Presidential Election and the New Media/Honors

HST 300 - Presidential Election and the New Media/Honors

MySlice Info:

Term: Fall 2016
Class #: 26212
Section: M004
Credits: 3

Prof. Peggy Thompson

Counts toward:
HNR Soc Sci, Interdisciplinary, Public Presentation

Course Time(s):
T TH3:30 - 4:50 pm


Course Description:

Beginning in 2008, the so-called “new media”—from social networks to blogs and podcasts, to narrow-cast radio and video—have played increasingly significant roles in American electoral politics. And these same new media continue to evolve and shape the style and substance of campaigns and governance. In this class, we will explore the roles of these media, focusing on the 2016 presidential race. Among the resources we will examine are networking sites (especially Facebook); YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter; candidate sites; various blogs; television programs such as The Daily Show, Nightly Show, Last Week Tonight, Full Frontal, and SNL; and electronic outlets for traditional news media. Class members will work in teams to follow the election (presidential and other major races) in various states and regions, and each student will be required to present a piece of independent, individual research by the end of the semester. This class also will enable community engagement and trans‐generational outreach because, in addition to the Honors students who are enrolled, there will be ten participants from “Oasis,” a cultural enrichment program for senior adults. (We will meet once a week with the Oasis members, and once on our own.) Because both the subject matter and the resource material for this course are new and are constantly evolving, students inevitably will help to shape some of the actual direction of our work. Additionally, given the unpredictability of electoral cycles, we will need to be open to the unexpected! In any event, it is hoped that this class will prepare students not only to understand the transforming world of American politics, but also the challenges and consequences of using online materials in pursuing scholarly research and inquiry. Finally, we will attend to the differences between how those born early and born late in the 20th century participate in the electoral process and think about citizenship, as well as how they use and respond to the new media in all its varieties.