Study Programs

New MLA Course Taught by Former Maryland State Archivist


The Johns Hopkins Master of Liberal Arts program is offering a new course this fall taught by Dr. Edward Papenfuse. Dr. Papenfuse was the Maryland State Archivist for 38 years. He retired last year and developed the course, “In the Rockets’ Red Glare: Citizen, Slave, Soldier, Sailor, and the Nearly Forgotten Faces of Baltimore in 1814”. This course will take students through historical archives to explore the tumultuous past of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.

Over the past few years, building up to the 200th Anniversary Celebrations of the British failure to capture Baltimore in September of 1814, much has been written about the military side of the defense of the City, but in the process the story of the community as a whole and the individuals that comprised it, has been overlooked, perhaps even ignored. Yet the story of the city in 1814 is both national and parochial in scope.

Students will write entries for a new blog focused on the everyday life of the city during 1814, with an emphasis on specific occupations such as caulker, hairdresser, actor, lawyer, ships carpenter, newspaper editor, and preacher. They will use resources from the Eisenhower library, the Maryland State Archives, the Baltimore City Archives, and the Maryland Historical Society to reimagine the world of 1814. Students will also interact with the Baltimore Heritage “Every Day is Monumental” online collection of stories and weekly events. The conversation will continue on social media using the hashtag #bmore1814.

Topical lectures on aspects of city life in 1814, including “The Map that Made Baltimore” which looks at Baltimore’s efforts to know itself and plan for future development, will occur throughout the semester. Students will get field experience with one class held at the Maryland Historical Society to review and discuss their exhibit on the War of 1812.

Space is still available in this exciting course. Add the course using our online form to reserve your spot!

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