Class Act: Offbeat courses to take at Tulane


Colin Yaccarino | Photography Editor

Jazz Dance II is one of the many classes available to Tulane students who seek a curriculum beyond the general education courses.

While busy with core and major requirement classes, students aren’t always aware of the unique learning opportunities offered here at Tulane. From letting loose during a jazz class to exploring the Grand Canyon, there are tons of unique course opportunities to consider when choosing classes.

Freshman Brenna Armfield decided to explore her interest of the outdoors by taking the COLQ 4120 “Grand Canyon” class, which is also a capstone course for the Environmental Studies major.

“We focus on the history, biology, anthropology and geology of the Grand Canyon area and then go on a week-long class trip with Hatch River Expeditions and raft the Grand Canyon in the summer,” Armfield said.

Beyond the scope of nature, MUSC 3480 “Music and Gender” taught by Professor Jane Mattheiu gives students the opportunity to gain insight into gendered aspects of music ranging from Italian operas to music from ’60s rock bands to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” regardless of whether or not a student has music experience, according to freshman Maya Cohen.

“Looking at different gender roles from the shared experience of music really gives a historical perspective of what is expected of different individuals based not only on gender but socioeconomic class and race,” Cohen said.

An additional artistic class with a societal spin is the COMM 3810 “Hong Kong Cinema and Hollywood” class. According to freshman Grace Macauley, the class analyzes films made in or inspired by the Hong Kong cinema industry. Students dissect the underlying themes of the films and how they are affected by international issues through political and cultural lenses.

A way to get your heart pumping and shake up the classroom dynamic, various dance classes provides a way to exercise, earn credit and have a study break all at the same time. DANC 2950 “Jazz II” helps students hone their dancing skills through practice as well as analysis of live dancing.

“I’d definitely recommend the class. The professor does a great job of adapting it to everyone’s own level of experience,” freshman Niki Prestipino said. “Some people have little to no background in dance while others have a lot.”

If you are a fan of comedy, the ENLS 4840 “She Who Laughs Last: The Performance History of Women in Standup Comedy” puts a new twist on a typical comedy class. The course examines a variety of texts from female comedians throughout history, as well as analyses of the power of comedy in society and how it undermines patriarchal power structures.

Additional uncommon classes offered at Tulane include ANTH 6093 “Biological Archaeology of Human Sacrifice” and HIST 1910 “History of Eating and Drinking.”

Students who are not afraid to step outside of their comfort zone and take various courses often gain a rewarding experience. Taking versatile classes can help you explore your own interests and the various opportunities right here at Tulane.

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