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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Shannon Bow O'Brien

Affiliated Faculty, Adjuncts and Lecturers Ph.D., University of Florida

Lecturer
Shannon Bow O'Brien

Contact

Biography

Shannon Bow has research interests in American Politics with a focus on presidential studies, New Urban development, as well as the impact of the executive branch upon state and local politics. Her dissertation examines presidential speechmaking over the past 45 years exploring changes in the way presidents communicate with the American public. She has taught American Politics (310L), and Urban Politics at UT Austin, and American Politics, State and Local Politics, Urban Politics, and Presidential Politics while at the University of Florida.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

37810 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CAL 100
show description

Issues and Policies:

Grades will based on the following:

Test 1              20% 
Test 2                          25% 
Test 3                          25% 


Online Ethics Assignments: 30%

 

Course Description:

This course is the second 3 hours for American government.  My specialty area is American Presidency.  The American Presidency can be taught in a number of ways.  This semester, I have selected to teach the class through a historical approach.  The presidency has changed in many dramatic and significant ways since its inception.  If Barack Obama (with all his presidential powers) were to suddenly be dropped into 1789, the citizens of the day would be shocked at the amount of presidential power he wields.  However, as citizens of the 21st century, most do not consider the size and scope of the presidency to be unreasonable.  In fact, though some people think he has too much power, many others would be willing to grant him greater authority.

 

In short, the office of the presidency acted and reacted to changes in politics and society. This course will start with George Washington and end with Barack Obama.  While I will likely touch on every administration, we can break them into specific eras for study.  Changes in the presidency result from tumultuous events (e.g., Garfield’s assassination helped spur the creation of the civil service system in federal government) which lead to governmental growth.  This is not a history course where we will learn in detail about every administration.  However, we can use history to better understand why certain eras of presidency are forgettable and others unforgettable. I do not expect you to be well versed on American history (if you are getting worried) because we are looking at how the presidency drives history.  The core point of most topics in this class will revolve around: How was the presidency changed?  How did the presidency change society?  How did the presidency increase or decrease in power? 

 

Required Textbooks: TBD

GOV 370L • Social Movements: Thry/Prac

38084 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ B0.306
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Course Description:

This course is about social movements.  Social movements involve groups of people organizing or coalescing around issues.  This course is designed to be an introduction to the topic.  Groups of people have been organizing together towards joint goals for centuries.  People with differing opinions about actions, policies, and behaviors want to have their voice heard about their concerns.  Social movements often develop when a large enough number of people with similar problems come together.  Some movements are total failures.  Some succeed and thrive and others succeed and subside.  Still, many others fall somewhere between success and failure.

This course plans to introduce broad ideas about social movements, raise important questions, and help students develop a better understanding about them.  Every movement is different, but elements within them can be categorized and understood.  The analysis of these elements can give you the tools to look at movements or groups within society and make educated guesses about their long term viability. 

The literature of social movements can be very theoretical and difficult to decipher.  The class will only have 1 assigned book for the semester.  This book is a compilation of many important articles, papers, and readings regarding social movements.

 

Required Readings:

 

There is ONE (1) book required for this course. 

The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts, 2nd edition. Edited by Jeff Goodwin and James M. Jasper, Publisher: Wiley Blackwell, 2009 ISBN: 978-1-4051-8764

I also reserve the right to assign additional readings from time to time if I feel they are needed. Any additional readings will be added Blackboard and also announced in class.

This course may require additional readings from JSTOR or other online sources.

 

Grades:  2 tests, three written assignments

Grades will based on the following:  

Midterm                                       30% 
Final                                            40%


Paper Assignments:

Paper Assignment 1   worth 5%
Paper Assignment 2     worth 5%
Executive Summary of a Social Movement    worth 20%

GOV 310L • American Government

38705 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description:

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

 

 Grades:

 

Grades will based on the following:

Test 1  25% 
Test 2  30% 
Test 3  35% 


Paper Assignments: Total Weight is 5% each or 10% total

Paper Assignment 1   

Paper Assignment 2    

 

Required Readings:

 

There is ONE (1) book required for this course.  You can purchase it either as a hardcopy version from the bookstore/online/etc or as an electronic version.

