Monday, February 1, 2016

Professor Batman

Back in the early 1950s, there was a story in Detective Comics called "The Man Behind the Red Hood", in which Batman, teaching a class in criminology, examines a decade-old case he had been unable to solve. This is a classic story which forms the basis of some later Batman lore. A friend of mine loves this story and often laments that he never got to be in "Professor Batman's class", so I decided to write a course description for the class. I present it here for your amusement.

     Course: Criminology 101 (CRM0101) 3 credits
     Spring Semester, MWF 8 - 9 PM, Wayne Memorial Hall, Room 539
     Instructor: Professor Batman, Visiting Lecturer
     Text: Criminals: A Cowardly and Superstitious Lot, (1939 edition), by William Finger and Robert Kane
     This course will trace the causes of criminality, as well as its effects, and the detection, apprehension and incarceration of criminals, with discussion of the purposes of incarceration (e.g., punishment vs. rehabilitation). There will also be discussion of the differing types of criminals (hood, petty thug, gang member, henchman, mob boss, super-criminal, etc.) and their trademarks (birds, umbrellas, arcane riddles, cats, and unadulterated madness). Special attention will be paid to the high recidivism rate, particularly among super-criminals, in Gotham City. If time permits, there will be discussion of the utility of working with sidekicks and/or super-powered aliens in combatting crime.
     Lab Fee: $15 Covers the use of microscopes, fingerprint powder, chemicals and other forensic tools.
     Field Trips: Gotham State Penitentiary and Arkham Asylum. Dates to be announced
     It is expected that this course will fill up quickly, so early registration is strongly suggested.