Liberal Studies Seminars

Each year, Duke GLS offers a wide array of Liberal Studies (LS) Seminars developed exclusively for its students, including the GLS core course.  Students in the program also can take graduate courses from across campus, and up to two 200-level or higher undergraduate courses.  For further details about course grades and requirements, see the RegistrationDegree Requirements or Academic Policies pages.  

Instructor:
Deborah T. Gold
LS 780-30
Summer 2018
Mondays, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Perkins LINK 070 (Seminar 4)
Begins *May 16 - Ends July 23 (*Monday classes start on Wed., May 15)
Show Details

The purpose of this course is to describe and analyze the adult life course from the transition to adulthood and continuing through old age and death.  The course is divided into three sections. 

Section One includes an examination of the age structures of developed and developing nations, focusing on the meaning of an aging population for the future of the U.S.  Section Two reviews social, psychological, and social psychological aspects of the human life course from the transition to adulthood through middle age.  In particular, it identifies the developmental challenges of young adulthood (finding one’s identity, establishing an intimate relationship), and middle age (developing generativity) as well as the social adaptation of each (finding a job and getting married in young adulthood; caring for parents and reaching occupational summits in middle age).  Section Three concentrates on late life, again viewing changes from social (retirement, widowhood) and psychological (ego integrity, wisdom, life review) perspectives.

About Deborah T. Gold
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Sociology, Psychology & Neuroscience

Deborah T. Gold is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center, where she is also a Senior Fellow of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. Professor Gold received her B.A. in English and Latin from the University of Illinois, her M.Ed. in Reading from National Louis University, and her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Her primary research interests are in the psychological and social consequences of chronic disease in the elderly.  She has done seminal research on osteoporosis and its impact on quality of life.  She has also studied the psychosocial impact of breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, syncope, head and neck cancer, Paget’s disease of bone, and dementia in older adults. Her current research examines compliance and persistence with medications for older adults with chronic illnesses.

Summer 2018
Study Away
Show Details

GLS Students may apply to one of four summer programs at Oxford for Duke credit. Duke tuition of $3945 will be billed via the bursar according to the summer billing schedule. Program fees, accommodations, and application deadlines vary according to program. All application materials and payment for program fees must be submitted to GLS, not Oxford. Director Donna Zapf will provide letters of reference. Questions should be directed to Lisa Robinson Bailey (llrb@duke.edu). Please note that the International Politics Summer School is two-week course; all other courses are three weeks.

English Literature Summer School, Exeter College, July 1-21

  • Deadline to submit application to GLS: February 1, 2018
  • Program fees/room and board, shared facilities: $2300
  • Program fees/room and board, en suite (limited availability): $2700
  • Non-refundable deposit due by application deadline: $500

Complete course information and application: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/english-literature-summer-school?cod...

History, Politics and Society Summer School, Exeter College, July 1-21

  • Deadline to submit application to GLS: February 1, 2018
  • Program fees/room and board, shared facilities: $2300
  • Program fees/room and board, en suite (limited availability): $2700
  • Non-refundable deposit due by application deadline: $500

Complete course information and application: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/history-politics-society-summer-scho...

Creative Writing Summer School, Exeter College, July 22-August 11

  • Deadline to submit application to GLS: February 1, 2018
  • Program fees/room and board, shared facilities: $2300
  • Program fees/room and board, en suite (limited availability): $2700
  • Non-refundable deposit due by application deadline: $500

Note: Creative writing courses are offered at two levels. Level 1 courses are suitable for applicants who have completed one year of a full-time university degree course in creative writing or English literature. Level 2 is suitable for applicants who have completed two years of a full-time university degree course in creative writing or English literature. Please note that the summer school is not appropriate for those who have already achieved publication. You will need to submit samples of your work samples of your work which demonstrate your powers of creative expression. See the Oxford International Summer Schools website for specific guidelines for submitting you writing samples: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/creative-writing-summer-school?code=...

