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Velvet Prisons: Russell Jacoby on American Academia| 55mins
Director: Kurt Jacobsen and Warren Leming | Producer: Hugh Iglarsh, Kurt Jacobsen, Warren Leming
Focus Years: 2012 | Country: United States
Subject Tags: americas, culture, education, politics, united states
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
"Velvet Prisons" is an hour-long documentary exploring critiques by maverick scholar Russell Jacoby regarding the foibles of the American academy, political life, and popular culture from the 1950s to the present. This captivating interview examines the fate of public intellectuals, the neutering of radical inquiry in universities, the need for daring utopian thought, the scourge of bad academic writing, the inspiring legacy of C. Wright Mills, the blight of pop psychology, the free-wheeling impact of the 1960s, alternative media, and the "planned obsolescence of thinking" in a proudly anti-intellectual society. All these issues connect to a larger question: what does the "life of the mind" mean in contemporary America? It is a question that Jacoby, himself a stubbornly round peg in the square hole of modern academia, is uniquely qualified to address. This documentary enables viewers to visit one of the most interesting intellectual figures of our time, much like earlier films on Noam Chomsky, Slavoj Zizek, Edward Said, and Jacques Derrida.
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Kurt Jacobsen

United States


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