Great Courses: Propaganda and Persuasion
March 9, 2024


03/12/24 @ 10:30am –
03/12/24 @ 11:30am

Meeting Room B

Mammen Family Public Library

Registration Required

Registration for this event is required.


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Age Guidelines

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Registration is required.

Join facilitator Ann as we learn about propaganda and persuasion! Each of the weekly gatherings will start with a short video lecture, followed by a group discussion.

This is a weekly series that will begin on February 20th. You can join the series at any time, and you only need to register once. Below is the course overview, along with the video topics covered in this course.

Course Overview:

Persuasion is a central element of our daily lives. Whether it is a politician angling for a vote, a business advertising a product, a parent asking a child to get dressed, or a friend suggesting a certain restaurant for dinner, we are constantly trying to persuade others to our point of view, and experiencing others’ attempts to persuade us.

Persuasion—along with its cousins: propaganda, manipulation, and coercion—has always been part of the human experience. The 20th and 21st centuries, however, have seen the rise of mass media and an explosion of digital messaging, making it critical for us to understand the tools and science of persuasion.

Today, not only do we need to be able to influence others, but we must be able to recognize when the techniques of persuasion are being used on us. Propaganda and Persuasion gives you a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the powerful, fascinating—and occasionally dangerous—world of influence. Taught by Professor Dannagal G. Young of the University of Delaware, these 12 eye-opening lectures arm you with the tools of effective communication and the insight to understand—and perhaps resist—persuasion in all its forms.

As you will discover, the domains of persuasion and propaganda include politics, advertising, relationships, public health, social media, and more. Professor Young walks you through each of these, beginning with a historical account of persuasion. Here you will:

Go back to the time of Aristotle to learn about two types of persuasion, the rational “logos” (the head) and the emotional “pathos” (the heart), and the overlap between the two.
Witness the rise of the concept of “the masses” alongside newspaper and radio, as well as the development of the “publicity man” and the field of public relations.
Explore the dark side of propaganda as it was perfected during the Third Reich.
See how post-war America opened new opportunities for the advertising “Mad Men” of Madison Avenue.
Consider new challenges in our era of digital communications and social media.

Successfully navigating our contemporary world means understanding persuasion in speech, media, messaging, imagery, and more. Propaganda and Persuasion is, therefore, an invaluable resource for your life as a citizen, colleague, consumer, and human being at large.

You can view the full course description and all of the video topics here.