CC+ proposal,a student-led discussion inviting new figures on our Contemporary Civilisation syllabus


CC+ is an online, student-led, continuous asynchronous discussion of a collectively curated list. Motivated by their desire to expand the topics and breadth of the Contemporary Civilization syllabus, the body of students are invited to take part in a community of young scholars fascinated by the questions living at the intersection of philosophy and politics.


The project would be to investigate political literature that might have been marginalized from traditional curriculums, a literature representing a wider range of ideologies than the traditional canons that have informed our collective subconscious. Moreover, this project could merely be considered as an opportunity to create community among students eager to incorporate new readings in the curriculum. We would also welcome more recent texts, written by living authors, reading our contemporary stakes through the lens of well-informed political theory. CC+ groups could also take the shape of informal workshops reflecting on new systems of social organization. If this was the case, a formal aspect would need to be expressely defined. Our goal would be an open learning environment, not one that leaps towards condemnation.


CC+ would meet at the beginning of every semester to collectively define the texts, authors and themes they would like the community to interact with. Once a preemptive syllabus has been agreed upon, students will be able to engage with the texts through weekly discussions posts. Online and around the Columbia community, it would allow the possibility for students to embrace a degree of anonymity given by the online platform that also would provide the opportunity for students to better glimpse the demanding nature of the proactive political theorist debates, enabling the rigor that is often erased by the casual, social nature of in-person interactions. Meetings, if meetings are held, would only be held online. It would be at the students leisure to meet outside if they wish to do so. My personal goal in making this project will be to encounter the peers I’ve been hoping to meet, that would be my life-long fellow thinkers with whom I—we—will be able to think tomorrow’s social world.


The ideal scenario would be to make CC+ a 0-credit P/D/F class that could be visible on the students’ transcript. Without having an impact on their GPA, this module would be read as a way to recognize the extra intellectual efforts—the extra time dedication—that students had to invest. Alternatives could merely be the access to a Canvas page that would allow the students participating to CC+ to have a base from which to conduct virtual discussions. A third alternative, the least demanding for all, would be the mere promotion of our online space, offering CC+ as the continuation and expansion of the value of the core curriculum: creating a standardized and rigorous base of common knowledge. I would propose myself to manage this first version, which I would share as it eventually gets more traction and spreads to the other classes of the core curriculum.

A proposal written by Victoire Mandonnaud, edited by Talia Rosenthal, and supported by Professor Phillip Polefrone between February 1st and February 11st. Waitiing to be validated by the Core Curriculum Faculty.