Do Taxpayers Really Need to Subsidize the Study of Surfing and Time Travel?

Fearful of the impacts of another round of budget reductions, UNC officials have been working hard to convince the public and lawmakers about just how dire additional budget cuts will be to the UNC system.

Hannah Gage, chair of the UNC Board of Governors, recently told the Charlotte Observer that cuts would mean having “to decide whether protecting quality is more important than growth.”

A quick scan of the UNC system course catalogues reveals that years of government subsidies have enabled the creation of plenty of classes that don’t exactly prepare students for the “21st Century knowledge-based economy”.. Many courses are esoteric, tinged with propaganda and often populated with few students. Without substantial taxpayer subsidies, it is doubtful many of these classes would even exist.

The following list of current UNC system classes shows there is plenty of room for additional reductions without drastically harming educational quality.

Appalachian State University

Anthropology- 2435
Stone Age Stereotypes
Addresses stereotypes about human prehistory (“cave people”) as portrayed in art, literature, and especially television and film. Reviews scientific evidence of human physical and cultural evolution in Europe and the Middle East between 1,000,000 and 10,000 years ago. Involves viewing and critically evaluating various media portrayals which provide and reinforce popular interpretations of human prehistory and evolution.
Anthropology – 3420 Women and Gender in Anthropology Examination of feminist theoretical issues concerning women and gender cross-culturally, such as feminist perspectives on the cultural construction of gender, relations of production and of reproduction, and gender as a central analytic category. Based in ethnographic information from foraging, tribal, and state societies.
Anthropology -4230  Magic and Modernity Modernity is often characterized by a constellation of features such as rationality, objectivity, linear time, bureaucracy, and progress. Anthropology arose as a discipline of modernity. Yet many of the worlds that anthropologists study are enchanted worlds where the dead speak, ghosts act, and magic works. This seminar analyzes what happens when modernity meets such enchanted modes of human existence and explores how anthropology might grapple with the problem of using rational methods to understand magical worlds.
English- 3240
World Literature for Children
Students will read and analyze translations and other children’s books in English from countries around the world. Literary analysis of the books will form the basis for comparing and contrasting cultures, historical periods, and differing national worldviews of childhood. Other issues such as racism and sexism will also be examined.

East Carolina University

Anthropology – 3020 Primate Behavior and Social Organization Comparative examination of prosimians, monkeys, and apes in natural and experimental situations that enhance understanding of human behavior and social organization.
Ethnic Studies – 2001 Introduction to Ethnic Studies: Humanities Comparative analysis of minority groups in US. Focus on social, cultural, historic, economic, and political aspects of each group’s experience in America. Social and cultural sources of bias and discrimination explored through literature and philosophy
Ethnic Studies – 2002 Introduction to Ethnic Studies: Social Science Comparative analysis of minority groups in US. Focus on social, cultural, historic, economic, and political aspects of each group’s experience in America. Social and cultural sources of bias and discrimination explored through visual and performing arts.
Hospitality Management – 1500
Multicultural Hospitality Management
Influences of culture on hospitality organizations and management style. Impacts of diversity of the global hospitality industry. Significance of culture to hospitality labor market issues, legal and political environments, societal work values, communication, and corporate cultures.

