Tony Soprano is graduating from the Bada Bing to the hallowed halls of academia.
More than 60 college professors from as far away as Germany and Australia will converge on Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus in New York City later this month to analyze and dissect "The Sopranos."
It figures to be the most wide-ranging examination of the HBO series ever staged, including sessions on gender issues ("Carmela Soprano: Fighting Our Battle?"), ethnicity ("Wops and WASPs: Using 'The Sopranos' to Teach about Race and Racism"), parenthood ("Tony Soprano as Feral Father: Patriarchy in the Age of Hybridity"), and even cuisine ("A Family That Eats Together, Kills Together: Food as Metaphor in 'The Sopranos'").
The conference, titled "The Sopranos: A Wake," was convened as a way of mourning the revered show's passing after its controversial final episode aired last June, and to define its position in the popular culture.
"In the academic world, [a symposium] is one of the ways that scholars and other people who are thinking about 'The Sopranos' disseminate their ideas," said Paul Levinson, chairman of the department of communications and media studies at Fordham.