Cultural Diversity

56:606:541:90 The History of Racial, Religious, and Ethnic Groups in the United States
Instructor: Professor Bramson

This course analyzes in a comparative manner the historical experience of different races, religious, and ethnic groups in the United States from contact to the modern era. Special attention is paid to gender, class, legal status, political status and education. Some of the groups that could be studied are American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslim Americans, or a European ethnic group.

Book List:

  • Frederick E. Hoxie and Peter Iverson, eds., Indians in American History: An Introduction, 2nd ed., ISBN 978-0882959399.
  • Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, A History of Islam in America, ISBN 978-0-521-61487-0.
  • Robin D. G. Kelley and Earl Lewis eds., To Make Our World Anew, vol 2., ISBN 978-0195181357
  • Ronald Takaki, Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans, rev. ed. ISBN 0-316-83130-1.

Faculty Profile: Dr. Loni Bramson
Dr. Loni Bramson has a BA in History from Bryn Mawr College, an MA in Postsecondary Education Administration from Portland State University and a PhD in History and Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. Her father was career Air Force, so she grew up in Europe, Africa, Canada, and the United States. She has taught in colleges and universities in Nigeria, Belgium, and the United States and has extensive distance education experience with military students. She teaches in the fields of History, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies. Since 2000 she has served as an editor for the peer-reviewed e-journal, The Journal of International Women’s Studies. Currently, she lives in Oregon and is taking advantage of living walking distance from a public library, reading as much as she can in English before her next move abroad.

Studies of the Arts & Literature

56:606:612:90 Meatspace Invaders
Online (Advanced Undergraduate Class)
Instructor: Professor Ervin

When Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

he did so in a poem and not in a Facebook post or tweet, and yet even our most commonplace technologies today demonstrate the profundity of Whitman’s insight about what it means to be human. Variations of our multitudinous selves exist concurrently IRL and across increasingly more digital platforms, such as on social media and in persistent-world video games. Using Camden, New Jersey’s most famous son for inspiration, the objective of our course will be to better understand what it means today to contain multitudes. Starting with the notion of “Zen-ness” as introduced in DoubleFine’s 2013 video game The Cave, Meatspace Invaders will ask students of the DS Certificate program to to consider the spiritual ramifications of their technological habits. It will ultimately be a cross-disciplinary class of self-exploration, albeit it that allows us to question exactly what the “self” means in the digital age. Class time will take place inside World of Warcraft. Combing elements of play, research, reading, and meditation (which we might also think of as flow or eustress), the course will help us better appreciate the ultimate interface experiences: those of ourselves to the world and to each other.

Studies of Politics and Society

56:606:621:90 Politics of Terrorism
Instructor: Professor Snow

An analysis of the use of terror as a form of political expression and strategy. The course will investigate terrorism from institutional and historical perspectives, focusing on the level of threat to the United States from domestic terrorists and Al Queda, as well as tactics, weapons, aims, and the rationality of terror. Other topics include state-sponsored terrorism, and the consequences and tactics of counter-terrorism.

Faculty Profile: Steven Snow
Dr. Snow earned a BA from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Washington. He has conducted research in Kenya, Panama and Spain, and has published the results in journals of anthropology, political sociology, political economy, and international relations, among others. In 1996-1997 Dr. Snow was a Fulbright Fellow, at Santa María la Antigua University, Panama City, Panama.

Philosophy and Religion

56:606:641:90 Gods and Monsters
Instructor: Professor Salyer

We experience power in some form everyday, yet we rarely think critically about the role it plays in our lives. Gods and monsters symbolize the extreme poles of our understandings of power and thus serve as instructive benchmarks for this interdisciplinary exploration. The course approaches the study of power from theoretical (e.g., philosophical, political, sociological, and historical), literary, and artistic perspectives and applies these understandings to issues in the public sphere. Some of the questions we will ask include: How are gods and monsters made and what cultural functions do they serve? What is power? How is it created, maintained, and distributed? How does power change? How is power gendered? Readings will include religious analyses of anthropomorphism, Freud on religion the Id, Medieval literary criticism on monsters, Nietzsche on the will to power and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Michel de Certeau on belief, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the Book of Job, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Ceremony, and various articles on the social construction of gender.

Faculty Profile: Greg Salyer
Greg Salyer has taught literature, philosophy, religious studies, and interdisciplinary humanities at small colleges, regional universities, and Boston University, where he developed and administered their online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program. Greg is the author of Leslie Marmon Silko, a study of the prominent Laguna Pueblo writer’s work, and the co-editor of Literature and Theology at Century’s End. He has published many essays and given numerous presentations on Native American literature, contemporary fiction, and literature and religion. He received his Ph.D. from Emory University in literary theory, contemporary fiction, and religious studies. Greg has been teaching online since 2000.


56:606:689:90 Capstone Research
Instructor: Professor Charmé

Description: Independent study of special interest to the student, under supervision of an advisor chosen by the student in consultation with the program director.

Research in Liberal Studies

For Pearson Managed Students
Instructor: Professor Charmé

See Professor Charme for details.