WOLVES AND CIVILIZATION~ By surveying the representation of the wolf in history, myth, folklore, natural history, and popular culture, this course seeks to examine the complexities of the natural and political relationship between humans and wolves. We will use these varying fields to analyze the ideology that now constitutes our understanding of the wolf. We will examine the virtual extinction of the wolf in the lower 48 states of America and why some people want to re-introduce the wolf. Wolves have been re-introduced in Yellowstone, and they have also been reintroduced in the Southwest. Wolves are also beginning to “spontaneously” reintroduce themselves into Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. As human development has spread and wolf populations expand to include a tiny of fraction of their original territory, there is now a tremendous amount of interest in wolves and wolf reintroduction. The readings also demonstrate how the lives of humans and wolves are deeply connected to the margin and the mainstream of our society. For hundreds of years our country engaged in a sometime organized campaign to exterminate the wolf. The ferocity and sadism of hundreds of years of wolf slaughter calls out for intellectual inquiry. With wolves now making reclaiming some former habitat in the lower 48 states, we now ask why this mysterious yet social animal has provoked such violence, compassion, and interest. This course examines the natural history of the wolf as well as the history of civilization’s constructed perception of the wolf. By looking at how ideas change over time, we will learn how the perception of the wolf has changed and how American culture has evolved. As a student in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences, it is crucial to understand that all ideas have histories that change over time. By becoming familiar with the intellectual history of the wolf, you will realize the importance of understanding all dimensions of this or any other political or social issue. For example, the re-introduction of wolves is very controversial; there are those who see the wolf as a threat to livestock and thus their way of life, and there are those who believe that we should try to restore wolves to as much of their natural habitat as possible.



MAIS 51000:  WHAT'S NORMAL:  6 Hour(s)  

MAGIC, FANTASY & SURREALISM IN WORLD LITERATURE: ~ There is a saying that art imitates life, but what does such a statement mean when we read stories—as we will in this course—in which a woman grows hundreds of carrots shaped like hands or a man dreams another man into being? To read Yoko Ogawa’s or Jorge Luis Borges’s stories, however, we must suspend our disbelief and temporarily enter a world in which such things are possible. While reading literature, then, we often rethink our definitions of reality. The authors we will read this term each stretch the limits of possibility in some way. We will discover characters who read minds and have other magical powers. We will consider alternate universes and identities and new twists on old stories. Each of these texts, either through its subject, its form, or both, will challenge our concepts of what is possible both within the fictional world and in the ways of representing that world. Most of the authors we will be reading are also writing outside of the Eurocentric tradition that has dominated our conceptions of what constitutes literature. Thus, we will also explore how these writers’ use of magic, fantasy, and surrealism serves larger purposes, interrogating dominant western ideologies of genre, identity, authorship, and readership. We seek not only to complicate our readings of these particular works but to ask questions about the role of literature and of reading that we can apply to any text.


DECONSTRUCTING MODERNITY: Like many important concepts, “modernity” seems easily understandable until close scrutiny reveals both its complicated history and multiple meanings. In this course we will be unpacking the concept of modernity. Where does it come from? Who gets to decide who is modern and who is not? What are the repercussions of being deemed “modern” or “primitive”? In this course, students will first take a critical look at Euro-centric ideas of modernity before turning to scholars who trouble and de-center such points of view. Through careful reading, discussion, and written analysis, students will learn not only how to think about modernity, but how to deconstruct other complex concepts as well.

MAIS 51030:  SACRED MATTERS:  3 Hour(s)  

SACRED MATTERS: HOW TO UNDERSTAND RELIGIOUS CULTURES LARGE & SMALL ~ In this course we will study and then apply the methods of the History of Religions, a discipline that treats “religion” as a primary, irreducible category of humanity. History of Religions, which began at the University of Chicago in the 1960’s under Mircea Eliade, encourages researches to approach the questions of religious cultures through both primary sources and participant observation where original voices express their experiences and beliefs. Ninian Smart, in the second generation of Historians of Religion, gave the useful rubric of the different dimensions of religion (experiential, mythic, doctrinal, ethical, ritual, and artistic) in order to begin to understand the myriad “worldviews” present around the globe. We also use the techniques of ritual and “myth” analyses combined with participants’ own exegesis to dig into the symbolism and meanings of religious thought and action.


WHAT IS ECONOMIC DEPRESSION? AN ECONOMIC AND HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE NEW DEAL~ Students in this course will analyze the events, policies, and practices that led to the Great Depression in the United States from 1929 until World War II. They will critically evaluate leading economic theories about the causes of the depression. They will demonstrate comprehension of the prevalent economic theories of the time and the emergence of other theories about the underlying causes of the depression. They will explain and evaluate the economic prescriptions of different theorists. Students will examine and explain how President Herbert Hoover sought to address the depression and will analyze why his policies failed to bring economic recovery to the nation. Students will consider how President Franklin Roosevelt sought to address the depression. They will evaluate Roosevelt's different New Deal programs and will analyze the extent to which these programs brought economic recovery. They will evaluate the extent to which New Deal programs and policies changed the role of the U.S. government in the economy. Students will consider alternative approaches to the New Deal advocated by other political leaders at the time. Students will also examine responses to the depression and New Deal programs by ordinary Americans during the time period. Finally, students will synthesize and apply their understanding of the depression and the New Deal to develop ideas about how to address recessions and prevent economic depressions in the future. Students will integrate insights, theories, and arguments of historians and economists who have analyzed the Great Depression. Students will work in small groups to design their own New Deal to promote economic recovery. Students will also each prepare an annotated bibliography and a critical literature review integrating economic and historical sources on an aspect of the depression.

MAIS 51100:  WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS KNOWLEDGE?~What do we really know? How do we know it? Are there various ways of understanding the world around us? How have people in the past understood their world? The interdisciplinary approach to htese questions in this course allows not only increased understanding of the development and conceptualization of knowledge in the history of the West but also a deep exploration of the assumptions underlying and guiding this history.


WHAT IS SEX?~What is male? What is female? How do men and women related to and rely on one another? How one answers these questions is highly dependent on disciplinary perspective. Related topics will be analyzed from multiple disciplinary angles and, throughout the course, evolutionary and cultural models for explaining sex roles in society will be considered.