Fayetteville State University

Business Admin. – 352 Blacks in Contemporary Capitalistic Society A study of racial issues considered within the context of American capitalism. This course emphasizes innovative techniques and procedures aimed at improving conditions for minorities and focuses on topics such as finance, business ownership, internal operations, salesmanship, banking, and managerial techniques.
Dance – 255
Dance History
This survey course emphasizes the historical, social, and cultural contexts of dance.
Education -311 Foundations of Multicultural Education and Diversity The facilitator of learning will explore the historical development of multicultural education, definitions of multicultural education and diversity concepts, the intercultural conflicts from philosophical cultural differences, and principles guiding multicultural education.
English – 300
Children’s Literature
An introduction to works of children’s literature from a variety of ethnic origins and genres including folklore, myths, epics, biographies, fiction, poetry, and informational books.
Fire Service – 408
Fire Service Diversity
This course examines the demographic, cultural, and racial diversity in today’s work environment and how that specifically impacts fire service. The course examines the diversity orientation of individuals and organizations. The course explores the effects of diversity on fire department structure and behavior. The topics of conflict, socialization, organizational stress, and cultural barriers will also be investigated. The course concludes with a look at the legal and ethical implications of diversity.
History and Political Science – 300 Contemporary African American Politics A study of selected issues related to African-Americans living in America, with emphasis on contemporary political organizations and activities of African-Americans.
Philosophy – 212
African-American Philosophy
This course is a critical examination of the following concepts and issues pertaining to the African-American experience in historical and contemporary periods: oppression, resistance, justice, liberation, separatism, integration, affirmative action, identity, self-respect, race, class, gender, the universality of Western Philosophy, and cultural features of philosophy. These concepts and issues will be addressed through an analysis of writings by major figures such as: Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, William Jones, Cornel West, Angela Davis, Leonard Harris, Lucius Outlaw, and Bernard Boxill.
Communication (Speech) – 430
Intercultural Communication
The course provides basic principles and rules for understanding intercultural communication and provides instruction on how to apply the principles when communicating in intercultural situations. The course also provides a wide range of examples and cases of communication practices in different cultures to increase the student’s knowledge base about communication diversity in the world.

North Carolina A&T University

Liberal Studies -220
Race, Class and Environmental Quality
This course examines the relationships between race, class and environmental quality within the context of a global economy that seeks to maximize profits while minimizing responsibility. It also examines the concept of environmental justice as a means to restore positive connections within communities between environmental use and environmental quality.
Liberal Studies – 221 Genetics, Race and Society This course examines the historical development of theories of “race” in the Western world. It provides the student with a basic understanding of the principles of evolutionary/population biology, genetics, and taxonomy as they relate to biological and social conceptions of race.
Liberal Studies – 225, Race, Crime and Social Injustice This course examines how social structure impacts the race-crime relationship in terms of theory, policy and practice. It explores the phenomenon from multiple perspectives, including those involved in the criminal justice process. Students are encouraged to think critically about the social construction of race and social class in crime and crime control.
Liberal Studies – 306, Gender and Technology This course will explore technology’s interaction with the concept of gender and how gender is embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape societal notions of gender. Students will critically assess the gender relations produced in areas such as entertainment and games, work, identity, education, culture, globalism, race and ethnicity.
Social Work – 413
The Community
This course is a study of the social areas commonly defined as communities, and analyses of the social processes that occur within their boundaries. Community organization skills are taught as a vehicle to address social ills.
University  Studies -220  Social Consequences of Scientific and Technological Progress In the African American Experience This course presents an analytical approach to the issues of social justice and environmental racism with a focus on African-American communities. Students explore historical and contemporary social and economic impacts of science and technology, how and why they differentially affect African-American communities, and how these consequences can be mitigated.

