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Indoctrination U: University of Texas By: David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 18, 2006


The function of the university is to seek and to transmit knowledge and to train students in the processes whereby truth is to be made known. To convert, or to make converts, is alien and hostile to this dispassionate duty. Where it becomes necessary in performing this function of a university, to consider political, social, or sectarian movements, they are dissected and examined, not taught, and the conclusion left, with no tipping of the scales, to the logic of the facts….Essentially the freedom of a university is the freedom of competent persons in the classroom. In order to protect this freedom, the University assumed the right to prevent exploitation of its prestige by unqualified persons or by those who  use it as a platform for propaganda.

-- Robert Gordon Sproul, former president,

University of California, Berkeley.

 

At the University of Texas, Austin, students can enroll in a degree granting curriculum which has no academic component but is a comprehensive training and recruitment program in the theory and practice of radical politics. The courses in this program are unprofessional and do not adhere to existing academic standards, which would preclude political advocacy. But they will fulfill the requirements for an academic degree. The program is a joint project of several academic departments, including the Department of Communications Studies, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and the Division of Rhetoric and Writing. It probably also includes the Departments of Afro and African American Studies, Mexican-American Studies and Asian Studies, but syllabi for these departments were not available to our researchers.

 

The University of Texas has academic freedom policies, which are contained in the “Rules and Regulations of the Board of Regents” are derived from the 1940 Statement on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the American Association of University Professors.[1] The policy is listed under “Rights and Responsibilities of Faculty” and bars professors from introducing controversial matter that has no relation to the subject: “Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.” This statement is clearly designed to prevent indoctrination in the classroom, and is an elaboration of the 1915 statement of the AAUP on academic freedom and tenure which explicitly warns against the misuse of professorial authority in this manner.

 

Many courses offered in the UT curriculum violate these standards. They are not academic and do not follow “a scholar’s method” in the sense described in the American Association of University Professors’ pronouncements on academic freedom. They lack an appropriate skepticism about sources and doctrines, and are not rooted in a scholarly discipline. Instead, they are courses of indoctrination in particular radical theories and radical views of the subject under study. Some make only a cursory effort to even represent themselves as appropriate to the fields in which they are taught. And they are often taught by professors without any palpable expertise in fields relevant to the subject matter itself.

 

The following survey of courses was made through the UT online catalogue. It is only a sampling and by no means complete. It shows however, that the University of Texas, Austin, offers a fairly comprehensive undergraduate major in radical politics, with courses cross-listed in several departments. One of these courses is CMS 340K, which is offered in the Communications Studies Department. This course is taught by Professor Dana Cloud and is titled “Communications and Social Change.” The “course goals” of CMS 340K are described by Professor Cloud in the university catalogue in these words:

 

CMS 340K -- Course Goals:

 

The main purpose of this class is to encourage your engagement with the tradition and ongoing practice of movement for social change in the United States. I believe this goal requires some history so that we can become familiar with the ways in which social change agents have used communication—from oratory to the internet—to raise awareness of injustice, demand redress, mobilize others in the cause, and prompt other kinds of direct action including civil disobedience and strikes. This historical knowledge is key to understanding the renaissance of social movements going on around us today—from the WTO to the University Staff Association. After the historical survey of social movements, the second part of the course asks you to become involved as an observer and/or as a participant in a local social movement. We will specifically address two prominent causes locally, the movement against the death penalty and the movement of University staff for higher wages and better treatment. We will also discuss some other current social movements including the fight against corporate globalization and the movement against sanctions in Iraq.

 

The guiding questions for the course are (1) How does social change happen? And (2) How can we use communication to intervene effectively and with integrity in the process of social change?[2]

 

The “Communications and Social Change” course is obviously a course designed to instill a radical political philosophy and then to recruit students to join radical organizations (including apparently a staff union at UT) that exemplify the doctrine. There are no conservative or moderate movements studied in the course and no conservative or moderate causes offered to the students to become involved in. (In our view, however, recruitment to any organizations or causes would be inappropriate for an academic program.)

