The Art of Darkness

Dark Side University

June 17th, 2014 by Cobwebs

DraculaIf you have any free time and value its continued existence, you’d probably better skip this post.

Venerable goth internet fixture Dark Side of the Net has recently branched out into a goth-centric online university which teaches free classes with titles like, “History 103: The Life and Work of Edward Gorey,” “Horticulture 101: Gothic Gardening,” and “Mythology 102: Dark Goddesses.”

Dark Side University is a goth community offering free classes on gothic, horror, vampiric, and Halloween topics. You don’t get credit or a grade, just the fun of learning new things and discussing dark topics alongside other cool people from the subculture.

Our instructors are knowledgeable, passionate people who donate their time to share information with students.

The site is a trove of resources and fascinating subject matter, and provides several avenues for interacting with like-minded people. Particularly nice, of course, is that geographic boundaries are no limitation for this type of study.

If you have passion for some particular aspect of goth culture and want to share your knowledge, the university is also looking for instructors. The position is unpaid, but it’s a fantastic opportunity to connect with others who share your interests and value your contributions. You can view information about that here (requires registration/login). They’re particularly looking for “practical” instruction with real-life applications: Goth-oriented sewing or baking tips, how to get one’s horror stories published, and ways to promote and manage a festival or other event.

My single quibble about the setup, and it’s a relatively minor one, is that everything beyond the front page requires registration. (Additionally, the registration has to be approved by a human being so signup is not instantaneous.) I can understand things like the forums and classroom areas not being open to the public, but I would expect the FAQs and possibly the base course descriptions to be more accessible. Since the university is hosted on Ning, I’m going to assume that’s a limitation of the platform itself.

The university also has a Facebook presence which posts news about upcoming classes and shares interesting gothy tidbits.

(via Cat)

Posted in Resources | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. Carrie Carolin Says:

    Thanks for your review!!

    Yes, unfortunately the Ning platform has limited methods to control privacy and member registration.

    On the one hand we want it closed for students to feel safe writing, participating, discussing and expressing themselves (and we’ve had trouble on my other Ning network with spammers signing up en masse).

    But having it more open helps new students find us, decide on courses, and evaluate their time commitments. Perhaps I should link the FAQs and info off-site so anybody can read them without having to make the commitment to sign up!

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