Liberal Studies

LIBS 100. Global Understanding Credit 3 (3-0)
This course allows students to learn about other cultures in a face-to-face environment without having to leave their classroom. It is designed to employ interactive technologies giving students the opportunity to communicate with students in different countries in "real time." The cultural exchange is based on both written and oral communication between classrooms of students in two different nations using videoconferencing and other digital communication tools within the classroom environment and beyond. Cross-listed with GSCP 100.

LIBS 200. Introduction to Liberal Studies Credit 3 (3-0)
This is a course that provides students with broad knowledge and a strong comprehensive understanding of ethics and civil engagement; that exposes the interconnected relationships among the disciplines, society, and humanity. This course surveys each concentration offered in the Liberal Studies Department.

LIBS 201. Introduction to Race, Class and Culture Credit 3 (3-0)
This course explores the history and theories of race and class and their impact on cultural forms.

LIBS 202. Introduction to African American Studies Credit 3(3-0)
This course is designed to provide freshmen and sophomores with a critical understanding of the field of African-American studies. The course will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective, emphasizing critical thinking and communication skills.

LIBS 203. Introduction to Women’s Studies Credit 3(3-0)
This course is designed to provide Women’s Studies concentrators with a critical understanding of the role of women in the U.S. and global economy, society and politics. It will emphasize critical thinking and communication skills through reading, writing and oral presentations.

LIBS 209. History, Literary Connections and Social Relevance of Hip-Hop Credit 3(3-0)
This course expands the course offerings of two existing LIBS Concentrations: African-American Studies and Race, Class and Culture. It draws from several disciplines within the Social Sciences and Humanities and contributes to students’ ability to critically analyze the interrelationships between popular culture and the large society.

LIBS 220. Race, Class and Environmental Quality Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the relationships between race, class and environmental quality within the context of a global economy that seeks to maximize profits while minimizing responsibility, and examines the concept of environmental justice as a means to restore positive connections within communities between environmental use and environmental quality.

LIBS 221. Genes, Race and Society Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the historical development of theories of “race” in the Western world. It provides the student with a basic understanding of the principles of evolutionary/population biology, genetics, and taxonomy as they relate to biological and social conceptions of race.

LIBS 223. African-American Culture Through Sports Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines how sports have historically formed and currently shape the contours of African-American culture. Particular attention is given to such questions as the ethical dimension of segregation, the locus of gender equity, cultural images, and their potential effects for African-American athletes and the African-American community.

LIBS 225. Race, Crime and Social Injustice Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines how social structure impacts the race-crime relationship in terms of theory, policy and practice. It explores the phenomenon from multiple perspectives, including those involved in the criminal justice process. Students are encouraged to think critically about the social construction of race and social class in crime and crime control.

LIBS 227. Race, Class and Culture in South Africa Credit 3(3-0)
This course acquaints students with the economic, social, political and cultural forces that have shaped contemporary South Africa. It explores the role of race, class, gender and culture during the apartheid and post-apartheid era. 

LIBS 230. The HIV/AIDS Crisis in Africa Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the economic, social, political and cultural forces that shape the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. It explores the reasons for Africa's high prevalence rates, the gendered nature of the pandemic, and the impact of the disease on development and on children.

LIBS 235. African-American Anti-Imperialism, 1900-1975 Credit 3(3-0)
This course addresses African-American political interventions and debates against European and U.S. colonialism and imperialism during the first three-quarters of the twentieth century. It also examines the parallel development of the U.S. civil rights movement and African-American support for African independence movements.

LIBS 236. Africana Thought and Practice Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines in depth a broad range of Black thought of scholars/activists, from W.E.B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey to Leopold Senghor and Frantz Fanon.

LIBS 239. Top Themes Afri Amer Popu Cul Credit 3(3-0)
This course provides an introduction to critical issues and theoretical approaches in the study of African American popular culture. It examines the impact that popular culture (such as television, movies, rock music, popular books and magazines, sport, holiday, festivals, and folklore) has on African American culture and how it reflects the values of Americans and the larger American society.

LIBS 241. Black Situation in TV Comedies Credit 3(3-0)
This course will provide students with the skills to critically analyze black situation comedies, from the 1950s to the present. The course will be taught from an interdisciplinary perspective (literature, history, political science, sociology, law) and emphasize critical thinking and communication skills.

LIBS 242. The Political Economy of African Americans Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an analytical examination of how political and economic forces interact to influence African American wealth. The course examines traditional African American products (i.e. music as a commodity) possessing a user or a value and an objective of production (possessing an exchange-value). Current political and economic trends will be juxtaposed with historical expropriations and exploitations. Prerequisite: LIBS 202.