 

There are only two required texts for the course and both were written by Marxist extremists (Howard Zinn and Robert Jensen). This lack of intellectual diversity reflects the ideological nature of the course and violates the principle of intellectual diversity which is crucial to the academic enterprise. If students are not exposed to a spectrum of views, they are being indoctrinated rather than educated.

 

“Communications and Social Change” is not an appropriate course for an academic institution, nor for an institution funded by the taxpayers of the state of Texas. This is not even a course in communications theory, although it is a course offered in the Communications Studies Department. Insofar as this course is about communications at all, it is a course in conducting propaganda for radical political movements. 

 

Professor Cloud is a member of the International Socialist Organization, a self-styled Bolshevik party which seeks the establishment of a “dictatorship of the proletariat” in the United States. Professor Cloud makes no secret of her radical political agendas which can be found on her academic website.[3] The reading list for the course does not reflect an appropriate spectrum of views. The university catalogue lists four other courses taught by Professor Cloud with identical political agendas.

 

This raises several questions. How have Professor Cloud’s unprofessional and overt political agendas pass unnoticed? How did a course like Communications and Social Change get departmental approval? Does the Department of Communications Studies have academic standards that would distinguish between an academic course and a course in political propaganda? Does the Liberal Arts faculty? Does the University of Texas?

 

I have identified more than two dozen courses in the UT curriculum, including several entire departments (e.g., the Center for Women and Gender Studies), which appear to be overtly ideological and amount to indoctrination programs that cannot be justified as part of an academic curriculum.[4]

 

Course Offerings at

The University of Texas (Austin)

http://www.utexas.edu/

 

Some Problematic Courses (comments in bold)

 

Freshman Seminars

Center for African and African American Studies

The Department of American Studies

 

The Center for Women’s and Gender Studies

Syllabus for the Course: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
Syllabus for the Course: Feminist Theories
Syllabus for the Course: Rhetoric of Feminist Spaces
Syllabus for the Course: Gender and Sexuality Issues in Media
Syllabus for the Course: Feminist Television Criticism
Syllabus for the Course: Women and Media Culture
Syllabus for the Course: Theories of Gender and Sexualty

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Course: Black Feminist Theory & Praxis

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Course: The US and 3rd-World Feminisms

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Course: American Dilemmas

Courses in “Rhetoric” and “Literature”

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Rhetoric Course: Non-Violent Rhetoric
Syllabus for the Rhetoric Course: Rhetoric of the 1960’s
Syllabus for the Rhetoric Course: The Rhetoric of Native Americans
Syllabus for the Comparative Literature Course: Marxisms
Syllabus for the Communication Studies Course: Peace, Conflict & Communication
Abbreviated Syllabus for the English Course: Literature and Social Justice
Abbreivated Syllabus for the English Course: Gender, Sexuality, and Migration

Professor Dana Cloud

Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Communication and Social Change
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Communicating Gender in America
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Feminist Theory and Rhetorical Criticism
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Rhetoric and Ideology
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Rhetoric of Social Movements

Professor Robert Jensen

Syllabus for Jensen’s Course: Social Justice and the Media


 

FRESHMAN SEMINARS

http://wwwhost.utexas.edu/student/connexus/freshsem/index.html

DH: Rather than an acadaemic inquiry into the effects of trade on the environment, this appears to be a tendentious view of the malign influence of business on the environment taught by a biologist with no professional training in history or economics.  Professor Richardson’s academic resume can be found here:

http://www.biosci.utexas.edu/ib/faculty/RICHARDS.HTM#edu

 

 

Manifest Destiny and the Environment: The Fur Trade to Globalization

Dr. Richard Richardson, School of Biological Sciences, and Bobby Bridger
Unique number: 33770

