School pride is one thing, but what about your classes? Sure, you’re learning tons of valuable skills and information that will contribute to your career and your academic goals, but what about learning some really cool information? The Brief has found several classes that are just too awesome not to talk about, and they might even make you want to switch schools.
School: Central Michigan University
“Why would you want to just read Harry Potter when you could live it walking in the footsteps of Ron, Harry, and Hermione?” Not only do students do an intensive reading of the books, but then they take a study abroad trip to the United Kingdom to to an anthropological study of the sites that J.K. Rowling used as inspiration for the stories.
School: Pitzer College
“What can YouTube teach us and is this how, what and all we’d like to learn?” A professor at Pitzer College experimented with the idea of how YouTube informs our current cultural state. As well, there’s an exploration of how the distribution of media is democratically available outside channels organized by capital yet there are a whole lot of cat videos.
School: Rutgers University
“Beyoncé Knowles is known as many things: singer, songwriter, actress, performer, designer, half of hip-hop and R&B’s most powerful couple, wife, mother. But, few take her seriously as a political figure (although this is changing recently due to Beyoncé’s own insistence).” Through studying race, gender, class, and sexuality in the US informed by Beyoncé’s place in those categories, the class seeks to explore how, if at all, Beyoncé’s music be seen as a blueprint for progressive social change. Will you be a skeptic or a member of the #BeyHive?
School: Duke University
“Welcome to the OC, bitches. This is how it’s done in Orange County.” Taking a look at The OC, Laguna Beach, Real Housewives, The Hills, and Gossip Girl, this course explores Californian exceptionalism and singularity in history and popular culture, girl culture, 21st century suburban revivalism, the indie music scene, the meta-series, and more.
School: Skidmore College
As a premise, Miley Cyrus is used to study how inter-sectional identities are shaped by pop culture and mass media. Using the issues and occurrences around Miley’s child star rise to super-stardom, the class explores issues of race, class, gender, and how the media exploits and reports.
School: Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University professor Phil Kesten breaks down the physics behind warp drive.
“Beam me up, Scotty!” Using Star Trek as inspiration, the class explores the physics and physiology possibilities of the technologies used in the films and TV shows – real and imagined. Students from a range of disciplines look at the science of space travel, time travel and transporters.
School: University of Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin is very committed to J.R.R. Tolkien, and one of their professor’s, David Salo, offers the opportunity to learn Sindarin, the Elvish language spoken in Lord of the Rings. He also served as a consultant and translator on the films. Are you nerdy enough?
School: Oberlin College
Complete with a field trip to a pageant in Ohio, this course seeks to understand the ways that pageantry in the US has shaped race, gender, culture and national identity since the 1920s. After the rise and fall of the Honey Boo Boo family who wouldn’t want to learn about what pageant culture is doing to society?
School: University at Buffalo
For those of you looking for a way to watch porn for college credit, this class isn’t going to fulfill that dream. But if you’re looking for a class that examines how pornography informs technology, or the effects of pornography on society, then this class is for you.
School: Tarleton State University
Not only can you learn about managing turf, but you can learn all about managing golf courses. Tarleton is definitely not the only school offering such programs, so if you’re looking to really make the most of the outdoors – a golf course management career might be in your future.
¡Viva La Revolución! Although we’re not quite living through a real life Hunger Games, there is conflict happening all around the world. In this course, you can learn about what makes for a successful revolution and why some just fail.
School: Colorado College
Using the film Mean Girls and other popular culture tropes, this class looks at ways that women seek authority. You will learn from the likes of Regina, Cady, and Gretchen about how women hold on to power, and what this means to society.
School: Penn State
Ben and Jerry got their start in this course – so why shouldn’t you!? Offered as a “short course,” anyone can be a part of this class that teaches the ins and outs of ice cream manufacturing. You probably won’t take many classes like this one where you’d rather eat your homework than get a grade on it.
Have we convinced you to make a move? What crazy, awesome, or unique classes are offered at your school? Tell us in the comments!