Baltimore, Marveland?

A course in the Marvel Cinematic Universe at University of Baltimore

It’s not exactly Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters, but the University of Baltimore is staking a claim as an institute of higher learning – learning about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that is. It was recently announced that a spring 2015 course called “Media Genres: Media Marvels” would be offered as part of the curriculum, with the following description offered via press release: “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.”

Course instructor Arnold T. Blumberg sees the MCU as not only a finely constructed device for storytelling on a vast canvas, but an incredible jumping-off point for conversations about key facets of contemporary culture. While discussing what heroism, bravery and freedom even mean to people in our modern world for college credit isn’t that hard to get your head around, imagine doing so against the backdrop of some of the most universally recognized and adored superheroes in the pop culture pantheon. Certainly beats another look at the usual real-world examples you learned about in high school!

Mike McCann

Mike McCann is a lifelong geek with a deep and abiding passion for comic books, science fiction and all things pop culture. Why, yes - he IS an only did you know? He's also a history major, a hockey and football fanatic and a music nerd of the highest order. In other words, you want him on your pub trivia team. Seven year old Mike once received a letter from DC Comics encouraging him to "keep drawing and maybe you'll work for us someday!" His grade school library published a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired book he wrote at 12, and he's never looked back. Since then, he has worked in creative or strategic roles at college radio stations and newspapers, record companies, music magazines, dens of Internet iniquity, budding media empires, global telecommunications outfits and software development consultancies, with each stop allowing him to turn his hobbies into a job. Call him the Vice President of (Arrested) Business Development. Mike lives in Toronto, Canada with his patient wife and their five year old, superhero-obsessed son. Among their prized possessions are a NM copy of X-Men #94, a replica of the Shakespeare bust from the Batman TV show and a Death Star cookie jar.

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