Syllabus: Exploring Revolution

Experimental College: Exploring Revolution
Revolutionary Rehearsals and Building the Movement

“We affirm our faith in democracy as a goal that will bring dignity and freedom to all;
in democracy as an expanding concept encompassing human relations…”
- Highlander’s Statement of Purpose, 1950

Classroom:                TBA                              Email:
Time: Wednesdays, 6:30pm - 8:30pm               
Facilitators: Will Nelson

Course Description: We will research, analyze, and discuss challenges that often face organizers of social movements of past and present in pursuit of an understanding of why one movement may not achieve its goals and why another might.

How do we fund the revolution?
How do we build infrastructure?
How do we sustain our movement?
How do we make the revolution accessible? Visible? Fun?
How do we plan actions that both get others to join and achieve our goals?

We will use the Key Components of Social Movements to help us analyze responses to these questions. They are:

Identifying the problem
Personal relationships and community building
Building infrastructure
Development of local leadership
Creating coalitions
Strategic use of the arts
Strategic use of nonviolence
Learning how to deal with contradictions within the movement
Being in the right historical moment
Use of effective communication

Course Objectives: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify problems often faced in movements and carry out their possible solutions. Students will have an understanding of why some movements fail while others succeed. As a class, we will strive for a democratic environment, push ourselves to heighten our awareness, and embody consciousness through research and experience.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Registering for the course: Students looking to take the course for credit will need to fill out an independent study form. We will provide these forms on the first day of class. Independent study requires a faculty advisor and a GPA of 3.0 or greater. The student is responsible for submitting all paperwork.

Note: The last day to add classes by exception is Sept. 24th. Students must submit their paperwork before this date to be enrolled in the class.

Grading/Participation: Grades will be assigned by the student’s faculty advisor in conjunction with the course facilitators. Failing grades will be administered for students who registered for the course but did not present or stopped attending/participating, with few exceptions.

Reading Assignment: Students who are taking the course for credit will be required to follow weekly readings and to do unique research on certain subjects in the pursuit of meaningful discussions that promote learning.

Required Texts: All readings will be accessible online or handed out in class.