- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 27, 2006

As if we needed another reason to lament the state of the world in the last week of 2006, the Young America’s Foundation has issued its annual rankings on the 12 most outrageous course offerings at some of the country’s leading colleges and universities.

Being a family newspaper, we can’t exactly tell you which course earned YAF’s top spot, but parents of high school juniors and seniors might want to steer their children away from Occidental College in Los Angeles. The school’s Women’s Studies/Gender Studies department offers a range of nauseating leftist claptrap, but the best (or worst) of the bunch covers “phallologocentrism.”

Moving right along, YAF ranks the University of California-Los Angeles’ “Queer Musicology” course in second place for its study of how “sexual difference and complex gender identities in music and among musicians have incited productive consternation.” And here we thought that rock stars just got the chicks.

But what would a ranking of the worst courses in America be without an ode to Karl Marx? YAF gives its third slot to Amherst College’s “Taking Marx Seriously: ‘Should Marx be given another chance?’ ” Allow us to save Amherst students a semester’s worth of time: No, he shouldn’t. Next.

Uh-oh. There seems to be dissension in the ranks of the leftist faculties at Occidental College — we told you to keep your children away from this one — and Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. No. 5 on YAF’s list is Occidental’s “Blackness,” which dissects the intellectual nuances of “new blackness” and “post-blackness.” At No. 7, however, is Mount Holyoke’s “Whiteness: The Other Side of Racism.” Maybe the Occidental and Mount Holyoke departments should forge an intercollegiate course titled “Whiteness: It’s the New Blackness.”

Seriously, Johns Hopkins University is going to have to do a lot better than “Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context” if it wants to be placed higher than ninth on YAF’s list. Something like “Marxist Mail Order Brides” might just do the trick.

Last, but by no means least, is Swarthmore College’s “Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism.” Because, you know, that suicide bomber with a few pounds of plastic explosives strapped to his chest really just wants a hug.

If you can stomach it, check out more of the absurdity at YAF’s Web site at www.yaf.org.

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