You just can’t make this stuff up. All over America we push our young people to get good grades so that they can get “a college education”, but then once they get through college many of our young people are completely unequipped to deal with the real world. Personally, I spent eight years at public universities, and I can tell you that the quality of education that our college students are receiving is a complete joke. Especially on the undergraduate level, almost all testing consists of either true/false, multiple choice or fill in the blank questions. Students learn very few useful skills at our “institutions of higher learning”, and many of them leave school barely even able to function in society.
I am about to share with you a list of 37 of the most ridiculous courses that are currently being offered at major U.S. colleges and universities today. This information comes from a brand new report that was just put out by Young America’s Foundation, and it is tempting to chuckle as you read through what they have compiled, but the truth is that what is happening to our system of higher learning is not a laughing matter. The following is a short excerpt from the report…
As tuition rates increase and students face increasing levels of college-related debt, the value and quality of education plummets. Rather than churning out the next generation of American leaders, so-called “premiere” institutions graduate class after class of adults who are unable to tolerate opposing viewpoints.
Many of the courses listed in the following pages are comical in their titles and descriptions, but the situation unfolding on America’s campuses is hardly a laughing matter. Beyond the inane topics, these classes advance a liberal agenda, malign conservatives, and shut out ideological diversity.
Since 1995, Young America’s Foundation has released “Comedy and Tragedy” to document the intellectual abuse and flat-out indoctrination happening by way of the appalling curriculum at our country’s most (so-called) prestigious institutions of higher education.
For a long time I have been describing our colleges and universities as “indoctrination centers”, and most parents have absolutely no idea what is really going on at our “institutions of higher education”. The following are 37 examples of real college courses that are almost too crazy to believe…
#1 MCL 135: Vampires: Evolution of a Sexy Monster (University of Kentucky)
#2 HIST 336: Saints, Witches, and Madwomen (University of Nebraska)
#3 WOMGEN 1225: Leaning In, Hooking Up (Harvard University)
#4 SOAN 261: Campus Sex in the Digital Age (Washington & Lee University)
#5 GSWS 434: The Politics of Ugly (University of Pennsylvania)
#6 AMS 398: FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body (Princeton University)
#7 GWS 462: Hip Hop Feminism (University of Illinois)
#8 GWS 255: Queer Lives, Queer Politics (University of Illinois)
#9 SOC 388: Marriage in the Age of Trump (Davidson College)
#10 HISTORY 330-0: Medieval Sexuality (Northwestern University)
#11 AI 318: Zombies: Modern Myths, Race, and Capitalism (DePaul University)
#12 SOCI 332: Alternative Genders (Texas A&M University)
#13 AMCULT 103: Drag in America (University of Michigan)
#14 AMCULT 334: Race, Gender, Sexuality and U.S. Culture in Video Games (University of Michigan)
#15 AMCULT 411: Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music (University of Michigan)
#16 WGS 255: Deconstructing the Diva (DePaul University)
#17 GLBT 3404: Transnational Sexualities (University of Minnesota)
#18 GSFS 0208: Unruly Bodies: Black Womanhood in Popular Culture(Middlebury College)
#19 MC 2002: Media, Sport and Culture: Amplifying the Sporting-Ism(Louisiana State University)
#20 THEO 025: The Bible and Horror (Georgetown University)
#21 SOAS 3500: Queerness in South Asian Literature and Cinema(University of Iowa)
#22 AADS 2204: Black Women and the Politics of Blackness and Beauty (Vanderbilt University)
#23 AFR 334: Radical Theories of Political Struggle: Anti-Black Racism and the Obama Administration (Williams College)
#24 COLT 0510F: Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, The Men and the Myths (Brown University)
#25 HIST 379: Queering Colonialism (Washington & Lee University)
#26 AMST 274: Rainbow Cowboys (and Girls): Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality in Westerns (Wellesley College)
#27 AFA 4430: Black Lives Matter (University of Florida)
#28 RELI GU 4355: The African American Prophetic Political Tradition from David Walker to Barack Obama (Columbia University)
#29 RELG 032: Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology(Swarthmore College)
#30 RELG 033: Queering the Bible (Swarthmore College)
#31 ENVS 042: Ecofeminism (Swarthmore College)
#32 FRSEMR 61D: Trying Socrates in the Age of Trump (Harvard University)
#33 GSWS 2219: Deconstructing Masculinities (Bowdoin College)
#34 GSFS 0325: American Misogyny (Middlebury College)
#35 BLSTU 3850: Gender, Hip Hop, and the Politics of Representation(University of Missouri)
#36 AAS 301: Black to the Future: Science, Fiction, and Society(Princeton University)
#37 SOC 105: Race, Religion, & Donald Trump (Davidson College)
As a bonus, let me share with you 20 more crazy college courses that have been previously offered at colleges and universities around the nation.
