Unique Course Offerings Explore Hipsters, Barbie, Skydiving and Everything in Between

Here’s just a taste of the more unusual or unexpected courses that UC has to offer:

  • Apocalypse Then and Now (ENGL1075): It’s the end of the world as we know it, so why not learn about the history and characteristics of apocalyptic literature, film and thought. The class will study apocalyptic writings from Judaism, Christianity and Islamic sources, as well as contemporary depictions of apocalypses in film and literature.
  • Kids Who Kill (CJ3001): This course will include the history and demographics of homicidal children and adolescents; theories about psychosocial, genetic and metaphysical causation; legal issues about punishment; the homicidal youth character in literature, film and television. Speakers will include researchers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges, and students will visit an incarceration facility for violent youth offenders.
  • Sexpert 101 (WGS2012): Let’s talk about sex! This course is designed to immerse students in contemporary and engaging approaches to sex and sexuality education, in order to prepare them to present their own "sexpert" workshops on the UC campus and in the community. Topics include enthusiastic consent, sexual assault, safe sex and STI transmission, contraception, abortion and LGBTQ literacy. Instruction is presented from a sex-positive perspective.
  • Managing Extreme Risks: Introduction to Skydiving (CJ6020): This class will introduce students to the management of extreme risks using skydiving as a case study. Instruction will include biological reactions to extreme risks, mental conditioning for risks, as well as principles, techniques, safe practices and strategies of both recreational and competitive skydiving. Only very basic skills will be taught. This class will not certify anyone to skydive, but will be a first step for those who choose to pursue a skydiving license. Students will be provided with the opportunity to skydive; however, the jump is not required to pass the course.
  • Afrofuturism: Black to the Future and Dark Matters (AFST2023/ENGL2023): Afrofuturism is a literary and cultural aesthetic that encompasses science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, myth, magic realism and Afrocentricity. It examines not only present-day issues of race, but also re-examines and "revisions" the past. Think Janelle Monáe’s aesthetic, elements of Beyoncé’s Lemonade film or the artwork of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This course examines the fusion of past and present, real and fantastic in order to discuss the ways afrofuturism reveals the conflicts, struggles, differing perspectives and circumstances of people of color. We examine the ways in which what is "reality" is neither necessary nor inevitable in nature, history or psychology.
  • Women and Witchcraft (WGS3045): Enter the coven and examine the concept of magic and the role of witchcraft in history from antiquity to the present. This class focuses on witches’ influence on European social and political history, religious ideas and European colonization. Students will review the phenomenon and mechanism of magical thought and its impact upon persons and societies. Stevie Nicks attire optional.
  • International Cuisines and their Cultures (HNRS3063): The course shows how food is an integral part of society, focusing on the cultural attributes that shape eating habits and gastronomy. Classroom lectures alternate with hands-on culinary demonstrations and tasting, during which students actively participate and present in groups. The course will depict the links between food, geography, climate, religion, folkways, morals and rituals, while exposing students to the culinary heritage and to modern cuisine trends of the countries and regions covered.
  • The European Vampire (EUST2043): Forget True Blood and Twilight: This culture course will introduce students to the peoples of Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe. The focus is on how the various manifestations of monsters — and specifically vampires — in texts both folk and literary, as well as films, correspond to the times in which they appear. The perception of a vampire is unique in its ability to transcend time and space and geographical and cultural confines; it is as relevant now as it was in the prehistory of the European peoples.
  • Anthropology of Hipsters (ANTH2075): Using hipsters as a case study, this course introduces students to anthropological approaches to studying cultural groups. Drawing on methods used by both cultural anthropologists and archaeologists to study and define cultural groups — technologies, material culture, shared practices — this course asks what happens when a group rejects a category of identification. Topics will include irony and individuality; taste, class and cool; fashion and culture; music and media; technology; race and gentrification; and the globalization of the hipster phenomenon.
  • Brains on Drugs (PSYC3062): Psychotropic drugs, including prescription psychiatric drugs, alcohol, nicotine and illicit drugs, have become a significant factor in daily life. This course will introduce students to the biochemistry of behavior to help understand the effects and acute and chronic side effects of the major classes of psychotropic drugs. Students will learn how chemical substances affect the brain and behavior. 
  • The Evolution of the Television Comedy (EMED1050): Through lectures and screenings of classic TV scenes and episodes, students will explore the American television comedy as a significant form of storytelling; as a uniquely elastic form of expression and contemporary critique; and as an exceptionally creative and influential art. The course includes investigation into comedy and sitcom style and structure, as well as historical and societal context and impact.
  • Introduction to Wine (HORT4082): This course is an introduction to wine and a review of many aspects of wine that are influenced by and influencing culture, history, geography and economies. Through readings and discussion, this course reviews wine-making, health issues, the senses and their responses to wine, wine and food, and the taste of wine. Wine tastings of over 50 examples are designed to present practical experience with how vinification, viticulture and terroir express themselves in the glass, as well as the differences that vintage, clonal origin and country of origin influence the flavors and textures of the final product.
  • Barbie: Sociology of Culture (SOC2059): Life in plastic — it’s fantastic! This class is about understanding various sociological concepts, theories and ideas through an analysis of the infamous Barbie doll. Barbie is an icon that has permeated not only American culture, but global cultures and economies. In this course we will explore Barbie’s function in society as an icon, how various forms of inequality might be embedded in the creation, production, marketing and purchasing of Barbie and the implications of these.

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