Would you study Game of Thrones at uni?By Editor
The University of Virginia is one of American’s leading universities, and Game of Thrones is one of the biggest TV programmes in the world right now. So, what would happen if the two merged? Well, probably something like English lecturer Lisa Woolfork’s recently introduced 24-man strong summer course.
That’s right, if you’re a member of the UVA student body, you can spend your holiday break learning about the social and political intensions of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series, as well as the methods that HBO implemented to translate it into a commercial success for the boxset generation.
There will, of course, be those that consider the new course to be ‘Mickey Mouse’, as is the case whenever pop culture is delved into in an academic setting. However, Woolfork deems the class to be important.
“One of the goals behind this class was to teach students how the skills that we use to study literature are very useful skills for reading literature and TV in conjunction.”
Speaking to the university’s publication, UVA Today, Woolfork continued: “‘Game of Thrones’ is popular, it’s interesting, but it’s also very serious. There are a lot of things in the series that are very weighty, and very meaningful, and can be illuminated through the skills of literary analysis.”
The emergence of what some critics refer to as Mickey Mouse subjects has been a subject of debate for some time, most notably the early noughties when Staffordshire University introduced the option of sociology module on the life and times of former Manchester United and England star, David Beckham.
Since then, there has been the establishment of such studies as ‘Harry Potter and The Age of Illusion’ at Durham University, ‘Maple Syrup – The Real Thing’ at Alfred University, ‘Tree Climbing’ at Cornell University and for those who want to be a hit with the ladies, it is possible at the University of Wisconsin to undertake a study of the fictional Tolkien-created language of Elvish.
So what do you think? Would you consider exploring and analysing the Ice and Fire Series? I know we would. It would be something fun to do now that winter is coming.