The University of Kansas is offering a controversial new course titled “Angry White Male Studies” that will explore the source of anger for white men in England and the United States and the effect it has had on society, and some white men are very angry about it.
The university included the 300-level undergraduate course among its humanities offerings, drawing a rebuke from a number of people — mostly white men — including Kansas Republican Representative Ron Estes. He blasted the university in a tweet claiming that KU “decided to offer a class that divides the student population.”
The “angry white male” course also drew some strong reactions online, with many taking to social media to voice strong opinions both in favor of and against the course. Some found it to be needlessly divisive, especially in its title, while others thought it to be a worthwhile study if conducted in the right way.
Others also believed that the angry reaction to the idea of a class exploring resentments among white men was further proof that the course was necessary and that the university was justified in the study of the subject.
The course book for the Kansas university humanities department said the course will chart the rise of the “angry white male” in America and Britain since the 1950s. The course will also explore how masculinity is represented in cultures undergoing rapid change and in reaction to rights-based movements of women, people of color, and LGBT groups.
Can’t we all just agree that angry white guy pissed off about angry white guy 101 is some funny $&%*
KU Angry White Male course ticks off Kansas lawmaker | The Kansas City Star https://t.co/asBSPXpj6p
— Dana Wright (@RadioDana) April 5, 2019
— Greg Kearney (@gkearney) April 5, 2019
The university offers a number of unique studies on societal issues, including others that explore race relations, including one called “American Indian and White Relations” that explores the impact of westward expansion after the Civil War.
As The Associated Press noted, the University of Kansas’s “Angry White Male Studies” has some counterparts at other top universities. A number of other higher education institutions have introduced courses exploring masculinity amidst the growth of the #MeToo movement and others have studied the efforts far-rights groups have taken to radicalize young white men in online spaces.
Alexandra J. Gold, a Harvard University professor, who developed a course on the #MeToo movement, said she wants it to be a broad study of its effect on society.
“We talk about the sort of erasures that these movements like #MeToo can sometimes effect — even though they’re obviously moves to create equality for women, they’re not without their sort of lapses and their erasures,” Gold told the Harvard Crimson. “One of the opportunities I have is to think about the intersectionality of each movement, because I feel like that’s a topic that hasn’t exactly gotten the kind of treatment it deserves.”
Students at the University of Kansas who want to take “Angry White Male Studies” must first complete a course on women, gender, and sexual studies.