Engaging students to apply political theory through experiential exercises.
I utilize canonical and non-canonical thinkers to show my students the relevance and presence of theory all around them. Instead of launching into “What is feudalism?”, I discuss the political and economic relations of Game of Thrones. Instead of speaking broadly about Rawls on the original position, I engage students in an experiential activity playing out what that position would look like.
By providing questions and scenarios that both personalize and contextualize the issue, students are excited to discuss the readings and make them applicable to their lives.
POLITICAL THEORY THROUGH SCIENCE FICTION
This course used science fiction films, shows, podcasts, and comics to investigate political theory in a way that is grounded in possible futures – utopia, dystopia, or something in the middle.
CAPITALISM AND DEMOCRACY
This course explored definitions of capitalism and democracy, how capitalism and democracy work in harmony and/or crisis, and possible alternative systems of governance and economy.
Citizenship, Borders, and the State
This course assessed the constructions of citizen, border, and state in order to identify how they are justified, their impacts, whether they are worthwhile constructions, and how we could reconstruct other futures.
INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE
This course analyzed institutions, participation, ideas, and ideologies in politics as well as the relationship between them. Topics included the state, justice, and democracy. I co-taught this course by taking over the winter term.
Selected Comments from Course Evaluations:
“Professor Lalonde is one of the best instructors I have ever had. She has turned a topic from what could be very dry, in to such an interesting and beneficial thing to learn about… her positive attitude, motivation, and teaching abilities has made for an amazing experience.”
“Dianne Lalonde is an understanding, enthusiastic and empathetic instructor! Her excitement about the content is infectious, and she genuinely fosters a very welcoming and conducive environment for learning, which I am very grateful for. She always made herself available to students, for any concerns and questions, and via email and office hours. Best instructor I’ve had in university!“