In the past few decades multinational agreements for global "free" trade have increased environmental degradation and brought social and economic disruption. The United States has been a leader in these developments, whose roots can be traced back to the Fur Trade Era that began in 1822. The class will explore the connections between fur trading and the Indian Wars of the nineteenth century and the present manifestations of global warming, energy crises, unsustainable agriculture, terrorism, and loss of biodiversity. This course will be offered in conjunction with Bobby Bridger, a world renowned historian and balladeer (see
http://www.bbridger.com/) and the great grand nephew of Jim Bridger, the Mountain Man who discovered the Great Salt Lake in 1824

 

 

CENTER FOR AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/depts/caaas/

DH: The “establishment of an activist intellectual community” is not an academic agenda. It is a political agenda, which raises questions about the academic integrity and professionalism of this department. Lack of access to syllabi for the courses in this department prevented further analysis.

From the Department’s website:

“Through this engagement with Africa and the African Diaspora, the CAAAS seeks to establish an activist intellectual community that considers the processes of race, gender, power and culture operating within and upon Black communities.”

THE CENTER FOR WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES

http://www.utexas.edu/cola/cwgs/

Note: The idea that gender structures society is an ideological point of view. This indicates that the entire curriculum for this department is ideologically oriented, a supposition that is confirmed by a review of its courses.


Offers a concentration and a minor. Will begin offering a major next year, pending approval.

 

From the Center’s Website:

 

“The mission of the Center for Women's and Gender Studies is to advance knowledge and understanding about women's lives, and the role that gender plays in structuring society.”  

 

______________________________________________________________________

Syllabus for the Course: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

WGS 390:

Foundations I:
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Instructor: Katherine Arens
Dept. of Germanic Studies
E.P. Schoch 3.128; 1-4123
k.arens@mail.utexas.edu
Course: Unique # 47245 TTH 12:30-2:00. MEZ 1.122

 

Note: The instructor for this course is trained in Germanic Studies, yet she is teaching a course that deals with complex historical, sociological and psychological issues. This course – the introductory course for the entire departmental curriculum -- is a schooling in the doctrines of radical feminism and Marxism. It is not an academic curriculum that poses questions and examines the status and condition of women from different points of view. Of the hundred or so books assigned in this course only one is critical of radical feminism.  This is a book written by feminists, Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, who left Women’s Studies because,as they explained, the field was devoted to political ideology rather than academic scholarship. This is the way the syllabus for this course refers to the book: “Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, Professing Feminism, passim (note that this represents ANTI-women's studies -- prepare to refute it).” This comment illustrates how political this course is. This comment and the entire syllabus for this course are antithetic to the spirit of the university and to scholarship.

The course explicitly includes recruitment to feminist causes (“Find your cause and outreach.”) This a training program for political activists and ideologues, entirely inappropriate for an academic institution, as for a taxpayer-supported public institution.

This is a course of indoctrination in the ideology that governs the entire Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and its curriculum.  This department should not become an approved major unless it is redesigned as an academic curriculum.

WGS Foundations I: Syllabus

Introduction to WGS:
From the Practical to the Critical to the Theoretical, with Praxis

Fall, 2004 Unique #47425 TTH 12:30-2:00, MEZ 1.112

Introduction to the Course:

Who are you -- what are your women's and gender studies (two plurals)?

 

PART I: Where does WGS come from?: History and Locus

Origins in the 19th Century: Political Roots
History Readings

·         Karen Offen, European Feminisms, passim

·         Ann Taylor Allen, "The March through the Institutions" (opt.)

·         Estelle B. Freedman, No Turning Back, passim

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Which projects distinguish these    feminisms?

The Early 20th Century: The Practical Project (Anglo-American)
History Reading

·         Barbara Miller Solomon, In the Company of Educated Women, passim, esp. 1-140

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Which projects distinguish these feminisms?

The Latter 20th Century: The Political Project

DISCUSSION QUESTION: What distinguishes post-war feminisms?