LIBS 243. African Americans and Educa Credit 3(3-0)
This course will explore the complex issues of education for African Americans within a 21st century context as a manifestation of The Mis-Education of the Negro, as scribed by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1933. Students will learn the role of American schooling and compare public education, private education, and the privatization of education.

LIBS 244. The African American Male Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores the social, cultural, and political dynamics that impact the experience of the African American male in the United States. The course will focus on a variety of Black male issues from post-slavery to the 21st century that include role identification, the criminal justice system, media representations, and the educational system. Students will learn the social construction of masculinity as defined by dominant culture and the effect on the African American male.

LIBS 245. Glob Views:Black Press in Amer Credit 3(3-0)
This interdisciplinary course will review issues that appeared throughout the last century in the press of Black communities in the non-English speaking countries of the Americas. It will examine articles in countries where Afro-descendents constitute a large number such as Brazil and the Dominican Republic, as well as those countries where Blacks are a small minority such as Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia. Students will compare conditions in Latin America to those described in the Black press of the United States. Prerequisite: LIBS 200.

LIBS 300. Research Meth in Liberal Studi Credit 3(3-0)
The goal of this course is to provide Liberal Studies majors with the skills necessary to conduct independent research and write the Senior Research Project paper in LIBS 499. Prerequisite: LIBS 200.

LIBS 301. Ethno-Nationalism and the Reconstruction of Nations Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines how the breakup of the USSR led to the rise of ethno-nationalism in the process of national reconstruction. Exploring the myths, symbols and histories of competing populations within the Soviet Union or its power, students discover a paradigm that applies to the wider postcolonial world as well.

LIBS 302. Media Analysis Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the shaping of information in popular media, with special emphasis on the creation of news. Examining institutional configurations and conglomeration, it focuses on the role of news media within national discourses, and on the shaping of ideological consensus and the marginalization of dissent. It asks questions about the limitations of political discourse, and about bias and objectivity, about how news is defined, presented, and disseminated.

LIBS 303. Consumer Culture Credit 3(3-0)
This course considers the creation of consumer culture during the last two centuries. It looks at the development of advertising, public relations, and mass marketing, and at the related construction of consumer consciousness. And it considers the consequences of global consumerism upon the environment, cultural tradition, human social relations and economic conditions.

LIBS 304. The American South Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines mythologies and realities of the American South: the antebellum period, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Civil Rights era, the New South. It looks at how these historical moments have been written and rewritten in academic and popular discourses, in response to racial beliefs and ideological needs. It considers the South as a geographical, social, and cultural entity and as an important element within the shaping of an American national mythos.

LIBS 305. Race and Class in Caribbean Culture Credit 3(3-0)
This course will examine the ethnic, racial and cultural diversity of the Caribbean, including the impact of foreign cultures on the area, and the exportation of its unique cultural forms to the global society. 

LIBS 306. Gender, Technology, and Computer Culture Credit 3(3-0)
This course will explore technology’s interaction with the concept of gender and how gender is embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape societal notions of gender. Students will critically assess the gender relations produced in areas such as entertainment and games, work, identity, education, culture, globalism, race and ethnicity. 

LIBS 307. Food and the Global Community Credit 3(3-0)
This course uses multidisciplinary perspectives to examine the connections between food and human life ways. Focusing on varied ethnic food traditions and peoples around the world, this course will explore 1) the interplay of class and gender in the preparation of food, 2) the role of political and economic power in accessibility to and the distribution of food, and 3) the religious and cultural symbolism of eating. 

LIBS 308. Historical, Social & Cultural Perspectives of Technology Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores the interrelationships between the human race and technology, the range of determinism between the two, and the possible paths for technology and humans in the global world. Global perspectives -- including Eastern and western, Northern and Southern -- will be covered in the course.

LIBS 309. Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Extraordinary Violence Credit 3(3-0)
This course composes a critical study of the notion of "evil" by considering how the term has been employed historically to explain and sometimes justify radical violence such as genocide. It will consider the multi-disciplinary spectrum of theories that seek to explain how ordinary people come to participate in extraordinary acts of brutality and mass murder of their fellow human beings.

LIBS 310. The Historical Origins of Environmental Crisis Credit 3(3-0)
This course will deal with man's changing philosophical and technological relationship with his natural environment since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Cross-listed with HIST 307.

LIBS 311. The Idea of Africa Credit 3(3-0)
This course will provide students with the skills to critically analyze the way Africa has been portrayed historically in the West, in fiction, the academy, books, magazines, film, television and other popular media. The development of critical thinking skills in written and oral communication are at the core of this course which asks students to rethink common assumptions, perceptions and stereotypes.

