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Department of Liberal Studies University of Illinois Springfield

Course List

All LIS majors MUST take the following:

  • LIS 301 Self-Directed Learning* (4 hours)
  • LIS 451 Senior Seminar (3 hours)

At least three additional hours must be selected from the following interdisciplinary electives:

  • LIS 342 Conducting Liberal Studies Research (Online, 2 Hours)
  • LIS 360 and 460 Special Topics in LIS (Online, 4 hours)

Exploration of liberal studies topics relating to Boyer Categories. You may enroll in LIS 360 and 460 mulitple times as long as the topic varies.

Radical Capitalism – There are those who advocate the benefit of market economies and then there are radicals for capitalism. From privatizing the police to abolishing the Federal Reserve, radical capitalist thinkers, and their followers, argue that markets are more efficient and morally superior than government. This class examines the philosophical ideas and social movement spawned by these thinkers. This class especially focuses on debates within radical capitalist theory and the divisions this has created. The works of Hayek, Mises, Nozick, Rand, and Rothbard will figure centrally in this course. Issues critically examined within this course include the legitimacy of government, the nature of the market, the morality of selfishness, conflicts between utility and rights, and the private provision of what are typically considered government services.

America 2000 – This interdisciplinary course focuses on the broad arena of American popular cultural products, especially material or consumer culture, audio/visual media, and games and play. Readings are expansive, covering such topics as advertising, games and sports, heroes and heroines, and the uses and dynamics of public and private space. Although the pedagogical objectives are to foster critical thinking and writing via the application of semiological methodology, the range of materials also explores constructions of gender, sexuality, race and class. Research projects and presentations involving popular genres of literature and popular culture news or critic shows (broadcast journalism) round out the textbook’s topics in order to foster understanding of the range and diversity of American popular culture.The course aims to improve knowledge and appreciation of themes in western culture.  Readings are selected from a wide range of authors who are generally considered to be part of the cultural and literary heritance.  The rationale is that a good education is a life long asset and  enriches  life and living.

Memoirs Across Cultures – This is a course about reading, analyzing, writing, and redefining memoir. Autobiographical writings look at the inner life of the authors as well as the outer events. They can be told in the first, second, or third person, or from multiple narrative perspectives. We will read life stories from different cultures and written in different times. Their lengths vary from one page to over three hundred page. Most of the memoirs we will read focus on a specific time period and/or important persons or events in one’s life. We will examine how historical context, cultural memories, and identities are represented in these personal narratives, and in the process redefine the genre of memoir.

Expatriate Paris 1900-1940 – This course will study the works of artists and writers from all over the world who settled in Paris between 1900 and 1940. We will concentrate on works by Foujita, Modigliani, Chagal, Picasso, Brancusi, Hemingwary, Henry James, Bunin, Tsvetaeva, Appolinaire.

Verbal Arts in the Community – Language makes us who we are. It structures the way we speak, read, and write but, more importantly, the way we thnk and, indeed, our social interactions as a whole. Thus, as the creative manifestations of human language, the verbal arts are important to how we understand ourselves and those around us. The verbal arts are particularly important to our local communities. They express a community’s values and desires and provide a thread that weaves together its social fabric. In this course, we will investigate exactly how that occurs, and you will go beyond the limits of the classroom to participate in the verbal arts in your local community. (While there are plans to offer this class as LIS 360, it is currently being offered as ENG 370. This class meets an ECCE Engagement Experience requirement.)

Philosophy of Business – How can we do well in any endeavor unless we understand what we are doing? What you believe about business affects both your choice of career path and your opinion on business ethics and regulation. Most business ethics courses spend the entire course examining ethics, but not the underlying institution. Most business courses focus on the tools for success, but not on the nature of that success. This course is meant to compliment these other courses by focusing on the question “What is Business?”. The course takes a multi-disciplinary approach and examines business in history, philosophy, management theory, and literature. This course is meant for both business majors interested in humanities related to their discipline, and humanities majors wishing to learn more about business.

The Beatles: Popular Music and Society – The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of not only the Beatles and their musical accomplishments, but also the impact they had and are having on popular music and society.
Toward that end, we will listen to their music, watch videos of their work and hear their comments on that work, as well as read some of the best writing on the Beatles.
There are over 10,000 books that might be read, so those chosen as required texts are intended as the best of the best.

LIS 471 Honors Thesis (Online/On Campus, 2 hours)

  • LIS 380 Exploration of Learning Resources (Online/On Campus, 2 – 8 hours)
  • LIS 499 Independent Study: Tutorial (Online/On Campus, 2 – 6 hours)
  • BUS 303 Current Issues in Business: A Liberal Studies Perspective (not currently offered )
  • COM 421 Interpersonal Communication (On Campus, 4 hours)
  • COM 458  Media from a Liberal Arts Perspective (Online, 4 hours)
  • COM  480  Relational Communication (On Campus, 4 hours) [COM 480 is a topics course.  Only sections titled Relational Communication may be used toward the elective requirement.]
  • ENG 379 Writing for Social and Behavioral Sciences (not currently offered )
  • ENG 474  Professional and Technical Writing (Alternates Online/On Campus, 4 hours)
  • PHI 301 Critical Thinking (Alternates Online/On Campus, 4 hours)
  • PHI 452 Perspectives On Human Nature (Online, 4 hours)
  • POS 410 Public Policy Processes (On Campus, 4 hours)
  • PSY 302 Research Methods in Psychology (On Campus, 4 hours)
  • PSY 313 Critical Thinking (Online, 4 hours)
  • SOA 302 Understanding Other Cultures (4 hours)
  • SOA 428 Culture, Health, and Power (Online, 4 hours)
  • UNI 460 Global Experience Seminar (On Campus, 4-18 hours)
  • UNI 470 Global Exchange Program (On Campus, 8-18 hours)
  • UNI 480 Global Experience Program (On Campus, 6-18 hours)
  • UNI 401 Library Research Methods (Online, 2 hours)

*LIS 301 must be completed before enrolling in additional coursework toward the major.

Please consult the Online Course History (on Advising page) to learn more about specific course descriptions.

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