big idea admissions curriculum general info malas blog small picture of
                                casey hands faculty and staff facebook MA exam
                                    guide pen and ink quill contact
About us! Admissions Curriculum General Info Blog GradBios Faculty Facebook
MAExam MAThesis

New! Links to all past MALAS (and MALA) Masters Theses!
san diego state
                                university MALAS is the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences, an interdisciplinary/cultural studies graduate program in the  College of Arts and Letters @ San Diego State University • office mothership: Arts and Letters, 226B • phone: (619) 594.1516 • fax: (619) 594.4998 • mail: 5500 Campanile Drive, mailcode: 6020, San Diego, CA 92182-6020 • Director and Graduate Advisor: Dr. William A. Nericcio  • Administrative Coordinator/Guru: Katie Waltman
Sex, Drugs and
                      Rock and Roll: Summer 2018
Summer 2018 MALAS Seminar here!

Fall 2018 MALAS Seminars!
Start Plotting Your Future Coursework NOW!!!

Fall 2018 MALAS CLasses
What is

                    Curiosity at SDSUPeople stop us all the time and ask us, "What is MALAS?"

Here's our vision: The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences (MALAS) is an always-evolving, interdisciplinary cultural studies graduate MA program based in the College of Arts and Letters at San Diego State University.

terdisciplinary Studies and Cultural Studies mean different things to different people. Like most Interdisciplinary Studies academic programs, MALAS graduate students pursue coursework that combines two or more traditional fields from the university; for example, consider the case of a recent MALAS graduate who devised a program of study focused on biology, but with parallel coursework in 20th century history. Or, take another case: a graduate student whose work studied contemporary social rebellions (the Occupy movement; Burning Man), but who was also keen to study, simultaneously, recent trends in visual culture (both film and streaming media). In both cases, the students wanted to study cultural phenomena comparatively, but they also wanted to change the world, to leave it a better place than the way they found it.

This epitomizes the MALAS ideal--inventing programs of study that are also blueprints for action: a determination to study and be an activist/engine/enzyme for change here in San Diego and beyond. With MALAS, you are not trapped within the legendary ivory tower--far from that, you learn how to translate your research into public engagement with the surrounding community in California and the rest of our planet.

ways if seeing coverOur dynamic MA degree provides graduate students with an extraordinary intellectual agenda coupled with the experience of living in San Diego, California--a bustling international border community known for its bio-medical enclaves (the Salk Institute, Scripps Research Institute, Pfizer etc.), for high tech innovation (Qualcomm, Nokia), and for its burgeoning, cutting-edge transborder experimental arts, next-generation sustainability research, and Pacific Rim-focused institutions of higher education. (And yes, it is also known and loved for its amazing climate, tourism, and robust surf communities).

MALAS graduate students work with the best faculty from across the College of Arts and Letters at SDSU and beyond--first-class, high quality researchers from the humanities, social sciences, business, communications, and the sciences, whose teaching and scholarship are changing the face of disciplines across the university.
MALAS offers what we like to call "an M.A. in Curiosity." Our graduate students master diverse and innovative intellectual, artistic, and/or scientific research goals through individually-tailored curricula in the most flexible graduate Liberal Arts programs on the planet (compare us to our talented peer institutions here).

mytholologiesMALAS is the MA program for all kinds of thinkers--while it caters to the intellectual desires and research interests of ambitious, new BA and BS recipients seeking full-time graduate study, it also serves the needs of national and international  professionals and adult-learners who seek to do graduate school on a part-time basis. Whether you are an ambitious teacher looking to achieve a degree that will allow you to teach in community colleges (and get you a nice raise), a motivated, creative future professor looking for a stepping-stone MA to a top-shelf Ph.D. program, or just a wise, sojourning soul or budding entrepreneur who misses being at university, MALAS is the program for you.

malasWe are often asked here at MALAS mission control, "what does a prospective MALAS student look like?" or "where do they come from?" Our response: what don't they look like and where don't they come from? MALAS graduate students come from all kinds of academic backgrounds, all kinds of unique research interests. Unlike other MA/ PhD programs that expect a specific undergraduate emphasis (some even make you do additional undergraduate coursework before starting your graduate curriculum), MALAS values your previous undergraduate and/or graduate degree and expects you to use our program to explore brave new worlds, to investigate diverse uncharted intellectual waters.

Whether you are a recent social science degree graduate with an itch to know more about the arts, a cardiologist who wishes to ponder Latin American novels, a documentary filmmaker obsessed with the environment, or a frustrated literature major wishing to explore the connections between books and  music, cinema, photography, or painting, MALAS will be a great home for your intellectual adventures. Or maybe you are a brilliant, curious, corporate Stepford wife (or husband) who finds themselves trapped in a 9 to 5 cubicle--your imagination paralyzed by the styrofoam-laced banality, the flourescent-light-lit mendacity of the Dilbert-esque world around you--well, with MALAS, deliverance is at hand.

