Contemporary U.S. Politics
Winter 2024 not offered
This course will focus on contemporary politics in the United States. We will cover topics such as populism and the Trump presidency; current political narratives concerning immigration; the rise of the "alt-right"; debates over free speech, race and civil rights, state violence and mass incarceration, militarism, and reproductive rights; as well as climate change and the possibilities of environmental justice. This course functions as an introduction to the American studies major and will familiarize students with central methodologies and issues within the field. In this immersive Winter Session course, we will work together with primary sources and critical scholarship in an interactive and discussion-based format. Assignments will include scholarly and popular critiques, as well as visual media such as film and television.
|Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar
|Grading Mode: Student Option
|Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)
Major readings encompass a range of scholarly texts as well as political journalism; primary sources from major American newspapers; and other forms of contemporary media, including television, film, and social media sites. Texts include:
Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: HOW GOOD INTENTIONS AND BAD IDEAS ARE SETTING UP A GENERATION FOR FAILURE
Sam Harris, LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION
Kathleen Belew, BRING THE WAR HOME: THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT AND PARAMILITARY AMERICA
Jane Mayer, DARK MONEY: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE BILLIONAIRES BEHIND THE RISE OF THE RADICAL RIGHT
Amitav Ghosh, THE GREAT DERANGEMENT: CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE UNTHINKABLE
|Examinations and Assignments:
Participation; Moodle postings; final paper.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments:
This course is scheduled to be held online. In-person courses may be moved online due to the pandemic. All Winter Session students should expect some readings and assignments to be due during winter break, prior to the beginning of Winter Session class meetings. The syllabus can be found at this link: https://www.wesleyan.edu/wintersession/pdfs/1240/Grappo-AMST179Z-SYL.pdf
Additional syllabi for Winter Session courses will be posted to https://www.wesleyan.edu/wintersession/courses.html as soon as they are available.
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