Since 1985: The Theoretical and Institutionalized Critical Projects

·         Liesbet van Zoonen, Feminist Media Studies

·         Claire Duchen, Feminism in France

·         Bonnie G. Smith, ed., Global Feminisms Since 1945

Backlash and Current Projects: From Institutionalized WGS through GLBT Theory and Identity Politics

·         Susan Faludi, Backlash, Chaps. 1 & 2, Epilogue

·         Karen Lehrman. "Off Course," and Responses to the article (the most public of WS exposés)

·         Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge, Professing Feminism, passim (note that this represents ANTI-women's studies -- prepare to refute it)

·         --Review by Michiko Kakutani

·         Deborah A. Burghardt, et al., "Women's Studies Faculty"

PART II: What do WGS professionals do?, 1: Authorization and Communities of Authority

Who are my people, 1?: Institutions, Organizations, and Disciplines, and Why You Need to Interface with Them

ASSIGNMENT 3 DUE:
Find Your People in the Academy

CLASS DISCUSSION: financing women's studies

Who are my people, 2?: Activism and Community-Based WGS

·         Excerpts from Leslie Heyword and Jennifer Drake, eds., Third Wave Agenda: Being Feminist, Doing Feminism

·         Jennifer Baumbardner and Amy Richards, ManifestA, 1-86, 233-342, 267-381 (note that 323 on is reference sources of great note)

·         local chapters of nationals (e.g. Feminist Majority), Austin and area

·         campus outreach projects and community education

·         community-based initiatives in Austin (guerrilla and community radio, coops, etc).

·         state and local initiatives

·         Identifying Forms of Output: How to make an impact--professional communication expectations

·         CLASS DISCUSSION: What forms of professional communication will you need to master?

       Find Your Cause and Outreach

·         Class presentation: CVs, Resumés, grant proposals

Part III. The Academic Face of WGS = What do WGS professionals do?, 2: Skills, Outputs, Resources, and Self-Authorization

·         Research and Professional Information-Gathering, 1: Using Primary Sources

GUEST: Elizabeth L. Garver, HRC.
TOPIC: Using Archival and Primary Sources at UT

Research and Professional Information-Gathering, 2: Secondary Sources
Topic: bibliographies, search engines, UT Library Online
GUEST PRESENTATION: Lindsey Schell, PCL;

TU Research Methods: Original Research and Analysis

·         Shulamit Reinharz with Lynn Davidman, Feminist Methods in Social Research (passim -- read around)

ASSIGNMENT 8 due: Evaluating web-based resources.

Ethics of Research and Teaching:
Professional Issues

CLASS DISCUSSION: what kinds of research I will need/problems in using existing resources as a feminist

PART III: Basics of Theory: The Roots

CLASS LECTURE: How feminist theory grew: roots and keys from Western thought

TU Models of History, Consciousness-Raising, and Revolution: Hegel and Marx to Critical Theory

·         G. F. W. Hegel, Reason in History

·         ---, Phenomenology of Spirit (excerpt)

·         Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The German Ideology

·         Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals

·         Antonio Gramsci, selections from An Antonio Gramsci Reader

·         Linda Nicholson. "Feminism and Marx"

·         John Clark, et al., "Subcultures, Cultures, and Class"

·         Nancy Fraser. "What's Critical About Critical Theory"

TU Signification, Marginalization, Consciousness: Freud to French Feminism

TU Post-Structuralism, Deconstruction, The Gaze, Alterity

·         Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge (excerpts)

·         ---, "Two Lectures"

·         Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"

·         ---, "Differance"

·         Toril Moi, "Appropriating Bourdieu"

·         Laura Mulvey, Visual and Other Pleasures

·         Annamarie Jagose, Queer Theory: An Introduction

Syllabus for the Course: Feminist Theories

Note: This is not an academic course about feminist theories, but a course that presents radical feminist theories as the only legimiate theories that explain the status, condition and history of women. This is indoctrination, not education. The course description clearly states, moreover, that these are “the feminist and gender theories guiding the work of feminist and gender scholars at the University of Texas.” In other words both students and professors must subscribe to these theories. This is a training program for political activists and ideologues, entirely inappropriate for an academic institution, and for a taxpayer-supported public institution.

