This A Song Of Ice And Fire Class Wins College
One of the best things about being an English major was getting to study my favorite books for university credit. Now, George R.R. Martin fans at the University of British Columbia can join in the fun, because a Song of Ice and Fire college course is now open for enrollment. (Maesterhood not guaranteed.)
Associate professor Robert Rouse's course, titled "Our Modern Medieval: The Song of Ice and Fire as contemporary Medievalism," uses George R.R. Martin's novels to examine both our preconceived notions of medieval life and history, and what these ideas tell us about ourselves as a society.
In a twist book-lovers will appreciate, the course's structure allows only those who are already familiar with Martin's work to succeed. Although the syllabus lists the first five A Song of Ice and Fire books as required texts, Rouse notes that students should be up-to-date on their readings before the first day of class, because "it will problematic to try to catch up if [they] have not done so." Students are also expected to watch the first five seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones series. I've always dreamed I could binge-watch for college credit.
I reached out to Rouse to find out if he had plans to expand the course to include the new Game of Thrones season and Martin's latest The Winds of Winter . Here's what he had to say:
It is the first time that I’ve offered the course, so we’ll see how it goes. Assuming it goes well (and I can see no reason why it won’t), I’m think of running it again in future years. This coming semester the course is a seminar style course (16 final year students), but I may look at expanding it to a larger class if there is demand in future years. If so, I’d definitely expand the syllabus to take in the next book(s)/series.
Now we just have to see if Rouse will also live stream his lectures so we can sit in on the class, too. Otherwise, tweet me if you want to join my road trip to British Columbia. We can listen to the A Song of Ice and Fire audio books the entire way.