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Columbia Gives Class On Occupy Wall Street

From the New York Post:

Columbia offers ‘Occupy 101’

January 1, 2012

Does getting pepper-sprayed count as extra credit?

Columbia University is offering a new course on Occupy Wall Street next semester — sending upperclassmen and grad students into the field for full course credit.

The class is taught by Dr. Hannah Appel, who boasts about her nights camped out in Zuccotti Park.

As many as 30 students will be expected to get involved in ongoing OWS projects outside the classroom, the syllabus says.

The class will be in the anthropology department and called “Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement.” It will be divided between seminars at the Morningside Heights campus and fieldwork.

On her blog, Appel defends OWS, arguing that “it is important to push back against the rhetoric of ‘disorganization’ or ‘a movement without a message’ coming from left, right and center.”

Addressing the safety risks of fieldwork among protesters, she writes on the syllabus, “I can say with absolute certainty that there is no foreseeable risk in teaching this as a field-base class.”

Let’s hope this assurance makes her and Columbia legally responsible for any problems these students might experience.

She said her allegiance won’t keep her from being an objective teacher.

“Inevitably, my experience will color the way I teach, but I feel equipped to teach objectively,” Appel told The Post. “It’s best to be critical of the things we hold most sacred.”

You just know if the young Obama was still there he would sign up. And if he was a little older, he would want to teach a similar course.

By the way, it costs more than $57,000 a year to attend Columbia. Which has driven many a poor student into lifelong debt for worthless degrees.

Speaking of which, here is Ms. Appel’s Columbia bio:

2011 Research Scholar — Hannah Appel

Post-doctoral Research Scholar

Committee on Global Thought
Columbia University

Hannah Appel earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. With research interests in the daily life of capitalism and the private sector in Africa, in particular, Hannah’s work draws on critical development studies, economic anthropology, and political economy. Her current project – Futures – is baded [sic] on fourteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in the transnational oil and gas industry in Equatorial Guinea. The project explores the considerable work required to lubricate the passage of oil to market – not only of labor (whether manual, managerial, or domestic,) but also of material infratstructures [sic], contracting regimes, and forms of governance and regulation. What combinations of technopolitics, labor, infrastructure, contracts and subcontracts, corporate enclaves and corporate social responsibility programs are required to convert Equatorial Guinea’s hydrocarbon from subsea deposit to spot price on the New York Mercantile Exchange? And to what effect?

Yes, we must find that out.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

11 Responses to “Columbia Gives Class On Occupy Wall Street”

  1. cmvnyer says:

    My suggestion for a new class at columbia:

    New classes at Columbia this year: Irreverent Irrelevancy – the look into the biting satire of a wanna’ be satirist- Bill Maher

  2. untrainable says:

    How do you teach a class in liberal tree huggery and left wing whinery objectively? You can’t teach/preach advocacy objectively. Advocacy and objectivity are mutually exclusive. Then again, I’m no genius professor with Zuccotti park shit stains on my sleeping bag either.

  3. Petronius says:

    “It’s best to be critical of the things we hold most sacred.” – Hannah Appel.

    Isn’t this self-refuting?

    If we must be critical of everything that matters, then shouldn’t we be critical of being critical? If we cannot be certain of any truths, then how can we be certain there are no truths?

    Perhaps we should begin by being critical of Llberal-Marxist dogma. But of course that will never happen, least of all at Columbia.

    It is impossible to preserve constitutional government, the rule of law, or even to prevent social decay unless society agrees that certain truths are self-evident and immutable (or at least immutable for that particular society), and are not subject to revocation by the shifting tides of public opinion.

    What Hannah Appel and people like her are really proposing is a prescription for the decay of standards –– that we reject the basic principles of American society, undermine the existing economic and social order, and thereby attack the roots of our civilization.

    Perhaps with any luck in good time it may lapse into semi-anarchy, in which event people like Hannah Appel, Saul Alinsky, and Nerobama will be available to establish a new order, some form of despotism or a totalitarian state, on the ruins of Western Civilization.

