Last January, I found myself taking a course on the HBO hit show Game of Thrones. Although an English PhD student on paper, my interests are tied heavily to narrative in other forms (i.e. film, television, new media, etc.) so when I saw a course through the Communication department entitled “Television & Blogging,” my interest was piqued. Everyone in the course, including our professor (Dr. Jeffery Chown) blogged our way through the experience and worked to create an academic resource for students and academics who were interested in studying the show. Having the opportunity to explore a TV pop culture phenomenon in that kind of depth was incredibly rewarding. I also found that writing throughout the Game of Thrones rewatch was helpful to me as an academic because it forced me to think about my own delivery in writing and even the idea of audience in new and nuanced ways. Afterall, I was no longer just writing a stuffy term paper that would, likely, only ever been seen or talked about with my professor and a small group of students. My writing was suddenly going out to the world and had to be both intelligently sound but also relatively accessible to those who happened across it. I felt that by the time I had finally figured out how best to achieve a balance in all of these aims, the semester was practically over. Needless to say, I was quite happy to find that a similar course is taking place this spring in which Showtime’s Homeland will be the main topic, which provides me an additional opportunity to refine this skill.
Over the course of the Spring 2017 semester, participants in the Homeland course will each be rewatching the show from the beginning (approximately four episodes per week) and blogging about each week’s rewatch progress. We will be attempting to not only engage deeply with the episodes and explore the show from a variety of critical academic angles but also engage with other scholars in the process. This will allow me and my fellow classmates to provide our readers a complex and varied understanding of the show.
TheSmallScreenScholar.com will be the place in which my contribution to this effort will live. My hope is that Showtime’s Homeland will be the first show of many with which I will engage on this platform to provide critical commentary. If my classmates are willing to share their efforts, I will be sure to link to them in the future so you can explore their blogging efforts as well.
More than anything, however, I would like this platform to be one of continuing dialogue. Although I know that my classmates will be commenting throughout the semester, I invite all readers to participate and share their thoughts, ask questions, respectfully express disagreements, provide counterpoints, etc. TheSmallScreenScholar.com is meant to be a place of inquiry and learning for all so please feel free to engage.
I am looking forward to officially launching this project by engaging with the first four episodes of Homeland within the next week and a half. Be sure to stop back soon (and often) as this Homeland rewatch project gets underway. To ensure that you never miss a post, be sure to follow our blog on wordpress or follow me on social media, where I will also be sure to post links as new posts are added.
Thank you for spending a bit of time with me today. I look forward to writing for you again and (hopefully) engaging with you all in the comments!