Politics of Post-Truth: Demagoguery

Follow up from from last class:

Slides from Cloud :
-Sec 3 — groups 3 +4
-Sec 4 — groups 3, 4, + 5

Roberts-Miller’s Democracy and Demagoguery (2017)

Activity: Open a new Google Doc in your WRT folder and title it “money quotes.” In this document I want you to:

1. Copy + paste a significant quote you marked from the Roberts-Miler reading. 2. Explain what is happening at this point in the reading and why you think it is important.
3. Raise a question, draft a brief response, pose an objection or a passionate agreement — basically anything that is sticking with you after the reading.
4. Once you are finished, paste it into the appropriate 💰🗯 class doc:
[Sec 2/9:30 a.m.]
[Sec 3/12:30 p.m.]

The following questions are geared toward giving us a better handle on that content. Use your annotations in our discussion, but also add more annotations to your reading as we talk. I will collect these at the end of class and they are worth 10 points in this unit.

  • What is the short definition of demagoguery? What does this mean?
  • What is its criteria? What kinds of discourse does Roberts-Miller focus on? Which criteria are emphasized by the author?
  • What are some of the personality traits of those who subscribe to demagoguery?
  • What are some of the words or vocabulary Robert-Miller introduces as she explains how demagoguery works? Point us to some moments.
  • Where can we find demagoguery in action? Where do we look and what do we look for?

Holistic annotation

For next class you’ll be listening to a podcast from The Daily and annotating it using a method I call holistic. By holistic, I mean your annotations won’t respond to the content directly on the page or margin (there isn’t one), but in a separate space — a GoogleDoc, Word file, or sheet of paper, similar to an annotated bibliography. Holistic annotations get you to think about the text more “globally”; that is, you are not so much highlighting individual words, sentences, or paragraphs, or jotting notes next to them, but instead considering the text as a whole. To do this you will need to listen or read the text and:

Summarize it. In a 100-word paragraph, cite the title and author and the central idea/question/argument, sub-claims, evidence used, as well as how the text was organized (Abbreviated example: In the chapters we read from Demagoguery and Democracy Patricia Roberts-Miller defines demagoguery as a kind of discourse… In her chapters she lists several kinds of criteria and characteristics of those who subscribe… )

Copy (or cut & paste) 4-5 money quotes. As you read should note “money” quotes — parts of the text that are especially rich, dense, defining, confusing, etc. (in a podcast it might help to note the time and go back to copy them later). If there are multiple voices, like there are in the podcast, it will be important to attribute these to a speaker. You might also explain — briefly in your own words — the quote’s context and/or why you found them important. It is also important to include page numbers or time markings so it’s easy to return to them later when you are drafting.

List all of the sources used in the text. These could be formal, scholarly citations or informal, anecdotal evidence (Polly said…). Copy or cut & paste the URL if the source is available digitally. Often I like to track the most important sources that are repeated throughout or are depended upon heavily by the author as they extend an idea. I call these MVPs (most valuable players).

Develop a list of keywords or tags. These are words or phrases that categorize the text. For example, for Roberts-Miller I might use the following: politics, truth, authority, identity, argumentation, deliberation, publics, polarization, realism, authenticity, confirmation bias, binaries, projection, fallacy, charisma, victimization, patriarchy.


Homework for next class

  • Listen to “The Business of Internet Outrage” (from Oct 2018 on the NY Times’ Daily podcast). Note that you can also follow along with the transcript here.
  • Complete a holistic annotation for the podcast in Google Docs. Save it with an obvious title in your WRT folder.