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  • By: Kate Edwards

    The spring semester is here, and blatant liberal bias in classrooms across the country remains constant. Over the next three days, Young America's Foundation, in partnership with The Daily Caller, will release The Dirty Dozen: a listing of America's worst courses at Ivy League, private, and public schools.

    While professors consistently overlook the likes of F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman, students are left to study John Maynard Keynes and assigned readings by Karl Marx. In the past, Young America's Foundation has reported courses on "How to be Gay" (University of Michigan), "Black Marxism" (University of California-Santa Barbara), and "Practicing Feminism" (Williams College). This year, some of the highlights (or lowlights, to be more accurate) include “Crises in American Capitalism” at Brown University, “Music as Social Protest” at Vanderbilt University, and Georgetown University’s “Sociology of the 1 Percent.”And these courses aren't limited to Universities--as recently reported by Young America's Foundation, a Wisconsin high school is currently offering a course on white guilt.

    These courses do little to prepare young people for the job market in an Obama economy that makes it even more challenging for young people to become successful. Below, savor the Ivy League Dirty Dozen. The course descriptions are reprinted verbatim from the schools’ websites.

    Brown University, American Studies: Crises in American Capitalism

    We are now in the midst of what is commonly called the Great Recession-the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression. This course investigates these two crises in American capitalism: how they were caused, resisted, represented, and remembered. Students will be asked to interrogate the meanings of these economic crises, and to consider their various political and cultural uses.

     

    Yale University, African American Studies: Poverty under Postindustrial Capitalism

    Political economy of contemporary social welfare policy as it has been affected by economic restructuring, the development of the underclass, and the effects of immigration on the economy and its social structure.

     

    Dartmouth College, Religion: Beyond God the Father: An Introduction to Gender and Religion

    This course is designed as an introduction both to the study of religion and to the study of gender as it has come to affect the way religion is studied. Topics to be discussed include: the social construction of gender and religion; overcoming binaries, essences, and universalizing; religious symbolism and the projection theory of religion; post-Christian feminism; the roots of patriarchy; the case of Judaism; the case of Islam; new studies helping to create a "feminist philosophy of religion."

     

    University of Pennsylvania, Religious Studies: The Feminist Critique of Christianity

    An overview of the past decades of feminist scholarship about Christian and post-Christian historians and theologians who offer a feminist perspective on traditional Christian theology and practice. This course is a critical overview of this material, presented with a summary of Christian biblical studies, history and theology, and with a special interest in constructive attempts at creating a spiritual tradition with women's experience at the center.

     

    Princeton University, Freshman Seminar: The Everglades Today and Tomorrow: Global Change and the Impact of Human Activities on the Biosphere

    "The Everglades are a test. If we pass the test, we get to keep planet Earth," stated Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, an American journalist and conservationist who devoted her life's work to the Everglades.

    Twelve years ago the U.S. Congress authorized a $7.8 billion restoration effort to redeem the natural Everglades. Water in South Florida once flowed in a shallow, slow-moving sheet that covered one of the largest wetlands in the world. An exceptional variety of water habitats provided food and shelter to birds and reptiles, and to threatened mammals such as the manatee and the Florida panther. By the early 1900s, however, the drainage effort to make the "river of grass" amenable to agriculture and urban use was underway. Today the remaining fraction of the original Everglades ecosystem is under threat as human activities compete for land and water and affect water quality. In spite of the restoration plan, which is the largest hydrologic restoration project ever undertaken in the United States, progress has been slow, and the Everglades have been back on the UNESCO list of global heritage sites in danger since 2010.

     

    Brown University, Environmental Studies: The Fate of the Coast: Land Use and Public Policy in an Era of Rising Seas

    For the last few decades, there has been a land-rush on the ocean coasts of the United States. Unfortunately, this swamps the coast at a time when sea levels are on the rise. In some places the rise is natural, in some places the rise is exacerbated by human activities and everywhere it is fueled by climate change. This course will examine the causes of sea level rise, the effects it produces on land, the steps people have taken to deal with these effects and their consequences, and possible remedies.

     

    Harvard University, Earth and Planetary Sciences: Global Warming Debates

    The atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is now the highest it has been in at least 800,000 years, raising concerns regarding possible future climate changes. This seminar will survey the science of global change from the perspective of scientific debates within climate community. Specifically, the course will involve guided reading and discussion of papers that present contentious view points on the science of global change, with the goal of students learning how to scientifically evaluate these claims. Laboratories will provide students with hands on experience with some climate models and data.

     

    Dartmouth College, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies: Queer Marriage, Hate Crimes, and Will and Grace: Contemporary Issues in LGBT Studies

    This course will explore a wide range of contemporary issues and debates in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies. We will do this by examining, in some detail, several issues now integral to present LGBT rights movements, but will expand our focus beyond the immediate concerns of political organizing to the broader questions these issues raise. The LGBT movement, now three decades old, is facing serious growing pains. It has won toleration and some mainstream acceptance, but must now decide its current needs, agendas, social and political goals. We will look at three important areas of discussion: challenges to the legal system such as the repeal of sodomy laws and hate crime legislation; evolving social constructions of LGBT life such as gay marriage, the "gayby-boom," and the effect of AIDS on community formation; the threat of queer sexuality especially as it relates to issues of childhood sexuality, public sex, and transgender identity. We will be reading primary source material, including Supreme Court decisions, as well as critical theory by writers such as Lani Guinier and Samuel Delany. We will also look at how popular culture movies like Basic Instinct, Scary Movie, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and television's Will and Grace and Six Feet Under both reflect and shape popular opinion. We will also examine how race, class, gender, and "the body" are integral to these topics and how queer representation in popular culture shapes both public discourse, and the LGBT cultural and political agendas.

