Loyola University Maryland


Stories We Tell Course Pairing

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 received his BA from Kenyon College and his MA and PhD from the Johns Hopkins University.  A member of Loyola's English department since 1981, he is the author of a number of books, most recently Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures.

Perceptions across the Atlantic: Dreams, Realities and Stories (HS 101)

This course will examine European perceptions of the New World starting in 1492 with Columbus’ records of his discovery and ending with the dreams and realities that marked the end of the Cold War and the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  This Messina section of the history survey will underscore the complexity of the exchanges across the Atlantic.  We will look at the definition of the New World and the economic exchanges that shaped the European markets. By studying the sugar plantations we will look at the slave trade and the abolitionist movements across the Atlantic.  We will read stories of European women and men who migrated to the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries and their roles in creating the American dreams and defining the realities of life in America.

Faculty Biography

Katherine Stern Brennan PhD researches and writes on the cultural history of seventeenth century France- - focusing on life outside of the court at Versailles. She received her PhD from Johns Hopkins University and has been teaching at Loyola University Maryland for many years. She very much enjoys teaching first year students and helped design the initial format of the Messina program.  The challenge of helping students to ask questions of the past in order to better understand the present has always motivated her to connect course work with contemporary issues. She travels to France frequently and when possible returns to a family farm in Vermont.

Mentor Biography

Heather 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 the School of Education where she has worked since 2008.  Heather has been a Messina mentor for the past four years working with students in the Stories We Tell and Self and Other themes.
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