by Locker Room contributor
Here’s how UNC-Greensboro does it, per the UNCG Carolinian:
TLC staff have noted an increase in student use of the facility in recent years. However, the TLC’s budget for new materials is not affected by the number of students who utilize them. In choosing which materials to add to the collection, “We work closely with faculty members, production companies…we’re able to preview materials before purchasing them,” said Foster. The browsing collection follows major releases and popular movies, even popular TV shows like “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.” The staff also receives many requests for independent films and documentaries that are harder to find at commercial movie rentals.
“We’ve seen a greater diversity of titles in the last few years,” said Foster.
Profs take note: a sure way to gain quick recognition with a Course of the Month is to have it rely on “teaching” popular culture such as “major releases and popular movies, even popular TV shows.” Also note that your peers who are inclined to euphemism dub them “filmic texts” to teach “critical thinking.” Or you could use music videos, video games, even spin the FM dial. As I wrote two years ago in a Course of the Month entry,
Great Books are challenging, making them seem boring to those who are loathe to engage them. Paradise Lost might be a masterpiece, but it won?t play in the VCR ? unlike so many of today?s texts. Bored students are more likely to receive lower grades and consequently less likely to give favorable reviews of the professor. Unfavorable reviews also hurt one?s chances at receiving tenure. …
In such an environment, it?s wiser to choose a topic interesting to students, then select among the myriad omnipresent ?texts? to fit the topic. Popular TV shows therefore become excellent choices upon which to base a literature class. The same goes for sports, movies, fads, the nation in general, etc., and one subject of particular interest to college students: sex.