By Jennifer Lynn
Fancy a degree in Beyonce? From the R&B superstar herself, to Harry Potter, we’ve found the top ten weirdest things you can study at uni…
1. The Phallus
Situated in Los Angeles (where else?!), Occidental Liberal Arts College offers a seminar in all things phallic. From “the whiteness of the phallus” to “feminist and queer takings-on of the phallus”, we wonder how anyone gets through a class without dicking about. Bad pun intended.
2. Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion
No J.K Rowling hasn’t revealed an eighth Harry Potter book, this is the title of a module at Durham University, which aims, amongst other things, “to place the phenomenon that is Harry Potter in its social, cultural and educational context and understand some of the reasons for its popularity.” See you at the Sorting ceremony!
3. Brothel Management
Thanks to legal prostitution in certain areas of the state, the University of Nevada offer a six week class in Brothel Management. Imagine discussing that over graduation dinner with your granny…
4. Politicising Beyonce
Rutgers University in New Jersey famously launched this module earlier this year, as part of their Women’s and Gender Studies department. The course takes a look at Beyonce’s alter ego Sasha Fierce, her videos and the control she has over her own public image. Bey’s husband, rapper Jay-Z, also has his own course titled Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z at Georgetown University.
5. Fat Studies
The George Washington University introduced this controversial course back in 2010, in response to the growing obesity epidemic. The class looks at the media’s depiction of larger sizes, whether there is such a thing as a fat gene and how obesity is perceived in different countries. Weighty issues indeed.
6. Simpsons and Philosophy
If you thought The Simpsons was all donuts and Duff beer then think again. One of America’s most prestigious unis, Berkeley, plays host to this course which asks questions such as, “Can Nietzsche’s rejection of traditional morality justify Bart’s bad behavior?”
7. Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way
A one day course in Jedi mind tricks was launched at Queen’s University in 2008. The £23 course promises to examine “wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood and fascism”, as well as teaching the “real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks”.
We’re heading back to Occidental College for this course in Stupidity. So is it designed for geniuses who want to be dumbed down a notch or two? Apparently not. According to the prospectus, “this course in Critical Psychology follows the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, Gilles Deleuze, and most recently, Avital Ronell, in a philosophical examination of those operations and technologies that we conduct in order to render ourselves uncomprehending.” Sounds pretty brainy to us!
9. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame
While the University of South Carolina are quick to point out that this is a degree in Sociology, not in Lady Gaga, we do find it a little questionable considering Professor Mathieu Deflem has seen the wild one in concert 30 times. The course includes classes on entertainment law, fans and live shows, and gay culture. Meat dress design module optional.
10. Cyberporn and Society
State University of New York at Buffalo is just one US college which hands their students the opportunity to watch porn in class. They are required to study online porn in order to discuss what effect it has on society and our attitudes towards women. You wouldn’t see that on the UWS curriculum!