MAIS 51210:  WHAT IS WISDOM?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS WISDOM?~ Philosophy by virtue of its very name for itself is concerned with wisdom, but the question of what wisdom is remains open. Erik Erikson, important developmental psychologist, posits wisdom as the aim of the final stage of life, but others have argued that age has no relationship with wisdom. We are left with a variety of questions. How does wisdom relate to knowledge? How do we recognize it and where do we uncover models of wisdom? All the great religious traditions teach wisdom; is wisdom parochial and/or culturally relative? Do we expect our political and business leaders to be wise or just successful; is there a difference? This course will examine how various disciplines, notably religious studies and leadership in business through an organizational behavior lens, come to understand wisdom. This will entail an in-depth look at discipline-based definitions and models of wisdom, and the underlying assumptions and various research questions these disciplines ask.


EXPLORATION INTO EXPLORATIONS ~ The intersection of fiction and fact in the novel has been a subject of study, controversy, and delight since the outset of the genre in the eighteenth century. The controversy stretches back to the divergence of literature and history in Greek philosophy, and it supplies rich material for probing some of the fundamental issues that lie at the heart of literary study. A subset of literary works over the past two centuries has dealt with exploration of and expeditions into the natural world. Particularly since the post-Columbian era, Europeans in particular have roamed the earth in search of knowledge, political expansion, and sheer adventure. Encounters with unknown and uncharted areas of the globe have fed the imagination of diarists, journalists, and fiction writers whose written record makes possible a survey of the liminal overlap between what is actually seen and recorded and its transformation into the significance of discovery to metaphoric discovery as well. Beginning with Herman Melville’s 1846 novel Typee, often mistaken for a factual account of Melville’s own aborted whaling adventure in 1842, members of the class will examine and compare several fictional expeditions with the extant records of those travels. The aim is to progress toward an understanding of two literary genres––non-fiction writing and fiction––and the similarities and differences between them. To what extent is the factual recorder able to report accurately new, exotic, surprising observations without embellishment? Is it feasible for a fiction writer, sometimes long after the fact, to reflect and reproduce events that in some cases changed the course of natural science––and even, in some cases, theology? The Australian writer Roger McDonald published Mr. Darwin’s Shooter in 1998, that parallels the experience of the real Syms Covington, a sailor aboard the Beagle who worked for Darwin in his groundbreaking work that would change the direction of natural science. Darwin’s own The Voyage of the Beagle provides a first-hand record of the events of that voyage that is not entirely substantiated by Covington’s own journal that is available in digital form online from the Mitchell Library in New South Wales (Australia). The challenge will be to reconcile the accounts of Covington and Darwin––or not, as the case may be. Alexander von Humboldt’s Personal Narrative of his explorations in South America between 1799-1804 (available in its first American edition in the Hiram College Library) was used by German/Austrian novelist Daniel Kehlmann as the basis for a much-heralded novel Measuring the World (2006). Kehlmann makes rather daring leaps of fiction to recreate von Humboldt’s state of mind under extraordinarily trying circumstances, even structuring the entire work by applying Greek and Roman mythology. Examining Humboldt’s own accounts, is it possible to justify Kehlmann’s imaginative leap in creating what becomes virtually a theatrical entertainment? The novel includes a subplot concerning the German mathematician Carl Gauss that suggests the broad implications of the word “measuring.” For Americans, the explorations into the Arctic of Sir John Franklin in the 1840s, culminating in the disappearance of him and his ships, were among the most riveting contemporary events before the Civil War. Several volumes of Franklin’s observations were published (also available in early editions in the Hiram College Library) before the final, fateful journey; they provide a riveting record of human endurance under horrific conditions. In 1999, Andrea Barrett published an entirely fictional account of a whaling expedition, The Voyage of the Narwhal, that, while obviously based on Franklin’s voyages, extends her fictional world to encompass large segments of American antebellum culture as well as to reflect on the scientific community of the time. In addition to the resources already included in the course description, the College’s rich collection of nineteenth century newspapers and journals will serve to augment the required readings. In recent years, digital resources in rare and hard-to-find ephemeral publications have also made this kind of study, research and comparison more feasible, especially when there are time constraints. Through extensive use of primary source materials of many different types, class members will come away with enhanced ability to undertake research in several environments ranging from dusty originals, to microfilm and other types of mechanical reading equipment, to a variety of electronic resources. The Maurice and Ethlynne Fox Map Collection, housed in the Archives, can provide another way to trace the progress of real and imaginary explorations. Finally, a heightened appreciation of the complexities of fictional truth and reportorial fiction is devoutly to be wished.

MAIS 51250:  WHAT IS BEAUTY?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS BEAUTY? This seminar focuses on the conception of beauty as translated into music and visual art of the Renaissance period (1300-1600) of Western history. Beauty is a variable ideal, first articulated for western culture by the ancient Greeks, and reaching a fever pitch of theoretical and creative manifestation in the Renaissance age. This course will examine both the theoretical underpinnings of artistic beauty and the creative results of those ideas in the major canons of western musical and artistic compositions.

MAIS 51260:  WHAT IS NATURE?:  6 Hour(s)  

