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This course is designed to introduce you to college-level academics, the Politics and Global Studies disciplines, and enduring and contemporary world political issues through watching documentaries and interviews with leading political scholars, theorists, and thinkers. On the broadest level, politics refers to the competition among people for resources, power, and shared meaning or in the classic iteration of one scholar politics is about “who gets what, when and how.” While keeping this meaning of politics in mind as the link that ties together all of our course topics, we will be viewing and evaluating how great documentarians and thinkers analyze some of the most important perennial and contemporary political issues and topics, including ones pertaining to American foreign policy, the environment, globalization, human rights, immigration, international relations, nuclear weapons, peace activism and movements, political philosophy, the rise of China, terrorism, and women and politics.
This course examines the role of social media in advocacy campaigns. We will focus primarily on social justice and issue oriented advocacy campaigns, but we will also examine brand advocacy (i.e. marketing). Following a broad introduction to advocacy in general, we will discuss best practices for advocacy campaigning, especially in relation to communication.
The course also provides a general introduction to social media technologies before focusing more specifically on the role of social media in advocacy campaigns. We will examine particular theoretical issues related to the contemporary use of social media in advocacy, including the degree to which it engenders and/or excuses apathy, and the degree to which it facilitates democratic organization, mass protest, and political change.
We will also examine specific social media platforms as they relate to advocacy, making frequent use of case studies. Along the way, you will generate ideas and make your own social media texts, all in preparation for a final project that will involve articulating the strategy for a social media campaign.
This course is designed to develop basic and crucial writing skills, with the primary goal of enabling you to write successful argumentative essays of the type that will be required in many of your other classes. It is neither a grammar nor a creative writing course, though you will be expected to hone your grammar and think creatively. Our focus, however, will be on critically engaging, processing, reacting to, and articulating complex ideas. In other words, in this classroom writing will be understood as a process that begins long before you put pen to paper or fingers on the keyboard.
Our work will be organized into several modules. We will begin by learning how to read critically and in preparation for composing an essay. We will then work toward understanding the purpose of an argumentative essay and the basic components and skills required to compose one. The next module focuses on conducting successful research. At the conclusion of the course, you will demonstrate your progress by producing a relatively short but well researched, organized, and articulated argumentative essay.
This course explores the nature, theory, and history of social movements with a particular emphasis on their contribution to democratic governance. We will first explore scholarly attempts to define social movements and theorize their role in political and cultural change. From this basis, we will conduct a historical survey of significant social movements (broadly defined) in the modern era of Western civilization. These may include: the Protestant Reformation, the English Civil War and British Revolution, the French and American Revolutions, the Abolitionist movement, European Communism, the Indian Independence Movement, Latin American Socialism in the mid-20th century, and US social movements in the late 20th and early 21st century. We will conclude with a reengagement of social movement theory.
Detailed list of electronic resources available to AJU faculty and students
Instructions for accessing print and electronic resources both on and off campus
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