courses for the MALS program, including "Emerging Issues in Biology" and "Global Perspectives in Biology." She also teaches a seminar course entitled "Plagues" for undergraduate Honors students. Dr. Cannon is also a volunteer mediator and community mediation instructor for Alamance County Dispute Settlement & Youth Services in Graham, NC.

2015 First Summer Session: May 14–June 17

Dates to Remember

May 14: Classes begin
May 15: Last day to drop/add
May 16: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
June 1: Last day to drop without academic penalty
June 17: Last day of classes

Creative Expression: Poetry

MLS610    CRN 52727

ONLINE COURSE

Poetry exists because the human spirit sometimes needs to speak in extraordinary ways. This course—which is intended for those who already have more than a beginner’s understanding of poetry which they wish to deepen and develop—will be primarily a creative writing class, and as such, presents a contradiction in terms: how can creativity be taught? William Butler Yeats says of poetry in Sailing to Byzantium, “Nor is there singing school, but studying / monuments of its own magnificence.” We will take a cue from him and read/discuss/analyze/live with a selection of great pieces of lyrical writing in poetry and prose, focusing on their craftiness and craft, the fine points of their technique, their development of thematic implications and find how far they will take us as guides for our own personal explorations. Above all, we will write, share and discuss our work in an atmosphere of empathy and respect as we engage in the challenge of giving beautiful shape to our words.

Deborah Seabrooke (MFA, UNCG) was educated at Cornell University and has taught English at UNCG for almost twenty years. She has published in Best American Short Stories, 1985 and The Virginia Quarterly Review. A chapbook of her short stories, Margins of Error, was published by Unicorn Press in 2005.

The Contemporary World 

MLS610    CRN 52728

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

This course will examine contemporary global issues with a focus on the post-World War II period, from the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, to the complex, high-tech, evolving world of today. We will, as much as possible, view changes in the postwar period from the point of view of those undergoing them, including students in this course. Everyone has an "historical consciousness," an understanding of the way the world became what it is today. The main purpose of this course is to introduce students to alternative ways of interpreting history by weighing the merits of differing points of view. We will examine the world by regions, with a number of themes in mind: the Cold War; the rise and fall of communism; nationalism; de-colonization/neo-colonialism; the international economy; racial, ethnic, and religious conflict; the rise of terrorism; gender; class; and environmental issues. You should take from the course the skills to critically appraise varying historical arguments and to clearly express your own interpretation.

Jeff Jones (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an Associate Professor of History. His specific area of research is Russian-Soviet history, and he is interested in 20th century global history. Dr. Jones recently received the UCEA (University Continuing Education Association) Excellence in Teaching Award, which is presented to individuals who have provided outstanding teaching, course development, mentoring of students, and service to continuing education.

Social Justice: A Historical Perspective

MLS610    CRN 52729

ONLINE COURSE

Course description and syllabus coming soon.

Stephen Ruzicka (Ph. D., University of Chicago) is an Associate Professor of History. His interests as a classical historian focus on periods of cultural change. He is the recipient of the 2000 Alumni Teaching Excellence Award.

Age of Revolutions

MLS610    CRN 527303

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Changes in the Western world over the last 600 years have been so profound as to constitute a series of revolutions. This course examines this "Age of Revolutions," and figures out how each one, from the Commercial Revolution to the Sexual Revolution, helped shape the modern age. In each revolutionary episode, we will look at the institutions, practices, and ideas that were overthrown or radically altered by new developments; examine the individuals and texts that played a critical role; and trace the impact the new institutions, practices, and ideas had on the revolution brought forth.

Susan W. Thomas (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro) has taught in the History Department at UNCG since 2008. Her primary research interests concern the social, political, and economic development of the American South, with an emphasis on the early twentieth century penal system, racial identity, and the working class. Dr. Thomas incorporates a global perspective in her teaching and challenges her students to recognize the close relationship between the past and events in the world around them.

Simple Living in a Complex Age

MLS610    CRN 52733

ONLINE COURSE

With all our wealth, we want more. With all our timesaving devices, we’re out of time. With so many choices, we feel trapped. As long as the stock market rises, we’re secure, when it falls, the Dream fades. That, at least, is how it feels. And if it’s bad for us, what about the less affluent nations and the natural world? What happens to the rest of the world when their fates are wrapped around western tourism and multinationals? Voluntary simplicity, an ancient ideal, is built around the riddle that less is more. In our times it has new applications. It not only is a means to rein in our appetites and nurture inner contentment. It is a practical tool for adapting to change, deciphering societal ills, living within the carrying capacity of the earth, and rebuilding communities. We will read thoughtful books, discuss important issues, try on voluntary simplicity and write.