Lydia LiuMichel FoucaultAt SDSU, MALAS is associated with innovation and entrepreneurship--MALAS hosted the first graduate seminar in the Digital Humanities; the first bridge-class between the humanities and the cognitive sciences: Neurotexts; the first graduate seminar on Hip hop Culture(s). So, join us and get ready to leap and join a groovy collaborative team inspired by interdisciplinary thinkers like Cornel West, Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Žižek, Judith Halberstam, Gayatri Spivak, Stuart Hall, Donna Harraway, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Marshall McLuhan, Sigmund Freud, Lydia Liu (right), Michel Foucault (left), Susan Sontag, Edward Said, Carlos Fuentes, Jacques Derrida, Renato Rosaldo, Luce Irigaray, Federico Fellini, Frida Kahlo, Glenn Gould, Stephen Greenblatt, Elena Poniatowska, Stephen Colbert, Mark Twain, John Berger (below, left) and others.

                          Benjamin Our M.A. (Magister Artium) features a series of next-wave, cutting-edge seminars. These classes (always already in metamorphosis) compose a core interdisciplinary curriculum with these areas of concentration: 
  • MALAS 600A. Cultural Studies
  • MALAS 600B. Science and Society/Environmental Studies
  • MALAS 600C. Globalization, Technology, & Future Studies
  • MALAS 600D. Media Studies, Fine Arts, & the Transformative Arts
Our students select the rest of their courses from across the curriculum at SDSU--present students take courses from the excellent graduate programs in the College of Arts & Letters as well as from the other seven colleges on the SDSU campus. This Spring, our MALAS graduate students are pursuing coursework in Women's Studies, Anthropology, Geography, Educational Technology, Art, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and many other fields/disciplines/departments. For Fall 2013 and onwards we have now established graduate emphases within the MALAS curriculum-- present and future  graduate students can now pursue MALAS Graduate Emphases in Social Justice, Ethnic Studies, Sustainability Studies, the Digital Humanities, American Studies, Intellectual History, Technology and Education, Media Studies, and a host of other categories.
John BergerThe MALAS program at SDSU is a member of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. To learn more about university requirements, consult the Graduate Bulletin; and to learn about applying to the program, consult the SDSU Graduate Admissions page. NOTE: officially, MALAS is known as the M.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences in the SDSU Graduate Catalogue or Bulletin. You can download a handy .pdf of the most recent MALAS specifications from the official SDSU Graduate Division Bulletin here. {updated link}

If you are on the fence about applying to our unique graduate program, don't hesistate to call the MALAS director and graduate advisor, Professor William A. Nericcio, at 619.594.1524 or email him at You can also contact our ace program coordinator, Katie Waltman, at 619.594.1516, from 8:30am to 4pm, daily, or email her at

One last thing--we get calls all the time from graduate students worried that the GRE requirement imposed by the SDSU graduate division or a somewhat spotty undergraduate GPA might prove an obstacle to admission to MALAS. Don't let that stop you from applying to our cool intellectual mothership. MALAS looks at the entire portfolio of each individual during the admissions process. Check out the happy crew of singularly talented graduate students currently thriving in our program and then apply to MALAS now and let us worry about the rest!

New! Links to all past MALAS (and MALA) Masters Theses!
Theses Links
MALAS The M.A. in Curiosity at
a visual accessory and link to the
                        MALAS blogCheck out our new and improved MALAS digital vortex (aka, the MALAS blog!)
Archive of Past Telegram/Dispatches etc here!
Stuart Hall MALAS Graduate Research Travel Stipends

MALAS is proud to announce that the SDSU Foundation, working in collaboration with the Dean's office in the College of Arts and Letters, has partially restored the John and Jane Adams Endowment for the Humanities funding which allowed MALAS to originate close to 30 years ago. What this means in the short term is higher visibility for our unique Cultural/Interdisciplinary Studies Master's degree program and more resources for graduate students.  To that end, we are restoring the Stuart Hall Graduate Student Research Travel stipend.  All MALAS graduate students (and a select, limited number of graduate students doing cultural studies/interdisciplinary studies research in other CAL graduate programs) have the right to apply for upwards of $600 to help defray travel to conferences where research is shared.  Check with Bill Nericcio, Director, or Katie Waltman, MALAS administrative coordinator, for more details

Named for Stuart Hall, the godfather of international cultural studies, MALAS Graduate Research Travel Stipends consist of travel grants up to $400.00 to be awarded to at least 10 graduate students who deliver research initiated/ developed in any MALAS seminar at a domestic or international conference. The best clearing house for CFPs (Call for Papers) in the humanities is at Penn:   A useful index for CFPs in the Social Sciences is here. Another index appears here.

Awards will be determined on a first come, first served basis. Applicants should submit the following to by April 1, 2017:

1. The flyer or website for the conference you are attending.
2. Your proposal to that conference (emails are fine)
3. Your acceptance letter from the conference organizers/hosts

Should you be selected, you will have to provide us with your travel receipts and a facsimile of the conference program showing your participation. While $600 is not a lot of money, our hope is that it will encourage you to begin to share your research work with your peers and scholars in your field of emphasis.
highlighting table with
                    links to ma theses in love libraryNEW and IMPROVED! Links to all past MALAS MA Theses housed in Love Library! Now all fixed and located at the top of this page!

MALA* & MALAS Master's Theses:  Archive I & Archive II

*The original name of our program when it was founded in 1987!
                        2017Fall 2017 MALAS Seminars and Suggested Courses in Other Departments!

Spring 2017


newMALAS courses, Fall 2016 via SDSU Web Portal

newMALAS courses + Suggested Classes/Seminars in Other Departments via MALAS
Support the future of MALAS
MALAS GraduateAdvanded undergraduates are ALWAYS welcome in MALAS Graduate Seminars! 

