Allison Kilkenny reports for The Nation:
Naturally, the desire to preserve Occupy makes sense. The camps were temporary and any items left from their time are now precious relics any history enthusiast would be eager to examine. But the rush to archive, preserve and endlessly study the Occupy Wall Street movement perhaps also reflects America’s thirst for a grassroots protest, and the belief that any such movement is, by its very nature, extremely temporary.
NYU and Columbia University have both announced they will offer courses on the nascent movement.
Offered by [Columbia’s] Anthropology Department, the course [pdf], called “Occupy the Field,” will offer “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.”
The fact that major education institutions are now hurrying to tailor their curriculum to accommodate an Occupy world is remarkable.
[NYU’s] “Cultures and Economies: Why Occupy Wall Street?” lists goals as wide-ranging and frenetic as the protests themselves. According to the class description, students will focus on “economic inequality and financial greed” around the globe. Alright, that’s a honed-in goal —but they’ll examine those in the context of “race, class, gender, sexuality, region, religion and other factors.” It’s a mission statement as diverse as the demands of the actual protesters.