The trouble began when a number of students in Professor Bart Conroy’s third quarter of “Self, Culture, Society” expressed concerns that the readings concerning Dr. Sigmund Freud and his contemporaries would be awkward, to say the least. Little did they expect how seriously their TA and more intellectually rigorous classmates would take the material.
The students showed little restraint and a whole lot of emotional vulnerability in their weekly Canvas posts as they interrogated the machinations of gender, family, and sexual development in their own lives. Responding to the works of Freud, Adorno, Lacan, De Beauvoir, and Fanon opened them up to examining their unconscious minds. The promise and potential offered by blaming their problems on society and their parents proved to be very alluring.
“I’m impressed by how seriously they all took the assignment,” Margret Elliot, the course’s TA said in an interview with the Dealer. “Getting all their deep trauma and festering neuroses out on the Canvas site really helped kickstart an even more intimate discussion, and we’ve never been closer as a section."
Despite improved rates of participation and an increase in critical engagement, many students felt uncomfortable. “It’s great that everyone is opening up about their experiences of race, class, gender, and even queerness,” said an anonymous student in the class, “But I’m just not ready to reconcile my own upbringing with the theory we’re reading. My sense of self and identity may be false and unquestioned, but it’s still my consciousness.”
At press time, the Dealer can confirm that a majority of the class is dropping out to form a commune in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York, where they intend to live in peace and harmony amidst the wilds of the North, practicing a doctrine of sharing, caring, and unconditional love.