Get a taste of graduate school whilst still an undergraduate with MALAS!

malas blog

Support the future of MALAS!
big ideamalas
                hotlinksMALAS Home Pagefacebook
hollywoodJoe GillisApply for the MALAS Joe Gillis Hollywood Internship!
Comprehensive Exam Option
click the image below for the info-page
MALAS Exam Option
CAL State ApplyOct 1 2017 Fall 2018
                                        applications open
CouponHow to Become a Member of the MALAS team of Extraordinary Graduate Students!

If you are a talented undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in the public policy, arts and sciences, humanities, cultural studies, ethnic studies, social sciences, biology, music, film, global politics and policies, world trade, the environment, social justice, progressive economics, comparative literature, semiotics, area studies, the cognitive sciences, marketing, educational leadership, and/or sustainability studies, you will find a dynamic, challenging home away home from with the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences at San Diego State University (and that is just a partial listing!).

MALAS students come from all walks of life--documentary filmmakers, veteran Navy musicans, cloning researchers, surgeons, teachers, arts professionals, business majors, philosophers, civil engineers, dancers, rain-forest researchers, and retired intelligence community agents alike have all joined MALAS in recent years. Whether you are looking to spend a couple of years on the West Coast in preparation for a doctoral degree program or if you are a retired or working professional living in San Diego but yearning for the classic, unique challenges of a university seminar room, MALAS is there for you. Combine the highest quality professors from SDSU with the most eclectic, curious graduate students, and what you get is a dynamic, singular environment for learning.

Fall 2018 Admissions Checklist


Before you do ANYTHING, click the image opposite (the LAUNCH! button) and follow the instructions there. Our SDSU MALAS Central Office will not see any of your materials unless you follow these directions to the letter--we emphasize this here as many cool students have run aground in the past by not following SDSU Graduate Division clear, strict protocols.


  • Satisfy the basic requirements for the Master's Degree described in the SDSU Graduate Bulletin
  • Possess an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution;
  • Have earned a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last 60 units of study (Don't lose sleep over this one, we make exceptions all the time especially for first-generation college students considering graduate school for the first time!);
  • Have an acceptable Graduate Record Examination (GRE) combined general test score (quantitative and verbal sections). (Here again, no worries, we look at the GRE, but we look at the entire application carefully as well!)


1.    University Online Application via CAL STATE APPLYMust be completed by March 1, 2018

2. Official test scores and transcripts sent to Graduate AdmissionsAll materials must be received by April 1, 2018 but we kind of BEG you to get all materials in by March 15, 2018 to avoid any headaches or complications!!!!

3. MALAS Program Application – Completed no later than March 1, 2018, please!

·      Complete the program application with INTERFOLIO here:

·      The MALAS Program application requires the following items:

1. Two letters of recommendation (one, at least, should be from a university professor familiar with your research, writing, or creative work). As with all applications to research university graduate programs, it is best that the letters of recommendation come directly to us at MALAS from the individuals writing the letter.  Please ask your recommenders to use official stationary when possible and to sign across the outside seal of their envelopes. Last minute applicants can have their reference-letter writer letters email their correspondence directly to Dr. William A. Nericcio, the program director at and the MALAS Administrative Coordinator, Katie Waltman, at

Note: Many applicants to MALAS are far removed from their undergraduate work and are not in contact with their former professors--don't let that be a deterent to applying; we will accept and read any letter of recommendation from professionals/artists/mentors/colleagues familiar with your skills.

2. A "Statement of Purpose" essay (400-500 words or so) that gives a sense of both your past and future research interests and your strongest talents--highly ranked statements usually include references to how the MALAS program fits into your future.

3. A two-page essay describing the best class/professor you had as an undergraduate or graduate student.

Note: the hard deadline for official test scores to be sent to Graduate Admissions and the MALAS Program Application to be completed is April 1, 2018.

Other Information:

Open University

Persons who are not matriculated as students at SDSU may enroll for MALAS courses on a space-available basis with approval of the instructor. Please consult the Extended Studies Schedule. Taking a MALAS seminar is a great way to TEST DRIVE MALAS! Students can take up to three classes or 9 units of MALAS seminar work and have them roll into your program of study when you officially admitted into the program.


You may take the GRE at the Test Office here at SDSU--there is a hefty fee. GRE fee waivers are available. Consult the GRE BULLETIN for more information.

When taking the GRE, fill in the SDSU institution code (R4682) so that your GRE scores will be sent directly from your testing site to SDSU admissions.

Faculty & Staff
MALAS Faculty Advisory Cohort {MFAC}
malas logo spacegrrl

The MALAS Faculty Advisory Cohort is a group of scholars from across San Diego State University committed to interdisciplinary and cultural studies.  Feel free to visit them and take their classes each semester.