International Politics Summer School, St. Antony’s College, July 29-August 11

  • Deadline to submit application to GLS: February 1, 2018
  • Room and board, en suite: $1950*
  • Room and board, shared facilities: $1550
  • Non-refundable deposit due by application deadline: $500

*At St. Antony’s College, students normally will have a single study bedroom with private bathroom facilities; a limited number of standard rooms with shared bathroom facilities is also available for a reduced fee as listed above.

Complete course information and application: https://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/courses/international-politics-summer-school...

Explanation of Tuition and Program Fees:

Duke Tuition - $3945. Tuition will be charged to your bursar account and is due according to summer tuition schedule. This is the only part of the cost covered by GLS scholarship. Students wishing to make installment payment (Duke tuition portion ONLY), must be enrolled in the TMS plan. See www.bursar.duke.edu 

Program fees include access to Oxford’s IT facilities and the Continuing Education Library; accommodations, and meals (except lunch on Saturday and Sunday). You are responsible for your travel costs.

Applications must be received in the GLS office by the deadline noted above for each program. A non-refundable advance deposit of $500 is due by February 1 and may be paid to your bursar account via e-check (please select the "Nonrefundable Advance Deposit" option and specify that your advance deposit be applied against the summer 1 term). The balance will be billed with tuition via the bursar in mid-April and is due by May 12.

Cancellations:

All enrollments are subject to Oxford University Department for Continuing Education’s Terms and Conditions for Course Registration and Fee Payment. A contract between OUDCE and a student comes into being when an offer of a place on the summer school is made.

You have the right to cancel this contract at any time within 14 days, beginning on the day you received the offer, by declining the offer of a place. If you wish to cancel your place on the summer school you must inform the Oxford program administrator (Jacqueline Darvill) by email, as well as the GLS Office, dukegls@duke.edu.

Please be aware that if you cancel your place at any time after the expiry of the 14-day period you will not be entitled to a refund of the price paid for the summer school. Should you withdraw from the program after the 14-day cancellation period, you are responsible for the entire amount noted on Oxford’s website, payable in USD and at the exchange rate at the time of cancellation, to Duke University GLS.

You are expected to take out vacation cancellation insurance (to cover the total program fees and travel costs), and you should consult your travel agent and/or insurer for information and advice. Please note that Oxford University Department of Continuing Education does not provide any insurance coverage.

 

Instructor:
Susan Thorne
LS 780-88
Spring 2018
Thursdays, 6:15 - 8:45 PM
GLS Conference Room
Show Details

The enduring power of Charles Dickens’ representation of urban crime was on regular display in the critical response to The Wire (HBO 2002-2007), which is regarded by many as still the “greatest television series of all time.” The series is a graphic representation of the horrendous violence generated by the war on drugs in Baltimore, Maryland, the “murder capital” of the United States.  It is difficult to imagine a world further removed from the Victorian nostalgia of the Dickens presented in Masterpiece Theatre much less Hollywood productions of Oliver Twist, the novel to which the series is most often compared.  Critics on both shores of the Atlantic have referred to The Wire as “Dickens for the 21st Century.”    “If Charles Dickens were alive today, he would watch The Wire, unless, that is, he was already writing for it.”  This course embraces the comparative invitation issued in such reviews.  It juxtaposes these two tales about crime as well as the very different cities in which each is set: early Victorian London and present day Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to these comparisons, we will also try to account for Dickens’ enduring relevance, the longevity of Dickensian ways of seeing crime, childhood, and the city.  Why—and how—does Dickens continue to matter? 

Requirements

Informed participation in class discussions (30%)

Students are expected to view The Wire in its entirety (5 seasons, about 50 episodes) outside of class, while reading Dickens’s Oliver Twist, in addition to the interdisciplinary assortment of scholarly works and investigative journalism accessible via the class website.

Students will submit weekly paragraph to page reactions to each week’s reading assignments on discussion board forums (required but not graded)

Group project (30%)

Research paper (40%)

About Susan Thorne
History

Susan Thorne, Associate Professor of History, teaches courses on the social history of Britain and the British Empire, and on the history of European expansion more generally. She is currently working on Charles Dickens’ influence on Anglo American “ways of seeing” the children of the urban poor.  The Dickensian Affect:  Reckonings with Reform in Early Victorian Southwark (in progress) juxtaposes Dickens’s representation of criminal poverty and urban childhood in his most popular novel, Oliver Twist (1837-8) to archival accounts generated by the poor law’s reform during the 1830s and hungry ‘40s. 

