Tuesday, July 8, 2014

can intellect be applied to nonacademic subjects?

           Quoted in the essay “Hidden intellectualism” Ned Laff claims “is not simply to exploit students’ nonacademic interests, but to get them to see those interests through academic eyes” (Graff 204). Here Graff is agreeing with Professor Ned, that even if students are reading about something that interest them that is not enough to get them to write in an “analytical way”, they need to look at whatever they are reading through with “academic eyes” meaning they need to be able to skillfully argue what they are writing about, be able to consider and have conversations with others about their ideas. According to Graff “we assume that it’s possible to wax intellectual about Plato, Shakespeare, the French Revolution, and nuclear fission, but not about cars, dating, fashion, sports, TV, or video games. The trouble with this assumption is that no necessary connection has ever been established between any text or subject and the educational depth and weight of the discussion it can generate” (Graff 199). Here Graff clearly disagrees with the idea that only school approved topics can generate intellectual arguments. He believes that if you can analyze something thoroughly, view others ideas, make valuable comments in conversations you are being an intellect.

           I believe I am an intellect at cartoons or TV shows in general, from a very young age I've always liked watching TV. At first it was cartoons like The Looney tunes and Merrie Melodies or Tom & Jerry, after watching a new episode with my uncle we use to always debate our favorite scene and why it was better than the others favorite scene. Now that I am older and watch shows like Supernatural or Hawaii Five O I can analyze what is going own and bring a valuable argument in a conversation, be it online or somewhere else. I didn’t feel I was an intellect before on this subject of TV shows, because like Graff states I, as a student was thought that only school oriented or approve topics were intellectual. 


  1. Great post, you get good stuffs up here.

  2. I think it's interesting that you used cartoons such as "Looney Tunes" as an example. Many of these cartoons, while they may be primarily targeted at kids, have some subliminal jokes and messages that make them appropriate for adults. One show that comes to mind is "Animaniacs" which was filled with both intelligent and adult related humor.

    1. I agree with you and I think that's one the reason's why even when older you can relate to them.

  3. Great post Jahomi :) let's have an intellectual convo on Looney Tunes

  4. Great post, Homi!

    Animaniacs was a VERY intellectual show, Aaron :-)