On Jan. 23, Director of Popular Culture and Film announced that the department had been holding secret trials for a concentration of studies that is new to Brock. Since September 2014, the department has offered a class dedicated to the study of pornography. “PCUL2P69 was a tremendous success in terms of student registration” said Marvin Moops. “Almost all the students to whom we offered registration graciously accepted and wanted to be apart of the experimental program.”
While the class was full, course registration statistics are not the only criteria of success for a new course.
“Some of the students got a bit too into the course material. It was never my goal to have my syllabus taped to my students’ walls at home — I will have to make some changes next year,” said Moops.
The problems allegedly arose in D. Howes; the dark theatre room in which various erotica films were shown as the class’ lab component. A cross-section of art was shown throughout the course’s 12 weeks, being looked at through both historical and anthropological lenses.
“It was hard to design the course. In order to create engagement in a, let’s say, poetry class is simple — you ask your students to write a poem. That becomes difficult in this field,” Moops said. “Pornography studies is an exciting field, but maybe we shouldn’t have had so many ‘lab’ days,” Moops admitted. The course ran from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. each Wednesday night, but many reports from Brock Campus Security stated that as late as midnight on Wednesdays, students would still be in the lecture hall, sitting quietly, looking forward. “Their eyes were bloodshot, their breathing was heavy,” said Gregory Menden, a parttime security guard who filed several complaints to the University following the discovery of the young men and women. “They all had seemed to be really engrossed…it was incredibly awkward”.
The Dean of Social Sciences, Josh Hallet, was contacted for comment, though he grumbled a seemingly unrelated comment, “…this is why our internet is always so slow.” Tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and dehydration were among the difficulties many of the individual students faced by end of the course, obviously, because the exam required students to write a very long essay.
The course will not be renewed in the 2015/2016 school year, but there are talks to create another trial course in the same vein.
“Next time around, I’m thinking an online course component,” said Moops. “What could go wrong with an independent study course? I think it’s important to let students take their studies into their own hands.”