Instructor:
R. Larry Todd
LS 770-95
Spring 2018
Wednesdays, 6:15 - 8:45 PM
Mary Duke Biddle 104
Show Details

*New Course*

The long arc of Western music has traced a rich history from the Middle Ages to the present marked by recurring cycles of tradition and innovation, consolidation, and renewal.  Discovering Music offers an introduction to this history by focusing on selected works for listening and discussion, ranging from an anonymous chant of the fifth century to a violin concerto by the Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina from our own century.  Beginning with a review of the basic elements of Western music (pitch, rhythm, texture, dynamics, and timbre), the course will proceed chronologically from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods, and twentieth-century modernism and post-modernism, tracing how Western music evolved as it became increasingly complex and emancipated.  Along the way, we will consider many of the principal composers who, each in their own way, contributed to this history, why their music is significant, and how to listen to it.  Among these composers, to mention a few, are Hildegard of Bingen,  Machaut, Josquin, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Fanny Hensel, Chopin, Wagner, Brahms, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Amy Beach, Mahler, Debussy, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Bartók, Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Leonard Bernstein.

The principal text for the course is my Discovering Music, recently released from Oxford University Press, and available in print and e-book forms.  Discovering Music includes an online platform (OUP Dashboard) with streaming audio and interactive listening maps for the music under discussion, supplemental videos by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Peabody Conservatory of Music, as well as several short vignette-like videos recorded at Duke on several related topics, and other supporting materials.  Assignments will include regular listening and discussion, and a term paper, to be presented in condensed form to the class at the end of the semester.  A primary goal of the course is to enhance how students relate intellectually and emotionally with music, whether from the canon of Western classical music or beyond.

About R. Larry Todd
Music
Instructor:
Frank Lentricchia
LS 770-93
Spring 2018
Wednesdays, 6:30 - 9:00 PM
GLS Conference Room
Show Details

*New Course*

The Italian films we’ll view and discuss may be films you’ve never seen or perhaps even heard of. Ready for adventure? Nevertheless, they are among the most powerful and influential films ever made. They cover a revolutionary period of “neo-realism” from the late 40s through the late 60s, beginning with documentary-like revelations of lower class struggles (De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves) which present lives determined and undermined by harsh economic conditions, to films which move to highly imaginative explorations of subjective interiors (Fellini’s 8 1/2) and cultural and psychological terrain inaccessible to strictly realist techniques.

Typically, talk and writing about film tends to proceed as if film and literary narratives are indistinguishable. Plot, story, character, and dialogue are the subjects of such so-called film commentary without reference to the fact that its unique, non-literary medium is what makes film what it is. Film, to put it bluntly, is not literary fiction. Consequently, in this course we will focus on how the actual visual image is crafted to shape and reveal the film-maker’s intention to tell stories that cannot be told by strictly literary means.  The film-makers we’ll study:  DeSica, Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti, Germi.

Several short essays required, along with faithful attendance.

About Frank Lentricchia
Literature

Frank Lentricchia, a novelist and literary critic, is the Katharine Everett Gilbert Professor Emeritus of Literature.  He received his Ph.D. from Duke in 1966 and has taught at UCLA, UC-Irvine and Rice University.  He has taught poetry, film, literature, and fiction courses.

Instructor:
Abdul Sattar Shakhly
LS 770-94
Spring 2018
Mondays, 6:15 - 8:45 PM
GLS Conference Room
Show Details

*New Course*

This course explores and examines the tradition of mysticism in literature of world, British, and American writers. The objective is to introduce students to numerous genres and literary works that manifest a deep religious attitude or experience as a way of life and cross-cultural phenomenon. The course will focus on selected works of Dante, Milton, Blake, Wordsworth, and American Transcendentalists and their predecessors in Muslim Spain, such as Ibn Arabi, Abu Al Ala’a Al Ma’arri, and Rumi among other Sufi poets.

