Pornography course at Rutgers examines 'Gender and the Body'

Students will learn how some artists consider pornography to be a 'liberating force.'

Other well-known universities including Carnegie Mellon have taught courses on pornography.

”Gender and the Body: Representation and Pornography,” a fall 2021 class at Rutgers University, will teach students to analyze pornography using film and gender studies methods. 

Per the course description, “students will learn how viewing art, film, and pornography through the lens of gender and embodiment enriches your understanding of art in general.”

Art historian Tara Burk will instruct the class. 

By the end of the semester, students “will be able to....view programming on television or the Internet with the ability to do critical analysis.” Students will also “know how to discuss [their] observations and communicate them to others.”

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A course description explains that “many artists have considered and engaged pornography...and used pornography as a liberating force.” It goes on to state that the class will “consider the range of ways the nude body and pornography exist in contemporary art.” The class will “focus primarily on contemporary feminist art and pornography (since 1970).”

New Jersey’s flagship public college is not the first to share porn-related content with its students. In 2013, Washington University St. Louis hosted an event about pursuing careers in pornography. Two years later, a class on Internet Resistance at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Art assigned students to invent a new genre of porn. 

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The Rutgers course will be delivered entirely online. Based on the university’s current schedule of fees, the 3-credit course in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department will cost $1.212 for in-state students and $2,898 for out-of-state students.

Rutgers University has been contacted for comment; this piece will be updated with any response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito