EDUCATION

The D'oh of Homer: Popular 'Simpsons' sitcom goes high-brow in US college courses

  • FILE - This undated image from files, provided by Fox Broadcasting from "The Simpsons," shows the popular cartoon family posing in front of their home, from left, Lisa , Marge , Maggie, Homer and Bart Simpson.  University students have been studying Homer's "The Odyssey" for centuries. More recently, Homer Simpson's "Odyssey," and a quarter-century of episodes from the animated sitcom have been undergoing similar scrutiny at several college campuses around the country. (AP Photo/Fox Broacasting Co., File) 1998 FOX BROADCASTING

    FILE - This undated image from files, provided by Fox Broadcasting from "The Simpsons," shows the popular cartoon family posing in front of their home, from left, Lisa , Marge , Maggie, Homer and Bart Simpson. University students have been studying Homer's "The Odyssey" for centuries. More recently, Homer Simpson's "Odyssey," and a quarter-century of episodes from the animated sitcom have been undergoing similar scrutiny at several college campuses around the country. (AP Photo/Fox Broacasting Co., File) 1998 FOX BROADCASTING  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Dec. 1, 2014, photograph in Hempstead, N.Y., Richard Pioreck, adjunct professor of English, creative writing and literature at Hofstra University, discusses  how he uses “The Simpsons” television show and its use of references to Broadway and literature to teach his students. The popular sitcom has been fodder for study at several universities around the country. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman)

    In this Dec. 1, 2014, photograph in Hempstead, N.Y., Richard Pioreck, adjunct professor of English, creative writing and literature at Hofstra University, discusses how he uses “The Simpsons” television show and its use of references to Broadway and literature to teach his students. The popular sitcom has been fodder for study at several universities around the country. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman)  (The Associated Press)

Bart and Lisa Simpson have been in elementary school for 25 years. But that hasn't stopped them from showing up on college campuses.

TV's animated smart-mouths are now a teaching tool at colleges across the nation.

At Hofstra University on New York's Long Island, a class examines Broadway musicals, American literature and other topics using plot lines from "The Simpsons." One course is titled "The D'oh! Of Homer."

Hofstra professor Richard Pioreck (pee-OHR'-ihk) says using "The Simpsons" is a way to engage students familiar with the pop culture phenomenon.

He says that if the references are important enough to be lampooned by "The Simpsons," then the works must be important cultural milestones.