This is a course about “place;” the unique “place” of Washington, DC as America’s “National City.” It is designed not only to introduce you to the fascinating world of Washington, DC through the “Triple Frames” of history, politics and culture, but also to facilitate both individual and group exploration of the larger American political community which Washington, DC uniquely represents.
Of all American cities, it is the only one whose origins are in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17). This exploration will be viewed through the continuously changing interaction of social, economic and political factors; and the role of Washington, DC, as the cultural symbol of our unique political community where every citizen is equal under the law.
Throughout the semester, we will regularly ask – and discuss – the question, “What difference does the history and culture of Washington, DC make to our larger political community and the policies that our government creates and implements?”
This course is designed to be a hands-on learning bonanza for Communication, Journalism and Public Relations students who want to capture leadership positions as:
Communication specialists are charged with explaining the goals, mission and value of nonprofits, government operations and private sector enterprises around the nation. Whatever their titles, they are responsible for positively shaping the messages and perceptions of that organization in the public’s mind.
This course will incorporate a strategic exploration of political communication with a practical approach to media creation—both necessary to the communications specialist.
Race may be America’s greatest paradox. A country founded upon liberty and the belief that all men are created equal interned thousands of Japanese-Americans shortly after Pearl Harbor; left thousands of Native Americans dead during a forced relocation known as the Trail of Tears, and enslaved blacks for two centuries, then denied them full citizenship for decades after the 13th Amendment was adopted.
But color is just one measure of discrimination or distinction. Customs and social institutions help define our culture, while society crams us into perceived social and economic boxes to characterizes our class. And the glass ceiling, while cracked, is still intact, as women continue to fight for pay equity and against sexual harassment.