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Columbia offers Occupy 101

Jan. 1, 2012
New York Post: Annie Karni

Columbia offers Occupy 101

Does getting peppersprayed count as extra credit? Columbia University is offering a new course on Occupy Wall Street next semester  sending upperclassmen and grad students into the field for full course credit. The class is taught by Dr. Hannah Appel (right), who boasts about her nights camped out in Zuccotti Park.

As many as 30 students will be expected to get involved in ongoing OWS projects outside the classroom, the syllabus says. The class will be in the anthropology department and called Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement. It will be divided between seminars at the Morningside Heights campus and fieldwork. On her blog, Appel defends OWS, arguing that “it is important to push back against the rhetoric of disorganization or a movement without a message coming from left, right and center.

Addressing the safety risks of fieldwork among protesters, she writes on the syllabus, I can say with absolute certainty that there is no foreseeable risk in teaching this as a field-base class.

She said her allegiance wont keep her from being an objective teacher.

Inevitably, my experience will color the way I teach, but I feel equipped to teach objectively, Appel told The Post.  It’s best to be critical of the things we hold most sacred.”

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