“I travelled to Syria twice in 2011 and 2012 and published lengthy reports on the brewing civil war in Foreign Policy.”
The American University of Malta English professor Dr. Schwartz has attained some major accomplishments in his career. Dr Schwartz used to exercise journalism as his profession before embarking on an academic career. During such time, he published a good 30 or 40 articles in the local Houston newspaper. “When I was working as an English professor at the American University of Beirut, civil war broke out in Syria. Since I was next door I thought now is the opportunity to apply my journalism skills. My journalism instincts were aroused and so I ended up traveling to Syria twice in 2011 and 2012 and publishing lengthy reports on the brewing civil war in Foreign Policy.”
This was not the only time that Dr. Schwartz published articles on his experience in a war zone. A few years later, he found himself in Mexico and war had boiled over between the vigilantes and the Knights Templar drug cartel, in Michoacán, a state in western Mexico. “Once again my journalistic instincts were aroused and I ended up traveling to ground zero in Tierra Caliente, Michoacán, and publishing a series of articles on that chapter in the Mexican Drug War.”
Having a vast experience in reporting and writing, Dr. Schwartz is now happy to share all his experience in his teaching at AUM. During the interview, Dr. Schwartz mentions his father as a source of inspiration. “Well, I think I learned from my father’s example that an intellectual should have more than just one area of interest and be able to exercise more than just one skill. He is a writer in a number of genres and I have sought to be like my father in that regard. So, when I found myself publishing literary criticism, my primary task as an English professor, I thought to myself that I should cultivate another skill in another writing genre. Hence, I have occasionally turned to journalism, and, of course, being able to exercise my pen in more than one genre helps me to teach my composition students all the better.”
This cultivation of skill shows in his current research. “Right now, I am drawing up a paper proposal on Fausto, a play by the great Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, for an upcoming conference in Lisbon this summer. Also, I am drawing up a proposal to guest-edit a special issue of an academic journal dedicated to Pessoan studies, so all my pokers in the fire are related to Portuguese modernism at the moment.”
Dr. Schwartz teaches Composition 1 as an introductory course and Composition 2 as a second-semester course. This is his first semester teaching a wonderful group of students from all around the world. Dr. Schwartz teaches students reading, writing, and critical thinking in the English language. At the American University of Malta, proper English skills are given a lot of emphasis.
When asked how his experience in Malta has been so far, he expressed how this has been nothing but positive and exciting. “When I travel, I always seek to take advantage of the beauty and the cultural and natural resources of whichever part of the world I find myself in, and Malta, as you know, is very rich and natural, historical and cultural resources.”
If you have a flair for critical thinking and critical writing and want to enhance your knowledge in this regard, now is the time to choose AUM. In the fall, the university will launch an English Learning Center that will run year-round for students wishing to come for two weeks, six weeks, months months or even a year. This program, which Dr. Schwartz will be directing, will be tailored for students wishing to study English for academic purposes or for their particular job fields. Apply now at the American University of Malta and be among the first to attend a state-of-the-art American-style university.