Faith and Doubt
One of the most famous poems of the Victorian age, Alfred Tennyson’s In Memoriam, was a constant presence on the bedside table of Queen Victoria, as she mourned the death of her husband. In spite of her confidence that the poem offered a consoling vision of life after death – “Next to the Bible, In Memoriam is my comfort,” she wrote in her diary – other readers saw more darkness than light. Modernist poet T.S. Eliot said, by contrast, “In Memoriam can, I think, justly be called a religious poem, but for another reason than that which made it seem religious to his contemporaries. It is not religious because of the quality of its faith, but because of the quality of its doubt.” This seminar investigates cultural artifacts that, as with In Memoriam, force readers to grapple with the relationship between faith and doubt.
Melissa Jenkins, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the WFU Department of English’s Literature Program. She earned her BA in English from Wake Forest University and her MA and Ph.D. in English from Harvard University. Her research includes nineteenth-century British literature and culture, the history of the book, and gender studies. Current projects include book-length manuscripts entitled Habits of Sympathy in Victorian Britain and Children’s Literature and the Architectural Imagination.
Issues in U.S. Foreign Policy: Past and Present
For the better part of the last century, the United States has been among the most important actors in international relations. Today, it stands as a power generally unrivaled, though change is afoot as well – new powers, like China, are rising and old powers, like Russia, are reasserting themselves. This course seeks to address two main questions. How do we understand who the United States is abroad, both past and present? Here, the course draws from history, political science, sociology and economics to explore the multifaceted factors that have impacted U.S. foreign policy on a range of issues, especially in the domain of international security. The second question the course addresses is who should the United States be abroad? This part of the class will explore debates informed by multiple disciplines over appropriate and good objectives to pursue abroad as well as how the United States should pursue those objectives. Here, the emphasis will largely center on contemporary issues, like humanitarian intervention, terrorism, nation-building, and nuclear proliferation both generally and with respect to specific countries (like North Korea, China, Iran, and Syria) at the center of U.S. foreign policy debates today.
Will Walldorf, Ph. D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Affairs and Shively Family Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest University. He focuses primarily on international relations, United States foreign policy and grand strategy. His latest book, To Shape Our World For Good: Master Narratives and Forceful Regime Change in United States Foreign Policy, 1900-2011 (Cornell University Press, 2019), explores the ways that broad, public narratives drive major U.S. foreign policy decisions about forceful regime change. He is also the author of Just Politics: Human Rights and the Foreign Policy of Great Powers (Cornell University Press, 2008), which won the 2010 International Studies Association ISSS Award for the best book on international security. Will has published articles on topics related to United States foreign policy and
grand strategy in several edited volumes as well as International Security, The European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, Political Science Quarterly, Washington Quarterly, National Interest, and Huffington Post. He is co-editor of the Oxford Companion to American Politics.
Will is currently writing a book, titled America’s Forever Wars: Why So Long, Why End Now, What Comes Next, which among other things develops a comprehensive strategy for over-the-horizon counterterrorism in U.S. foreign policy. His other ongoing research focuses on the role that domestic legitimacy plays in U.S. grand strategy, especially
toward rising powers. Will received his BA from Bowdoin College and his MA and Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Virginia. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at Dartmouth College and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He taught at Gordon College, Dartmouth College, the University of Virginia, and Auburn University before coming to Wake Forest.
If you have questions about the Liberal Arts Studies M.A. program, please contact us so we can help you!
April Strader Bullin
Liberal Arts Studies M.A./Lifelong Learning