“The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.” -- John Muir “I am against nature. I don’t dig nature at all. I think nature is very unnatural. I think the truly natural things are dreams which nature can’t touch with decay.” – Bob Dylan “Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do.” – Michel de Montaigne This course will introduce students to a critical examination of the concept of nature, as it is studied in the fields of Environmental Studies and Anthropology. Nature has been defined, defended, exploited, and studied apart from humans and culture for decades by many, but is more appropriately seen as a construction, or extension of human conceptions of the world. Citizens of the “Western Civilizations” see nature within a certain limited set of frameworks, and usually perceive it as separate from or even the opposite of human social life. Members of other cultures construct the concept quite differently, and sometimes do not even recognize that such a distinction exists. We propose to have the MAIS students dissect these concepts of nature, and juxtapose them within a series of themes: the Construction of Nature, Human Nature, and the Uses of Nature. How do we define Nature? What is and is not Nature? Are we part of Nature? How do people in other cultures define Nature? These basic questions will form the first theme of the class, Construction, and we will select a set of readings from the two disciplines to reflect the array of answers to them. This will set the tone for the second theme, Human Nature. Among the topics discussed here will be human evolution and ecology and the nature of being human; race and gender as constructions under the rubric of Nature; and the distinction between the Nobel Savage and Civilization. Finally, the Uses of Nature will examine the ways in which we exploit, appropriate, reify, commodify, or even protect Nature. We will explore Nature as romantic/Edenic ideal, Nature as Utopia or Dystopia, the agrarian ideal as an aspect of Nature, and attempts to protect and conserve the essence of Nature. Readings and discussions will focus geographically on the Americas. MAIS students will attain the following course objectives: • Distinguish and critically analyze various constructivist and essentialist definitions of nature • Relate concepts of nature to broader social, cultural, scientific, and ethical trends and contemporary controversies • Reflectively place the concept of nature in the context of their own lived experience through primary research and response

MAIS 51300:  WHAT IS CREATIVITY:  6 Hour(s)  
MAIS 51350:  WHAT IS SCIENCE?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS SCIENCE? How is scientific knowledge created? Is it produced by rational and objective means or is it the byproduct of competing social and political interests? How effective is science in dealing with contradictory findings that challenge established theories? To help answer these questions, we will study the history and philosophy of science, using case histories from astronomy (Greek theories and the Copernican revolution), medicine (the four humour theory and germ theory), and scientific discussions of male-female sexual differentiation (Greek and 19th century). We will begin by contrasting several philosophies of science, e.g. the picture of science as induction of generalizations from observations, the Positivist's "hypothesis and deduction" model, and Popper's falsification view. We will then study Kuhn's influential picture of science as progressing via periods of normal science followed by revolutions in which the previous "paradigm" is overthrown. The remainder of the course will be devoted to the case histories, using them to critically evaluate both the initial philosophies of science and also Kuhn's picture.

MAIS 51400:  WHAT IS JUST WAR:  6 Hour(s)  
MAIS 51450:  WHAT IS HUMAN:  6 Hour(s)  
MAIS 51500:  WHAT IS JUSTICE:  6 Hour(s)  
MAIS 51600:  WHAT IS THE PAST?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS THE PAST? What is the past? What are the Middle Ages? Is our perception of the past accurate? If not, where do our modern views of the medieval world come from? These are some of the central questions that this seminar examines. In order to explore these queries, we will examine the Middle Ages through the writings of the time- what medieval people said about themselves. We will then compare and contrast their views with various modern views, including our own. The results should help us to understand the past as well as the present. It has been said that "the past is a foreign country," and a visit to any foreign place puts our home in a new perspective. Along the way, we hope to prove that our perception of the Middle Ages reflects our time as much as it does theirs.

MAIS 51650:  WHAT IS HUMAN SPACE?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS HUMAN SPACE?~ Humans have significant, yet largely unexamined, relationships with the spaces that surround them. Seldom satisfied to leave our surroundings as we found them, we have long sought and created particular kinds of spaces for practical, ideological, and psychological reasons. We have developed entire disciplines intent on constructing and adorning spaces of all scopes, from intimate to continental. A space can be a tree limb, a palace, a plaza, or even the interstate highway system; all of these feed and are enlivened by our poetic imaginations and we often envision our most idealistic dreams in terms of spaces. Spaces can be made to comfort, intimidate, facilitate, or can be neglected. This class will examine the effects of spaces on us, how we use different spaces in powerful ways, and the perils of that power. We will study architecture, urban planning and renewal, landscape architecture, and building methods, reading scholarly books and articles, historical texts, novels, poetry, and films.

MAIS 51700:  WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION ?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS GLOBALIZATION?~ This course provides an overview of globalization and explores how it is changing our world politically, economically, socially, culturally, and technologically. According to Malcolm Waters, globalization is "a process in which the constraints of geography on economic, social, political, and ecological arrangements recede and in which people become increasingly aware that they are receding. It is the growing awareness that we live in an increasingly interdependent world." In the last few decades, globalization has drastically reduced barriers in various ways across national borders and led to increased levels of interaction and interdependency among human organizations. We will re-examine concepts related to globalization such as nation-state, transnational corporations, national identity, and regionalization, analyze both the pro and con sides of globalization, and discuss the challenges and opportunities that globalization creates and its consequences. A variety of materials including film clips, case studies, discussion, collaboration, and lecture will be utilized to sustain interest and motivate learning.

MAIS 51750:  WHAT IS TRADITION?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS TRADITION?: Remarking on the semmingly ironic response of many peoples in recent times who consciously return to the cultural patterns of their forebears, John and Jean Comaroff surmise, "'Modernity' seems to have bred a heightened concern with 'tradition'." This phenomenon challenges us to examine the development of this much-used term, "tradition," as well as its components (ritual, cultural identity, religion, experience, heritage, values, etc.) and the current issues affecting it (globalization, moderniza- tion.) In this course, we will approach the core concept of "tradition" from two disciplinary standpoints, anthropology and religious studies both of which contribute to a critical understanding of exactly what "tradition" is. How is it constructed, contested, changed, and transmitted? How does it work within a society? And, what can it mean to a people?

MAIS 51800:  WHAT IS RELIGION?:  6 Hour(s)  

What is religion? What can studying religion tell us about culture? What can studying a culture tell us about its religion(s)? In what ways do religions reflect their cultures? These are some of the central questions this this seminar examines. In order to explore these queries, we will examine both theories about religion and examples of religion in practice, especially the three dominant western monotheisms. In examining the various views of religion, we will also draw on texts and methods from disciplines as diverse as history, religious studies, and sociology. Our interdisciplinary approach to these questions will allow not only an increased understanding of religion but also a deeper understanding of how and why different cultures perceive the divine in diverse ways. In sum, the various disciplinary lenses should help us to see the subject in a new light; ideally we should be able to raise new questions and, therefore, develop new answers. Further, we aim to uncover and explore assumptoins that underlie each discipline and thus to develop our understanding of the methods, goals, and importance of interdisciplinary studies.