 

American Politics Today, 3rd Essentials Edition by William T. Bianco and David T. Canon 2013 W. W. Norton and Company.

GOV 370L • Urban Politics

38990 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as URB 350 )
show description

URBAN POLITICS

 

This course introduces and explores the development of the urban landscape in America.  Cities did not simply spring into existence.  Their geographical and physical constraints combined with social, ethnic, and political pressures shaped and continue to shape their development.  This course is designed to mostly introduce you to some ideas of urban politics in America.  The first part of the semester concentrates on the development of the cities.  This part of the class will focus primarily on the rural to urban shift in America.  The second part of the semester will explore the move from urban to suburban living.  This part of the class will look at more modern issues and topics in the cities (i.e. problems created by people moving out, financial attempts to solve these problems, new urbanism, gated communities, social/racial strife). 

 

 

Grades:

Grades will based on the following:

Test 1  25%

Test 2  30%

Test 3 35%

 

Paper Assignments (5% each) 10%

 

Required Readings

There is ONE Book:

Judd, Dennis R. and Todd Swanstrom.  City Politics  Pearson.  (latest edition, likely 9th).

GOV 310L • American Government

38985 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm JES A121A
show description

Course Description

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

 

Grading Policy

I use plus/minus.  4 tests (first 2 are worth 20% each, second 2 are worth 25% each), 2 assignments worth 5% each.

 

Text

Logic of American Politics 5th edition, CQ Press by Samuel Kernell, Gary Jacobson, and Thad Kousser 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

39035 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description:

This course is the second 3 hours for American government.  My specialty area is American Presidency.  The American Presidency can be taught in a number of ways.  This semester, I have selected to teach the class through a historical approach.  The presidency has changed in many dramatic and significant ways since its inception.  If Barack Obama (with all his presidential powers) were to suddenly be dropped into 1789, the citizens of the day would be shocked at the amount of presidential power he wields.  However, as citizens of the 21st century, most do not consider the size and scope of the presidency to be unreasonable.  In fact, though some people think he has too much power, many others would be willing to grant him greater authority.

In short, the office of the presidency acted and reacted to changes in politics and society. This course will start with George Washington and end with Barack Obama.  While I will likely touch on every administration, we can break them into specific eras for study.  Changes in the presidency result from tumultuous events (e.g., Garfield’s assassination helped spur the creation of the civil service system in federal government) which lead to governmental growth.  This is not a history course where we will learn in detail about every administration.  However, we can use history to better understand why certain eras of presidency are forgettable and others unforgettable. I do not expect you to be well versed on American history (if you are getting worried) because we are looking at how the presidency drives history.  The core point of most topics in this class will revolve around: How was the presidency changed?  How did the presidency change society?  How did the presidency increase or decrease in power?

 

Required Readings:

The American Presidency: Origins and Development 1776-2011, Sidney M. Milkis and Michael Nelson, 6th edition, CQ Press. (core text) ISBN 978-1-60871-281-6

I also reserve the right to assign additional readings from time to time if I feel they are needed. Any additional readings will be added Blackboard and also announced in class.

Grades:

Grades will based on the following:

Test 1                         25% Test 2                         30% Test 3 (final exam)   35% Paper Assignments   10%

I also reserve the right to make any changes to the grading system I see fit during the semester. This may include, but is not limited to additional paper assignments (if I determine they are needed), or moving the test dates to accommodate unforeseen circumstances (think hurricanes and natural disasters, not doctor’s appointments).  I am not requiring attendance this semester, but I reserve the right to start using it if attendance gets extremely low.  If I choose to use it, I will announce it in class and post on Blackboard.

Grade Scale:

This semester, the University will begin to utilize a plus/minus system.  Here is the scale I will use for the class for grades.  Because of the plus/minus system, grades are NOT rounded up or down  You earn your grade based on performance.