Charlie Headington (Ph.D., University of Chicago) teaches a variety of courses at UNCG and in the community. Most of them encourage people to examine themselves and society, and make constructive changes in how they think and live. He likes to garden, walk, cook, be with his family, and learn Italian.

Emerging Powers

MLS620    CRN 52734

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

The first decade of the 21st century has seen unprecedented challenges and change in the realm of global affairs. As the post-Cold War world, with the U.S. as the sole remaining "superpower," meets the new era of globalization, where billions of interconnected global citizens transcend traditional polictical borders, the concept of global "powers" continues to evolve. Emerging Powers examines the changing dimensions of global power and explores some of the big questions. What constitutes a nation's power? Which nations will shape our world in the coming decades? What role will the U.S. play in the new geopolitical arena? Is the concept of a "superpower" still relevant? Join a team of experts from across the spectrum of international affairs, as we explore the changing face of global power in this course.

Jeff Jones (Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) is an Associate Professor of History. His specific area of research is Russian-Soviet history, and he is interested in 20th century global history. Dr. Jones recently received the UCEA (University Continuing Education Association) Excellence in Teaching Award, which is presented to individuals who have provided outstanding teaching, course development, mentoring of students, and service to continuing education.

2015 Second Summer Session: June 18–July 24

Dates to Remember

June 18: Classes begin
June 19: Last day to drop/add
June 20: Last day to drop for tuition/fees refund
July 3: Independence Day Holiday
July 9: Last day to drop without academic penalty
July 24: Last day of classes

Food and Film

MLS610    CRN 52731

ONLINE COURSE

Course description and syllabus coming soon.

Tony Fragola (MPW from the University of Southern California) is a Professor of Broadcasting/Cinema and has written and directed short films and published scholarly articles on European directors. He has been working on a series of documentaries in Sicily, including A Beautiful Memory: A Mother and Her Sons Against the Mafia. His current project focuses on lands confiscated from the Mafia and turned over to farm cooperatives, especially in the area of Corleone, made (in)famous by The Godfather.

Global Arts: into the HeARTS of Other Cultures

MLS610    CRN 52732

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

Can we appreciate the arts of cultures foreign to us? Is a translation process necessary? Does a culture's sense of time and space affect its artistic expressions? Study of global arts provides a helpful window into the hearts of other cultures. In this course we will expand our understanding of our ways of thinking/sensing/feeling to prepare for a comparative exploration of the arts of four different cultural contexts beyond our own. We will survey the past and present arts of these countries in search of clues to common themes and ideas while attempting to discover the distinct world views represented.

Larry Lavender (Ph.D., New York University) is Professor of Dance at UNCG. He holds an M.F.A. in Choreography from UC Irvine and a Ph.D. in Dance Education. Prior to coming to UNCG in 2002, Larry was Head of Dance and Director of the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate degree program at the University of New Mexico. Larry's primary areas of teaching are dance criticism, choreography, writing about art, and creativity studies.

The Global Economy

MLS620    CRN 52735

ONLINE COURSE

Click here for TENTATIVE syllabus.

For the past decade or so, “globalization” has been the media buzzword used to describe changes in the U.S. and world economies, perhaps second in recent years only to “the New Economy” in frequency of use. For the most part, this discussion of globalization has focused on changes that seem apparent in contrast to the period following WWII. According to one popular version of this story, in the 1970s the barriers to cross-border trade and financial transactions began to come down. By the late 1990s, as one commentator put it, we lived on the cusp of a “borderless world” where people, information, equipment and ideas would flow freely. In this context, it was imagined, the world would prosper as never before.

During the post-war period, global cross-border trade and financial transactions were a fraction of what they are today. For many developed countries, the increased trade of the past few decades has meant a decline in the importance of manufacturing, as production of everything from cars to shoes has moved to places where labor was relatively cheap. For a few developing countries, this has meant increased investment from rich developed nations. But for many—especially countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, to say nothing of the ex-manufacturing sectors of the developed world—so called “globalization” has bought few, if any, of the beneficial effects once imagined. Or so it would seem.

This course begins where the theory of the global economy and its reality meet. In general, the course highlights the theory of free trade, since it is on the back of this theory that the promise of globalization—or we might say, economic liberalization—rests. As we will see, the most recent episode of economic liberalization is but a small part of the whole story, although our recent experiences can tell us a good deal about how free trade might or might not work, and for whose benefit. The course is divided into eight basic units, each exploring an important topic for understanding the global economy.

Jeff Sarbaum (Ph.D., SUNY Binghamton) is Lecturer of Economics at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has specialized in experimental, labor international and urban economics and is an award-winning economics teacher.