Columbia offers course on 'persistent racism' of 'Trumpism'
An upcoming course at the Teachers College, Columbia University is slated to explore “Trumpism” by examining “the connections between wealth, violence, and politics.”
In an email obtained by Campus Reform, professor Erika Kitzmiller explained that the course, titled “Education in the Age of Trump,” introduces “the past and present conditions that allowed Trump to seize electoral control of a major American political party and acknowledges the intersectional nature of power and politics.”
The description asserts that the program is “concerned less with Trump as a man than with ‘Trumpism,’” which Kitzmiller said is defined by “political polarization, escalating inequality, and persistent racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia, as a product of history.”
The email elaborated that students “will consider how ‘Trumpism’ affects their roles as educators,” while developing a “deep appreciation and understanding of the historical and sociological antecedents that have contributed to ‘Trumpism’ and explore ways to challenge its shortcomings in their classrooms, schools, and communities.”
The syllabus for an earlier version of the same course that Kitzmiller taught last year notes that the program is based on “Trump Syllabus 2.0,” a 2016 work by historians N.D.B. Connolly and Keisha N. Blain that seeks to study “Trump’s rise as a product of the American lineage of racism, sexism, nativism, and imperialism.”
In the previous syllabus, Kitzmiller explained that the course “offers an introduction to the deep currents of American political culture that produced what many simply call ‘Trumpism’: personal and political gain marred by intolerance, derived from wealth, and rooted in the history of segregation, sexism, and exploitation.”
The syllabus also references what it calls “Trump’s open advocacy for race-based exclusion and politically motivated violence,” which it says “cannot be separated from the historical and day-to-day inequalities endured by people of color, women, and religious minorities living in or migrating to the United States.”
The 2017 course syllabus outlines a plan for 15 weeks of class, assigning various readings from the “Trump Syllabus 2.0” and concluding with student presentations during the final week.
Kitzmiller did not immediately respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment about this year’s iteration of the course.
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