Most of us students are sick and tired of learning the same monotonous literary history over and over again. Luckily, schools are beginning to implement reality and everyday culture into their curriculum. It has shown that at the beginning of this current semester, professors within the English department at Ohio State have found ways to incorporate conversations about Jon Snow and Dracula into their curriculums; students now have the option to select classes related to pop culture to fulfill their general education requirements.
Karen Winstead, a professor in the English department at Ohio, said, “That’s living culture… That’s literature that people read because they want to read it, not because somebody told them they need to read it.
A class offered is “Special Topics in Popular Culture— Vampires.” If that doesn’t sound insanely awesome, then I don’t know what to tell you. It is important that, within the education environment, professors engage and entertain their students with topics that relate to common interests, and things that excite and motivate students to learn.
What is so special about this modern curriculum is that these classes aren’t about memorizing facts on a page and having to recite them on their midterms; instead, it is a class that encourages students to think and apply themselves. These professors are using these popular cultures as a teaching tool.
Another professor in the English department states that “A lot of these students will not take another class in literature… So, for me as a teacher, this class is important, among other reasons, because it teaches students using something that they love.”
College overall is difficult, and implementing these exciting classes can in a way bring some levity to the grueling work and effort that is put into Major courses, all the while still learning and challenging your intellectual abilities.
Overall, it is exciting to hear that this is becoming a norm at universities because it encourages students to challenge themselves, and learn more about the popular culture that happens in everyday life, as well as seeing how it can all relate back to your areas of study.