Dr. William A. Nericcio
MALAS Director

Professor, English and Comparative Literature,
Chicana/o Studies, and Latin American Studies

Dr. Howard Kushner
Professor Emeritus, History, and
Director Emeritus, MALAS

Dr. Stuart C. Aitken
Professor, Geography

Dr. Clarissa Clò
Professor of Italian and European Studies
Director of the Italian Studies Program

Dr. D. J. Hopkins
Professor, Director of the School of Theatre,
Television, and Film
Dr. Risa Kohn
Professor and Chair, Religious Studies & Classics and
Humanities; Director, SDSU Center for Jewish Studies

Dr. Seth Mallios
Professor, Anthropology and SDSU University Historian

Dr. Ramona Perez

Professor of Anthropology and Director
Center for Latin American Studies

Dr. Michael Borgstrom
Associate Professor and Chair, English and Comparative
Literature; Affiliated Faculty, Women's Studies and LGBT Studies

Dr. David Cline
Associate Professor of History and Lead Faculty
The Digital Humanities Initiative, SDSU

Dr. Roberto D. Hernández
Associate Professor, Chicana/o Studies

Dr. Yetta Howard

Associate Professor, English & Comparative Literature

Dr. Angel Nieves
Associate Professor of History and Lead Faculty
The Digital Humanities Initiative, SDSU

Dr. Walter D. Penrose, Jr.
Associate Professor, Department of History

Dr. Jessica Pressman
Associate Professor, English & Comparative Literature
Director, Arts and Letters Digital Humanities Initiative

Dr. Michael J. Roberts
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Dr. Joseph Andrew Smith
Associate Professor, Classics and Humanities

Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Media Studies

Dr. Ricardo Vasconcelos
Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese, MALAS

Dr. Raechel Dumas
Assistant Professor, Humanities and Classics

Dr. Angel Matos
Assistant Professor, English and Comparative Literature

Dr. Roy Whitaker
Assistant Professor, Religious Studies, MALAS

Dr. Michael Caldwell
Lecturer, Humanities & Classics

Dr. Edith Frampton (more)
Lecturer, English and Comparative Literature

Now in beta, MALAS faculty bios, past and present

Administrative Faculty & Staff

Contact Us
RicardoDr. Ricardo Vasconcelos
Interim Director, MALAS
Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese
Phone Number: 619 594 6583
Mail Code Number 6010
Office: Arts and Letters-117

Dr. William A. Nericcio
MALAS Director/Graduate Advisor

Professor,  Department of English and Comparative Literature, SDSU
Editor, San Diego State University Press
Office Location: Arts and Letters 273
Office hours, by appointment:
Phone: 619-594-1524 | Fax: 619-594-4998

Katie Waltman
MALAS Program Administrative Coordinator
Office Location: Arts & Letters 226B
Office Hours: 8am to 4:30pm, M-F
Phone: 619-594-1516

McHankEmeritus Heralded MALAS Program

David "McHank" McHenry
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182

McHank and Nericcio, the early years

Mailing Address:

The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences
c/o Katie Waltman

English & Comparative Literature Dept
San Diego State University | MC 6020
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-6020

MALAS Home Page

Information for Students

Graduate Student Bios

{click this image for instantransport to our groovy grad student bio page}
 graduate student bios

We are always in the process of updating our current graduate student bio page and soon we will add both a faculty and alumni biography page.

Study Abroad

The MALAS program offers opportunities to earn credit towards the master's degree through several exchange programs--in Summer 2016, you can study with Professor Bill Nericcio, MALAS director, in London, England--write Professor Nericcio directly if interested: bnericci AT mail DOT SDSU DOT EDU

For nominee guidelines to San Diego State University's international student exchange and more general information about studying abroad, please visit SDSU's International Student Center.

Courses & Curriculum

{NOTE: these specifications are adapted from the official SDSU GRADUATE BULLETIN}

Specific Requirements for the Master of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Major Code: 49017) (SIMS Code: 114501)

During the course of your time doing cultural studies/interdisciplinary work in the M.A.L.A.S. program, graduate students will complete a graduate program of 30 units, basically 9 classes {27 units} + the MA Thesis/Project {3 units}.

Of these 9 classes or 27 units of coursework, 5 courses or 15 units must be  600- and 700-level courses. Note also that up to 15 units of coursework can be taken at the 500-level, though it is best to pick from the best of the 600-level graduate courses and 700-level graduate seminars, before filling out the balance of your work with 500-level classes. Do please note that 500-level classes are open to undergraduates at SDSU {nota bene: this is NOT a dig at SDSU undergraduates!} .

A typical MALAS POS (program of study)  includes:


1. MALAS 600A, 600B, 600C, or 600D in any combination (9 units). Each course may be repeated once with new content and, in excess of nine units, can be used for elective credit.

2. 1. MALAS601(3) {When offered; it is a straightforward process to petition to have another MALAS seminar (MALAS 600 A, B, C, or D) cover for MALAS 601

3. MALAS 799A (3): Thesis or Project.

4. 15 units of electives selected with approval of the MALAS director.

All programs of study must be approved by the MALAS director in consultation with the Graduate Liberal Arts and Sciences Committee.



1. MALAS 600A, 600B, 600C, or 600D in any combination (9 units). Each course may be repeated once with new content and, in excess of nine units, can be used for elective credit.

2. 1. MALAS601(3) {When offered; it is a straightforward process to petition to have another MALAS seminar (MALAS 600 A, B, C, or D) cover for MALAS 601

3. MALAS 795 (3): Studies in Liberal Arts and Sciences

4. 15 units of electives selected with approval of the MALAS director.

All programs of study must be approved by the MALAS director in consultation with the Graduate Liberal Arts and Sciences Committee.


