The Good Life—Literature and Medicine (EN 101)
"We are healthy only to the extent our ideas are humane." -- Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
This literature course will focus on the human side of illness, disability, and mental and physical health. We'll grapple with the ways that dealing with health issues -- whether as patient, caregiver, or observer -- forces us to express, and sometimes question, our identities, cultures, and values. Readings will include poetry, fiction, essays, and a contemporary novel, all chosen to help us explore through discussion and writing what it might mean to live a good and healthy life, whatever our physical or mental condition. Among the readings will be some works by practicing physicians. The course should appeal particularly to students interested in literature, psychology, medicine, and other health-related professions.
Dr. Gayla McGlamery
(B.A., Baylor University; Ph.D. Emory University) teaches introductory English courses as well as upper-level courses in Victorian literature and culture, and film adaptation. She is Co-Director of the Honors Program, a past chair of the English Department; a former co-director of Loyola's international program in Leuven, Belgium; and a long-time academic advisor. She enjoys reading, exploring the Baltimore food scene, watching Ravens football, and binge-watching dark Scandinavian mysteries.
A Bio-Psycho-Social Study of the Good Life: An Introduction to Psychology (PY 101D)
How does the field of psychology define "the good life"? In this course, we explore psychology - the scientific study of the brain, the mind, and behavior - in an attempt to better understand who we are and what it means to live the good life. Using research to challenge our assumptions, we ask such questions as, "How does memory work?" "What are the roles of nature and nurturing in shaping personality?" and "How does stress affect our physical and mental health?" This course draws on numerous theoretical perspectives to introduce contemporary psychology and emphasizes the different social and structural biases that have (and continue to) shape the development of the field. This course introduces you to the broad scope of psychology, linking the many subfields with primary commonalities, and highlighting the diversity and complexity of the human experience.
Dr. Theresa DiDonato is an associate professor and social psychologist in the Psychology Department at Loyola. She received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Brown University and her research focuses on aspects of romantic attraction (e.g., humor use) and romantic relationship processes (e.g., forgiveness). She is the author of Meet, Catch, and Keep, a blog for Psychology Today.
Deborah Miller is an Associate Director in the Records Office. She earned her Master's degree from Loyola's Department of Psychology in 1998. After working as a counselor in Philadelphia, Deborah returned to Loyola as an administrator in 2001. Deborah is in her 6th year as a Messina mentor and loves working with students as they transition to college life and academics.
Both courses in this pairing satisfy core requirements for all students. For students considering a major in the Sellinger School of Business, Psychology will count as an elective since Sellinger School of Business students will take Microeconomics Principles and Macroeconomic Principles as their two, core social science courses. This course pairing may especially appeal to students considering a pre-med major.