Course registration time is amongst us and every year, I scour the depths of Albert looking to construct the perfect schedule (and failing pretty much every time). Through my searches, however, I’ve come across pretty insane classes. This list is a compilation of some of the coolest classes that NYU offers. From weed to KPOP to sleeping, if you’re going to take a ridiculously random class about anything, let it be at a world-renowned institution with some of the best professors in the industry. Also, in a decade, I’d assume you’d rather talk about that class you took during undergrad about apocalypses rather than the financial accounting core you had to take for your major. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: *not all classes are offered every semester *be sure to check with your advisor that you're able to take these classes *difficulty level of each class is unknown
1. FOOD-UE 1271 Food Photography
Description: Demonstration of techniques for photographing foods for use in print and other media formats.
Credits: 1 School: Steinhardt Class #: 21528 Notes: MEETS WITH FOOD-GE 2171. Class meets only two Fridays: 2/1 & 2/8
2. IDSEM-UG 1972 The Legacy of Harry Potter
Description: The Harry Potter books and films are some of the most popular stories of the early twenty first century. Millions of young fans grew up listening to, reading, and viewing the adventures of Harry and his friends, and many of them came of age along with the characters. In more recent years, books, museum shows, amusement parks, popular music, and theater have continued the stories and the popularity among fans of all ages. This course will study the influence the stories have had and continues to have, specifically their impact on the way fans interact with ideas and topics such as mental health, education, post-colonialism, child labor, feminism, race, political resistance, animal rights, fake news, religion, sexuality, and technology. We will analyze reading practices, fan fiction, debates over canonicity and censorship, and rituals of cosplay. How has the character of Hermione impacted ideas of women in higher education? Does “Dumbledore’s Army” offer a useful model of resistance? How do various fan fiction “shipping” strategies subvert the heteronormativity of the novels? Is Hogwarts a progressive or conservative model of education? The class will assume complete familiarity with both the books and the films. Our reading will include short sections of the novels along with secondary sources, documents, pod casts, criticism and fiction produced by fans, scholars, and journalists. We may also experience the Harry Potter-themed “Griffins, Goblets and Gold” tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and visit the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic show at the New York Historical Society.
Credits: 2 School: Gallatin Class #: 201975 Notes:
3. CAMS-UA 502 The Science and Psychology of Marijuana
Description: Weed. Pot. Bud. Grass. Ganja. Reefer. Mary Jane. Skunk. Herb. Cannabis. It’s all marijuana – the most commonly used, in most states still illicit, drug in the United States. Calming for some, anxiety provoking for others, perhaps medicinal, always controversial, marijuana causes wonder and confusion among physicians, parents, teachers, adolescents, and lawmakers. After 50 years of debate, marijuana remains one of our most visible modern-day conundrums – is it “okay?” Is marijuana safe and therapeutic, or is it dangerous and a gateway to more harmful drugs? Through lecture, discussion, and a thorough analysis of the current research literature in neuroscience and human development, we will seek to answer these questions and identify marijuana’s role in psychology, medicine, culture, and government policy.
Credits: 2 School: CAS Class #: 10364 Notes:
4. ANST-UA 410 Animal Minds
Description: This course examines the philosophy of cognitive ethology and comparative psychology. We begin by discussing the nature of animal minds. Are animals conscious? Do they experience pain? Do they have beliefs? Do they use language? Are they self-conscious? How can we know? This involves applying concepts from metaphysics and epistemology to research in cognitive ethology and comparative psychology. We then discuss more general questions like: Are animals agents? Do they have free will? Do they live meaningful lives? Do they have moral rights? This involves applying concepts from ethics, existentialism, and other areas of philosophy to our conclusions about animal minds. Finally, we also ask, along the way, how research on animal minds can affect our philosophical theories. For example, should we revise our theories of consciousness, language, agency, morality, and so on if they seem to have implausible implications about animals?
