September 12, 2007

Majoring in Gay

That's not the official title of any college degree programs, of course, but students can actually major in gay studies at an increasing number of colleges in the U. S. according to this story from the Associated Press:

Years after creating a smattering of gay-related classes, more than two dozen American universities are now offering full-fledged minors in gay studies and expanding the field to include disciplines across the college curriculum.

Issues such as same-sex marriage and gays in the military have fueled interest in the programs, which have been established, among other places, at Ivy League institutions Yale and Cornell and DePaul University in Chicago, one of the nation's largest Catholic schools.

At least 30 public and private colleges now offer multidiscipline minors in gay studies, the majority of them started in the last three years. Another 16 schools let undergraduates earn certificates or pursue concentrated studies in gay topics.

San Francisco State was one of the first U.S. schools to explore the scholarly potential of gay subject matter, starting with a single English course in 1972. Now students can choose from classes such as Homophobia and Coming Out, Gay Love in Literature, and Queer Art History.

At colleges around the nation, expanded course offerings have also given a discipline once limited to history, English or women's studies departments a place across the academic curriculum, encompassing subjects such as religion and the law.

Education is the most effective weapon against homophobia. It's good to see that there is an increasing amount of ammunition for today's students to arm themselves with.

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