Loyola University Maryland


Self and Other Course Pairing

History Matters: The Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945) (HS 105D)

Rather than approaching history as a list of dates, names, and historical events, this introductory course instead explores how historians define and practice their craft, approach key themes in their scholarship, and deploy 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. Unlike many other disciplines, history has no set canon, nor does it have a narrowly defined set of practices or theoretical approaches. This course sets out to introduce students to some of the methods used by historians, while bearing in mind that historical knowledge is provisional and complex. 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. Finally, this course also asks students to think about why the study of history is important to our lives today. Indeed, our introduction to the discipline of history takes aim at answering a deceptively simple question: why does history matter? In exploring why history matters, we will analyze the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean experience of the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945).

Faculty biography

Dr. Austin Parks teaches courses on East Asia in the History Department. He specializes in the history of Japanese photography and war memory in Japan from 1945 to the present. He is currently writing a book on Japanese war photographers who covered the Vietnam War for audiences back home. He lives in Baltimore with his partner, their son, and a funny dog named Maxie.

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

Professor Marian Crotty is an Associate Professor of Writing at Loyola University Maryland. She is the author of 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.

Mentor biography

Brian Loeffler is Head Coach for the Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving team. He earned a Loyola undergraduate degree in Information Systems in 1991, and a MBA in 1994. Brian has coached Paralympic swimmers in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympic Games. He has worked at Loyola for 29 years, and has mentored hundreds of students through the years.

Mentor biography

Sarah Lewis graduated from Winthrop University with a B.A. in Visual Art and a minor in mathematics. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Japan as a participant in the JET Programme, living and working as an English teacher in the port city of Kobe from 2009 to 2014. Sarah currently works within the office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, providing support to Messina, National Fellowships, and Pre-Health Programs. She is one third of the Loyola-based chamber group 3 in Threes, and is proud dog mom to two rescue mutts, Opal and Luna.


Virtual Advisor

Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements (History and Writing) for all students. HS 105D also fulfills the diversity core requirement.

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Advising and Support

7 ways Loyola helps ease the transition to college

A student shares seven ways her first-year experience was enhanced by the people and programs at Loyola.

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