Spring 2020 Syllabi

Introduction to Political Thought (200-level)


Global Political Thought (300-level)


I’m also sponsoring two independent studies (400-level), one on Puerto Rican feminist political and anticolonial activism, and the other on the politics of American metal music.

Audio: 2008 Interview with Mike Gravel

All the way back in 2008, Jeffrey Graves and I were two years into our nascent undergrad student podcasting careers. Living and studying in Denver, Colorado, we had the opportunity to cover the biggest political event of 2008 — that’s right, the 2008 Libertarian National Convention (oh, and we covered some Democratic National Convention thing a couple months later).  One of the candidates at the Convention? Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel, who started the 2007-8 campaign season in the Democratic Party before becoming part of the race for the Libertarian nomination (he finished fourth after several rounds of balloting). On the first day of the Convention, Jeffrey and I interviewed Gravel.

Recently, Gravel has launched an unorthodox campaign in the Democratic Party primary, with the intention of making it in to the debates in order to articulate an anti-war, anti-interventionist message and to work to push the debate and party to the left. Enterprising nearing-middle-age-semi-washed-up-podcasters that we are, Jeffrey and I unearthed our 2008 interview with Gravel from the depths of a long forgotten external hard drive.

And now, we bring you our May 2008 interview with former Senator Mike Gravel, in which he discusses his move from the Democratic to Libertarian primary, his critique of the two-party system and military industrial complex, the Whigs, grassroots campaigning circa 2008, his famous Rock ad and more.

The audio has been edited for clarity. Thanks to Jordan Cass for his cover of “No Surprises,” which is used as the intro music to this audio gem.


The younger, not-as-well-dressed-as-they-are-today Jeffrey Graves (L) and John McMahon (R), with former Senator Mike Gravel on the first day of the 2008 Libertarian National Convention.


(link to the mp3 file itself here)

How a Bill Becomes a Law

By Morgan Monteiro

In this podcast, I discuss the process on how a bill becomes a law. I go step-by-step and do my best to explain the rather long and convoluted process, and then begin a discussion on the fact that not many people seem to know how it happens. Followed by that are the interviews with three college students, none of whom know the correct process. I have omitted their names at their request, because It can be kind of awkward to be interviewed about something you know nothing about. Afterwards, I analyze the interviews and begin to talk about political participation and how this process relates to participation. Following that, I offer solutions for what people can do to fix the problems that I discuss in the podcast. I close with the song from schoolhouse rock about the same topic.

College Activists at Standing Rock

By Natalie Green

The construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline began this year and immediately became a controversy due to environmental concerns, treaty violations, and health risks. Due to these human rights violations and environmental threats, activists have given much attention to supporting and protecting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The pipeline continues to be constructed as winter conditions worsen the occupants’ conditions. This podcast focuses on the role of the college activist, with an interview with a Beloit college student who shares her experiences and reflections. Tessa discusses with me the importance of protecting the land and people at Standing Rock and the way in which she approaches activism as a student.

The Supreme Court

By Mark Stephens and Steven O’Neil

This thrilling podcast focuses on the Supreme Court. More specifically, we discuss major cases the Supreme Court has dealt with, and how the Supreme Court has developed into a formidable power within the American political system. Furthermore, we open our podcast up to three different Beloit College students, where we ask them about how they think the recent election and the implications it will have on the Supreme Court will affect their day-to-day lives. We also ask them and discuss between ourselves the power of the Supreme Court within the American system.