Macalester stocks up on materials for anti-Trump syllabus

Amber Athey
Investigative Reporter

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  • The Macalester College library is providing students with access to the “Trump Syllabus 2.0,” a guide that “explores Donald Trump's rise as a product of the American lineage of racism, sexism, nativism, and imperialism."
  • The library admits that it did not own "many of the sources" listed in the syllabus and had to purchase the missing materials, but did not respond to questions about the cost.
  • The Macalester College library is providing students with access to the “Trump Syllabus 2.0” to help them understand that Donald Trump’s election was the product of bigotry and “imperialism.”

    The library says that it published the guide as a way of grappling with the “tough issues” that have arisen as a result of Trump’s candidacy, saying the Trump Syllabus 2.0 “explores Donald Trump's rise as a product of the American lineage of racism, sexism, nativism, and imperialism."

    “Librarians have a responsibility to support and promote diversity.”   

    [RELATED: Prof deems Trump’s election an ‘act of terrorism’]

    “Librarians have a responsibility to support and promote diversity by creating awareness and empowering marginalized voices,” the announcement declares. “The stances represented in the Trump Syllabus 2.0 are not ones we think of as radical, including, but not limited to, anti-racism, anti-misogyny, anti-xenophobia, and anti-homophobia.”

    The post explicitly acknowledges that "these things may be seen as partisanship and may upset some members of our community," but dismisses such objections as irrelevant, citing a statement by American Library Association President Julie Todaro proclaiming that "the struggle against racism, prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination is central to our mission" and pledging that the organization will "continue to support efforts to abolish intolerance and cultural invisibility...and promote understanding and inclusion through our work."

    The mock syllabus contains 15 weeks of readings and includes topics such as “White Power and Plausible Deniability,” “Immigration Policies and the Rise of Islamophobia,” and “Misogyny, Sexism, and Shaming the Female Body.”

    [RELATED: Prof calls Trump presidency ‘the definition of rape’]

    One reading for the week on “Blackness and Right-Wing Multiculturalism” is from the book Dog Whistle Politics, which describes how right-wing politicians allegedly use coded racist language, such as “big government” and “hard-working” to signal unconscious biases in voters.

    The syllabus also lists Barry Goldwater’s speech, “Extremism in Defense of Liberty is No Vice” as an antecedent to Trumpism.

    [RELATED: USC prof: Trump supporters are the ‘least educated segment of the population’]

    The library admits, however, that it didn’t initially have “many of the sources” required for the syllabus, and had to purchase all materials it didn’t already own.

    “Our not having owned several of these sources probably is indicative of gaps in our collection,” the post deduces. “We would like your help in filling those gaps. In that spirit, we welcome your suggestions for additions to the library collection that build upon the themes of this guide.”

    Campus Reform reached out to the Macalester Library for comment, but did not receive a response by press time.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey



    Amber Athey

    Amber Athey

    Investigative Reporter

    Amber Athey is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government and Economics, and is currently a member of the 2016-2017 Koch Associate Program. 

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