Columbia University Launches Occupy Wall Street Class

Columbia University is set to offer a new course for its juniors, seniors, and graduate students based on the Occupy Wall Street Movement, writes CBS New York.

Starting next semester, the Occupy Wall Street class will send students into the field. They will become involved with the Occupy movement outside of the classroom while also doing class work at Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus.

The anthropology department course will be taught by Dr. Hannah Appel, a “veteran” and vocal proponent of the Occupy movement.

The “Occupy the Field: Global Finance, Inequality, Social Movement” syllabus states:

“The course offers training in ethnographic research methods alongside a critical exploration of the conjunctural issues in the Occupy movement: Wall Street, finance capital, and  inequality; political strategies, property and public  space, and the question of anarchy; and genealogies  of the contemporary moment in global social movements.

“Class requirements will be divided between seminar at Columbia and fieldwork in and around the Occupy movement. In addition to scheduled seminar, this class will meet offcampus several times, and students will be expected to be involved in ongoing OWS projects outside of class.”

Appel was a leading member of the movement that began in September last year:

“It is important to push back against the rhetoric of ‘disorganization’ or ‘a movement without a message’ coming from left, right and center,” she said.

While her allegiance and involvement in Occupy Wall Street will have some effect in the way she teachers the material, it will not prevent Appel from being an objective teacher, she claims.

This comes after dozens of occupiers were arrested shortly before midnight on New Year’s Eve as they tore down barricades surrounding New York City’s Zuccotti Park.

Zuccotti Park used to be the home of their encampment until it was dismantled several weeks ago. Around 500 protesters gathered in the park for New Year’s Eve, chanting “We are the 99 percent.” But after some protesters began to tear down the barricades that blocked off the evicted Occupy Wall Street area, police moved in.

The New York Police Department announced that a total of 68 people were arrested, with charges varying from trespassing to disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment, while one person was accused of assaulting a police officer with scissors.