2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Zinn and the Art of Protest

Fall 2011 and Winter 2012 quarters

Jose Gomez constitutional law , Michael Vavrus education, history, political economy
Fields of Study
history, law and government policy, law and public policy, political economy, political science and writing
Preparatory for studies or careers in
law, education, public policy, political theory, history, and political science.

Howard Zinn (1922-2010), arguably more ably and comprehensively than any other historian, documented injustice and dissent as defining features of the United States from its founding to the present. His steadfast commitment to democratic values, justice and equality, along with his assurance that "small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress," have also inspired countless Americans to protest unjust laws, policies and practices.

In this program, we will use Zinn's life and works as a framework to study the centrality of dissent to American democracy and the impact it has had on weaving the nation's social, political and cultural fabric. We will study how ordinary people, from pre-revolutionary America to the present, have stood up to power in order to redeem the Bill of Rights' guarantee of protecting people from the government rather than protecting government from the people.

Along with our study of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, class, age, disability and sexual orientation that continues to defy the constitutional promise of equality, we will examine how political dissent, so essential to correcting these inequalities, has been suppressed and criminalized from the 18th century's odious Sedition Act to the 21st century's reactionary U.S.A. Patriot Act. While there will be no clear demarcation of themes between quarters, events of the 18th and 19th centuries will receive our greatest attention in the fall quarter, and events of the 20th and 21st centuries will receive our closest scrutiny in the winter quarter.

Program activities will include lectures, workshops, films, seminars, guest presentations, and group and individual projects.

Online Learning
Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online
Greener Store
Offered During