MAIS 51850:  WHAT IS RACE?:  6 Hour(s)  

WHAT IS RACE~Is race a biological category or a social category, or is it both? How did race become an institution and an ideology? How did scientific understandings about race emerge and change over time in the changing society? Students will explore these big questions through the disciplines of Biology and History. Together, professors and students will integrate the insights of these two disciplines to yield a new understanding of the meaning and significance of race.

MAIS 52000:  MODERN GENOCIDES:  4 Hour(s)  
MAIS 52010:  ANTISLAVERY IN THE US:  4 Hour(s)  

ANTISLAVERY IN THE UNITED STATES~ A distinguished historian recently called antebellum American abolitionists the “forgotten emancipationists in the story of black freedom.” However, with a growing national awareness of the continuation of forms of bondage despite the 13th Amendment, important questions arise again regarding the potential role of social reform activists in eradicating slavery. This course examines abolitionism from post-Revolutionary America to the Civil War, emphasizing the major themes of inquiry that motivate scholars. Students will learn how differences in region, race, religion, politics, and gender impacted the antislavery movement, as well as how various abolitionists imagined their goals and formulated their methods and strategies for reform . Some notice is placed on the importance of the “Old Northwest,” specifically Ohio and the Western Reserve.


MOTIVATION IN EDUCATION ~ In this course, students will explore theories of motivation and relate them to educational settings. We will explore what it means to be motivated on a day to day basis as well as during life in general. Strategies for increasing motivation will also be evaluated. High and low motivation will be explored and the aspects of educational settings that increase and decrease motivation will be considered.

MAIS 52030:  LEADERSHIP & MOTIVATION:  3 Hour(s)  

LEADERSHIP & MOTIVATION ~ This course offers a broad framework for understanding leadership in a variety of contexts. Evolutionary, biological, and social perspectives on leadership, what it means to be an effective leader, and how motivation plays a role in leadership will be explored. Contemporary issues and perspectives as well as classic theory will be examined in relation to theories of motivation and how these intersect with leadership styles.


A MODERN QUEST OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS~ In 1906, Albert Schweitzer published his groundbreaking Jesus study, "Von Reimarus zu Wrede." Ever since, in the English-speaking world of Jesus research, this book has been called "The Quest of the Historical Jesus." By the time Schweitzer wrote, such research had already been in full swing for two hundred years. Today, a hundred years later, the topic has lost none of its appeal, for we have just experienced another large wave of interest in Jesus.

MAIS 52200:  CLAY:CULTURE & CREATIVITY:  4 Hour(s)  

THE CREATION OF ADOLESCENCE~ According to popular conceptions, the period of adolescence is wrought with problems. Raging hormones, dysfunctional families, and bad genes are often blamed for youthful violence, suicide, and a host of other discorders and problems. But, just how much trouble do teenagers really cause? At what point historically were young people singled out into an age- specific cohort? What role do the media, the educational system, and economics play in our conceptions of teenagers? This course will examine the social creation of the "teenager" and examine the definitions of and stages of childhood, adolescence and youth in traditional tribal societies, Europe and the United States throughout history. Industrialization, changes in the family, population pressures, economics, employment and unemployment, world tensions, war and post modernism all had direct and indirect effects on the lives of yong people and how they were seen by others. At each era, we will use an interdisciplinary approach to discuss the expressions of youth culture (or lack of culture), the effects youth culture had on other segments of society, and the major theories that arose to explain the behaviors and attitudes of young persons. We will pay special attention to the role of public education in the creation of adolescence and examine the rise of high schools in the United States.

MAIS 52290:  WHAT WOULD BUDDHA DO?:  4 Hour(s)  

WHAT WOULD BUDDHA DO?~ This course takes an in-depth exploration of Buddhist theoretical, practical, and social expressions, moves through interpretation and evaluation, in order to ask: what is the relevance of Buddhist doctrinal, mythical, ethical, ritual, experiential, and social dimensions to the twenty-first century Euro-American society/world in which we presently find ourselves undergoing different forms of suffering, while still deeply influenced by Cartesian metaphysical notions of self and world?


This course is an analysis of social psychological theory and empirical research on stereotyping and prejudice. In this course, we will explore the development and causes of intergroup perceptions and antagonism; reasons for the persistence and prevalence of stereotypes and prejudice; ways in which feelings and beliefs about groups influence social perception and interaction; and possible ways to change group stereotypes or reduce prejudice. In examining these issues, the class will consider both the ways that individuals perceive themselves as members of groups and the ways that they perceive other groups.

MAIS 52320:  LIFE OF LITERACY:  4 Hour(s)  

LIFE OF LITERACY~ This course will focus on multiple interpretations of the course title. We will examine one's personal literacy life. We will also examine the vability of literacy as a concept in our society in this century. In both cases, on a personal level and a societal level, we will examine these core questions: What is literacy? What does it mean to be literate? How does literacy function in our everyday lives? How do we foster literacy as a society? How do we hinder it?


HISTORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL REFORM~ Students in this course will examine and analyze the work of reformers who sought to change how Americans have treated the environment. Students will explore how Native Americans and Europeans each saw the land and how they each interacted with the natural environment. Students will analyze the rise of a movement to conserve the land and natural resources, beginning with proto-environmentalists like Henry David Thoreau in the first half of the nineteenth century. Students will examine the reasons for the rise of a conservation movement in the late nineteenth century, and they will explore how conservationists like Gifford Pinchot differed in their goals and means from wilderness preservationists like John Muir. Students will explore the growth of a modern environmental movement in the twentieth century and its impact on legislation and environmental practices. They will examine the arguments for an environmental ethic. They will look to the seeds of environmental change in the arguments of Rachel Carson. Finally, students will examine critically the rise of radical environmentalism and the work of groups like Earth First!


PHENOMENOLOGY AND CULTURAL STUDIES~ This course explores the themes of body and the sense of touch. Our understanding will expand out of several creative tensions that manifest in both the academic study of body and touch and our own existential encounters: pure reasoning and dualistic conceptualization versus non-dual awareness and alternative rationalities informed by embodied feeling and sensuous and erotic touch; body and touch as representation of ideas versus embodied and tactile being-in-the-world: and body and touch as socially and culturally conceptualized, formed, and constructed versus the lived body's experience of movements, motions, emotions, feelings, gestures, and other forms of touch, both inner and outer.

