Political myth, propaganda and fake news
Time: 10:15 - 11:45
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now started
Course Code: HPC101
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
Fake news has become something of a buzzword in recent years. Propaganda and myth have been present in politics for a long time, possibly forever. This course will explore some different meanings of political myth, propaganda and fake news, and will ask questions about how it relates to our politics.
It will ask questions such as:
What is fake news? How can we identify fake news from real news? What impact is it having on our politics? What is a myth? Surely modern politics is beyond myth? What is propaganda? How much is propaganda used today?
In this course we will examine these questions, utilising political theory to ask questions about truth, democracy and society.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Differing understandings of the concept of Political Myth
- Stanley's understanding of Propaganda
- Fake news in the news
- Historical and contemporary examples of myth, propaganda and fake news.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Explain some understandings of political myth and propaganda
- Spot myths and propaganda
- Identify fake news
- Analyse political images, texts and videos with a critical approach.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and so requires no specific skills. The course will, however, involve engaging with complex theories, concepts and the reading of texts in class, so a good understanding of English is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The course will be taught with an emphasis on tutor guided, student-led learning. This will generally involve a large degree of group work and class discussion.
There will be recommended readings given for work outside of class. While this is not compulsory, it is strongly recommended that students engage in the material provided so as to ensure their ability to fully participate in the classes.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no extra costs. A pen and paper will be useful.
The following books may be interesting for further reading, although are not required:
- Chiara Bottici, A Philosophy of Political Myth
- Jason Stanley, How Propaganda Works
- Georges Sorel, Reflections on Violence
- Henry Tudor, Political Myth.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Have a look at our range of politics course on the college website, or in our prosepctus.
Ben’s expertise is in political theory and modern history, with a particular focus on myth and violence. He studied Modern History at the University of London, obtaining a First Class Honours degree with a specialisation in Victorian Intellectual History. He then studied a Masters Degree in Political Philosophy at the University of York, where he graduated top of his class and obtained an award for his dissertation on the philosophies of history of Michel Foucault and Walter Benjamin. Ben went on to complete his PhD at the University of York, where he researched the subject of myth and violence in the work of Georges Sorel, Walter Benjamin and Carl Schmitt. Ben has been teaching Philosophy, Politics and History at a number of universities since 2015, and teaching at City Lit since 2018. He has also taught A Level History and Politics to sixth form students at a school in West London, and has taught English at a school in Thailand. Alongside this, he has spoken at conferences and events around the UK and Europe, primarily on topics relating to myth, violence, and democracy.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.