Spring 2019 Course Descriptions

Registration for current students will open November 5 in OnePort.
The registration access number (RAN) for current students is 201910.


MLAS 500: The Human Condition: The Literature of Witness

CRN: 10686
Instructor: Carolyn Ogburn
Mondays, 6-8:30pm, KAR 033

We live an era of reality television and “fake” news, a time in which even talk of the weather becomes a point of contentious debate, and we dream of a time when a reader could trust what was true. But has there ever been such a time? We’ll consider what social, political, and cultural frames shape our understanding of what we see, starting with W. J. T. Mitchell’s point that “Whatever a picture is…we ourselves are in it.” Using texts from Ibram X. Kendi, C.D. Wright, Tyehinda Jess, Hannah Arendt, Deborah Miranda, David George Haskell, Eli Clare, Robert Macfarlane, and others, this course will examine what it is to see, interpret, understand the world around us: that is, to witness.

ENG 520: The Discipline of “I”: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop

CRN: 10161
Instructor: Tommy Hays
Thursdays, 6-8:30pm, KAR 033

When we write about ourselves, whether childhood or adult experiences, we can’t simply say “I” and assume the reader conjures us and the world we know. We must look to craft
to help us step back from “I” in order to write convincingly, to make our world accessible. We have to meet the reader on the common ground of the senses, embodying
our memoirs or personal essays through fictional techniques such as narration, description, point of view, scene, dialogue and detail. In this workshop, we will study
published creative nonfiction forms and we’ll write our own pieces. We’ll do exercises, in-class and out, to help access those recent moments or distant memories we want to
mine. If we work hard, we just might be lucky enough to run into that vaguely familiar stranger coming from the other direction, who, on second glance, is us.

The text we will be using is The Truth of the Matter by Dinty W. Moore.

ECS 573: World Wastes: Issues and Solutions

CRN: 11464
Instructor: Gerard Voos
Tuesdays, 6-8:30pm, KAR 245

Waste affects every level of our society and the developing world. Unhealthy, unsightly, and/or olfactory-challenging conditions are created by the inappropriate (and oftentimes illegal) disposal of waste. We will explore the world of waste, from generation to reuse to disposal.  We will study the history of waste generation and disposal, and delve into the current and future status of industrial, municipal, and human wastes. Throughout the course, we will discuss the forces at play, both to minimize waste generation and to create means to properly dispose of and/or reuse waste products.

MLAS 540: Collecting and Preserving the Cultural Record: An Introduction to Archives and Special

CRN: 11175
Instructor: Gene Hyde
Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm, Special Collections Room, 2nd floor of Ramsey Library

“As archivists document modern society and its institutions, they control the past," declared archivist Terry Cook. "They shape to a major degree what society can know about itself.” This course will examine what archives and special collections are, explore what archivists actually do, and take a good look at how they work with the things they collect: manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, maps, institutional records, rare books, and “born digital” materials. The course will meet in UNCA’s Special Collections and the course will use materials from Special Collections as a lens to look at archival practice and the archival profession. Particular emphasis will be given to the history of collecting materials that document Asheville and Southern Appalachia.

MLAS 560: Learning and Intelligence: The Natural, the Social, the Artificial

CRN: 11395
Instructor: Ioan Muntean
Wednesdays, 6-8:30pm, KAR 245

Participants in this course will become aware of the learning methods in three contexts (the natural, social learning and machine learning) and of the complex nature of intelligence, both human and artificial. We approach these controversial concepts as critical thinkers, i.e., learning is highly integrated with methods of decision-making and performance in both goal-driven intelligence and problem-solving environments. Intelligence is taken as a multi-faceted skill of adapting to a variety of environments and changing these environments. We will draw heavily from the complex interrelations between learning and intelligence in the natural, the social, and the artificial cases. Understanding various forms of learning: artificial, animal, social, and cultural, will ultimately shed light on our own way of learning and evolving as human beings.

By integrating learning and intelligence in these three contexts, the course equips participants with a critical approach to how one can draw connections among engineering, social sciences, and humanities as it addresses the impacts of science and technology in jobs, social structures, justice, and globalization. We will address some questions about the future in which artificial intelligence and machine learning may be integrated with humans.

CCS 560: Visualization for Climate Change Information and Decision–Making

CRN: 10909
Instructor: Todd Pierce
Mondays, 6-8:30pm, RRO 239

This course is a survey of the theory and practice of information visualizations with a focus on climate datasets. Students will explore the art, data, and science of visualizations; human visual perception and rules of cognitive communication; best practices and standards for charts and maps; and available climate datasets. The course culminates in a student project using the Tableau application for charts and/or the Esri ArcMap and StoryMaps application for maps. Course content will be delivered through both classroom and online methods.

Independent Study Course Options

The following course listings are available by request as independent study. Students should contact their faculty advisors for guidance and required paperwork.

MLAS 610: Tutorial - 1-3 credit hours

Students may take up to 6 credit hours of 610 tutorials for elective credit.

Individual study supervised by a faculty member. Topics are chosen after consultation between student, graduate advisor and faculty member. Course may be repeated as subject matter changes for a total of 6 hours of credit. Requires permission of program director - please submit a Tutorial Request Form. Tutorials may only be used for elective credit and will appear on the academic transcript as MLAS 610.

MLAS/CCS/ENG 571-3, 671-3: Special Topics - 1-3 credit hours

Courses not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be special needs. May be repeated for credit as subject matter changes. Elective credit only. See program director.

MLAS/ENG/CCS 599: Directed Research - 1-3 credit hours

Independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor or with an interdisciplinary team of faculty. An IP grade may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor. Students may take Directed Research twice for a total of 6 hours of credit, in any combination of MLAS 599, ENG 599 and CCS 599.

MLAS 681 Capstone Project (6 credit hours- may be taken over two semesters)

Most students enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program conclude their degree requirements by writing an independent project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The graduate project is interdisciplinary in scope and reflects an emphasis or interest that the student has discovered in the MLAS program.  The Final Project, which includes but is not limited to a work of written analysis, may involve academic research, applied research or creative work. Often, students choose to amplify a paper or topic from a previous class.  The Capstone Project is a formal process that requires the development and submission of a proposal, structured study with a faculty supervisor, and exit interview with faculty supervisor and the MLAS advisor (who serves as the second reader of the project).  The completed project is retained in the MLAS archive in Ramsey Library.  (Grading S/U/IP). Students who receive an IP grade for MLAS 690 will have two (2) additional semesters in which to complete and defend their projects.