Debate-related Courses for Lynn Students
The following list is a selection of courses available to Lynn students in the fall that were newly developed specifically to use the debate as a springboard for learning.
Complete Course Listings
DJCAE 200-level The Presidency on Film
With some attention to the biographical context of each film, the course would focus more on a critical examination of the nature of the presidency within the fictional and actual historical contexts that surround each film. Exploration of the themes of power, leadership, family and ambition, among others, would enable students to see how in one sense history creates a leader as much as a leader creates history.
DBRA 400 So Help Me God
With those four words, first said by George Washington at his inaugural in 1789, the presidency has been tied to religious themes throughout American history. This course will focus, not on a chronological study of the Presidency and religion, but on four major themes. The course will read and discuss the role of religion in presidential politics, concentrating on the last fifty years, God and the Commander-in-Chief, the president as peacemaker, and the “Preacher in Chief.” Through readings and discussion and student research, we will discuss the presidency through the approach in Belief and Reason and the changing role of the president in times of war and peace.
DBRA 400 The Politics of Religion
Our country's founding documents guarantees the separation of church and state, or politics and religion, and yet nearly every political campaign for the presidency has included matters of faith or religion. From JFK's campaign as a Roman Catholic, to Joe Lieberman as a Jew, to Mitt Romney's campaign as a Mormon, our country has asked religious questions of our political candidates. What is the history of our American religious landscape vis-a-vis the political arena? What are the issues at stake in this relationship? Why do we care about our political leader's religious convictions? Why does it matter to us? What bearing does this have on their ability to govern, etc.? These and other questions will be examined along the way toward understanding how religion plays a role in the American political process.
DBRG 100 Rude Democracy—Words, Sticks, and Stones
This dialogue course will survey the rhetoric and debates that have shaped and formed democratic institutions throughout the history of the West. Represented in the Dialogues of Learning—level I, the course will analyze the lives and ideas of historical figures that have contributed to the democratic process, and as a result, have contributed to societal progress. By examining the choices of statesmen in relation to their belief systems, students will understand these major historical figures in the context of their cultural, religious and political outlook. Emphasis will be given on student evaluation and assessment of their own understanding of rhetoric, debate, democracy and history. We shall examine the ancient flourishing of the Athenian Empire, the Republic of Rome, The Development of Parliamentary systems in Europe and the Americas.
DJCA 100 Why Women Should Vote
Why Women Should Vote will be a Justice and civic Life dialogue that focuses on political and policy issues that are important to women. The course will examine issues in the context of women’s political movements of the past and how involvement in the political process changed the lives of women. Topics to be explored include the suffrage movement, women’s liberation movement, equal pay, the abortion debate and violence against women.
DJCA 100 Setting the Tone: Presidential Oratory and the Bully Pulpit
One of the most important powers of the presidency is the unique position that the occupant has on public discourse. Theodore Roosevelt called this power the “bully pulpit.” This course will study the presidency, and those that have held the position, through an examination of their words. Through reading and class discussion this course will focus on the power of their words and how oratory has set the agenda during their term in office. We will read and discuss the presidential inaugural address; speeches that were delivered to rally the people for a cause, or served as way to console the people reacting to tragedy. Along with the primary reading in the core reader we will examine how the words were shaped, delivered and remembered.
DJCA 100 Lincoln Douglas Debate
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas engaged in a series of debates in the state of Illinois 1858 that was a struggle for the minds and beliefs of Americans concerning major issues of the day such as slavery, states’ rights, and the Dred Scott Decision by the Supreme Court. They agreed to a series of seven debates beginning August 1858. Both men were ambitious, passionate about their beliefs, and articulate in front of large crowds. They spoke from platforms set up in open areas with no modern technology such as microphones. Illinois at that time was a rough and tumble frontier state with a population coming from many different sections of the East, North and South. This made for an often raucous crowd who shouted their support or opposition in loud shouting and sometimes laughter as each speaker attempted to win over the audience with rapier barbs and wit toward his opponent. One hundred fifty-four years later, their struggle remains epic and worthy of emulation by today’s political leaders.