 

A:        93-100

A-:       90-92.99

B+:      87-89.99

B:        83-86.99

B-:       80-82.99

C+:      77-79.99

C:        73-76.99

C-:       70-72.99

D+:      67-69.99

D:        63-66.99

D-:       60-62.99

F:         Less than 60

 

Paper Assignments

You will have 2 paper assignments. Both are required.  They will be on forms that will posted on blackboard prior to the due date.  You will be required to turn in a paper copy of the assignment.

Because of the class size, emailed copies of assignments sent to the professor or the TAs are NOT accepted this semester.  Contact the professor if you have an emergency (think hospitalization or jail).

Papers are always accepted early if you choose to turn it in. Late papers will be penalized.  For every day a paper is late (including weekends), it will be penalized 5% of the total grade a day until 50%.  Additional late penalties will not be assessed after 50% though you may be graded lower than 50% for quality

All paper grades can only be questioned or challenged for 2 weeks after the date it is first returned back to the class.  If the last assignment is returned with less than 2 weeks of the semester left, then the last day of class is the last day to challenge a paper grade.  Only the professor (not the TAs) has the authority to change a paper grade (unless it is a minor or obvious calculation error).  If the grade is not questioned or challenged in this time frame, it stands as recorded.  This is designed to encourage students to retrieve their papers and also to not question grades in December that were handed back in September because they decide they do not like their final class grade.

.Exams

Three tests will be given.  They will be multiple choice.   They will cover material presented in lectures and in the readings from the text, as well as any other material assigned/presented in class (including videos if I show any). The final exam is NOT cumulative and will only cover material presented since the previous exam. However, most of concepts in this course build upon each other so you will be expected to retain information from earlier portions of the class.

Each exam will be machine graded if multiple choice is used. I will supply the answer sheets for all tests.  Students are required to bring a number 2 pencil and picture identification.

The test days are fixed and announced the first day of class.  They will not be changed or negotiated.  If these test days do not fit your personal schedule, do NOT enroll in this course.  There are too many students in this course to work with you to make these dates fit vacations, trips, or other such matters.  While I will abide by university approved absences and work with students, make up exams may be different than the exam given in class.

I do not return tests in this class though I return Assignments 1, 2.  You are always welcome to come in any time during the semester to look at your tests (Yes, you can still look at test 1 after the 3rd exam if you wish). The professor will keep the copies of your tests in her office.  The teaching assistants will have test information as well.  They can go over your scores and what you miss from the testing output we receive from the scantrons.  If you plan to attend the teaching assistant’s office hours and want to look at your physical test, email the professor and she will place the test in his mailbox.  Please try to let the professor know at least a day ahead of time.  The teaching assistants have a limited amount of space and I have a large filing cabinet in my office to store the tests.  The mailboxes are close to my office so it is relatively simple to drop it off.

 

Paper Assignments

  • These papers assignment days are noted on the calendar at the back of this syllabus.  They will be posted to blackboard at least a week prior to their due day.
  • You will be expected to fill out the form in its entirety.  Incorrect information is always wrong.
  • These forms introduce you to aspects of the American presidency.  They are in this format this semester to facilitate grading.  The course is quite large and the information collected on the forms would mirror what would be expected if you were to research and write a short paper for the course.

Papers will be graded on a 5 point scale (yes I will give quarter and half points). 1 will be the lowest and 5 will be full points. 

GOV 310L • American Government

39040 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 106
show description

Course Description

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

 

Grading Policy

I use plus/minus.  4 tests (first 2 are worth 20% each, second 2 are worth 25% each), 2 assignments worth 5% each.

 

Text

Logic of American Politics 5th edition, CQ Press by Samuel Kernell, Gary Jacobson, and Thad Kousser 

 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

39070 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am BUR 106
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38710 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

See syllabus

GOV 370L • Social Movements: Thry/Prac

39000 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ B0.306
show description

See syllabus

GOV 310L • American Government

38575 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm WEL 1.316
show description

Course Description

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

 

Grading Policy

I use plus/minus.  4 tests (first 2 are worth 20% each, second 2 are worth 25% each), 2 assignments worth 5% each.

