(or PAX 310: Modern Radical Activism)
PAX 310 is a one hour student-taught May Term class which will be offered
at GC beginning on May 1st (*hmm, a coincidence?*).
The Story Behind it All: One night,
while lying in the back of a car driving home from a SEAC (student environmental
action coalition) conference in PA, I decided to organize a May Term class.
Well I did, and it got approval by the academic dean, so now it's
gonna happen. Basically this course will take a look at radical thought,
tactics and movements that currently or recently existed in the US. The
objective is to teach ourselves the basics on how to challenge, pressure,
and change structures for the goal of creating a more just society.
Department: Peace Studies, PAX 310: Issues in Peace
Professor: Mary Linton (in the role of a faculty resource person)
Requirements: Students should be ready to work hard, and desire
to prove that students can teach themselves relying on motivation other
A survey course examining modern radical movements, ideas, and actions
by people on the fringes of society who are seeking social change. A student-taught
class from an activist perspective.
The course will be taught by small groups of students (2-4) who will
present a topic to the class that they have researched
All students will:
- Learn about modern radical movements of every strand (environmental,
socialist, anarchist, civil rights, feminist, labour, Christian, etc),
their beliefs and their tactics.
- Participate in discussions evaluating the movements’ tactics, successes,
failures, and relevance to today.
- Research and then teach (as part of a small group) one or two classes.
Possible Course Topics
- Environmental: -Earth First,
Sea Shepherd Society, Animal
Liberation Front, Greenpeace, SEAC,
vegetarianism/vegan, deep ecology, eco-feminism
,dumpster diving (issues of waste)
- Socialist: International Socialists, Trotskyites, CPUSA, Workers World,
Socialist Workers... (brief explanation of sectarianism, party differences
would be very useful)
- Labour: IWW, CIO, analysis of current AFL-CIO decline, etc
- Feminist: NOW, Women’s Action Coalition, WILPF, others
- Minority Rights: Black Panther Party, American Indian Movement, Political
Prisoners, FBI, COINTELPRO, Mumia, Peltier, Justice System, Nation of Islam
- LGB: Daughters of Bilitis, Mattachine Society, Queer Nation, etc: a
- Anarchist: anti-racist/anti-fascists groups, Anti-Racist Action, Refuse
& Resist, Anarchist Black Cross, Food not Bombs
- Christian: Pastors for Peace, CPT, others.
- Media: corporate control, alternative media, free radio movement
- Technology: uses/misuses, Big Brother, encryption, phreaking, computer
Some topics will be divided into sub-topics, while others may not be
used at all. I realize that the topic list is far too extensive for an
one hour course. The organizations listed are intended to be used as a
1. What we can present, due to our prior knowledge, or things that
we are eager to research.
2. Topics that are relevant to students today, with practical applications
or actions we can do.
3. What the class as a whole is most interested in pursuing. Additional
topics that aren’t covered this class, could be covered in a similar class
at a future date.
-We need to meet four hours a week
-Most likely three times per week for one hour and twenty minutes. (Mon/Tue/Thr
- Students will be required to be a part of a group that is responsible
for teaching one or two classes.
- Recommended readings would be assigned on the various topics. We’ll
likely use books, articles, the web (a lot), movies, documentaries, tapes,
etc. There will be a wide selection so students can choose which resources
to use, what they want to learn..
- Each student will be required to keep a journal relating to topics
discussed in class. Likely three entries per week will be required.
- credit /no credit basis
- students evaluate each other: “peer evaluation”, for class presentations
and also for journals
- journals will be read by a fellow student to ensure that adequate thought
went in and that they are done.
- set up on a “do the work”, or “don’t do the work” basis. If you do
the work you pass otherwise you fail.
1st meeting (Thursday): discuss structure, schedule/assign topics,
discussion on how to conduct research (possible radical resources), and
if we have time a discussion on why we’re taking the class.
2nd meeting (Monday): Bryce and I will present radio/media issues.
3rd meeting (Tuesday): Another student presentation (#2)
4th meeting (Thursday): Pastors for Peace might show up with a Caravan
for Cuba (if not we’ll do the 3rd presentation).
And so on, with six more meetings and six more student presentations.
For more info, to modify/add to course, or if you'd like to attend,