Liberal Studies

MLS 515A The Exciting Afterlives of Things [4]

MLS students spend a lot of time studying the history of western art, literature and culture. But we spend less time thinking about and exploring what happens to these things in the eras and epochs after their production. This course couples its study of a broad range of antiquities (medieval manuscripts, baroque and neoclassical art,Roman ruins and other examples of pre-modern material culture) with a close examination of the contemporary politics of display, looting, ethics of collecting, auction houses etc.

MLS 515B What Really Matters: Existential & Humanistic Psychology [4]

Does free will actually exist? Can people really change? What does it mean to be human? Drawing on the works of Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Frankl, Carl Rogers, and others, this course looks at the study of human nature from the perspective of existential and humanistic psychology. Because much of this class is experiential, attendance is required.

MLS 561 Film as Art: The Florida Film Festival [4]

An immersion course in the annual Florida Film Festival. Capped at 12 students, this seminar-style, discussion-based course requires students to attend five days of the festival as both a cinematic and cultural experience, write critical film reviews, and produce one polished analytical research paper. Course includes instruction in the discipline of Film Studies.

MLS 568M Marcus Aurelius: Power, Politics, & Philosophy [2]

Roman Emperor, soldier, writer, lover, lawyer, father, philosopher, politician, persecutor of Christians, priest, and ascetic, Marcus Aurelius was a man of power and paradox. This Masterworks course examines the life, politics, and philosophy of Marcus Aurelius. The focus of the course will be a close reading of his Meditations and an examination of his attempt to apply Stoic philosophy to public life.

MLS 545M The Body in the Bible [2]

In this masterwork course, we will study selections from the Old and New Testaments and explore the ways the body is portrayed, disciplined, and celebrated. Our readings will include creation stories, historical narratives, poetry, laws that discipline the body, wisdom literature, parables, and prophetic literature. In our class discussions and written assignments, we will examine and evaluate how biblical metaphors and teachings have contributed to notions of the gendered body, the sexual body, the divine body, and the social body.

MLS 580M Masterworks Independent Study [2]

Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.

MLS 582M Masterworks Independent Study Abroad [2]

Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.

MLS 602 The Human Order [4]

The social and political philosophies of the ancient world reflect the effort to shape the human community according to a universal order in which human beings have a natural place and a natural purpose. In this course, students explore the social and political thought of ancient Greece and Rome in the context of the culture in which that thought arose. The course also examines the cosmology and science of the ancient world, with an emphasis on the attempt to direct the powers of reason to the discovery of a natural order.

MLS 603 Religion and Western Culture [4]

The society that emerged from the ruins of the Roman Empire brought together classical, Germanic, and Christian elements to forge a new western European culture. This course traces the interaction of these strands through an examination of religion, social and political development, and changes in the arts. Students will examine the medieval synthesis in which religious concerns predominated, explore the factors that lead to its breakdown, and enhance their research skills at the graduate level.

MLS 604 The Origins of Modernity [4]

If ancient social and political thought can be characterized by the attempt to fashion a human order that reflected the order of the universe, modern thought must be characterized by the effort to establish order in the human community without the help of a divine being and without knowledge of a transcendent natural order. This course investigates the various ways in which modern social, aesthetic, and political thinkers endeavor to rest human society on purely secular foundations.

MLS 605 Milestones of Modern Science [4]

Science has always been concerned with the search for order, whether it be to explain the starry phenomena in the night sky; the diversity of substances like rocks, water, and wind; or the nature of our own origins. This course pursues the pathways of science since the 17th century, concentrating on some of the exceptional ideas in biology and physics, with excursions into chemistry and mathematics. We study how the accumulation of knowledge acquired by technical tools and extraordinary thinking fabricates a new view of the universe and indicates our place in it.

MLS 606 Masterpieces of Modern Literature [4]

This course explores the ways in which literature has come to question and define values in the modern world. As writers have endeavored to come to grips with the social, political, and spiritual dislocations of modern life, they have pursued themes of meaning, identity, community, and communication in order to examine the complexities and perplexities of the human condition.

MLS 680 Independent Study [4]

Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.

MLS 681 Internship Guidelines [2, 4, or 6]

Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.

MLS 682 Independent Study Abroad [4]

Please refer to Independent Study Guidelines for approval procedure.

MLS 690 Thesis Project [4]

The culmination of the degree program is the completion of a thesis project. Working under the direction of a faculty mentor and with the support of a liberal studies seminar, students apply the knowledge they have acquired in the program in designing and executing a final project. The project may be a research study or a creative work supported by a critical or theoretical essay. Refer to section entitled Thesis Project for guidelines and additional information.

MLS 691 Thesis Extension [4]

Students who have not completed the thesis requirement by the end of the semester must register and pay for MLS 691 Thesis Extension (at the billing rate of two credits). Continuous enrollment in MLS 691, during the fall and spring terms only, is expected until the thesis is completed. Refer to section entitled Thesis Project for guidelines and approval process.