Academics
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Eliot Olson / Columbia Daily Spectator

As registration approaches, it’s time to open up millions of tabs looking for ways to construct the perfect schedule—while making sure you’re fulfilling requirements. If you’re looking for recommendations on which classes to take to fulfill requirements, Spectrum has already compiled a list of easy options to fulfill the science requirement, Barnard’s Modes of Thinkings, and the Global Core requirement.

Alternatively, if you’re tired of taking the typical classes everyone seems to end up in, and are looking to expand your interests, check out this list of unusual and oddly specific courses you can take next semester to make your year a bit more interesting.


CLIA-GU3660 Mafia Movies

Credits: 3

Time: W 6:10 p.m. to 10 p.m

Although not many people have the patience to sit through this four-hour graduate-level course focusing solely on mafia movies, it’s a great class for film fanatics who are interested in Italian culture and representation in film. If you think you'll be spending your time watching movies and not doing anything else, think again. The course focuses on the historical perspective of Italian representation in mafia movies, and the topics of immigration and identity in both Italian and American movies.


DNCE-BC2501 Biomechanics for the Dancer

Credits: 3

Time: MW 10:10 a.m. to 11:25 a.m

Who knew you could be doing physics and math in a class in the dance department? This unusual pairing of topics makes for a very interesting class where you can explore mathematical concepts in terms of different dance moves you’re expected to know. The goal of the course is for you to eventually apply what you learn on yourself, giving yourself the opportunity to better both your form and your treatment of your body.


THTR-UN3152 Nazism in Performance

Credits: 3

Time: T 2:10 p.m. to 4 p.m

What do theater and Nazism have in common? Apparently, more than you’d think. This course focuses on the “cultivation of national and transnational performances as a significant force of National Socialism,” according to the directory. You’ll be looking at how works of art were reimagined by the Third Reich, and the impact this had on Hitler’s cult of personality.


ENGL-BC3130 The American Cowboy and the Iconography of the West

Credits: 3

Time: MW 1:10 p.m. to 2:25 p.m

Although a class that focuses solely on the representation of cowboys might seem exhaustive, there’s much more literature and media on the “Wild West” than you might think. The course description describes how the role of the cowboy will be examined “in fiction, social history, film, music, and art.”


ANTH-UN3879 The Medical Imaginary

Credits: 4

Time: M 10:10 a.m. to noon

This anthropology course takes on biomedicine under a very different and unusual lens. Although imagination and medicine don’t seem like two topics that should be combined for overall medical safety, the course goes beyond biomedicine and explores everyday ethics. According to the course directory, topics explored include “ways of seeing and knowing, suffering and hope, and subjectivity in a range of medical and sociomedical contexts.”


PSYC-BC3390 Canine Cognition

Credits: 4

Time: T 10:10 a.m. to noon

Although this course might be oddly specific, who wouldn’t want to take a course focused on the good doggos of the world? Unfortunately, it isn’t a class where you’ll be petting and playing with dogs all day. Instead, you’ll be examining the “evolutionary history of the species, the dog’s cognitive skills … and dog-human interaction,” according to the course directory. Who knows, maybe a furry special guest might make a surprise appearance!


Staff writer Lina Bennani Karim can be contacted at lina.bennanikarim@columbiaspectator.com. Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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