Saturday, August 3, 2013

Seriously. You CAN get a PhD in Batman

I suppose anything goes if you put the right spin on it

This improbable topic comes from an article by Jeff Rubin in the Fall 2013 issue of my fave mag mental_floss. The interviewee is doctoral candidate Will Brooker. The academic institution is never revealed.
Why Batman? 1. He’s “rich, multifaceted, so many contradictory things, and very, very complex.” 2. It’s more rigorous than doing a paper on the Iliad. There’s only one volume of the Iliad, but “an infinite amount of Batman out there.” 3. “He’s a good model for someone doing a PhD. I think he’s an amazing figure of what humanity can do.”
Okaaaay. But how does Mr. (Dr.?) Brooker hope to get away with this? Well, first he has to find an expert in this area of study to serve as his supervisor. There are, after all, a number of checks and balances here. Does such a master exist in the world of academia? Oh, stop yelling “Dr. Sheldon Cooper!” at me. Unless Cal Tech recognizes Batman as a legitimate field of research, Sheldon can only sponsor candidates in physics. Even then, said candidate would be better off with MacGyver.
Meanwhile, Brooker is selling the idea of Batman as a concept. “It’s about how the meaning of something changes over time. How something adapts and survives and changes but remains relevant to a new generation.”

Say you’re a Dean of Social Sciences. You buying this?

No comments: