A professor at Georgetown University offered her students course credit if they attended a teach-in rallying opposition against president-elect Donald Trump.
The class “The Cultural Politics of HIV in the US and South Africa” required students to attend a World AIDS Days event and write a 2-3 page paper about it, according to a new report from Campus Reform. But since many of the events were off-campus or required students to buy a ticket, Prof. April Sizemore-Barber offered her class an alternative: A Dec. 3 on-campus event, “Teach-In for Radical Hope: Sowing Seeds of Liberation.”
The teach-in was an overtly political event, inviting participants to “channel all the anti-Trump rage into a pro-Liberation rhetoric that moves people into action.” According to a write-up at the time, the teach-in touched on a wide array of progressive topics, from illegal immigration to labor rights to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Attendees directly compared Trump to Adolf Hitler and one even said “violence may be necessary” to stop his administration, according to Campus Reform.
Sizemore-Barber seemed to embrace the political nature of the event.
“Though it does not directly reflect on HIV, your write up should make an effort to relate it to the class and to world events more generally,” she said in her email to the students. “What will activism look like under trump [sic]? How can we learn from the way ordinary people responded to the devastation of the aids epidemic?”
One student in Sizemore-Barber’s class told Campus Reform he attended the teach-in, but left halfway through because the rhetoric was unendurable.
The teach-in wasn’t the only way Sizemore-Barber took her class in a liberal direction. According to the student, she dedicated two whole class periods to “mourning” after Trump’s surprise election victory, and she encouraged the class to attend a Women’s Studies open house the day after the election to help them get through the “hard time” with the support of “fellow feminists.”
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