The Trayvon Martin case is already making its way into the classroom. This fall, George Mason University in Virginia will offer a sociology class called “Race and Politics, Trayvon Martin.”
According to the syllabus, the class will discuss the connection between race and politics in American history and the Martin case will be presented alongside historic cases such the Supreme Court’s Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision. Martin will also be discussed alongside African-American figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Emmett Till, and Rodney King.
The course website indicates that the class will specifically examine “why, and in what ways, did racial feelings, fears, and animosities surface as they did, how were intragroup and intergroup relations affected by such attitudes and behavior, and what were the short and long-term societal consequences of these attitudes and behavior.”
The course will be taught by Rutledge M. Dennis, a professor affiliated with the departments of “African and African American Studies” and “Sociology and Anthropology.” According to his website, Dennis is interested in “the sociology of ideas, theoretical sociology, political sociology, race and ethnic studies, urban communities, and the sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois.”