Loyola University Maryland


Self and Other Course Pairing

Encountering the Past (HS100)

Rather than approaching history as a list of dates, names, and historical events, this introductory course instead explores how historians have defined and practiced their craft, approached key themes in their scholarship, and deployed a vast array of evidence in support of historical interpretations. In other words, we will study how historians make their histories. In doing so, we will approach the discipline as a contested landscape full of debate and conflict where ideas do battle. Along the way, students will develop the skills necessary for understanding and producing histories, which include the critical evaluation of sources and the ability to write cogently and persuasively about events in the past. This section will focus on the causes and consequences of the “Taiping Rebellion” in China’s long nineteenth century.

Faculty biography

Dr. Austin Parks hails from Bozeman, Montana, where he earned B.A.s in History and Photography from Montana State University. Following that, he advanced degrees in History from the University of Oregon (M.A.) and Northwestern (Ph.D.). His primary scholarly interests include modern Japanese history, visual culture, and war memory. Dr. Parks has taught East Asian history at Loyola University Maryland since 2017.

Writing about Place (WR 100)

This course asks you to explore how people and communities are shaped by place. We will study contemporary place-based writing with subjects ranging from historical reenactments in New Mexico to tourism in Colombia. We will learn how these essays are researched and constructed, paying particular attention to techniques that can be borrowed for your own writing. You will learn to write effectively in multiple genres and for diverse audiences and purposes; you will also develop research skills and writing processes that will improve your writing during and beyond your time at Loyola.

Faculty biography

Marian Crotty is the author of the short story collection, What Counts as Love, which was longlisted for PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Her essays and short stories have appeared in venues such as the Kenyon Review, the New England Review, and Best American Short Stories 2020. She is an Associate Professor of Writing and a contributing editor at The Common, a journal based in Amherst, Massachusetts that features writing with a strong sense of place.

Mentor biography

Victoria Gue is the Director of Loyola's Academic Advising and Support Center (AASC). In this role, she advises undergraduate students regarding Loyola's degree requirements, policies, and procedures. She also works closely with the transfer student population, assisting with their transition into Loyola. Victoria has been a Messina mentor since 2015 and enjoys working with first-year students. She has a B.A. in English and journalism and a M.A. in Contemporary Communication from Notre Dame of Maryland University.

Patrick Murnane is a proud Maryland native and an avid baseball fan who co-runs his own baseball podcast. He works in the Academic Advising and Support Center as an Advising Specialist. He graduated from Salisbury University with a degree in History and then earned his Master's in History at Rowan University in New Jersey. When not at work or at a baseball stadium, Patrick loves to spend time with dog, Griffey.


Virtual Advisor

Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements (History and Writing) for all students.

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Your first year

What, exactly, is Messina?

A closer look at Loyola University Maryland's first-year experience.

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