“There’s an impressively large body of literature associated with this subject,” noted one Revellian.
Photo by James Woolley
mid widespread dissatisfaction regarding the Revelle College general education requirements, the Humanities department has released a controversial new entry into the now six-course series, HUM 5BL: Applied Practical Humanities. While Revelle College has previously been panned for its exceptionally long writing sequence, the department has stated the choice was made in an effort to “modernize the curriculum in a way that the contemporary youth can engage with actively and holistically.” Associate Director Lauf Wenz had the following to say on the new addition:
“We have previously found that students struggle to engage with our coursework, and that many found it difficult to see the impact of the Western canon in their day-to-day lives,” Wenz said. “It is our hope to address this by bringing in the topics that students already engage with on their own, thus using the mundane, the routine, to approach the tools and frameworks we use to analyze modern philosophy and politics. Once we set our sights on bringing out the Humanities of daily life, it was only a natural choice to bring yaoi and yuri into our curriculum to close that gap.”
The course description puts HUM 5BL forward as a response to alienation and estrangement in the modern era, a search for solace for those on the receiving end of “the yaoi-paddling that is life” in these uncertain times. Additionally, it “brings in the concepts and arguments of the previous entries in the Humanities series and contextualizes them through their application to universally understood topics, such as the seme/uke dialectical and yuri’s language of abstract expressionism.” It parallels the capstone format of similar writing courses found in the other colleges at UCSD, “albeit through a more humanistic lens that the department hopes will embody the spirit of the Humanities series.”
Wenz further elaborated on the goals of HUM 5BL, saying, “We really wanted to move more towards an actualization of the ideas we’ve seen time and again throughout the series, and we want to arm students with more than a lineage of ideas and theories,” Wenz said. “We want all Revellians to graduate with a praxis of yaoi and yuri. We think it is imperative for us to foster global citizens who are able to connect their education and their actions, and this is us building that bridge.”
Curricula for the course indicates that the quarter-long project students will complete is close to performance art, with the thesis of the project being “embodying the Western canon in daily life,” specifically by engaging in what professors dub “IRL yuri/yaoi.” While this may appear to “demand same-sex relations,” that is only one of many ways students can fulfill the requirements of the course. Suggestions from one professor include: Extreme Pining, Paddle Crafting, “If you can just turn into a car like in Utena,” Developing Psychosexual Relations with Infrastructure, and Watching House M.D.
Students are expected to incorporate works of Iori Miyazawa, Sayo Yamamoto, and McLennon, and apply the theoretical lenses therein to understand contemporary events such as LGBTQ+ rights and fetishization, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Homestuck. Students exiting the course should be well equipped to “describe the yuri present in the Event Horizon Telescope, the yaoi that punctuates the design of both Michelangelo’s David and Fushé-Kruje’s Bush, and use these to reconcile the ideological conflicts at the root of issues like the intense geopolitics that define Web 3.0 and the Omegaverse, or to be able to dissect how the gendered social pressures in a Thatcher-era England demanded the creation of Loadsamoney.” The Humanities department envisions this as “an opportunity for us all to learn to better engage productively, actively, and well informed with the issues of today, armed with the understanding of Girl’s Love and Bara Men.”