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The present is not seen as the privileged place from which ultimate judgments on any subject should be rendered. Instead, courses aim to explore implications of contrasting thinking styles represented in writing, cultural activities, media, and in the ways faculty and students understand course issues and materials.
Students read classic works. At the same time, contemporary documents, artifacts, and scholarship inform courses of the process of scholarly production and encourage students to work to understand issues in the courses for themselves.
Courses encourage and enable students to investigate the range of possible relations of historical and intellectual developments, among others, to the meanings of course texts.
Issues prevalent in contemporary critical theory are introduced as a way to explore meaning in terms of, for example, gender, culture, politics, race, ethics, language, and other forms of communication.
Students are encouraged and enabled, respected and rewarded, for applying and exercising in their lives the ideals and ideas advanced in the MALS courses.