Christopher S Parker
POL S 405
Intensive reading and research in selected problems or fields of political analysis.
Most people recognize that patriotism is identified with love of country. But what does it mean? Political philosophers often identify patriotism with a commitment to the values on which the country is founded. With this in mind, how can the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movement both claim patriotism? Most accounts identify patriotism with the American right, but is it possible for progressives to lay claim to it as well? In this class, we examine American patriotism, and interrogate the American right's claim on it. In the end, this class reveals that American patriotism doesn't solely belong "lock, stock, and barrel" to the right. Indeed, social progress in America is indebted to patriotism.
While we do read more classical accounts of patriotism, ultimately, this course is about the application of patriotism to contemporary politics. My book on the Tea Party, and how they deploy patriotism, is an example on which we will draw.
Student learning goals
Students will learn the varieties of patriotism, and their historical roots.
Students will learn how patriotism applies to contemporary political debates, and public policy.
General method of instruction
Since this is a seminar, class will be conducted as such. That is, we will read and discuss the different perspectives on patriotism during class.
No prerequisites necessary.
Class assignments and grading
The four short papers will be critiques of the weeks reading. The take-home final will require students to respond to a prompt in which will ask them to make an argument concerning whether or not patriotism remains a useful concept in contemporary American society.
There is NO midterm.
Grades are assigned on the basis of the written work and class participation.