DJCA 100 Bush v. Gore: The 2000 Election Fiasco
Can one state with its comedy of ballot errors affect the outcome of a presidential election? From undervotes to overvotes to hanging chads to dimpled chads to unwitting butterfly ballots, the State of Florida held the future of the presidency in the palm of its outstretched poll boxes. This course will examine the appeal process from the moment Gore retracted his concession speech on Nov. 7, 2000 to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore on Dec. 12, 2000.
DJCA 100 The President’s Partner: The First Ladies and Women’s History
The course will examine the gendered side of the presidency, the institution of marriage, and contributions to America’s history by the wives of our presidents. The themes to be covered, pertaining to justice and civic life, include the role of women historically in American politics, sex role norms: the role of White House hostess and symbol of American women, the public/private divide: balancing family and duty in the White House, social causes: the long history of social justice advocacy by presidential wives, political wives: policy and political activism and evolving roles: advances by women in politics and the prospect of electing the first woman president.
DJCA 100 George Washington’s America
The course will examine America’s founding through the life and leadership of George Washington. The themes to be covered, pertaining to justice and civic life, include Colonial life and the coming revolution, the war for independence, the slave question, framing a constitution, the inaugural presidency, forging a government and developing a new civic ethos and an unlikely leader, examining Washington’s life and character.
DJCA 100 Lincoln and Leadership
This course offers a new perspective on the 16th president and explores, through essays, Lincoln as commander-in-chief, political operator and theologian. Taken together, the essays suggest the interplay of military, political and religious factors informing Lincoln’s thought and action and guiding the dynamics of his leadership. The texts Lincoln and Leadership: Military, Political. And Religious Decision Making, edited by Randall Miller, and “Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy”, edited by Robert P. Watson, focuses on several critical moments in Lincoln’s presidency including emancipation, military strategy, relations with his generals, the use of African-American troops, party politics and his own re-election, the morality of war, the place of America in God’s design and the meaning and obligations of sustaining the Union. The essays further emphasize that the “real” Lincoln was shrewd politician, a self-taught commander-in-chief, and a deeply religious man who was self-confident in his ability to judge men and persuade them with words.
DJCA 200 Securing the President
Prior to the invention of the Secret Service by the Pinkertons during the Civil War, Presidential security was much less formal than it is today. Of course, there was not an assassination prior to the Civil War either. This course will examine the development of the methods and techniques of presidential protection from the earliest beginnings to the current high tech procedures in use both on ground and on Air Force One.
DJCG 200 The Debates Go Global
What are the connections between international relations and US presidential elections? The Debates Go Global will examine this question in three ways. First, we will consider how international events shape U.S. presidential election dynamics – in particular the candidates’ campaigns and debates. The reactions of other countries’ leaders and the public to the election processes are the second area of inquiry. Finally, the implications for U.S. foreign policy of the elections’ outcomes will be explored. Candidates’ speeches and debates, political analysts’ and scholars’ commentary and world-wide media provide much of the content for our discourse. Debates (of course), discussions and small group exercises form the backbone of this course.
DJCA 200 Campaigns in the 21st Century
This course analyzes the concept of campaigning in the 21st century as it pertains to the use of integrated technologies and social media. Students will examine concepts of freedom, justice, equality and power in the political campaign arena.
DJCA 300 The Brothers Four
Four brothers, sons of Rose and Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, have had a major impact on our country over the past 70 years. One brother become President of the United States; another become a senator representing the State of New York; a third brother was a World War II hero, who disappeared while on a secret mission; and the fourth brother, a senator from Massachusetts, who became known as the “Lion of the Senate,” served for 47 years. Each of their lives had elements of tragedy and perseverance, jubilation and extreme regret, and yet each of them provided leadership in their various professions despite personal problems which would have severely damaged or ended the career of less determined men.
