Thursday, December 16, 2004

Higher Education in Film and Fiction

I am starting a blog that will be used for my new course, Higher Education in Film and Fiction. However, more than just a course blog, I want it to be a discussion of higher education, in all its nuances and manifestations. I think what goes on in universities is intrinsically interesting, and little understood. It is serious stuff...but it is also asinine and funny, ironic and absurd, don't you think?

The title of the blog plays off Jane Smiley's well known satirical novel, which I will teach. I work at Purdue, and our president was the president of Iowa State when Smiley wrote Moo while on the faculty there, hence moo2 blog is a continuation of observations on landgrant universities, but also many other kinds of institutions, as well as discussions of education in general.

I am a philosopher of education, so I am interested in conceptual issues of higher education, as well as how higher education and K-12 schooling interact.

I see film and fiction as another set of lenses for looking at this. I am dismayed by how cardboardy most Hollywood depictions of university life are. Professors in tweed and puffing pipes (even in John Singleton's film Higher Learning!), male professors chasing after undergraduate women. Ha!

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