In case you hadn’t heard, Stan Lee will be co-teaching an online course with the Smithsonian. Best of all, it’s free! The course is titled, “The Rise of the Superheroes and their Impact on Pop Culture” and will begin on May 5, 2015.
Some of the topics covered, according to EDX the website administering the course, are:
- Why did superheroes first arise in 1938 and experience what we refer to as their “Golden Age” during World War II?
- Why did the superhero genre ebb and flow in popularity over the decades?
- How have comic books, published weekly since the mid-1930’s, mirrored a changing American society, reflecting our mores, slang, fads, biases and prejudices?
- Why was the comic book industry nearly shut down in the McCarthy Era of the 1950’s?
For those who are not familiar with these types of online courses, they are done not like traditional classes. They are called MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, and are meant to teach hundreds or sometimes thousands of people at once and you often do not need more than an email to register for a MOOC. You learn about topics by doing selected readings and watching lectures and videos online. Sometimes there will be a brief quiz to make sure you understood the main objectives. MOOCs will sometimes have a grading scale but often times they do not. They are a casual (and often) free way to learn a new skill, language, topic, etc.
If you want to sign up for Stan Lee’s MOOC, all you have to do is register with EDX to sign up for this course. I’ve signed up myself!