The Smithsonian Is Offering An Online Course On The History Of Superheroes With Michael Uslan And Stan Lee


Calling all students of pop culture, history, and superheroes: It’s time to register for a unique free online course that features comic book legend Stan Lee.

Yes, true believers, this is a great opportunity so don’t miss out. The course begins May 5. Register by March 31 right here.

Details follow:


“The Rise of Superheroes” Explores Different Perspectives of the History and Cultural Influences
of the Superhero Genre

Course Participants Receive a Certificate Featuring
Original Artwork and signed by Stan Lee and Michael Uslan


Stan Lee, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, POW! Entertainment and Chairman Emeritus of Marvel, has teamed up with the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex, to teach a free open online course, in partnership with edX, the nonprofit online learning initiative. Fans will have the opportunity to become certified experts in the superhero genre and be taught by one of its greatest living legends.

Lee, a pioneer of the comic book genre and creator of some of the most recognizable action heroes of page and screen, will join Michael Uslan, Executive Producer of the Dark Knight trilogy and Professor of Practice at Indiana University’s Media School, and David Uslan, Executive Producer of Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch and AMC’s Mob Week documentary series, to teach “Rise of Super Heroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture.” An examination of the rise of comic books to their dominant place in pop culture, the course will provide different perspectives of the history and cultural influences of the superhero genre. The course is open to all ages, and is delivered via video lectures and interviews, interactive exercises, curated links and readings, and online discussion with course faculty and students from around the world.

Participants who sign up for and earn a verified certificate in the five week course will receive a certificate featuring original artwork with both Stan Lee’s and Michael Uslan’s signatures.

“It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people,” said Stan Lee. “Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.”

“The comic book is an indigenous American art form worthy of galleries, museums, and universities, and has become contemporary American folklore embraced around the world,” said Michael Uslan. “It’s exciting to see the Smithsonian Institution and edX recognize and honor the comic book industry by making this landmark course a reality.”

“Rise of Super Heroes” starts May 5, 2015. Participants must register by March 31 and complete the course to qualify to receive the signed certificate with limited edition artwork.


About the Smithsonian Institution

Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,400 Smithsonian employees and 5,500 volunteers. There were 28 million visits to the Smithsonian in 2014. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at nearly 138 million, including more than 126 million specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.

About edX

EdX is a nonprofit, open-source enterprise offering online courses from more than 60 member institutions, composed of both leading global universities and colleges and a diverse group of prominent organizations from around the world. Founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, edX is focused on transforming online and on-campus learning through groundbreaking methodologies, game-like experiences and cutting-edge research on an open-source platform. Based in Cambridge, MA, USA, edX is focused on people, not profit.


Filed under Education, Smithsonian Institution, Stan Lee, Superheroes

7 responses to “The Smithsonian Is Offering An Online Course On The History Of Superheroes With Michael Uslan And Stan Lee

  1. I’ve signed up for it!

  2. Stan Lee’s the best!

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