on sabbatical 2017-18
Denny Hall Room 13
O'Connell's research interests include the presidency, religion and politics, and American political development. His research on presidential campaign decision-making has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly. His first book, God Wills It: Presidents and the Political Use of Religion, is forthcoming in the fall of 2014.
FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.
POSC 120 American Government
A basic introductory course in American federal government which emphasizes its structure and operation. Special attention is given to the executive, legislative, and judicial processes.
POSC 247 The American Presidency
An in-depth analysis of the nature and significance of "the Man" and "the Office," including constitutional development, presidential roles and customs, the recruitment process, the executive branch, and the politics of the presidency. Prerequisite: 120, or permission of the instructor.
POSC 232 Religion in American Politics
POSC 290 The Politics of Am Pop Culture
This class will explore the important interactions between pop culture and American politics. Over the course of the semester, we will explore topics such as the impact of hip hop music on political behavior, the partisan and informational consequences that come from watching comedy programs like Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show, government censorship of entertainment products, the politics of sports and fashion, and the impact that pop culture has had on the criminal justice system. This class will also feature a number of in-depth case studies, ranging from the political career of Arnold Schwarzenegger to Michael Jordan's lack of political activism.
POSC 500 Independent Study