    Every Liberal’s idea of civilization : blood on the cobblestones.

    • tranquil.night says:

      The more I learn about the madness that drives the elitist would-be social engineers and tyrants of the world, the less I want to know. But it’s unavoidable in today’s world. They’re still running the asylum.

  4. sticks says:

    I just read an artical about how a toxic algea disorients certain birds causing them to do bizarre things and how that might have inspired Alfred Hitchcocks movie. These teachers are the toxin that disorients impressionable youth driving them to madness so they will become useful. Of course bad parenting does not help. It reminds me of the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and the Emperor

  5. Mithrandir says:


    In college, they gave credit for seeing liberal movies and giving reports on it. It’s a way to push $ to Hollywood, and spread their message to students who have no choice.

    Another class, EVERY LIBERAL institution in town was given to us as a “choice” for volunteer-for-credit work. Volunteering for the democrat party was listed, Republican Party was not.

    I can’t count on my fingers and toes how many times mid-term papers, book reports etc were based on: RACISM, SEXISM, HOMOPHOBIA, or THE HOLOCAUST. There weren’t any other choices.

    EX: “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” was more social engineering crammed down our throats. As if we don’t have enough REAL examples of life in the deep south, WE NEED AN EXAGGERATED FICTIONAL ACCOUNT to rile everyone up, get them angry, make white-guilt flourish, and everyone sing Kum-Bay-Ya at the end. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roll_of_Thunder,_Hear_My_Cry

    When I banged my shoe on the desk explaining this is nothing more than ginning up hatred by blacks, and guilty feelings by whites so as to disarm any arguments about affirmative action, welfare, or criticisms of the inner-city neighborhoods, and basically continued destructive racial relationships by letting elementary school students read it, (also giving that garbage a Newberry Award) the hatred from my professor’s eyes could have drilled a hole through solid steel.

    –I earned my C- for that class for sure!

    • beautyofreason says:

      I remember Intro to Political Science in undergrad. It was a required course for all students. One day the discussion point was if we thought President Bush and Condoleezza Rice were having sex. I wonder what the media would say if a conservative teacher suggested something similar between Obama and Hillary, or Michelle and Rahm. Of course the professor had tenure, had been teaching for twenty-some years.

      I also remember a liberal art class. On the first day the teacher (white dude) said with contempt in his voice that we live in a “privileged white society,” followed by a guffaw about “capitalist pigs.” I don’t know about you but my grandparents didn’t finish school in the 1930s on a straw floor just to get rolled by this guy who feels that success circa 2010 is some kind of inequality from the pale faces. That teacher threw up a lot of memorable quotes over the semester, such as “Dick Cheney wants the poor to get poorer,” along with some mating grunts to simulate Fox News viewers. Nobody questioned this guy on the creepy asides because he was brilliant on matters of art. But oh, what a terrible way to misuse a class.

  6. proreason says:

    Obama didn’t attend Columbia because he liked the weather in NYC.

  7. beautyofreason says:

    Wow, these people are creepy mirrors of one another. Madam Professor’s research reads like a page from Ann Dunham. Make a pitch, get a grant, live in a rural area of a third world country, feign interest in some nearly irrelevant agricultural or manufacturing sector and it’s impact on the populace (props if you make them out to be screwed by Western colonial powers), write a big fat dissertation that wins the hearts of your colleagues and backers. I have to admit, a little more difficult than the average welfare qualification but for the tepid intellectual it has perks. Tenure is another such perk. Try firing a person after they get it. Good luck.

    I’m waiting for the class on the Tea Party movement. Think I’ll get it? It could start with their concerns: the growth of the government from the 19th century onward, increases in regulation and taxation, new federal agencies, inflationary fiat currency, explosion of the welfare state from The Great Society onward, bankrupted entitlements, impact of illegal immigration on the American Southwest and in historically bipartisan California, an analysis of the impact of the Tea Party, its regional, ethnic, or religious roots, and public response. It doesn’t have to be propaganda like a liberal course. It can analyze everything the critics say about it too. You can even do “field work” without the threat of being mugged.

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