The top 12 most bizarre college courses offered in America

1. Lesbian Lives - DePaul University

“Using the political cartoons of Alison Bechdel and theoretical and historical readings, this course has students “examine the constructions of identities and politics within lesbian culture.” 

2. The Politics and Aesthetics Of Black Queer FormationsPrinceton University

Using such documents as Aristotle’s Poetics, this course analyzes “diasporic black queer cultures as political and philosophical engagements.”

3. Ecofeminism - University of South Carolina

This course is an “exploration of the connections between oppression of women and oppression of nature.”

4. Prostitution and Social Control: Governing Loose Women - Oberlin College

This course analyzes “why recent legal solutions cannot fulfill expectations and discuss how the social control of prostitution might actually cause it” by “reviewing the wide range of empirical meanings attributed to prostitution and the ways modern forces have transformed them.”

5. Mad Dogs, Vampires and Zombie Ants: Behavior Mediating Infections - Vassar College

This course combines “aspects of multiple fields including infections disease microbiology, neurobiology, epidemiology and animal behavior” in order to “explore the process of host behavior mediation by infectious agents.”

6. Possessive Investment In Whiteness - Stanford University

This course “challenges and refines the ideas of white privilege and race in the history and contemporary United States and presents “students with an approachable but nuanced way of developing a notion of the construction and maintenance of whiteness in the United States.”

7. This is Sparta! - Brown University

This course studies “the history and culture of ancient Sparta from her beginnings to her final decline into obscurity and impotence” by learning “about warfare in the ancient world and why the Spartans excelled in it.”

8. How To Win A Beauty Pageant - Oberlin College

This course “examines US beauty pageants from the 1920s to the present” with the aim of analyzing “pageantry as a unique site for the interplay of race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation” and understanding the “changing identity of the US over time.” The class also includes a trip to an Ohio pageant. 

9. How to Rule the World - Bowdoin College

Using readings of Lincoln, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Xenophon, Plato, and The Bible, this course will explore the requirements of great political leadership.

10. Politics of Obesity - University of California, Santa Cruz

This course “examines the construction and representation of the so-called epidemic of obesity, the major explanations for the rise in obesity and the interventions they beget, and the implications of naming obesity as a problem.”

11. The Survival of the Whitest: Two Centuries of Racism And Evolutionary Theory - Brown University

This course introduces students to evolutionary theory and related ideologies and concepts like Social Darwinism, Eugenics, Scientific Racism, Biological reductionism and the nature/nurture debate to examine “the ways in which Evolutionary Theory has been used and abused to provide a basis for ideologies about human nature.”

12. Deconstructing the Diva - DePaul University 

This course studies “the figure of the diva as a powerful cultural text,” and“explores representations of the diva in literature, art, and popular and high culture.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Macaela_