Friday, August 03, 2012

Funky University Classes

Every time I read an article like this, my gut impression is, "Colleges aren't teaching anymore, they're doing crap like this!"  Of course, that's exactly the kind of kneejerk reaction the newspeople want to get out of readers with such a story!

So I think about it a little more, and then I come around to, "Are these classes absolutely worthless?  Is there nothing to be learned by studying these particular perspectives?"  After all, I doubt there's anyone taking all the classes on the list, what's wrong with one bohemian little class?

But then I read about this class and I think, "absolutely worthless":
WST 394, Desperate Housewives: Gender, Family & Pop Culture
A women's studies class that examines the fictional lives of the wealthy homemakers of Wisteria Lane ... anybody else thinking "easy A?"


Left Coast Conservative said...

I have long been of the opinion that anything that is called " Studies" is as best lightweight academically, and worthless at worst, and usually having a socio-political agenda.

Darren said...

You don't like Oppressed Victim Studies? You must be a racist or something! :)

Anonymous said...

"anybody else thinking 'easy A?'"

In a class like this one? Only if you parrot back the teacher's opinions. Otherwise, no, this will not be an A at all!

-Mark Roulo

Left Coast Conservative said...

I did not vote for President Obama in 2008, and I have no plans to vote for him in 2012, so that confirms it!

Of course the fact that he is a Chicago machine Democrat has nothing to do with it, or the fact that I sure wish Allen West was running in a district where I could vote have nothing to do with my racism. Nope, not a thing.

Darren said...

Mine either, apparently.

momof4 said...

When I was in college (60s,New England), there was an interdisciplinary program in Latin American Studies that was both hard to get into (began soph year)and academically rigorous. Fluency in either Spanish or Portuguese was required (including year abroad in appropriate Latin country), including knowledge of the appropriate literature. Specific courses in history, poli sci, econ, physical/human geography etc. were required. The program was designed for those heading to State Department or private enterprise in that area. Sadly, that kind of program probably doesn't exist anymore. It's all about aggrieved victims and "social justice" these days.

It's too bad, because area studies could be done well, but they've all been politicized to the max. I sure don't think there's any balance or serious scholarship in Middle Eastern studies programs captured/funded by the Saudis or Muslim groups.

Women's, black, Hispanic, sexual-orientation studies; no. They were ideological and political from the start. There's nothing academic about them and I don't think there ever has been, and I was on campus when they (classes, not whole departments/majors) began.