Colleges are offering some unique courses these days -- you might even call them "crazy." The number of courses revolving around television shows, such as Georgetown University's "Philosophy and Star Trek," is astounding. Did you think knowing all the words to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" would never get you anywhere? It might earn you some credits because you can take a course on her. And tell your parents that staying up all night marathoning "Walking Dead" and "True Blood" is not a waste of time after all.
If you enjoy watching and discussing the nuances of your favorite television shows, some of these courses might appeal to you. University of Wisconsin-Madison offers "Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles" as part of their Women's Studies program. Students analyze the impact of such portrayals on society. Northwestern University promises that you will be able to "participate in debates on the impact of reality TV on American culture" upon completion of "The Tribe Has Spoken: Surviving TV’s New Reality." Are you a "Lost" fan? At Tufts University, you can enroll in "an interdisciplinary endeavor into the heart of the phenomenon" called "The Future Is Lost: The TV Series as Cultural Phenomenon."
Classroom Pop Culture
The University of Baltimore offers a pop culture minor, including a course about zombies and the role they play in various contexts. The professor for the course, when interviewed about it, stated that they represent something about how American culture progresses in a mindless fashion, like zombies who are dead and don't really care about it. If you are an honor student at the University of South Carolina, you can sign up for "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame." The purpose of the course is to "unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady Gaga."
Literature and Sports
You can read novels and watch movies about vampires for homework if you take "The Vampire in Literature and Cinema" at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students at Cal State San Marcos can take "Team Edward vs. Team Jacob" to whole new level if they enroll in "Twilight: The Text and the Fandom." The fans of athletics have options, too. The Ohio State University offers "Sport for the Spectator" for those that aren't satisfied to simply sit on the couch with a plate of chicken wings. The business-minded sports enthusiast can take the "Business of NASCAR" at Elon University to learn first hand the challenge of landing corporate sponsorship for a pinewood derby car.
History and Heroes
Popular t-shirts in Athens, Ga., state that it is a "drinking town with a football problem," so it did not take long to fill seats in University of Georgia's "History of Beer." More of a gamer? Swarthmore College offers "Theory and History of Video Games." If you're still not satisfied, head over to Comic-Con and earn credit from Wittenberg University for a field study of the "political economy of industrial marketing" while shaking hands with superheroes.
Rebecca Gaunt earned a Bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and a Masters in education from Oglethorpe University. She has been published in "The Red & Black," "The Athens Observer" and the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Gaunt also taught elementary school for seven years.