This fall quarter at Stanford I have been teaching an experimental new class on the Presidential Election.
The course is experimental in three ways. First, it’s a collaboration with two colleagues, David Kennedy, a Pulitzer Prize wining historian and expert on 20th Century American history, and Jim Steyer, CEO of Commonsense Media and a Stanford Law grad. Second, the class purposefully mixes together Stanford students (undergraduates and graduate students) with adults from the local community who are enrolled via the Continuing Studies Program. Third, the class is also being offered online via Stanford iTunes University.
The course filled up quickly, enrolling 400 students and 200 community members. The online version of the course was also popular, with more than 30,000 people currently signed up to receive the course videos.
The course took up weekly and serial examinations of major topics at stake in the election: foreign policy, the economy, the Supreme Court, campaign strategy, and California politics. We were joined every week by some distinguished guests who participated in conversation. These included, among others, Steve Schmidt, Christopher Lehane, Mark McKinnon, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Stanford President John Hennessy, Nobel Prize winning economist Ken Arrow, California State Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, and Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Michael McCurry.
I intend to write up some reflections on the online version of the class shortly. For now, I want to provide, in one easy-to-find format, some of the online materials for the course: the suggested readings and links to the online videos.