Monday, December 26, 2005

Bizarre College Courses?

Going around the blogosphere is the story of The Dirty Dozen: America’s Most Bizarre and Politically Correct College Courses.

Allow me to differ by NOT poking fun at academia in this matter: Believe it or not, I think the subject matter of some of these courses is a worthwhile study, but IMO undergraduates need to study the basics of the historical context before they truly appreciate the meaning of 17th-century cross-dressing, bulimia in the time of the Pharaohs, or Greek sexuality. (And that assumes these courses are taught properly, not just for the titillation factor.)

It should sober us to realize that a couple of centuries from now people may similarly consider "goofy" courses with such titles as: "Bodybuilding's Impact Upon 21st-Century American Government" or "The Importance of Hairstyle, Drugs, and Tie-Dye Fabric During the Johnson-Nixon Era." These things seem so obvious to us now, we don't bother to record them much - and that's exactly the sort of history that is likely to get lost, and what advanced students of history have to dig to seek.

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