New courses explore resistance and revolution

Image Credit: Okanagan College

OKANAGAN - From millions of women marching globally out of concern for their human rights, to protests over pipelines, to rebels in Syria, there seems to be increasing expressions of discontent dotting our global political landscape.

Some may be full-on revolt. Others may be civil disobedience or demonstrations of democratic rights and freedom of speech.

It is clear that the issue of resistance, its causes and manifestations, warrants consideration - and it’s at the heart of a timely new offering from Okanagan College at its Salmon Arm campus.

Resistance and Revolution is a program emphasis within the College’s two-year Associate of Arts degree (transferable to B.C. universities) that will give students an in-depth opportunity to study the many ways that people around the world have fought and continue to fight social, political, colonial and economic orders.

The program draws on a number of disciplines, including anthropology, communications, economics, English, geography, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and gender studies.

“It is vital to understand what leads people to dramatic efforts to foment change, and to appreciate how the drive for social justice and empowerment is harnessed,” notes Joan Ragsdale, Okanagan College’s Regional Dean for the Shuswap-Revelstoke region. “There’s a growing interest in our area, throughout the province and around the world in social justice studies. We are fortunate to have some very good faculty at our campus with an interest in this.”

Amy Cohen is among those professors.

“Whether it is the expression of solidarity we saw at Standing Rock over the Dakota Access pipeline or the ways dissatisfaction with politics and politicians are manifested in the U.S., we’re seeing that resistance is playing an ever-important role in the public agenda,” says Cohen. “The protests following Trump’s inauguration are just further evidence of the trend.”

The program emphasis will be of interest to students who want to better understand the history of resistance and revolution, the strategies involved, their effectiveness and how they are expressed in today’s political and economic environment, she explains.

“The program will also sharpen students’ critical thinking and analytical skills, something that will serve them well in further studies or in career development,” adds Ragsdale.

Courses in Resistance and Revolution will be offered beginning September 2017 at the campus. For more information, you can visit okanagan.bc.ca/RandR


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