Skip to comments.ENG 317: "How Not To Be Gay" (University of Michigan Course Offering)
Posted on 01/13/2008 5:58:34 PM PST by SeekAndFind
Ive been studying higher education for a long time, but Ive never seen anything quite as queer as a new course being taught at the University of Michigan. Section Two of English 317 is titled How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation. Taught by Instructor David Halperin (firstname.lastname@example.org), the course is worth three credit hours to Wolverine students interested in exploring learned gayness.
For years, Ive been hearing that gayness is a function of some sort of gay gene but, apparently, Ive been over-simplifying the issue. Heres what Halperin has to say:
Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn't mean that you don't have to learn how to become one. Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not.
When I read Halperins remarks, I was concerned that they were a bit phallocentric. But Im sure the University of Michigan fine institution that it is will eventually develop a course called Learning to be Lesbian.
Just when I thought that Halperin was approaching gayness from a narrow perspective, I read his description of the course, which assured me that he likes to approach gayness from different angles. (Please, no tasteless jokes. Michigan is a serious place of higher learning). His three course angles include: (1) gay initiation as a sub-cultural practice; (2) gay initiation as a theme in gay male writing; and (3) gay initiation as a class project, since the course itself will constitute an experiment in the very process of initiation that it hopes to understand.
I really dont know what the class will do to fulfill its class project angle but Im sending a box of condoms to Ann Arbor just to make sure everyones protected.
According to Halperin, there is so much more to being gay than just simple genetic wiring. There are a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to be causally connected with gayness. There are, for example, Hollywood movies, grand operas, Broadway musicals, and other works of classical and popular music, as well as camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style, and political activism.
Halperin also plans to examine whether there are there are classically gay works that appeal to gay men, regardless of generation, class, race, or ethnicity (hint: Brokeback Mountain, The Sound of Music, or anything starring Leonardo DiCaprio). Halperin will ask what there is about such works that explains their gay appropriation. Finally, he will ask what we learn about gay male identity by asking what it is that gay men do or like. That part should be interesting.
To his credit, Halperin hopes to approach gay identity from the angle of social practices and cultural identifications rather than merely from the perspective of gay sexuality. He wants to explain what such an approach can tell people about the sentimental, affective, or subjective dimensions of gay identity, which include gay sexuality, without an exclusive focus on gay sexuality. Is this making sense yet? Good.
Halperins description of ENG 317 How to be Gay has introduced me to some new terms like disidentification. Apparently, at the center of gay experience there is more than identification. There is disidentification. This means that almost as soon as a gay man learns how to be gay, maybe before, he also learns how not to be gay. Apparently, he says to himself, Well, I may be gay, but at least I'm not Richard Simmons!
But, fortunately, rather than trying to promote one version of gayness at the expense of other versions of gayness, Halperins course will seek to create wider acceptance of the different ways people determine how to be gay. In other words, there will be diversity within diversity. Or, perhaps, there will be perversity within perversity.
But Halperin issues a stern warning to potential students - as stern as he can be without disidentifying with his culturally acquired gayness: This course is not a basic introduction to gay male culture, but an exploration of certain issues arising from it. It assumes some background knowledge.
Halperin suggests that students wishing to prepare for ENG 317 How to be Gay should enroll in an introductory course in lesbian/gay studies. But I think they should just catch up on their shopping, trim their Shih Tzu, and rent Brokeback Mountain. Its not like Michigan is a serious university.
Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts "Womyn" On Campus.
How to be gay?
Hum show tunes and attend Cher concerts.
I could teach that course if they give me a 6 figure salary. I’m close so they wouldn’t need to pay me for travel time.
I pitty the kids who have to weave their way through what this society has become, just to grow up normal.
Is it “How NOT to be gay” or “How to be gay?” Your title says one thing, the post another.
Yeah and their football team sucks....
Also, go Appie State! lol
*** Section Two of English 317 is titled How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.***
Perhaps he should start with an intro to the homo “scat” subculture.
NO! NO! DON’T GO THERE!
That’s Dr. Adams title to the piece
Watch Bravo and moisturize.
Sounds like you have to be "initiated" in order to pass the course. Three credit hours ain't enough for that.
ENG 317: “How To Be Gay”
Gymnasium 101: “How to drop the soap & pick it up again”
A Connecticut native, Coulter graduated with honors from Cornell University School of Arts & Sciences, and received her J.D. from University of Michigan Law School, where she was an editor of The Michigan Law Review.
I wonder if it covers tapping.
Got a kid to donate to this jerk? Who’s kid is it, by the way??
I’ve got one about to turn 9 ... it’s DIFFICULT.
What used to be normal in now ABNORMAL. If you disagree with the what is really ABNORMAL, then you’re a “bigot”, “intolerant” or a “hater”. It’s tough .. .
Geesh, how stoopid does one have to be to not know this? Just keep your mucocutaneous junctions from touching another man's lodgepole.
Here are more interesting courses for the average $30,000 tuition you pay for college :
The 12 Most Bizarre College Courses in the US
In a Los Angeles Times piece, Charlotte Allen goes over this year’s version of “America’s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses.”
