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Foundations of Civic and Community Engagement

HNRS 2020 Sec. 063 - Fall 2021

Dr. Travis Brisini Department of Communication Studies

M W 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
111 Coates Hall

In an era of escalating political polarization, distrust, and social tension along the axes of race, class, geography, and creed, the difficult task of inventing and fostering humane and just communities falls to “we the people.” Though formal civic education continues to decline in America, the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to abate, and that offers an opportunity to collectively pause and ask: “what sort of society will we work to foster in the coming decades, and how will we go about this task?”

This seminar surveys the theories and practices of civic education and community engagement, with special attention given to the communication practices and embodied acts that build and grow diverse, multicultural, and resilient social networks. We will discuss and practice a variety of community engagement modes, ranging from democratic deliberation and public scholarship through volunteerism and community outreach. By the end of the course, students will be more familiar with campus, local, and regional opportunities for meaningful engagement, and will understand the promises—and potential perils—of working to foster participatory democracy in the 21st century.

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition
Social Sciences