NC State University

Africana Studies -345 Psychology and the African American Experience Historical and cultural examination of the psychological experiences of African American experience from pre-American times to the present. Focus on mental health, personality, identity development, racism, oppression, psychological empowerment and an African-centered world view. Discussion of contemporary issues within the African American community.
Africana Studies – 409 Black Political Participation in America African American political participation in the United States; political culture, socialization, and mobilization, with a focus on the interaction between African Americans and actors, institutions, processes, and policies of the American political system.
Africana Studies – 490 Africana Studies and Community Involvement First part of a two semester service-learning experience. Provides interdisciplinary and experientially based opportunity for students to engage in community and classroom-based experiences that examine issues of relevance to African American people(or communities in the African Diaspora). Students apply and examine concepts addressed in class to their own practical experience in service to others. Development of interpersonal and professional skills. Focus on the values, beliefs, attitudes, and ideas that are central to definitions of democracy, social justice, civic resiliency, self-help, and public life.
Honors -341
Time Travel
A study of contemporary metaphysics organized around the topic of time travel. David Lewis, perhaps the foremost contemporary metaphysician, argues that time travel is possible. His argument is based on ingenious positions about three central topics of metaphysics, personal-identity, causation, and free will. Students will consider each of these topics in some detail, always with an eye to their implications for time travel.
Women’s and Gender Studies – 200
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
Introduction to women’s and gender studies as an interdisciplinary field spanning the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Study of historical perspectives and contemporary understanding of women and gender. Theory, systematic analysis and experimental accounts used to explore complexities of gender, and other identity determinants, mechanisms of power.
Women’s and Gender Studies -407
Sociology of Sexualities
Current theory and research on perceived and actual biological, social, cognitive, personality and emotional similarities and differences of men and women throughout the lifespan. The construction and consequences of gender in our society and others.
Women’s and Gender Studies – 473
Religion, Gender, and Reproductive Technologies
Examines comparative religious ethics concerning gender marriage, parenthood, children, and the relationship of human beings to the “natural”. Relates these views to new and emerging reproductive and genetic technologies. Compares the internally diverse perspectives of three major religious traditions with regard to their interpretations of these technologies. Analyzes the impact of particular uses of these technologies on the rights of women and girls.


Africana Studies – 130 Introduction to Africana Studies A survey of the disciplines that constitute Africana Studies. Students are introduced to the methodologies and basic contents of the fields that have shaped past and current understandings of Black people.
Interdisciplinary Studies –  311
Seminar on Race and Diversity in Institutional Settings
A community-based seminar on the issues of race and diversity in various institutional contexts. Topics such as racial attitudes and perceptions, race and institutional structures, organizational support systems for minorities, and diversity programs will be studied.
Literature – 346
Readings in Gender and Sexuality
Explores major authors, critical theories and themes with a focus on representations and expressions of gendered and/or sexual identities in literature. These identities are considered within historical and social contexts and in terms of their relationship with other forms of cultural identity (e.g. class, race, nationality).
Political Science – 344 Black Political Thought A comparative examination of ideas that have shaped the political institutions and processes affecting African-Americans and Africans since 1619. Topics include racism, separatism, assimilation, accommodation, pluralism, nationalism, womanism, Pan-Africanism and Afrocentrism.
Psychology – 367
Human Sexuality
Survey of psychological literature on human sexuality, including the biological bases, sexual behavior, sexuality throughout the life cycle, sexual differences and dysfunctions, interpersonal attraction and communication, and social issues related to human sexuality.
Sociology – 359
Women of Color and Feminism
Overviews the emerging scholarship of feminists of color while offering a critique of dominant Western feminist theories as they relate to the experiences and lives of women of color. Special attention is paid to the diversity of experiences among women of color in a global context.
Sociology – 390
Queer Sociology
Interrogates identity politics of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and queer individuals. Drawing upon constructionist and critical theory, this course focuses on sexual identities, the “science of desire,” sexual politics and sexual communities. Socio-historical comparisons of pre- and post- Stonewall culture highlight the social evolution from sex acts to social roles to “kinds of persons” to the emergence of politically organized sexual communities. The production of knowledge in science and popular culture is analyzed within the context of social change.
Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies – 100 Introduction to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies An interdisciplinary introduction to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies examining methodology, perspectives and writings from humanities, social sciences and other related disciplines.

