Academics turn to online animation site to satirize academia

January 27, 2011

Xtranormal, a do-it-yourself cartoon-video website, is gaining a wide following among educators as a tool for both teaching and satire. Having attracted more than a half-million views, "So You Want to Get a PhD in the Humanities," created by an English PhD student at Philadelphia-based Temple University, depicts a meeting between a literature student, who declares her intention to become a college professor, and a jaded professor, who warns the student that she will remain single forever and work 65 hours a week "trying to publish an obscure article that no one cares about in an obscure scholarly journal that nobody will read." Similar satires have been produced on other disciplines, such as law, political science, and business. Xtranormal is working on making the site more useful in the classroom, with education-specific features anticipated by midyear. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Margin Notes