Loyola University Maryland


The Good Life Course Pairing g207

Encountering the Past: Legacies of Modern Empires (HS 100)

Far from being a relic of the ancient world, empires existed across the world well into the twentieth century, and some people would argue they still exist today. This course will explore the legacies of modern empire with a focus on two questions. How did colonial empires leave their mark on the contemporary world? And what were the consequences of the fall of modern empires and the rise of independent nation-states—a process sometimes called decolonization? Rather than taking a survey approach, we will investigate these questions through two case studies: Ghana, which gained its independence from the British Empire in 1957; and Puerto Rico, which remains an unincorporated territory of the United States. These very different cases are useful lenses for looking at how historians interpret the past, because they shed light on historical debates about what defines an empire, how (and whether) empires should be compared, and what happens when empires end. As we examine these debates, we will also discuss how the legacy of empire has influenced contemporary ideas about democracy, citizenship, migration, race, gender, and capitalism. 

Faculty biography

Dr. Sam Klug is an Assistant Teaching Professor in History. He received his Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in 2020. He is currently working on his first book, provisionally titled The Internal Colony: Black Internationalism, Development, and the Politics of Colonial Comparison in the United States, which examines how global decolonization influenced the politics of race and class in the mid-twentieth century United States. His work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the LBJ Presidential Library, the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His writing has appeared in Diplomatic History, the Journal of the History of International Law, Politico Magazine, and Dissent, among other places.

Food: How our Food Choices Impact our Health, our Environment, and our Society  (BL 120)

The development of agriculture was one of the great innovations in human history, allowing our species to expand to the current population size of over eight billion. However, this change in diet has had broad implications for both humans and the health of the earth. This course investigates the science and issues involved in food production and consumption. Topics include evolutionary changes in the human diet; food and the environment; the impact of diet on human health; and social justice issues related to food production and accessibility. Good food, especially in the company of friends and family, is one of the great pleasures in human life. The Good Life theme will be extended in this course to also consider how your food choices impact other humans, other organisms, and the Earth itself. This is a course designed for non-majors and serves as a core course in the natural sciences; the course also can be taken by prospective biology majors as a free elective. This course fulfills the requirements for the minor in Environmental and Sustainably Studies.

Faculty biography

Dr. Elissa Miller Derrickson is an Associate Professor of Biology.  She grew up in Pennsylvania, received her BS from Shippensburg University and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the evolution of physiology and life history traits in mammals. Her research has taken her to Canada, Colorado and locally to study reproduction of Peromyscus (field mice) in their native habitat.  In addition to her interests in biology, she also likes traveling, reading fiction, cooking, and eating!   

Mentor biography

Garrison (Garry) Schmitt moved to Maryland and joined the Loyola team in 2018 having departed from his former role in Hospitality Administration with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. Garry has a diverse educational background, having served in both K-12 as well as higher education roles. Garry finds true joy when empowering students to pursue their identity and passions. Bring on the Jesuit value of cura personalis!  Originally from Berlin, CT, Garry completed his B.A. in Psychology from fellow Jesuit institution, College of the Holy Cross, and his M.Ed. degree in Higher Education Administration from Post University. In his free time, Garry enjoys leadership/special interest podcasts, games with friends, and spending time with his Wife, Steph, and his Chihuahua, Luke.

Virtual Advisor

HS 100 satisfies the History core requirement for all students. BL 120 satisfies a core requirement for non-science majors. This course pairing is not recommended for students considering a major in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Forensic Studies, Engineering, or Elementary Education.

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