Stupidity 101

Ξ August 26th, 2009 | → 14 Comments | ∇ 90041, Oxy |

The Huffington Post features an article about Occidental College’s course, CTSJ (Critical Theory and Social Justice) 180, “Stupidity”.  According to the 2008-2009 Occidental course catalog:

Stupidity is neither ignorance nor organicity, but rather, a corollary of knowing and an element of normalcy, the double of intelligence rather than its opposite. It is an artifact of our nature as finite beings and one of the most powerful determinants of human destiny. Stupidity is always the name of the Other, and it is the sign of the feminine. This course in Critical Psychology follows the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and most recently, Avital Ronell, in a philosophical examination of those operations and technologies that we conduct in order to render ourselves uncomprehending. Stupidity, which has been evicted from the philosophical premises and dumbed down by psychometric psychology, has returned in the postmodern discourse against Nation, Self, and Truth and makes itself felt in political life ranging from the presidency to Beevis and Butthead. This course examines stupidity.

Oxy has a rich, recent history of making ripples with their course selection.  A few years ago, the Young America Foundation listed two Oxy courses on it’s “Dirty Dozen: America’s Most Bizzare and Politically Correct Courses”: “The Phallus” (CTSJ 342) and “Blackness” (which, in a very loaded bit of irony has been supplanted by “Whiteness”, CTSJ 286).  There are a few additional ironies in this course description that I’d like to touch on.  First, as this article correctly points out, the catalogue misspells Beavis (however the article mistakenly suggests an entire major in stupidity).  Second, the description makes me feel like the correctly-spelled Butthead in that I don’t understand most of it after the 5th word.  Finally, I’m assuming that by “the presidency” they’re not referring to quasi-alumnus Barack Obama.  Well, at least I can still be proud that Oxy doesn’t offer a communications major.


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