The Good Life? The Politics of Power, War and Peace (PS 101 and Honors PS 101)
This course introduces the study of Politics by inviting students to engage with some of the most challenging questions and problems within the field. Through analysis of key historical texts and contemporary essays, and writing assignments that require both close reading and the application of theory to contemporary problems, students will sharpen their skills in critical thinking, argumentation and reflection. The course begins with the study of power and a particular emphasis on the less visible forms it takes. It then moves to historical and contemporary arguments on the causes of war and peace, with readings that ask us, is violence innate or is it socially constructed (either through norms or the structure of the international system)? We build on this foundation by examining the various forms of power wielded in colonial state formation and how this resulted both in acts of resistance and legacies of oppression. Finally, the course undertakes an examination of two responses to war (human rights advocacy and humanitarian aid) and the ways in which efforts to remedy the injustices of war cannot be disentangled from the political. Does war afford us “the good life” and who or what is sacrificed in the process?
Professor Lynch teaches courses on international politics, global justice, gender, human rights and conflict. Her research includes the study of justice in democracies at war, human rights movements, norms and institutions and comparative and international law.
What Is Found There: Literature and the Good Life (ENGL101)
“It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”
In this course, we will begin by asking some foundational questions: What is literature? Who reads it and why? How are literature and literacy changing in the 21st century? As the poet William Carlos Williams suggests, literature is not the same as the news. Poems, short stories, novels, and plays make unique demands on us as readers; they ask us to think, feel, and experience the world in new and sometimes difficult ways. Throughout the semester, we will immerse ourselves in a range of literary works from the nineteenth century to the present in order to examine “what is found” in literature. What is it that makes this art form unique? What can literature offer to our contemporary world? Is literature an essential part of the good life?
Melissa Girard is an assistant professor in the Department of English. Her research focuses on twentieth-century American poetry, and she is especially interested in popular and political poetry movements from World War I to the present. Originally from Pittsburgh, she has a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Illinois, and still roots for both the Pirates and the Illini.
Michelle Cheatem has served the Loyola community for eighteen years in various capacities. Currently she serves the Loyola community as Assistant Vice President of Student Development. In her role, she works closely with the offices of ALANA Services, Student Activities, Student Engagement, and Parking and Transportation. She is passionate about providing students with the resources and guidance to help them reach their full potential. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Manchester University and her M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University.