George Mason University offers course on ‘Trevon’ Martin

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This fall, George Mason University will offer a three-credit course on the life and times of somebody named Trevon Martin.

Presumably, as Campus Reform observes, the GMU department of sociology and anthropology’s course will actually cover Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old high school student who was fatally shot in a struggle with George Zimmerman in 2012.

Zimmerman is currently on trial for second-degree murder in Florida. The story of the shooting and the trial have generated a substantial amount of race-related controversy.

At George Mason’s website, a very brief online description calls the course: “Race&Politics, Trevon [sic] Martin.” The webpage headline is “Special topics in sociology.” The professor teaching the class is Rutledge M. Dennis.

Beyond class time and location, no further information is provided.

Neither Prof. Dennis nor the George Mason administration responded to Campus Reform’s requests for additional information.

The professor’s faculty page notes that Dennis has degrees from South Carolina State University and Washington State University. Before coming to George Mason, he taught for over two decades at relatively nearby Virginia Commonwealth University.

His areas of expertise include the intersection of the middle class, race and ethnic politics; comparative and theoretical approaches to race and ethnicity; and the work of W.E.B. Du Bois.

At the website Rate My Professors, students describe Dennis as “an absolutely adorable man” who “sound a little like James Earl Jones” if Jones was “senile.”

One student charges that he “uses Soci 101 as his soapbox to preach about black history and relates every single thing in class to civil rights.”

However, the general consensus seems to be Dennis is mostly just dull.

“Lectures are scattered and pointless,” warns one critic. “He is very old and his class is boring. If you’re going to take him, bring a pillow.”

It’s remotely, theoretically possible that the class involves someone named Trevon Martin. On Google, a search for “Trevon Martin” yields about 29,800 results. Examples include a Facebook page, “R.I.P Trevon Martin He Deserve Justice,” which has collected 3,063 likes, and a Trevon Martin Tumblr page—dedicated to Trayvon Martin.

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