Course Description

In August 2016 NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem prior to games. Kaepernick’s act of silent protest ignited ongoing debates about race, protest, and acts of resistance in the public sphere. Social justice activism across multiple groups and spaces has been an essential part of the democratic process. Without acts of resistance, power and oppression would be free to run rampant. Acts of disruption and eruption in the 20th and 21st century helped to make a way for many marginalized groups (African Americans, women, LGBTQIA, Latinx, Indigenous, etc.) to assert themselves in the public sphere. With movements like Occupy Wall Street, No DAPL, and Black Lives Matter transforming our current political landscape, it is a ripe moment to examine the rhetorical acts that shape and define contemporary protest discourse. Our course this semester will explore the rhetorics of various resistance movements in the United States. Using the Collins Memorial Library zine archive as a primary source, we will examine the motivations of these movements, and explore the rhetorical acts that drive social justice activism in the United States.