Master of Liberal Studies Program student capstone projects vary in nature and topic, but all projects integrate at least two disciplines within the liberal arts.
- Twentieth Century Black Writers
- Mississippi River
- Political and Economic Power Distribution
- Massively Multi-player Online Games
Twentieth century black writers and specifically those in the post 1950's era played an important role in the efficacy and success of black liberation movements in the United States by enhancing the image of oppressed African Americans and absent their significant contributions, the struggle for equality may have been seriously hampered and or delayed. Research and examination of the previous hypothesis will form the basis of my Capstone Project with concentration on several post 1950's black writers; Don L. Lee (Haki Madhubuti), Sonia Sanchez, Carolyn F. Gerald and Dudley Randall. I will examine their work and the reception of their artistry and its contribution to the cause of equality for black people in America through image enhancement. I will read, compare and contrast the works of these artists as well as available critiques and analyses of their work by other authors and scholars. I will take coursework that will enable me to research relevant and applicable social psychology and African American literary theory. I will draw conclusions based on my research and cause an examination of the substantiation of my results.
Known as "Big Muddy," "Old Man River," "Father of Waters," "Messipi," "Big River," and "gathering & of waters" the Mississippi River flows through the heartland of America. This majestic waterway moves through forests, bluff country, farmland, industrial areas and cypress swamps. It is rich with history, mystery, legend, and romance. What has led the Mississippi River to this point of wealthy existence? What do humans find at this river that captures our souls? How does this river affect our lives/emotions? What is the nature of humans" relationships with the Mississippi River? I hope to uncover the answer to these questions through the experience of completing my coursework and my capstone project for my masters in Liberal Studies at Metropolitan State University.
In addition to my academic research and essay writing, I plan is to create a multi-media series of high-quality photographs of the Mississippi River and its diverse people, then super-impose messages over the photographs that capture a moment, thought, impression, emotion, mystery, dream, or hope. My hope is that through completion and display of my capstone project, I will convey to others the richness of the Mississippi River and enable them to build their own, intimate relationship with it.
I am interested in critical theory, so an interdisciplinary program is an ideal structure for me. Broadly speaking, my intention is to use critical theory to understand the impact of unequal political and economic power distribution among and within communities around the world. I believe that studying power and oppression through a multi-disciplinary lens yields more accuracy and completeness than limiting the study to a single discipline. My capstone project focuses on Guatemala as a site of oppression in the form of extensive outside intervention by colonizing powers, and of massive poverty and violence, including genocide. I am particularly interested in Guatemalan resistance to political and economic interference, and I want to explore both intellectual and artistic expressions of that resistance. I have begun, therefore, by exploring this issue's background through the fields of history and political science. I then plan to turn to the fields of art and literature, and to critical theory itself, in order to thoroughly explore both the Guatemalan experience of oppression, and the ways Guatemalan society has staged and expressed resistance to that oppression.
My liberal studies experience has focused around concepts of technology, community and gender within the United States. In recent years, the Internet has created a space for people to join together in common interests and pursuits. One element of these online communities resides in the video game culture that has arisen through the advancement of technology. Massively Multi-player Online Games (MMOGs) allow people to create dynamic characters and interact in virtual communities with hundreds of other players. These communities foster the interaction of players to work together to reach common goals and objectives. The people that choose to play these games are as diverse as those within the actual society of the United States. People of different ages, races, and gender all play together. My capstone project will focus on MMOGs, and asks whether gender issues mirror those of actual society.