PSCI 4701 Symbolic Politics


Dr. Michael Kanner
Email:  Michael.Kanner@Colorado.EDU


Unlike courses that look at politics in terms of institutions or norms, this course looks at how political rhetoric uses the emotions associated with symbols as a means of promoting political agendas and change. By the end of the semester, students are expected to –

  1. Identify how political discourse reflects dominant discourses in American society;
  2. Examine the manipulation of discourse and symbols in governance;
  3. Evaluate how various political actors establish agenda and framing to their advantage;
  4. Analyze the use of symbols in the acquisition of power.


McNair, Brian. 2011. An Introduction to Political Communication (Communication and Society). New York: Routledge Publishing, Inc.

Perloff, Richard M. 2013. The Dynamics of Political Communication: Media and Politics in a Digital Age. New York: Routledge Publishing, Inc.


Module I Critical Paper          25 points
Module II Critical Paper         25 points
Module III Critical Paper         25 points
Campaign Ad Analysis           10 points
On-line participation              15 points
Total                                           100 points

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado