Listen up, Game of Thrones fans! The University of Virginia is now offering a summer English course on the popular television show.
The course, taught by associate professor of English Lisa Woolfork, will explore the HBO show alongside the Game of Thrones books series, A Song of Ice and Fire.
“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,” said Woolfork. "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.”
During the four-week course, the students read the first novel in the Game of Thrones series, watch episodes of the HBO show and explore themes such as racism, power and honor. At the end of the course, students complete a group project in which they write a new chapter in the series.
“All of them have to connect in some way to how ‘Game of Thrones’ has sustained itself as a cultural phenomenon,” said Woolfork. “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?'"
The UVA course is following in the footsteps of other pop culture-related college classes popping up all over the country, including a Miley Cyrus course at Skidmore College and a Beyoncé course at Rutgers University.