FIST229: POLITICAL TURMOIL: “What just happened? What’s going to happen? What do we do now?”
Prof. Meg Furniss Weisberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1:20-2:40pm
Political turmoil, while disconcerting to say the least, is nothing new. This course will look at case studies from different times and regions (the creation of the US; the 1960’s in the US, France, Italy, and elsewhere; Brazil’s and Chile’s dictatorships; Italy in the 90s; the Arab Spring; post-Revolution Iran; the Great Leap Famine in China; contemporary Mali and D. R. Congo; and the U.S. just before the Civil War, among others) to see how others have responded to periods of political oppression and upheaval. After an initial period of discussion based on readings, we will hold conversations with members of our campus community who have experienced various forms of political turmoil.
The goal of the course is ultimately project-based: as we gain perspective on the issues, we will turn what we learn into well-informed, measured, concrete action. In particular, we will workshop several writing exercises related to the topic and destined to make an impact (letter to the editor, letter to an elected official, public service announcement for the radio, etc). All students (including those whose first language is not English) are welcome in the course and will receive individualized attention to their writing.
The structure of this course will be somewhat unusual: after the first few meetings, the first session of each week will be devoted to discussing the week’s reading and collectively brainstorming questions; during the second session, we’ll ask those questions of the week’s invited guest (often, but not always, another faculty member). We will write and workshop pieces related to the topic and/or destined to make an impact (letter to the editor, letter to an elected official, public service announcement for the radio, etc). We are also going to make a radio program interviewing our guests, so that the course can reach a wider audience.
This course is going to be an experiment: it will operate more like a working group than a regular academic course, and I will be learning beside you, rather than imparting information. My role will be to teach about effective writing, deepen your critical thinking and analytical abilities, solicit guest speakers who will suggest readings, and facilitate discussions. The class will be graded CR/U, and would likely be fine to take in addition to a normal course load—though it goes without saying that you should check with your advisor.
More info: contact:
Meg Furniss Weisberg
Visiting Assistant Professor of French
Interim Director of Academic Writing
300 High St, Middletown CT USA
+1 (860) 685-2902