MALAS 600. Interdisciplinary Study in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

MALAS seminars are divided into four general areas with content that varies semester to semester. Each course may be repeated once with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum credit six units for each of the following courses:

MALAS 600A, 600B, 600C, 600D
A. Cultural Studies
B. Science and Society, Environmental Studies
C. Globalization, Technology, Future Studies
D. Media Studies, Fine Arts, Transformative Arts

MALAS 601. Seminar in Interdisciplinary Thinking (3)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Nature of interdisciplinary thinking. Ways of knowing and schools of thought in multiple disciplines. Interdisciplinary methods to analyze social issues. See Class Schedule for specific content.

MALAS 795: Studies in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Sign up for this class if you are taking the MALAS MA Comprehensive Exam in lieu of an MA Thesis or Project.

MALAS 798. Special Study (3) Cr/NC/RP
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Individual study on a given topic through interdisciplinary perspectives.

MALAS 799A. Thesis or Project (3) Cr/NC/RP
Prerequisites: An officially appointed thesis committee and advancement to candidacy.
Preparation of a project or thesis for Master of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences.

MALAS 799B. Thesis or Project Extension (0) Cr/NC
Prerequisite: Prior registration in Thesis or Project 799A with an assigned grade symbol of RP.
Registration required in any semester or term following assignment of RP in MALAS 799A in which the student expects to use the facilities and resources of the university; also student must be registered in the course when the completed thesis or project is granted final approval.


The MALAS Event of the Decade! LIVE @ SDSU--Click the Image to join the Eventbrite Ticket Waitlist
Junot Diaz


MALAS Spring 2016 Seminars! Click the image or here.
MALAS Spring 2016

Fall 2015 MALAS Seminars!  Our richest cross-section of seminars EVER!!!!
Spring 2015 schedule

Click here for a listing of suggested, outside-of-MALAS, graduate seminars from across SDSU

Click here for a listing of past Spring 2015 MALAS Graduate Seminars!

Fall 2013 Classes in Other Departments
                                  2013 in other departments
Fall 2013 MALAS Seminars!
fall 2013 malas seminars

                              2013 roster of seminars

                                  2014 list of suggested classes

Select Catalogue of Web-sites that mirror
the Future of MALAS... (and now, iPad sites, too!)
Brain PickingsThe Awl


Boing Boing

Science MagazineZone Zero

Times Online
Fantagraphics Books

pandora british libarry online gallery
(click to enlarge) 

malas archive
(click to enlarge)

MALAS 1st Annual Foucault/Fuentes
Lecture on Cultural Studies

Commencement 2013 lecture
(click to enlarge)

MALAS 25th Anniversary Lectures! Fall 2012-2013
(click to enlarge)

Laura Herbert, University of Michigan,
MALAS Pre-Doc, March 2013
Bodies ib tge Border
(click to enlarge)

Sheree Rose Presentation, March 2013
Sheree Rose
(click to enlarge)

Sarah Azaransky, USD Workshop in American Religious History
Sarah Azaransky, USD
                              Workshop in American Religious History
(click to enlarge)

Neil Kendricks, 1st Annual Jose Guadalupe Posada Lecture on
Graphic Narrative and Visual Cultural Studies
Neil Kendricks, 1st
                              Annual Jose Guadalupe Posada Lecture on
(click to enlarge)

Supaya Portillo Villeda Lecture on LGBT Resistance in
Latin America--Post-Coup Honduras
Supaya Portillo
                              Villeda Lecture on LGBT Resistance in
(click to enlarge)

Felipe Quetzalcoatl Quintanilla, November 15, 2012

                    Quetzalcoatl Quintanilla, November 15, 2012
(click to enlarge)

Fanny Daubigny, November 14, 2012
                  Daubigny, November 14, 2012
(click to enlarge)

Fred Aldama, October 17, 2012
Fred Aldama, October 17, 2012
(click to enlarge)

(click image to enlarge)
                  PUBLIC LECTURE | April 17, 2012 @ 3:30 SDSU MAIN
                  CAMPUS LSS 246

Michael Wyatt Harper Lecture

Julia Alvarez lecture

GET more info off our MALAS blog!!!

MALAS Co-Sponsors Cherrie Moraga/SDSU Lecture/Workshop!!!

Cherie MoragaIt brings MALAS tons of pleasure to share the wonderful news that Chicana writer extraordinaire Cherríe Moraga has accepted our invitation to present a lecture about "Decolonization, Gender, and Chicana Studies" on February 18, 2010. (Her biography can be found below.) This lecture will be part of SDSU Women's Studies' 40th year anniversary year-long colloquia, titled "Feminist Crossroads: Bearing Witness and Building Social Change." The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies is also celebrating its 40th anniversary and Adelaida del Castillo will be involved by briefly presenting on the topic in the context of SDSU. As part of Cherrie Moraga's time here in San Diego (2/19 to 2/20), she will also be signing books, presenting a keynote and workshop for the AChA (Association of Chicana Activists) high school conference, and conducting a poetry or play reading in a
community venue.

Cherrie Moraga biography:

Cherrie Moraga is playwright, poet, and essayist whose plays and publications
have received national recognition, including a TCG Theatre Artist Residency
Grant in 1996, the NEA's Theatre Playwrights' Fellowship in 1993, and two Fund
for New American Plays Awards.  In 2007, she was awarded the United States
Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature, and in 2008, a Yaddo Artist
Residency Fellowship.

