Sexuality, social media, terrorism among unusual courses being offered in winter



From social media strategies to audio production to domestic terrorism, students at the Detroit Mercy will have a plethora of unique classes to choose from in the upcoming winter semester.

Every year, students look for courses that will keep them interested and engaged, and professors try their best to give them what they’re looking for.

The communication studies department is known for having creative, hands-on courses that engage students in a variety of ways.

One class offered in winter is “Social Media Strategies” with new professor Dr. Matthew Hale.

“Social media is an essential skill no matter what you’re going into,” said Hale, “and this class is a critical analysis of social media.”

The class also will give you a hands-on approach to social media and making online content.

“I hope students learn how to think strategically and learn how to adapt as new technology comes out,” he said.

Another communication class that students may find interesting is professor Jason Roche’s “Audio Production” course.

Many people think learning video production and editing is a must, but with video production usually comes audio.

“The goal is for students to understand the process of producing, mixing and shaping sound,” said Roche.

If you have ever wanted to work with radio, start a podcast or make music, this class might be perfect for you.

This class is a precursor to a possible voice acting and animation course that Roche is planning for fall.

“I want students to harness their creativity,” he said, “and teach them to visualize and create something through the medium of audio.”

Students looking to find a class that enriches their view of social justice issues might appreciate “Gender, Sex, and Justice” from the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

WGS 2000 “provides students with an introduction to the discipline and critical rubrics of Women's and Gender Studies including: the development of major theoretical concepts and issues of feminist and gender theories,” according to the course description.

Taking a more psychological look at sexuality could lead students to PYC 2750 “Human Sexuality.”

This course promotes a deeper understanding of the central role sexuality plays in human life.

Another course from the psychology department takes a look at families and parenting in a diverse and changing world.

PYC 3400 “Family Development and Parenting” looks at the roles of men, women and children and analyzes advanced techniques of parenting and child guidance.

The English department offers “Study of Fiction” and “Study of Poetry” every semester. Both fulfill core requirements.

Anyone with an appreciation for the art of poetry would love an exploration of the craft of writing with “emphasis on tapping creative sources of observation and memory, study of poetic uses of language, and the writing and revising of a variety of poems,” according to the Detroit Mercy website.

“Study of Fiction” looks at the genre in more of a cultural setting, dissecting its impact while improving students’ critical-thinking skills.

One of the most unique classes the university is offering in winter comes from the history department: “Domestic Terrorism in United States History.”

“We try to provide an overview of the history of terrorism that is initiated in America and takes place in America,” said professor Dr. Roy Finkenbine.

The class focuses on homegrown terrorism, such as white-supremacy terrorism.

“Students will have the opportunity to look deeply at their own interests,” he said. “We’ve had students look at environmental terrorism, anti-abortion and racial terrorism.”

The class aims to help students understand what domestic terrorism truly is and how it can have a place in many different ideologies.

“Be prepared to broaden your understanding…,” said Finkenbine. “A lot of groups fit the definition of terrorism that may surprise you.”