MAIS 52350:  MEMOIR:  4 Hour(s)  

MEMOIR ~ The roots of memoir extend far and deep, including the works as The Confessions of Saint Augustine (5th century), Montaigne's Essays, and Rousseau's Confessions. Throughout history, but especially in recent decades, there have been attempts to use or usurp the genre for instant glory or profit. Students will read short and full-length contemporary memoirs that attempt to work in the best of the genre's proud tradition, and they will concentrate on writing (and revising) several short memoirs of their own that may have potential to become a longer-form memoir. In addition to acquainting students with very recent literary innovations in the form, the course will concentrate on many of memoir's earliest principles and features. Student work will be carefully reviewed in workshops.

MAIS 52360:  JUST WAR:  4 Hour(s)  

JUST WAR~ Over the past millennium and more, just war theory has dominated Christian thought on war and peace. In the past century just war has become the important starting point for political and philosophical discourse on wars fought by our nation. In this course we will pay particular attention to the Christian tradition on Just War, expecially as it is described and argued in contemporary Christian Ethics. In the Christian tradition, Just War is often understood to be the moderate position between pacifism and crusade. As such, it is seen as a rational position that gives credence both to the political necessity at times to use force and the importance of caution both in the use of force and regarding the unintended consequences of force, both in the initial decision and in the field.

MAIS 52370:  THE AMERICAN COLD WAR:  3 Hour(s)  

THE AMERICAN COLD WAR ~ This seminar will explore historians’ evolving understanding of the United States’ involvement in the Cold War. Readings will examine the Cold War in both its domestic and international contexts. The class will place a particular emphasis on how historians have analyzed the connections between domestic social relations and international developments, how the Cold War allowed key social categories to be simultaneously understood locally and globally. Through close examination of recent historical works on the Cold War, students will develop both an understanding of important transformations during this critical era and an appreciation for the ways historians work. We will pay attention to how historians have exposed new archives to contextual analysis in order to change historical narratives about the Cold War.


COLD WAR HISTORIOGRAPHY~ In this course, we will be learning how historians use historical method (historiography) and evaluate evidence (primary and secondary sources) in their own scholarship. This class will begin by examining the Tokyo International Tribunal in the aftermath of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the conclusion of the Second World War. Then we will move to examine the United Nations military government installations in Japan and Korea and study this interim government’s role in two wars: the Korean War and the Vietnam War. We will study the United Nations military orders to “stamp out” communism and other political insurgencies, how or why these purges were conducted with impunity despite the existence and evolution of genocide prevention laws from the 1950s onward. In this historiography, we will critically evaluate primary sources from 1945 to the 1970s (such as archived speeches, military correspondences, legal testimonies, op-eds), conduct a literature review of historical essays and create an annotated bibliography in order to understand the complicated landscape of human rights and international security during the Cold War era.


USING BIOTECHNOLOGIES TO ENHANCE HUMAN PERFORMANCE~ISSUES FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FOR SOCIETY: Students will have an opportunity to explore issues related to biotechnology and human enhancement. The interdisciplinary approach of this course will integrate science, reading, writing and drama to raise scientific, ethical and social issues created by new biotechnologies for genetically engineering "better" babies, enhancing athletic and mental performance, extending the human life span, enhancing apprearance, and improving moods.


TRAGEDY, MORALITY, AND NATIONAL IDENTITY: By looking at selected novels, we will look at ways in which Cormac McCarthy, one our greatest living novelists, re- considers and considers America's past, present, and future. Reading Pagels, Nietzsche, and Slotkin will give depth to McCarthy's portrayal of violence, godlessness, and tragic destiny of humanity. In particular, this course will look at the ways in which McCarthy mixes religion and philosophy with the genres of the bildungsroman, the western, the crime novel, and the apocalyptic novel.

MAIS 52480:  SEIZING THE MOMENT:  3 Hour(s)  

SEIZING THE MOMENT: GENDERED PERSPECTIVES ON SUCCESS AND LEADERSHIP IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY US ~ This interdisciplinary course analyzes two special “moments” in the past that appeared uniquely poised to offer special opportunities to one gender. The first occurred in the early 19th century, the era of the “self-made man” mythology, when the new United States was experiencing unprecedented expansion and development. The second “moment,” during and following WWII, saw women taking on so-called male roles as builders, doers, and providers. Each “moment” resulted from a unique convergence of economic, political, and social conditions, and beckoned the most ambitious to step forward and claim participation and leadership roles in it. The themes of success and leadership inform our examination of these two unique situations. The disciplines of history and organizational behavior provide the framework to help determine what individuals, organizations, and society deemed successes and failures within organizational or institutional settings, including the idea of home and housewifery considered a career for women. Through the lenses of history and organizational behavior disciplines, leadership theory and concepts of historical context, gender, culture and organizational behavior will be analyzed.


ART BARES HISTORY: MATERIAL CULTURE OF THE FIRST US CENTURY~ The history of a nation is often viewed through the lens of its central authority figures and canonical events, which can seem remote to our lives in time and space. In the United States, the “founding fathers” toiling to forge a new nation in Philadelphia come to mind, as do Abe Lincoln and the Civil War. However, both eras in recent years have become more relatable thanks to documentary and feature films on the topics, such as Ken Burn’s ground breaking exposé on the Civil War or Stephen Spielberg’s “Lincoln.” Visual imagery has the capacity to enliven the past and make it accessible and important today. Before the advent of film, other visual languages—paintings, sculptures, prints, and (after 1840) photographs--were created and employed for a similar purpose: to edify the citizenry about our history. But not all art works were specifically intended to be about history at their inception; some were portraits or landscapes for the home, for example. But they serve equally well today at informing us of not just the events of the past, but the values, biases, institutions, and conditions of life which forms a significant part of what defines the study of the past so that we may know our heritage and ourselves as a people. This course examines the historical development of the United States during the first century of her existence (from approximately 1776 to 1876) through visual artifacts, Students are empowered to find creative ways to interpret art. It also introduces participants to the extraordinarily rich collections of past American art located in NE Ohio in Cleveland and Youngstown. Some of the collections are little known by the public, such as the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, yet are a treasure trove of material culture by which to visualize the development of the new nation during its earliest and arguably most tumultuous years and provide useful tools for comprehension of critical issues in our history by interpreting visual language. Themes to be addressed include liberty and independence, notions of exceptionalism, encounters with indigenous peoples, slavery, the roles of women, the exploration and use of land, the search for visual symbols in the creation of a national identity, new religious ideations, changes wrought by industrialization, accumulation of wealth, wars, and work.