She is the co-editor of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women
of Color, which won the Before Columbus American Book Award in 1986. She is
the author of the now classic Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Pasó Por
Sus Labios (1983/2003) and The Last Generation (1993), published by South
End Press of Cambridge, MA.  In 1997, she published a memoir on motherhood
entitled Waiting in the Wings (Firebrand Books) and is completing a memoir on
the subject of Mexican American cultural amnesia entitled Send Them Flying
Home:  A Geography of Remembrance.  This year Moraga also completed a new
collection of writings- A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness:  A Decade of
Discourse-to be published by Duke University Press in 2010.

Moraga has also published three volumes of drama through West End Press of
Albuquerque, NM.  They include:  Heroes and Saints and Other Plays (1994),
Watsonville/Circle in the Dirt (2002), and The Hungry Woman (2001).  In 2010,
WEP will publish a volume of Moraga's children's plays, entitled Warriors of the
Spirit.  A San Francisco Bay Area playwright, Moraga has premiered her work at
Theatre Artaud, Theatre Rhinoceros, the Eureka Theatre, and Brava Theater
Center.  Brava's production of "Heroes and Saints" in 1992 received numerous
awards for best original script, including the Drama-logue and Critic Circles
Awards and the Pen West Award. Her plays have been presented throughout the
Southwest, as well as in Chicago, Seattle and New York.  In 1995, "Heart of the
Earth," Moraga's adaptation of the Popol Vuh, the Maya creation myth, opened
at the Public Theatre and INTAR Theatre in New York City.  Currently, Moraga is
completing a new play, "Mathematics of Love" to premiere at City of Angels
Theater in the 2010-11 season.  Her most recent performance work, "La Semilla
Caminante" developed in collaboration with Alleluia Panis and Celia Herrera
Rodriguez, is scheduled to open in a workshop production with Campo Santo
Theater of San Francisco in March 2010.

For over ten years, she has served as an Artist in Residence in the Department
of Drama at Stanford University and currently also shares a joint appointment
with Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity.   She teaches Creative Writing,
Chicano/Latino literature, Xicana-Indigenous Performance, Indigenous Identity
in Diaspora in the Arts and Playwriting.  She is proud to be a founding member
of La Red Xicana Indígena, a network of Xicanas organizing in the area of social
change through international exchange, indigenous political education, spiritual
practice, and grass roots organizing.

Cherríe Moraga's webpage!

History, Myth and Mediation Jim Gerber

Pablo Jaime Sainz
Bhavana Dee

Visualizing Archive Fever


Contemporary Women's
Female Robot

If you are from this species, MALAS is the GRAD PROGRAM FOR YOU!(source: the wooster collective, nyc)
Human homo sapiens


(These courses are not offered ALL semesters, but they do give you an idea of the cool researchers and coursework you can do if you join our program).
Summer Classes 2013 Summer Schedule
american culture
                              since 1960
1st Summer Session? Sex, Drugs, Film, Lit, & Rock 'n' Roll!
Commencement Information 2013

Commencement Info:

Sunday, May 19, @ 10am
West Commons 220

CAL Main College Ceremony
Sunday, May 19 @ 1pm (Precessional @ 12:45pm)
Viejas Arena

fall 2012
                            scheduleFall 2012 | EXTERNAL, PRE-APPROVED MALAS CLASSES & SEMINARS
(Click the friendly red robot to be
teleported to our delightful page of
tasty grad classes)
scheduleSpring 2012
MALAS Classes

Supplementary Spring 2012 MALAS-authorized elective seminars handpicked from across the College of Arts & Letters and beyond!

                              in love

Spring 2010 MALAS Courses

MALAS 600 D Monday nights from 7 to 9:40pm
...with the one and only ROY WHITAKER running the show...

Hip-Hop is one of the most important and misunderstood cultural expressions of the past 40 years. For instance, this movement has been widely appropriated by urban and suburban youth; however, it’s been viewed as a pseudo-art form with little relevance for academic reflection. This course examines this core problem and many other criticisms leveled against Hip-Hop – e.g. use of the N-word, homophobia, misogyny, materialism, and hedonism. To be sure, Hip-Hop is a panoply of sorted issues that concerns critical thinkers in post-modernity like democracy, empire, capitalism, feminism, hegemony, and internationalism. Topics covered in this class will include: commercialization of Hip-Hop; Hip-Hop movies; Hip-Hop and women; rap, politics, and resistance; Hip-Hop Chicano/a; global dimensions of Hip-Hop; Hip-Hop as mediated narrative; Hip-Hop and graffiti; just to name a few.The course’s title – “Hip-Hop Aesthetics” – indicates the larger concern that frames the class discourse: the nature of artistic expression in an inhumane world. “Hip-Hop Aesthetics” pushes the boundary of what is considered “great works” and what is not. Furthermore, since Hip-Hop is a global phenomenon, this class utilizes and encourages a multidisciplinary approach to this subject matter – e.g. sociology, politics, economics, communications theory, American studies, musicology, cultural studies, and film studies.

