Loyola University Maryland


Stories We Tell Course Pairing

Writing America (EN 101)

This course undertakes an adventurous road trip across the American literary landscape, reading works that establish and challenge the idea of American identity. In their effort to capture the expanse of the American geography, the diversity of its people, and the shadings of its society, writers have turned to a variety of literary forms and stretched them to their limits. We will engage in close study and analysis of several of these literary experiments, including works of poetry, fiction, and graphic narrative. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in literary experimentation in their own right, working alongside local primary- and middle-school students to create a literary magazine for their school in a semester-long service-learning project.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Jean Lee Cole is professor of English and the director of the American Studies program at Loyola. Her published research encompasses nineteenth and early-twentieth century American literature, periodical studies, and visual culture. She is the author of How the Other Half Laughs: The Comic Sensibility in American Culture 1895-1920 (2020) and several other books, including editions of the plays of Zora Neale Hurston and the Civil War newspaper columns of Henry McNeal Turner. She loves to explore Baltimore's many distinctive neighborhoods and its fascinating history. She also plays the piano and flute, bakes bread, and likes to make things out of fabric, yarn, and paper.

American Exceptionalism: Fact and Fiction (PS 102)

What is America? This seminar invites students to consider what is (and what is not) unique about America's historical development, its society and culture, and, especially, its government and politics. Examining key documents from the American founding to the present and contrasting "exclusive" and "inclusive" visions of American-ness, seminar participants will compare, contrast, and otherwise interrogate evidence of "American exceptionalism" and explore the political uses and power of exceptionalist claims throughout American political history.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Douglas B. Harris (B.A., The American University; Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University) is professor of political science. His research on Congress, political parties, and media politics has been published in numerous scholarly journals and as chapters in edited collections. He is co-author of The Austin-Boston Connection: Fifty Years of House Democratic Leadership (Texas A&M University Press, 2009) and co-editor of Doing Archival Research in Political Science (Cambria Press, 2012). His most recent book, Choosing the Leader: Leadership Elections in the U.S. House of Representatives was published by Yale University Press in 2019 and he is currently finishing a book called Weaponizing Distrust: The Strategic Promotion of Distrust in Government is under contract at Columbia University Press.

Mentor Biography

Fr. Jack Dennis, S.J.
I am the Loyola University Chaplain and work in the office of Campus Ministry. The essence of my ministry on campus includes faith-based retreats, the celebration of the Sacraments and pastoral counseling. I have been the president of two Jesuit high schools and love being a part of our Loyola University Community.

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

For students considering a major in the Sellinger School of Business, Sociology, Global Studies, Economics or Psychology, Political Science will count as an elective. EN 101 satisfies the English requirement 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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