Washington Center

Spring Semester 2018

General Research

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 10 to March 14, 2018
Semester Dates: 
January 10 to April 18, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

Research methods in the social sciences are a set of tools that assist us in understanding our world. This seminar is designed to teach you how to be a critical observer of and contributor to that world using these methods. The course has an academic and a practical or civic component. As scholars, we are interested in contributing to a body of knowledge based on the systematic examination of our surroundings; we ask questions, develop theories, collect data to subject to various forms of analysis, and submit results in written form for critique by experts in our field and ultimately for publication in our discipline’s scholarly journals. As practitioners and citizens, we are interested in devising solutions to the world’s problems; we ask questions, examine relevant bodies of knowledge, develop arguments and communicate them to stakeholders to effect change. We will spend the term being both scholars and practitioners/citizens, using your internship experiences, DC, and the larger national and global community, to explore questions and answers through each of these lenses with the tools that improve our lives.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDC191A01W18

The Federalist Papers

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Semester Dates: 
January 11 to April 19, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

This course is devoted almost exclusively to reading The Federalist Papers. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote these papers in order to persuade the people of New York to ratify the Federal Constitution that had been adopted at the “federal” convention held during the steamy summer of 1787 in Philadelphia. Their significance for us lies in the effort to articulate the theoretical foundations underlying the proposed new regime. The challenge the authors of the Constitution faced was how to establish a popular government, based on the consent of the people institutionalizing the principles of freedom that had emerged during the period of the European Enlightenment, and yet create a government that was strong (“energetic”) enough to rule but would not oppress.  The Federalist Papers explore how the particular provisions of the proposed constitution try to meet those often competing ends.  We are not reading The Federalist Papers to discover the much talked about “original intent,” but rather to understand the theoretical grounding of a particular political regime that happened to be instituted in 18th century America. 

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM5S18

American Political Journalism

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Semester Dates: 
January 9 to April 17, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

This class will explore the relationships among politics, news media and government. It will do so by focusing on particular news events in which the role of the media became an integral part of the story. Some of the sessions may change based on guest speakers’ schedules; topics of discussion and readings may also change based on breaking news events.

 

SPACE IN AMERICAN POLITICAL JOURNALISM IS LIMITED!

 

To be considered for this semester elective course, you MUST complete this form NO LATER THAN Friday, November 17, 2017.  To select students for the class, Professor Lozada will email instructions about the pre-screening process and then will choose among the applicants those who will be admitted to the course. Students will be informed about their status before the first day of class.

 

If American Political Journalism (APJ) is your first choice of elective, you MUST still enroll in another elective to guarantee yourself a space in an elective class. If you are selected for APJ, the Administrator of Academic Services will switch your enrollment from your second choice to APJ.  If you are not selected, you will remain enrolled in your second choice. 

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM3S18

Politics and Poems

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Semester Dates: 
January 11 to April 19, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

This course is a space for writing and discussing poems in our capitol. The course title takes as inspiration the name of the renowned independent bookstore (Politics and Prose) in Washington, but with a twist. Accordingly, most of the assigned texts will be by DC area poets who will visit the class as special guests. This course is as much about reading poems as writing (and revising) them. Students will attend at least one live literary event to experience poetry as performance, as well as visit a museum or gallery to use the visual or plastic arts as a springboard for their poetry. Finally, students will acquire and hone the vocabulary necessary to offer constructive feedback on one another’s work.

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM7S18

Lobbying, Money and Influence in Washington D.C.

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Thursdays, 6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.
Semester Dates: 
January 11 to April 19, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

This course will be an intense examination of lobbying in Washington with particular attention given to the role of money and campaign finance in the operation of what has become a highly sophisticated and poorly under-stood network of advocacy and influence. It will provide a basic understanding of three different but interrelated knowledge sets: the Congress, political money and lobbying by interest groups. Student should understand that while the lectures are focused on those individual subject areas and that the semester is divided into three separate sections for that purpose, the readings later in the term will often relate to earlier lectures. This is done with the intent of “connecting the dots” among all these somewhat diverse topical areas. 

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM2S18

Toxic Rhetoric

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Semester Dates: 
January 9 to April 17, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

The valorization of the down-to-earth simplicity of the everyman is a mainstay of American politics; even Ivy League educated public servants affect the pose of being "just like us" as a means to discredit their critics and win political support for their ideas. To label someone as "elite" ("a latte-drinking, Volvo-driving, egg-headed, French loving, sushi-eater") whether a politician, a reporter or an expert is to discredit the authenticity of his or her ideas. Elites are not to be trusted, and expertise is dangerous; intellectuals twist the facts and "hold average people in contempt." Conversely, the masses are considered by “educated” elites as ignorant, backward, rural, chauvinistic and bigoted.  In this class we will explore both the roots of anti-intellectualism and its contemporary manifestations in the toxic rhetoric that currently dominates American political culture.  To do this, we will immerse ourselves in some of the divergent media environments and eco-systems which feed the culture of American politics, including film, television, radio, blogs, print media, memes, posts, comments, twits, etc., as well as academic literature.  The syllabus, as it stands, can and will be altered according to current events, and these current events will be used to supplement our weekly discussions and analysis.

