Syllabus for Roster(s):

  • 16F COLA 1500-051 (CGAS)
In the UVaCollab course site:   16F COLA 1500-051 (CGAS)

Course Description (for SIS)

In an age where our civic fabric is knit with an insatiable appetite for scandal, and at a time when society is held captive by competition, success, and self-indulgence, the vast majority of “mainstream media” seemingly provides nothing more than continual affirmation of these base narcissistic tendencies. Yet paradoxically, the New York Times has for nearly a decade featured a particular set of countercultural commentary from one of the nation’s leading op-ed columnists David Brooks. In his weekly commentary (and bestselling books), Brooks regularly implies that our culture is in need of transformative reconciliation and restoration. Brooks’s titles such as “The Act of Rigorous Forgiving, “The Structure of Gratitude,” and “When Beauty Strikes” regularly grace the op-ed page of one of the nation’s leading newsprints and suggest that today’s journalism must consider a broader ethical and moral imperative. But is there an appetite for this type of journalism in modern society? To what end does Brooks hope for his audience, and for what purpose might the New York Times employ such a divergent voice in contemporary media today? In this course we will consider some of Brooks’s more countercultural opinions and discuss not only form but content. We will also take time to consider particular influences in Brooks’ life, including the writings of Hannah Arendt, Martin Luther King, Jr., and L. Gregory Jones."