Social Movements


“Philosophy of Social Movements explores the ethical tenets of culture, society, justice, and individual/collective political action as they operate within the phenomena of social movements.  The course demands rigorous, open inquiry and collaborative investigation of our most basic ethical assumptions. Coursework emphasizes a diversity of ideas, experiences, and vantage points that define politics, protest, revolution, and justice. As part of the Chicago Intensive program, this course will introduce students to a number of individuals, on and off-campus, who are engaged in intercultural work in a variety of ways. Course content includes storytelling, art, theory, lectures, media, fieldwork, research, discussion, debate, and immersion.”


Prof. Karl Clifton-Soderstrom | Caroline Hall| (773) 244-6279 |
Office Hours:  M/W  9:30-12:30

Prof. Marcus A. Simmons | Caroline Hall | (773) 244-6220 |
Office Hours:  By Appointment


  • Ethical reflection and introspection concerning self and culture
  • Effective communication for problem solving and negotiating meaning
  • Appreciation of multiple ways of being other than one’s own
  • Recognizing the implications of individual and collective citizenship
  • A deep commitment to working respectfully with others


  • Develop methods of critical reading, writing and analysis
  • Balancing theory, judgment and practice as a participant-observer
  • Sustained interaction with a variety of print and media materials relevant to this course
  • Applied knowledge concerning group interaction and conflict dynamics in diverse contexts


  • Jasper, James M. Protest. A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements. 1st New York: Polity, 2014. ISBN-13:978-0745655178, ISBN-10: 0745655173 (216 pgs.)
    • Available as E-Book from Brandel Library
  • Townes, Emilie M. Womanist Ethics and The Cultural Production of Evil. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. ISBN-10:1403972737, ISBN-13: 978-1403972736 (224 pgs.)
  • Talisse, Robert B. Engaging Political Philosophy. An Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2015. ISBN-13:978-0415808330, ISBN-10: 0415808332 (194 pgs.)
  • Additional Readings Will Be Provided


ATTENDANCE: Attendance is mandatory. Your presence helps sustain a diverse, engaging learning space. Arrive every day, with textbooks and other assigned material, ready to engage with other members of the class. You are allowed TWO absences – no questions asked or explanations necessary. Afterwards, each absence results in the loss of a letter grade unless accounted for (emergencies, sickness, death, etc.) and approved by your instructors. You are expected to stay for the duration of each class so plan accordingly. Excessive tardiness/early departures will put your grade in jeopardy.

ASSIGNMENTS: Complete all assignments on time as stated in your syllabus. Late work is unacceptable and will be penalized heavily. Keep copies of everything you submit, cite your research, and back-up your work whenever possible (recommended free services – Moodle, Drop Box, Google Docs or If you have trouble keeping up or completing course work, contact your instructors before it is due. There is grace and room for accommodations (extensions, retesting, academic assistance, extra credit, etc. – at the discretion of your instructors) as we are all on this journey together.

Also, check your e-mail and Moodle regularly during the school week for important course information, announcements, etc. You are responsible for adapting to any changes to the syllabus made by your instructors.

TECHNOLOGY: Unless stated in the syllabus or approved by your instructors, all technology is prohibited during class time (phones, laptops, digital readers, etc.). Phones need to be kept on silent and you’ll need to leave the space or wait until class breaks to use them. If a device disturbs class time (or if you are found texting, e-mailing, making phone calls, or “surfing the web” inappropriately), responses include participation grade penalties; service hours, additional assignments, etc. Accommodations will only be made under special circumstances.


ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating, etc.) is a serious offense and may result in failure of the course, a report to the academic dean and/or expulsion. Using someone else’s work or re-submitting work from another course without acknowledgement/permission is unethical. All influence, borrowed ideas, quotations and references must be cited in your work (MLA Style). If you have questions about what constitutes academic dishonesty, ask the instructors.

ACCESSIBILITY: North Park University seeks to provide a safe, functioning environment and is committed to the success of all community members. Students, who may need accommodations related to access, technology, ability, etc. should notify the instructors as soon as possible so that suitable arrangements can be made. Student Enrichment Services & Support is in the Johnson Center and a support specialist can be reached at (X5737). Information is also available at

ACCOUNTABILITY: “North Park University does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, or veteran status . . . Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by entities that receive federal funds, including educational institutions. The law is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. In furtherance of all these laws, North Park University has adopted a strict Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation. North Park University does not permit harassment, including sexual harassment or other harassment based on gender. North Park University does not permit retaliation. North Park prohibits any act of sexual violence.

A special committee (comprised of students, faculty, and staff), private support services and Title IX advocates help ensure accountability in this area. A list of advocates is available HERE.

Safety is a shared responsibility. Those with any issues related to harassment, discrimination, erasure, violence and/or abuse of any kind should notify a trusted campus authority as soon as possible. Call 911 for emergencies. For campus emergencies contact (773) 244-5600, non-emergencies (X5780) or the Director of Campus Security (Magnuson Campus Center, X5222).

Safe Community Policies:
Other resources include the Office of Diversity (X6281), Director Human Resources (X5601), Center for Student Engagement (X5740 or X5727), University Ministries (X4980), Housing (X4606), Health Services (X4897) and/or Campus Security (X5222).

GRADING (Grades Available On Moodle)


100     = Participation (attendance, informal work in class, .)
100     = Reading Reviews/Quizzes
100     = Research Paper:  Part I
100     = Research Paper:  Part 2
100     = Exams

500         = Total



A+            96-100%                Superior.
A               90-95%                  
B+             86-89%                 Very Good.
B               80-85%                  Good.
C+             77-79%                   Average.
C               74-76%                    Below Average.
D               70-73%                    Poor.
F                0-69%                     


MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS (more details to come…)