Time magazine is running a story entitled Sex in the Syllabus that includes quite a bit on my course “Cyberporn & Society.” It begins:
With classwork like this, who needs to play? Undergraduates taking Cyberporn and Society at the State University of New York at Buffalo survey Internet porn sites. At New York University, assignments for Anthropology of the Unconscious include discussing X-rated Japanese comic books. And in Cinema and the Sex Act at the University of California, Berkeley, undergrads are required to view clips from Hollywood NC-17 releases like Showgirls and underground stag reels.
It’s called the porn curriculum, and it’s quietly taking root in the ivory tower. A small but growing number of scholars are probing the aesthetic, societal and philosophical properties of smut in academic departments ranging from literature to film, law to technology, anthropology to women’s studies…
Luckily, nothing to scare my current (at least for the next couple months) institution. It includes quotes from a student in the class (Mr. Schwartz) and his parents, as well as Dean Penniman from the School of Informatics.
Update: When I taught this course for the first time, I suggested turning it into a three course sequence: sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. I find that David Silver is now teaching a course with that title at UWashington. How cool is that?