Spring 2010 MALAS-approved courses (in other departments)

ENGL 563.2 
Drugs, Sex, Rock & Roll

spring 2010 courses
with MALAS Director, Bill Nericcio, in Hepner Hall 210, aka 'the HOUSE of Love' from 9:30am to 10:45 Tuesdays and Thursdays

Do please consider making English 563: Drugs, Sex, & Rock'nRoll: Seductive Hallucinations of Film, Photography, Art, Music, and Literature part of your Spring repertoire each Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am to 10:45am. Though designed for lit and film junkys, the class is open to all majors! In particular, cinema, art, theatre, music, and television addicts are strongly encouraged to add this vice-focused class to your menu of dynamic courses from SDSU! Texts will include CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER by Thomas De Quincey, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM by Darren Aronofsky, A BIGGER BANG by The Rolling Stones, JUNKY by William Burroughs, art by Tara McPherson (work, opposite), Banksy, Magritte, & Remedios Varo. List of works tentative--more to come.

History 680  
Genocide in the Twentieth Century
with Professor Lawrence Baron

Mondays 1800 2040 AL 566

The perpetration of genocide by states intent on eradicating ethnic, indigenous, racial, religious, or socio-economic groups that purportedly pose a threat to their colonial control, national security, political unity, or racial homogeneity has increased in both efficiency and frequency during the course of the 20th Century.  This seminar will examine a variety of disciplinary explanatory models for why genocide occurs and test their validity by applying them to genocides against indigenous peoples, the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor famines in the Ukraine, the ìRape of Nanking,î Nazi euthanasia, the Jewish Holocaust, the Gypsy Porajmos, the Cambodian genocide, the Mayan genocide in Guatemala, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Rwandan genocide, and the current crisis in Darfur.  It also traces the development of modern international law to punish genocide, treaties to prevent it, and reconciliation commissions to provide political closure to post-genocidal societies. 

ENGL 528
Investigating Shel Silverstein
with Professor Joseph Thomas
New seminar investigating the life & work of Shel Silverstein offered this Spring, 2010: ENGL 528. Perfect for MALAS students, this course engages Silverstein's diverse artistic output: his short plays, screen writing, comic strips, cartoons, picture books, poetry, music, fiction, travel writing (for Playboy magazine, no less), & of course, his lifetime project of living the life of the unrepentant, iconoclastic wag, Shel Silverstein.  The professor, SDSU English professor Joseph Thomas, author of the award-winning book Poetry's Playground: The Culture of Contemporary American Children's Poetry, is currently working on a book-length study of Silverstein, tentatively titled The Devil's Favorite Pet: Shel Silverstein, American Iconoclast. Join him in investgating one of the U.S's most inventive & popular artistic & literary figures.

GEOG 575
with Professor Diana Gauss Richardson
Geography of Recreational Land Use examines the importance of location and environment in the use, management, and quality of recreation areas.  The significance of recreation in the human psyche is reviewed through a historical context and carried through to current trends.  Socioeconomic variations among regions and populations are considered in the analysis of established and proposed recreational land uses.  Land use policies and political influences are included in the examination of the establishment of areas set aside or used for recreation.  Field trips are required, and consist of local (San Diego) trips to city/county/regional, state and federal recreational areas, as well as a 4-day trip to Yosemite National Park.

ENGL 549.1 from 11:00am to 1215 TTh
Dystopias and Utopias: From the Erotic
Electric to the Anarchy of Technology

with MALAS Director, Bill Nericcio, in Hepner Hall 222, aka 'The Mad Lab'

Intoxicatingly disturbing and visionary novels!  Mesmerizingly evocative cinema! That's what's on the menu in this peculiar seminar where, among other things, we will explore the notion of a perfect society: a Utopia. Good old Webster's reassures us with its notion of the term: "Utopia n. [NL., fr. Gr. utopia not + a place.] 1. An imaginary island, represented by Sir Thomas More, in Utopia, enjoying the greatest perfection in politics, laws, and the like; hence, any place or state of ideal perfection." But literary history and world cinema is awash in what may be thought of as Utopia's "other"--books and films, that is, bearing the distinct aroma of Utopia's nemesis: Dystopia. From January to May 2010, we will hang out in both Utopias and Dystopias.

The tentative list of texts include Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Daniel Clowes's Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron, George Orwell's 1984, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men, Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and Orson Welles's  Touch of Evil--we will also delve into my own deathless prose tome Tex[t]-Mex in the last part of the semester as we turn to the verge, the US/MEXICO, that MOST dystopic of geocultural enigmas, rich in tradition, conflict, etc. The class is open to all MALAS and English/ Comparative Literature students, but all other interested parties from history, philosophy, political science and the like are welcome to tag along as well.

Sex and the Sacred

with Dr. Mary Kelly
Depts. of Religious Studies and Women’s Studies
Spring Semester 2010 Tuesday 4-6:40 AH3130
A course exploring how religions and sexualities are interrelated Students from any department or program welcome! Ever wonder: Why there are so many religious rules regarding sex? Does God have a sex?  Does God have a gender?  Is there sex in heaven? Is heterosexual monogamy the norm in all religions? How and why do people alter their bodies for religious purposes? Why are monks and nuns celibate? Why are so many religions led by men? How do religions regard same-sex sexuality?  How are transgendered people treated in various religions and cultures?

