Academia's ivory tower within the worlds of new media and popular culture

Source document: Theory and Practice in English Studies. 2019, vol. 8, iss. 2, pp. [11]-29
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This paper focuses on issues of the accessibility and approachability of the academic space, the ways it is generally represented outside of academia as well as how scholars who have written about being academics perceive it. It discusses the levels of inclusion and exclusion that are present when academia is seen in relation to the real world and what both of these states generate in regard to the act of forming opinions of higher education and its usefulness in the eyes of the general public. Transcending the boundaries of academia, this paper explores how graduate students who are a part of academia attempt to deal with the clash of different identity points and mental health problems caused by it, and also how they try to forward academia into new spaces such as popular culture, music, or social media. These include for instance the American rapper Sammus, or the Canadian theoretician Kristen Cochrane. This paper further delves into ways in which academic space and university experience are represented on social media entertainment platforms as well as the means by which universities promote themselves online. In this regard this paper's aim lies in searching for a defamiliarized view of academia and creating a pathway for making its ivory tower more down to earth. This paper concludes that by getting closer to audiences with broader sets of interests, academia has an increasingly better chance of gaining new meanings, which may ultimately prove beneficial for the understanding of its significance not only within the sector of education, but also outside of it.
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