This course will explore the history of student activism from the medieval period to the present, with a specific focus on the past 100 years in Europe and North America. We will look at the roots of student organization and dissent in the university itself, and will exam impact of student agitation and resistance on broader movements for social change, such as anti-war, civil rights and labor movements. We will examine strategies and tactics of student movements, and debate the usefulness of student resistance in furthering the public interest. We will focus most intently on events in North America and Europe after World War 2, from Kent State to Tiananmen Square – and will explore current incarnations of campus activism at Western and across universities in North America. We will examine the ways in which student activists have used the university itself as a medium to express their social and political positions – including the use of the student press, campus radio, postering, sit-ins, occupations, rallies, marches, agit prop, and online organizing.
PRIORITY TO YRS 3 & 4 MPI STUDENTS. OPEN JULY 23 TO YRS 3 & 4 MIT STUDENTS.