Beyond classroom lectures and homework assignments, what professors assign as required reading is a clear indication of how they slant their classes.
With that, The College Fix presents the results of recent visits to two campus bookstores associated with Ohio State, a quintessential example of the modern-day public university. Each book listed below correlates to a course this spring at Ohio State:
In the Name of the Family: Rethinking Family Values in the Postmodern Age
Its online book description notes it “offers a ringing rebuttal to the rhetoric of ‘family values’ … including a strong new case for legal same-sex marriage.” A review declares the book acknowledges “concerns about the disintegration of the traditional family, while attacking the efforts of right-wing conservatives to reinstate the family of the 1950s through fear and advocacy of male dominance. Using studies of blue-collar, low-income families, single-mothers and gay and lesbian households, (it) illustrates that far from being examples of failure or despair, these families are models of ingenuity and flexibility.”
The Twilight of Equality? Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy
Its online book description says it recalls the “shocking redistribution of wealth that’s occurred during the last thirty years,” then states “but economic changes like this don’t occur in a vacuum; they’re always linked to politics.” Who’s to blame? The book points the finger at neoliberals, loosely defined as a negative term for those who support economic and political policies that tout the benefits of free market systems.
Racist America: Roots, Current Realities and Future Reparations
Need we say more?
Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power
Well-written expose on Big Oil. Spoiler Alert: They’re the bad guys who pull the strings.
What a Girl Wants? Fantasizing the Reclamation of Self in Postfeminism
Here’s a snippet from its introduction: “What a Girl Wants? is about a popular culture that has just about forgotten feminism … To the extent that she is visible at all, the contemporary feminist appears as a narcissistic minority group member whose interests and actions threaten the family.” Postfeminism, the antithesis of the “shrill” feminist, is the solution this book proffers.
Development and Underdevelopment: The Political Economy of Global Inequality
The haves and the have nots. It usually involves a guilt trip.
GenderSpeak: Personal Effectiveness in Gender Communication
Secular views on what makes a relationship solid and successful.
Brothel: Mustang Ranch and Its Women
The true story of Nevada prostitutes and their plight.
The History of Sexuality: Volumes I, II and III
Written by the late French philosopher and social theorist Michael Foucault, the books focus on the history of modern sexuality, and where and how it was derived. Special attention is given in parts to the ancient Greek’s obsession with man-boy love. Another section observes “if one wanted to assign an origin to those few great themes that shaped our sexual morality (the idea that pleasure belongs to the dangerous domain of evil, the obligation to practice monogamous fidelity, the exclusion of partners of the same sex), (it would) be a mistake to attribute them to that fiction called “Judeo-Christian” morality … (but rather) a history of “ethics” understood as the elaboration of a form of relation to self that enables an individual to fashion himself into a subject of ethical conduct.”
Forbidden Fruit: Sex & Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers
The online book description notes after oodles of research and interviews, the author concludes “religion may influence adolescent sexual behavior, but it rarely motivates sexual decision making.”
Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organizing for Reproductive Justice
The book is written “against the backdrop of the … radical right agendas,” its online description notes, adding the work attempts to explain why so-called women of color supposedly want and need reproductive rights (a.k.a abortion on demand). “The book details how and why these women have defined and implemented expansive reproductive health agendas that reject legalistic remedies and seek instead to address the wider needs of their communities,” the book description states.
A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory
The book provides “a detailed overview of the complex ways in which queer theory has been employed, covering a diversity of key topics including: race, sadomasochism, straight sex, fetishism, community, popular culture, transgender, and performativity.”
Other titles found on the shelves included: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness; Memoir of a Race Traitor; The Psychology of Prejudice; Intimate Relationships; and many others along those lines.
Fix contributor Patrick Seaworth is a student at Ohio State University. Assistant Editor Jennifer Kabbany contributed to this report.
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