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Syracuse University professor offers a free course on ‘Doctor Who’

Does this mean we can major in TARDIS studies now? 


Lisa Granshaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 30, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 7:34 am CDT

Students at Syracuse University may not get the chance to travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS anytime soon, but this spring they can at least take a course on the space- and time-traveling alien. Professor Anthony Rotolo is offering a course on Doctor Who titled “Doctor Who (Un) Class” or #WhoClass.

According to the course description, the class will “explore the history, evolution, and cultural impact” of the show through lectures, seminars, screenings of past and present episodes, trivia challenges, and more. It will address questions like “who is The Doctor?” and “how have modern digital methods been used to restore or replace the lost episodes?” It’s not an official class through the college—hence the “(un) class” in its name—so there are no grades or homework involved and it’s free, but students can speak with their advisers about potentially taking it for independent study credit.

“I was inspired to put this course together because it is my belief that learning can and should be fun, and while not all courses can be about television series, some can!” Rotolo told “My Star Trek course has been a tremendous success, and I am proud to say that it has inspired countless students to find their path in media and even science and technology fields. As a teacher, there is nothing more important than that, and nothing more rewarding than hearing from a student that your course has had an impact in his or her life.”

According to Rotolo, more than 220 students have already signed up for the course and while he’ll be leaving online registration open, soon students won’t be guaranteed a seat in the classroom. The class is open to the public as well, but if you’re not near enough to the university to take it and want to see what happens, you should follow the course’s Facebook page and Twitter handle since the course description says the class “will feature live social media interaction and a variety of media content woven into an engaging program that is both entertaining and informative.” Rotolo may even put lecture notes online. People are already sharing their enthusiasm using the #WhoClass hashtag.

Just as the Silurians were awakened from hibernation, so have the @SyracuseU Whovians been awakened by the #Whoclass. Geronimo!

— Julie M. (@juliebagoulie) October 30, 2014

Wait listed for #WhoClass. This day has not been good to me. 🙈 #DoctorWho #fingerscrossed

— Jill (@JRB2287) October 29, 2014


— Darcy. (@Molo_Lolo) October 27, 2014

SOOOOOO excited for #WhoClass!!! Its going to be sooo much fun!!!

— Molly K (@hipppiecolor) October 28, 2014

Allons-y! #WhoClass

— Doctor Who Class (@WhoClass) October 27, 2014

The class will start in January and take place on Mondays from 6pm to 8pm on the Syracuse University main campus.

H/T FishBowlNY | Photo by JD Hancock/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 30, 2014, 12:23 pm CDT