Are you a student at the University of Baltimore looking for a fun, completely useless class that will likely offer you no true academic benefit whatsoever? Then make sure you look for "Media Genres: Media Marvels" during next spring's registration, the class that will examine Marvel's modern movie legacy.
It will be taught by UB's Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences adjunct faculty member Arnold T. Blumberg, and is described as as follows in the press release:
A new University of Baltimore course, to be offered in the 2015 spring semester, will scrutinize the intricately plotted world of Marvel films—the Iron Man, Thor and Captain America series, characters from the Avengers, and now theGuardians of the Galaxy movie, which is widely expected to be the highest grossing film of 2014. The course, "Media Genres: Media Marvels," will examine how Marvel's series of interconnected films and television shows, plus related media and comic book sources and Joseph Campbell's monomyth of the "hero's journey," offer important insights into modern culture. The course is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Taught by Arnold T. Blumberg, D.C.D. '04, an adjunct faculty member in UB's Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, the class will uncover the unprecedented efforts by Marvel to establish a viable universe of plotlines, characters, and backstories that leave no question unanswered, no story or character abandoned or otherwise unexplained. Blumberg says this critical look will encourage students to better understand the culture's fixation on superheroes, fictional global threats, and other "widescreen" novelistic tales that have pushed the comic book-to-film ethos into new territory. ...
Blumberg says that in an era of Harry Potter books and films, the realized filmic vision of the Tolkien universe, and the seemingly endless stories generated by Star Wars and Star Trek, Western culture has embraced Campbell's insight that mythmaking and storytelling are rooted in a fundamental quest for justice, peace, power, family, and love. ...
"We have a generation coming of age with these characters and this completely mapped-out universe. It could be argued that it's never been done better. But no matter what your age, there is always a fantasy/sci-fi/superhero realm that helps you to explore your place in the world, your identity, and your ideals. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is that realm for this generation," he says.
Sounds fun, but imagine all your potential classmates! I'm guessing X-Men and Spider-Man movie producers are scrambling to enroll right now in order to hopefully learn what Marvel Studios is doing so right. You could probably be study buddies with every single Warner Bros. executive in the DC movie division! And I bet Dan Aykroyd would hold a hell of a end-of-semester party, if only because he has an unlimited amount of Crystal Head vodka.