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Alternative Knowledge: How Radical Ideas Are Communicated in Society (INFS 2520)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course examines the role of dissident knowledge in shaping and influencing a democratic society. You will be introduced to communication theories; the role of propaganda and consent in a democratic society; and how "mainstream" and "alternative" ideas shape our world views. The course will expose you to specific dissident communities and ideas from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries in the areas of politics, economics, and cultural and religious life.

Topical Outline:
1. Introduction to the concepts and theories of communication with special emphasis given to communication between dominant and minority groups
2. Introduction to the concepts of "mainstream" and "alternative" ideas/culture and how these concepts have shaped discussions in political, economic and cultural spheres
3. Exploration of alternative/dissident ideas in 17th & 18th century Europe/America
4. Exploration of alternative/dissident ideas in 19th & 20th century Europe/America
5. Exploration of alternative/dissident ideas in 21st century Europe/America

Learning Outcomes:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of communications theory as it relates to interactions between dominant and minority groups within culture
2. Articulate the dynamics involved in the creation and maintenance of "mainstream" ideas in American society
3. Articulate the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining a well-defined "mainstream" culture
4. Intelligently discuss how specific political, economic and cultural ideas/communities have interacted with and shaped "mainstream" western culture
5. Communicate in writing and graphically a critical understanding of the issues and ideas presented in the course

Prerequisites:  ENGL 1110 or ENGA 1110

  • Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility