FALL2013: Course Superlatives


Right now, the only class that most of us plan on shopping anytime soon is SUMR2013: Introduction to Tanning. But preregistration for the fall semester is in just a few days, and the only course in my cart is WTF0010: Am I doing with my life? Fortunately, Brown professors are also into coming up with clever course titles, making the process of searching through Banner’s offerings much more entertaining.

I looked through all—yes, all—2000+ courses listed for next fall, and while I can’t tell you how to fit all those pre-med requirements into your schedule, I can definitely tell you the courses that are the MOST…

ENGN1930N: Introduction to Magnetic Resonance Imaging
CLPS1490: Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Theory and Practice

…identical twinning
POLS0820D: Freedom
POLS2350: Freedom

ARCH0270-S01: Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic

…difficult to convince parents to spend tuition on
ENGL1762A: Perverse Cinema
TAPS1281Q: Introduction to Dance Studies: Sex, Death and Endurance

…oddly specific
AFRI1630: Modernist Africana Poetry of the Americas
SANS2120: The Development of Yoga and Sāṃkhya in Early Indian Thought

…deceptively easy-sounding but really 2000-level
MATH2510: Algebra Continue Reading

Spring 2012 Course Superlatives: the sensational, the strange and the just plain silly

Now that we’ve all procrastinated this semester’s assignments by browsing next semester’s courses, it is my honor to present to you the MOST

…difficult readings to carry home from the bookstore
COLT1420Y: Gigantic Fictions

…incongruous pop music references
ENGL0201G: Killing them Softly: Satire and Stereotype in African-American Literature
AMCV0190E: It’s the End of the World as We Know It: Zombie and Apocalypse Narratives in American Pop Culture

…unintentionally sexual
ENGL0201DD: Feeling Queerly

…unnecessary quotation marks AND parenthesis
ENGL1190A: “The Arrangement of Words”: Liberating Fiction(s)

…likely to have emerged from the same DNA
ENGL2561C: Intellectuals and the Public Sphere
ENGL1140B: The Public Intellectual

AMCV0190C: American (Mass)culinities: Sexuality, Race and Aesthetics Continue Reading

Fall 2011 course superlatives

Once again, our faculty have turned out some curious course offerings for the Fall semester. Brown courses are often bemusing because of their creativity, but this time around, some demonstrate an impressive lack thereof. Exhibit A:

GNSS1960N: Theories and Politics of Sexual Consent
GNSS2010E: Pembroke Research Seminar: The Question of Consent

SOC0230: Sex, Gender, and Society
SOC1870S: Sociological Perspectives on Sex and Gender

Identical twins (nope, not a typo)
SOC1010: Classical Sociological Theory
SOC2040: Classical Sociological Theory

COLT1210: Introduction to the Theory of Literature
COLT2650D: Theory of Comparative Literature
ENGL1900I: Critical Methodologies: Contemporary Literary Theory

ANTH1324: Money, Work, and Power: Culture and Economics
SOC1870L: They Myth of Markets: Exploring the Social Side of Economics
SOC0150: Economic Development and Social Change Continue Reading

Spring 2011 course title superlatives: the intriguing, the entertaining and the plain old douchey

Pre-registration can be stressful (who wants to get up that early?) but it can also be entertaining. If you can’t get into your favorite classes, you can at least make fun of their names, right?

Sometimes we wonder how professors come up with course titles. Can’t you just see them at their desks, thumb-twiddling and thinking, “This may not be the most straightforward or descriptive, but at least it’s the [insert superlative here; read on for examples].”

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Fall 2010 course title superlatives: the intriguing, the entertaining and the plain old douchey

Most of us learned from a young age not to judge a book by its cover, but nobody ever mentioned anything about judging a course by its title — or placing it into a category based on said characteristic — right?

Hence, without any further ado, the winners for …

Most creative pun

MCM1501K: Seeing Queerly: Queer Theory, Film, Video

Most obscure reference ever to appear in a course catalogue

ETHN1890E: Johnny, Are You Queer: Narratives of Race and Sexuality


CLAS1120G: The Idea of Self

Most emblematic of Brown

tie between SOC1650: Unequal Societies and ANTH1910E: Social Construction

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Senior Superlatives: What we learned about voting


Now that the results of the Class of 2015’s Senior Superlatives are posted, we at BlogDailyHerald wanted to explain to our readers, particularly those who voted, some of the issues we encountered and our plans for next year’s superlative voting.

We’re happy to be able to provide the seniors with this opportunity to celebrate their class, and get a little bit high school right before graduating from college. However, because this is only our second year of producing Senior Superlatives, our voting method is still a work in progress.

It all started when we received an email from a concerned student that pointed out one poll had over 700 votes more than any other category, and that the increase had happened “suddenly.” We forwarded the email to our webmaster, who did some investigative tech work, and let us know that in the course of about 19 minutes, approximately 120 votes were submitted from “such exotic locations as Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Luxembourg.”

Considering that the first was dissolved in 1993 with the fall of the Soviet Union, the edit board here at Blog was pretty confused as to wtf was going on. Our webmaster confirmed that “the IPs from which said votes were submitted [were] all identified TOR nodes” and that someone used a proxy server to submit extra votes. This was true for multiple nominees in the category.

There’s no way of knowing who, and it is not our intention to point blame towards any nominee or student at Brown. Hopefully, next year we can avoid this sort of issue — which resulted in the category being thrown out — by ensuring that all votes must come from a brown.edu email address.

We wrote on the 2015 voting post that “everyone with a Brown email — freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, professors, their pets — is eligible to vote.” As evidenced by the above fiasco, this was inaccurate. The reality is anyone who went to our webpage from their own IP address could vote once.

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