LFH: Day 9

I worked all day, which is not unusual for a Sunday when I teach on Mondays, but my work involved syllabus revision and figuring out Zoom via Canvas. So that was not usual. And there was a little bit of department and curriculum work, which we tried to do without involving the office staff since it was Sunday.

TheH had finished his syllabus revisions days ago and was working on the new requirement (worksheets to replace attendance tracking and reading response papers). I had put revisions off, in much the same way I’d put off setting up my home office (administrative work can come in very handy sometimes). But I was down to the deadline so I had to confront it. I pulled out my class files and looked at what I had scheduled for the six weeks after spring break.

I tackled my Political Protest class first because it was easier and it meets before Privacy (they both meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, one in the morning and one in the afternoon). I usually leave the last couple of weeks of reading open so that students can choose the case studies, and because over the last few years protests have occurred that we can follow in real time (e.g., the Dakota Pipeline protests). The main section after the break is titled “leaderless protests,” which are ones that don’t have a well-known charismatic figure like MLK, Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela at the forefront. After some thought, I decided to keep all the readings, which range from the Captain Swing riots in early 19thC England through anti-migrant riots in 2008 South Africa to Ferguson and Charlottesville here in the US. But I’m starting with some readings on what happens to protest when we all have to practice social distance and live so much of our social lives online. I added videos to supplement each reading and I’ll be making up PowerPoint slide decks with audio commentary to guide them.

My Politics of Privacy class was a little different. After spring break we get into the legal arguments, cases, and history, and there wasn’t a lot of open time or slack. But there was a bit of repetition, and a long article that I remembered had a lot of overlap with a piece by the same author we’d read earlier, so that could go. I pruned and got the readings down to nine sessions, including one that paralleled the first full session for Protest: what are the privacy implications of tracking people who contract COVID-19, and have our attitudes toward the privacy v. public benefits tradeoff changed in the past few weeks?

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