This course begins with the proposition that race and religion must be placed at the center of any analysis of the historical and contemporary dynamics of American politics. Over the semester, students will consider the importance of race and religion in shaping American institutions, propelling partisan strife, and how these divisions continue to affect political discourse and public policy. This course addresses how race and religion affected the development of social policy from the New Deal to current policy debates at the intersection of religion and politics. Special attention will be paid to political mobilization of African Americans in the 1960s, conservative evangelicals from the 1970s to the present, Republican dominance until 2008, the election and assessment of Barack Obama, Tea Party mobilization, and the 2012 presidential contest.
Goals and Objectives.
➢ Promote understanding of how racial and religious divisions have shaped Americans politics and policy from the 1930s to the present.
➢ Enhance knowledge of American political culture.
➢ Clarify the underlying causes of contemporary polarization in US politics.
➢ Strengthen analytical reasoning and writing skills.