Monday, August 5, 2013

Top 10 Bizarre University Courses

Are you one of those who always wanted to be different from others? If you want to be someone unique, then why go for the usual boring and monotonous English and Mathematics courses? Read on to find out some of the most ridiculous courses you can opt for. Here, for you a list of Top 10 Bizarre University Courses.

1. Politicising Beyonce
Rutgers University in New Jersey famously launched this course earlier this year, as part of their Women’s and Gender Studies department. In this course Beyonce’s music and career are used as lenses to explore American race, gender, and sexual politics. Course topics include the extent of Beyonce’s control over her own aesthetic, whether her often half-naked body is empowered or stereotypical, and her more racy performances as her alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Beyonce’s husband is also the subject of his own higher education course – Georgetown University is currently offering students the chance to take the Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z.

2. Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion
Harry Potter course to be offered at Durham University. This course will focus on ‘social, cultural and educational context’, but no word on whether Expelliarmus will be applied to students with poor grades. Thought to be the first course in the UK focusing on the works of JK Rowling, the course will require undergraduates to set the series “in its social, cultural and educational context and understand some of the reasons for its popularity”, and to consider Harry Potter’s relevance to today’s education system.

3. The Phallus Studies
Occidental Liberal Arts College, Los Angeles, offers the course. The people of Occidental College consider the course most important in the study of human events. They thought it is extremely pertinent for students to delve deep into the mysterious depths of ‘the significance of phallus’ and ‘the relation of the phallus to masculinity, femininity, genital organs and the fetish’. It being self evident that the phallus occupies a central theme in the psychoanalytic theories of gender and sexuality, the course occupies a pivotal role in the Intercultural and Queer program. All this for a price of about four thousand five hundred dollars.

4. The Art of Walking
The Art of walking may seem like routine to some, and to some it may just be a trivial thing which they do without putting much though in it. But not to Dr Ken Keffer, Professor of Modern Languages at Centre College, Kentucky. He conducts a class dedicated to the understanding of ‘intelligible and sensual design in inner and outer nature’, first expounded by Immanuel Kant. Apart from the customary walks which he takes with his students to the nearby Perryville Battlefield and the surrounding areas, the professor assigns freelance walking assignments for students to truly appreciate the nuances of walking.

5. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame
The course “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of the Fame” is taught by Mathieu Deflem, Professor of Sociology, at the University of South Carolina. The course is offered during the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. The course is available only to students formally registered at the University of South Carolina and is not offered online. Within a framework of the sociology of popular culture and music, this course focuses on societal elements in the rise of Lady Gaga’s popularity to her status as a burgeoning pop music icon. The central objective of this course is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga, devoting specific attention to the role of: business and marketing; law and legalities; the old and the new media; fans and live shows; gay culture; religious and political themes; sex, gender, and sexuality; and the city of New York.

6. Simpsons and Philosophy
The University of California at Berkeley’s two-unit course Simpsons and Philosophy is described as a “fairly rigorous” philosophical course that asks weighty questions like “Can Nietzsche’s rejection of traditional morality justify Bart’s bad behavior?”

7. A Course In Stupidity
Stupidity is neither ignorance nor organicity, but rather, a corollary of knowing and an element of normalcy, the double of intelligence rather than its opposite. It is an artifact of our nature as finite beings and one of the most powerful determinants of human destiny. Stupidity is always the name of the Other, and it is the sign of the feminine. The Occidental College offers the course in Stupidity. According to the prospectus, “this course in Critical Psychology follows the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and most recently, Avital Ronell, in a philosophical examination of those operations and technologies that we conduct in order to render ourselves uncomprehending.”

8. How to Train the Jedi Way Studies
At Queen’s University, students are taught the psychology of Star Wars’ Jedi Knights to improve communication skills and personal development. Teaches students to harness the psychology of Star Wars’ Jedi Knights to enhance communication skills and personal development. May the force be with you.

9. Philosophy and Star Trek
Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to do philosophy, but to watch Star Trek, read philosophy and hash it all out in class (and on blackboard)? That’s the plan. This course will center on topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, we will read excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments. In George Town University, philosophy students study the works of prominent thinkers like Aristotle, Kant and many others. That’s just great, but here comes the zinger - they do all this under the pretext of understanding ‘the philosophical depths of Star Trek!’ The course dishes out an introduction to metaphysics and epistemology philosophy, while trying to dissect major philosophical questions which come up in the science fiction entertainment drama. Sign me up Scottie!

10. The Theology of Eating
Eating is indispensable for human life. No dispute there. Since it’s such an important part of living-being alive, it must have some theological implications too! Anyway, Loyola College came to the conclusion that this inextricable connection between eating and God needed some reflecting upon. Ergo, the exploratory course where students are taught and made aware about ‘complex religious aspects associated with eating’.

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