You’ve read the books, seen the movies and collected the DVDs; now you can take a course that covers the world of Harry Potter at the University of Durham, UK. It’s not a fully-fledged degree – yet – but is part of the university’s Education Studies.
More Harry Potter studies are available at the Appalachian State University in the US. It looks at the relationship between fantasy and history and sounds absolutely fascinating. Its practical applications may be limited, however.
In 2007, MIT, one of the most renowned universities in the US, offered a Lego Robotics course. Granted, it is part of a much larger robotics course and is in no way Mickey Mouse, but you have to admit that any course with Lego in it is worth a double take.
Mainstream culture has influenced education in a number of ways. One of the most interesting is the opportunity to study zombies. Columbia College (of Columbia University) and the University of Baltimore offer Zombie Studies.
Trekkies can rejoice as a number of colleges provide opportunities to study Star Trek-related subjects. You can start with Philosophy and Star Trek at Georgetown University. At the University of Indiana you can study Star Trek and Religion. And several universities around the world have Klingon listed among their language courses.
Star Wars fans need not feel left out as many colleges incorporate the movies in their myths, media and human studies courses. Even Lord of the Rings has its place in hallowed halls of learning. Aside from the philosophical effects of the books, fans can also learn how to speak Elvish.
Beach bunnies can legitimately spend three years of their lives studying surfing at Plymouth University.
Other fantastic courses include:
- The Philosophy of Ufology – the study of UFOs.
- How to Watch TV.
- Queer Musicology – do gay people hear musically differently to straight people?