LIBS 312. Gender and Development in Africa Credit 3(3-0)
The course examines women's roles in African economies, the gendered nature of legal rights under customary law, political participation, female genital mutilation, and the impact of conflict, war, genocide and the HIV/AIDS pandemic on African women.

LIBS 313. Human Rights: An Interdisciplinary and Global Approach Credit 3(3-0)
What are "human rights"? Who defines this concept and sets its standards? Has the concept changed over time? This course takes an interdisciplinary and global approach to the study human rights. It looks at specific "human rights" violations of our time, including honor killing, bride burning, genital mutilation, death by stoning, torture and child labor. Students will learn about the social, cultural, economic, political and legal contexts within which certain practices deemed human rights violations take place and be confronted with the ultimate question of "Can I judge the practices of people living in other cultures?"

LIBS 314. Being Human Credit 3(3-0)
This course represents a "workshop" or "think tank" style exploration that considers a spectrum of definitions of human being, challenging each for its strengths and weaknesses for promoting the full morally-rich human life, designated by the ancients as "human flourishing." Passages from ancient Greek, Roman, existentialist, and postmodern Jewish philosophy, Christian, Hebrew, Muslim and Buddhist scriptures, and modern rationalist/scientific definitions will be considered and compared, with the objective of determining which definitions have the potential to be most morally edifying. The course will address such questions as whether gender and race are essential or secondary qualities of human being, and how ideologies of individualism and communalism affect human modes of being-in-the-world.

LIBS 315. World Views on Death and Dying Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines issues and concepts involved in death and dying across societies and cultures from the perspectives of the social, natural and physical sciences, and the humanities. Issues such as rituals, artificial life-support, euthanasia, hospice care, and suicide are examined in Western and non-Western cultures. Prerequisite: LIBS 200. 

LIBS 316. Hip-Hop Discourse Credit 3(3-0)
This course will analyze, critique, and discuss the literature and critical discourses of the most current theoretical, political, and social dialogue/texts that provide a framework for class discussion and writing assignments. Some of the major areas of focus are as follows: the major movements and themes of hip-hop; the relationship between the predominant culture and hip-hop; the new Black Renaissance - hip-hop culture literature; and the commercialization of hip-hop. Cross-listed with ENGL 316. 

LIBS 317. The Films of Spike Lee Credit 3(3-0)
This course takes a critical analysis approach to the study of the work of Spike Lee. It examines the representations of race, class, gender, and sexuality in Lee's "joints" from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course looks critically at Lee's work within the broad historical framework of African American cultural history and explores Lee's engagement with numerous controversial social, political, and economic issues in American society. 

LIBS 318. Conflict and Its Transformation: Theory Credit 3(3-0)
This course educates students in Conflict Theory, a range of strategies for navigating diverse differences, and it offers an approach for negotiating peaceful solutions to business, economic, social, and political problems in both our local communities and global societies. 

LIBS 319. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) Credit 3(3-0)
Students in this course will critically study language as a social practice using a multidisciplinary approach. Critical Discourse Analysis is taught as a research methodology for language structures and it explores the relationship among these structures within cultural and situational contexts. Prerequisite: LIBS 200.  

LIBS 320. Doing Culture Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the significance of culture in human societies. It assumes that culture is more than the objects of cultural production. The course explores how culture is the continual activity of construction and reconstruction of social, economic and political institutions. 

LIBS 321. One World Culture Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the concept of one world culture from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. The key questions the course will address include: Is one culture world emerging? If so, what are its advantages and disadvantages for individuals, communities, and nation states? How will human identities change with the emergence of one world culture? Students will learn how one world culture is changing the social, economic, legal and political contexts of our lives. 

LIBS 322. World Religions and Society Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines interactions between religion and societies as factors influencing the formation of community, the breakdown of community, and reconciliation within and between communities. Contemporary, historical, and nonwestern examples will be explored. Interrelations between religion and societies will be explored from different disciplinary perspectives, including those of psychology, history, sociology, philosophy, and evolutionary biology. 

LIBS 323. Critical Theories Credit 3 (3-0)
This interdisciplinary course explores various ways that critical theorists have envisioned human liberation. Topics include ideology, social justice, economic justice , and political liberation . Cross listed with PHIL323.

LIBS 330. Law and Humanities Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an interdisciplinary topical course in legal concepts and issues and the ways in which these have been depicted in the humanities: literature, film, the arts, music and popular culture. Some of the topics that will be examined are: Freedom and the Law, Justice and Equality, Freedom and Responsibility, and Justice, Rights, and the Body. Students will explore the impact these various ways of depicting the law and legal concepts have on our understanding of ourselves, our communities, and the nation state. 

LIBS 335. Disparities in Public Health Care: The Effects of Race, Gender and ClassCredit 3(3-0)
This course is designed to examine the disparities that exist among the categories of race, gender, and class in relationship to health care. The course focuses on six areas of major health inequities, to include infant mortality, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and immunizations. 

