The course I’m teaching this semester, “Student Activism and Social Change,” has been written up on the blog of the Collegiate Network, (an organization that encourages conservative college journalism) by none other than the former editor of the Michigan Review James J. Wilson. Although my access logs seem to indicate less than 6 people clicked from Mr. Wilson’s post to my course’s website. In a post titled “The left studies itself at Michigan,” Wilson has this to say:
“We don’t normally pick on specific classes on STP, but I couldn’t resist noting the University of Michigan’s class on “STUDENT ACTIVISM and SOCIAL CHANGE At the University of Michigan.”
You might think that a course like this was taught by a peace loving, pot smoking English professor or perhaps a Marxist, feminist sociologist, but you’d be wrong. Throwing Michigan’s usual academic standards to the wind, this ‘honors’ course is taught by an undergrad history major, whose only qualification is his passing interest in the subject. (I was interested in the conservative movement when I was at Michigan, but they never let me teach a course on it.)
Rob explains that the class will cover: “Student pacifists in the 1930s … Students for a Democratic Society … […]”
Now call me crazy, but isn’t this one of the most politicized courses you’ve ever seen? It is basically a study of the ultra-left at Michigan, taught by a junior member of the ultra-left. Also, I’m left guessing what the academic value of such a specific, politicized course exactly is.”
In my defense, I am teaching the course through the honors program, which allows a limited number of honors seniors to teach 1-credit courses open only to freshman each semester. I independently designed the course and had to submit an application in order to earn the privilege.