Volume 95, Issue 25

Wednesday, October 17, 2001
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Anthrax hysteria strikes London

The world at war

'Mike the knife' cuts himself

Unique war insight from USC GM

Vampires, ghosts not educational

Lefties concerned by anti-terror movement

News briefs

Vampires, ghosts not educational

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

"Evolving Images of Vampires" and "Eco-feminism" are among a list of Ontario university courses one student political group has deemed useless to students.

A top 10 list of the worst university courses in Ontario was released last week by the Ontario Progressive Conservative Campus Association in an attempt to expose courses they believe should not be supported by taxpayer money.

"These courses provide no beneficial substance for [a] young mind of the future," said OPCCA's director-at-large, Alex Lalka. "I don't think many taxpayers realize this is where their tax dollars are going."

Lalka, a student from the University of Toronto, got the idea to make the list when his school paper released a list of top five worst courses at the school.

Lalka brought the idea to OPCCA, who then browsed through course books of Ontario universities and subsequently compiled their own list

No courses from Western appeared on the list. Western's absence is a result of it being the most conservative school in the province, Lalka said.

"Most of these courses have one simple objective: to indoctrinate young minds into left-wing ideologies," Lalka said.

"The Monstrous Imagination," a U of T seminar course topped the list. According to the course description, it is the study of monsters, perverts and deviants in Western civilization's culture, from the Middle Ages to the present.

Professor Jofiah Blackmore, who teaches the course, said he doubted OPCCA took the time to thoroughly evaluate his class.

"It's amazing – it's been exactly the opposite experience at Toronto," he said. "It's so popular I've been asked numerous times by administration to offer more than one section. There's always a waiting list and the evaluations have always been excellent."

Blackmore argued his course was very academic in nature and was not designed to push liberal ideas on students. He pointed to the analysis of The Divine Comedy, Dracula and Frankenstein, as studies of traditional works worthy of university study.

"I show how difference can be the basis of persecution and exclusion," he said. "Even today you can see the monsterfication of a whole culture as a result of the terrorist attacks."

Jeff Tennant, an English professor at Western, said the list was too biased to be taken seriously.

"It's really politically motivated," he said. "The OPCCA seems to have an agenda hostile to feminism, ecology and scholarly study of marginal matters of belief.

OPCCA's Top 10 worst university courses in Ontario:

  1. The Monstrous Imagination - Toronto
  2. Gender, Space and Time - Windsor
  3. Evolving Images of the Vampire - York
  4. Feminist Approaches to the Bible - Waterloo
  5. Religion, Magic and Witchcraft - McMaster
  6. Representing Ghosts: A Comparative Study of Cultural Forms - Toronto
  7. Genders/Feminisms/Environments - Queen's
  8. Anthropology Through Science Fiction - Waterloo
  9. Geography and Gender - Brock
  10. Eco-feminism - Lakehead

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Copyright The Gazette 2001