UNC-Chapel Hill

Afro-American Studies – 050
First-Year Seminar: Defining Blackness
Blackness and whiteness as racial categories have existed in the United States from the earliest colonial times, but their meanings have shifted and continue to shift. Over the semester we will attempt to define and redefine blackness in the United States.
Afro-American Studies –267
Afro-American Leadership Styles
From a vast array of leadership styles students are expected to research a major figure and analyze his or her leadership behavior. Studies will examine critically the ideological and programmatic responses of black leaders to the socio-politico-economic problems of black people.
Afro-American Studies –269
Black Nationalism in the United States
This course traces the evolution of black nationalism, both as an idea and a movement, from the era of the American Revolution to its current Afrocentric expressions.
Afro-American Studies – 356
The History of Hip Hop Culture
Examines the emergence and impact of Hip Hop music and culture and its broad influence in mainstream culture, as a global phenomenon and as a vehicle embodying formative ideas of its constituent communities
Afro-American Studies – Bioethics in Afro-American Studies Will examine the process involved in resolving moral dilemmas pertaining to people of the African diaspora.
Women’s Studies –080 First-Year Seminar: The Actress: Celebrity and the Woman Who is your favorite actress? What do you know about her? What makes you one of her fans? In this seminar students will reflect on the experience, significance, and influence of the stage and motion picture actress in the modern era.
Women’s Studies -111 Introduction to Sexuality Studies This course introduces students to the broad range of disciplinary perspectives used by the field of sexuality studies to study, teach, and create knowledge about human sexuality in various functions and forms.
Women’s Studies  – 140 Introduction to Gay/Lesbian Literature This course introduces literary and cultural topics such as the AIDS crisis, gender stereotypes, aging in queer communities, racial politics and gay/lesbian sexuality, and representations of political activism and queer politics.
Women’s Studies – 218 Politics of Sexuality Examines the role of lesbians, gays, and bisexuals as political actors in the United States, both as individuals and collectively as a social movement.
Women’s Studies – 237 African Gender History This course seeks to familiarize students with the scholarly debates on the importance of gender as a category of analysis, while gaining a greater sense of the African past.
Women’s Studies – 269 Representations of Cleopatra Study of the life of Cleopatra and how her story has been reinvented in postclassical societies, often as a mirror image of their own preoccupations, in literature, art, movies, and opera.
Women’s Studies – 293 Gender and Imperialism Focuses on feminist perspectives on imperialism; the effects of imperialism on colonized and European women; women’s participation in anti-imperialist movements; and the legacies of imperialism for feminism today.
Women’s Studies – 297 Women’s Spirituality across Cultures How women’s spirituality interacts with officially sanctioned religious institutions in a range of cultural contexts and how it forges alternatives to those traditions.
Women’s Studies – 350 Spitting in theWind: “American” Women, Art, and Activism This course uses films, novels, and essays to engage with various notions of activism (as represented in art and social justice organizations) at play in hemispheric America.
Global Studies – 410 Comparative Queer Politics The prospects of the emerging global movement for equality for sexual minorities are analyzed in light of the histories and practices of local and national queer movements and international organizations and networks that have emerged to link these diverse communities.
Religious Studies – 166 Ideals, Cultures, and Rituals of the University A religious studies approach to the rituals, cultures, and disciplines of the university, assessing the ways in which explanatory ideals are embedded, changed, and promoted.

UNC- Charlotte

Africana Studies – 2107 Global Hip Hop. The development and growth of Hip Hop from a US inner city Black expressive culture to a global subaltern social movement. Examines cultural production in Hip Hop in relation to the contemporary global issues that focus on the youth, subalterns, and postcolonial experiences.
Africana Studies – 3200 Folklore of Africa and the African Diaspora. A study of the relationships among African and African Diaspora folktales, folk beliefs, customs, legends, myths, proverbs, poetry, songs, performance, narratives, symbols, and social practices. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course will identify parallel tales and verbal and performance arts in the Mother Continent and the Diaspora and also study how geographical environments and historical experiences have impacted new manifestations of African folklore.
English – 4104 Multiculturalism and Children’s Literature Focuses on works that represent one or more kinds of cultural, ethnic, or social diversity of the United States and other national literatures.
History – 3131
History of Sexuality
An exploration of the roots of our modern attitudes toward sexuality beginning with ancient Greece and Rome, Judaism, and Christianity. Examination of changing attitudes and practices from the Enlightenment to the Victorians. Discussion of marriage, fertility control, abortion, prostitution, and homosexuality.
Health – 4260
Women: Middle Age and Beyond
Position of older women in society and the particular problems of and issues for women as they age with special attention to health issues.
Women’s and Gender Studies – 3112
Women’s Diaries and Women’s Experience
This course examines why women keep diaries, how diaries provide an understanding of women’s experiences, and how diaries may be read as literature.
Women’s and Gender Studies – 4130
Female Adolescence in America
This course explores the modern cultural, social and personal experience of young females in America. The central focus of the course will be the social construction of femininity and how it impacts female adolescents. We will examine the influence of race/ethnicity, class, and sexuality upon the lives of female adolescents.


