Is there something wrong with the Boston-Cambridge water supply? Via Meadia has written previously about the plague of so-called “awesome” courses in the academies that nestle along the banks of the Charles. To understand the failures of our higher educational system, one need look no further than college classes on topics ranging from “Puppetry” to “Surfing and American Culture” which provide little educational value, no marketable skills, and essentially serve to defraud irresponsible college students (and their parents) out of tuition money and student loans.Add Harvard to the list of institutions promoting the proliferation of such nonsense, as evidenced by its Spring offerings. Now, most entries in the Crimson course catalog are what one would expect from America’s most fabled university. But alongside respectable intellectual offerings one finds such gems as:
Scandinavian 102: Trolls, Trolldom and the Uses of TraditionVisual and Environmental Studies 80: Loitering: Studio Course
Examines Scandinavian folklore and folk life, with an emphasis on narratives, supernatural beliefs, and material culture from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, and the anti-colonial and nation-building uses of these traditions.
You will hang out in the vicinity of culture and make things in response to it. This class is not thematic or linked to any particular discipline.
Note: No previous studio experience necessary.
Sign us up for the anti-colonial troll studies class, please. Though we have some qualms; the word ‘troll’ is redolent of lookism and many other forms of hate speech. We have half a mind to rat Harvard out to the National Committee for the Protection of Forest Persons.