PSCI 230
American Political Thought
Last Offered Spring 2008
Division II
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

What makes political thought “American”? Is there something distinct about the American political imagination that shapes how we think about liberty, equality, and government? And who exactly is the “we”? This course examines these questions and others by exploring the evolving relationship between conceptions of “the frontier” and the idea of representation throughout American history. We shall see that debates over how to represent the community lead almost inescapably to the question of the proper boundary of the community–of who gets included or excluded from membership in the polity. We will explore the Founding period in detail, and then move on to examine several expansions of the public sphere in the 19th and 20th centuries, including those related to race, gender, class, and nationality. How do these openings in the political realm reflect differing notions of freedom, justice, and property? In conclusion we will ask how the meaning of “America” may be affected by recent debates over immigration and “la frontera” to the south.
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3837
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, presentation, three 5- to 7-page papers
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
LEAD American Domestic Leadership
PSCI American Politics Courses
PSCI Political Theory Courses

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