Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies


image divider

Liberal Studies workshops expose prospective students to the experience and course structure of the program in addition to providing a deep discussion of a contemporary critical topic. These workshops are intended as an introduction to the stimulating, fun, and intellectual community that arises out of the classroom experience.

Workshops are: 

  • facilitated by Loyola University Maryland faculty,
  • learning communities facilitating intellectual dialogue,
  • 2-3 days for about 1.5-2 hours per day,
  • connect to issues in contemporary American culture and society, and
  • discussions and text based inquiries that give participants a taste of the Liberal Studies program. 

A nominal workshop registration fee covers helps cover the cost of the readings, light food and drink at each session, and instruction. Participants who subsequently apply for admission to the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies are eligible for a waiver of the application fee. A book scholarship for one semester at Loyola University Maryland in the Master of Liberal Studies Program is also included if an attendee enrolls in the master’s program within one year of attending a workshop. 

Workshop: The Right to Bear Arms

Guns and gun control are undeniably hotly contested topics today. Yet even before the United States was founded, debates about the ethical implications of gunpowder weapons had been raging for centuries.

In fact in the early 1600s, Emperor Maximilian I outlawed handguns shortly after they were invented because he believed that they promoted duplicity and posed a security risk to the empire. Not surprisingly, middle-class citizens of the Holy Roman Empire had a lot to say about his ban. But that was only the beginning. Since those initial debates all sorts of Europeans, from priests and theologians to military commanders, journalists, and writers of fiction have found themselves wrestling with the social and ethical implications of guns, especially handguns.

This workshop will first discuss the historical and historiographical studies of gunpowder weapons in early-modern Europe. On the second day we will consider some of the writers who tackled the issue of guns in European society. Throughout the workshop, we will keep American gun culture in our sights, and draw comparisons between the early-modern and contemporary debates about firearms. Finally, in an optional outing, we will visit the Walters Art Gallery for an instructor-guided tour of the "Arms and Armor" collection with a focus on 16th and 17th century firearms. 

Day 1 – Wednesday, October 26th at 6:15 pm (Evergreen Campus)
Firearms in the Age of Empire (1500-1600)
Reading: Excerpt Gunpowder Weapons in Early Modern Europe (“Smoothbore Ballistics”, 21 pp OR “Firearms in Warfare (II): The Sixteenth Century”, 44 pp) 
Primary Sources: Excerpts from Fronsperger, Kriegsbuch, Maximilian I, Luther, Erasmus
Day 2 – Thursday, October 27th at 6:15 pm (Evergreen Campus) 
The Aesthetics of Gunpowder - God, Men, and Wrongful Death (1500-1700)
Readings: Excerpts from Heedless Hopalong, Don Quixote, and Orlando Furioso; Poems; Broadsheet War Reports from the 30 Years War
Day 3 – Saturday, October 29th at 10:30 am (Walters Art Museum) followed by lunch
Guns, Arms, and Armor in the Walters Collection
A Gallery Talk and Discussion; Lunch to follow at Koffee Therapy (about 3 blocks from the Walters on foot)

Online Registration

For more information please contact the Office of Graduate Admission at 410-617-5020 or graduate@loyola.edu.

Previous Workshops

Spring 2016

Topic: Personhood

When & Where:
February11, 18, and 25, 2016
Columbia Graduate Center
8890 McGaw Road
Columbia, Md. 21045

April 7, 14, and 21, 2016
Maryvale Prep
11300 Falls Road
Lutherville, Md. 21093

How we identify ourselves is crucial to our physical and mental well-being. Our sense of self ex-tends well beyond the physical to the emotional, psychological, and religious aspects of our life. Racial, cultural, and gender sensitivities play a vital role in establishing one’s self-identity and influence everything we do.

Facilitated by: Dr. Patrick Brugh, Dr. Karsonya Whitehead, and Dr. Steven Burr

Fall 2015

Topic: Freedom

When & Where:
October 8, 15, and 22, 2015
Calvert Hall College 
8102 Lasalle Road 
Baltimore, Md. 21286

November 5, 12, and 19, 2015
Archbishop Curley High School 
3701 Sinclair Lane
Baltimore, Md. 21213

Freedom is a value so embedded in what it means to be American that we rarely question it as a social and individual good. Yet individuals and societies may define freedom variously. The limits of individual freedom are continually tested in our courts, and the consequences of unfettered freedom without responsibility and mutual obligation threaten domestic stability and upset the balance between the freedom to act and the need to feel secure. 

Facilitated by: Dr. Patrick Brugh, and Dr. Randall Donaldson

Spring 2015

Topic: "Extremely Loud Politics: Gender, Immigration, and Race in America

March 12, 26 and April 2, 2015

The Bryn Mawr School 
109 W Melrose Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

The United States of America has never been short on political controversy surrounding ethnicity and gender. But how have oppressed groups, their allies, and their oppressors wrestled with the egalitarian ideals of the nation while promoting their own strongly held opinions? How did they deal with the ways in which their own political goals rubbed against the political struggles of others, as – for example – the linked efforts of suffragists and abolitionists did in the nineteenth century?  More often than not, loudness, rather than logic has been the dominant mode of political movements in America. This workshop holds the acoustics of social movements such as feminism, immigration reform, and – more recently – the racial tensions surrounding Ferguson against the backdrop of their ideas, quests, and political outcomes. 

Facilitated by: Dr. Patrick Brugh,, Dr. Randall Donaldson,  and Dr. Karsonya Whitehead

Fall 2014

Topic: "Freedom and Its Discontents" 

November 13, 20, and December 4, 2014

Mercy High School 
1300 E Northern Parkway, Baltimore, MD 21239

Freedom is a value so embedded in what it means to be American that we rarely question it as a social and individual good. But sometimes people and cultures want other things, such as security, stability and clear expectations. The limits of individual freedom are continually tested in our courts. The consequences of unfettered freedom without responsibility and mutual obligation make us uneasy about generational divides. This workshop will delve more deeply into this issue in three parts. Part one of the workshop looks at examples of technology as both our master and servant and the ways in which it can enslave or empower us as individuals. Part two looks at the question raised by liberation theology: what is the way theology can change our understanding of the political realm? Part three tackles the contentious topic of academic freedom. How can we best educate others and ourselves in a culture of standardized texts, market pressures, and a nagging public distrust of academia? How free should teachers be?

Facilitated by: Mr. Louis Hinkle, Dr. Suzanne Keilson, and Dr. Thomas Ward 

Topic: "Media and Culture in the Postmodern Era"  

October 2–4, 2014

Loyola Blakefield High School 
500 Chestnut Avenue, Towson, MD 21204

Conversation focused on readings from Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death" and Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind" among others.

Facilitated by: Dr. Patrick Brugh, Dr. Randall Donaldson, Dr. Graham McAleer, and Dr. Brian Murray

These workshops are for prospective master's program students only and are not be considered as continuing education. No course credit or credentials will be awarded.