NYU Professor Talks About 'Love Actually' CourseBy Emily Marks
A professor from New York University has developed a course on everyone's favorite subject. "Love Actually" by psychiatrist Dr. Megan Poe is an undergraduate course on love.
The course was developed by Dr. Poe at New York University and has since grown in popularity among students. The class has tripled in size within just two years.
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr. Poe explained that the "Love Actually" course provides students with as much information on the human experience of love within just one semester. It moves in two psychological directions: vertical, which expands out of the person towards family, collective and universal love, the second is horizontal which examines the types of loving relationships individuals encounter within their lives.
She admitted that she got inspiration for the course when she gave a lecture on "Love and Intimacy" at NYU. After her talk, some students came up to her and asked if there was a course offered on the subject.
Dr. Poe designed the course with the help of three child psychiatry fellows. It is run on NYU's child and adolescent mental health studies department, which is the largest undergraduate child development program in the U.S.
"Love Actually" is heavily influenced by Erich Fromm's work. The psychologist wrote "The Art of Loving" in 1956.
The NYU professor said that Fromm's book is "the perfect jumping-off point" for the course since it demonstrates that love is learnable and is an art. This means that students can practice this art form and get better as time goes by.
According to the Daily Times, the course looks at various forms of love. Students can learn about parent-infant love, friendship, self-love, love of things as well as love between a mentor and a student, among others.
Other writers included in the course's reading list are Rainer Maria Rilke, Mary Oliver, Sharon Olds and Hayden Carruth. The course also studies the tragic love story of "Romeo and Juliet."