WS 391 & RTF 386C—Feminist Theories Spring 2001

Janet Staiger, jstaiger@uts.cc.utexas.edu

 

Course Description and Goals:

 

An introductory seminar exploring the richness and diversity of the feminist and

gender theories guiding the work of feminist and gender scholars at The University of Texas at Austin. The course will also introduce students to faculty who teach feminist

and gender theory and research courses through The University. See guest list and

contact information below.

 

Syllabus

 

Introduction

Early Feminist Theories

Second-Wave Feminisms

Feminisms and Freud

Feminisms and the Arts

Revisions of Second-Wave Feminisms

Lesbian and Sexuality Critiques

Black Feminisms

Nationalisms and Postcolonial Theory

American Feminism

The Empire Strikes Back

 

http://rtf.utexas.edu/pdf/syllabi/spring01/386C.pdf

 

Syllabus for the Course: Rhetoric of Feminist Spaces

Note: This is a course in the Division of Rhetoric and Writing shared with Women’s and Gender Studies. It is not about rhetoric or writing; it is about recruiting students to radical feminist causes. Students are required to do work with a feminist organization.  This is simply recruitment to approved radical feminist causes. Some non-political organizations are also included to provide a respectable cover. No conservative women’s organizations are included. This is course is inappropriate to an institution of higher learning or to a taxpayer supported public institution.

Men Against Sexual Assault is a student organization at UT that gathers men to organize against sexual assault. http://studentorgs.utexas.edu/utmasa/

Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin is a nonprofit organization that accepts donations of milk from healthy breastfeeding women, pasteurizes the milk, and dispenses it by prescription to premature and sick infants, primarily those in the hospital. http://www.mmbaustin.org/

Safe Place exists to end sexual and domestic violence and abuse. Safeplace helps those hurt by this violence to heal and empower themselves. We provide prevention, intervention, education and advocacy to our community so that women, children, and men may lead safe and healthy lives. http://www.austin-safeplace.org/home.htm

Story Circle Network is a national not-for-profit membership organization made up of women who want to explore their lives and their souls by exploring their personal stories. http://www.storycircle.org/index.html

Texas Abortion and Reprodocution Rights Action League is a non-partisan political organization working to defend reproductive choices by electing pro-choice candidates, lobbying during the Texas Legislative session, educating, and organizing pro-choice activists. http://www.taral.org/

Tomorrow’s Women in Science and Technology encourages young women to open new doors by continuing their math and science education. EYH also works to make young women aware of career opportunities in math and science fields and to provide young women an opportunity to become acquainted with female role models in math and science careers. http://www.twistinc.org/twist.html

Women and Their Work promotes the work of women artists through a range of services and multi-arts, multi-cultural programming. http://www.womenandtheirwork.org/

Women in Engineering Program was established in 1992 to recruit and retain female engineering students, to increase the percentage of female engineering graduates, and to provide a supportive structure that encourages the success of women in the College of Engineering at UT. WEP promotes the inclusion of women in the engineering community by mentoring and supporting women before, during, and after their UT experience. http://www.engr.utexas.edu/wep/

Women’s Advocacy Project mission is to provide free legal advice, expand legal education, and promote access to justice for Texas women in need. http://www.women-law.org/index.html

Women’s Resource Center. The mission of the WRC is to create a safe place that addresses the needs of all women. It raises awareness and facilitates open discussion of gender issues to provide a forum to explore beliefs, ideas, and experiences. Carrie Tilton-Jones, Co-Director, UT Women's Resource Center, lioness[remove to send]@ology.org; WRC phone: 512/232-4236.

