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MLS Courses Offered in 2022-2023

Graduate Seminar, Fall 2022

Mondays, 7:00 to 9:50 p.m.
September 12, 2022  December 5, 2022

MLS 524: Ways of Knowing
We know many different things, but we also know in many different ways. The poet and the biologist know nature in distinctive manners. What is the basis for scientific knowledge? How can we know the past? What kinds of knowledge are the province of literature and the arts? The seminar will explore several of the ways in which we know, concentrating on science, literature, philosophy, and the arts.

Professor Siobhan Moroney (Politics), joined by faculty colleagues from other disciplines in teaching select classes. 

Graduate Seminar, Spring 2023

Mondays, 7:00 to 9:50 p.m.
January 23, 2023 - May 1, 2023

MLS 546 Religion: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Religion has been a cultural universal in the past and remains a constant in our current societies.  Some of the questions that this cross-disciplinary seminar explores are as follows:  What is religion? How does it interact with other facets of our psychological, sociological, and cultural life?  What was its role in different societies? What is its future?  We shall look at religion from the perspectives of theologians, philosophers, psychologists, and social scientist, and literature and the arts.

Professor Ahmad Sadri (Sociology), joined by faculty colleagues from other disciplines to teach select classes.

Previous Seminars from Spring 2022

Graduate Seminar, Spring 2022

Monday, 7:00 - 9:50 p.m.
January 17, 2022 – April 25, 2022

MLS 556 Existentialism and Its Discontents (taught remotely)
Existentialism was one of the most popular philosophical trends in the twentieth century, attracting philosophers and artists who sought to wrestle with the most personal and ultimate questions of meaning in the face of rising rationalism and scientific positivism. In part, Existentialism was rooted in the view that philosophy should be a way of life, practical and engaged, rather than mere abstract theorizing by elite intellectuals. Consequently, some of the deepest expressions of this philosophy have been in popular literature and film, which will be the focus of our seminar. This course will explore the artistic and ideological roots of the Existentialist movement in the 19th century with writers like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky. It will examine the explosion of Existentialist thinking in the 20th century, especially in France through the literature of Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Camus. And, finally, it will consider more recent critiques of Existentialism from the vantage of philosopher-novelists like Iris Murdoch. Emphasis will be on the artistic expressions of Existentialism, particularly the novel as a form of philosophical exploration. Other Existentialist artists and philosophers to be considered may include De Unamuno, Bergman, Frankl, and Buber.

Professor Carla Arnell (English), who will be joined by faculty colleagues from other disciplines in teching the seminar. 

The seminar will be taught remotely and will be open to people from out of the area.

List of Books to buy for MLS 556: Existentialism and Its Discontents

  • Dostoevsky, Feodor. The Brothers Karamazov. Trans. Andrew MacAndrew. Publisher: ‎ Bantam Classics; Reissue edition (April 1, 1984) 1072 pages ISBN-10: ‎ 0553212168, ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0553212167 (The cover is light blue, with a Russian-looking snow scene; the edition with a royal blue cover has different pagination)
  • Kierkegaard, Soren. Fear & Trembling. Tr. Alastair Hannay. Penguin Classics 1986. ISBN-10: 0140444491 and ISBN-13: 978-0140444490
  • Bakewell, Sarah. At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being & Apricot Cocktails. New York: Vintage, 2016. ISBN 978-0-09955-488-2
  • Sartre, Jean-Paul. Nausea. Trans. Robert Baldick. Publisher: ‎Gardners Books; New Ed edition (October 1, 2004) ISBN-10: ‎ 014118549X ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0141185491
  • Camus, Albert. The Plague. Trans. Stuart Gilbert. Vintage Paperback. ISBN-10: ‎ 0679720219 ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0679720218
  • De Beauvoir, Simone. The Ethics of Ambiguity. Trans. Bernard Frechtman. New York: Open Road. 2018. No ISBN.
  • Murdoch, Iris. The Sovereignty of Good. London: Routledge: 1989. ISBN 0-415-06593-3.
  • De Unamuno, Miguel. San Manuel, Martyr. Tr. Guerrero.