Screens and College Courses

Did the lines get crossed somewhere?  What do television shows, movies, and college courses have in common?  According to a recent blog post I stumbled upon, there is a connection.  Check out the list below from OnlineClasses.org.  Do you have others that could be added to the list?

“The Wire”: HBO’s five-season drama about crime, politics, and the economy of Baltimore has been hailed by many critics as the best show ever made, so it was only a matter of time before it made its way into the classroom. Harvard University announced plans last fall to use the show in fall 2010 in a course examining poverty in America.

Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings: The “Myth and Science Fiction” course at Centre College used these three popular films series to deconstruct narrative patterns and talk about what makes stories work.

“Judge Judy”: Students at UC Berkeley were able to take a course that used “Judge Judy” to examine logical fallacies in arguments witnessed on television court series. A great way to get to the heart of rhetoric.

“The Muppet Show”: Jim Henson’s Muppets are iconic characters, and this UC Santa Cruz course examines the series’ impact on puppetry and effects, children’s entertainment, and the popular media.

“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”: The cult hit TV show has spawned legions of passionate fans and high-level studies, including this UC San Diego course that uses the series to explore feminist writing, religion, and more.

“The Simpsons”: This is just the place to argue about whether the show’s still any good: Rochester Institute of Technology’s introduction to cultural studies uses the animated modern classic to demonstrate changes in political and social climate.

“Star Trek”: There have been numerous series and films set in the world of “Star Trek,” but it’s the original 1960s series that Georgetown students used to learn about philosophy.

“The Apprentice”The show that brought Donald Trump even more prominence has inspired courses on business ethics and personal relationships in the workplace.

“South Park”: CUNY’s Brooklyn College used Comedy Central’s irreverent animated series to talk about the show’s very real messages on everything from war to political correctness.

Soap operas.: Yes, soap operas. This University of Wisconsin course used them to show how the roles of women on the shows had an impact on real-world families and workplaces. Who knew?