HISTORY 329 - Social Science Topics in History
Section: 001 Fake News: A History
Term: FA 2018
Subject: History (HISTORY)
Department: LSA History
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
SS
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Repeatability:
May be elected five times for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Over the last year, “fake news” has been one of President Donald Trump’s most oft-repeated phrases, undermining confidence in the press. In 2016, it was a term used by the media to describe deliberate misinformation spread on social media during the presidential campaign, often comprised of conspiracy theories. So what is “fake news” and how should we understand it, identify it, and make sense of how it is being used?

In this discussion-based seminar, we will analyze the historical precedents of “fake news.” Course readings will take us from Renaissance Italy, to imperial China, revolutionary France and America, colonial India, through totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century and up to the present day. Each week, we will delve into a different historical event in which rumor, conspiracy, propaganda, or satire played a central role. We will dissect the meaning of these terms across time and space and ask how and why they become meaningful in particular societies at particular moments. In the process, we will examine how historians treat deception, misinformation, and forgery in attempting to explain what happened in the past. Finally, we will ask whether “fake news” is a useful analytical category; what does it mean, how can we study it, and how can we handle it in our current society? Students will leave the course with a mastery of the historical context of fake news, an ability to identify and decode false information, and an understanding of methods for approaching a confusing and contested past. Course materials will include books, articles, podcasts, and films. Students will be evaluated primarily based on class participation, weekly discussion questions, and two essays.

Course Requirements:

Students will be evaluated primarily based on class participation, weekly discussion questions submitted before class, and two essays.

Intended Audience:

Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Class Format:

Discussion

HISTORY 329 - Social Science Topics in History
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
30828
Closed
0
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
P
31925
Open
12
 
-
TuTh 8:30AM - 10:00AM
The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for HISTORY 329.001

View/Buy Textbooks
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for HISTORY 329 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)