Upcoming election inspires professors’ course material

David Greenberg, presidential historian. Photo supplied by David Greenberg Professor

As the GOP heads towards its convention in Tampa in August and the presidential race begins to consume the media, J/MS professors are gearing their fall teaching toward the 2012 election.

The department offers several courses that will focus on the election from the viewpoint of media coverage, among them the very popular Media, Government and Politics.

Presidential historian, Pro­fessor David Greenberg, will be teaching in the fall.

Greenberg’s research focuses on the U.S. presidency and presidential campaigns with an emphasis on questions of public relations, propaganda, “spin,” image-making and presidential debates.

Among Greenberg’s books are the award-winning Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image, Calvin Coolidge, and Presidential Doodles. He is a columnist for Slate and a contributing editor at The New Republic.

Professor Montague Kern, a national expert in how political advertising affects campaigns, will be focusing on presidential image in her courses.

In Public Information and Public Relations, Professor Liz Fuerst will have her students keep a close watch on how the candidates handle media relations and the televised debates.

“Fall semesters during pres­idential election years are always so exciting for J/MS majors,” said Fuerst. “They get to study election news as it is happening instead of through the window of history.”

Lots of prominent J/MS alumni are covering the presidential race, including Raelyn Johnson, a CNN news producer, Carrie Budoff Brown from politico.com, and Mike Emanuel, chief Congressional correspondent for Fox News Channel.