November 29, 2009

UC-Berkley Now Offers Degree in Protesting

BERKLEY, CA -- Berkley has long been a leader in progressive thinking.  That lead has been strengthened by the addition of a new degree-granting program in Protesting.  Both a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Arts degree will be available with potential Minors in Community Organizing and Pop Psychology.  The Hell Gazette recently sat down with UC-Berkley's Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Dr. Fred Weinz (pronounced "whines").

HG: What is the inspiration for this new degree?
Weinz: Well, we're trying to keep our school on the cutting edge.  We see protesting growing as a profession in the years to come.  If this country is to keep up with the rest of the world - especially Western Europe - we need to develop a class of professional demonstrators.  We have a few dedicated career protestors in this country like Revs. Sharpton and Jackson - but that just isn't enough if we are to keep up with the rest of the world.  This degree program helps toward that goal.
HG: Was it much work to create these new programs?
Weinz: Not really.  Most of the core classes are the same as the degrees we already offer for History, General Arts, and Multiculturism.  We've added a couple new protesting-specific classes, some practical and some theoretical.
HG: Could you give a couple examples?
Weinz: Well, there's PROT 103, Flag and Effigy Burning - a very practical, hands on class.  Then there's the HPA 200-level series - History of Performance Art.  HPA 201 covers Guy Fawkes to Benedict Arnold, and HPA 202 covers from that period to the Rosenbergs.  203 goes through the bevy of modern artists, like Ayers.  In addition, we have added some laboratory classes like PROT 241, Shouting Down Opposition.
HG: Who do you find inspiring in the world of protesting - who do you encourage your students to emulate?
Weinz: Well, I think a lot of interesting work is being done in the Middle East.  There were massive, violent demonstrations recently about trivial stuff like cartoons and movies.  That is impressive in its own right, but it is topped off by the fact that they were protesting things that were banned in those countries!  Here you have thousands of people demonstrating against things they would never even see - they were protesting the fact that these things just existed somewhere.  I think that is the next, great innovation in protesting.

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