Last-minute course listing for Spring Term 2013: Empty Rhetoric 101/ Orwellian Studies 202 (Graduate-level cross-listing: B.S. 503)

Obama hyp

Only one primary source text needed for this course:

“We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”

— U.S. President Barack Obama, second inauguration address, 1/21/13

Secondary source readings to be used in analysis of text above can be found through Google search: “Obama Cuba Policy”

Course requirements: some reading, some discussion, no exams, weekly five-page papers that argue for the exact opposite of what one intends to do, in the nicest way imaginable, with as many earnest-sounding turns of phrase as possible.

Extra credit: one three-page essay defending any of the following Orwellian propositions:  WAR IS PEACE,  FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH



4 thoughts on “Last-minute course listing for Spring Term 2013: Empty Rhetoric 101/ Orwellian Studies 202 (Graduate-level cross-listing: B.S. 503)

  1. Professor, is this synchronicity or did you know?

    “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” — George Orwell

    President Barack Obama was sworn into office for his second term this morning. While his most hardcore supporters are rejoicing, those of us who have watched our civil liberties further deteriorate are incredibly frustrated.

    During his campaign in 2008, Obama tried to pass himself off as the “civil liberties candidate.” But during his first term in office, Obama has, as my colleague Jeremy Kolassa noted this morning, doubled down on many of the worst policies of his predecessor — including the PATRIOT Act and FISA — he has, in fact, expanded upon them by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that included a provision that allows for the indefinite detention of Americans, supporting drone surveillance across the United States, and the targeted killing of American citizens.

    Given his record on civil liberties, it’s ironic that Obama was sworn on the anniversary of George Orwell’s death.


  2. Wow. Or, in Cuban, Ñooooooooo! Tremenda casualidad.

    I didn’t know that today was the anniversary of George Orwell’s death. Fitting day for the inauguration of our Orwellian president.

    Weakness is strength. Prosperity is poverty. Silence is eloquence. Submission is power.

  3. I have seen similar course curricula with no exams in some political science courses at various universities. As a result, a few of my former undergraduate students who graduated last year are asking me for recommendations to work as cashiers at retail stores and restaurants.

  4. Liberals are generous (with your money). Conservatives are evil (they refuse to allow the government to spend money to help people). Liberals care; conservatives do not.
    Liberals are open minded. Conservatives are closed minded.
    I have a few of my own and they are not Orwellian. Liberals never want to hear anything except what they “know” in the first place. Never confuse them with facts or logic. Liberals are humorless and always angry, yet have no problem accusing conservatives of always being angry.
    I could not watch this inauguration for one second. This is the first time I have been so delighted to be oblivious.I was sick to my stomach over this event.

    Perfect post!

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