Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing

What Is Found There: Literature and the Good Life (EN 101)

“It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there.”

In this course, we will begin by asking some foundational questions: What is literature? Who reads it and why? How are literature and literacy changing in the 21st century? As the poet William Carlos Williams suggests, literature is not the same as the news. Poems, short stories, novels, and plays make unique demands on us as readers; they ask us to think, feel, and experience the world in new and sometimes difficult ways. Throughout the semester, we will immerse ourselves in a range of literary works from the nineteenth century to the present in order to examine “what is found” in literature. What is it that makes this art form unique? What can literature offer to our contemporary world? Is literature an essential part of the good life?

Faculty Biography

Melissa Girard is an assistant professor in the Department of English. Her research focuses on twentieth-century American poetry, and she is especially interested in popular and political poetry movements from World War I to the present. Originally from Pittsburgh, she has a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Illinois, and still roots for both the Pirates and the Illini.

The Good Life? The Politics of Power, War and Peace (PS 101)

This course introduces the study of Politics by inviting students to engage with some of the most challenging questions and problems within the field. Through analysis of key historical texts and contemporary essays, and writing assignments that require both close reading and the application of theory to contemporary problems, students will sharpen their skills in critical thinking, argumentation and reflection. The course begins with the study of power and a particular emphasis on the less visible forms it takes. It then moves to historical and contemporary arguments on the causes of war and peace, with readings that ask us, is violence innate or is it socially constructed (either through norms or the structure of the international system)? We build on this foundation by examining the various forms of power wielded in colonial state formation and how this resulted both in acts of resistance and legacies of oppression. Finally, the course undertakes an examination of two responses to war (human rights advocacy and humanitarian aid) and the ways in which efforts to remedy the injustices of war cannot be disentangled from the political. Does war afford us “the good life” and who or what is sacrificed in the process?

Faculty Biography

Professor Lynch teaches courses on international politics, global justice, gender, human rights and conflict. Her research includes the study of justice in democracies at war, human rights movements, norms and institutions and comparative and international law.

Mentor Biography

Mark Fusiak serves as the Associate Director for Student-Athlete Support Services where he advises student-athletes from Women’s Lacrosse, Women’s Soccer, Swimming & Diving, and Golf.  Prior to coming to Loyola in October of 2015 Mark worked at the University of Maryland and Ohio State University.  He received his B.S. in Business Administration from The College of New Jersey and M.A. in Higher Education Administration from Rowan University.


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