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Michelle's Top 10+1 Interesting Courses at UWaterloo
The University of Waterloo offers hundreds of different courses spanning just about every field and interest. When it comes time to selecting courses, why not switch things up a bit and explore something new? Check out these interesting electives and see if one makes it onto your course list.
ENGL 108P – Popular Potter
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have sold millions of copies; inspired a media empire, an amusement park, and video games; and have had a massive influence on popular culture worldwide. ENGL 108P uses the Harry Potter series to introduce students to ways in which they can critically interact with literature by studying a variety of topics including language, plot, narrative, character, gender issues, cultural values, and even issues surrounding race. Students will examine the entire Harry Potter series and discuss how it addresses real world issues using a fantasy setting and where it fits into larger forms of cultural significance. Potter fans will get the chance to examine the series they know in love on a much deeper level.
SMF 216 – Sexual Pleasure
Discussing pleasurable and recreational aspects of human sexuality, SMF 216 offers a theoretical and empirical examination of sexual pleasure. Topics students will discuss include romantic passion, sexual techniques, role playing, BDSM, and a range of other pleasure discourses and practices.
SMF 205 – Dark Side of Sexuality
Sexuality can bring about pleasure, but it also has the potential to involve harm, manipulation, and abuse. SMF 205 explores the dark side of sexuality through a theoretical and empirical examination. Topics discussed may include sex work, pornography, sexual violence and abuse, incest, compulsive sexual behavior, and paraphilias.
CLAS 104 – Greek Mythology
A study of Greco-Roman mythology and legend, with special emphasis on the Olympian gods and the figure of the hero. Topics may include myths of creation, the rise of the gods, divine myths, the tales surrounding the cities of Troy, Mycenae and Thebes and the heroes Herakles, Perseus and Theseus.
ENGL 108T – Tolkien: From Book to Film
This course explores the works of J.R.R Tolkien including The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55) as well as their film adaptations by Peter Jackson (2001-03, 2012-14). Students will get the chance to discuss the relationship of source text to adapted work and transmedia studies.
Psych 232 – Psychology of Evil
Through text, lectures, films, and discussion, students will attempt to gain a fuller psychological understanding of evil from the perspective of the perpetrators, victims, and observers. Psychological perspectives concerning definitions, causes, and consequences of institutional and personal evil, as well as symbols and interpretations of evil in both religious and secular contexts, will be considered.
ENGL 108A – The Superhero
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s ENGL 108A! Examine hero figures ranging from ancient characters such as Gilgamesh to modern comic book superheroes. Students will consider literary works as well as non-literary works such as films, comics, and games.
ENGL 295 – Social Media
From memes and social networks to fan communities, text, and digital identity, ENGL 295 surveys the popular social media landscape. Students will use methodological and theoretical approaches to understand and analyze social media texts and other emergent social media forms.
EASIA 120R – Monsters and Magic in Japanese Popular Culture
Monsters, magic, and supernatural creatures: EASIA 120R gives students a look into the roles of the supernatural within Japanese popular culture including their treatment in Buddhism, Shinto, Daoism, and folk practices. Take a look at modern-day creations such as Godzilla and Pokemon as well as more traditional beings such as deities, ghosts, angry spirits, goblins, and shapeshifters.
SPCOM 225 – Interviewing
For a practical course that will get you prepped and ready for coop season, check out SPCOM 225 – Interviewing. This is a workshop-style course covers the theory, design, and presentation of interviews. Through designing and delivering interviews and the use of videotaped exercises, you’ll learn how to be an amazing interviewer and interviewee. Before you know it, you’ll be acing interviews like a true pro.
Drama 282 – Gender and Performance
This is a course entirely dedicated to studying the works of mega superstar Beyonce, Queen B herself. Students will use feminist and critical race theories to reflect on Beyonce’s work and create their own artistic responses. Beyond the catchy tunes and undeniable sass, take a deeper look behind Beyonce’s music and examine the art of one of the most influential performers of the 21st century.
Any of the above spark your interest? Consider trying out one of these unique courses. Before enrolling in a course, make sure to check any prerequisites and happy course selection!