7 Fall college courses based on Twilight

The new class: Twilight takes over colleges across the country.The new class: Twilight takes over colleges across the country.
Joyce, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Meyers? The Twilight Saga is entering the curriculum this Fall, at colleges and universities across the country. Shine combed through course catalogs from the Ivy League to the Big Ten, to discover the Stephanie Meyers trilogy on several syllabuses. With a third of ticket buyers for the movie Eclipse under age 24, according to a Fandango Poll, the current generation of college kids are largely responsible for franchise's success. So is academia responding to a cultural phenomenon or pandering to a powerful market group? That will depend on the course structure. But one thing is certain: the classes are totally going to sell out.

Course: Vampires: From Sin and Exile to Sex and Salvation
College: Rutgers University
The Vampire trend isn't just a inspiring entertainment. This course combines historical analysis of "the Old Testament,the Inquisition and many cultures' religious beliefs and practices that fueled the belief in vampires world wide." Bram Stoker's Dracula will get some airtime, as will Ann Rice, but the big show-stopper will be an investigation of the True Blood and Twilight phenomenon.

Course: Bloodsuckers, Hybrids, Slayers: Vampires in Literature and Film
College: Occidental College
Most college courses raise a series of questions. This class puts for just two: "why vampires, why now?" From early blood-sucking texts like Sheridan LeFanu's 1872 Carmilla and Bram Stoker's 1897 Dracula to films like Salem's Lot, I am Legend, and Let the Right One In, the class will explore the forever trendy topic, forever 21 style. That means screenings of classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and True Blood. And a dissection of the Twilight saga as the monstrous vein-drying media sensation we know and love. Discussions on gender, power, sexuality, race and religion are addressed in an attempt to answer the aforementioned questions. But the disclaimer at the bottom of the class description might do a better job. "Please note that the material for this class contains explicit scenes of violence and sexuality, and that students are required to attend screenings of films and television episodes on selected evenings throughout the semester." In other words, sex scenes as coursework. That's why vampires, now.

Course: Fantasy, Fandom, and Fans: Exceeding our Own Lives
College: Ithaca College
10 years ago this class would have stopped and started at Star Trek. Now it includes, Harry Potter and Twilight as cultural obsession. "Students will be expected to engage in analysis of such texts in a scholarly fashion led by Henry Jenkins' definition of the "aca/fan," a 'hybrid creature which is part fan and part academic.'" So nerdy fandom. Isn't that redundant?

Course: The Twilight Saga
College: University of Alabama
This class doesn't even have an overcompensating name. That's because the goal of this course is pretty simple: "We will consider how Meyer's re-imagining of these classic love stories is both timely...and timeless." How will this be accomplished? Well, first by reading the books, then by watching the movies. And finally by reading a few other books: "Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream." Based on the coursework, it could be called: "The psychology of a pre-teen girl: a bookshelf analysis."

Course: Twilight and the Great Gothic Literary Tradition
College: University of Iowa
This freshman seminar considers whether "Bella a postmodern heroine or a troubling, anti-feminist role model?" Coursework includes reading gothic literature like The Castle of Otranto, a final position paper, a presentation and an end of term conference to get to the bottom of the larger question at hand: "Do these novels amount to mindless escape fiction, or are they something more?" Cliff notes: I think the answer is going to be "something more."

Course: The Twilight Saga and Religion
College: University of South Carolina
This class looks at the series as a religious doctrine derived from new biblical principles. "The objective of this course is to use the novels, and the films based upon thenovels, as a way to learn more about these religious topics that appear in the work."

Course: The Vampire in Literature and Film
College: Harvard University
Turns out the country's top school isn't so different from the rest of them. Recognize this line of questioning? "How can we account for the popularity, adaptability, and unique appeal of the vampire figure? In terms of the literary genre, how do we classify these increasingly diverse works?" A familiar formula, this class hits up the classics (Bram Stoker, Lory Byron) for an explanation for the Twilight and its offshoots in film and TV. The only addition is a sprinkling of psychological theory (Freud, Auerbach). Leave it to Harvard.

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