Dean Mike Jacobs To Present at Filling Station: A Faculty Research Presentation Series, March 16
Save the date! On March 16, 12-12:50PM, in 8-200, Dean Mike Jacobs will
present at the second Filling Station event of the semester. For his
presentation, Mike will discuss his work with James Agee's and Walker Evans's
seminal, Depression era text-and-picture book, Let Us Now Praise Famous
Men. Drawing on both the poetics and humanist ambitions of the so-called
high modernists, Famous Men seeks to represent faithfully the lives of
Alabama tenant farmers--"an undefended and appallingly damaged group of human
beings." In abandoning the conventional journalistic forms of their day, which
often sought to sensationalize and commodify the poor, Agee and Evans succeeded
in documenting "the uncapturable beauties of existence."
Before serving as Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at MCC, Dr. Michael
Jacobs was Chair of English at Berkeley College in New York City and founding
Director of the Consortium for Critical Reading, Writing, and Thinking. Dr.
Jacobs's research examines the influence of literary modernism on documentary
journalism--as well as how comparable sociopolitical conditions in the U.S.
during the Great Depression and Vietnam War Era gave rise to equally comparable
surges in the production and quality of works that cross over the borders of
literature and journalism. His most recent publications include "Confronting
the (Un)Reality of Pranksterdom: Tom Wolfe and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"
(published in Literary Journalism Studies) and "From Cotton Pickin' to
Acid Droppin': James Agee and the New Journalism" (featured in Let Us Now
Praise Famous Men at 75: Anniversary Essays--Univ. of Tennessee