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 9255 Notes:
5. IDSEM-UG 1324 Baseball as a Road to God
Description: "Baseball As a Road to God" aims to link literature about our national pastime with the study of philosophy and theology. This seminar aims to blend ideas contained in classic baseball novels such as Coover's Universal Baseball Association, Kinsella's Iowa Baseball Confederation, and Malamud's The Natural with those found in such philosophical/theological works as Eliade's Sacred and Profane, Heschel's God in Search of Man, and James' Varieties of Religious Experience. It discusses such themes as the metaphysics of sports, the notions of sacred time and space, and the idea of baseball as a civil religion. Not for the faint-hearted, this course requires students to read over two dozen works of varying lengths in addition to supplemental readings as they might arise. Weekly papers are also required. As with any serious commitment of one’s time, the rewards of taking a seminar such as this can be great.
Credits: 4 School: Gallatin Class #: 21264 Notes: Open to Sophomores and Juniors (seniors who wish to apply should contact firstname.lastname@example.org). Permission required. Application deadline is Thursday, November 29th. Application (and required essay) should be submitted electronically to email@example.com
6. DSEM-UG 1958 100 Years of Courting, Dating & Hooking Up on College Campuses
Description: This course will examine the romantic and sexual behaviors of college students over a century of time within the context of the university and its role as in loco parentis (in place of the parent) and will consider how, since the development of youth culture in the early 1900's, college students' interactions may -- or may not -- have changed and the pace at which America’s universities responded. The questions that will guide our semester include: What are the shared commonalities - and differences - between generations related to relationships and intimacy? Is there a relationship between technology/invention/culture and intimacy/sex for college students? How have world events such as public health (i.e. STIs, HIV/AIDS) and political issues (i.e. war) directly impacted college students' and their sexual/romantic behaviors? Do on-campus institutions (such as the Greek system) influence social and sexual interactions amongst college students? In its role as in loco parentis, has the university socially engineered the campus environment in relation to students’ social behaviors? Has the university, as an entity, reasonably demonstrated responsiveness to changes in students’ behaviors? Using the lenses of educator and public health practitioner we will explore how universities responded to their students’ sexuality including adapting to co-education campuses, marriage preparation, sexuality education, Queer friendly campuses and informed consent.
Credits: 4 School: Gallatin Class #: 14631 Notes: Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: Friday, February 1; Last Class: Friday, March 15.
7. SCA-UA 481 Topics: Gender, Globalization & the Politics of KPOP
Description: In 2012, South Korean rapper Psy’s viral hit, “Oppa Gangnam Style,” set a Guinness Book world record for “Most Liked YouTube Video” and had everyone from congressmen to Britney Spears doing the horsey dance. Since then, PSY has gone on to do a music video with Snoop Dogg, KPOP act 2NE1 has collaborated with Will.i.am and South Korean film directors, Joon Ho Bong and Chan Wook Park, have made English language film debuts with Snowpiercer and Stoker. While discourses on global popular culture tend to center U.S. cultural hegemony, this class asks how and why major political and economic shifts have occurred to make the above possible. Yet, global popular culture is more than mere entertainment. By linking popular culture to the industries that produce them as well as the industries they support, this class connects films, pop songs, and television serials to nation-building and branding projects, diasporic identity formation, and transnational capital and labor. Using the Korean Wave (South Korean popular culture) as the major case study, this class examines how mass culture intersects with race, gender, and empire to travel transnational circuits in relation to movements of people, goods and labor. (Counts as SCA faculty elective for these SCA majors/minors: AMST, APA, GSS, SCA)
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 9658 Notes:
8. CAMS-UA 170 While you were Sleeping
Description: Sleep is something akin to the ocean-it surrounds us, and we could not live without it, yet it remains a mystery, whose secrets we are only now beginning to unfold. Scientific research into sleep and dreams began in earnest about fifty years ago. Since that time, the small and burgeoning field of sleep medicine has taught us a great deal about how and why we sleep. This course will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to sleep and physiology, the evolution of sleep, circadian and biological rhythms, dreams, and the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. Through exercises and assignments, students will learn the importance of sleep for mental and physical well-being and how to best establish a healthy sleep routine.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 9959 Notes:
9. ART-UE 1002 Introduction to the Galleries and Museums of New York
Description: Survey a broad spectrum of visual art resources through guided lecture-tour visits to current exhibitions at leading museums, galleries & alternative art spaced located throughout New York City. Onsite meetings with art administrators affiliated with various organizations shed light on a wide range of career & management issues pertaining to the field & add to an understanding of the development & continued growth of New York's exciting art world.
