History Department teaches porn

Come next quarter, there will be a new addition to the Social Sciences department that’s already got everybody talking. The class is called “History of Pornography” and it has sparked fierce debate from everyone who’s heard about it.

Professor Michael Roskins, who regularly teaches chemistry, will instruct the students on what he calls “a significant influence on American culture.” Roskins proposed the history class to the college administration in the fall with the intention that the class would be available to students enrolling in the winter quarter. It was
rejected, twice, by school officials until the class was approved on the third attempt after Roskins compromised to teach only one class instead of two.

It’s certainly unusual, that a man with a major in biochemistry will be the newest addition to the Sort-of Social Sciences Division of the History Department, but Roskins doesn’t seem to think that matters.

“I’m 67 years old,” Roskins said. “I’m older than any one of you, and if you don’t think I’m capable of teaching [this class] then that’s crazy. I’ve seen pornographic cinema from every generation. I’ve even been in a few. If there’s anybody who could teach this class, it’d be me.”

When talking to students and faculty from around the campus about the class there was a definite diversity of responses.

“I just thinking that it’s so disgusting,” said one student who didn’t want to be named. “Who would want to just sit around and watch porn for a whole hour? It’s so obvious that our society is falling apart because of things like this.” The majority of the answers we received were roughly similar to her opinion.

However, students like Laura Danvers disagree.

“I just think that [pornography] is so liberating for women. It’s like when a female cop wearing all leather comes in and handcuffs a guy to his bed pole then that’s just such good proof of how far we’ve come.” When asked if she would be taking the class she said, “No, it’d be way too easy for me.”

The class, whose course code will be HIST& 166, will be taught chronologically. “We have to start from the beginning,” says Roskins.

“There is archaeological evidence of pornographic cave drawings that date to more than 10,000 years ago.” Next he will cover the classical Greek era during the 4th and 5th century BC, as well as its Renaissance during the 17th century.

The majority of the class, however will focus on the twentieth century. “The 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s are the most important part of pornographic history. VHS just really helped the industry grow; people were buying it from around town and bringing it home with their groceries. It was unprecedented.” In his syllabus, Roskins says that the class will be studying the “classics” of that era; the names of which cannot be reproduced in this article.

Roskins said, however, the class will be intensive as well as productive. “I tell everyone coming in not to expect an easy A,” he said. “The result is that students who pay attention in this class will have their eyes opened to all sorts of things. It’s the kind education that is just so revealing; when [the students] go home, they won’t be able to just sit down and watch TV or surf the Internet anymore without noticing its influence.”

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