© Miriam Posner and Figure/Ground Communication
Dr. Posner was interviewed by Justin Dowdall on October 8th, 2012
Dr. Posner coordinates and teaches in the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles. When she is not teaching, strategizing, or working with students, she’s writing a book on medical filmmaking about the way doctors have used film to make sense of the human body. Her Ph.D. from Yale University is in Film Studies and American Studies.
When you’re a grad student (or at least when I was a grad student), it can be easy to absorb the value system that prevails in much of the academy: that we mustn’t share our scholarship openly, that publishing is more important than anything else in the world, that the academy has a monopoly on wisdom, that a tenure-track professor is the only thing to aspire to be, that those of our friends who don’t hold these jobs have somehow failed. Adhering too closely to these values makes us risk-averse, short-sighted, limited. We become paranoid, anxious, and, I would argue, too fearful to speak out against the ways that the academy is failing its mission.