If you thought it was bad that colleges were offering courses on Star Trek and Harry Potter, you will probably not like this. American University, which last I checked was a real, accredited university in Washington, D.C., is offering a course centered around E.L. James‘ literary masterwork 50 Shades Of Grey in the upcoming semester.
While I’m pretty sure I can explain the 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon in a few simple phrases which include “bored housewives who’ve only done it missionary style,” “socially acceptable porn,” and “lots of people like dumb things,” this university begs to differ. At least it isn’t offered by the English department?
Looking at the course description, though, the class (offered by the American studies department) actually sounds pretty interesting, and like the kind of thing I totally would have fallen all over myself to get into had they offered it at my college. I mean, who doesn’t like constructing bullshit-laden academic papers around artifacts of low culture?
The trilogy “is a publishing phenomenon that has dramatically impacted American culture and sexual health,” the online course description says. “Using the series as a case study, this course examines the interplay of sexuality, health, public relations and marketing. Topics covered include feminism, addiction, social media marketing, sexual expression versus sexual repression, targeting the mom demographic, domestic violence, literary criticism, and relationship and identity forming.”
Who knew that one awful book could be used as a lens to talk about so many different things? It does seem like a lot to cover in one semester, but perhaps the professor will speed things up by converting all course materials into sentences written at a fifth grade reading level.