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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 December 2007, 09:10 GMT
'My subject is Bond, James Bond'
Sean Connery as James Bond
Dr No - students will look at 007's enduring appeal
It might shake, if not stir, the academic world a little.

Cardiff University is offering a chance to study James Bond, the British spy whose career in both books and film has spanned more than 50 years.

The 10-week course, James Bond in Context, will include a look at Ian Fleming's creation in terms of his historical and social significance.

Tutor Hywel Dix said there was renewed interest in 007 after the success of last year's Casino Royale.

Bond first appeared in Fleming's novel Casino Royale in 1952, and became a literary phenomenon, which translated to the cinema with Sean Connery as the hero in Dr No in 1962.

That first novel gave its name to the latest film in 2006, which became a huge hit at the box office with Daniel Craig in the lead role.

Dr Dix's course will start in January at the university's centre for lifelong learning, and he said 007 had secured his cultural significance.

"It's been brought back into the public eye, it's resurgent and popular".

Daniel Craig as James Bond
1962-71 - Sean Connery
1969 - George Lazenby
1973-85 - Roger Moore
1987-89 - Timothy Dalton
1995-2002 - Pierce Brosnan
2006 - - Daniel Craig (above)

For the first two weeks of the course, Dr Dix intends to look at the literary context of the Bond novels between 1953 and 1954.

He will also include other works published around the same time, including Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien and Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.

Dr Dix said the novels were part of an "historic phenomena" and reflected the political situations of the time, including the Cold War and its aftermath.

"It also highlights the representations of women and their role," Dr Dix added.

The course will also look at the films which have been translated into many languages.

Fleming's death in 1964 did not prevent new Bond novels appearing and subsequent novels were written by Kingsley Amis, as well as Robert Markham, John Pearson, John Gardner and Raymond Benson.

In addition, Fast Show star Charlie Higson has written a series of books on the young Bond, with the approval of the Fleming estate.

In July, it was announced that author Sebastian Faulks had been commissioned to write a Bond novel for publication in 2008.

And of all the Bonds, who is Dr Dix's favourite?

Like many people, it is Sean Connery. He said: "He was the wittiest".

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