New Course! Media, Public Opinion, and the 2008 Election

Announcing PUBP 4803 SH, a new special topics course being offered this fall.

Interested in Obama, McCain, Clinton, You Tube, CNN, ethnicity, gender, and the social and political future of America? Would you like to learn how scholars and experts in American politics, public opinion, and media think about campaigns and elections? If the answers are “yes”…this course is for you! Students will examine the nature of politics in the United States with a special focus on the 2008 presidential race. You will learn what is “normal” politics in this election campaign, and what is ground-breaking and fundamentally different, all within the context of the latest academic research.

Among the exciting aspects of the course will be a group project, where you will work with fellow students to study and advise (in theory!) the presidential campaigns, acting like media or public opinion consultants while the race is in progress. This is a one-of-a-kind course, a mix of theory and nuts/bolts practice, for students of any major with a great interest in elections, campaigns, and the future. We will work hard and have a lot of fun, watching debates together and analyzing the campaigns, the media, and how citizens respond to the candidates.

The professor for the course is Dr. Susan Herbst, a new faculty member in the School of Public Policy. She is the author of many books and articles on American politics and public opinion, including Reading Public Opinion: Political Actors View the Democratic Process (University of Chicago Press), Politics at the Margin: Historical Studies of Public Expression Outside the Mainstream (Cambridge University Press), and Numbered Voices: How Opinion Polling Has Shaped American Politics (University of Chicago Press). Since 1996, Herbst has been co-editor of the University of Chicago Press series, Studies in Political Communication, Media, and Public Opinion. She was a professor of political science and communication at Northwestern for many years and now is the Chief Academic Officer for the University System of Georgia.


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