Back in my college heyday, my favorite course was Constitutional Law. Call me super lame, but I found all those court cases to be uber interesting. For students at American University in Washington, D.C., they may soon say their favorite course was based on Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, it's happening. When the spring semester starts next week, 23 lucky American undergrads will be enrolled in "Contemporary American Culture: The 50 Shades Trilogy."
So now I've just got to ask: as a parent, would you want your hard-earned money to go toward a book based on Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele, and their sexy world?
My answer? Of course I would.
Let's get the biggest issue out of the way: this course is so much bigger than just the required Fifty Shades of Grey reading material. The teacher, Stef Woods, writes on her own personal blog about the upcoming curriculum, saying that the class will use Fifty Shades as a case study to examine bigger issues like sexuality and health. The course description on American's website says that topics to be discussed in the course include feminism, addiction, sexual expression vs. repression, and domestic violence among others. In between all the reading, the students will have three paper assignments. Sounds so ... hands on. Academically, of course.
Is this a great example of an out-of-the-box way of teaching? The Fifty Shades trilogy sold 20 million copies in less than four months. To say it was a phenomenon is an understatement, and I think it's a great tool to use as a base to discuss bigger issues like abuse, addiction, and sexuality.
Plus -- I'm sure there was a lot of interest there, and mostly senior students with good course selection dates were able to get into the course. Taking this course instead of, say, Badminton or Floral Arrangement (real life options at my alma mater) is definitely a better use of time for a graduating senior.
Now, hypothesizing about the required materials for the class -- that's a whole different fun ballgame. Handcuffs, perhaps?
Would you support your child enrolling in the Fifty Shades course?
Image via rachelkramerbussel.com/Flickr