Five Crazy College Courses You Should Consider!


Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame When I was in my junior year of college, I took a course called ‘Inventing Death.’  The course focused on our need to deny our mortality and the ways we avoid thinking about death. To be honest, I thought it would be an easy class and I’d get to read some great horror novels. Wrong! It turned out to be one of the most challenging courses I have ever taken in college. By mid-semester, several students were experiencing panic attacks and we all began to question what we were doing with our lives. But in the end, I learned quite a bit about myself and managed to earn an ‘A.’ The point is, there are classes at nearly every college that have some whacky title (like ‘Underwater Basket Weaving’ – and yes, that is an actual course at more than one college!), but don’t let their names fool you. Some of these courses are a true challenge and can push you to explore your world – and yourself. Here’s an example of some current course offerings that may sound like an ‘Easy A,’ but are actually pretty deep in content.

1. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: Offered by the University of South Carolina, this course focuses on Lady Gaga’s popularity as a global pop music icon. Students will look at how multiple aspects of sociology contributed to (or were influenced by) her fame.  Popular topics of discussion include the media, Gaga’s fans and live shows, gay culture, religious and political themes, sex and sexuality, and the city of New York.

2. Philosophy and Star Trek:  Do you ever wonder if time travel is really possible? Register for this course (PHIL-180) at Georgetown! Students will watch episodes of Star Trek and then dissect many of the philosophical themes running throughout the show, such as the relationship between body and mind, and what actually makes us human.

3. Zombies in Popular Media: If you attend Columbia College Chicago, you may want to look into this course. Students will explore the history and significance of zombies in horror and fantasy texts. Final projects will include the many incarnations of zombies, as well as their connections to the real world and our lives.

4. Joy of Garbage: Every day, we throw away things we no longer need or want. This course, offered at Santa Clara University, explores where the waste goes, how it is broken down and what solutions there may be for reducing our waste. You can honestly tell your parents your class is ‘garbage’ and it won’t be an insult to the institution or the professor.

5. Stupidity: Have you ever wondered why some people act stupid or seem clueless about ordninary things? At Occidental College, students have the opportunity to examine stupidity in everything from politics to Beavis and Butthead, but don’t let the name fool you. Students will be expected to review work by Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and Avital Ronell – that’s some serious reading! 

There’s nothing better than finding a course that can be fun and challenging at the same time. These courses draw students in by using pop culture as a vehicle to delve deeper into more complex issues and concepts. So, take some time to dig through your course catalog to see what whacky classes may be offered on your college campus. You’ll not only learn something about the world you live in, but you may also find out something new about yourself, too. Enjoy!


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