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Hollywood's imaginary tenure

by Critical Commons Manager

The movie Tenure arguably represents the nadir of a largely wretched Hollywood sub-genre devoted to depictions of academia. Here, the tenure process at a fictional small liberal arts college is framed as roughly the equivalent of a high school popularity contest, crossed with an episode of I Dream of Jeannie. Academic cliches abound, ranging from a crusty old Dean, who scoffs at electronic publication for garnering "hits," to faculty lounges where corduroy-jacketed professors sip coffee and accuse each other of not lifting the toilet seat in the faculty restroom. In the end, the pedagogically gifted (but publishing-challenged) Luke Wilson elects to leave higher education to teach high school rather than suffer the indignity of a "probationary year" beyond his original tenure timeline, during which he would be expected to focus on his published scholarship.

Class and propriety in the tenure process

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The opacity of the tenure process is rendered legible through everyday social faux pas and condemnation

from Tenure (2009)
Creator: Mike Million
Posted by Critical Commons Manager
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