Some nice press on my Wire class

16Apr10

Just a quick post to link to a couple of nice pieces about my class (and others) exploring The Wire.

First off, last month Slate had the most detailed and substantive discussion of the range of courses that have developed across disciplines and institutions. A key issue that came through in my conversation with the reporter and his dialog with other faculty was the question as to whether such courses need to foreground the televisual context of the show as serialized fiction – not surprisingly, I think they do, but I’m not interested in picking a fight with William Julius Wilson! While I’m generally in favor of interdisciplinary approaches to media and don’t want to claim exclusive terrain, it’s always important to remember that medium does matter – and that there is an academic field dedicated to exploring why. Choosing to ignore that seems misguided, although there is a different between ignoring such contexts and downplaying them.

The second piece aired yesterday on NPR’s All Things Considered – a reporter from Vermont Public Radio visited my class last week, producing a profile of the course. While it’s a very nice piece, I can’t help but think of our longer interview and conversations that got edited out! But almost four minutes on NPR is great, and I’m especially happy that so many people got to hear the voices of my articulate students. And in general, having the press report about pedagogy is quite gratifying, as most faculty spend so much time and energy on teaching with such little recognition beyond (hopefully) the students in the room.



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