Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies

Spring 2016 Course Offerings

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SPRING (January 19–May 12, 2016)

No classes: 2/29–3/6; 3/24–3/27
Last day to withdraw: 4/19/2016


LS 665.401: The Law as a Tool for Social Change

The law (legal theory and practice) has served as a powerful tool of suppression, both maintaining unjust status quos and motivating social legitimacy. This class will examine whether law is an appropriate tool of social reform or a harmful distraction reaffirming existing hierarchies. In seeking to refine the possibilities and limitations of this tool, we will examine ancient and current appeals to the law by outsiders, ranging in diversity from Socrates to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Supreme Court decisions from the present term. (Thematic)

Winsome G. Gayle, J.D.

Mondays, 6:30–9 p.m., 1/25–5/9/2016 [no class 2/29, 3/28, 5/9]

LS 740.601: Bargains with the Devil: The Faust Legend in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture

Are you intrigued by devil worship, witchcraft, magic and sexuality? Do the devil and all things evil make you curious, or at least make you shudder in an intriguing way? Then this course is great for you. Legends of a pact with the devil have long served as a metaphor for the desire to surpass the limits of human knowledge and power at any cost. Starting with the sixteenth-century Faust Book, which recounts the story of a scholar, alchemist and necromancer who sold his soul to the devil, and extending to the most recent cinematic, musical and literary versions of the devil's pact, this course explores our enduring fascination with the forbidden: evil; devil worship; witchcraft; magic; and sexuality.

The course will examine a wide range of popular legends of the devil's pact as they appear and are variously interpreted in film, music, and literature, from Goethe's Faust, one of the classics of world literature, to “Rosemary’s Baby,” to blues legend Robert Johnson, who supposedly sold his soul to the devil, “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” “Bedazzled” (the one with Dudley Moore and Peter Cook), and “Angel Heart.”

We will be discussing the meaning of evil and the history of the devil; the infernal logic of political systems and ideology (Nazism); witchcraft, magic, and sexuality; the purported link between the devil and music; the devil as cultural interloper; and the devil and self-knowledge

We'll linger over the issues that intrigue us and spend time with the films, music, and literary works which we encounter. The goal will be to blend intellectual and cultural titillation and a substantial acquaintance with the wide-ranging popular legends of the devil's pact to explore some of the burning questions of our time.

The primary printed text will be Goethe’s Faust, but we will also look at Marlowe’s version of the Faust legend and at least one modern adaptation. The course will culminate in an individual project which presents a contemporary rendering of a bargain with the devil. (Thematic)

Mr. Randall Donaldson

Tuesdays, 6:30–9 p.m., 1/19–5/3/2016 [no class 3/1, 3/22, 5/3] 

Required of all students in their first semester.


* LS 715.501: Detective Fiction and Film

This course examines those special, unique appeals the conventions relating to the detective story has and what these may tell us about what we as a culture believe in. We’ll look carefully and critically at a unique intersection between popular and serious culture, one that has extraordinary potential for illuminating the anxieties and aspirations of a culture drawn to the detective genre. We’ll discern the origins of the genre in serious literature and Jungian archetype as well as in pop culture, and we may even speculate about the genre’s future in the age of hypertext. By drawing on the theories of a poet, a cultural critic, and a mystery writer, we’ll reflect on those psychological and cultural needs to which the fantasy of the detective-hero responds. We’ll learn the distinct detective conventions of British and American writers, and will examine the emerging female voice in American detective fiction. Readings include stories or novels by Poe, Doyle, Hammett, Chandler, Parker, Graton, Lippman and others. We’ll also reflect on film adaptations of some of the great detective stories. Class project is an original mystery story. (Historical)

Dr. David Dougherty 

Thursdays, 6:30–9 p.m., 1/28/–5/12/2016  [This is a hybrid course which will be taught both online and face-to-face. Face-to-face meetings will take place at Loyola’s Columbia Center on 1/28/16; 2/11/16; 3/10/16; 4/14/16; and 4/28/16]

*Hybrid online/classroom course 


LS 673.601: Minding Metaphors

Through workshops, lecture, and discussion, students will explore the crafting of contemporary poetry; a short-fiction component will also be part of the course. Readings encompass a wide range of contemporary writers. Writing assignments consist mainly of a few poems, as well as some fiction; students will enjoy broad latitude in subject and approach. Discussions are often prompted by short reading responses to homework assignments. One or two oral reports as well. At the end of the semester, students will turn in a portfolio (with a short, critical introduction) of a revised story and 2-3 revised poems. No previous experience or expertise is required. (Creative)

Dr. Timothy Houghton

Wednesdays, 6:30–9 p.m., 1/20–5/4/2016 [no class 3/2, 3/23, 5/4]