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The Good Life Course Pairing

Encountering the Past (HS 100)

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. 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. We will engage these topics and questions by exploring myths and realities related to the Middle East. In the Western media, the Middle East is often depicted as a hot desert inhabited by Muslim Arabs where women are oppressed, violence is endemic, and anti-Western views are dominant. In reality, the Middle East is an ethnically diverse region of the world and the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as home to one of the world's oldest civilizations. Members of different faith groups and ethnicities have coexisted and cooperated with one another as well as having come into conflict. We will explore how distorted views and images regarding the Middle East took hold and became popularized though literature, media, film, art and other mediums. We will also examine how the native peoples of the Middle East addressed Western representations of the Orient in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries at the height of European imperialism.

Faculty biography

Dr. Bahar Jalali teaches the history of the Middle East and also specializes in Gender Studies. 

Effective Writing (WR 100)

This course will introduce you to the discipline of writing in the university through analytical and productive work with the contemporary essay and its various genres. You will learn how to conceive and pursue a line of inquiry about a subject, how to develop an original argument, and how to support an argument with various sources of evidence, including scholarly research. You will develop and practice a full writing process, including planning, drafting, considering critical feedback, revising, reflecting, and editing. And you will hone your critical reading skills to evaluate and engage with other people's arguments. To help you achieve these goals, we will critically examine and respond to texts, in a range of genres, written by authors in the real world for real audiences. We will also do a lot of writings consciously and reflectively employing the concepts and strategies we learn about inside and outside of class. All of the work we do in this class is grounded in rhetoric: the effective use of language and symbols, always sensitive to context, especially one's audience and productive of change. The various skills you learn and practice in this course will enable you to become a more thoughtful, reflective, critical thinker who can participate in intellectual and world-shaping conversations inside and outside the academy. 

Faculty biography

Professor Dominic Micer has been reading and writing for more than half a century and has been teaching writing for nearly a third of a century. His favorite book is Primo Levi's The Periodic Table; his favorite painting is Winslow Homer's Right and Left, and his favorite musical composition is Steve Reich's The Desert Music. He has been known to tell a joke or two in class; students in the class have been known to laugh at those jokes sometimes. 

Mentor biography

Katie Benoit grew up in central Massachusetts before coming to Loyola as an undergraduate. She recently completed her Masters in Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies from Ohio University and her role on campus is the Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventures in the Department of Recreation and Wellness. You can find Katie running, biking, cooking, or spending time with her cat, Crawford, when not at Loyola!

Virtual Advisor

HS 100 satisfies the History core requirement for all students. WR 100 satisfies the Composition core requirement for all students.