Duke University to Offer Course on UFOs as Part of 'Continuing Studies' Program


Duke University in North Carolina is offering a course on UFOs for the upcoming winter 2019 semester through its continuing studies program.

The course, titled UFOs—Encounter, Mystery, Myth, will focus on how the UFO phenomenon has influenced our culture.

According to the course description:

This course rests on two premises: (1) UFOs are a myth; (2) myths are real. UFOs became a feature of the cultural landscape 71 years ago. They've been debunked innumerable times, yet remain firmly fixed in our shared consciousness. In the changed socio-political environment since the 2016 election they've achieved a surprising new respectability. We'll explore these “visitors from inner space” from a psychological and religious perspective, asking the essential question --not “Where do they come from?” or “How do they fly?” but, “What do they mean?”—for us as individuals, as a culture, as a species.

The course will be taught by David Halperin, a Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies whose work has traditionally focused on religious traditions of heavenly ascensions and otherworldly journeys.

It will consist of 10 sessions, beginning with a case study of the 1966 Westall High UFO encounter, continuing with discussions of Gray Barker, the Men in Black, Betty and Barney Hill, Whitley Strieber, and Roswell, and ending with 'UFOs in the Changed Socio-Political Environment Since the 2016 Election.'

Halperin has authored five books on Jewish mysticism and messianism, a novel titled Journal of a UFO Investigator, and a non-fiction book titled Intimate Alien: The Hidden Story of the UFO which will be published in 2020 by Stanford University Press.

Tobias Wayland