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM4S18

Campaigns and Elections

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Term or Semester: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m
Semester Dates: 
January 9 to April 17, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Semester Elective
Description: 

Even though we experienced an election last year where the rules supposedly did not apply, anyone who hopes to pursue a career in politics – or just be a good citizen -- should be familiar with some basics about the electorate and the mechanics of election campaigns.  Also, although energy, hard work, creativity, and political instinct cannot be taught, there are specific technical skills that are crucial in modern campaigns. These include knowledge of the fundamental factors that drive elections and public opinion as well familiarity with survey research, research design, statistical analysis, and paid media.

This class will teach you how to understand the fundamental factors that drive elections in America and to learn some of the skills employed by political professionals.  Many of your assignments will require you to apply the lessons of this class to real time events.  We will take special advantage of the fact that this class is taking place after a presidential election campaign and that we are in a data rich environment. 

 

Draft Syllabus

Course ID: 
UCDCSEM1S18

Congress and Politics in Washington

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 9 to March 13, 2018
Semester Dates: 
January 9 to April 18, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This course will focus on the design and operation of the U.S. Congress and its relationship with the Executive Branch.  Students will also gain insights into how legislators spend their time in Washington and in their constituencies. A key feature of the class will involve the analysis of legislative behavior and executive action on contemporary policy and political issues. Other topics include the committee system and lawmaking, presidential powers, House and Senate rules/procedures, political parties, the budget process and campaign finance, and the origins of partisanship and polarization. There will also be a focus on past efforts at reforming the institution of Congress, and discussion of options for improving the functions of, and public regard for, the Congress. Students should be prepared to actively participate in class discussions.

Draft Syllabus

 

*Required for all semester students enrolled in the Congress, Supreme Court, International Development, International Policy and Media seminars:  

The last four weeks of this semester (March 21 to April 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. See syllabus below (forthcoming). Please contact Dr. Diascro at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu with questions. 

Dr. Lawrence will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: 
UCDC191B01W18

Washington Media

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 10 to March 14, 2018
Semester Dates: 
January 10 to April 18, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This seminar will examine the relationship between politics, governance and the media, in all its new finery. By wedding practice with theory, the course provides an academic framework for students interning in government, news media and advocacy offices. The course complements and enhances the lessons absorbed during Washington, D.C. internships, combining reading, writing, discussion, guest speakers, field trips and scholarly research. Students will examine the evolving methods of political communication. This spans the media environment, from conventional journalism and specialty beat reporting to lobbying and governmental public relations. Students will confront the ethical and professional dilemmas that arise daily in the nation’s news capital. These include defining the boundary between personal privacy and public responsibility, developing expertise without going native and managing stories amid the collapse of print journalism and the rise of mobile new technologies. Washington, D.C. serves as the expanded classroom for this hands-on course. Field trips to the National Press Club, Capitol Hill and the Newseum will insert students into the heart of the action. Guest presentations by reporters, press secretaries, lobbyists and lawmakers will bring students face-to-face with key practitioners. Through readings and discussions, the class will be agile and responsive to the political moment. Students will complete a significant writing assignment, which will be aimed for potential publication. Students will also sharpen their writing and oral presentation skills with shorter assignments and ungraded practice.

 

There is no waitlist for this class, so if you would like to enroll and the class is full, please email Professor Sandalow (msandalow@ucdc.edu).

Draft Syllabus

 

*Required for all semester students enrolled in the Congress, Supreme Court, Presidency, International Policy and Media seminars: 

The last four weeks of this semester (March 21 to April 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. See syllabus below (forthcoming). Please contact Dr. Diascro at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu with questions.

Professor Sandalow will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

 

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: 
UCDC191F01W18

International Development

Credits: 
4
Instructor: 
Day and Time: 
Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 9 to March 13, 2018
Semester Dates: 
January 9 to April 18, 2018
Campus: 
UCDC
Category: 
Core Seminar
Description: 

This is an introductory course to the international development field. The focus is on some of the key questions, challenges and achievements in this field. Materials from the course (readings, documentaries, discussions of current events) will enhance your understanding of the dominant approaches to poverty alleviation, the role of inter/national development actors, organizations and institutions, the promises of post-2015 Development Goals including the empowerment of women and youth. You will be exposed to the theoretical foundations of the field and will be required to make sense of these by following current events and drawing on your internship experiences in the nation’s Capital as well as your interactions with various experts, policy makers and development practitioners. The ultimate goal of the course is to enhance your understanding of the various causes and consequences of development problems and encourage you to develop individual perspective on effective strategies for change.

Draft Syllabus

*Required for all semester students enrolled in the Congress, Supreme Court, International Development, International Policy and Media seminars:  

The last four weeks of this semester (August 30 to September 20) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. See syllabus below (forthcoming). Please contact Dr. Diascro at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu with questions. 

Professor Skalli-Hanna will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: 
UCDC191E03W18

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