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Course of Thrones

There are some exciting zeitgeisty university courses out there. Here's a look at a couple of new ones on Game of Thrones, Star Wars and more.
This article is more than 5 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

More bonkers/niche courses

I’ve provided regular updates here before on courses which might be described as bonkers or, more generously, a bit niche. For example these strange degrees in puppetry and bagpiping, and, more exotically, in Beyonce and Ghostbusting. There’s also this exciting academic offer, a course on Dr Who. So, here’s a few extras for the list covering fantasy, science fiction and period drama.

Game of Thrones

There’s an exciting new Game of Thrones course at the University of British Columbia:
Watch this first

George R. R. Martin’s works are the focus of Our Modern Medieval: The Song Of Ice And Fire As Contemporary Medievalism at the University of British Columbia.

It’s not for the casual viewer or reader, though, as those looking to enrol will need to have read the five books of the series and seen every episode of the HBO TV adaptation.

“This course seeks to examine the role of the medieval in the popular consciousness of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.”

Taught by Robert Rouse, the course will be assessed by one presentation, one analysis of a TV episode, and one research essay. Topics of discussion will include women, politics, monsters, disability, nature, history, chivalry, objects, place, religion, sexuality and race, according to the description.

In similar vein there is a module on Game of Thrones and Disability at the University of Tulsa:
Scholars and critics have argued that the hit HBO series Game of Thrones (and the novels on which the show is based) contain the most varied, often celebratory, depictions of characters with disabilities in all of pop culture. Others have argued that the show is not immune to stereotypical and marginalizing portrayals of disability. Using disability (as well as gender and race) as categories of analysis, this course will examine these debates and use the series as a lens through which to consider wider historical and contemporary media depictions of physical, neurological, and developmental disabilities.

Star Wars

Rather more expansively Brown is offering a course on Star Wars and Beyond: Physics in Film. The course description gives a flavour of what can be expected:

Lightsabers clash in a galaxy far far away as a pair of droids walk slowly towards the setting of the twin suns.

In the world of cinema, science fiction has been experiencing an exciting revival. With the rebooting of the Star Wars franchise and grand offerings like The Martian, Interstellar, and Gravity, our screens are flooded with dazzling depictions of space and technology. What’s more, many of these new films promise to be more scientifically accurate, even as they show us wormholes and space stations, time distortion and intelligent robotics.

In this course, we put those claims to the test.

Downton Abbey

You rang m'lord?

And back down to earth at the University of Southampton where this course on the Real Downton Abbey gives students the opportunity to learn about life above and below stairs.
All cutting edge stuff. Are there others out there I’ve missed?

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