Week 5

“From an early age, learn to take care of yourself.” — 20th century Soviet propaganda

We are exploring beneficial propaganda that aims to improve society and inspire individuals to take action.

If you were unable to participate in the live synchronous class, watch the video and make a text or video comment in YouTube responding to the questions we explored.


  1. Beneficial propaganda: From One Second to the Next: Your ANT & DocentEDU Annotations. How does beneficial propaganda affect you?
  2. Emotional appeals: Could an ad like this ever be shown in the U.S.?
  3. Some questions for discussing the readings:
    1. Why is beneficial propaganda called “soft propaganda”? What are the origins of this form of propaganda? Who created it and for what purposes?
    2. Why did the Czechoslovak Community Party design matchbox labels as a form of soft propaganda after the founding of the country in 1947?
    3.   Who was Edward Bernays and why is he called the “father of modern propaganda”? What was his breakthrough campaign in 1929?
    4. What is the origin of the “March of Dimes” campaign and what make it so effective?
    5. How did counter-propaganda about children’s MMR vaccination impact Britain?
    6. What are the ten steps needed to critically analyze propaganda? Which concepts are most important?
    7. What specific characteristics of images make them so effective as a propaganda tool?
  4. Critically analyze three propaganda examples with the Media Literacy Remote Control/Smartphone
  5. Progress report on LEAP 2: Critically Analyzing Propaganda (due March 2)
  6. Preview required activities for next week


1. READ and TWEET: Read David Welch on propaganda and patriotism by choosing one of the chapters below. Then compose a minimum of three tweets to concisely summarize key ideas and information  that you learned. At least one Tweet should make a connection between what you learned and the present day. (NOTE: Tweets will be graded for quality.)

Welch, David (2013). Chapter 2. One People, One Nation, One Leader (pp. 41 – 78). Propaganda: Power and Persuasion. London: The British Library OR Welch, David. (2012). Propaganda for Patriotism and Nationalism. British Library.

bernays-book2. READ, SUMMARIZE and RESPOND: We’re crowdsourcing our reading of Edward Bernays’ classic book, Propaganda. Learn how to complete this assignment here. 

Bernays, Edward (1928). Propaganda. New York: Ig Publishing.

3. VIEW and ANNOTATE: Watch the student-produced video, Schools of Thought: Nationalistic Propaganda in History Textbooks. As you view, identify a key idea by making two  annotations. In your first annotation, summarize a key idea in your own words. In a second annotation, comment by considering how an idea presented in the video is connected to both the past and the present.

4. VIEW: View All that We Share, which was broadcast on Danish TV in 2016. How might knowledge of the political context of Denmark (and Europe more generally) shape interpretation and critical analysis of this message?


Next class: Thursday, March 2

DUE: LEAP 2 March 2


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