Prof. Eleanor Miller
HBO's series The Wire has been regularly described as "the best TV show ever broadcast in America" (and more) by numerous critics, and some claim it deserves to be considered a great work of literature. Ellie Miller has another take. She has long been a researcher of urban issues; her study of urban female street hustlers, Street Woman, remains a classic. So when designing a new course on urban poverty, she decided to use The Wire as a lens through which undergraduates can study problems of urban poverty, and the tangled issues of race, drugs, violence, and corruption with which it is associated. Her new course, "Urban Inequality and Crime: The Wire" (Soc. 96A), will be offered Spring semester, 2014. And there's reason to believe the show's creator, David Simon might approve. He wrote about the program, "We thought some prolonged arguments about what kind of country we've built might be a good thing, and if such arguments and discussions ever happen, we will feel more vindicated in purpose than if someone makes an argument for why The Wire is the best show in years."