beyonceclass

9 Amazingly Strange College Courses, From Beyonce To Maledicta

Photo courtesy of Edward Beavers via Flickr, modified by Curiousmatic. 

Through this awesome assemblage of strange college courses, professors are able to engage students with interesting topical choices, imparting valuable information all the while.

Though students are sometimes lured into surprisingly loathsome classes due to their misleading, student-bait titles, this isn’t always the case — thematically fun classes can be both challenging and interesting.

Here are some of the most unusually brilliant yet strange college courses, and the surprisingly useful lessons they aspire to teach.

If you’re learning about science…


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Science of Superheroes: Offered at the University of California-Irving, this course looks at case studies regarding situations both fictional and real, from the science behind Spiderman’s super-adhesive webs to the science behind global warming. It’s intended to teach students to make sense of research and evidence with a critical eye.

If you’re learning about technology…


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Wasting Time on the Internet: Offered at the Ivy-league University of Pennsylvania, this course sounds more like something you’d do to avoid literature homework than an actual lit class. And yet, the class purports that time “wasted on the Internet” can actually be positive and productive, and is perhaps even a new, technology-driven form of literature.

If you’re learning about sociology…


Gif courtesy of Giphy.com.

Demystifying the Hipster: They’re in your city thrift shops drinking kale smoothies, but there’s more to our plaid-clad friends than meets the eye. Or is there?

This course, offered at Tufts Experimental College, lets students explore and examine the hipster subculture in history and contemporary works of art and literature.

If you’re learning about social justice…


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Stupidity: Education is ultimately an attempt to correct stupidity, but rarely does it turn around and examine ignorance in the light. A course at Occidental College looks at the utterly human artefact of stupidity as it applies to U.S. society, history, politics, and philosophy.

If you’re learning about race and gender…


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Feminist Perspectives: Politicizing Beyoncé: Queen Bey is more than just the queen — she’s also a woman from whose music and career can be derived important messages about race, gender, and class. This course, offered at Rutgers University, discusses these themes as they apply to U.S. society.

Update: Rutgers administrators have taken the course out of the Rutgers course catalog, however it may be brought back if advocates have their way. Check the Rutgers web site for more information.

If you’re learning about the environment…


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The Joy of Garbage: Not many people take pleasure in trash, however, a course offered by Santa Clara University puts your waste in the spotlight by teaching the depth of its journey and diversity of its destination — whether it’s destined to be burnt, shipped abroad, recycled, or swallowed by an albatross. Yay, trash!

If you’re learning about folklore…


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Maledicta: Ritualized Verbal Abuse: Over at Harvard, students are offered a course called Maledicta that “investigates international traditions of vituperation and cursing in their folkloristic, historical and sociological settings, focusing on competitive exchanges of invectives and other abusive language duels as social drama.”

In non-Ivy-league-speak, the class teaches the traditions and history behind abusive language and cursing once used in ancient verbal duels. This is useful at the very least for learning amazing old curse words, while also delving into sociology and mythology.

If you’re learning about philosophy…


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Create Your Own Religion: There are billions of people in the world that belong to specific religions that are taught with rigor all over the planet.

This course, offered by Alfred University, follows the book of the same name by Daniele Bolelli, and allows students to craft and articulate their own beliefs and dogma in regards to spirituality, the afterlife, morality, and more.

If you need exercise…


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The Art of Walking:  You walk every day (hopefully), but now you can do it for credit! Students at Centre College enrolled in this course, which takes on different philosophical twists every year, take to the trails — sometimes abroad — to discuss the sights and musings of life.

Fall 2014’s class, called “Flight from Boredom,” investigated how walking can either make peace with boredom or end up being anything but.

Originally published on November 7, 2014. 

We measure success by the understanding we deliver. If you could express it as a percentage, how much fresh understanding did we provide?
Jennifer Markert