[extropy-chat] FWD (SK) Pop Ph.D.'s: How TV Ate Academics

Terry W. Colvin fortean1 at mindspring.com
Mon Jan 9 03:53:55 UTC 2006

January 8, 2006

Pop Ph.D.'s: How TV Ate Academics

TODAY'S academics, many of them Gen X or baby boomers, are far more 
tolerant of popular culture than previous generations, says Lynn 
Schofield Clark, a communications professor at the University of 
Colorado, Boulder, whose research centers on mass media and its 
audiences. But she is quick to qualify, saying, "But only when it's 
being employed as a bridge to ideas that are relevant, timeless and important."

Perhaps nothing reflects this trend more than the eclectic 
dissertation topics of Ph.D.'s - research interests that eventually 
filter into the classroom.

In her own thesis, Dr. Clark studied religious symbols and 
adolescents, "analyzing the interpretive strategies that teens 
brought to such popular television programs as 'Touched by an Angel.' "

Here are others topics:

"Audience Reception Study of the 'Survivor' Series," Richard Crew, 
chairman, communications department, College Misericordia (Pennsylvania).

"From the Village Blacksmith to Mr. Good Wrench: Creating Auto 
Mechanics in Technology's Middle Ground," Kevin L. Borg, assistant 
professor of history, James Madison University (Virginia).

"Myth of Communion: Rhetorical Analysis of the Narratives of Alien 
Abductees," Stephanie Kelley-Romano, assistant professor of rhetoric, 
Bates College (Maine).

"Sonic Waves: Careers of Rap Musicians, 1979-1995," Jennifer Lena, 
assistant professor of sociology, Vanderbilt University (Nashville).

"Unveiled: The Emotion Work of Wedding Coordinators in the American 
Wedding Industry," Angela Thompson, professor of sociology, Texas 
Christian University.

"Urban Jungles: Zoos and American Society," Jeffrey Hyson, assistant 
professor of history, St. Joseph's University (Philadelphia).

"Lowrider Space" (as in low-riding cars), Ben Chappell, assistant 
professor of sociology/cultural studies, Bridgewater College (Virginia).

"Doing Gender With Santa: Gender-Typing in Children's Toy 
Preferences," Greta E. Pennell, associate professor of teacher 
education, University of Indianapolis.

"Spaghetti Dinners and Fireflies in a Jar: The Shaping of Paradoxical 
Places and Spaces in Disney's Celebration," Jennifer Prough, 
instructor of humanities and anthropology, Valparaiso University (Indiana).

"Reading Culture, Engendering Girls: The Politics of the Everyday in 
the Production of Girls' Manga" (Japanese comics), Andrew Wood, 
associate professor of communications, San Jose State University.


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Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1 at mindspring.com >
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