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Campus Reform has compiled a list of the top ten most shocking courses being offered on college campuses. Here they are:
“Cyborgs, Avatars, and Feminists: Gender in the Virtual World” at the University of New Hampshire (Women’s Studies): Utilizing feminist theoretical and critical investigations of gender and techno culture, students explore women's popular and theoretical conceptions of cyberspace. Students explore numerous digital communication systems within cyberspace and examine how and why a diversity of women utilize these systems. This course provides students with the opportunity to investigate the impact that advancements in virtual technology have in the lives of women.
“Psychology of Lesbian Experience” at the University of California Los Angeles (LGBT Studies): Review of research and theory in psychology and women’s studies to examine various aspects of lesbian experience, impact of heterosexism/stigma, gender role socialization, minority status of women and lesbians, identity development within a multicultural society, changes in psychological theories about lesbians in sociohistorical context.
“Theologies of Abortion” at Oberlin College (Religion Department): This seminar explores a spectrum of theological approaches on abortion from Roe v. Wade to today. Topics to be studied include: the role of extremist religious groups in abortion clinic violence; how Protestant and Catholic pro-life theologies clash over issues of sex and gendered sexuality; debates about the question of when life begins and “fetal personhood”; how race shapes pro-choice and pro-life positions in relation to the bodies of religious women of color.
“Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music” at the University of Michigan (Gender Studies): What kinds of LGBT people listen, dance, and socialize to country music? And what kinds of country music appeal to LGBT people? The notion of queer country fandom clashes with popular images of both "queer" and "country." Queer identity is often associated with gay men, and urban, bourgeois, coastal lifestyles. Country music is linked to heterosexual white, rural, working-class, Southern, and Midwestern cultures and has often been invoked as a symbol of "redneck" bigotry. This seminar therefore asks how music that to many people sounds homophobic and racist serves as a medium for multicultural queer social and sexual exchange. Assignments include country listening and readings in country music studies, social science and humanities literature on U.S. rural queers, and social theory on class.
“The Phallus” at Occidental College (Critical Theory & Social Justice Department): A survey of psychoanalytic theories of gender and sexuality. Topics include the signification of the phallus, the relation of the phallus to masculinity, femininity, genital organs and the fetish, the whiteness of the phallus, and the lesbian phallus.
“Sociology of Freakishness” at the University of Vermont (Sociology Department): This course considers how American popular culture was born of the display of racial, cultural, sexual and bodily "freaks."
“Dogs and How We Know Them” at Harvard University (History Department): Examines the history of dogs and how we conceptualized (wo)man's best friend over time. Topics include the origins of dogs and the nature of domestication, breeding and dog breeds, mad dogs and rabies, learning theories and training methods, unwanted dogs and the humane movement, dogs as veterinary patients, dogs as experimental systems, dog emotion and social behavior, working and companion dogs, dogs as symbols, dog genomics.
“The Music, the Message: American Punk, Hardcore & Emo” at Wofford College (Non-Departmental Course): This class will examine the American punk and hardcore scene from the late ‘70s to late ‘90s, and how this lifestyle and music defined itself against the values of mainstream culture. Our primary focus will be on punk / hardcore music and lyrics. We will discuss such topics as DIY, religion, Ronald Reagan, capitalism, gender issues, riot grrrl, addiction, the police, vegetarianism, sexuality, emo, environmental sustainability, a drug and alcohol-free life, queercore, anarchism, and conservatism. We’ll also create our own class fanzine out of materials that we'll produce and collect ourselves. Finally, we'll read academic articles, watch films, and see footage of bands perform through YouTube. The class fanzine will serve as the project; however, each student will also turn in a paper on a band and their songs. Students should understand that this class will be intensive, and will involve a great deal of work both in and outside the classroom. There will be no prerequisites or special conditions for joining the course—all are welcome.
“Bodies and Boundaries” at the University of California Berkeley (Gender & Women’s Studies): Examines gender and embodiment in interdisciplinary transnational perspective. The human body as both a source of pleasure and as a site of coercion, which expresses individuality and reflects social worlds. Looks at bodies as gendered, raced, disabled/able-bodied, young or old, rich or poor, fat or thin, commodity or inalienable. Considers masculinity, women's bodies, sexuality, sports, clothing, bodies constrained, in leisure, at work, in nation-building, at war, and as feminist theory.
“Maple Syrup”: at Alfred University (Honors Program): The method of producing maple syrup is one of the things in our society that has endured even in today's culture of constant change; fundamentally it's the same process Native Americans used centuries ago. This class will explore the history of maple syrup production, discover the ins and outs of making syrup, create (and eat) some sweet confections, and take field trips to local producers, restaurants and festivals. No prior experience expected.,
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