YWCA of Greater Austin helps to build better lives for women and their families by partnering with other local and national organizations to offer various community programs such as mental health counseling, substance abuse counseling and case management, youth programs, wellness programs and professional education trainings. Karen Hunt: 326-1222; http://www.ywcaaustin.org/

RHE309K: Rhetoric of Feminist Spaces
Useful Links for Our Course

Third Wave Foundation: This organization offers scholarships to students 30 years old or younger (the generation of the Third Wave of feminism) who are involved in social justice work/activism and have financial need. They also offer specific scholarships to women of color students working with social justice. Scholarships range from $500 to $5,000. Your service learning for this class definitely qualifies as social justice work, so take a look at the application. They accept applications twice a year, by October 1 and by April 1.

http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~hogan/fall03/links.html

 

Syllabus for the Course: Gender and Sexuality Issues in Media

 

Note: This is a course in the practice of the department’s radical feminist ideology as applied to media. It is not an academic examination of gender and sexuality issues in media.

 

Course Content and Goals:

This course will study general theories of gender and sexuality but with a special focus on the application of those theories to the study of media such as films, television, and popular music.

 

Readings

The book, Feminist Film Theory (FFT), is available at the local bookstores.

 

Syllabus

Introduction to the Course

Where We Are Now and A Short History

Initial Second-Wave Feminist Theory and Early Feminist Film Theory

Introduction of Structuralism and Semiotics

The Application of Psychoanalysis

Exulting Difference

Thinking Men and Masculinity

The Female Spectator: From Textual to Contextual Analysis

Genres and the Gendered Spectator

Third-Wave Feminist Theory: Complicating Sexualities

Sexualities and Spectators: Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Viewers

Sexualities and Spectators: Cross-Identity Viewing

Third-Wave Feminist Theory: Complicating Race and Ethnicity

Third-Wave Feminist Theory: Post-Colonial and Diasporic Theory

New Bodies, New Genders, New Sexualities

Identity, Self-Fashioning, and Politics

http://rtf.utexas.edu/pdf/syllabi/spring05/331K.pdf

 

Syllabus for the Course: Feminist Television Criticism

Note: This is an ideological course in applying radical feminist theory to television media.

RTF 386c/WGS 393 – FEMINIST TELEVISION CRITICISM

 

Professor Mary C. Kearney

 

Course Description:

 

This course provides graduate students with an introduction to various critical and cultural approaches to feminist studies of television, including historiography, political economy, reception studies, and textual analysis. Our primary objective will be considering the relationship between sex, gender, feminism, and television in the United States, with particular emphasis on television’s industrial history, political economy, and representational strategies and their relation to differing modes of female subjectivity. In addition to performing close textual and contextual analyses of specific television programs and representations of females, we will examine the gendered construction of television viewing, particularly in relationship to women and the construction of the female audience. We will also investigate various representations of feminism on television, including the recent emergence of “postfeminist” shows.

Course Goals:

After successfully completing this course, students will have the ability to:

 

·        understand and discuss various theories and methodologies used in critical and cultural studies of television;

·        understand and discuss various feminist approaches used in critical and cultural studies of television; and

·        apply various feminist theories and methodologies to the relationship of women, gender, and feminism to television history, programming, and reception.

 

Syllabus for the Course: Women and Media Culture

Note: Another course in the application of radical theory. There is nothing academic about this course.

 

 

RTF 359s / WGS 324 - WOMEN AND MEDIA CULTURE

 

Professor Mary Celeste Kearney

 

Course Description:

 

This course introduces students to the critical analysis of women and media culture. Focusing specifically on media in the United States, students will explore the dominant strategies used by the commercial magazine, film, broadcasting, and recording industries to represent women and women’s issues, as well as to attract women consumers. Given that media texts often produce both progressive and reactionary representations simultaneously, one of our objectives will be to determine the effects of traditional and feminist ideologies of gender on portrayals of ,and consumer appeals, to women. In addition, we will examine how women participate in media culture via their roles as consumers and audiences, as well as fans of particular cultural texts. Although we will examine media texts produced and distributed by the commercial media and entertainment industries, we will also explore how women have created alternatives to mainstream media by creating their own cultural texts and practices. In order to understand and critique the ideologies and discursive strategies that structure women’s media representation, reception, and production, we will utilize a variety of theoretical perspectives, including feminist and gender theory, critical race theory, lesbian/gay/queer studies, literary criticism, film theory, television criticism, popular music criticism, cultural studies, and communication studies.

