Four Most Useless Harvard Classes

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Harvard University has a reputation as being one of the world’s best schools of higher learning.

It has a wide range of notable alumni, and top-notch former professors like U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who provided the school with some desperately-needed Native American representation in its faculty.

However, despite its elite reputation, Havard offers some classes that are downright absurd.

Here is a look at five of the most ridiculous classes that Harvard offers:


1.  Latinx History

Yes, Harvard has abandoned Latino in favor of Latinx.

It offers a history class called “Latinx, 1492 to 2022.”

And, according to the course description from Harvard’s web site, it does address the issue of Latinx versus Latino.

Here is that description:


The 530 years since Columbus’s arrival in Hispaniola have paid witness to the fall and rise of empires, the perseverance of colonial structures of power, and the construction and (re)creation of racial, sexual, and gendered identities. In the midst of such change and continuity, this course sets out to ask: what place does Latinx occupy in this long history? What does Latinidad look like when we trace it back 530 years, when we take 1492 to be its starting point instead of the 20th century? How might this look backwards help us understand the current Latinx politics of gender (Latino vs. Latina vs. Latinx), sexuality (the place of queerness and transness in Latinx Studies), and race (Latinidad’s penchant for disavowing blackness and erasing indigeneity)? We will answer these questions as we move through different historical and literary periods, in dialogue with writing by, for example, colonial Spanish historian Bartolomé de las Casas, 19th century Cuban intellect José Martí from exile in NY, 20th century queer Chicana theorist Gloria Anzaldúa, and contemporary Honduran-Garifuna writer Janel Martínez. The course includes a workshop with Dr. Alán Peláez López, AfroIndigenous (Coastal Zapotec) poet, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México.


All of that sounds very woke. However, having immense liberal knowledge in the debate between Latino and Latinx is not a marketable skill, nor should it ever be in the future. 

If you want to teach a woke history class, then maybe this class has some value. Otherwise, you should probably skip this one.


2.  The History of American Conservatism

Harvard offers a class called “The History of American Conservatism from William F. Buckley, Jr., to Donald Trump.”

Sounds terrible.

The professor, Aaron Bekemeyer, supported Bernie Sanders for president in 2016 and Ed Markey’s U.S. Senate re-election bid in 2020, according to campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission. 

The class description makes it clear that the class tries to connect mainstream conservatism and far-right conspiracy theories. Here is the course description, according to the school’s web site:


What is conservatism: a commitment to tradition or the defense of privilege? How does conservatism relate to other forms of right-wing politics? In this course, you will take up these questions through the study of American conservatism. You will explore its anti-New Deal origins in the 1940s and 1950s and explain how conservatives captured of the Republican Party in the following decades. You will interrogate the relationship between mainstream conservatism and “far-right” groups like the John Birch Society and Q-Anon. And you will decide what, if anything, Trumpism has to do with the history of this influential political movement.


Yes, let’s get the conservative perspective from the guy who backs candidates who supports the most left-wing members of the United States Senate. The guy who backs a self-described democratic socialist and an empty suit who has had one of the most uneventful five-decade careers in Washington D.C. in American history is going to tell you about Donald Trump.

And by all means, let’s “interrogate” the relationship between bad right-wingers and other bad right-wingers.

One of my big problems with Emerson College that led me to leave it was that the professors spent more time complaining about Donald Trump than they did teaching anything useful. So imagine what a left-wing professor is going to do in a class where the name Trump is in the title. It sounds like left-wing brainwashing to me.

Exploring the history of conservatism is a worthy goal.  This course description doesn’t sound like it is the goal here, however.

Maybe just go read some Edmund Burke instead.


3.  K-Pop Class 

At first, I was worried that this was a North Korean indoctrination course. But thankfully, it is about South Korean pop culture.

Harvard offers a four-credit class called “Gender and Sexuality in Korean Pop Culture” where students learn about K-Pop bands like BTS and Blackpink. Here is the course description, according to Havard’s web site:


What can the songs of BTS and Blackpink, the TV-show “Squid Game,” and the films Parasite and Kim Chi-yŏng: Born 1982 teach us about gender roles in contemporary Korea? What roles do writers, musicians, and filmmakers play in shaping our thinking about sex and gender? How do competing ideas about sex shape the current system of cinematic, television, and popular music genres? These questions will be explored through case studies of Korean popular media, while the course will simultaneously provide a broad introduction to the field of women, gender, and sexuality studies. Topics will include privilege, class, inequality, masculinity, femininity, eating disorders, beauty ideals, marriage, family relationships, reproductive rights, housework, intimacy, and violence against women.


Although I must admit I like Blackpink – especially their collaboration with Selena Gomez titled “Ice Cream” – this sounds like just another gender studies class.

Your typical Harvard student probably already knows plenty about privilege, inequality, and “reproductive rights.” Whatever such a student is lacking when it comes to masculinity, femininity, and housework, though, probably won’t be enlightened much by this course’s approach.

Maybe just watch “Gangham Style” videos a few hundred times instead.


4.  Neopagan Class

People have a right to practice the religion of their choice, even though I wish everyone on Earth were Catholic. 

However, a class titled “Alternative Spiritualities in the United States” that explores neopagan traditions is not only not very useful, but also veers in the direction of corrupting the youth.

Here is a description of the class from the school’s web site:


This course surveys spiritual practices and movements that have been labeled as metaphysical, esoteric, pagan, occult, harmonial, and New Age. We will begin with a historical survey of esoteric spirituality from colonial-era astrology and alchemy to New Age and neopagan traditions, then consider some leading constructive thinkers within alternative spiritual traditions, such as Starhawk and Joanna Macy. The course will also feature field trips to a variety of spiritual organizations and communities. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1562.


Hmmmm.  This course description starts out sounding academic and ends up sounding proselytizing.

“Leading constructive thinkers”?

Field trips? Like, to Salem?

Can’t you get enough paganism in Harvard Yard?


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