POLI.1010: Introduction to American Politics - Gerson


Weeks and Dates Reading and Assignments

Week I. -Jan. 17 & 19

Gerson introduction to the course

Students  introduce themselves and present- using a political cartoon- what they believe to be the most important political story of 2016 and why.

Week II. - Jan. 24 & 26

Ch. 1 Wasserman: What is politics? 

Week III. -Jan. 31 & Feb. 2

Ch. 2 The Philosophical Underpinnings of the Constitution; Articles of Confederation; Shays’s Rebellion, Charles Beard’s critique of the framers; U.S. Constitution’s four basic principles.

Week IV. - Feb. 7

Is There Politics in Sports and American Pro Football? Analysis of Super Bowl Commercials

Week V. Feb. 9, 14 & 16

Wasserman Ch. 3 The Presidency and Bureaucracy

Guest speaker Feb 16: Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

Week VI. - Feb. 21

No Class Monday Schedule

Week VI. - Feb. 23

First Exam on Ch. 1-3

Week VII. Feb. 28 & Mar. 2 Wasserman Ch. 7 Campaigns, Elections, Parties

Week VIII. - Mar. 7 & 9

Discussion of Hillbilly Elegy

Skype with author J. D. Vance

Book review of Hillbilly Elegy due Mar. 6 via turnitin.com

Mar. 13-17



Week IX. - Mar. 20 & 22

Wasserman Ch. 4 Congress

Guest speaker: U.S. Representative Sixth Congressional District, Seth Moulton

Week X. - Mar 27 & 29

Ch. 8: The Media and Interest Groups

Week XI - Ap. 4

Second Exam on Ch. 4, 7, 8
 Week XI - Ap. 6 Ch. 5 The Judiciary

Week XII. - Ap. 11

Ch. 6 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Week XII. - Ap. 13 Third Exam on Ch. 5 & 6

Week XIII. - Ap. 18

Presentation of Supreme Court Case #1; All Supreme Court Briefs or Opinions due April 17 via turnitin

Week XIII. Ap. 20 Presentation of Supreme Court Case

Week XIV. - Ap. 25

Presentation of Supreme Court Case
Week XIV. - Ap. 27 Tentative: Trip to State House in Boston to meet with AG Maura Healy, Gov. Charlie Baker and FBI HQ.

Week XV. - May 2

Optional: Baseball topic at Fenway 2-4pm and attend the game at 7pm.

Week XIV. - Nov. 29 

Ch. 8 Media

View: Spotlight (2015) via Ensemble

During Finals' Week Meetings With me, if you wish to review your final grade.

Please note: there is no final exam during final’s week.