This course satisfies the College of Communication’s Substantial Writing Component requirement, as well as the Communication and Culture requirement.

COURSE GOALS

After successfully completing this course, the student will have the ability to:

            - recognize the dominant representational and discursive strategies used by the commercial media in the portrayal of women, as well as in specific appeals made to women consumers;

            - understand how women consume media texts and how consumers’ particular identities produce different readings and uses of such texts;

            - comprehend women’s reasons and strategies for producing alternative cultural forms; and

            - apply various theories of gender and media in critical analyses of women-oriented media texts, women media consumers, and women’s alternative media production.

 

Syllabus for the Course: Theories of Gender and Sexuality

Note: More schooling in radical feminist theory.

RTF 386C – THEORIES OF GENDER AND SEXUALITY

Course unique #: 07590 Professor Mary C. Kearney

Email: mkearney@mail.utexas.edu

 

Course Description:


This seminar is intended to provide students with a broad survey of theories that are most relevant to and useful for critical analyses of gender and sexuality in visual culture, particularly with regard to cinematic representation, spectatorship, and authorship. Although we will begin with second-wave feminist explorations of gender and the cultural representation of women, our particular concern will be contemporary poststructuralist theories which move our understanding of gender and sexuality beyond the normative binaries of male/female, masculine/feminine, and heterosexual/homosexual.

 

REQUIRED TEXTS

- Feminist Film Theory (FFT) – Sue Thornham, ed.

- Issues in Feminist Film Theory (IFFC) – Patricia Erens, ed.

- Feminist Practice and Poststructuralist Theory – Chris Weedon

- Screening the Male (STM) – Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Clark, eds.

 

 

 

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Course: Black Feminist Theory & Praxis

Note: Training course in “black feminist theory” and political action (“praxis”). This is pure political ideology and makes no pretense of academic inquiry or scholary discipline.

 

Course Description:

In this course we will analyze theory and praxis of Black and Third World feminisms-- as political space, activist methodology, artistic inspiration and scholarly choice. We will analyze canon-forming theory, literature and personal essays by, for example, the Combahee River Collective, Audre Lorde, Gloria Hull, Michelle Cliff, Toni Cade Bambara, and other artists and scholars, as well as emerging work from Black British, Caribbean, Latin American and US hip-hop perspectives.

One of the most vibrant sites of theoretical and artistic production and on the ground organizing; Black feminism comes out of the tension between first wave feminism that insisted on sisterhood without adequate interrogation of the racism and classism of the majority of sisters, and various race-based movements that claimed that black people could only deal with „the woman question‰ after „the race question‰ had been settled. This position at the interstices of identity-based politics makes for a strategic locus for on the ground politics and academic work that in fact attend to multiply constituted identities-- including sexuality, class, nation and the consideration of history and material conditions-- as more than a rhetorical gesture.

Among the topics taken up: 'F- word' tensions such as the position of feminism in radical politics; the participation/position of men, 'gender' as an analytical category; 'womanism'; generational and national difference; and the participation/position of Lesbians.. Moreover, it will engage students in grappling with pressing contemporary events and popular culture from black feminist perspectives.

 

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Course: The US and 3rd-World Feminisms

Note: More feminist training.

