Navigating Intimacy

The complexity of forming intimate relationships is an enduring topic of research, fascination and questioning throughout time. This course offers the unique opportunity for an intensive exploration of how the current state of navigating intimacy in emerging adults was shaped through the lens of modern history. “Navigating Intimacy” exposes students to an exciting and timely selection of study materials crossing print, online and visual mediums. Through their research and classroom discussions, the course will propel them on a multi-dimensional academic journey through the various cultural movements that led them to where they are today — in unprecedented times of confusion and experimentation with their intimate relationships. Students entering college in 2017 are confronted with a staggering amount of choices in lifestyles and love. This course takes them out of casual clusters of confusing self-help conversations into a unique forum to air and debate diverse views on shifting relationship and sexual behaviors from historic and academic perspectives. Our range of study will include a focus on how former cultural shake-ups such as the emergence of the “wild flappers” of the 1920 opened up puritanical mores. We will also dissect how the sexual revolution of the late 1960-and early-1970s paved the way for the modern dating culture students engage in today. Among the complex problems and questions, students face when entering college are whether to date one-one-one, group date, hook-up on Tinder, have friends with benefits, embrace gender/sexual fluidity and deal with how peer pressure affects all of their choices. I plan to enlarge the academic study of intimate relationships to include platonic friendships as well, with research materials and discussions that examine the challenges of forming close bonds with persons of diverse backgrounds, cultures and views. Overall, “Navigating Intimacy” is a crucial introductory step into college life, giving students a broad-based knowledge of love relationships and dating trends, with historical benchmarks to give deeper perspective The goal is to provide a foundation of increased clarity on the complexity of forming healthy intimate relationships –a problem and challenge that binds us all as humans and has perplexed scholars throughout history.