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‘Zero educational value’: Princeton courses promote prostitution, ‘hate’ of Israel

Courses ‘gives a lot of third rate professors a platform from which to indoctrinate students into left-wing ideologies,’ professor comments

A variety of Princeton University courses this fall appear to provide “zero educational value” while some promote prostitution and “hate” of Israel, according to commentary provided to The College Fix as well as the listed information for the class.

Some of the courses include “Body, Culture, Power,” “The Healing Humanities: Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South,” “A History of Intellectual Appropriation of Blackness” and “Race, Ethnicity, Space & Place: Exclusion, Confinement & Transformation (RESPECT).”

In one class, students will read a book about the “stigmatization” of prostitution.

A DePaul University philosophy professor said these classes will provide “zero education value,” when asked to comment on them, based on the course description and reading list.

“It just gives a lot of third rate professors a platform from which to indoctrinate students into left-wing ideologies,” Professor Jason Hill told The Fix via email. “They are a ruse for anti-Americanism, anti-individualism, and anti-capitalism.”

One class will highlight the work of Rutgers University Professor Jasbir Puar, who claims that Israel conducts experiments on Palestinians and harvests their organs.

“The Healing Humanities: Decolonizing Trauma Studies from the Global South” is focused on “re-orienting healing as a decolonizing process.” The reading list includes the book “The Right to Maim: Debility, Capacity, Disability” by Puar.

The pro-Israel group Stand With Us criticized the inclusion of Puar’s work.

“Jasbir L. Puar’s The Right to Maim spreads hate and disinformation by implying that IDF soldiers have a thirst for harming innocent Palestinians,” co-founder and CEO Roz Rothstein told The Fix via a media statement. “This not only ignores Israel’s widely recognized efforts to avoid harming civilians, but also echoes age-old antisemitic blood libels.”

The Fix reached out to Satyel Larson, the instructor for this course, to ask what students would learn from Puar’s work and for a copy of the syllabus. Larson did not respond to two emailed requests for comment sent in the past two weeks.

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Professor Hill, who is black, also criticized the RESPECT class and the “Intellectual Appropriation of Blackness” courses.

One of the assignments for RESPECT is a “hip hop lyrics or photography analysis,” while the second course explores “blackfishing” and “the memeification of Black celebrities.” Urban Dictionary defines blackfishing as “when a white person has purposely made themselves appear black on the internet.”

The Fix emailed Professor Dannelle Cordero, who will teach the blackness course, to ask for a syllabus and for further comment on the course and what it will teach. She did not respond to two emailed requests.

Professor Hill noted that “a lot of black studies professors include elements of postmodern and queer theory in their courses… [because] postmodernism’s ruling principles include a radical skepticism towards all claims to objective knowledge.”

“It is committed to the blurring of boundaries and cultural relativism,” he said.

“Since postmodernism holds that society is formed by systems of power and hierarchies that themselves determine what can be known, these professors introduce postmodernism as a form of radical subversion of all previous knowledge claims,” Hill said.

One way Princeton will explore these systems of power is through another course called “Body, Culture, Power” which will explore the “radicalized body while considering modern regimes of power” from a “pedogogical approach rooted in Chicano/a Studies.”

The class reading list includes the book “Puta Life” by Juana Maria Rodriguez, which, according to the publisher, “focuses on the figure of the puta—the whore, that phantasmatic figure of Latinized feminine excess.”

The book encourages the practice and legalization of prostitution by “featur[ing] the faces and stories of women whose lives have been mediated by sex work’s stigmatization and criminalization.”

The book also “brings the language of affect and aesthetics to bear upon understandings of gender, age, race, sexuality, labor, disability, and migration.”

MORE: DePaul course will focus on ‘black girl magic’

IMAGES: Duke University Press with College Fix edits

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About the Author
Benjamin Ogilvie -- University of Chicago