 

Course Description:

This course explores the variety of feminisms developed by women of color and non-western women to critique the racism and ethnocentrism of white-dominated systems and practices, including feminism. We begin by examining the dominant approaches to feminist theory that emerged in the United States and Europe, such as liberal, socialist, and radical feminism, as well as feminist epistemology and post-modern feminist analyses. We will then focus on the critiques of these traditions developed by women of color and their insistence on the need to address the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Finally, we will examine recent debates regarding the initial emphasis on identity politics among black feminists, the relationship between black feminism and post-modernism, and contemporary re-conceptualizations of feminism in light of "difference" as a result of the critical perspectives developed by women of color.

 

http://web.austin.utexas.edu/cola/students/courses/coursedetail.cfm?courseID=11522

 

 

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Course: American Dilemmas

Note: Another training course in radical politics.


Meets with course(s) SOC 336C, URB 354 AND AFR 320

 

Course Description:

This course examines critical American social problems that threaten the very fabric of our collective life as a nation. These include problems in the economy and political system, social class and income inequality, racial/ethnic inequality, gender inequality and heterosexism, problems in education, and problems of illness and health care. Special emphasis will be placed on showing how these problems have a disproportionately negative impact on men of color and women.

The course has three main objectives. One involves providing students with the theoretical and methodological tools needed to critically analyze these problems from a sociological perspective. A second involves providing students with current data and other information documenting the seriousness of these problems, especially for men of color and women. The final objective focuses on evaluating social policies addressing these problems (e.g., affirmative action, welfare-to-work programs, pay equity legislation), with special reference to questions of social justice, the common good, as well as public and individual responsibility.

http://web.austin.utexas.edu/cola/students/courses/coursedetail.cfm?courseID=11527

 

Abbreviated Syllabus for the Rhetoric Course: Non-Violent Rhetoric

Note: This is not a course in rhetoric. It is a course in the politics of non-violent political action. This is not an academic course. It is a course in radical politics. The instructor, presumably trained in rhetoric, has no professional expertise for teaching about non-violent courses of social action and the course is structured to train students in non-violent doctrines not as an academic approach to non-violence. All the texts are ideological cases for non-violence. In other words, it’s a training course. Like the previous courses, it should have no place in a university curriculum.

 

Course Description:


The central issue in this course will be non-violence and virtual worlds. How would we define violence online? How can theories of nonviolence be applied online? Can nonviolent action online have an impact on violence in the "real world?" All texts create a shared space, all writing is situated in time and place. What kinds of places do writers construct, and how does a sense of place impact on audiences? How can the computer, a single medium for composing, provide a sense of such diverse places as the millions of Web pages, thousands of news groups and computer forums, virtual worlds such as MOOs and MUDs collaborative environments such as Interchange, desktops, directories, spreadsheets, databases, and other applications representing abstract spaces?

Students will take on roles in creating an online society, reflecting readings and class discussions on the subject of nonviolence. They will engage in various construction projects, both individually and collaboratively, developing a richer understanding of the theories and application of nonviolent action, and they will explore the importance of place in writing. In the process they will gain greater control over their own composing. Students will experiment with creating Web pages, position statements, rhetorical analyses, and textual places in a MOO or MUD. Readings will be drawn from prominent experts on nonviolence and nonviolent communication.

Course Requirements

Three major projects including topic proposal, drafts, and final revision; informal writing as assigned, generally weekly, and completion of the Online Learning Record.

Project 1: A web site representing a role in the virtual world

Project 2: Position statement and rhetorical analysis

Project 3: Collaborative MOO "neighborhood"

Project 4: The Learning Record

 

Texts

Michael N. Nagler, Is There No Other Way? Marshall Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

Thich Nhat Hahn, Peace is Every Step

The Essential Gandhi

Peter Ackerman, Jack Duvall, A Force More Powerful : A Century of Non-Violent Conflict

Jonathan Schell, The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People

http://web.austin.utexas.edu/cola/students/courses/coursedetail.cfm?courseID=10520

Click here to continue to Part Two or Part Three of this article.

David Horowitz is the founder of The David Horowitz Freedom Center and author of the new book, One Party Classroom.


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