UC Irvine Music Professor Gets LOST

ABC’s “LOST” enthusiasts and rookies alike agree that the show has gained significant clout within its cult following.

The Internet is no exception, featuring numerous blogs and sites that boast daily updates and hundreds of comments from devoted fans.

With all of this coverage, it comes as little surprise that “LOST” has managed to permeate the academic world.

Recently, Web sites that dedicate themselves to the understanding of the academic aspects and value of “LOST” have been created, inviting professionals and academics to contribute.

One such Web site is called “The Society for the Study of Lost,” and is hosted by Amy Bauer, Assistant Professor of Music Theory here at UCI.

Bauer has been a part of regular academic conferences through online journals since 2000, starting with the site Slayage.com, which caters to scholars and cult fans of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which became the model for the current “LOST” Web site.

Launched in 2004, www.losttv-forum.com became the first Web site dedicated to discussing “LOST,” featuring participants of various backgrounds, from lawyers and educators to scientists posting essays highlighting elaborate theories on key elements of the show. Since then, Bauer has been committed to informing and bringing people together through this online journal format, located on the Society for the Study of Lost’s Web site at www.loststudies.com. Bauer is part of the editorial board for the online journal, which is released in volume-form collections of essays.

She even plans to publish a book from her collection of articles, which should be exciting news for the future impact of “LOST” long after its last episode airs on May 23.

“[‘LOST’ is] the Charles Dickens of television,” Bauer said, likening its elaborate mysteries and plotlines to be traditionally literary elements that transcend the realm of standard TV shows. This brings up another point about the complex storyline and themes of this show; according to Bauer, “LOST” simply could not have existed before the Internet or DVR television recording.

“There is a built-in footnote component,” Bauer explained, citing how instrumental the internet is as a forum for consulting the historical facts and intriguing references that characterize “LOST.”

“All these influences, from Eastern religion to philosophical movements to quantum physics weaved into a compelling narrative makes repeated viewings and analysis a requirement for the serious fan,” Bauer said.

Through her reputed online journal, Bauer has proved that “LOST” is indeed much more than a cult obsession but a show with academic content worth presenting and analyzing.

If you find yourself debating whether to study for upcoming midterms or catch up on your TV shows, “LOST” could be your best bet. You might actually learn something.