African American Studies – 320
The African American Athlete
An examination of the lives and careers of African American athletes and their struggles to gain acceptance in both competitive and social settings.
Media Studies – 226 Television Appreciation Analysis of the cultural and artistic significance of selected television programs.
Media Studies – 325 Gender and Media Culture Examination of the nature of media contents and production processes as they influence the construction of feminine and masculine identities.
Media Studies – 423 Movies that Matter Examines films with social issue themes. Of late, fewer such films have been made; we will look at their relevance while examining the shifting corporate ownership of studios.
Sociology – 229 Sociological Perspectives on Gender Inquiry into status of women in society with emphasis on socialization, structural and institutional relationships, and continuities and discontinuities in women’s roles across the life cycle.
Sociology – 364
African American Social Thought
An introduction to perspectives advanced by black scholars concerning black power and pride, stratification, social order, culture, intraracial socialization, interaction, mate selection, and consequences of skin-tone variance
Sociology – 390
African American Perspectives on Crime
An introduction to perspectives in criminology that focus on African American participation in crime and the significance of race for legal sanctioning.
Women’s and Gender Studies – 270
Sexuality and Culture
An introduction to the academic study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex histories, experiences, and cultures.
Women’s and Gender Studies – 333
Gendered Worlds
Explores social problems, movements, and change related to gender in specific cultural, historical, political contexts. Advances a questioning of one’s position in gendered relations of power in a constantly changing world.


African American Studies – 130
Introduction to African-American Studies
Interdisciplinary exploration of salient issues in the black experience and the role of African-Americans in the development of American culture from 1619 to the present.
History – 280
The History of Surfing
The history of the sport of surfing, tracing the cultural, technological, and economic aspects of its transformation from a Polynesian folkway to a global multi-billion dollar economic force.
Philosophy of Religion – 220
Race and Social Justice
Introduction to philosophical issues in race and social justice. Topics include race and identity, discrimination, multiculturalism, affirmative action, anti-racism.
Women’s Studies – 212 Sexuality and Gender Theoretical and cultural contexts and complexities of sexuality as they relate to the dominant culture. Intersections of race, class, gender and sexual orientations will be examined in relation to the formation of sexual identity and the contradictions of institutionalized norms and standards.

Western Carolina University

College Student Personnel –  530
College Student Subcultures and Student Characteristics
College Student Subcultures and Student Characteristics
Educational Administration – 420 Jamaican Educational Politics This course explores the politics of education in Jamaica. School Boards, the Ministry of Education and the Jamaica Teachers Association are the major political organizations.
Parks and Recreational Management – 313
Camp Counseling
This course is designed to prepare students for positions as camp counselors and provides the foundations for further preparation toward camp administration.
Political Science – 190 Active Citizenship: Making a Difference in Your Community Examples of political activism and application of successful principles to enhance the quality of life in the WCU community.
Japanese – 190  Introduction to Japanese Pop Culture The class will introduce some aspects of Japanese popular culture through following topics; Martial arts, Cuisine and Animation.  The class will be conducted in various teaching methods including reading, writing, discussion, hands-on experience, and visual aids.
Psychology – 190
Race and Prejudice
As a psychological and cultural concept, race continues to have much influence in contemporary (post-racial?) American society.  In this seminar we not only explore the concept of race from the perspective of psychology; we also move beyond psychology to take a broader, social-science perspective on race and prejudice. Drawing on a range of theoretical, empirical, and experiential resources in psychology, as well as anthropology and cultural biology, we construct responses to the many questions about race: How real is race? What is biological fact and fiction? What are the roles of culture and ethnicity? How do we learn race and racism? Can racism be unintentional? Is a post-racial society possible or even desirable?