This list comes from one of my previous articles, and even though most of these courses are no longer being offered, they still serve as examples of how pathetic our system of “higher education” has truly become in recent years…
1. “What If Harry Potter Is Real?” (Appalachian State University) – This course will engage students with questions about the very nature of history. Who decides what history is? Who decides how it is used or mis-used? How does this use or misuse affect us? How can the historical imagination inform literature and fantasy? How can fantasy reshape how we look at history? The Harry Potter novels and films are fertile ground for exploring all of these deeper questions. By looking at the actual geography of the novels, real and imagined historical events portrayed in the novels, the reactions of scholars in all the social sciences to the novels, and the world-wide frenzy inspired by them, students will examine issues of race, class, gender, time, place, the uses of space and movement, the role of multiculturalism in history as well as how to read a novel and how to read scholarly essays to get the most out of them.
2. “God, Sex, Chocolate: Desire and the Spiritual Path” (UC San Diego) – Who shapes our desire? Who suffers for it? Do we control our desire or does desire control us? When we yield to desire, do we become more fully ourselves or must we deny it to find an authentic identity beneath? How have religious & philosophical approaches dealt with the problem of desire?
3. “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity” (The University Of Virginia) – In Graduate Arts & Sciences student Christa Romanosky’s ongoing ENWR 1510 class, “GaGa for Gaga: Sex, Gender, and Identity,” students analyze how the musician pushes social boundaries with her work. For this introductory course to argumentative essay writing, Romanosky chose the Lady Gaga theme to establish an engaging framework for critical analysis.
4. “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame” (The University Of South Carolina) – Lady Gaga may not have much class but now there is a class on her. The University of South Carolina is offering a class called Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame. Mathieu Deflem, the professor teaching the course describes it as aiming to “unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga with respect to her music, videos, fashion, and other artistic endeavours.”
5. “Philosophy And Star Trek” (Georgetown) – Star Trek is very philosophical. What better way, then, to learn philosophy, than to watch Star Trek, read philosophy, and hash it all out in class? That’s the plan. This course is basically an introduction to certain topics in metaphysics and epistemology philosophy, centered around major philosophical questions that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, we will read excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments.
6. “Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond” (The University Of Texas) – Why would anyone want to learn Klingon?
7. “The Science Of Superheroes” (UC Irvine) – Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars? Would a “gamma ray” accident turn you into the Hulk? What is a “spidey-sense”? And just who did think of all these superheroes and their powers? In this seminar, we discuss the science (or lack of science) behind many of the most famous superheroes. Even more amazing, we will discuss what kind of superheroes might be imagined using our current scientific understanding.
8. “Learning From YouTube” (Pitzer College) – About 35 students meet in a classroom but work mostly online, where they view YouTube content and post their comments. Class lessons also are posted and students are encouraged to post videos. One class member, for instance, posted a 1:36-minute video of himself juggling.