Close readings of texts will reveal the recurrent theme: “the direct, intuitional experience of God through unifying love”.

About Abdul Sattar Shakhly
Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Instructor:
Thomas Robisheaux
LS 780-35
Summer 2016
Tuesdays, 6:00-9:00 PM
GLS Conference Room
Show Details

Have you ever wondered why magical knowledge is forbidden, and yet pervasive in our culture at different times? Have you paused to consider what claims religion can make about human affairs, the natural world or the supernatural? Have you ever asked why science commands such authority and even awe? Or have you wondered how religion has at times driven on scientific inquiry and, at other times, curiously dismissed robust scientific theories?

This seminar explores these questions by looking at the ways that three ways of understanding our world—magic, religion and science—have intersected in surprising and creative ways in our culture. The seminar explores selected episodes in our history when the boundaries between these ways of knowing unsettled understandings about nature, the divine and even the supernatural. Topics might include: Renaissance wonder and naturalism; the puzzle about Galileo and religion; witchcraft as a rational way of coping with the world; Romanticism and nature; the first “scientific” religion (Spiritualism); early psychology and its ties with the occult and the paranormal; the curious renaissance of occultism in our own day; the conflict between “creationism” and Darwinism; and religion as a product of evolution. A special unit will focus on the Laboratory for Parapsychology at Duke University (1930-65) and the efforts to make psychical research into a field of modern psychology..  Over and over we will encounter such paradoxes as the uses of science to detect the supernatural; the “magical” underpinnings of both religion and science; and living in a “disenchanted” modern society.

The course may not answer all of our questions, but the aim is to understand the long history behind our current ways of knowing, and how they are shaped by culture and society. Approaches to the topic will include anthropology, history and the history of science, psychology, religious studies, and literature.

Readings involve a variety of secondary and primary sources and may change depending upon availability. Books may include: Ian Barbour, Religion in an Age of Science: Historical and Contemporary Issues;; Edward J. Larson, Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate over Science and Religion (1997); David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, ed., When Science and Christianity Meet (2003); Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder (1998); Charles Webster, From Paracelsus to Newton: Magic and the Making of Modern Science; Lawrence Wright, Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory (Vintage Books); Thomas Robisheaux, The Last Witch of Langenburg (New York, 2009); Ann Braude, Radical Spirits: Spiritualism and Women’s Rights in Nineteenth Century America; Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust: A Tragedy, Part One (Yale University Press); and Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men (HarperCollins); Deborah Blum, Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof After Death (New York, 2006).

Writing assignments will total about 25-30 pages, and will include a combination of short essays and a longer research paper.

About Thomas Robisheaux
History

Thomas Robisheaux, Fred W. Shaffer Professor of History, is an historian of early modern Europe. Dr. Robisheaux has particular interests in social and cultural history, German-speaking Central Europe, Renaissance culture, religious reform, popular religion and culture, and microhistory.

Instructor:
Trudi Abel
LS 780-96
Summer 2016
Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00
TBD
Show Details

*New Course*

Nearly 97 years ago and into the 1930s, Frank C. Brown, a Duke scholar, began recording North Carolina folk music and archiving it for posterity.  NC Jukebox will give students the chance to explore the cultural history of North Carolina and the South past through analog and digital archival material through the digitized recordings in the Frank Brown Collection at the Rubenstein Rare Book and Special Collections Library.

Through analyzing digitized historical materials—both texts and vintage audio--and researching in local collections, students will create new interpretations of North Carolina’s cultural history and present these to a wider public through new media. The course will integrate readings in folklore, history, and ethnomusicology. No prior technology experience is expected.

Course participants will submit weekly responses to the readings on our course blog, contribute to class discussions, develop an introductory assignment on a primary source (e.g. a song/singer from the Frank Brown Collection), a research project proposal, and create a final research project/paper with a new media component.  There will be an optional field trip to The Orchards at Altapass (http://www.altapassorchard.org/events_calendar.shtml).