LIBS 398. Cultural Foundations I Credit Credit 3(3-0)
This course is the introductory level of understanding different cultures from a global perspective and learning what "globalization" means in various contexts to include explorations of the arts (literature, music, and entertainment industry), social sciences, and ethical reasoning. Prerequisites: LIBS 200 or consent of instructor.  

LIBS 399. Cultural Foundations II Credit 3(3-0)
This course is the intermediate level of cultural foundations from a global perspective: through literature, music, the entertainment industry, the social sciences, and ethical reasoning. Students will compare and contrast world-view/perceptions and critically analyze depictions of Americans. Prerequisites: LIBS 200, 398, or consent of instructor.  

LIBS 400. Passion Politics: Beyond bell hooks Credit 3(3-0)
Passionate Politics: Beyond bell hooks is a course that centers on feminist theory, its reinterpretation, and its application. It allows students to differentiate feminist perspectives to better understand the diversity of feminist thought. Prerequisite: LIBS 200.  

LIBS 401. War and Culture Credit 3(3-0)
This course investigates the nature of war -- its causes and consequences, and its depiction in news accounts, memoirs, literary texts, and popular media. The course asks questions about the function of war economically and ideologically. It considers the intersection of war with race and gender. And it considers the ways war is commonly represented within national discourses. 

LIBS 402. Historical Memory Credit 3(3-0)
This course looks at the processes by which historical events are defined and represented. It asks questions about the intersection of nationalism and history, about the determining power of school curricula, textbooks, museums, academic experts, and popular media. And it examines the nature of historical truth within a mass-mediated culture and against a prevailing postmodern skepticism. 

LIBS 403. Black Feminist Thought Credit 3(3-0)
Black Feminist Thought is a course about the determination for women's empowerment and social justice in America from slavery to the 21st century. It examines feminism and its multiple meanings and controversies and identifies cross- generational themes and tensions. Prerequisite: LIBS 200. 

LIBS 404. Reclaiming Democracy Credit 4(3-1)
This multi-institutional. interdisciplinary course examines and models democracy by bringing together students and faculty from local colleges and universities for experiential learning projects within the greater Greensboro community. Students will explore public policy. governance, citizen engagement, economic justice and other issues at the microcosm level. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior Standing. 

LIBS 406. Cultural Foundations III Credit 3(3-0)
This course is the advanced level of cultural foundations from a global perspective. This course will identify political, social, legal, and economic impact(S) of transnational corporations; examine concepts of industrialization/urbanization along with concepts of colonialism/de-colonialism/and neocolonialism; and, present an epistemology of mind, language, gender, and sexual identity. Prerequisite: LIBS 399. 

LIBS 407. Cultivating Humanity Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines Socratic reason and cosmopolitanism grounded in the classical origins of the Western tradition. Through cross-cultural study and application, students will construct a "world-citizen" value set derived from the philosophy of Martha Nussbaum and apply geography, world religion, world history, and the humanities to examine creative solutions to alleviate social ills. Prerequisite: LIBS 200.

LIBS 408. Law, Humanities & the Social Sciences  Credit 3(3-0)
This interdisciplinary topical course examines legal concepts and issues as depicted in the humanities and the social sciences. Topics include freedom and the law, justice and equality, and freedom and responsibility. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. Cross listed with PHIL 408(F;S;SS)

LIBS 409. Science and Religion  Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores the relationship between science and religion from an interdisciplinary perspective through readings, films. and case studies. Are scientific and religious ways of knowing compatible, conflictory, or how might these disciplines coexist and influence each other? Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. Cross listed with PHIL 409(F;S;SS)

LIBS 475. Senior Seminar/Capstone Credit 3(3-0)
This course is a seminar for seniors to engage with critical theory and apply it to contemporary issues and problems. Concrete evidence of multidimensional and integrated student knowledge, skills, and abilities are documented as students are taught electronic portfolio preparation for career prospects and postgraduate education. Prerequisites: LIBS 200, LIBS 300, Liberal Studies Major w/ Senior Standing. 

LIBS 494. Independent Study I Credit 3(3-0)
This course is designed for students to conduct advanced research on a special topic.

LIBS 496. Independent Study II Credit 3(3-0)
This course is designed for students to conduct advanced research on a special topic. Prerequisite: LIBS 200, 300.

LIBS 497. Reading and Writing Cultural Critique Credit 3(3-0)
This writing intensive course is intended to prepare students to write the cultural critique -- popular and academic. The course emphasizes both critical analysis and writing, with particular attention to writing for a specific setting and audience. By the end of the course, students should be able to produce a conference paper or publishable essay.