Public university offers 'Game of Thrones' class

Cabot Phillips
Media Director

  • Northern Illinois University will be offering a class that focuses on the show, television, and Medieval history to students within its honors program.
  • Students are required to watch episodes of the show and discuss its relationship to modern cable TV, history, and current events.
  • Pic via HBO's 'Game of Thrones' wallpaper.

    A public university is offering a course this spring that is based on HBO’s hit Game of Thrones series.

    Northern Illinois University is offering "Game of Thrones, Television, and Medieval History" only to students within the Honors program, according to the university’s website.

    "It’s a really good example of a piece of modern culture that draws on how the past impacts the present."   

    The show, which premiered on HBO in 2011, has become as famous for its lengthy sex scenes and epic battle sequences.

    Valerie Garver, the co-professor of the tax-payer funded course, told the Daily Chronicle that the show is about more than just the violence and nudity.

    "It’s a really good example of a piece of modern culture that draws on how the past impacts the present," she said.

    Despite the fact that the show is filled with flying dragons and giants, Garver claims the show "represents aspects of the Middle Ages much more realistically than other media depictions that purport to be more accurate."

    Garver went on to describe how the show “stands out because it comments on the human condition in a way that seems real to people."

    According to the syllabus, students are required to watch episodes of the show and partake in discussions the franchise’s relation to modern cable television, history, and current events.

    Jeff Chown, Garver's co-Professor, said the course has been quite popular on campus and that the entire roster filled up within an hour of class registration opening.

    Chown went on to address the overtly sexual nature of the show, saying “If (a filmmaker) wants to capture a character’s vulnerabilities, sometimes showing them naked does that”.

    He furthered this assertion on the overwhelming prevalence of nudity in the show saying “does the camera linger too long? These are the types of questions we ask in class. The answers are subjective.”

    While students taking the course appear to be thrilled with the prospect of gaining three credits for a class covering a mythological television show, other students did not share the same sentiment.

    Dan Lewis, a senior studying Corporate Communication, isn’t sold on the idea. He told Campus Reform that "taxpayer dollars should not contribute to a Game of Thrones course classified under the History Department."

    Thomas Carr, a graduate student at NIU shared the same opinion on the course, telling Campus Reform, “Is it a waste of money? Sure.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @cabot_phillips





    Cabot Phillips

    Cabot Phillips

    Media Director
    Cabot Phillips is the Media Director for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform he spent time working on numerous campaigns—most recently as the Digital Grassroots Director for Marco Rubio’s Presidential bid. Phillips is also a YouTube Partner, creating and starring in numerous videos which have amassed over 70 million views across varying online platforms.  In 2016, Phillips was named to Red Alert Politics "30 Under 30" list of the nation's most influential young conservatives.
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