Winston Salem State University

African American Studies – 3306
Negritude and Afrocentricity
These concepts represent an historic development in the formulation of African diasporic identity and culture in the twentieth-century, and both were designed locate peoples of African descent at the center of their cultural and historical experiences. Negritude and Afrocentricity form the basis of this course and students will become acquainted with their respective yet overlapping histories, the conceptions of each paradigm, their relevance in the production and utilization of knowledge, and the debate both have and continue to generate among a wide range of thinkers and scholars. Prerequisite(s): For AAAS majors with Africa concentration, AAS 2301 Introduction to African, African American Studies and junior status.
This article was posted in Budget & Taxes, Education by Taylor Holgate on May 25, 2011 at 3:40 PM.

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Comments on this article

  • 1

    Matt May 26, 2011 at 11:24

    This is so poorly written.
    “Without substantial taxpayer subsidies, it is doubtful many of these classes would even exist.”
    Hey Numbnuts, these are state schools. NO Classes at ANY of these institutions would exist without money from the state.

    It seems like you have a knee-jerk reaction against minorities and women. While you don’t like a class about defining blackness, I notice there aren’t any cuts to classes about European identity.

  • 2

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour May 26, 2011 at 12:23

    Thank you for commenting on the article. You are right, the article is a poorly written, knee-jerk reaction. Truly the hallmark of any well-written, thoughtful analysis is the phrase “Hey Numbnuts.”

    And given the fact that the article was written by a woman, your well-thought out comment exposes her to obviously be a self-hating female; expressing her rage at her own gender through another “knee jerk reaction” against women.

    Well done, Matt. We look forward to more of your well-reasoned analysis in the future.

  • 3

    Mike May 26, 2011 at 19:37

    So now we see why Art Pope tried to get UNC to bite on his Western Culture studies funding. Rousseau and Hobbes should be taught more, Frederick Douglass and Mandela should be taught less. I was on the fence at the time, but hindsight is 20/20, and I’m glad UNC faculty correctly assumed Pope’s motives weren’t all that pure.

  • 4

    Matt May 26, 2011 at 21:51


    I shouldn’t have been snide or cynical. I’m sorry. Anonymity brings out the worst in us sometimes.

    I do, however, feel like the piece is poorly written. For instance, the piece I quoted earlier isn’t a useful point. Of course they wouldn’t be here w/o state funding. Taylor may have a point, but it’s ambiguous. Also, the statement about “tinged with propaganda” seems baseless to me, but perhaps we can just let that be.

    Lets get to a real question. How about a rebuttal on european identity vs african american identity? Why should we teach about French identity and not af-am identity? What’s wrong with learning about black nationalism?

    The lack of defining what a frivolous class is weakens the case. I would imagine there are classes which we could cut, but Taylor doesn’t set out a criteria. It makes me call in to question the author’s credentials and seriousness of this piece. It also makes me happy that we have department chairs and provosts – people who have built their careers and buttered their bread with the vitality of their mind – deciding what classes will help me be a thoughtful person, and not someone outside the academy with an axe to grind.

    I’m all for Plato and Rousseau, but I don’t understand why I shouldn’t also learn about the african american experience. I may even go further to say that I don’t have an obligation to learn about experience of my fellow Americans.

    Looking forward to your response.

  • 5

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour May 27, 2011 at 10:09

    Some classes currently taught at state schools may in fact exist without state subsidies. In a free marketplace for higher education, students may willingly select to pay for those courses to the extent they would be self-sufficient and exist without taxpayer support. That’s the point, and it is useful.

    As for your other point, scan course selections and identify the “french identity” or “male adolescence in America” courses offered before you keep asking about them. I doubt they exist.

  • 6

    Matt May 27, 2011 at 13:27
    Search for “French identity”
    Click on the first link… These are just in ROML, but i’m sure there are some in hist, poli, ppol, engl, etc.

    376 Identity and Nationhood in Québécois Literature (3). The evolution of identity and nationhood in Québécois literature from the 1960s to the present. Includes the study of francophone literature of immigration in Québec.

    378 The Role of France in Europe Today (3). Prerequisite, FREN 300. Interdisciplinary studies of France’s role in the construction of European identity.

    504 Cultural Wars: French/United States Perspectives (3). This course examines the limits of universalism in today’s “multicultural” France and how the European Union will affect French universalism and French resistance to identity politics.

    616 Readings in Cultural Studies (3). An examination of national and transnational identity within European culture and recent economic and ethnologic changes in Western Europe and France

    340 Italian America in Literature and Film (3). Explores the images of Italian Americans in literature and film, from representations of Italian immigrant otherness to attempts at identity construction, differentiation, and assimilation by Italian American authors and filmmakers.

    388 Portuguese, Brazilian, and African Identity in Film (3). Study of the literary and cultural film production of the Portuguese-speaking world on three continents. Films in Portuguese with English subtitles.

    362 The Quest for Identity in Contemporary Spain (EURO 386) (3). Prerequisite, SPAN 330 or 340. This course studies the multifaceted identity of contemporary Spain through the analysis of representative films and literary works

    390 Spanish Sociolinguistics (3). Prerequisite, SPAN 376, 377, or 378. Interdisciplinary approach to studying the Spanish language as a social and cultural phenomenon. Explores the relationship between language and culture, communicative competence and pragmatics, social and linguistic factors in language variation and change, attitudes toward language and language choice, linguistic prejudice and language myths, and language and identity.

  • 7

    Matt May 27, 2011 at 13:29

    Also, how would a state school exist at all without state support?

  • 8

    Brian Balfour
    Brian Balfour May 27, 2011 at 16:37

    Seems like you have a knee-jerk reaction against the French.

    Thanks for pointing out even more classes of questionable nature, further confirming the point of the article – that the UNC system is not exaclty at its “bare bones” and focused only on preparing students for the “21st century knowledge based economy.”

    State schools could exist without state support through tuition and fees.

  • 9

    Mike May 31, 2011 at 6:33

    “State schools could exist without state support through tuition and fees.”

    I was unsure whether NCGOP wanted to completely eliminate public higher education. Thanks for answering my question, Brian.

  • 10

    Matt May 31, 2011 at 23:10

    Brian and/or Taylor,

    What makes either of you an expert on higher ed curricula? How are you an expert at all in what we should be teaching people? Why should we give our students a “bare-bones” education?

    You have not answered a question at all. Your “tuition and fees” argument is both categorically and factually wrong. You still have not told me anything about how these classes were selected. If you’re so damn sure of your beliefs, you should be able to defend them rigorously.

    I’m more in favor of giving NC the best, smartest labor force in the world. I think that does the state a helluva lot of good. More than just teaching kids accounting, we want them to be able to work and innovate with the rest of the world.

  • 11

    Joe Jun 01, 2011 at 7:42

    I do not necessarily think that colleges exist to solely provide specific job training. I hope ithe education is well rounded and teaches students how to think, reason and be exposed to many new concepts and beliefs. I would much rather hire an articulate thinker than a trained puppet.

  • 12

    Mike McDorman
    Mike McDorman Jun 01, 2011 at 7:52

    Most everything in the world of education costs money. A key concern in today’s economy is how much money we – the public – make available to fund the education of our people – all races, genders, ethnicity, cultures, preferences.

    College curriculum needs to be balanced, challenging, and focused. Certainly a diverse selection of courses is important. But how do we leverage our scarce resources to provide strong education to meet the needs of the future 10-20-50 years from now. All courses and curricula need to be challenged as to their usefulness, intrinsic value, frequency of offerings, level of interest. Courses focusing on subjects that are so narrow could be combined with others of similar focus or perhaps they are moved to higher levels of the education cycle (masters or doctorate programs) where public education does not fund so much of the cost burden.

    In the end, we need to apply common sense, make tough decisions, cut costs while providing quality education.

  • 13

    Steve Jun 01, 2011 at 9:08

    Interesting. Also interesting, on lower levels of education, discussing classes to be dropped due to the expense is not on the table. I do not understand WHY, unless the NC objective is to employ the absolute maximum number of teachers at all times?

