With the land of academia expanding its offerings more and more to include nontraditional courses and majors in "cultural studies," it doesn't seem all that surprising that a Jersey Shore conference was just held at the University of Chicago on Friday. Judging by the New York Times article which outlined the scholarly pursuits of the conference, it was actually quite ambitious and, well, scholarly.
The event was split into four sessions throughout the day and was attended and run by hundreds of professors, graduate and undergraduate students, humorists, philosophers, and media-studies scholars and sociologists. In one presentation, titled "Bodily Discipline: Foucault + Snooki = BFF," a McGill undergraduate who'd interned for Jersey Shore, argued that when Snooki was arrested in season three, "it was the audience that was being arrested and rendered docile, not Snooki."
Other topics included Jersey Shore as a challenge to Marxist and labor theory, the extreme self-awareness of the show, and the thorny problem of "Guidosexuality." So kids, don't be too quick to declare your major in something dry like English or Math. Jersey Shore Studies may be on its way to a college near you.