Study Guide

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“Students loved it! Hands down, it was the most engaged they were throughout the semester.”

— Alison Bodkins, James Madison University

Compiled by over a dozen educators, trainers, academics, and pranksters, our study guide offers thematic guides and hands-on activities for using the Beautiful Trouble book and online toolkit as a learning aide in the classroom.

Designed primarily for undergraduate use, this study guide is also suitable for high school and graduate school, as well as book clubs and study groups.

Packed with engaging exercises, group activities, discussion questions, and further insights, this guide gives you all you need to infuse your classroom with the spirit and energy of Beautiful Trouble.

Note: This Study Guide was originally published in 2016 to engage with content from the original Beautiful Trouble book and online toolkit. Since then, we've published a further book adding new tools and methodologies, Beautiful Rising: Creative Resistance from the Global South, and a Strategy Card Deck. The Study Guide has been updated to include these resources and more as of September 2021.

If you are interested in using Beautiful Trouble in more applied settings (public workshops, activist skill-shares, nonviolent direct action trainings), check out our training program!

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Beautiful Trouble, praised by Naomi Klein as “elegant and incendiary,” is an essential college-level resource for studying the convergence of art and politics.

The book is has been used in university classrooms, in courses spanning History, Media & Communications, and Performance Studies. We work hard to get Beautiful Trouble into the hands of the next generation of troublemakers and our academic community ensure that happens.

Students can add to Beautiful Trouble online: Beautiful Trouble is, by design, an evolving project. Students can research and draft their own modules, and then submit them online. To assist, we have templates, as well as samples for inspiration.

We can also come to your classroom in person: While the book offers a self-guided tour of creative protest, the Beautiful Trouble Training Program brings an experienced artist-activist to your campus, or even right into your classroom to guide groups of 15-40 through an in-depth, participatory discussion of the social movements making headlines worldwide. Our presentations are customized to fit your needs, making them the ideal resource for campus events programming, for professors looking to spice up their classroom, or any student group seeking more tools for its toolbox.

Read how one professor, Katie Peyton Hofstadter, used Beautiful Trouble in the classroom (in person and virtually during the pandemic) at The New School in NYC.

We have plenty more resources available to help professors integrate the text and lessons of Beautiful Trouble into syllabi — get in touch with us

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