Pop-up classes in the Pomona College Museum of Art featured in The New York Times

"Pop-Ups Offer Classes on Today's Hot Topics," by Abby Ellin, The New York Times

The class was supposed to be temporary, a quick dive into the link between literature and anthropology. The professors had no idea if students would even come. It wasn’t mandatory, they wouldn’t get credit and it was taking place at night. Friday night.

So no one was more surprised than Kara Wittman and Joanne Nucho when 24 people showed up for their “Essay as Resistance” class, which had its debut at Pomona College in March 2017 and ran for three 90-minute sessions. “We were shocked that it was so popular,” said Ms. Wittman, an assistant professor of English at Pomona, in Claremont, Calif., who taught the class with Ms. Nucho, an assistant professor of anthropology there.

But that’s exactly the appeal of the so-called pop-up class, an experiential, interdisciplinary, extracurricular workshop that appears briefly and usually vanishes.

Pop-up classes have grown in popularity over the last few years, with a number of colleges and universities offering them. They’re often related to current events. Bennington College’s “Am I Charlie?,” held in 2015, was a response to the attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in France. “White Privilege” was offered last year at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., when Black Lives Matter gained traction on campus.