Sincerest form of flattery and all that. Inspired by Alice Evans’ bookification of her course reading list, Tom Kirk and I have turned the reading list for our LSE course on advocacy, campaigning and grassroots activism into a course manual, adding more background, a summary of each week’s content and seminar questions, among other things.
Here it is – all 44 pages. Feel free to nick, criticize (if you have to), improve etc.
Coming to academia from outside, I’m struck by the weight attached to reading lists. I wonder where that importance comes from, especially given my strong suspicions that a lot of the entries don’t get read by a lot of the students! They seem to act as a bit of a legacy product – students can take them away and refer to them after they’ve left. Any other theories?
Updating the course list has also been heavily influenced by another exercise I’m involved with – we’re just completing a diversity analysis of the International Development department’s 30+ course reading lists. This involved a monster data crunch (don’t worry, I didn’t do it) of hundreds of authors on basis of gender and country of origin/ethnicity, and some fascinating debates on how you describe them – is white/non-white an acceptable binary? If not, then what? I’ll report back with the headlines when we’re ready to go public on that one.
If you’re looking for more of a manual than a reading list, head over to Oxfam’s shiny new guide to influencing, which we also use as part of the course. Got a podcast in the works with Richard English, its lead author.
And for a taster of what the students came up with this year, check out these blogs by Mirna Medina-Silva, Lucy Shearer and Lachlan Hill, and vlogs by Niharika Agarwal, Michael Spencer and Firman Lung. Here’s Niharika’s again….