What was the motive behind 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui's killing of 32 students and teachers at Virginia Tech? Why was he consumed with hate, resentment and bitterness?
Cho was an English department major and senior. As a frequent lecturer on college campuses, I have discovered that the English departments are often the weirdest and/or the most left-wing.
A look at the Webs ites of Virginia Tech's English department and of its professors reveals their mindset. We don't yet know which courses Cho took, but it could have been any of these.
Did he take professor Bernice L. Hausman's English 5454 called "Studies in Theory: Representing Female Bodies"? The titles of the assigned readings include "Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth Century Art, Medicine, and Literature," "The Comparative Anatomy of Hottentot Women in Europe, 1815-1817," "Selling Hot Pussy: Representations of Black Female Sexuality in the Cultural Marketplace," "The Anthropometry of Barbie: Unsettling Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culture," and "Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power."
One of the assignments in this course (worth 10 percent of the total grade) is to "choose one day in which they dress and comport themselves in a manner either more masculine or more feminine than they would normally."
Is this really a course taught by the English department? It sounds like just the thing to confuse an already mixed-up kid.
Hausman uses "feminist pedagogy" theory, believing that sex and gender are merely "rhetorical constructs" resulting from cultural experiences, and that "students are more responsible for the creation of knowledge." She lists her areas of expertise as "sexed embodiment, feminist and gender theory, and cultural studies of medicine."
Other titles authored by professor Hausman include "Changing Sex: Transsexualism, Technology, and the Idea of Gender," "Do Boys Have to Be Boys?", and "Virtual Sex, Real Gender: Body and Identity in Transgender Discourse." Perhaps Cho took professor Bernice Hausman's English 3354 on "Fundamentals" for which the syllabus promises an understanding of "deconstruction" (a favorite word in English departments).
Did Cho get evil egotistical notions from professor Shoshana Milgram Knapp's senior seminar called "The Self-Justifying Criminal in Literature"? Indeed, that could serve as his own self-portrait.
Did Cho take professor J.D. Stahl's senior seminar, English 4784, on "The City in Literature"? The assigned reading starts with a book about an urban prostitute who finally kills herself and a book about a violent man who kills his girlfriend.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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