 

About Trudi Abel
Duke University Libraries

Trudi Abel is a cultural historian and Rubenstein Library archivist at Duke who created the Digital Durham (http://digitaldurham.duke.edu), a web repository for primary sources relating to Durham from the post-Civil War decades to the present. Currently, Dr. Abel co-directs the NC Jukebox Project with Victoria Szabo (AAHVS). Over the past decade, Dr. Abel has taught Consumer Culture in America and Digital Durham and the New South for the MALS Program. In the summer of 2016, she will offer NC Jukebox, a cross-disciplinary course in which students use new technologies and digitized audio recordings to create fresh interpretation of the history of North Carolina and its roots music.

Instructor:
Deborah T. Gold
LS 780-89
Summer 2016
Mondays, 6:00-9:00 PM
TBD
Show Details

The purpose of this course is to examine the biopsychosocial perspectives of old age and how they influence the dying process.  Although we will examine real-life data on these topics, the focus of the course is to see how biopsychosocial phenomena are represented in fiction, with emphasis on their presence in novels and popular film.  The course is divided into several subsections.  These will include “Theories of Aging and Death,” “Gender in Aging and Death,” “Physical and Cognitive Decline in Aging” and “Extending Life by Preventing Death.”

We will document real-life issues of aging and death through an examination of the age structures of developed and developing nations, focusing on the meaning of an aging population for the future of the U.S.  As most deaths in the US occur in older people, it is important to link these two phenomena on both a theoretical and pragmatic bases.  Keeping the themes of aging and death as constants over the semester, we will examine issues of retirement, relationships and love in late life and among the dying, off-time death, and modern medical intervention with dying patients. We will also discuss institutional differences (i.e., between nursing homes for aging and hospice for dying) and what twenty-first century America must do to prepare for the soon-to-be old and dying baby boomers.  Students will each write a final research paper on a topic discussed during the class.

About Deborah T. Gold
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; Sociology, Psychology & Neuroscience

Deborah T. Gold is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Sociology, and Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center, where she is also a Senior Fellow of the Duke Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development. Professor Gold received her B.A. in English and Latin from the University of Illinois, her M.Ed. in Reading from National Louis University, and her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Her primary research interests are in the psychological and social consequences of chronic disease in the elderly.  She has done seminal research on osteoporosis and its impact on quality of life.  She has also studied the psychosocial impact of breast cancer, Parkinson’s disease, syncope, head and neck cancer, Paget’s disease of bone, and dementia in older adults. Her current research examines compliance and persistence with medications for older adults with chronic illnesses.

Instructor:
Susan Thorne
LS 770-34
Fall 2016
Thursdays, 6:15-8:45 PM, Sept. 1-Dec. 1 (no class on Nov. 24)
Carr 242
Show Details

The U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan has prompted considerable reflection on the ethics and efficacy of US foreign policy.  This course locates these discussions in the very broad historical context of Europe’s colonial from Columbus to the present. We will be focusing primarily if not exclusively on the ways in which Empire(s) transformed European culture at least as much as the European colonial powers transformed colonial cultures and the cultures of colonized populations.  To what extent was Western civilization itself a product of the colonial encounter?  What role did colonialism play in the industrial revolution, on which Europe’s global dominance would increasingly depend? What role did the colonies play in making the European working class “safe” for democracy?  How has political culture in the overdeveloped world been affected by postcolonial migrations?  And, finally, what lessons might be drawn from the history of previous colonial encounters regarding the legal and ethical bases, as well as future prospects, of what some have begun to call the present age of American Empire?

Assignments include weekly posts of your reaction to the readings and an independent research paper.

About Susan Thorne
History

Susan Thorne, Associate Professor of History, teaches courses on the social history of Britain and the British Empire, and on the history of European expansion more generally. She is currently working on Charles Dickens’ influence on Anglo American “ways of seeing” the children of the urban poor.  The Dickensian Affect:  Reckonings with Reform in Early Victorian Southwark (in progress) juxtaposes Dickens’s representation of criminal poverty and urban childhood in his most popular novel, Oliver Twist (1837-8) to archival accounts generated by the poor law’s reform during the 1830s and hungry ‘40s. 

Pages