Democracy and Digital Culture

Discovery Core Experience: VLPA Courses

B CORE 117

60-Second Syllabus: Democracy and Digital CultureVisual and Literary Arts Icon

About This Course: 

Let’s step back from the fray of the 2020 presidential election and explore what democracy really is and what we can and should do as citizens in a democracy. In this course, we explore democracy and democratic citizenship by examining their representations in media. We will watch films (both fiction and documentary) and read graphic novels, popular press articles, and scholarship on democracy. Throughout our guiding question will be “What does democracy really look like, and how can I make it a reality?” In addition to the theme of democracy, students will learn crucial academic skills, including critical reading strategies, analytical writing strategies, and oral presentation strategies. You will have an opportunity to research something of interest to you regarding democracy and communicate it to the class. And, you will have an opportunity to be creative in your final project, which will ask you to represent democracy by creating an artifact or performing an action. Along the way, we will learn about important student resources on campus that can guide you toward success in achieving your academic, professional, and personal goals.

Professor Ian Porter (He/Him/His)

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Picture of Professor PorterAbout Professor Porter: 

Ian Porter is a doctoral candidate in Communication at the University of Washington where he studies rhetorics of technology and sustainability in an urbanized world. He also holds graduate degrees from UW in digital media communication and library and information science and an undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University in English literature. He teaches courses in the Discovery Core series on urban life, data worlds and the quantified self, and practicing the good life. In addition, he teaches Interdisciplinary Writing and Research Writing on the topics of technology and sustainability. In his free time, he loves hanging out with his wife and daughter, eating good food, and listening to good music on Seattle's amazing local radio station KEXP.  


"Democracy is not just a system of government; it is a way of life." - Professor Porter