Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies

Summer 2016 Course Offerings

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Summer I (June 1 – July 14, 2016)

No classes: 7/4, 7/5
Last day to withdraw: 6/21/2016


LS604.401: Modern Hispanic-American Fiction

There are essentially three kinds of Spanish American authors known to English-langauge readers: those who have emigrated to the United States, those who were born in the United States, and those who live in Latin America but are influential in the United States.

Perhaps the most famous from the first group is Isabel Allende whose House of the Spirits became a Hollywood blockbuster movie. The second group’s Rudolfo Anaya made his name with his Bless me Ultima, a beautiful narration of the Chicano experience in New Mexico. The most important author from the third group is Gabriel García Márquez whose One Hundred Years of Solitude revolutionized writing in Spanish more than any other work since Don Quijote. These and other authors representing diverse Spanish American traditions will be read.

Dr. Thomas Ward, Monday and Wednesday, 6:00–9:00 p.m. [6/1–7/13, no class, 7/4]. (Historical)



LS657.501: Democracy and Democratization

We take for granted that countries are—or ought to be— democratizing. But this is a new and remarkable assumption. Why would we want a country to be (or become) democratic? Scholars argue that democracy is good inherently, and the best tool for producing a just and prosperous society. Others purport that “democracies don’t go to war with each other” and even “democracies don’t have famines”! But as we have seen in the last few years, democratization can be a volatile process.

What counts as “democratic”? Elections? Free speech? A “fair” distribution of income? What’s necessary for democracy and democratization? Are there cultural, social, economic, or institutional “requisites” before democratization can begin?

Building on this foundation, we will focus on four stages of democratization: after World War II (1945), the “third wave” of democratization (after 1974), after the Cold War (after 1989), and with special attention to post-9/11 Middle East. Are there historical lessons? How does social media matter? And more….

Through case studies and comparative analyses, we will consider the different methods and levels of success of countries that initiate a transition to democracy by themselves, and countries on which democracy is “imposed” by outsiders. Reading sources will vary from book-length treatments, scholarly journal articles, first-person accounts, Congressional testimony, and shorter articles and documents from leading scholars, practitioners, and journalists.

We will rely on a series of short written assignments and a consideration of one topic at greater length. You may choose a topic from the course or an approved non-course topic. You will develop an interesting question, and address it using a wide range of resources, and present your findings to the class in our last meeting. Finally, throughout the semester you will spend some time on one particular facet of Ignatian pedagogy—reflection.

Dr. James Quirk, Tuesday and Thursday hybrid, 6:00–9:00 p.m. [6/2–7/14, no class, 7/5], face-to-face meetings, 6/2, 6/16, 6/30, 7/12. (Thematic)

Summer II (July 18 – August 25, 2016)

Last day to withdraw: 6/21/2016


LS641.401 Human, Animal, Machine:  The Place of Nature in our Techno-Consumerist Age

We will study contemporary, largely American, authors, as they reconsider our imperiled relation with the natural world. McKibben (The Age of Missing Information) compares twenty-four hours spent on an Adirondack mountain with twenty-four hours of programming on every single cable TV station. Weston (An Invitation to Environmental Philosophy) explores the rich intelligence of animals, including our own pets. You’ll be invited to investigate your own relationship to nature and technology (smartphones down, please).

Dr. Drew Leder, Monday and Wednesday, 6:00–9:00 p.m., 7/18–8/24. (Thematic)


LS657.501: Democracy and Democratization

With the dawn of the American democratic experiment came new opportunities for identity and gender construction. Men and women from all over the world poured into America and brought with them their own notions of what it meant to be men and women. Although manhood is often viewed as stable and fixed, rooted in biological truths, history and literature tell a story of gendered contingency and uncertainty, often paired with intense anxiety. This course looks at the way manhood has changed in America by reading the historical and literary documents that influenced Americans’ perceptions of themselves and their individual and collective manhood. Using Michael Kimmel’s Manhood in America as a historical guide, we will read works by Benjamin Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Fredrick Douglas, Willa Cather, Henry James, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Sinclair Lewis, Richard Wright, John Updike, David Sedaris, and other American authors. The diversity of these authors, male and female, multi-racial, straight and gay, as well as multicultural, will provide a spectrum of views on American masculinities, and allow us to interrogate different varieties of masculinity from different perspectives.

Students will give two brief presentations, a five- to ten- minute review of a scholarly article on masculinity and a ten-minute presentation on the theme of masculinity in an American film. Students will also write four reaction blog posts, discussing the reading for the week and posing questions to be addressed in class. Finally, students will write a fifteen- to twenty-page research paper discussing the theme of masculinity in one of the texts through a historical or theoretical lens.

Dr. Patrick Brugh, Tuesday and Thursday hybrid, 6:00–9:00 [7/19–8/25], face-to-face meetings, 7/19, 7/28, 8/9, 8/11, 8/23, 8/25. (Thematic)

Required of all students in their first semester