Maxine Isaacs (Department of Government)
Freshman Seminar 41P 4 credits (fall term) Enrollment: Limited to 16
For two hours each week, students will work to understand the history, forces and politics of American presidential campaigns and elections. Each student will be “responsible” for one presidential election between 1960 and 2020, and, together, members of the seminar will develop some perspective on dramatic changes as well as enduring factors that have shaped our own times, issues and society. With the help of some guests—practitioners including political leaders, public opinion analysts and journalists—students will develop a deeper understanding of contemporary politics; the impact of demographic patterns and changes; public opinion and polling; and political communication. Students will learn about the relationship among politics, news and public opinion, and who influences whom. Participants will be introduced to excellent contemporary studies about modern presidential campaigns and elections. At the end of the term, students will make oral reports to the class on lessons learned from a past election which can help all of us better understand this one.