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|FRLA 8281 - Democracy and Social Change|
-Democracy and Social Change–
Please note that this class meets 6 hours each week for 4 credits. You must attend all sessions, including the Friday session, to receive 4 credits.
Democracy can be thought as a type of meaningful negotiation among the parts to produce a coherent yet dynamic whole (Rancière, 1995). It is essentially up for debate, in a basic sense. In FRLA 8281 (“Democracy and Social Change”), we seek to describe the nature of that negotiation or debate by studying contemporary democratic practices as they are instantiated culturally, socially, and politically. We also seek to understand how the debate or negotiation that is essential to democracy opens up the possibility for dynamic social change. At the heart of our discussions will be the following questions: How to define the dēmos, that is to say the people, of democracy? If, according to Aristotle, democracy is the political constitution in which “all alike share equally in the government” (1291b), what is the nature of this sharing, this being equal? If we accept the claim that “only under [the democratic constitution] do men participate in liberty” (1317a-b), what is the relationship between equality and liberty? Between equality and representation? Between equality and critical moments of social change? Just as important, the course will introduce students to the French language skills needed in order to understand and discuss these concepts (the people, equality, representation, etc.), while improving their proficiency more generally.
1. Regular and creative in-class participation 35%
2. Compositions (3) 20%
3. Vocabulary quizzes (2) 20%
4. Final Presentation 15%
5. Portfolio 10%
Recommended language proficiency: Intermediate Mid (per the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) + placement by professor + conversation with professor + strong motivation and discipline.