ENGL 700: 
Seminar: Virginia Woolf

with Professor Bonnie Kime Scott on Mondays 3:30-6:10, CSQ 208

This course approaches the major novels and essays of Virginia Woolf from selected literary and cultural angles.  These include Woolf’s association with modernist authors and their experimental work, her contributions to the emergence of feminist writing and theory, her reflections on the politics of imperialism and war, her expressions of sexuality, and ways that she performs today as a cultural icon and a staple of the literary canon.  We will accompany the primary works with art, media, and  scholarship allowing students to develop various analytical approaches.  Students will have a substantial role in planning these readings and the accompanying discussion.  Texts include the novels The Voyage Out, Jacob’s Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Waves, and Between the Acts, as well as selected essays and her germinal study of women writers, A Room of One’s Own.

Chicana/o Studies 596.
The U.S.-Mexican Border Region: Development,
Environment, & Sustainability
4 to 6:40 on Mondays with Paul Ganster, Ph.D.  at the helm!

This course examines the historical development of the U.S.-Mexican border region and the interaction of human and natural systems. It discusses the environmental effects of this economic development and analyzes the long term sustainability of the region.
                          courses 2011
Fall 2011 MALAS Seminars!
fall 2011 scheduleSummer is ending and the bad news is hitting the streets--sadly, it's freaking out CSU graduate students from Carlsbad to Rosarito! Our delicious assortment of interdisciplinary, cultural studies offerings for Fall 2011 are almost out of seats for prospective LOVERS of the sciences and the liberal arts! Holy Foucault, Batman! Sweet mother of god, Wonder Woman!

robotMALAS 600B "Technosexualities" with Professor Bill Nericcio

MALAS 600C "Comparative Approaches to Cities"
with Professor Kate Swanson

MALAS 600D "Moral Courage: Prison Literatures" with Professor
Chris Frost

hand pointingcourse descriptions now available!

Click HERE for our listing of authorized supplementary MALAS seminars handpicked from across the College of Arts and Letters and beyond!
25 years
25th Anniversary
Year Lectures
More on our 25 years of cultural and interdisciplinary studies
Aldamamuy popMark your calendar, Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 3:30pm, our first 25th Anniversary Lecture of the semester is going down! Frederick Luis Aldama, Professor of English and Spanish & Director of Laser, Ohio State University (and author of over 20 books on literature, graphic arts, film, and the cognitive sciences), is invading Montezuma Mesa and the San Diego State University campus! PG 242--click the flyer opposite for more details. Big shoutout of love to the Center for Latin American Studies, San Diego State University Press, and the College of Arts and Letters for their co-sponsorship of this topshelf academic event!

Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Studies Frankfurt School Walter Benjamin American Studies Feminist Theory Queer Theory Post-colonial Studies Semiotics the Avant Garde
Cultural Studies Interdisciplinary Studies Frankfurt School Walter Benjamin American Studies Feminist Theory Queer Theory Post-colonial Studies Semiotics the Avant Garde

the Human (aka, the Meaning of Life) with SDSU Philosophy Professor Peter Atterton
link to course
advanced undergrads can sign up for
Religion and Music

Religion and Music Aesthetics and Theology with noted musician and university lecturer, Yale Strom
link to course
advanced undergrads can sign up for
hecho en mexico
Radically CHICano/a
 Next Generation Ethnic Am Cultural Studies with UCSD's Daniel Widener
link to course
advanced undergrads can sign up for
Radicalizing Levinas and Animal
                  Philosophy: Ethics and IdentityProfessor Peter Atterton, author of Radicalizing Levinas and Animal Philosophy: Ethics and Identity, is whipping up BIOMED: Decomposing the Human, Spring 2011--click the image, opposite, to read the details
Yale StromYale Strom, a noted musician and pedagogue recently touted in Time Magazine, brings RELIGION AND MUSIC to MALAS this Spring 2011--click the image, opposite, to hear the good tunes... Black Arts West: Culture and
                  Struggle in Postwar Los AngelesProfessor Daniel Widener, author of Black Arts West: Culture and Struggle in Postwar Los Angeles, hits us with RADICALLY CHICana/o, Spring 2011--click the image, opposite, to read the details

Spring 2014 MALAS Courses Now LIVE             
on air

Course descriptions appear on our malasblog!

start buttonWith new seminars on Environmental Social Justice (WATER WARS),  Occult intrigues (Satan and Satanism), Cyborg Aesthetics (Digital Humanities Now),  American Empire and religion (God's Fist), and Interdisciplinary thinking (MALAS 601), MALAS is the West Coast rockingest cultural studies enclave! Hit the ON switch above, now!

 Spring 2014 MALAS External Courses List Archives here!
MALAS is the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts & Sciences, an interdisciplinary/cultural studies graduate program in the College of Arts and Letters @ San Diego State University • office mothership: Arts and Letters, 226B • phone: (619) 594.1516 • fax: (619) 594.4998 • mail: 5500 Campanile Drive, mailcode: 6020, San Diego, CA 92182-6020 • Director and Graduate Advisor: Dr. William A. Nericcio • Administrative Coordinator/Guru: Katie Waltman

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications. That said, most of the info here is pretty reliable; however, we do sometimes make mistakes as we are all too human. Find a problem? Drop us a line and we will fix it right away.  Stop reading this boilerplate legal disclaimer already and take one of our classes.

Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher or compatible viewer: download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Look Who is Visiting