Georgia college changes class theme to 'gender and sexuality' AFTER students enroll

A Georgia college initially advertised one of its English classes under the theme, "Monsters."

Only after a dozen students enrolled did the theme change to "Gender and Sexuality Construction in Film and Texts."

Georgia Gwinnett College recently announced a last-minute change to the theme for one of its English courses, altering the original theme, “Monsters,” to “Gender and Sexuality Construction in Film and Texts.”

A university spokesperson defended the decision, saying “the course itself hasn’t changed, the only thing that was changed was the theme.”Days before Christmas, Interim Associate Dean Marc Gilley sent an email to students who had enrolled in the course notifying them of this change: “Due to a scheduling change the theme of ENGL 1102-109 will change from ‘Monsters’ to ‘Gender and Sexuality Construction in Film and Texts.’” 

The course description fails to provide extensive details as to what this change could entail. It vaguely states that it “develops writing skills” beyond the prerequisite class. 

“A composition course that develops writing skills beyond the levels of proficiency required by ENGL 1101, that emphasizes interpretation and evaluation, and that incorporates a variety of more advanced research methods,” the course description stated.

[RELATED: Duke prof’s new computer science course will focus on diversity]

Georgia Gwinnett Director of Public Relations Jacqueline Todd confirmed to Campus Reform that the change took place. 

Todd said the change was a result of an instructor change.

“The professor who was initially supposed to teach this course was unable to teach it… So another professor stepped in,” she explained. “Typically, the theme follows the professor’s area of research. So it looks like the new professor, his area of research is that [of] gender studies.”

Todd added that given the amount of time beforehand that classes are set up, changes like this are common.

[RELATED: Gender studies prof cancels all finals, gives students 100 percent]

“The schedules are done like 6 months in advance… It’s not uncommon that those themes are going to change if a different professor takes over the class,” she said.

Todd added that an estimated 12 students were already enrolled in the original class before the change took place. 

“After the change happened, there were about 12 students in the class. It looks like now, there’s like 22 of them in that particular class,” she told Campus Reform.

Todd said students can drop the class and enroll in a different theme if they desire.

“Say students signed up for that class… They can take another class. I mean [we] offer 80 of them. And basically, the theme is just the thing the students can write around and research.”

When asked about the course description, Todd said the purpose of the course remains the same, but slight changes will occur in research methods depending on the professor:

“The course itself hasn’t changed, the only thing that was changed was the theme. And again, the theme follows the professor’s area of research.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @_AddisonSmith1