If Not Us Then Who?: Student Activism 1960 - Present

Spring 2017
ENGL 1102 N1
ENGL 1102 F5

In the course, we take a compelling ride through the major student movements of the post-war period, beginning in 1960 and making our way up to the present day. From the fearless nonviolent student activists of the Civil Rights era who endured beatings and bus-burnings to the bold youth of the 1999 “Battle in Seattle” who faced tear gas and riot police, American students of the modern era have a great deal to teach us. We look closely at the role of the relationship between student activism and community mobilization and examine the questions: What does "community" mean? What shapes inclusion and exclusion of particular groups and values? How has the "digital age" affected community organizing? Finally, how do activists call on pre-existing community identities and catalyze the formation of new ones in pursuit of social change? The price of the ticket is your commitment to honing, diversifying, and strengthening your own communication strategies. Other course aims include engagement with local, student-led social justice campaigns; cogent analysis of the relationship between democracy and public schooling; cultivation of a long, analytical view of student activism across time; and development of your awareness of yourself as an agent of change on campus, in Atlanta, and in the world.  Students in this course will be partnering with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in creating self-guided tours for visitors interested in environmental justice and related issues.

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