Wednesday, January 10, 2007

American Universities...What Are You Getting For Your Dollars?

A list of the top 12 most bizarre college class offerings has been released by the Young America's Foundation...it's riveting to say the least (and you have to wonder how kooky the classes will be in 10-12 years when my guys start college):

1) "The Phallus" (Occidental College): "Feminist and queer takings-on of the phallus. Topics include "the relation between the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism."

2) "Queer Musicology" (UCLA): "This seminar will examine the writings that constitute the unruly discourse of Queer Musicology. We will read the most significant works in the field (plus an assortment of non-musicological stuff) as part of a critical discussion."

3) "Taking Marx Seriously" (Amherst): "Should Marx be given yet another chance? Is there anything left to gain by returning to texts whose earnest exegesis has occupied countless interpreters, both friendly and hostile, for generations? Has Marx's credibility survived the global debacle of those regimes and movements which drew inspiration from his work."

4) "Adultery Novel" (University of Pennsylvania): "Students apply “various critical approaches in order to place adultery into its aesthetic, social and cultural context, including: sociological descriptions of modernity, Marxist examinations of family as a social and economic institution” and “feminist work on the construction of gender."

5) "Blackness" (Occidental College): "This class will explore "new blackness," "critical blackness," "post-blackness," "unforgivable blackness" and "queer blackness."

6) "Border Crossings, Borderlands: Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Immigration" (University of Washington): "What is highlighted and concealed in contemporary public debates about U.S. immigration policy."

7) "Whiteness: The Other Side of Racism" (Mount Holyoke College): "“What is whiteness?” “How is it related to racism?” “What are the legal frameworks of whiteness?” “How is whiteness enacted in everyday practice?” And how does whiteness impact the “lives of whites and people of color?"

8) "Native American Feminisms" (University of Michigan): "Understanding the development of “Native feminist thought”.

9) "Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context" (# Johns Hopkins University): "A deep look into Filipino kinship and gender."

10) "Cyberfeminism" (Cornell University): "Investigates “the emergence of cyberfeminism in theory and art in the context of feminism/post feminism and the accelerated technological developments of the last thirty years."

11) "American Dreams/American Realities" (Duke University): "Seeks to unearth “such myths as ‘rags to riches,’ ‘beacon to the world,’ and the ‘frontier,’ in defining the American character.”

And my very favorite:

12) "Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism" (Swarthmore College): "Build[s] on promising nonviolent procedures to combat today’s terrorism.” The “non-violent” struggle Blacks pursued in the 1960s is outlined as a mode for tackling today’s terrorism."

There are also some dishonorable mentions listed. These are indeed real courses...I checked the school course description websites... (Do you see in the picture that Janeane Garofalo and Al Franken are on the "reading list"? Good Lord.)

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