Harvard will be offering a class about Game of Thrones this fall. Just as fans of HBO's hit show are starting to get excited for the upcoming 7th season, Harvard decides to give history buffs and Game of Thrones fans something to agree upon. The class entitled Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models aims to give students a unique perspective on medieval history, following in the footsteps of UC Berkeley in California. The Ivy League school might be trying to trick students into actual learning, a classic bait and switch.
"[The class will explore how the series] "echoes and adapts, as well as distorts the history and culture of the 'medieval world' of Eurasia from c. 400 to 1500 CE" by exploring "a set of archetypal characters at the heart ofGame of Thrones: the king, the good wife, the second son, the adventurer, and so on, with distinct analogues in medieval history, literature, religion, and legend."
Professors are hoping that the 100 level course can reel students in with their love of the hit show and apply it into a greater interest in the humanities. So those hoping to get even more pretentious about Game of Thrones might want to jump on this one. Start filling out those financial aide forms ASAP.
UC Berkeley's summer class offers a different take. The six week summer course entitled The Linguistics of Game of Thrones and the Art of Language Invention, will be taught by the creator of the Dothraki language David J. Peterson for four days a week. Students who enroll in the course will be taught how to create naturalistic languages, an attempt to replicate the quirks and idiosyncrasies of natural languages. The class won't focus entirely on Dothraki or other alien, auxiliary languages. So again, a classic bamboozle to get people to learn. What gives?
Harvard is forthright about their attempt to use the Game of Thrones course as a "recruitment tool" for medieval studies and humanities classes in general. The course comes at a time where students are less interested in majoring in the medieval and humanities. Nationwide, bachelor's degrees in humanities has seen a sharp decrease of 8.7% over the last 5 years, while Harvard alone is seeing a 36% - 20% decline over the past six decades.
The way things are going, people may soon be able to get a Master's degree in Game of Thrones, the actual show, not that boring real-life history crap. Maybe get a PhD in Wookie or a bachelor's degree in Gotham City. We're pretty much a few weeks from watering the plants with Gatorade, so why not earn your degree in something that you love? It's time for Harvard to listen to the students who are paying $43,280 a year to attend and tailor make the classes to their liking.