Teaching The Wire
My spring semester starts next week, and as I believe both in making my teaching work publicly available to the world, and in publicly acknowledging that teaching is my primary job 9 months of the year, here are the syllabi for my courses.The first is an old standard, Theories of Popular Culture – I’ve gotten this course in a good place over the years, serving as an introduction to cultural studies and diving into the deep-end of theory for undergraduates without drowning. Feel free to poach, in the spirit of de Certeau of course!
The second course is new to me, and quite an experiment: Urban America & Serial Television: Watching The Wire. We’ll be treating the entire series as the core text, as one might study the novels of Dostoevsky or drama of Shakespeare. Watching 5 episodes a week, we’ll be considering the show both as an aesthetic achievement and social argument, asking two key questions: what does The Wire teach us about the possibilities of television, and what does it teach us about contemporary urban America? I’ll try to post here regularly about the challenges and revelations about teaching a long-form television narrative in its entirety, something that I do not believe has been done before in this form (if anyone knows of similar models, let me know).
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to be heading back to Baltimore (virtually) and leading 25 students on the journey. Stop by the blog and join the conversation!
Filed under: Academia, Middlebury, Teaching, Television, TV Shows | 10 Comments
Tags: The Wire