What is Politics?

Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
UA Campus
Class size
150 students

Learn about and discuss politics with one of the greatest public intellectuals of our time, Noam Chomsky. Chomsky and UA emeritus professor Marv Waterstone will co-teach this seven-week class that is both a general education course for UA undergraduates and open to the public. Connecting students from multiple generations and political outlooks, this course is sure to stimulate ideas, debate, and dialogue. Chomsky and Waterstone will look at urgent contemporary issues and place them in their historical and conceptual contexts. The course examines industrial state capitalism as the dominant organizing principle of our economy. Students will interrogate some of the most significant consequences of this orientation, including climate change, social inequality, potential nuclear terrorism, and the expansion of militarism and warfare. Students also will investigate the achievements and difficulties involved with working for progressive change.

Course Details

Readings and Syllabus

Detailed reading assignments and a finalized syllabus will be available prior to the beginning of the course. Readings can be accessed online in early January. 

Attendance and Participation

Community members may choose to attend all sessions in the semester, except exam days, or attend fewer sessions on a drop-in basis. You are welcome to participate in all class discussions and assignments, but UA students will have priority in accessing office hours and individualized assistance from the professor or teaching assistants. All community members are expected to abide by the same code of conduct that applies to regular UA-enrolled students.


How to Register

You can register online through the University of Arizona Foundation. You'll need to enter your contact information and credit card details. You'll receive a confirmation email once you complete your registration.


Refund policy

If you find you are unable to attend the course, please do let us know. You can request a refund up to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. The balance of the original tuition will be refunded after an administrative fee of $25. To drop, contact sbs-communitymatters@email.arizona.edu.

Please be aware that unregistered guests are not able to attend class meetings. Due to safety and security protocols, only registered UA students and Community Classroom students, and registered guests, will be allowed inside the classroom. Persons who contact sbs-communitymatters@email.arizona.edu to register before the date may attend one class session without charge.


Location Details
Environmental and Natural Resources Building 2 (ENR2), Room N120. This large auditorium is wheelchair accessible and has an assisted listening system.

The Sixth Street Garage is immediately east of the classroom building. The garage is on the south side of the campus between Park and Highland Avenues. The hourly charge is $2 before 5pm and $1 after 5pm. Please be aware that higher flate-rate fees may apply on game days or on the days of other special events. Visit parking & transportation for additional parking options and more information.