By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
Over the past few years, college classes have changed and adapted to pop culture and the modern college student. They have infused television mediums, as well as popular movies and trends. This coming spring, MIT will offer a course called “Credit for Reddit.”
The MIT Reddit class will both include how Reddit works, but also a comparison to other social media outlets, Vice’s “Motherboard” says.
Like “Credit for Reddit,” many other schools have begun to incorporate pop culture as the basic focus of some college courses. Here are a few of our favorites, from classes being offered as far back as 2008 ranging to today.
1. Swarthmore College has a class called “Battling Against Voldemort,” which focuses on why humans are drawn to making stories “about battling inhuman powers to learn what it means to be human.” This first-year seminar was even filmed by MTV in 2008.
2. Georgetown University offers a class this fall called “Philosophy and Star Trek” which explains metaphysical topics whilst delving into the world of Star Trek. Questions asked in this class include “Is time travel possible?” and “What is free will?”
3. University of Baltimore students that minor in pop culture get to dive headfirst into a class called “Media Genres: Zombies.” It leads students through many zombie-related graphic novels, books and movies.
4. Tufts University now offers one-credit a class called “Demystifying the Hipster.” In it, students learn “what makes a hipster a hipster” by exploring film, art, fashion and literature and critiquing today’s culture, as well as learn how identifying as a hipster may affect cultural anxiety.
5. University of California: Berkeley is offering a course called “Game Theory in StarCraft,” which teaches student the art of competition within the game of StarCraft. It also shows students the computational aspects from which battles are executed.
6. Our very own Boston University is offering a “Beyond Netflix” course this fall for students studying Film & Television. In this semester’s special topic, students will study if the immediacy and medium of Netflix changes the definition of television as a whole. With award-winning shows like “Orange is the New Black” and “House of Cards” that are available only on the popular streaming site, it doesn’t get more relevant to the industry than this.
Just like the rest of these classes, “Credit for Reddit” is a building block for things to come. Colleges and universities know that by making classes with a modern focus, students will be more fully engaged with the material. Hopefully classes like this keep popping up, because I’d certainly like to take one before I graduate.