Pasadena City College is offering a class entitled “Navigating Pornography," which is designed to give folks a chance to study the adult industry in an academic setting.
The pornography class is a for-credit elective open to all students and does not require any prerequisites.
Professor Hugo Schwyzer, who teaches the course and has invited porn stars to speak to students, defended his class during an interview with The College Fix.
“[The course] focuses on giving students tools to understand pornography as a historical and contemporary phenomenon,” Professor Schwyzer said. “Students today live in a porn-saturated culture and very rarely get a chance to learn about it in a safe, non-judgmental, intellectually thoughtful way.”
Students do not view pornography inside the class, but watch it as homework.
Professor Schwyzer hopes students get a better understanding of “why we love porn … why some people are deeply troubled by it … and how both to make decisions about porn in their own lives and how to have conversations about porn with others.”
An unidentified colleague of Professor Schwyzer, who also teaches at Pasadena City College, called the course “absolutely appalling.”
The class gained media attention last year when porn star James Deen was invited to give a public lecture, which university officials canceled because neither Professor Schwyzer nor the event sponsors had secured the necessary permits.
In March, a few weeks after inviting Deen, Schwyzer invited sex educator Jessica Drake, creator of “Jessica Drake’s Guide to Wicked Sex,” and star of “Men In Black: A Hardcore Parody” and “Alice in Wonderland: A XXX Parody,” to speak in class.
The lecture was open only to students and approved media. In an interview with the LAist, Drake said: “[The students] are really hungry for this information and they knew that they could ask me anything and not shock me."