UT assistant professor to talk about ‘Game of Thrones’ at Perrysburg library

October 13, 2015 | Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Lindsay Mahaney

A night of fantasy and fun will feature a University of Toledo professor and his thoughts on how international relations can be applied to fantastical worlds.

A “Game of Thrones” party is set for Monday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Way Public Library located on 101 East Indiana Ave. in Perrysburg.

game of thrones flyer share[1]Dr. Joel Voss, UT assistant professor of political science, will speak about international relations theories in the fictional world of Westeros at the event.

“I want to take these international relations theories and use them to explain why things happen in ‘Game of Thrones,’” he said.

He cites the example of balance of threat theory, an idea that traditionally opposing groups align together when faced with a greater threat. This theory could be applied to the character Jon Snow’s decision to ally with his people’s enemy, the Wildlings, when they are both potentially threatened by White Walkers — a mythological race known to kill everything in their path.

“It’s a fun way to understand complex phenomenon,” he said.

This isn’t a new style of teaching for Voss; he uses it all the time in the classroom.

“I like to use pop culture as much as possible, and ‘Game of Thrones’ is probably about as pop as you can get right now. I think it helps explain complex phenomenon in a way students are willing to grasp; they see how they can use ‘Game of Thrones’ to explain international relations theory, and how they can use international relations theory to explain what’s going on in ‘Game of Thrones.’”

Voss will be speaking on behalf of the Humanities Institute in The University of Toledo’s College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences. The institute serves as an advocate and support for the study of human culture at UT.

In addition to Voss’s talk, the free, public event will feature a live weapons display by the Society for Creative Anachronism and hair braiding demonstrations by the Salon Hazelton, a photo booth, games, and “Game of Thrones” themed refreshments. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes as part of the fun.

“‘Game of Thrones’ has seemed to capture the public’s attention, both the show and the Martin series — people love to talk about it, share theories, and champion for their favorite character,” said Natalie Dielman, programming specialist for the library. “We have had two similar fandom parties — a ‘Doctor Who’ holiday party and a ‘Sherlock’ party.  I’d love to do more of these; it’s a lot of fun and gives people the chance to dress up and revel in their love for a series.”

Attendees must be 18 years or older to register for the event.

To register, go to waylibrary.info or call 419.874.3135 ext. 112.

Click to access the login or register cheese