This Course Brought to You By….

Scott Jaschik (Inside Higher Ed)

At Hunter College of the City University of New York, some
professors are asking those questions — and a Faculty Senate committee
is considering a formal complaint about violations of academic freedom
— over a course sponsored last year by the International Anticounterfeiting Coalition
(known as the IACC), an organization of companies that are concerned
about low-cost knockoffs of their products. The companies involved
include some of the biggest names in fashion and consumer goods —
Abercrombie & Fitch, Chanel, Coach, Harley-Davidson, Levi Strauss,
Reebok and so forth.

According to the complaints filed with the Faculty Senate, Hunter
agreed to let the IACC sponsor a course for which students would create
a campaign against counterfeiting in which they would create a fake Web
site to tell the story of a fictional student experiencing trauma
because of fake consumer goods.

Part of me hopes that the Hunter College incident is part of an art project… I’ve never heard of the International Anticounterfeiting Coalition, but it has a much bigger web presence than Mothers Against Video Game Violence (a hoax site that I’ve seen cited in freshman research papers).