Game of Thrones being taught in at your local university — how would you fancy that?
— Mashable (@mashable) August 14, 2015
Yes, according to Uproxx, University of California, Berkeley, has started offering a new course to its students on Game of Thrones, a great piece of news for those people who already find themselves gouging out every bit of trivia related to their favorite show from the deep crevices of the internet. The course, all of which revolves around Game of Thrones, is part of the Film Studies program at UC Berkeley, and aims to tackle head on the ever-important themes of sex, violence, and power, with philosophers such as Rousseau and Foucault a mandatory part of the readings.
— Dailymotion (@DailymotionUSA) August 17, 2015
The official site of UC Berkeley describes the reasons for offering the course as follows.
“Game of Thrones is a worldwide phenomenon. Derived from a series of bestselling novels by George R.R. Martin, it is one of the most popular shows on television, the most pirated show on the web, and a critical darling, courting both a wide demographic of fans and more than its fair share of controversy. This course will examine how and why Game of Thrones achieved such notoriety and popularity. Its success was not so much a fluke but a perfect storm of influences and circumstances on the one hand and a fully realized aesthetic and thematic vision on the other.”
The course was first conceived by a Ph.D. candidate, Justin Vaccaro, shortly after the first season of Game of Thrones premiered in 2011. Tech Times reported Vaccaro talking about what it was about Game of Thrones that made him offer a course on the show.
“Its whole attitude about a world that is morally complicated, and where answers don’t come easily or at all, is strangely very compelling and strangely reassuring.”
The course has already garnered a huge number of enrollments, with Vaccaro even stating that he has seen the highest number of students turn out for the course ever since he started taking classes in 2011.
Though it is no cakewalk, students have found the course to be hugely stimulating, with one student, a Film Studies major named Sandra Doyle, particularly intrigued by the way Game of Thrones addresses our current problems through the lens of a quasi-historical narrative.
“One of the most important things to consider is: what is happening in the United States now, while the show is still in the making and the books being written, that influences their content? Although it is set in the fantastic past of quasi-historical medieval Europe, the issues Game of Thrones is addressing are truly for our present reality.”
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]