Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies


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The faculty in the liberal studies graduate program vary across multiple disciplines to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge and course offerings for students. They are experts in their field and passionate about their subject matter. They are anxious to share their knowledge with their students and promote dialogue and further exploration of the course material.

The list below provides a thumbnail sketch of the professional interests and background for faculty teaching during the 2016-17 academic year:

Steven A. Burr is Director of Program Operations and Affiliate Instructor in the Graduate Liberal Studies program at Loyola University Maryland, and Editor-in-Chief of Confluence–The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. His first book, Finite Transcendence: Existential Exile and the Myth of Home (Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), examines the human engagement, aesthetically and existentially, with the finitude and limits that define human existence. More recently, he has written on identity, marginalization, and liberal education for the journal Zeteo. He completed his doctoral work in liberal studies at Georgetown University, where he also developed and taught courses until 2012.

Randall Donaldson is an Associate Professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Director of the Liberal Studies Program. He has taught in the Liberal Studies program since the mid-eighties. Dr. Donaldson did his doctoral work at Johns Hopkins, where he developed a special interest in German-American literary relations. He has made numerous presentations on German-American culture and published a number of articles on the topic as well. He currently edits the Report, the journal of the Society for the History of the Germans in Maryland, and has just completed a number of projects on the history of the German element in Maryland, including the foreword to the reprint of Dieter Cunz’ classic, The Maryland Germans.

Suzanne Keilson joined the Loyola College community in 1994. She was Assistant and the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2004 to 2014. She is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering Department. She earned her B.A. in Physics from Yale University  and her Master’s and Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Columbia University. She worked for Perkin-Elmer on the Hubble Space Telescope and was a post-doctoral researcher at the Johns Hopkins University Biomedical Engineering Neural Encoding Laboratory studying the encoding of sounds by the peripheral auditory system. Her current interests include innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability, signal processing, materials science, and engineering education. She has taught engineering for undergraduates, including developing a first-year introduction to engineering course on Design, Creativity and Problem-Solving.

Brian Murray has published books on H.G. Wells and Charles Dickens, and has been an advisor to the Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature. His essays and reviews have appeared in the Weekly Standard, The Reader (UK), First Things, and the Dictionary of Literary Biography, among other places, and have been reprinted or excerpted in the Concise DLB, Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism (forthcoming). For the DLB, he has written about such figures as D.H. Lawrence, G.K. Chesterton, Bram Stoker, and C.P. Snow. His biographical essay on the television writer Rod Serling appears in the Winter 2016 issue of The New Atlantis. A Professor in the Department of Writing, he also teaches in the Film Studies and Honors programs.

James Quirk, a Loyola alumnus, teaches at American University and The Catholic University of America. His work has taken him to the Balkans, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and a Loyola service-immersion mission to Mexico. He has published articles in U.S. and foreign journals, is actively engaged in the emerging scholarship about online education, and blogs for the Foreign Policy Association. He has taught in the Liberal Studies program since 2003.

James Snow earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Temple University. He is a member of the Department of Philosophy at Loyola University Maryland and has an editorial position with the International Association of Genocide Scholars. His research focuses on philosophy and genocide, nineteenth-century German philosophy, and the European invention of race. He frequently presents papers at conferences in Europe as well as the United States. His most recent publication is “’Don’t Think But Look:’ Using Wittgenstein’s Notion of Family Resemblances to Look at Genocide,” Genocide Studies and Prevention Vol. 9, No. 3 (2015). His current project is titled “Framing Gender in Historical Films: The Case of Genocide in Rwanda.”

Thomas Ward is Professor of Spanish and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies program at Loyola University. He has also published three dozen research articles and a number of books, including La anarquía inmanentista de Manuel González Prada (New York: Peter Lang, 1998), Pumping Images (London: Minerva Press, 2000), Teoría literaria (Mississippi: Romance Monographs, 2004), and Resistencia cultural (Lima: Universidad Ricardo Palma, 2004), as well as a translation of the Peruvian poet Domingo de Ramos, China Pop, which appeared this past year in a bilingual edition (Cardboard House Press, 2016). His latest book, Decolonizing Indigeneity: New Approaches to Latin American Literature (Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield) is due out soon. He has developed a variety of courses for the Liberal Studies program on topics ranging from Latino literature, Central American literature, the Latin American Boom novel, and most recently Liberation Thinking. In 2011, he received The Harry W. Rodgers, III Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award.