Fall 2018 Course Descriptions

Master of Liberal Arts & Sciences Fall 2018 Course Descriptions

Registration will open April 2.
The RAN for Fall is 201860.


MLAS 500: The Human Condition: Themes in the Western Experience: Values, Practice, and Prospects

CRN: 60981
Instructor: Bill Spellman
Mondays, 6-8:30pm

MLAS 500 explores the development of some central ideas in the Western tradition and their influence in the contemporary world. We will tackle some very broad themes in Western history, using both primary and secondary material. Themes include representative democracy, private property, religious toleration, women's rights, war and human culture, advent of the welfare state, and conflicting ideas of human progress.Topics include: the nature of human nature; the relationship between individual and community; the origins and purpose of civil society; human equality and inequality; war and human culture; and the content and limits of a life well lived. Students will explore these themes through an interdisciplinary lens, including texts in western social and political thought, fiction, and recent nonfiction. We will be reading a number of Penguin Classics, including Marcus Aurelius, Thomas More, John Locke, Mary Wolstonecraft, Karl Marx, Vera Brittain, Joseph Conrad, William Graham Sumner, and others. Secondary sources will include Yuval Harari's Sapiens and Niall Ferguson's Civilization: The West and the Rest.

ENG 520: Writers in Our Backyard: A Sampling of Western North Carolina Writers

CRN: 60205
Instructor: Tommy Hays
Thursdays, 6-8:30pm, Karpen Hall 033

In Western North Carolina, we are blessed with a plethora of accomplished writers-- fiction writers as well as creative nonfiction writers. Some are native to the area, others have been drawn to it for one reason or another. In this class we will read and thoroughly examine novels, stories and essays by these accomplished writers, many of whom will be visiting our class. As we read these books, we will also read chapters from Francine Prose’s Reading like a Writer to help us focus on the various aspects of the craft of writing—use of words, sentences, narration, dialogue, etc. In many ways, I see this is as a class on learning to read like a writer. Even if you don’t intend to write yourself, it gives you the tools to read in a more complex, analytical and observant way.

ECS 540: Economics of Sustainability

CRN: 61461
Instructor: Kathleen Lawlor
Tuesdays, 6-8:30pm

Interdisciplinary seminar on the challenges and opportunities facing environmental sustainability in the modern era. This course draws on environmental and natural resource economics as well as political economy to understand contemporary sustainability issues including climate change, ecosystem services, and the greening of global supply chains.

MLAS 540: Media and Politics in the Digital Age

CRN: 61535
Instructor: Sonya DiPalma
Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm

The 21st century has ushered in numerous new digital media platforms thereby expanding the concept of 24/7 news with both societal benefits and unintended consequences. This course examines how digital media have reshaped the manufacturing and consumption of news in conjunction with the 2008, 2012 and 2016 U.S. Presidential elections. In conjunction, this course will cover a range of related issues from culture, the economy, privacy, law, social movements, political campaigns, and journalism.

MLAS 560: Grassroots Conservation: Community Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation

CRN: 61474
Instructor: Alison Ormsby
Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm

This course will explore the biological, cultural, and political aspects of areas around the world that are conserved by communities.  We will study community conservation at the local, regional, national, and international levels, ranging from efforts in Cherokee, NC to projects in East Africa and India.  Students will investigate protected area and indigenous community conserved area approaches to conservation, policies, community involvement, and future trends. We will also examine sacred natural sites, which include forests, mountains, and springs that have cultural significance.  Most of these sites are not government-protected lands; rather, they are managed by local committees, caretakers and/or religious leaders.  Each student will select one site to research as an in-depth case study.

The following course listings are available by request as independent study. Students should contact their faculty advisors for guidance and required paperwork.

MLAS 610: Tutorial - 1-3 credit hours

Students may take up to 6 credit hours of tutorials for elective credit.

Individual study supervised by a faculty member. Topics are chosen after consultation between student, graduate advisor and faculty member. Course may be repeated as subject matter changes for a total of 6 hours of credit. Requires permission of program director - please submit a Tutorial Request Form. Tutorials may only be used for elective credit and will appear on the academic transcript as MLAS 610.

MLAS/CCS/ENG 571-3, 671-3: Special Topics - 1-3 credit hours

Courses not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be special needs. May be repeated for credit as subject matter changes. Elective credit only. See program director.

MLAS/ENG/CCS 599: Directed Research - 1-3 credit hours

Independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor or with an interdisciplinary team of faculty. An IP grade may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor. Students may take Directed Research twice for a total of 6 hours of credit, in any combination of MLAS 599, ENG 599 and CCS 599.

MLAS 681 Capstone Project (6 credit hours- may be taken over two semesters)

Most students enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program conclude their degree requirements by writing an independent project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The graduate project is interdisciplinary in scope and reflects an emphasis or interest that the student has discovered in the MLAS program.  The Final Project, which includes but is not limited to a work of written analysis, may involve academic research, applied research or creative work. Often, students choose to amplify a paper or topic from a previous class.  The Capstone Project is a formal process that requires the development and submission of a proposal, structured study with a faculty supervisor, and exit interview with faculty supervisor and the MLAS advisor (who serves as the second reader of the project).  The completed project is retained in the MLAS archive in Ramsey Library.  (Grading S/U/IP). Students who receive an IP grade for MLAS 690 will have two (2) additional semesters in which to complete and defend their projects.