Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

2020 Election: Understanding the National, Participating in the Local


In this class we will read the literature on voting and elections. We will cover some literature on voting rights in the US. The class will have a field component, as students will not only be obligated to register to vote (if they are eligible), but also go out into the field, in groups, to register voters and talk to them about some local issue or candidate. If the coronavirus prevents students from talking to voters in person, phone canvassing will be done. Learn to understand the election system through participation! Each student will pick a local issue or candidate, and then the students will either canvass in teams or phone call around that local issue or candidate and learn about what their fellow citizens have to say about their chosen issue. Professor Rosenfeld will arrange for students of all political persuasions to find canvassing or phone calling opportunities. Students will present a post-mortem about their chosen candidate or issue after the November elections are over.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Michael Rosenfeld

"I am a sociologist who studies families and relationships, politics and social movements. I have been knocking on doors and canvassing for elections ever since I was a small child and my mother took me with her to knock on doors in our apartment building complex in New York. I am a believer in talking to people as a way to make social change, and also as a way to learn about the world."