Academia Imitating Art: UM Students Learn About Public Policy Via 'The Wire'
The name of a graduate-level seminar led by Associate Professor David Harding (pictured) at the University of Michigan leaves no doubt that it's not dull: "Urban Public Policy Through the Lens of HBO's "The Wire.' "
In the Freep, David Jesse looks at the unusual approach to a wonky subject. He quotes from the syllabus:
"The Wire" presents a useful platform for policy students to engage in an interdisciplinary study of the challenges associated with urban decay in postindustrial American cities.
Suggested episodes of the five-season series are linked to each week of study.
The show is set in Baltimore. The first season focuses on the drug trade in the city and the police who battle it. Following seasons look at education, journalism, the docks and city government. The seasons build on one another and interact, so the season focusing on education also deals with the drug trade, for example.
That intersection is what the class is about, Harding says.