03:00 PM to 04:15 PM MW
Section Information for Fall 2020
American presidential elections are obviously historic, because they mark the transfer or continuity of political power at the highest level in American life, if not the world. But US presidential elections are also an opportunity to think historically, about the context of innumerable societal concerns, such as the role of the executive branch in government, the use of force to resolve international disputes, the United States' place in the world, the role of the state in the individual's life, the distribution of public resources, social justice and human rights, civil-military relations, media coverage and influence, and the design, function, and history of the electoral process itself. This course will be responsive to developments within the US presidential election of 2020 by considering the histories of issues that will inform the election and by providing historical antecedents to current events as they unfold. It will also emphasize the skills required to research, consider, question, discuss, and write about current events from an historical perspective.
The course will combine lecture, guest lectures, readings, documentary films, and discussion. Students' active participation in class is encouraged. Skills developed in the course include formal and informal writing, discussion participation, public speaking, basic historical research methods, textual analysis, and critical thinking.
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