When Whitman College professor Anne Helen Petersen kicked off a course dedicated solely to “Mad Men’’ last fall, all but two of the students in her class were non-watchers. That quickly changed.
Over the course of the coming weeks, students in “Mad Men: Media, Gender, Historiography’’ were converted to super fans, spending time agonizing over plot twists in the “quasi-existential’’ drama that returns to AMC this for its final season on Sunday. She then detailed the entire semester-long evolution in a Slate post.
The requirements for the course were simple. Students were asked to join Netflix before the semester began, required to watch several episodes each week, and then pair the episodic lessons with readings written in the era, including “Revolutionary Road,’’ (1961) “The White Negro,’’ (1957) and “Sex and the Single Girl’’ (1962).
Creating a class which focuses on one single media entity (a book, an author, a film director) isn’t a new concept, but this is the first to focus on “Mad Men’’ (that we know of). Sadly, it’s not listed in the Whitman fall or spring course catalog. Would you invest in a course about the AMC hit series?