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PSC 215: Southern Politics, Syllabus

Revised 01/07/18, by Dr. Jeremy Lewis

Purpose | Objectives | Requirements & Books | Other pages: Book Notes | Timetable

Catalog description: Institutions and processes of politics in the Southern US states, with particular attention to the southern votersí realignment between political parties, civil rights, ethnicity and localism.  Southern representation in the Congress and Presidency, plus modern political and economic development.
The most requested new class by students in our curriculum reviews, Southern Politics explores the politics of the southern states, principally since the New Deal. We shall examine the varied politics of the South state by state, comparing contemporary politics with the classic analysis of V.O. Key in 1949.  (Key famously predicted that southern-style 'friends-and-neighbors' politics, based on candidates rather than party, would spread to the nation.)

We shall investigate the civil rights struggle, and terrorism used as a political weapon against African Americans, culminating in the civil rights act of 1964, and voting rights act of 1965.  We will also investigate the realignment, from the Democratic stronghold of the 'Solid South', to the modern cleavage of southern white and black voting groups divided by conservative and liberal policy views. The strength of southern representation in both House and Senate, on the Supreme Court, and in the electoral college for the presidency.  We shall discuss case studies of candidates' campaigns and presidencies of southerners, such as Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and George W. Bush.

We will analyze the rise of the modern 'sunbelt south' with its 'Alabama model' of economic and political development.  The class may particularly benefit from our proximity to the state capitol and civil rights museums, and from local guest speakers.

Course Objectives
1. To prepare students for upper level courses in American politics, and political science generally.
2. To engage students in learning about the political processes in the Southern US states and beyond.
3. To engage students, via discussion of their home region, in the institutions and processes of American politics.
Student Learning objectives: students will
1. Demonstrate understanding the institutions and processes of politics in the Southern US states
2. Demonstrate analysis of the southern votersí realignment between political parties
3. Demonstrate understanding of the influences of Southern Politics on federal politics
4. Demonstrate interpretation of simple data visualization

Requirements see this page for the 200-level course grade formula and all other requirements.
Requirements for course adapted to course-by-conference: the same, except that any class session that is missed, shall be replaced with an essay of one typed page, single-spaced  on the session's reading or topic -- or, at the discretion of the instructor, by a tutorial session.

Textbooks, all available in cheap paperbacks:
Bullock, Charles S. III and Mark J. Rozell, eds.  2009.  The new politics of the old South: an introduction to Southern politics.  4th ed.  Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN:  9781442200180 (HC electronic book.)  LOC: F216.2.N49 2010eb320.975
ISBN-10: 0742570215 | ISBN-13: 978-0742570214 | Edition: Fourth Edition.  Amazon prime, new: $28.59
Woodard, J. David.  2006. The New Southern Politics.  Lynne Rienner.
ISBN-10: 1588263975  ISBN-13: 978-1588263971
Key, V.O. Jr., with the assistance of Alexander Heard. 1949.  Southern Politics in State and Nation.
New edition, Knoxville : University of Tennessee Press, ISBN:  0870494341 LOC: F215.K45 1984324.975/04 Dewey:  324.97504K44s 1984
Also 1st edition, New York: Knopf, LOC: F215.K45 1949324.975/04  Dewey:  975K44.
(The great classic work that predicted Southern 'friends & neighbors' politics would spread to the whole country.)
To help you with background and with research projects, other readings will be linked online, placed on Gdrive, or recommended.
You are expected to comply with the HC Honor Code [read College's statement, August 2009, of procedure for violations] and with specific rules of decorum placed on our Requirements page above.  You are also expected to comply with Huntingdon College's Code of Classroom Conduct, August 2009.
My Attendance Policy [read full details on Required page, as HC's policy has changed]:
"While school sanctioned excuses will not count against you, each unexcused absence will reduce your class participation score. I reserve the right to fail you for the course for more than 4 unexcused absences. I also reserve the right to reduce your letter grade in the event that high scores on tests and written work are marred by unexcused absences."

HC's Accommodation of Special Needs:
"Faculty at Huntingdon College make every effort to accommodate unique and special needs of students with respect to speech, hearing, vision, seating, or other possible adaptions. Please notify the Disability Services Intake Coordinator as soon as possible of requested accommodations."
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