The rollercoaster of the past three years triggers some fascinating questions : how did a gaffe-prone candidate with virtually no experience, scant funding and an amateurish campaign organisation slay so many political giants? How enduring is his legacy likely to be? What are the Democrats' perspectives for re-taking power in Washington and beyond?
A wander down history lane may give us some clues.
But beyond personality cults and the consitutional prerogatives of the various institutions, we'll be addressing some of the broader cultural fault lines running through American society. Students will research and present contemporary topics like white privilege and race-relations, economic inequality, war and patriotism, health(s)care controversies, the power of financial, religious and industrial-military lobbies, election campaign shenanigans and the limitations of the mainstream / 'lamestream' media. Each presentation will be illustrated by the brief commentary of a related audio-visual extract. Course evaluation also includes essay writing and plenty of group and pair-work and participation.
We'll also be studying a rich repertory of political satire from comedians such as Samantha Bee, Steven Colbert, Jon Stewart and SNL. But to start the course you'll take a political orientation test to establish if you're a tree-hugging, bra-burning liberal or a God-fearing, gun-totin' Wacko bird.
This is a coursework-based module and any unjustified absences will be reflected in the grade.