Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies

Spring 2017 Course Offerings

Spring (January 17 – May 11, 2017)

No classes, 3/6, 3/12
Last day to withdraw: 4/18/2017


LS600.401: Self and World: Fundamental Issues in Human Existence

What does it mean to be a human being in the world? Through an examination of the fundamental conditions and experiences of human existence, this course will undertake to define the human self, the world, and the manner in which the two relate. Themes to be considered may include faith, exile, solidarity, and death.

Dr. Steven A. Burr

Monday, 6:30–9:00, 1/23/2017–5/8/2017 (Historical) [no class 3/6, 3/27, 5/8]

Required of all students in their first semester; open to others by permission only


LS713.501: The Many Faces of Immigration

The United States has long been known as a nation of immigrants. Most current residents originally came from someplace else, or at least their forebears did. This course will examine the process and the history of immigration to North America across a broad cross-section of individuals of numerous national origins and ethnic groups. There will also be a consideration of the political, social, and economic conditions in both the native country and the receiving country which might have encouraged a person to emigrate or influenced his or her reception in the adopted country. Students will also have an opportunity to consider the subject from the vantage point of their own family background.

Dr. Randall Donaldson

Tuesday, 6:30–9:00, 1/17/2017–5/2/2017 [This is a hybrid course which will be taught both on-line and face-to-face. Face-to-face meetings will take place at Loyola’s Columbia Center on 1/17/17; 2/7/17; 2/28/17; 3/28/17; and 4/11/17] (Historical)


LS635.601: A Genealogy of Race

This course explores the modern European ‘scientific’ invention of the concept of race as a way of categorizing human difference in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writings of intellectuals such as Voltaire, Kant, Forster, Blumenbach, as well as Gobineau and Galton. The course then turns to exploring the persistence of the category of race in scientific writing throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. The course concludes with a critical analysis of statements that debunk race as a scientific category.

Racial identity remains at the very core of the modern ego. Yet the American Anthropological Association issued a position paper in 1998 claiming that “[r]acial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human species and about the abilities and behavior of people homogenized into ‘racial’ categories,” and claimed further “evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about ninety-four percent, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic ‘racial’ groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes.” Despite this pronouncement, the construct of race remains entrenched in modern scientific discourse, both in the human sciences and the biological sciences.

Dr. James Snow

Saturday, 9:00–12:00, 1/21/2017–5/8/2017 (Historical) [no class 3/11, 4/1, 5/8]

LS666.601: Personhood at the Extremes

Humans have persisted in thinking of themselves as a species apart, but what makes humankind unique individually and as a species remains unclear. Advances in neuroscience, computer science, as well as ethics, generate questions about the nature of intelligence, consciousness, and personhood as well as the rights and protections associated with being human. In this course we will tackle classic readings from Descartes to modern ruminations on artificial intelligence, examine our relation to our creations and pets and the way our various identities affect the way our personhood is perceived and protected.

Dr. Suzanne Keilson

Thursday, 6:30–9:00, 1/19/2017–5/11/2017 (Thematic) [no class 3/9, 3/30, 4/13, 5/11]