     

    Harvard University, Government:  Inequality and American Democracy

    The "rights revolutions'' of the 1960s and 1970s removed barriers to full citizenship for African Americans, women, and other formerly marginalized groups. But inequalities of wealth and income have grown since the 1970s. How do changing social and economic inequalities influence American democracy? This seminar explores empirical research and normative debates about political participation, about government responsiveness to citizen preferences, and about the impact of public policies on social opportunity and citizen participation.

     

    Dartmouth College, Sociology: Capitalism, Prosperity and Crisis

     Capitalism in the last five centuries generated great wealth and prosperity in Western societies. In the last few decades, capitalism assumed a global character affecting social and economic life of the vast majority of the people in the world. Yet, capitalism has also been plagued by economic decline and failures, causing massive human suffering. This course will study the nature of capitalism, sources of prosperity and crisis, inequality in distribution of economic and political power.

     

    Yale University, Environmental Studies: The Human Population Explosion

    The worldwide population explosion in its human, environmental, and economic dimensions. Sociobiological bases of reproductive behavior. Population history and the cause of demographic change. Interactions of population growth with economic development and environmental alteration. Political, religious, and ethical issues surrounding fertility; human rights and the status of women.

     

     Harvard University, Government: Progressive Alternatives: Institutional Reconstruction Today

    The past and future agenda of progressives, whether liberals or leftists. What should they propose now that they no longer believe that governmental direction of the economy works or that redistributive social programs suffice? A basic concern is the relation of programmatic thought to the understanding of change and constraint. The course explores institutional alternatives in contemporary societies, and reconsiders the traditions of social theory and political philosophy in the light of an interest in such alternatives.

    Stay tuned for The Dirty Dozen for private and public schools, coming soon.

      

     Kate Edwards is the program officer for chapter services for Young Americans for Freedom, a Project of Young America’s Foundation.

     
    • Readers' Comments

    • I don't really understand what is wrong with these courses. They all seem very interesting.
      Posted by Kelly on 01/15/2013
    • These sicken me to the core. Further evidence of the propaganda and skewed cr*p that is dumped into the minds of so many who graduate and end up voting for or becoming twisted politicians.
      Posted by matt on 01/15/2013
    • So.....these courses are being required? Is that why they're controversial, because students are being forced to take them against their will?
      Posted by Ben Hutchison on 01/16/2013
    • Whatever happened to teaching the Classics? It is no wonder our citizenry is becoming dumber and dumber.
      Posted by Ella on 01/16/2013
    • Ella. Each of these colleges has an entire Classics department. Not to mention courses (often mandatory for the major) on classics of philosophy, history, literature, etc. Calm down.
      Posted by rebeccah on 01/16/2013
    • If I were an employer, and an applicant told me they majored in this sort of nonsense, they'd rate lower than someone with just an Associate's degree.
      Posted by Matt on 01/17/2013
    • There's nothing wrong with these courses. There's nothing wrong with giving an intellectual voice to marginalized groups. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging global warming and climate change, especially in an environmental studies course. That's the point of an environmental studies program, by the way--to study the environment. Preferring that students of science ignore the world is ignorant. Criticizing the effect of religion on gender and women's rights is necessary because it does have a negative effect, and religion should not be above criticism unless you want to blindly follow a doctrine that in fact is harmful to society. If you do--perhaps you should enroll at one of these universities and learn something about someone other than yourself. The reason conservative social courses are not taught at non-religious schools is because those ways of thinking are inaccurate and harmful to society and its progression. Racism, sexism, classism and homophobia are institutions of evil and oppression and to object and work to stunt the criticism of those things is ignorant and evidence of a closed, selfish mind.
      Posted by Caitlin on 01/17/2013
    • I wouldn't expect too much from Yale. They just introduced a bartending class.
      Posted by Brendan on 01/17/2013
    • Isnt't the whole point of living in a free society is the freedom to study and express what you want. Who cares if these colleges are teaching these courses.. What? You want the government to come in and regulate what colleges can teach? That doesn't sound very conservative.
      Posted by Tim on 01/22/2013
    • In response to Caitlin -= Step back, re-read your post and you will see that your post is a great example of what is wrong with these courses. These courses, rather than opening the mind, lead tothe indoctorination of underlying assumptions that form a progressive world view. For example, your statement "there's nothing wrong with acknowleding global warming and climate change in an enivornmental studies class" assumes that global warming and climate change exists --rather than objectively considering both sides of the issue. Shouldn't the purpose of an education be to OPEN minds and encourage students to logically evaluate information and then think critically for themselves? By the very nature of being a student, you are intelletually vulnerable. A course that is biased from the outset is not educating. It is indoctrination. Students should demand more from their colleges.
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