Six fun classes to take in spring 2023

If you spend far too much time browsing DukeHub and scouring Rate My Professor, The Chronicle has you covered. Here are six interesting classes that are sure to spice up your schedule next semester. 

Magic, Religion, and Science since 1400

Taught by Thomas Robisheaux, Reuben-Cooke Building 126, MW 1:45-3:00 p.m.

Course credits: HISTORY 260D, MEDREN 287D (CCI, EI, STS, CZ)

According to its synopsis, this course is about “the ways we move into and out of the visible and the invisible worlds, and what happens when those worlds cross in unexpected ways.” Students will examine the relationship between magical, religious and scientific forms of understanding in Western culture from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Materials will draw on a variety of fields, ranging from anthropology to psychology to film studies.

Building Global Audiences

Taught by Aaron Philip Dinin, Biological Sciences 063, MW 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Course credits: ISS 250, I&E 250, VMS 249 (STS)

In the last decade, social media has become an increasingly powerful tool for people to find community, learn about the world and even “build a global audience from [our] dorm room,” according to this course’s description on DukeHub. This class will examine the platforms that have become integrated into many of our daily routines and will explore factors such as search engine optimization, virality, content marketing and growth hacking. Also known as “the influencer class,” Building Global Audiences is ideal for both content creators hoping to grow their own platforms and those wanting to learn more about social media marketing for a company. 

Where Did Food Come From? The Ecology of Farming

Taught by Will Wilson, Biological Sciences 154, MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.

Course credits: BIOLOGY 155S (STS, NS)

From the paleolithic era to today, farming has been at the heart of civilization. This course will examine subsistence and industrial farming from an ecological perspective, with topics ranging from diet selection to animal domestication. Students will also dive into the ethical questions of farming. By the end of the semester, there’s no doubt they’ll be able to answer the question posed by the course’s title: where did food come from?

Book Publishing & Marketing: A Case Study of the Romance Fiction Industry

Taught by Katharine Dubois, Classroom Building 125, 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Course credits: ENGLISH 284S, HISTORY 248S, GSF 248S (CCI, W, ALP, CZ)

With well-known titles like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “The Notebook,” it might not come as a surprise that romance novels may be the most popular genre in terms of book sales.

The romance fiction industry, led by women writers and exported to a massive global audience, will be at the heart of this course. Students will examine the success of the industry from historical, cultural and marketing perspectives, tracking its development over three centuries. The course will also analyze how gender, sexuality and race have been represented in works of romantic fiction. 

Jane Austen

Taught by Charlotte Sussman, Allen 236, WF 10:15-11:30 a.m.

Course credits: ENGLISH 246 (ALP)

Speaking of “Pride and Prejudice,” this course will dive headfirst into the writing of the great novelist Jane Austen. Students will trace the development of Austen’s writing through her six major novels, examining the evolution of her style as a novelist alongside the social issues, gender roles and philosophical questions posed by her work.

Aikido: Japanese Sword and Staff

Taught by Steven Kaufmann, Wilson Center 125, TuTh 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Course credits: PHYSEDU 167

Want to earn credit by learning how to wield a sword? Aikido: Japanese Sword and Staff is one of a diverse range of offerings within Duke’s physical education department. Aikido sword and staff forms involve the full body, developing coordination, strength and flexibility as well as an improved mind-body connection. It will be practiced both solo and with partners “in a non-competitive manner,” according to DukeHub.

Registration information

According to the Office of the University Registrar, registration opens for graduate and professional students on Nov. 2. Undergraduate registration occurs between Nov. 3 and Nov. 14 in descending class order, with exact dates determined by class year and last two digits of the Student ID.

Sevana Wenn profile
Sevana Wenn | Features Managing Editor

Sevana Wenn is a Trinity sophomore and features managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


Share and discuss “Six fun classes to take in spring 2023 ” on social media.