Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Occupy the syllabus.
The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color. We have major concerns about social theory courses in which white men are the only authors assigned. 
These courses pretend that a minuscule fraction of humanity — economically privileged white males from five imperial countries (England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States) — are the only people to produce valid knowledge about the world. This is absurd. The white male syllabus excludes all knowledge produced outside this standardized canon, silencing the perspectives of the other 99 percent of humanity.
The strange thing about folks who take such positions: no one is stopping them from studying different cultures and thinkers. Shit, they can read any book they want. But why would they insist on changing the course material for this particular class? Because they're instincts are totalitarian. No wonder they empathize with Islamic Fundamentalists.

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