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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Jon Storme

The Wheel of Time as academia....

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So, I am currently in my final year of a BA in English and am struggling desperately to decide on something to study at Post-Graduate level. I have often thought about how unbelievably cool it would be to study WoT as an academic subject. Sometimes I wish I hadn't been born for another twenty years as I firmly believe that someday academic institutions will offer some form of courses relating to The Wheel of Time.

 

Apparently a few Universities are now studying Tolkiens fictional works quite seriously so why not Jordans?

 

Anyone have any views on this.....?

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I don't know about courses, but I do know that Dr. Michael Livingston, who teaches at The Citadel in Charleston, studies the WoT from an academic perspective. I've seen him give a presentation on it, and I found him well-informed and entertaining.

 

I would imagine that a course would have to focus not only on the WoT series itself, but on the repertoire of sources Jordan drew upon (e.g. mythology, Arthurian legends, world religions) in order to succeed in an academic setting at this time.

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I don't know about courses, but I do know that Dr. Michael Livingston, who teaches at The Citadel in Charleston, studies the WoT from an academic perspective. I've seen him give a presentation on it, and I found him well-informed and entertaining.

 

I would imagine that a course would have to focus not only on the WoT series itself, but on the repertoire of sources Jordan drew upon (e.g. mythology, Arthurian legends, world religions) in order to succeed in an academic setting at this time.

You are absolutely right in that any attempt to study WoT academically would have to involve Jordans sources and there certainly is an enormous wealth of them. As an English student, when we study a novel no matter what era it is from, we look at what came before it, its' influences and what shaped the authors view of the world which they created.

 

On a side note, if I remember correctly, The Citadel is also where Jordan himself studied....

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I'm not an English major, but I should imagine that it's perfectly possible to study the WoT in an academic setting. If your struggle is to find something on which to write a dissertation, then you should certainly be able to do that, provided that you can find somebody willing to supervise you. I imagine there's any number of interesting critiques you could do. Most obviously, you could do interesting feminist critiques, or critique the books (and epic fantasy in general?) as a form of mass-media, but I'm sure there's other issues English majors like to argue about too.

 

Basically, all you need is an interesting angle of attack and an agreeable supervisor. Chatting to professors about this sort of thing can help come up with a good idea, since they might be able to recommend related work similar to the subject you want to do.

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