The Occupy movement, a prominent fixture on many college campuses, has moved from student quads into the classroom. Several universities nationwide have recently rolled out course offerings that focus on the history of the movement.
New York University's Lisa Duggan is currently teaching a cultural and social analysis course entitled "Cultures and Economies: Why Occupy Wall Street?" Duggan has taught the "Cultures and Economies" course for a few years, but opted for an opportune topic this year in order to engage students.
"This year it seemed obvious that it needed to be about OWS," Duggan said in a Q-and-A with WNET's Thirteen. "It's the kind of issue that I can use to teach economic history within a cultural context."
The Occupy movement, which had its start on Wall Street before it became an internationally recognized crusade, welcomed students to the cause shortly after its onset. In late November, faculty and student organizers launched the Occupy Student Debt campaign during the occupation of Wall Street. Students quickly took up the cause and began protesting on their college campuses against both university-centric budgetary issues and national student debt.
Chicago's Roosevelt University also offers a political science course, "Occupy Everywhere," that focuses on the history of the movement. Likewise, Brown University's Derek Seidman teaches a seminar called "The Occupy Movement in Historical Context," and Ivan Evan's "Social Movements" course at the University of California at San Diego focuses on the Occupy movement.
Columbia University upperclassmen and grad students will be able take an anthropology course called "Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement" next semester. The fieldwork-intensive course, taught by Occupy Wall Street participant Hannah Appel, will require students to get involved with the movement outside of the classroom.
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