DJCAE 100 Facts vs Fiction
Compare and consider how vital national and global issues encompassing judicial and civic life are at times reflected in fictional narratives. This course will draw upon relevant non-fiction and fictional literary multimedia works to enhance the students understanding of the core readings. These literary, audio, and visual works will facilitate the students’ ability to integrate the core documents and readings into their developing world view of justice and civic life.
DJCAE 100 Looking for an Argument
“I’m here for an argument.” “No you’re not.” The success of debaters depends largely on their ability to build a case for their point of view. For this they need to use arguments, though they can also rely on personal attacks, humor and other tricks of the trade. In this course we will explore argumentation theory, and apply it to the readings in the Dialogue book. We will also analyze notable presidential debates from the past and identify arguments built and fallacies committed. As the 2012 presidential debating season unfolds, students will collect data and assess the validity of the candidates’ arguments. Students will be stimulated to study election issues for their papers and speeches, so that they are informed viewers of the debates and will not simply accept the candidates’ statements at face value. Not only will this course enhance the students’ experience of the presidential debate at Lynn, it will involve them as active consumers in the political process and motivate them to participate as voters.
DJCAE 100 The Presidency on Film
This course will examine the nature of the presidency through contemporary films. Thematically, the course will cover two areas. Through the genre of the biopic (biographical film) students will view films based on the lives of two modern presidents: George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s W and Richard Nixon in Stone’s Nixon, as well as Ron Howard’s Frost /Nixon. By examining critical essays devoted to the films, as well as listening to guest lecturers, such as Lynn’s Dr. Robert Watson, students will not only be able to learn the biographies of these presidents and the key events during their presidencies, but also discover the authorial and directorial voices present in the film that reveal particular perspectives, both positive and critical, on the lives of these presidents. Secondly, through humorous and serious dramas, such as Fail Safe, Dr. Strangelove, Primary Colors, Dave and The American President, students will examine the pressures, both political and personal, placed upon the president in these fictional and historically based fictional films. The theme of the ideal president will be juxtaposed with that of the president who falls prey to corruption. An effort will be made to show students that the president, as with all of us, is subject to forces that will lead us away from our ideals, as well as inspire us to greater meanings and roles in our lives.
DJCAE 100 Murder They Wrote
“In this class you will explore important questions of life and death!” Through core readings, students will explore the concepts of freedom, justice and equality in the United States and in other cultures and societies. They will examine and evaluate the challenges of equality and inequality, freedom and oppression, justice and discrimination from a historical, American and global context. Finally, they will assess through critical reflection their own values and responsibilities in terms of civic engagement and citizenship. In the second part of the course, students will explore how other societies, historically and globally, have viewed murder, suicide and capital punishment.
DJCAE 200 Comic Book Superheroes
In this exciting course, students will explore the comic book superhero as a literary genre and we will highlight some classic stories focusing on qualities of good citizenship as that concept is embodied in American culture and the Dialogue readings: Equality, Tolerance, Justice, Freedom and Independence. We will also study a recent galaxy of superheroes, “The 99,” created by a Kuwaiti-born Muslim psychologist and inspired by the Islamic culture, to promote lessons of tolerance. At the conclusion of the course, we will answer the question: what is a good citizen?
DJCAE 200 The Art of Protest
Students will explore various artistic and literary forms of protest, including murals, posters, bumper stickers, t‐shirts, graffiti, protest poetry and songs, rap music and parody. Meets standard 200 level college writing requirement (Gordon Rule).
DJCG 400 Business and Political Negotiations
This course will explore negotiation techniques used in both business and politics including print, graphics and traditional media. The course will also examine ideas such as the process and art of negotiations, as well as how to think as a negotiator and learn the skills that create the mindset to maximize opportunities during business and political negotiations. The students will learn how to effectively address how negotiation techniques lead to both intended and unintended consequences. Students will study a broad range of applications from basic negotiations through political campaigns, activism and satire; and will discuss the relative ethics of using these same techniques for different purposes. The course will explore and implement the concept of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and its impact on negotiations. Students will also explore the fundamentals of persuasion, influence and coercion and then assess how these fundamentals have been adapted for the use in interactive contexts of business and politics.
DJCGE 100 Poetry of Protest
The Poetry of Protest will pair selections from the reader with poetry covering topics on war, race and social/political themes.
DQR 200 Numbers in the News
This course emphasizes a practical approach to the fundamentals of statistical reasoning and analysis, probability theory and exponential modeling through the analysis and discussion of current news reports in both the print and television media. Relevant applications engage students while underscoring the essential uses of these mathematical concepts in every-day life and as expressed in the media.
DSL200 Alternate Energy – Alternate Fuels in Today’s World
This course is an introduction to the history and technological development of energy, its use, its origins and its status on the planet. We will cover the major discoveries about the need for energy and the people who made these discoveries and influence to give us the world as we know it. Topics covered are the following - Sources of energy, Biogeochemical cycles, Power and how we got addicted to oil, Alternate energy sources for living and for transport, production from different sources and quality control, sustainability and job potential. The course uses student project topics as class discussions and demonstrations. Specific projects covered are the following- a) photovoltaic, b) wind-generated power, c) water-generated power, d) watts, voltage, amperage, the power grid and storage of energy, e) bio-diesel from seeds and algae f) propane, methane, hydrogen as power sources g) alcohol production from cellulose h) steam engine power and i) hydroponics. We will finish with how the concept of sustainability and the value of earth’s resources coupled with technology and modern science is helping to provide new solutions to energy demand and still maintain sustainability for future generations. The course will also focus on job opportunities and skills needed to get involved in this field. Skills acquired in the course in addition to the Dialogue 200 learning outcomes are technology skills in electrical power, pilot scale up of algae cultures, and oil extraction from seeds, biotechnology and hydroponics.
DSL 200 Science and Election Year Policy
This course is an introduction to the subject of “Science and Politics.” It focuses on” Science and Election Year Policy: How Politics Influences Science.” The course will discuss how politics can influence the debate on public health care, science ethics, abortion, contraceptive rights, evolution, global warming and stem cell research. The course is not designed to convince the student that one or another side in the social and political debate is correct, but instead provide them with the necessary background to understand the science behind the issue and make informed decisions of their own.
DSL 200 Is Your Health Care System Sick
This course is designed to evaluate the essential principles of “Science” and its influence on “Democratic Society.” We will concentrate on the Science of Public Health in the 21st Century and attempt to answer the question “Is our Public Health System Sick”? As such, the course introduces contemporary science themes related to public health, science education and science funding into our public dialogue with the hope of expanding our understanding of their importance in our daily life. The course is not designed to convince the student that one or another side in the social and political debate is correct but instead, give them the necessary background to understand the science behind the issue and make informed decisions of their own.
COM 321 Gender Communication (also Spring 2012)
The course will include a section on gender in politics using examples from both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin's campaigns four years ago, as well as some examples from the current Republican race.
COM 555 Media Publics and Social Change (also Spring 2012)
In this graduate course, most of the focus on political rhetoric will dovetail with the instructor’s section of the spheres of argument (prominent through much of the course), and will focus on how candidates translate personal and technical issues into public ones. It’s expected that the focus on the public sphere in this course will generate various discussions about the topic
COM 440 Public Relations Practices (also Spring 2012)
Students will construct materials promoting sustainability efforts on campus and link those initiatives to environmental issues throughout the presidential campaigns.
COM 340 Advertising Writing and Design (also Spring 2012)
Students will create a basic political advertising campaign using traditional and alternative methods (email brochures, grassroots flyers, etc.) such as writing and designing promotional materials that deal with current presidential-related political issues. The students will work on this project together in groups in a small agency approach. Students will research the slogans, stories and attend debates to take notes and create the copy for this advertising campaign project. Students will also be assigned photo shoots, writing for the promotional materials and brochures and graphically designing and laying out all related advertising materials.