'Twilight' Hits Academia, Takes Scholars With It

Keep an eye out for what Inside Higher Ed calls "the new Twihards" -- one of them might be your professor.

The obsession-inducing vampire love series has taken hold of academia, inspiring surprising discourse on its content and reach. Already, there's a book about the philosophical implications of Stephanie Meyer's teen novels. A proposal out of the University of Pennsylvania purports to examine Twilight, youth culture and media. A call for papers for the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference asks about Twilight and feminism, fandom and more.

The series is a ripe target for scholars, with its wide appeal and rich subject matter.

Twilight, [Hartwick College assistant philosophy professor and co-editor of Twilight and Philosophy J. Jeremy] Wisnewski says, is "particularly conducive" to discussion of a rich variety of topics in philosophy, and therefore to making these issues accessible to a large and diverse audience. "When something like Twilight hits ... it's a huge opportunity, because there's all sorts of questions about death, relationships, what it means to be human, what it means to be moral...."

So far, Twilight and Philosophy has been published as an audiobook and in six languages. Wisnewski isn't surprised -- he adds: "The idea of doing philosophy as popular writing is as old as philosophy itself."

What do you think? Would you seek out a philosophical interpretation of Twilight?