Obsessed with Game of Thrones? Can’t get enough of Westeros? Friends and family sick to death of you banging on about your hackneyed theories? Well, why don’t you go
marry it study it at University and prove them all wrong! All those hours spent poring over books and TV and delving into fan discussion forums will not have been in vein!
The University of Virginia (in Charlottesville, Virginia – kinda near Richmond) is currently running a summer course on the first three seasons of the smash-hit HBO series, along with the first book in the George R.R. Martin-penned saga, A Song of Fire and Ice.
Beware, though. Like all University courses the class doesn’t involve just sitting around and watching Game of Thrones or reading the book. I mean, sure. You will be doing a LOT of that. It’s just that you’ll also be analysing the episodes and the book in terms of plot and characterisation with an eye towards representations of gender, sexuality and race as well as metaphor and motivation and how the series has connected with a broader social audience and at the end you’ll have to write your own chapter into the series be it prequel, extension or spinoff.
Actually, that sounds like all my TV nerd dreams come true at once. Excuse me while I grab my passport IMMEDIATELY.
Course Professor Lisa Woolfork explains thusly, “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.”
“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.“
Seriously. Anyone who ever tells you your Arts degree is a joke is clearly just jealous they didn’t get to do cool shit like this in school.
Screw those guys. You win.