In the Spring term of 2018 I teach an Undergrad lecture as well as an Undergrad major seminar at Cornell:
GOVT 2293: Politics and Music (Lecture)
Entertainment forms of political communication such as popular music are very often neglected in research of political communication, although popular music has a long and varied association with politics. It has provided the soundtrack to political protest and been the object of political censorship; politicians have courted pop stars and pop stars — like Bono of U2 — have acted as politicians. This class will therefore examine the various interaction between popular music and politics, and how popular music can contribute to our understanding of political thought and action, but also critically reflect upon the effects of popular music on people’s political perceptions, attitudes and behavior.
GOVT 4000.102: Politics and Entertainment (major seminar)
“The Westwing,” “House of Cards,” “Borgen”….. The growing number of fictional political drama in the US as well as in Europe shows that politics plays a much bigger role in TV entertainment nowadays than in the past. The enormous success of news satire shows such as “The Daily Show“ or “Last week tonight” all around the world additionally confirms this trend. Since political communication research for a long time has been concentrated on analyzing classical political information supply such as news, it now begins to turn itself to the depiction and influence of politics in fictional and non-fictional entertainment contexts. In this class we will therefore look at how politics is displayed in nontraditional media contexts as well as how these new entertainment formats affect citizens’ perceptions, attitudes and political behavior. Does it matter for us if Homer Simpson casts the ballot?