A new class being offered for credit at New York’s Columbia University will allow young people to join the ranks of OWS protesters not as unemployed, disgruntled activists, but as anthropology students.
Upperclassman and graduate students at the Ivy League school where the average yearly cost of attendance is around $60,000 — well over the annual income of Americans considered poor — will take to the streets under the direction of Dr. Hannah Appel to learn about economic inequality. The class is dubbed “Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement.” Instruction will be split between spending time with the 99 percent and lectures at the college’s campus.
Appel, who earned a Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University, reportedly has previously spent time alongside OWS protesters and defended the movement on her blog, writing: “It is important to push back against the rhetoric of ‘disorganization’ or ‘a movement without a message’ coming from left, right and center.”
The professor told New York Post that though she does have affection for the protests, she believes she is still objective in her teaching methods.
“Inevitably, my experience will color the way I teach, but I feel equipped to teach objectively,” Appel told the Post. “It’s best to be critical of the things we hold most sacred.”