9. “Arguing with Judge Judy” (UC Berkeley) – TV “Judge” shows have become extremely popular in the last 3-5 years. A fascinating aspect of these shows from a rhetorical point of view is the number of arguments made by the litigants that are utterly illogical, or perversions of standard logic, and yet are used over and over again. For example, when asked “Did you hit the plaintiff?” respondents often say, “If I woulda hit him, he’d be dead!” This reply avoids answering “yes” or “no” by presenting a perverted form of the logical strategy called “a fortiori” argument [“from the stronger”] in Latin. The seminar will be concerned with identifying such apparently popular logical fallacies on “Judge Judy” and “The People’s Court” and discussing why such strategies are so widespread. It is NOT a course about law or “legal reasoning.” Students who are interested in logic, argument, TV, and American popular culture will probably be interested in this course. I emphasize that it is NOT about the application of law or the operations of the court system in general.
10. “Elvis As Anthology” (The University Of Iowa) – The class, “Elvis as Anthology,” focuses on Presley’s relationship to African American history, social change, and aesthetics. It focuses not just on Elvis, but on other artists who inspired him and whom he inspired.
11. “The Feminist Critique Of Christianity” (The University Of Pennsylvania) – An overview of the past decades of feminist scholarship about Christian and post-Christian historians and theologians who offer a feminist perspective on traditional Christian theology and practice. This course is a critical overview of this material, presented with a summary of Christian biblical studies, history and theology, and with a special interest in constructive attempts at creating a spiritual tradition with women’s experience at the center.
12. “Zombies In Popular Media” (Columbia College) – This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Instruction follows an intense schedule, using critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figure’s many incarnations. Daily assignments focus on reflection and commentary, while final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie.
13. “Far Side Entomology” (Oregon State) – For the last 20 years, a scientist at Oregon State University has used Gary Larson’s cartoons as a teaching tool. The result has been a generation of students learning — and laughing — about insects.
14. “Interrogating Gender: Centuries of Dramatic Cross-Dressing” (Swarthmore) – Do clothes make the man? Or the woman? Do men make better women? Or women better men? Is gender a costume we put on and take off? Are we really all always in drag? Does gender-bending lead to transcendence or chaos? These questions and their ramifications for liminalities of race, nationality and sexuality will be our focus in a course that examines dramatic works from The Bacchae to M. Butterfly.
15. “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing (Belmont University) – Students must write papers using their personal research on the five senses. Entsminger reads aloud illustrated books The Simple People and Toby’s Toe to teach lessons about what to value by being alive. Students listen to music while doodling in class. Another project requires students to put themselves in situations where they will be distracted and write a reflection tracking how they got back to their original intent.
16. “The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur” (University of Washington) – The UW is not the first college with a class dedicated to Shakur — classes on the rapper have been offered at the University of California Berkeley and Harvard — but it is the first to relate Shakur’s work to literature.
17. “Cyberporn And Society” (State University of New York at Buffalo) – Undergraduates taking Cyberporn and Society at the State University of New York at Buffalo survey Internet porn sites.
18. “Sport For The Spectator” (The Ohio State University) – Develop an appreciation of sport as a spectacle, social event, recreational pursuit, business, and entertainment. Develop the ability to identify issues that affect the sport and spectator behavior.
19. “Getting Dressed” (Princeton) – Jenna Weissman Joselit looks over the roomful of freshmen in front of her and asks them to perform a warm-up exercise: Chart the major moments of your lives through clothes. “If you pop open your closet, can you recall your lives?” she posits on the first day of the freshman seminar “Getting Dressed.”
20. “How To Watch Television” (Montclair) – This course, open to both broadcasting majors and non-majors, is about analyzing television in the ways and to the extent to which it needs to be understood by its audience. The aim is for students to critically evaluate the role and impact of television in their lives as well as in the life of the culture. The means to achieve this aim is an approach that combines media theory and criticism with media education.
I have to admit that “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” is my all-time favorite. I wish that had been offered at my university when I was an undergraduate.
But seriously – what in the world has happened to our system of education?
Our society is rotting and decaying in so many ways, and our colleges and universities are prime examples. If we don’t get our act together, it is hard to see how our country is going to have any sort of a positive future.