Whitman introduces “Human Evil” major concentration

Lee Thomas, Anti-Lee Thomas Advocate

This week, Whitman College unveiled its newly approved academic concentration in Human Evil. After nine months of collaboration across departments, the concentration invites students of any major to approach their academic interests within the lens of mortal wickedness. 

“A concentration in evil is great in how versatile it is within even the most diverse of academic settings,” the concentration team said in an official statement. “From anthropology to chemistry to theatre and dance, there is always a way to squeeze some malice into our studies.”

The Wire interviewed a leading professor on the project, Dr. Mal de Ville. Dr. Mal de Ville discussed his experiences during the concentration’s development process. He told us that one complication with the project was defining evil itself:

“Everyone’s idea of what is evil or not can vary strongly,” Dr. Mal de Ville said. “For example, a surprising number of beta-testing computer science students did not think centering algorithms determining human worth had any negative implications.” 

Despite the challenges in development and some light backlash following the concentration’s public reveal, the cross-department team responsible for designing the college’s new program is excited to announce the concentration. Starting with the 2023-2024 school year, students who opt for the Human Evil concentration will be able to pair it with any major at Whitman and bring these modern problem-causing skills and abilities to their future workplaces. Courses already on next year’s curriculum calendar that will cover the concentration (many of which will also count simultaneously for the concentration in Human Centered Design) include:

  • ARTS-204: Design for Human Torture Devices
  • CS-168: Introduction to Computational Problem-Causing
  • ECON-102: Principles of Macroeconomics
  • FMS-280: Introduction to Snuff Filmmaking
  • FREN-306: En Dispute: Arguing Online with Parisiens
  • GEOL-238: Harnessing Crystal Properties to Commit Curses
  • HIST-213 / LIBR-170: Recreating Alexandria
  • SSRA-203: “Villain-Era” Weight Training