Happy Monday afternoon, studentfolk. For any of you looking to next semester in a desperate attempt to avoid paying much attention to the current one, you might be interested in the news to follow.
About a week ago, Maxwell Hellmann ’13 and Dan Fischer ‘11.5 sent out an email message asking if students might be interested in a course concerning direct action, activism at large, and the radical social theories associated with both. The idea seemed popular and many students expressed interest, especially in light of all that OccuPie stuff you may have heard about this semester.
At the moment, students are planning on basing much of the course off of a syllabus by the anthropologist and anarchist David Graeber, who taught a graduate seminar in “Direct Action and Radical Social Theory” his final semester at Yale.
To da best of my knowledge, this student forum is likely going to be taught under the official banner of the Anthropology department, though what makes up the bulk of the course is largely to be determined. Want to have a hand in that? Just interested in seeing if this is a course you might want to take? Skeptical that “direct action” even qualifies as action? Check out the meeting tonight – as numerous and wide a range of voices as possible would be appreciated.
Date: Today’s Date
Time: 11 P.M.
Place: UOC (190 High St., twixt Beta and Eclectic)
If you’re interested in a little more background or logistical information, click past the jump.
One of the issues that arose in discussion was that it quickly became apparent more people were interested in taking the course than there are normally available seats (both for credit and audit) in a student forum. Aiming to be inclusive as possible, students were open to the idea of simply encouraging interested parties to attend class and complete coursework/reading unofficially, while deciding who gets an institutionally supported seat in the course through some other process. There’s been a lot of discussion about issues like this one over email, but in the interest of both hashing these out and including as many people not already in the “activist scene” as possible, an in-person meeting was proposed. There was also talk of deciding upon a book to read over Winter Break, so the course could hit the ground running in 2012.
At the moment, it also seemed like the prevailing idea was to run the course so that it was taught by students, with one or two taking charge for each meeting. “[Dan] was envisioning that the forum be run horizontally. What that would look like, we’d decide upon as a group. For example, maybe we’d each sign up to make a couple presentations and we’d take turns facilitating class discussions.” Again, this is up to anyone who wants to participate in the decision-making process.
Finally, a little on the course’s inspiration: If the name David Graeber seems like one you’ve heard recently, it might be from his involvement with OWS, his recent piece on the movement for Al Jazeera, or his recent work of economic anthropology, Debt: The First 5,000 Years, which was released a few months ago.
So, yeah. Finals. How ’bout ’em?