Occupation 101: NYU to Offer Two 'Occupy Wall Street' Classes

nyu stern Occupation 101: NYU to Offer Two 'Occupy Wall Street' Classes


Undergraduate tuition at New York University is around $41,000, but parents can be assured their bright young things are still getting The People’s Education, reports the student newspaper The Washington Square News. NYU plans to offer not one, but two classes on the burgeoning social movement known as Occupy Wall Street, so that the 1 percent may study the 99 at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

NYU, you may recall, had its own occupation in 2009. About 70 students barricaded themselves inside the cafeteria. According to the New York Times:

The students passed their first night chatting, reading and playing cards. They ate food they had brought, including apples, oranges, hummus and peanut butter. Some joined in an exercise session they called the “calisthenic dialectic workout,” stretching and jumping in place before adjourning for a discussion of Hegel’s philosophy that lasted nearly until daybreak.

The occupation ended after 40 hours when school security guards removed the barricade and suspended 18 students.

But next semester, NYU students can engage their predilection for revolution without the risk of getting kicked out. The sophomore level class, “Cultures and Economies: Why Occupy Wall Street?” counts for American Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Metropolitan Studies majors. The course description (emphasis ours) is as follows:

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations are catching on across the United States, linking with popular discontent with economic inequality and financial greed and malfeasance around the globe. This course is designed to provide a background for these momentous events. We will examine the long history of finance, the impact of financialization on empires and regimes historic and present, and thesources and impact of economic, political, social and cultural inequalities. We will also investigate the conditions for challenges, uprisings and change. In addition, this course focuses on the relationship of “the economy” to broad histories of U.S. and global political cultures. Each week we will explore a set of issues, events, theories and approaches to economic topics, as we also consider the impact of social cleavages of race, class, gender, sexuality, region, religion and other factors. We will collaboratively analyze different ways of understanding U.S. cultures and economies in a global context, working to identify the factors that have shaped the world we now inhabit.

Yes, but what are the goals?