Credits: 3 School: Steinhardt Class #: 12471 Notes:
10. MPADE-UE 1701 West African Dance
Description: A survey course in African dance with accompanying songs, music, and simple instructions of the regions of West, East, Central, and South Africa.
Credits: 3 School: Steinhardt Class #: 10364 Notes:
11. SCA-UA 380 Ghosts, Migrants, Astronauts
Description: This is a class about people who move, who are forced to move, whose descriptions of movement move readers and listeners and filmgoers. This is a class about empire and post-empire and, not just black and Asian writers, but displaced rural dwellers, Roma, ‘mad travellers’, Poles, Irish itinerants. This is a class about people who have been orphaned by the end of manufacturing, about working-class communities rendered obsolete by political and economic ideologues, about loneliness, about utopia. This is a class about fear and hatred and defeat. This is also a class about dreams, yearning, giant steps. We will look at photo-texts, ghost stories, horror films, science fiction. We will explore outer space, inner space, and the dream life of pixels. We will listen to Morrissey, to David Bowie, to pirate radio. We will read about the global pandemic of people turning into bamboo, about travelling to the Philippines to get yourself crucified, and the memoir of a man who drilled a hole in his head. Final papers may be submitted in the form of screenplays, short stories, films, exhibitions, creative non-fiction, radiophonic pieces.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 10309 Notes:
12. CAMS-UA 146 Twentysomething
Description: Are 20-somethings really overeducated, afraid of commitment, self-centered, and spendthrift? It is a fact that people in most countries are marrying, having children, and becoming financially independent at a later age than in any previous generation. In the last 10 years a critical new developmental period between adolescence and adulthood has started to gain recognition. “Emerging Adulthood” has been characterized as the age of identity exploration, instability, self-focus, feeling “in-between,” and infinite possibilities. This course will analyze whether this theory has validity, explore the factors that contribute to diverging developmental pathways, review the typical life of the American 20-something, and uncover the truth behind the stereotypes.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 9161 Notes:
13. HIST-UA 93 Apocalypse and the End of Days
Description: Examines ancient Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts and the ongoing influence of apocalyptic ideas in modern religious movements and contemporary culture. Jewish and Christian apocalypses express their authors’ most profound thoughts, anxieties, and hopes about the mysteries of the creation of the world, the relationship between God and humanity, the nature of evil, and, most prominently, expectations about the impending end of the world.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 19503 Notes:
14. DSEM-UG 1932 A Walker in the City
Description: Walking is an integral part of the urban experience. The course explores the relationship between the city and the urban dweller at the level of the sidewalk. Through the class, we will unpack texts by city wanderers such as , Lauren Elkin, Alfred Kazin, Philip Lopate, Rebecca Solnit, Walt Whitman, and Colson Whitehead, while learning about topics such as wayfinding, mental mapping, walkability, place identity, restoration, crowding, noise, stress, and perceived safety through data-driven research studies. Together the class will go on walking tours, reflect on pedestrian experiences, and use ethnographic tools to analyze public parks and plazas. Students will develop and narrate a walking route that incorporates theory and phenomenological experiences.
Credits: 2 School: Gallatin Class #: 14476 Notes:
15. MCC-UE 1008 Video Games: Culture and Industry
Description: Examines the emergence of video games as sites of contemporary cultural production and practice. Special attention is given to the symbolic and aesthetic dimensions of video games, including their various narratives forms and sub-genres, and concentrates on their interactive dimensions. The course provides insight into the emerging trends in the interface between humans and media technologies. The course also situates video games within the business practices of the entertainment industries.
Credits: 4 School: Steinhardt Class #: 11885 Notes: This class will take place at NYU's MetroTech Center in Brooklyn.
