Speaking of cultural references, here’s a piece on UT Austin philosophers using The Simpsons, Atlas Shrugged, Buffy, and other media references presumably shared by students:
Feature Story: Pop Goes Philosophy: Professor draws upon popular culture to illustrate today’s moral issues
Of course, all teachers do similar things, to different degrees. But it’s nice to see it acknowledged in a public context. With tenure-obsession, teaching often takes a very secondary role in North American universities.
The piece mentions Linklater’s Waking Life, in which two UT Austin philosophers appear. Haven’t seen that particular movie but there’s a lot to be said about taking part in local culture. In fact, it’s something which struck me about Linklater’s Slacker in which yet another UT Austin philosopher (Louis Mackey) plays an anarchist character. Since that movie is clearly a “core text” for Austinites, the referential effect is quite effective. Nothing like locale-appropriate pop culture references. Even if they appear somewhat outdated.