My Seminars for Spring 2017 (Mondays @ 365 Fifth Avenue)


1. American Political Development – 35248 – P SC 82210 – 0

35248 CRN

Graduate Center Campus

SEMINAR DESCRIPTION: This course will help prepare American Politics students for the first exam by covering the standard texts and approaches that the subfield expects on the exam.  American Political Development, more properly titled Neos, Isms, & Information Imperialism, is an American Politics and Women’s Studies seminar that crosses political-science disciplinary divides and approaches political history by relying on ‘political development’ as a comparative-politics and international-relations good-governance methodology with two analytical axes: the role of ideas, and hybrid institutionalism in the increasingly horizontal global social sphere. The seminar is also informed by Women’s Studies literature, given its emphasis on difference as the United States built a relatively strong nation-state and became a global hegemon. It pays particular attention to masculinity and misogynistic nation-building by focusing on what I call neotribalism – intersections in inequality, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and bodies in re-volt (volt refers to the energy derived from creative difference), who resist despite our president who may continue waging the ‘war on women.’

 Teaching Political Science – 35659 – P SC 77904 – 0
35659 CRN
Graduate Center Campus

SEMINAR DESCRIPTIONAll first-year doctoral students in our program whose fellowships entail teaching on the campuses are strongly encouraged by the EO to enroll in this class. All other students, doctoral or M.A. from political science or any other program, who are interested are also welcome to enroll.  Teaching Political Science is teaching power & teaching 2 power & includes the power 2 teach.  While the EO assigns you to your campus — from Hunter to Brooklyn or beyond, in our wonderfully engaging, diverse, and democratic CUNY system, it is your campus chair who sets your specific teaching course assignment.  Indeed, the EO gave me the privileged assignment to teach you about teaching power & teaching 2 power & power 2 teach, which is a course introduced to domesticate the Political Science Program 20 years ago that has been running ever since.  Now more than ever this seminar is indebted to Pedagogy of the Oppressed so that you can teach your students how to resist repressive intersectionalities and latent cultural supremacies. Such supremacies could soon boil over as the American president-elect overtly represents the humiliation and disrespect of women, LGBTQers, immigrants (documented and undocumented), and persons with dis-abilities in our classrooms. We will view these groups, and their intersections, in terms of both who is teaching and who is learning as we discuss how to supplement the Socratic method with Aristotelean ethics. I will also help you integrate your scholarly research — from any field — into your first teaching assignment.  Critical-thinking pedagogy and research-in-the-classroom notwithstanding, we do not neglect the practicum or “how to” aspect of teaching (i.e. writing syllabi, prepping lectures, grading practices, using CUNY1st Blackboard, and mentoring students.)  Appropriate guests will be invited from management and the PSC to address Chancellor Milliken’s recent directives, ensuring how you, the instructor, and your students, can gain the most from your experience.


Getting Grants: Short Course – 35663 – PDEV 79401 – 0

Levels: Graduate School

Status: Active

35663 CRN

Graduate Center Campus

Lecture Schedule Type


Getting Grants: A short course (5 sessions) on how to write grants for your individual research, following my success in securing grants for the Graduate Center (Fulbright; Andrew Mellon; private donors et al.). Feedback and personal guidance on grant proposals will be offered, and guests will be invited.


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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see