MAIS 52500:  CREATIVE WRITING I:  4 Hour(s)  
MAIS 52510:  NONFICTION WRITING:  4 Hour(s)  
MAIS 52511:  WRITING THE TRUTH:  3 Hour(s)  

WRITING THE TRUTH~ This course will examine the truth in writing. Technically, fiction is made up, a product of one’s imagination, not technically “true” (although the story may very well be based on truth) – novels, short stories, fantasies, many movies, plays, etc. Nonfiction, by contrast, is composed of facts, events, reality – reference works, user manuals, journalism, documentaries, catalogs …. Creative nonfiction uses craft and literary style – one’s artistic creativity, if you will – to develop truthful, factual narratives – memoir, essays, editorials, books. Creative nonfiction is not a genre through which the writers tells some truth and fictionalizes some of the narrative content. Nonfiction in any form needs to be true… and it’s just a small mental hop to then question: What is the truth?

MAIS 52520:  LITERARY JOURNALISM:  4 Hour(s)  

This course focuses on learning how to use creative nonfiction writing to explore diverse topics-from social and historical issues to science to broad abstract ideas like power or compassion. Literary journalism relies on voice and other creative writing techniques and teaches students about literary form. While literary journalism focuses on facts, it also involves students in their subjects through interviews, observations, and research. The result is nonfiction writing that reflects a student's interests, perspectives, and experience of immersion in a particular topic or field.


DISABILITY IN LITERATURE AND FILM~ Perceptions of individuals with disabilities are often determined by depictions presented in literature and film. This course will examine the concept of disability and characteristics of specific disabilities through an analysis of various films and literature. Through personal reflection and group discussions of common readings, members of the class will examine various disabilities as they impact diverse individuals, families, and communities. Students will develop a greater awareness of different perspectives, commonalities and differences, bias, and ethical issues. Through in-depth research on a specific disability, students will integrate disciplinary insights into a broader understanding of disability.


SCIENCE AND NATURE IN CREATIVE NONFICTION~ This course explores a number of genres of creative nonfiction, including memoir, literary journalism, personal essay, lyric essay, and meditation, with a focus on writing about the world seen through the lens of science and nature. Unlike strictly academic writing on science, creative nonfiction emphasizes voice and perspective and allows the writer to indulge in a layman's exploration of scientific theories, practices, and discoveries. The result is work meant for a general audience, styled using the techniques of creative writing. The class will read an array of creative nonfiction essays dealing with material that approaches the liberally-defined fields of science and nature. We'll look at the complicated emotional and medical moments behind living donor heart transplants; at the effect of wind on Mid-western high school tennis; at the psychology behind the seven-night Celebrity Caribbean cruise; and at the importance of the bear to the American wilderness, among other things. Students will write shorter pieces in the genres we discuss, which we'll examine and evaluate in a workshop setting. The course will culminate with revision and expansion of several of these pieces.

MAIS 52560:  CRITICAL FILM STUDIES:  4 Hour(s)  

CRITICAL FILM STUDIES~ This course will introduce students to a range of the seminal readings and ideas at the core of Critical Film Studies. Readings will be paired with film screenings and cover topics such as the illusion of realism, spectatorship and the construction of point-of-view identification, semiotics as it applies to the language of film, the role of film in creating gender, racial and ethnic stereotypes and propaganda, as well as other ideological constructions created to look natural. In addition we cover what is cinematic and specific to film as well as the overlaps with theatre and literature as production and as text. A moderate amount of film history is used to demonstrate the evolution of film form and technologies. Trends in Film Criticism including genre, auteur, ideological and psychoanalytic analysis will be used as methods for exploring films in depth. Students will train to locate and notate significant elements in specific films that will serve to deepen the ability to use films in meaningful interdisciplinary scholarship.


STORIES OF VALUES AND ALL THAT STUFF~ This course has been developed in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Sam Shem's The House of God and the 2008 annual conference of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities held in Cleveland. That novel shook up medical education and challenged the profession to make medical residency more humane. The Center for Literature and Medicine at Hiram is bringing out two books this year to celebrate The House of God. First is a brand new novel by Sam Shem, The Spirit of the Place, which follows a middle-aged physician as he returns to his roots and discovers what her really values. The second is a book of criticism and reflection from many of today's top physician and nurse writers and biomedical humanities scholars about The House of God. In addition to these works, the course will look at women's perspectives on medical educaiton (Perri Klass, Rita Charon) at Richard Selzer's advice to young doctors, and several poems by doctors about their training. Stephen Bergman (Sam Shem) will be at the symposium, so students will meet him.


DEPRESSION ECONOMICS: 2008 was a financially shocking year. Many iconic banks and investment banks disappeared almost overnight, their hallowed names being swept into the dustbin of history. For most of the year, people from Main Street watched these unfoldings in amazement without realizing the impact these events will have on their own lives. The tsunami of bankruptcies and layoffs has started to affect the Main Street. The course is planned to provide a framework to understand the inconceivable happenings in the financial realm and to evaluate the proposals using basic economic principles.

MAIS 52590:  MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE U.S.:  4 Hour(s)  

MENTAL ILLNESS IN THE UNITED STATES~ There are two broad themes in this course. The first will focus on how socio-historical circumstances shape the perceptions of and the experiences of people with mental illness. The second will on the social responses to people with mental illness. In this course, we will examine mental illness through multiple perspectives, including stigma, social structure, and deviance. We will explore how the definitions of mental illness have changed over time and the societal response in light of these definitions. Topics will include the history of location of treatment, deinstitutionalization, and trans-institutionalization. Topics will be examined through legal, social, demographic, and personal factors. We will integrate these factors by a focus on diversion programs for criminal justice involved individuals.