16. CAMS-UA 110 The Science of Happiness
Description: Examines the state of college-student mental health and wellness on a personal and systems level. As undergraduate university students approach the end of adolescence, they often reevaluate the beliefs, values, and assumptions with which they left home. Young adulthood is a time of great promise, but the transition from child to adult is never easy. We look at how individuals can create positive change by reinterpreting their goals and identifying steps toward a successful college experience.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 8074 Notes: Must register for recitation
17. IDSEM-UG 1642 Celebrity Culture
Description: This class investigates celebrity culture as a transmedia phenomenon, exploring what it reveals about a culture and its awareness of self. It analyzes celebrity culture from the late nineteenth century to the present, exploring the role of photography, print media, postcards, movies, television, recorded music and digital media. We will consider how media turn to celebrity at a particular point in their history, often as they start to move away from novelty forms and reach mass audiences and acquire a certain “maturity.” Besides examining the different configurations of celebrity produced in each media form, and its relationship to prevailing concerns about fame and the construction of self, we will examine the difference between celebrity and stardom. In the process, we will explore what celebrity discourses reveal about the changing relationship between private and public spheres, work and leisure, and the status of upward mobility and the American dream in twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture
Credits: 4 School: Gallatin Class #: 14593 Notes:
18. MUSIC-UA 100 Music of New York
Description: This course is designed to take advantage of New York's dynamic music community. There are in-class presentations by local musicians and scholars, and students regularly attend performances throughout the city. The focus is on the everyday practices of musical life in New York City by both performers and listeners in a number of the City's musical constituencies: immigrant communities; amateur and professional music-makers; and popular, classical, and avant-garde scenes. Examination of these processes of music-making will be enhanced by a look at the histories of these different kinds of music-making. There will also be a historical discussion of the vibrant musical life of New York in the 19th and early 20th centuries, which will contribute to an understanding of why New York is seen, and sees itself, as a musical city.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 1094 Notes:
19. IDSEM-UG 1849 Black Lives Matter: Race, Media, and Popular Protest
Description: The age of the Obama Presidency has been burdened by a number of highly publicized police cases involving the killings of unarmed black citizens at the hands of law enforcement and/or local vigilantes. In the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and others, the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement has emerged largely in response to histories of state sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies. This seminar links the #blacklivesmatter” movement to four broader phenomena: 1) the rise of the U.S. prison industrial complex and the increasing militarization of inner city communities, 2) the role of media in influencing national conversations about race and racism, 3) the state of racial justice activism in the purportedly “post-racial” Obama Presidency, and 4) the increasingly populist nature of decentralized protest movements in the U.S. We will debate and engage with a variety of topics, including the moral ethics of “looting” and riotous forms of protest; violent vs. nonviolent civil disobedience; the media myth of “black on black” crime; coalitional politics and the black feminist and LGBTQ underpinnings of the #blacklivesmatter movement; and comparisons between the blacklivesmatter movement and the U.S. civil rights movement. Our course will likely include in-person visits from any prominent activists in the movement such as Dr. Cornel West, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Alicia Garza, mayoral candidate Deray McKesson, and members of the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Credits: 4 School: Gallatin Class #: 19900 Notes:
20. CLASS-UA 404 Classical Mythology
Description: This course is an examination of the meaning, form and function of Greek and Roman mythology especially its transmission via the literature, art and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean world. We explore the way in which these stories operated in Greek and Roman culture and seek to understand what they were articulating in contemporary social, political, military, economic and artistic life. Consequently, a number of ancient texts will be read in translation and set against iconographic evidence from vase paintings, sculpture and architecture. The course begins by surveying the various ways in which mythology has been catalogued and studied from the ancient mythographers to Freud, Propp. Levi-Strauss, and Burkert Then ancient texts are used to explore how myth developed throughout the classical period. These will include Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiod’s Work and Days and Theogony, the Homeric hymns to the gods, Greek tragedy and comedy, Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The influence of mythology on the works of Chaucer, Shakespeare and in film will also be discussed. The class meets twice a week and students are expected to complete bi-weekly readings, contribute to in class discussions and a class Blackboard discussion board, sit a mid term and a final complete one essay and attend at least one related theatre performance.
Credits: 4 School: CAS Class #: 8074 Notes: