Dartmouth offers course on Orlando terror attack
Dartmouth professor and queer theorist Eng-Beng Lim recently published an article titled “The #Orlando Syllabus” that describes a class centered around the evils of firearm ownership, Islamophobia, masculinity, and the American right.
The syllabus, which can be viewed in its entirety here, includes a list of weekly readings for a course on the recent, tragic terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando. The proposed title of the course, “#Orlando,” is similar to a recent Dartmouth course entitled “#BlackLivesMatter,” which presumably touched on similar themes.
The weekly topics, listed below, do not include any analysis of radical Islamist terrorism in the United States or elsewhere:
Week 1 From Gender to Gun Performativity
This week serves as an introduction to a range of topics within queer theory, including the broad field of made-up vocabulary. The syllabus has at least five such words, including “phallogocentrism.”
Week 2 Surviving Killabilities
“Killabilities” appears to reference the material in this section that details “systematic” violence against queer people and other minorities.
Week 3 Laughing at Masculinist Rage, Corruption and Mass Shooting
As its title implies, this week is primarily third-wave feminist literature, anti-conservative rants, and accusations that firearms are phallic symbols.
Week 4 Getting Toxic and Terrifying
This week hits all the core concepts of the class. It focuses on “toxic masculinity,” which it then associates with mass shootings, attacks “Islamophobia,” and rounds everything out by attacking the police.
Week 5 Empire, Trump
If there was a wrong way to attack Trump, this week covers it. It then accuses America of being a fascist empire. Or something like that.
Week 6 Orlando
Many articles in this section, drawn largely from tabloids, fall just short of ISIS apologia. Others focus on tangential topics to the exclusion of the event itself.
Week 7 Gun Phallocracy: Colonial and Capitalist Deadlocks
Blame the guns. If that fails, blame the Republicans/NRA. This week looks like the Facebook feed of a Bernie Sanders supporter.
Week 8 Performance & Patriarchal Pathologies
Presumably, the mix of topics presented under this heading constitute The Patriarchy.
Week 9 Queer nightlife: safety, joy, erasure and complacence
Two words: safe spaces.
The biggest takeaway for any student taking such a course would presumably be that masculinity, guns, and the Republican Party are waging a systematic war against queer people and Muslims. Professor Lim mistakenly assumes all conservatives are alt-right Donald Trump supporters with racist, homophobic tendencies. He also seems to believe that America is some kind of quasi-imperial dictatorship run by everyone but a select group of minorities.
Dartmouth’s website describes Lim as an “Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and author of Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performance in the Asias.” He has since been promoted to associate professor with tenure.
The descriptions of his academic undertakings are so laden with buzzwords and queer theory jargon that they are nearly incompressible. He also sits on the steering committee of GRID (Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth), which recently hosted notorious anti-Semite Jasbir Puar.
For those who have never heard of the emerging field of “queer studies,” it is a pseudo-academic field that uses post-structuralist theory to explore a range of topics from an ultra-liberal and often neo-Marxist perspective. Its overuse of meaningless rhetoric and made-up words render articles and books about it nearly illegible, and many academics do not take it seriously. One faculty member, in a discussion with a Review staffer, described Lim’s scholarship as “ideological hackery, pure and simple” but still expressed incredulity that he would design a course consisting of not much more than “a bunch of blog posts by partisans and ideologues.”
Bully Bloggers describes itself as “queer word art group,” and the website consists of a small group of professors who write both intentionally and unintentionally ridiculous articles on a range of topics associated with queer theory. One section of the website sets forth a mock party platform, which includes such things as abolishing the Senate, marriage, all debt, and practically everything “oppressive.” Another section, titled “Freedom to Marry Our Pets Society Page,” includes presumably fictitious accounts of people in quasi-romantic relationships with their pets.
What is more terrifying than the introduction of bestiality serious discourse is the knowledge that the professors who maintain this site, Eng-Beng Lim included, teach in our nation’s top academic institutions. God help this nation as syllabi like Lim’s currently serve as reading lists for tomorrow’s leaders.
This article was originally published in The Dartmouth Review, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished here with permission.