Something tells me that the new literary course at Sheffield University might become a pretty popular one. The South Yorkshire university announced in its school paper, The Tab, that about 200 students have signed up for “Critical and Literary Theory,” which will cover the usual suspects, such as Jane Austen and Walt Whitman, along with themes and the use of masturbation in their work. It is sure to be a course that will test the patience of any professor trying to get a word in between the rolling cavalcade of giggles.
That lucky professor is Dr. Fabienne Collignon, who explained the course a bit more:
The lecture will be on Walt Whitman, Rob Halpern and the deconstruction of masturbation. The last week is called pleasure, self-scrutiny and auto-eroticism. I ended up calling it that because there’s an affinity between literary pleasure, critical self-scrutiny and auto-eroticism.
There is actually literature on this subject; suggested reading titles include Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Walt Whitman: The Spermatic Imagination by Harold Aspiz, according to The Independent.
It’s certainly not an unusual part of classic literature, but talking about masturbation is probably one way to get students to perk their ears up during class.
(via The Independent)