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POLS 390

Topics in Government and Politics

An examination of selected topics related to political science.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Social Science 1 course

Fall Semester information

Deepa Prakash

390A: Tps:Power of Pop: How Pop-Culture matters in Politics, Economics and Society

Whether we actively seek it out or not, pop-culture permeates everything around us- our entertainment, our news, our consumption habits, and our politics. In this course we will examine this often-dismissed area of our collective experience seriously by examining how scholars and commentators across political science, history, economics and cultural studies, to name a few disciplines, understand the significance of pop-culture. We will consider questions such as the role of pop-culture in representing dominant and marginalized identities and why this matters, the pop-culture memorialization of key events, the role of culture industries in the economy, the pop-culture of conservative and right-wing movements, the importance of pop-culture in state's soft-power as well as the impact of celebrities on various policy issues, in an election year where this may be particularly salient. We will ponder these questions through the lens of various cases of 'texts' - drawing on students' interests and the instructor's research interests in Bollywood and KPop, and be attentive to pressing issues in pop-culture from the West as well as the Global South. Students will research a topic of their choice applying class concepts and materials.


390B: Tps:Campaigns, Elections, and Political Parties

What's the difference between a political party and an interest group? Why do the Democratic and Republican Parties dominate U.S. elections? What is the Electoral College and why do we use it to elect the president? What are the advantages of incumbency for a candidate? Why is it expensive to run a campaign for office?