University of Utah removes porn class website listing after controversy

A A small liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, Utah, removed the listing of a filmmaking course on pornography from its website after the course received viral attention.

Film Studies 300, a course at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, covers various film-related topics in a number of course sections, including comedy, apocalypses, and horror films.

But a two-credit section has garnered viral attention because of its rather unique topic: pornography.

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“Hard porn is as American as apple pie and more popular than Sunday night football,” the course description reads. “Our approach to this billion-dollar industry is both a cultural phenomenon that reflects and reinforces sexual inequality (but has the potential to challenge sexual and gender norms) and an art form that requires serious thought. We will watch porn together and discuss the sexualization of race, class and gender and as an experimental and radical art form.”

The course was previously listed on a section of the college’s website that listed its undergraduate courses, but was removed some time after the listing began gaining viral attention.

Screenshot of the Westminster College catalog showing the porn class before it was removed

Screenshot of Westminster College website via Wayback Machine

But a university spokesperson claimed the list had not been removed and provided the Washington Examiner with a separate link to the university’s online catalog which still displayed the course.

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“Westminster College occasionally offers elective courses like this as an opportunity to analyze social issues,” the college said in a statement. “As part of this analysis, Westminster College, along with other higher education institutions around the county and around the world, often explore difficult topics to better understand their pervasiveness and impact. The descriptions of these courses, although ‘alarming to some readers, helps students decide whether they wish to engage in serious inquiry into controversial topics.