On Friday, the University of Chicago let students know about a brand-new course they’d been considering since the end of November: Trump 101.
Here’s the course description, courtesy of a student at the University of Chicago:
ANTH 24710. Trump 101. This class is an attempt to make sense of Trumpism as a symptom of our political present. Where are we? How did we get here? Where do we go from here? What critical theories from previous times or other places might help us make sense of this current national and global conjuncture, and in what ways might they need to be retooled? What specific issues, especially concerning media and the public sphere on the one hand, and the politics of race, class and gender on the other, might be particularly at stake? Using a mix of classic texts and contemporary commentaries, we will explore that made a Trump victory possible and what they can tell us about possible democratic futures. William Mazzarella/Kaushik Sunder Rajan Tues 10:30-11:50 + one discussion section per week.
This course description is markedly watered down from the earlier version circulated in November, which suggested that Mazzarella would discuss whether “existing theories of fascism or the mass psychology of authoritarianism explain our situation.” That has been replaced with the sentence about “critical theories from previous times or other places.”
Does anyone truly believe that the content about fascism will disappear now that the course description has been altered? Or is this just a way of avoiding public suspicion that this will be a left-leaning course targeting Trumpism as another movement that’s Just Like Hitler™?