  • 14

    Melatr7 Jun 01, 2011 at 11:02

    I agree with most of the author’s observances. IMO, she is absolutely correct about State subsidies. The more ‘free’ money that is thrown at a subject, the more will be required. Tuition and Fees SHOULD be able to cover the costs of an education. If subsidies weren’t provided, it would not be the end of higher education. College isn’t REQUIRED, only DESIRED and is having less and less effect on the labor market as a whole. If we were teaching the kids what they should learn in public schools, it would be even less desirable.

    In my view, many of the courses offered above are merely an attempt to push the liberal philosophy of the day and encourage impressionable minds to ignore what the see with their own eyes and experience in real life. Oh yeah- and to “employ the maximum number of teachers at all times”- that too. And I might also mention that focusing on many of the courses listed above seems to make the chasm wider rather than narrowing the scope of what we all have in common as human beings. I will even go so far as to say that without some of those course offerings, our society would be in a much better place- racially speaking and accounting for gender- etc. Sort of counter-intuitive, wouldn’t you say?

    Additionally, IF there actually WAS a market for that type of knowledge, the few that were truly interested would find much more factual knowledge in an approved computer course- and it would be a lot less expensive not having to pad a ‘Higher-Learning Degree’ with junk courses to fill up their credit hours at about $30K a year plus expenses.

    Having a daughter who attended NC State for a B.A. in Criminal Justice, I LOVED having FAFSA determine for me what ‘disposable income’ I had to put toward her B.A.- and what her ‘portion’ would be (as a LOAN, of course)! She carried full course loads AND also had to work- while we drew on our life insurance and re-financed the house- which we still haven’t completely recovered from! (Note to self- I would say this drastically reduced my support to the local economy.)

    So- I REALLY loved it when she had lecture series where I imagined that at least HALF of those attending were in similar circumstances (50 or so seats where each student was paying a quarter of their tuition)- and the Professor would simply cancel at the last minute. It also tickled me to death when she would get her assignments by email- and also submitted her completed work the same way.

    Civitas and others have, in the past, given us a glimpse into the salaries commanded by some of these exalted College Professors (the “people who have built their careers and buttered their bread with the vitality of their mind” and my interest rate). When multiplied by hundreds or even thousands- it turns my stomach. If you look closely, you will see that MOST ‘innovation’ comes from well-reasoned responses to individual life experiences- and you just can’t get that in a classroom.

    In closing, there is much to be said for a ‘bare-bones’ education for those who expect to make a living wage after their college days- and those who support them. The quicker they can learn what they MUST, the sooner they can become productive and products of their own truths. Yes- she graduated- near the top of her class, and we are very proud of her.

  • 15

    Thomas_in_Newport Jun 01, 2011 at 23:33

    I have no problem with any of these classes. My problem is they are using tax money to pay for the courses. By that I mean any college or university courses. You want to further your education past the 12th grade? Pay for it yourself. Or you can go into the military and have the “GI bill” pay for part of it. No more tax money for post high school education!

  • 16

    Kieran Jun 02, 2011 at 14:37

    Beyond the predictable attack on race- and gender-related courses, I was bemused by the singling-out of the “time travel” stuff. Taylor Holgate, I am quite sure, has no idea that the work by David Lewis referenced in the NC State course description above (“The Paradoxes of Time Travel“) is a beautifully clear and justly famous piece of work that he developed at Harvard (as a graduate student) and later taught regularly at Princeton. It’s often used—as the course description suggests—in courses focusing on some central issues in philosophy, notably personal identity, free will, the nature of time, causation and so on. Of course, Harvard and Princeton grads are notoriously unemployable.

  • 17

    Jack Jun 02, 2011 at 20:17

    Most self-destructive here is the author’s clear disdain for any course about Black people. Many listed here have nothing even slightly politically charged in their descriptions, unless the author finds words like “African” or “Blackness” to be too liberal or unimportant to study.

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