We come to university because of our desire for knowledge, to educate and culture ourselves – it has nothing to do with wanting to escape our parents and drink away our futures, obviously – but in all the prospectus’ and on all the open days, a vital piece of information is kept from us: most of what we learn is bloody boring. Instead of being honest with us, professors and scholars alike sugar coat mind numbingly dull topics with “witty” and often bizarre book, chapter and module titles to trick us into choosing them. Granted, this technique manifests more frequently in humanities subjects. But all it comes down to is the addition of a poor pun, a bit of alliteration or the dramatic use of a semi colon. Here’s a pick of the best:
Bone Voyage: a journey in forensic anthropology – ancient historians can be funny, who knew?
Excitable cells – first year life sciences module about cells that are activated by different stimuli. Exciting by name, but certainly not by nature (well, technically it is nature but yeah)
Getting the Scoop from the Poop of T. Rex – Science News journal on the digestive habits of the Tyrannosaurus Rex
From Jamestown to James Brown – American Studies classic
Hip Hop and Hollywood – another American Studies module, not a documentary on MTV
Pagans, Priests and Power – enthralling
From Blitz to Big Society – what started as ‘Blitz to Blair’ was amended to ‘Blitz to Brown’ and has now reached ‘Blitz to Big Society’, that’s dedication to alliteration
Falstaff and Gandalf go to the movies – that’s an unexpected date night
Sex, drugs and shopping – based on inter-war Britain it’s not as exciting as it sounds
Stage fright, animals and other theatrical problems – a book actually found in my loan history
The trouble with men – says it all
Her husband was a woman: women’s gender-crossing in modern British popular culture – prime example of the irrelevant and dramatic use of the semi colon
And finally… “The Dark and Vicious Place”: The Dread of the Vagina in King Lear
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