If only they'd offered me this when I was at college! Although, odds are I probably would have skipped it for a beer pong marathon...
MCU is invading our colleges!
Yep, apparently The University of Baltimore is now offering students the chance to participate in a college course which will investigate how the interconnected nature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe offer insights into modern society and culture.
Is there nothing Marvel cannot do? Comics. Movies. Television. Merchandise. And now EDUCATION!
So, what's being taught?
The program will examine the way in which Marvel Studios has developed the comic book format into a wide-ranging platform that appeals to society's fascination with superheroes and global threats:
One thing we'll do is dive into the impact of the Guardians of the Galaxy film, which proved two things: Mainstream movie audiences are not remotely tired of superhero movies; and Marvel Studios can now release a sci-fi adventure that actually features talking trees and raccoons. It's not that they're getting away with it—they've created a universe in which fans completely accept these developments, and they're ready for even more.
The course looks like it'll teach students how to think critically about media, analyze the messages we share with each other via entertainment, and discuss aspects of race, gender, class, ethics, and morality. That's great and all, but I thought it was a class for comic-book trivia. Still, contextualizing real-life issues with superheros is enough to get anyone to want to learn, right?
...And who are we trusting to educate us?
Baltimore University introduces us to the course teacher Arnold T. Blumberg, a comics and pop culture scholar who has worked for 15 years in various editorial capacities, serving as editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and as co-writer of The Overstreet Comic Book Grading Guide, among others. They also point out that:
In fall 2010, Blumberg's University of Baltimore course, "Media Genres: Zombies," garnered global press coverage; the course is still being offered today, and Blumberg has gone on to become a world renowned zombie expert.
So, how d'you sign up?
The class will be offered in the 2015 spring semester at the University of Baltimore as part of the entitled "Media Genres: Media Marvels". Interested? (C'mon, who wouldn't be...) Then skim over the college applications page, here.
One of the biggest appeals of superheroes today - certainly for me - is when you have characters that are "more than human", be it because of technology, science, or mysticism. This begs the question: what does it mean to be human? That, right there, is a perfect reason to make me sign up for the course.
Would you take a college course in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, if so, what questions would you want answered?