Generation Y Studies JFK's Life and Times

Forty SMU undergraduates have a unique opportunity to capture the zeitgeist of a turbulent time as the nation prepares to observe the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22. SMU political science Professor Dennis Simon and senior English lecturer Tom Stone in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences are teaching a special course during fall 2013 that examines the life, times and legend of JFK.

The students and professors are blogging about their experiences here. Learn more about SMU’s experts and archival collections related to the presidency and assassination at smu.edu/JFK.

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Studying Kennedy as a person and as president

An update from Kaley, a sophomore biochemistry major:

I’m impressed with this course’s insight into John F. Kennedy’s life from every perspective. The material shows him as a hero who overcame adversity, a promiscuous womanizer, and a victim of circumstance. This class does a good job of being impartial and putting Kennedy’s life in the context of world issues, enabling each student to form his own opinion on John F. Kennedy and giving each student the resources to analyze Kennedy’s life from every direction and make his own assumptions.

This class has a heavy workload. There are lots of reading assignments to handle, but they are all essential to providing a well-rounded description of John F. Kennedy as a person as well as a political leader.

The most interesting part of the curriculum has been the assassination conspiracy theories. All of the pieces on John F. Kennedy’s assassination are believable. From the single bullet theory to conspiracies in the Mob, it is clear to see how no one is certain about the plot behind Kennedy’s assassination. I am curious to see what new insight is revealed when the files are released.

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