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Course 2016-2017 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  L-ART/06)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives
Kennedy / Nixon

Always defined as a ‘window to the world’, television has been for many years the most important and the most penetrating media available with an extraordinary capability in amplifying the actuality depicted. In doing so it has contributed in determining the reality perception and in influencing its development. The analytical study of television representation of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Milhous Nixon personal and public story, as well as their political rivalry examined in parallel with the 2016 U.S. presidential election concurrent with the course, will enable students to deeply and widely understand the strategic role held by the medium in social, cultural, political changes in any national and international contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes
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Course Content Summary
The course subject is the analysis of the television representation of two of the most important personalities of the nineteenth century: John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Milhous Nixon. Strictly connected with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and built on a solid theoretical/critical basis, mostly linked to cultural studies, sociology and political journalism theories, the course consider with particular attention three significant cases histories those have set the television event’s paradigm for many years:
  • The first historical 1960 debate between Kennedy and Nixon analysed in parallel with the ones between 2016 presidential candidates - that have revolutionized the way of looking at res publica in television and still nowadays influences the treatment reserved by the medium to the political topic. It’s the medium that informs.
  • The 1963 Kennedy assassination in Dallas and the following few days, that had originated the longest and most important live coverage in the worldwide television history until 9/11. It’s the medium that narrates.
  • The 1977 Frost/Nixon interviews, when the former U.S. President admitted his responsibilities in the Watergate scandal. It’s the medium that changes history.
The learning style is characterized by the regular screening of audiovisual materials, as well as a strong interaction between teacher-students-external lecturers.

Teaching methods
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Assessment methods
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Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

The exam program is different for attending and non attending students. Detailed information about exams and assignments is communicated at the beginning of the course.


The bibliography is communicated at the beginning of the course.


The course does not require proficiency in communication, mass media, contemporary history or politics, but it does demand a genuine interest in all these subjects and a continuous update about the 2016 Presidential Election during the class’s weeks.

Last change 24/05/2016 17:34