The Dirty Dozen:
YAF Names America’s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses of 2016-2017
RESTON, VA— As student debt soars—averaging $37,000 for graduates in 2016—today’s college students are studying transgender Latina immigration, ecofeminism, gender and food politics, and more. Young America’s Foundation’s Dirty Dozen list highlights the most bizarre and concerning instances of leftist activism supplanting traditional scholarship in our nation’s colleges and universities.
The list is extracted from the Foundation’s popular Comedy & Tragedy survey, also released Wednesday, listing troubling courses offered by the nation’s top schools.
It’s no secret that America’s colleges and universities have operated as bastions of radical liberal thought and activism for at least the last half century. Despite increased public pressure for intellectual balance, however, higher education is only devolving further into ideological monopoly.
No longer are our nation’s professors teaching students material that is simply biased, they’re also teaching students nonsensical material focusing on topics increasingly beneath the dignity of the degrees they’re working to earn.
Not only are these classes featuring comparatively trivial matters, they’re also promotional vehicles for radical leftist teachings. Based on the course descriptions alone, we know that many of the classes advocate liberal narratives about racism, sexism, homophobia, American exceptionalism, and more.
Universities are eager to offer courses focused on these topics, but it’s far more difficult to find many classes that provide an unbiased perspective on traditional conservative philosophy or leading thinkers such as Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.
The sad truth is that many of America’s greatest minds are spending four formative years and tens of thousands of dollars sitting in classes such as “Ecofeminism,” and “Queering God,” which clearly do little to equip them to face the real and complex problems our country desperately needs them to solve. Similarly, these courses do little to improve students’ job prospects post-graduation.
The full list of Dirty Dozen courses can be found below along with course descriptions included exactly as they appear on each school’s website. Comedy & Tragedy can be read in full here.
The Dirty Dozen
1. ARCH 1013: Diversity and Design, University of Arkansas
Explores the reciprocal relationship between diversity and design in America, investigating how race, gender, religion, ability, age, class, and location affect and are affected by the design of media, products, architecture, and cities/regions. Positive and negative effects of diversity and design are discussed.
2. AFA 4352: Black Hair Politics, University of Florida
Provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary examination of the history, sociology, psychology and economics of Black hair. Students will explore the textures, styles and meanings of Black hair as they relate to identity and power in society.
3. WST 3663: Gender and Food Politics, University of Florida
Survey of the gendered history of food and foodways from the early 17th century to the modern period; may be taught with a service learning component.
4. PHIL 535: Ecofeminism, University of South Carolina
An exploration of the connections between oppression of women and oppression of nature.
5. WGSS 324b: Transgender Cultural Production, Yale University
Introduction to Trans- Studies, with focus on transfeminist cultural production in the United States and Canada. Exploration of key theoretical texts; activist histories and archives; and wide range of expressive cultures, including film and video, performance, spoken word, memoir, blogging, and other new media.
6. WGSS 53.02: Hand to Mouth: Writing, Eating, and the Construction of Gender, Dartmouth College
Our perceptions of food are often limited to familiarity with its preparation and consumption, but do we consider food as an extension of the self or as a marker of class, gender and sexuality? This course will look at food as an intersection of production, consumption and signification, and at how different cultural traditions regulate gender by infusing food with socially determined codes. Readings include Margaret Atwood, Isak Dinesen, Marguerite Duras, Laura Esquival, among others.
7. AMST 440: Racial Capitalism, Williams College
This class will interrogate the ways in which capitalist economies have “always and everywhere” relied upon forms of racist domination and exclusion. Although the United States will be in the foreground, the subject requires an international perspective by its very nature. We will consider the ways in which the violent expropriation of land from the indigenous peoples of the Americas, paired with chattel slavery and other coercive forms of labor, made possible the rise of a capitalist world economy centered in Europe during the early modern period. We will then explore ways racial divisions have undermined the potential for unified movements of poor and working people to challenge the prerogatives of wealthy citizens, and served to excuse imperial violence waged in the name of securing resources and “opening markets”. Ideas about gender and sexuality always undergird racial imaginaries, so we will study, for instance, the ways rhetoric about “welfare queens” has impacted public assistance programs, and claims about the embodiment of Asian women play into the international division of labor. We will also be attentive to the means -from interracial unionism to national liberation struggles-by which subjects of racial capitalism have resisted its dehumanizing effects. This is a reading intensive course that will challenge students to synthesize historical knowledge with concepts drawn from scholars working in the traditions of Marxist, decolonial, and materialist feminist thought, including: Angela Davis, Cedric Robinson, Anibal Quijano, Chandra Mohanty, David Roediger, Stuart Hall, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, and Silvia Federici
8. RELG 032: Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology, Swarthmore College
The God of the Bible and later Jewish and Christian literature is distinctively masculine, definitely male. Or is He? If we can point out places in traditional writings where God is nurturing, forgiving, and loving, does that mean that God is feminine, or female? This course examines feminist and queer writings about God, explores the tensions between feminist and queer theology, and seeks to stretch the limits of gendering-and sexing-the divine. Key themes include: gender; embodiment; masculinity; liberation; sexuality; feminist and queer theory.
9. SOCIOL 3330: Environmental Justice, University of Missouri
Environmental justice refers to the ways in which the “cost and benefits” of modern industrial society are distributed among social groups. This course is concerned with justice, not as an abstract concept, and inequality not in terms of numbers in a bank account. Social justice or inequality are lived, embodied experiences. An individual’s likelihood of experiencing environmental harm is related to intersecting gender, race and class formations, among other things. Justice or inequality is not only embodied, it also happens in places–national and regional differences matter. In this course we will look at some of the extensive literature documenting the ways in which communities of color and poor communities are subject to disproportionate environmental risks. In addition, we will focus on gender as an important category in understanding environmental inequality.
10. GSFS 0413: White People, Middlebury College
White people are often invisible when it comes to having a race. In this course we will begin by considering the formation of whiteness in post Civil War America. We will read histories of whiteness, such as Grace Elizabeth Hale’s Making Whiteness, as well as consider important milestones in whiteness, from the films Birth of a Nation and Gone With The Wind to the blog “What White People Like.” Finally we will use essays, blogs, photographs, and videos to make white people at Middlebury visible by documenting how they represent themselves through language, dress, and rituals.
11. GWS 2305 c-ESD: Transgender Latina Immigration: Politics of Belonging and Labor in the United States, Bowdoin College
What happens to feminist theory and practice when the lives of transgender Latina immigrants in the US are explored? How does this academic practice shape the way the power of immigration policy, biological determinism, and nativism are analyzed? Drawing from transgender studies, women of color feminisms, and sociology of labor migration, uses an interdisciplinary approach to critically examine the lives of transgender Latina immigrants in the U.S. Considers social difference along the lines of class, race, gender identity, and immigration status illuminating the various ways in which social and material borders have been constructed around gender and geographical terrains. Focuses on the current social conditions of transgender Latinas in the US and brings to the surface the implications of socially constructed categories of gender and citizenship in the country.
12. G St 326: Saints and Sexuality, University of Mississippi
A survey of holy figures within Christianity and Islam with an emphasis on gender and the body.