"What is man born for," asked Ralph Waldo Emerson, "but to be a Reformer?" The urge to remake society, to perfect democracy and humanity, has inspired people to take action throughout U.S. history. This course will examine the ideas, the efforts, and the social impact of various reform movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students will explore the conditions and problems that gave rise to each movement as well as the reformers' strategies for change. Students will also examine what made these reform movements more or less effective, and what impact these movements had on the wider society. The reform movements will include antislavery, women's rights, labor and socialism, and religious fundamentalism.


THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS~What is happiness? Is it something which can actually be "pursued"? If so, how? What are the factors which contribute to human happiness? Inhibit it? What can we do, as a practical matter, to increase happiness (both our own and others')? Isn't the topic just trendy and frivolous? An increasing cadre of scholars from a variety of disciplines, not to mention the "founding fathers" of the United States don't/didn't think so. (e.g. "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"). This course will explore these and related issues.


THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ~ What is happiness? Is it actually something that can be “pursued”? If so, how? What are the factors that contribute to happiness? Inhibit it? What can we do, as a practical matter, to increase happiness (both our own and others)? Isn’t the whole topic just trendy and frivolous? An increasing cadre of scholars from a variety of disciplines, not to mention the “founding fathers” of the United States don’t/didn’t think so (e.g. “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (italics added). This course, MAIS 5262, “The Pursuit of Happiness,” will explore these and related issues. In keeping with the interdisciplinary nature of the MAIS program, the course will examine historical, philosophical, psychological, economic, religious and geographical/cultural perspectives on happiness. More specifically, as a result of this course, students will develop an understanding of the diversity of views that exist relative to the nature of happiness, as well as common themes and perspectives that many scholars seem to share about this timeless and intriguing topic. Additionally, and importantly, students will learn strategies for assessing and increasing both their own personal happiness, and that of the “communities” of which they are members.

MAIS 52630:  CHANGE: POL & ECON GLOBAL POV:  4 Hour(s)  

LEVERAGING CHANGE~THE POLITICS AND ECONOMICS OF GLOBAL POVERTY AND HEALTH CARE: This course will be offered in conjunction with Hiram's Center for Literature and Medicine's annual summer symposium. The symposium will address critical topics in international health care and issues of disparity within the U.S. health care system, paying attention to the political and economic forces that contribute to these health care disparities/inequalities. It will focus on potential solutions to the many problems that exist and how humanities, especially literature and the arts, might contribute to those solutions. During the symposium, participants will engage with researchers, health care professionals, humanities and social science scholars, and artists.

MAIS 52640:  LEADERSHIP THEORY:  3 Hour(s)  

LEADERSHIP THEORY~ This course will examine various leadership theories which were developed from one of two major research approaches which tend to be psychologically driven-measuring, for example, traits and behavior-or- sociocultural driven-measuring power, gender, and social relations influence. Students will examine and discuss as well as compare and contrast the leadership theories strengths, weaknesses, and appropriateness. Students will be encouraged to research leadership in education, non-profit, and private sectors. Discussions on this research will focus on the differences and similarities of leaders in each of these sectors.


MODERNITY AND THE AMERICAN CITY~ The history of the modern American city is marked by the increasing segmentation of daily life: the effort to impose order on the urban landscape through the creation of distinct sites of experience. The public is increasingly separated from the private, zoning regulation assigns discrete activities and functions to individual spaces, commercial activity profits from the distinction between masculine and feminie spaces. This course will generate an interdisciplinary understanding of urban life through the examination of film, literature, and history. It will look at the segmentation and differentiation of urban space, and the ways that the creation of new types of spaces opened up opportunities for new identities, new desires, new anxieties. Of particular concern will be the segmentation of the inner life of urban dwellers, the anomie and alienation that results as people confront the compartmentalization of urban life.


SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF HUMAN VARIABILITY~ This course provides a critical examination of the social construction of disability, comparing alternative models and definitions of disability (medical, cultural minority, human variation) to examine how each accounts for the dynamics of contemporary life for people who differ from the norm. We will explore classic empirical research and new theoretical developments on the topics of stigma, self-identity, and intergroup relations, as well as disability prejudice, discrimination, and current controversies, including genetic testing and assisted suicide. Instead of focusing on issues of rehabilitation, this seminar addresses the social and cultural influences impacting what it means to be human, healthy, and valued. Conferences will stimulate critical thinking about ourselves our values, judgments and interaction patterns-by disentangling the complexities involved with impairment and the social determinants of disability.


WOLVES AND CIVILIZATION~ By surveying the representation of the wolf in history, myth, folklore, natural history, and popular culture, this course seeks to examine the complexities of the natural and political relationship between humans and wolves. We will use these varying fields to analyze the ideology that now constitutes our understanding of the wolf. We will examine the virtual extinction of the wolf in the lower 48 states of America and why some people want to re-introduce the wolf. Wolves have been re-introduced in Yellowstone, and they have also been reintroduced in the Southwest. Wolves are also beginning to “spontaneously” reintroduce themselves into Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. As human development has spread and wolf populations expand to include a tiny of fraction of their original territory, there is now a tremendous amount of interest in wolves and wolf reintroduction. The readings also demonstrate how the lives of humans and wolves are deeply connected to the margin and the mainstream of our society. For hundreds of years our country engaged in a sometime organized campaign to exterminate the wolf. The ferocity and sadism of hundreds of years of wolf slaughter calls out for intellectual inquiry. With wolves now making reclaiming some former habitat in the lower 48 states, we now ask why this mysterious yet social animal has provoked such violence, compassion, and interest. This course examines the natural history of the wolf as well as the history of civilization’s constructed perception of the wolf. By looking at how ideas change over time, we will learn how the perception of the wolf has changed and how American culture has evolved. As a student in the humanities, sciences, or social sciences, it is crucial to understand that all ideas have histories that change over time. By becoming familiar with the intellectual history of the wolf, you will realize the importance of understanding all dimensions of this or any other political or social issue. For example, the re-introduction of wolves is very controversial; there are those who see the wolf as a threat to livestock and thus their way of life, and there are those who believe that we should try to restore wolves to as much of their natural habitat as possible.


