Cardi B, 'Queering,' and Shrek top list of craziest college courses of 2021

Liberal bias in college curricula isn’t going away.

Here’s a roundup of the Craziest College Courses of 2021:

1. James Madison University, From Classics to Cardi B: Female Sexuality in American Literature, Film, and Music

The Honors College at James Madison University is taking music artist Cardi B seriously. 

Its Spring 2021 course titled, “From Classics to Cardi B: Female Sexuality in American Literature, Film, and Music” will use the career of the infamous “WAP” singer to demonstrate how the “female body and female sexuality have been portrayed” in popular culture.” These discussions and others aim to highlight the “unspoken desires of female desire” and challenge “'polite conversation.”

2. New York University, Microaggressions and Racial Stress: Reducing Harmful Interactions

“Strengthening racial literacy and skills is one of the most effective ways to reduce harmful interactions,” says the description of “Microaggressions and Racial Stress: Reducing Harmful Interactions,” a course taught by Adjunct Instructor Leonard Cortana at New York University School of Professional Studies. 

Cortana will lead the one-day, online course on April 5 to show, for example, how a “simple question like "Where do you come from?" –seemingly posed out of curiosity –[can be] experienced as a microaggression."

He will also train students in monitoring their “self-talk. 

3. Tulane University, Feminism after Trumplandia

The rise of Donald Trump in American politics inspired the creation of a wave of new courses promoting social justice. One of those is Tulane University’s “Feminism after Trumplandia,” a response to what Professor of English and Communication Studies Kate Baldwin called a “new era of precarity for women” caused by the former president’s policies on social issues. Trump’s “reign,” said Baldwin, inspired a “more robust” and “multifaceted” feminism emboldened to counter the “ravages of assaults” like the travel ban, defunding of Planned Parenthood, and “protections for transgender students.” 

These policies, she said, represent an “unprecedented dystopia for women.”

Feminism after Trumplandia will introduce students to radical feminists like Shulamith Firestone, who said in 1970 that “pregnancy is barbaric,” and should be replaced with ectogenesis, a process through which embryos are brought to term in “artificial wombs.” 

Angela Davis, the former Communist Party leader who was involved in the attempted kidnapping, shooting, and murder of Superior Court Judge Harold Haley in 1972 is also featured in Baldwin’s “feminist archives,” a list of authors whom the students must reference in a 10–15-page term paper.

Baldwin specializes in “Black American modernism” and the “involvement of African-American intellectuals with Soviet communism and a Russian intellectual heritage.”  

4. University of New Hampshire, Weight Matters

Campus Reform recently reported on the newest offering at the University of New Hampshire. A course titled “Weight Matters" promises to undertake an “in-depth study of topics not covered in regular course offerings.” It is taught in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department and recalls the “People Opposing Weightism” student club started at the university in 2013” to recruit interns for addressing the issues of “weight bias, fatphobia, and body-policing.”

5. Barrett, The Honors College of Arizona State UniversityBlack Mirrors: Race, Gender, Sex, and Technology

This spring, students at Arizona State University can take a course called “Black Mirrors: Race, Gender, Sex, and Technology.” Taught by Professor Dr. Sakena Young-Scaggs, the course will apprise students of subjects like the “foundations of intersectional identities as they are found across genres where conceptions of race, gender, and sexuality are reflected or contested in scientific notions.” 

6. The New School, Queering and Decolonizing Theology

The Religion Department at the University of Arizona will be home to another iteration of “queering studies,” a field of academia that Campus Reform has covered before

Counting toward a minor in Gender Studies, “Queering and Decolonizing Theology” is advertised as daring to go “where theory meets practice” to show students what is “queer within Christianity,” and sharing topics like “sexual ethics and ritualization found in the S&M community.”

7. University of Massachusetts-Amherst, From Shrek to Killing Eve: Gender and Pop Culture

Did Shrek promote misogyny? That’s one of the topics discussed in the University of Massachusetts’ course “From Shrek to Killing Eve: Gender and Pop Culture.” Students surveying this course will spend the semester studying how “film and television produce meaning around race, gender, and other identities...” Its focus on Dreamwork’s 2001 movie, Shrek, will highlight “satire and its limit.” And watching television shows like Killing Eve and Black Mirror will, according to its course description, illustrate how they “disrupt normative meanings around gender, violence, and technology.”

“From Shrek to Killing Eve” is taught by Women Gender and Sexuality Studies Professor Rachel Briggs.

Follow the author of this article: Dion Pierre