Loyola University Maryland

Messina

Stories We Tell Course Pairing

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American Literature and American Dreams (EN203.01T)

When the poet Langston Hughes lamented that America was not "America to me," he was referring less to a physical place than to an idea or ideal, what sometimes is called the American dream.  That dream comes in different versions, reflecting different visions, and many of the great writers of American literature have responded to those visions in their work.  This course examines America's dreams through studying some of the major works of American literature.  Authors include Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Robert Penn Warren, and more. EN 203 is open only to students who receive Advance Placement credit for Loyola's introductory core English course, "Understanding Literature," by earning a grade of four or five on the AP Literature test.

Faculty Biography

Paul Lukacs, a graduate of Kenyon College and the Johns Hopkins University, has taught in the department of English for 31 years. He previously directed Loyola’s Honors Program. He lectures and writes about many aspects of American culture, and is the author of American Vintage (Houghton Mifflin, 2000), The Great Wines of America (WW Norton, 2006) and Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World’s Most Ancient Pleasures (WW Norton, 2012).

American Politics: American Exceptionalism: Fact and Fiction (PS102.01T)

Is America exceptional?  This seminar invites students to consider what is unique about America’s historical development, its society and culture, and, especially, its government and politics.  Examining key documents, speeches, debates, letters, and literature from the American founding to the present, seminar participants will compare, contrast, and otherwise interrogate evidence of “American exceptionalism” and explore the political uses and power of exceptionalist claims throughout American history.  

Faculty Biography

Douglas B. Harris (B.A., The American University; Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University) is professor of political science, faculty co-director of Messina, and dean of undergraduate studies.  His research on Congress, political parties, and media politics has been published in numerous scholarly journals as well chapters in edited collections on congressional elections, media framing techniques, and public trust in government.  He is co-author of The Austin-Boston Connection: Fifty Years of House Democratic Leadership (Texas A&M University Press, 2009) and co-editor of Doing Archival Research in Political Science (Cambria Press, 2012).

Mentor Biography

Heather Moore is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland, where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. She later earned a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Notre Dame of Maryland University. Heather has held various positions in the education field including classroom teacher, contract manager, State administrator, and is currently the Assistant Dean for Assessment and Data Management in the School of Education, where she has worked since 2008.

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