Voting today is of the highest importance, but it’s likely that more than half of eligible voters won’t make it to the polls today. How did we arrive at such a crossroads? And what path can we build toward a better future?
For over two years, Public Books has dedicated time and space to syllabi—resources for scholars and thinkers, readers and organizers—for self-education, cross-pollination, and interdisciplinary action. These syllabi dismantle gun culture and rape culture, demonstrate the necessity of protecting immigrants, diagnose the roots of “Trumpism” (in English and in Spanish), and reveal how the 2016 Election happened.
After voting today, take the time to read, to mourn, to learn. Here, collected for the first time, are the Public Books Syllabi.
TRUMP SYLLABUS 2.0
N. D. B. CONNOLLY & KEISHA N. BLAIN
The readings below introduce observers to the past and present conditions that allowed Trump to seize electoral control of a major American political party. By extension, this syllabus acknowledges the intersectional nature of power and politics. The course emphasizes the ways that cultural capital like Trump’s grows best under certain socioeconomic conditions. Trump’s open advocacy for race-based exclusion and politically motivated violence on matters both foreign and domestic cannot be separated from the historical and day-to-day inequalities endured by people of color, women, and religious minorities living in or migrating to the United States. Concerned less with Trump as a man than with “Trumpism” as a product of history, this course interrogates the connections between wealth, violence, and politics. … Keep Reading
RAPE CULTURE SYLLABUS
Scholars and activists, poets and playwrights have been writing about rape for centuries. What would the conversation around sexual assault, police bias, and the legal system look like if investigators, police officers, and judges read deeply into the literature on sexuality, racial justice, violence, and power? It is in view of this question that the following syllabus is offered as a scholarly resource—and object of critical discussion and debate—on “rape culture” in the 21st century. … Keep Reading
TRUMP SYLLABUS 2.0 EN ESPAÑOL
N. D. B. CONNOLLY & KEISHA N. BLAIN
Las lecturas buscan introducir a los lectores a las condiciones del pasado y del presente que llevaron a Trump a apoderarse de un importante partido político en Estados Unidos. De manera más amplia, el syllabus reconoce la naturaleza interseccional entre poder y política. El curso enfatiza cómo el capital cultural de Trump se expande de manera efectiva bajo ciertas condiciones socio-económicas. La defensa abierta de Trump a favor de la exclusión basada en motivos raciales y la violencia por motivos políticos en temas tanto de política exterior como domésticos no puede abordarse de manera separada de las desigualdades históricas y cotidianas que enfrentan las personas de color, las mujeres y las minorías religiosas que radican o que están migrando a Estados Unidos. Preocupado menos por Trump como persona que por el “Trumpismo” como un producto histórico, este curso interroga las conexiones entre riqueza, violencia y política. … Keep Reading
TRUMP SYLLABUS 3.0
NYRON CRAWFORD & MATT WRAY
We tackle the vexing debates about why Trump won. Was it a longing for an authoritarian leader? Racial resentment? Economic anxiety? Disgust for out-of-touch elites? All of the above? None of the above? Students, by engaging the readings and sources in this last part of the course, will answer these important questions for themselves. … Keep Reading
Today, sanctuary states, cities, congregations, and campuses work to protect their residents, students, and neighbors from detention and deportation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to keep families together, to develop systems of community support for immigrants seeking refuge, and more broadly to maintain communities in which immigrants, people of color, and people of all religious faiths can safely live, work, and study. … Keep Reading
Gun Studies Syllabus
CAROLINE E. LIGHT & LINDSAY LIVINGSTON
There are an estimated 310 million firearms in the United States today—more than one gun per person—and while the US comprises about 5 percent of the world’s population, its inhabitants possess over 40 percent of the world’s guns. The US also experiences more gun deaths than any economically comparable nation: more than 38,600 in 2016, with nearly two-thirds of them suicides. How did the nation get here, and what is it doing to prevent gun violence? To answer these questions, this syllabus provides an interdisciplinary introduction to America’s unique “gun culture.” … Keep Reading