We talk about Netflix’s “The Chair” with two female professors, about the show’s portrayal of female allyship, discrimination against faculty of color, the debate over free speech on the American campus, and why we think the show missed the mark.
2:00 Our first impression of the show
3:40 What is it like to be a mother and a college professor in the show vs IRL
6:20 In just six episodes, this show attempts to capture the complexity of contemporary U.S. campus politics
10:30 Our issues: an over-simplistic portrayal of students demands, an unrealistic solution to Yaz’s stalling career
13:20 Anachronism in the plotline: some depictions are outdated
18:30 Entering one room filled with whiteness — our PTSD and imposter syndrome
24:45 Why is Bill the most authentic, and the fullest character in a show about Ji-yoon? Why do we keep loving and forgiving “Bills”?
29:05 Ji-Yoon obsession with perfectionism and assimilation reveals our society’s double standard towards scholars of color
34:30 Ji-Yoon and Bill’s on-screen chemistry, and real-life examples
39:40 Allyship between female professors in universities
41:50 Joan’s conflicted relationship with feminism
56:25 The cruel, blatant ageism in the show
1:01:10 The role of university administration in the show vs. IRL
Afra & Juan Qian
Yuan Yuan: Recently graduated from Yale with her Ph.D in philosophy, now teaches at NYU-Shanghai
Eileen Chow: Associate Professor of the Practice in Chinese and Japanese Cultural Studies at Duke University
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