"Game of Thrones" Comes to The Classroom at the University of Virginia
Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you have heard of "Game of Thrones," and you know that it's a pretty big deal. Everyone seems to be watching it...but now they're going to be learning about it as well.
That's right, "Game of Thrones" is coming to the classroom. This summer, students at the University of Virginia will be able to study the series in-depth in a four-week-long seminar-style English class. While you may think that old-school texts such as "Great Expectations" and "Beowulf" are the ones that belong in the classroom, you are just a little off-base. Popular works of literature have already begun to inspire college classes; there are many schools offering courses in "Harry Potter" and "The Lord of the Rings." "Game of Thrones" is the newest in a line of popular literature making a place for itself in the classroom.
The class is mostly discussion-based, with students leading class discussions on topics ranging from gender roles to good and evil in the series. Associate Professor Lisa Woolfork said, "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."
Students will be faced with the challenge of adding their own creative events to the saga as their end-of-term project. "All of them have to connect in some way to how Game of Thrones has sustained itself as a cultural phenomenon," Woolfork said. "Some are writing a prequel graphic novel; others are working on spoilers... I want them to consider, 'How do you track the progress of a book to a TV series to this large phenomena, and how does that transform?' Literarily speaking, it's a very diverse and rich text. It has lots of layers, lots of characters and it's very smart."
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