THINKING ABOUT THINKING: AN INQUIRY INTO THE HUMAN BRAIN~ Neuroscience is a fast-growing interdisciplinary field, combining research, methodology, and theory from Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Philosophy, Ethics, Computer Science and more. Further, the development of new and improved research tools, such as neuroimaging, have been used by neuroscientists to gain greater insight to brain activity when engaging in various behaviors. But are neuroscientists going too far with their claims? And given media spin on these claims, how is the lay public to know what to believe? This course will critically examine claims made by neuroscientists, as well as the popular media which often interprets and generalizes these claims inaccurately. Students will gain an appreciation for what Neuroscience can – and cannot – reveal about the brain and behavior, while enhancing and utilizing their skeptical inquiry skills as they evaluate primary literature sources and their popular media interpretations.


WETLAND PLANT IDENTIFICATION AND APPLICATIONS~ An intensive field based course on the identification of sedges, rushes, and grasses typically found in wetlands of the midwest and northeast and their use in delineating and assessing conditions of wetland quality. The course not only emphasizes the key morphological features needed to navigate taxonomic keys, but also emphasizes the most commonly encountered graminoids and other wetland species.

MAIS 52710:  THE THIRD SECTOR:  4 Hour(s)  

The Third Sector: Historical, Cultural, Social Perspectives. Practically every facet of modern American life is touched by a relationship with nonprofit organizations. In fact, Jon Van Til notes in his article "Nonprofit Organizations and Social Institutions" that our fundamental cultural institutions of family, church and school have been profoundly shaped by the emergence of the nonprofit sector in America. In this course, we will examine the rise of the Third Sector that exists outside of the Private (for- profit) and Public (government) sectors known alternatively as "independent" and "nonprofit." In addition to exploring the rise of nonprofits in the United States from a historical perspective, we will examine: 1) the scope of the Third Sector in American society and how it has influenced our social and cultural infrastructure; 2) issues regarding the economic role of nonprofits in our marketplace; 3) political and legal considerations within and beyond the sector; 4) the growing connections, competition and collaborations between the three sectors in recent years; and 5) the current state of nonprofits in America and around the world, as well as emerging cultures and opportunities that face the Sector.

MAIS 52750:  AMERICAN WOMANHOOD:  3 Hour(s)  

AMERICAN WOMANHOOD: MARKET REVOLUTION TO THE CIVIL WAR ~ This course examines a variety of lived experiences (the social roles) of women in the United States from roughly 1820-1860. As a pre-market farm and subsistence economy gave way to a market economy, Americans saw the concurrent rise of a consumer culture and middle class, and a decline in family- or home-based work. The desirable role of women came under debate, with some insisting they should inhabit the “separate sphere” of home, where their superior qualities of virtue and nurturing could create a sanctuary for husbands now needing refuge from the harsh and competitive masculine world of work outside the home. Some Americans promoted the middle class premise that a female “cult of domesticity” was normative and should prevail in the largely feminine space of home. Many other women’s lives ran counter to that narrative, however, and this course also exposes students to a wide variety of those experiences by revealing the complications that class, race, region, ethnicity, or urban environments imposed. Topics examined include northern women’s role in the formation of the middle class (including their participation in revivals and reform), black and white women in the plantation South, working women in northern or southern urban environments (black and white), the “Lowell girls” in the New England textile mills (both from New England farm families and Irish immigrants), southern Native American women’s experience, and the choice to remain single in middle and upper class women of the Northeast.

MAIS 52800:  SEM::  3 Hour(s)  
MAIS 53810:  INDEPENDENT STUDY:  1-4 Hour(s)  


MAIS 55700:  STUDY ABROAD:  1-4 Hour(s)  
MAIS 55790:  PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT:  1-4 Hour(s)  

PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT~In this course, students will work with individual faculty to develop their capstone proposals. Proposals must be approved by the Graduate Studies Council before students may register for the capstone course.

MAIS 55800:  CAPSTONE:  2-4 Hour(s)  

CAPSTONE~ the Capstone Course creates opportunities for reflection, demonstration of competence in meeting self imposed milestones, integration of the student's experience in doing interdisciplinary work, and peer editing of the Capstone Project. Students must have the Proposal for the Capstone Project approved by the Graduate Studies Council prior to enrolling in the Capstone Course.

MAIS 55820:  CAPSTONE II:  1-4 Hour(s)  

Course Description: CAPSTONE II: Students in this course will continue to work on the MAIS capstone and will provide feedback to each other on capstone drafts.


INTERDISCIPLINARY INQUIRY~ Students in this course will explore the nature and process of interdisciplinary inquiry. Students will consider the value and uses of interdisciplinary inquiry in answering significant questions. Students will explore the approaches of scholars in different disciplines and will examine the ways in which scholarship from different disciplines can be integrated to answer significant questions and yield new knowledge. Text: Allen Repko, Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory.


INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH ~ Students in this course will plan and complete a research project that requires the analysis of scholarship in two disciplines and the integration of insights from these two disciplines to answer a significant question. Pre-requisite: MAIS 57100 INTERDISCIPLINARY INQUIRY

Prerequisite: MAIS 57100


METHODS AND APPROACHES OF DISCIPLINES~This course will expose students to a particular discipline or related disciplines and explore the particular disciplinary perspective and insights that the disciplinary perspective tends to produce. Students will examine the various assumptions and theories of the discipline, phenomena the discipline generally engages, and methods for producing and evaluating discipline-related insights.


CONTACT & CONFLICT: EARLY AMERICAN LITERATURE (BEGINNINGS TO 1820) ~ American Literature, particularly before 1820, was a time of genesis--of contact (and subsequent conflict) between human beings sharing this space that we now call the United States. We will examine the historical, political, religious, and pre/post-societal implications that spurned the literature of this time period. With a 21st century lens, we will explore various forms of literary criticism of readings by authors such as Mary Rowlandson, Red Jacket, Benjamin Franklin, and Olaudah Equiano.

MAIS 59800:  INTERNSHIP:  4 Hour(s)