 

Text:

Logic of American Politics 5th edition, CQ Press by Samuel Kernell, Gary Jacobson, and Thad Kousser 

GOV 370L • Urban Politics

38840 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm MEZ B0.306
(also listed as URB 350 )
show description

Course Description

This course introduces and explores the development of the urban landscape in America.  Cities did not simply spring into existence.  Their geographical and physical constraints combined with social, ethnic, and political pressures shaped and continue to shape their development.  This course is designed to mostly introduce you to some ideas of urban politics in America.  The first part of the semester concentrates on the development of the cities.  This part of the class will focus primarily on the rural to urban shift in America.  The second part of the semester will explore the move from urban to suburban living.  This part of the class will look at more modern issues and topics in the cities (i.e. problems created by people moving out, financial attempts to solve these problems, new urbanism, gated communities, social/racial strife). 

 

Grading Policy

I use plus/minus.  3 tests (first test is worth 25%, last two tests are worth 30%) 3 paper assignments worth 5% each

 

Text

City Politics, 8th edition Longman by Judd and Swanstrom

GOV 310L • American Government

38520 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GAR 0.102
show description

This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

TEXT:

AM GOV 2011, Losco Baker, McGraw Hill

GOV 370L • Urban Politics

38855 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 214
(also listed as URB 350 )
show description

This course introduces and explores the development of the urban landscape in America.  Cities did not simply spring into existence.  Their geographical and physical constraints combined with social, ethnic, and political pressures shaped and continue to shape their development.  This course is designed to mostly introduce you to some ideas of urban politics in America.  The first part of the semester concentrates on the development of the cities.  This part of the class will focus primarily on the rural to urban shift in America.  The second part of the semester will explore the move from urban to suburban living.  This part of the class will look at more modern issues and topics in the cities (i.e. problems created by people moving out, financial attempts to solve these problems, new urbanism, gated communities, social/racial strife).   

TEXT:

 City Politics, 8th edition, Judd and Swanstrom, Longman 2012 

GOV 310L • American Government

38575 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 370L • Social Movements: Thry/Prac

38850 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm MEZ B0.306
show description

See syllabus

GOV 310L • American Government

38359 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 900am-1000am WEL 2.308
show description

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

Required Readings:
The Struggle for Democracy, Greenberg, Edward and Benjamin Page, 2007. 8th edition: Longman.
I also reserve the right to assign additional readings from time to time if I feel they are needed. Any additional readings will be added Blackboard and also announced in class.
 

GOV 310L • American Government

38361 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 201
show description

Course Description:
This course is an introduction to American Government. It is designed to give you a basic idea of the functions, activities, and interactions of our federal system. Our government is a dynamic entity that has evolved over time and shaped by both internal and external forces. The goal of this class is to provide you with tools to understand American Institutions.  Through learning the duties, powers, and limitations of government, you can better appreciate the impact of current events upon America.

Required Readings:
The Struggle for Democracy, Greenberg, Edward and Benjamin Page, 2007. 8th edition: Longman.
I also reserve the right to assign additional readings from time to time if I feel they are needed. Any additional readings will be added Blackboard and also announced in class.
 

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

38700 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 900-1000 JES A121A
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 370L • Urban Politics

38985 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 214
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

GOV 310L • American Government

39035 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 300pm-430pm BUR 106
show description

This course is an introduction to American government and politics.  While the main focus is on the national level, additional attention is paid to the state and local governments of Texas. Topics will include U.S. political history, political institutions, elections, public opinion, rights and freedoms, and public policy issues.

GOV 312L • Issues & Policies In Amer Gov

39070 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1200-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Government 312L satisfies the second half of the mandated six hours of government that every UT student must take.  Course covers analysis of varying topics concerned with American political institutions and policies, including the United States Constitution, and assumes basic knowledge of government from GOV 310L, which is a prerequiste. May be taken for credit only once.

GOV 370L • Urban Politics

38450 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm MEZ 1.306
show description

Course Description:

Analysis of varying topics in the study of American government and politics.

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of lower-division coursework in government.

Grading:

TBD

Readings:

TBD

 

 

 

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