Very, very few things could make me long to still be in college, or school of any kind, but this is one of those things. Next semester, a professor at the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University will be teaching a course on the history and lasting cultural impact of Doctor Who. That’s something I would both like to audit and teach, which sounds counterproductive to everyone involved, not least of all me. At any rate, an actual accredited educator, Anthony Rotolo, the director of the online masters in communication program at Newhouse, will be teaching the course, which has already gotten over 100 students enrolled since it became listed on October 26th. The course is open to Syracuse students and can be taken online worldwide.
Now, what will a Doctor Who class entail exactly, you might be asking yourself; Rotolo told the Daily Orange, a Syracuse publication, that the course will focus on the show in terms of the digital age, since many of the historical context and references of the series’ 50+ year history might not be well known to today’s viewers of college age. “Because of digital technology… we can appreciate the timeless series in a way that would not have been possible 10 years ago,” Rotolo said. “Speaking in ‘Doctor Who’ terms, we can, in a sense, be like the Doctor and travel back in time to experience the series.”
On top of watching and reading about the show, there will also be a large portion devoted to Twitter participation and quizzes, bringing what will probably be about 200 students worldwide into a community. The course is currently not offered as an official Syracuse University class, but students can petition that the independent study be counted toward their major curriculum. In the future, Rotolo hopes to bring the class into the main SU list of courses, but for now he just wanted to get it up and running, flying through time and space.
Would you take a Doctor Who class, or would you probably be able to test out of it immediately? Maybe just read everything I write about it and you’ll be okay.