With a child heading off to college, I’ve decided to start a new feature at my blog. As the spirit moves me, I’m going to quote, verbatim, from college catalogs. I’m not going to go the cheap and easy route of quoting from the Women’s Studies or Queer Studies departments. Instead, I’m interested in what passes for education in the traditional liberal arts: History and English.
Today’s catalog quotation comes from Smith College which, in keeping with all other American colleges, has ditched American History in favor of “American Studies.” This frees colleges from teaching about America’s founding principles or significant events.
Smith doesn’t offer a single traditional American History course. Instead, American Studies is just an endless focus on minutiae, from classes on every type of PC sub-group (black, Native American, disabled, Hispanic), to classes about America’s moral failings (you know what they are), to Mickey Mouse classes purporting to find meaning in pop culture trends.
Here’s my favorite Smith “American Studies” course description: