J298 In A Time of Emergency: Covering American Politics Now

From the country’s inception American politics has been intensely, often brutally fought. But not since the eve of the Civil War in 1860 has the United States endured a political crisis like the one set off by the 2020 election. Never before has an American president refused to accept defeat and denounced the election he lost as a fraud. Never before have tens of millions of his followers believed him. And never before has the losing candidate tried to hold onto power by launching a violent coup d’etat. In the wake of the January 6 siege of the Capitol the United States is suffering an unprecedented crisis of political legitimacy. What had been the country’s distinguishing strength — its orderly system of handing power from one elected leader to the next — has been crippled. Will the election of 2024 restore the system’s legitimacy? Or will it mark the effective end of a quarter millennium of democratic governance? In this seminar we will probe this vital question, in part by studying the best that has been written about how the world’s oldest democracy came to this pass. And we will learn together how one goes about reporting on American politics now — in a time of emergency. 



Time:  TU 2–5pm

Location:  104 North Gate

Class Number:  32872

Section:  005

Units:  3

Length:  15 weeks

Course Material Fee:  None

Enroll Limit:  12

Restrictions & Prerequisites