February 03, 2014

Dabashi, Hamid
[ASCM V2008] Contemporary Islamic Civilization

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR BEFORE REGISTERING FOR THIS CLASS: read professor dabashi's article (which is the course's first assigned reading) titled "For the Last Time: Civilization." if you like the article, then you should definitely take the class, and you will love the lectures because dabashi has the exact same personality as a lecturer as he does as a writer. if you think that the article is combative, indulgent, overblown, immature, fanatical, myopic, self-righteous, and utterly gratuitous, then you probably shouldn't enroll, because that's exactly what you'll hear for an hour and 15 minutes, twice a week, all semester.
just as dabashi's paper belittles countless authors (simply because they hold a viewpoint in opposition to his own) in a crude, mean-spirited, and grossly unacademic manner, dabashi's lectures will belittle your intelligence with snobbish ramblings about post-colonialism and racism in which dabashi thinks he's blowing your mind with pathetically trite quips like: "i'm going to make the unfamiliar familiar... by making the familiar unfamiliar!" (don't get your hopes up that he'll end the show with a flashy disappearing act where he strikes the crucifixion pose and vanishes in a cloud of smoke - he doesn't even have showmanship to go along with his two-bit act).
hamid dabashi is the archetype of non-scientific academia gone wrong. not only has dabashi convinced himself that his perspective on the world is valuable enough to constitute a field of study unto itself, he has developed such unshakable self-importance that anyone who dares to enter that field as anything other than a grateful disciple will be tarred and feathered as an ignorant orientalist.
you win, dabashi. the west consists of nothing but blind mobs and their evil masters who spend all day trying to turn every culture into an insulated carnival attraction. sorry for ruining the world.

Workload:

apparently pensive nodding while dabashi pieces together marginally coherent rhapsodies (in accordance with his religious belief that every 3 consecutive words must contain a total of at least 10 syllables), periodic pauses while dabashi smells his own farts