... too much of American higher education has lost any notion of what its students ought to know about the ideas and people and movements that created the civilization in which they live: Who Plato was or what happened at Appomattox.
Instead of the carefully crafted core programs that once guided students through the basics of literature, philosophy, history and the social sciences, most colleges now offer smorgasbords of unrelated classes for their students to sample in order to fulfill requirements. And the professors stock the smorgasbords with whatever the theorists they idolize tells them is the new new thing.
Why not take a course in “The Phallus”?
You can get the same credit for it as for a course in Greek tragedy.
According to the Times, the list includes the following courses: (seriously)
1. ‘The Phallus’
Occidental College. A seminar in critical theory and social justice, this class examines Sigmund Freud, phallologocentrism and the lesbian phallus.
2. ‘Queer Musicology’
UCLA. This course welcomes students from all disciplines to study what it calls an “unruly discourse” on the subject, understood through the works of Cole Porter, Pussy Tourette and John Cage.
3. ‘Taking Marx Seriously’
Amherst College. This advanced seminar for 15 students examines whether Karl Marx still matters despite the countless interpretations and applications of his ideas, or whether the world has entered a post-Marxist era.
4. ‘Adultery Novel’
University of Pennsylvania. Falling in the newly named “gender, culture and society” major, this course examines novels and films of adultery such as “Madame Bovary” and “The Graduate” through Marxist, Freudian and feminist lenses.
Occidental College. Critical race theory and the idea of “post-blackness” are among the topics covered in this seminar course examining racial identity. A course on whiteness is a prerequisite.
6. ‘Border Crossings, Borderlands: Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Immigration’
University of Washington. This women studies department offering takes a new look at recent immigration debates in the U.S., integrating questions of race and gender while also looking at the role of the war on terror.
7. ‘Whiteness: The Other Side of Racism’
Mount Holyoke College. The educational studies department offers this first-year, writing-intensive seminar asking whether whiteness is “an identity, an ideology, a racialized social system,” and how it relates to racism.
8. ‘Native American Feminisms’
University of Michigan. The women’s studies and American culture departments offer this course on contemporary Native American feminism, including its development and its relation to struggles for land.
9. ‘”Mail Order Brides?” Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context’
Johns Hopkins University. This history course cross-listed with anthropology, political science and studies of women, gender and sexuality is limited to 35 students and asks for an anthropology course as a prerequisite.
Cornell University. Cornell’s art history department offers this seminar looking at art produced under the influence of feminism, post-feminism and the Internet.
11. ‘American Dreams/American Realities’
Duke University. Part of Duke’s Hart Leadership Program that prepares students for public service, this history course looks at American myths, from “city on the hill” to “foreign devil,” in shaping American history.
12. ‘Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism’
Swarthmore College. Swarthmore’s “peace and conflict studies” program offers this course that “will deconstruct ‘terrorism’ “ and “study the dynamics of cultural marginalization” while seeking alternatives to violence.
This is fun folks. Since Core Curriculums are out in college, we might as well invent new and exciting ones for our kids to take ( while asking for more money for tuition ).
ADD YOUR OWN COURSE HERE....
The whole topic is gay....
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How could that be anything other than political indoctrination?
Half volunteered, the other half were sucked in.
A bunch of mysogynist drivel, IMHO.
Real job winner in that college transcript!
Stories like this made the Wolverines awful season more enjoyable than ever. I hope they lose 10 games next year.
And go to antique shows...
Are they gay, too???
That’s why I try to encorage people to home school. It’s just plain nuts what parents have to put up with these days. Good luck to you.
In my estimation this is why we’re prime territory for being taken over. It’s part of the reason why our nation can be overrun and very few ‘intellectuals’ find a problem with it.
Their moral compas twirls like second hand gone crazy.
Building self-identity, society, and a political/cultural perspective around the practice of buggery. I expect it won’t be long before one will be able to earn a college degree in Queer Culture.
Tell that to the Gators.
After reading all of these posts, you two are the only people on this thread who “get it”. You are the only posters who understand what is behind this indoctrination and where it will lead this nation.
The purpose behind this course is to undermine respect for the very Judeo Christian culture and principles upon which all freedom rests.
What is the underlying movement driving this course? Answer: Marxism and its profound hatred of all things Christian, all that made America great, and the free market.
The major talk show hosts drive me nuts. Marxism is our nation’s most serious threat. Schools are their most important weapon. Why are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill OReilly asleep? Where is Ann Coulter?
In one more generation our country will look like Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. In one more generation our kids will be the voting adults their Marxist masters have thoroughly indoctrinated.
Thanks for the response. IMO, George Bush has done more to destroy conservatism, that all the marxists in the nation.
He has given very little attention to conservitive ways since taking office, and now our fellow republicans are perfectly content to nominate someone to the left of him as our presidential candidate.
The folks who thought George Bush was going to be the savior of the republican party have looked on as he destroyed it.
Here we are looking at Rudy or John as our standard bearer. Hell, I could find a democrat to the right of them. This is rediculous.