Kellie Bean, Lyndon State College’s provost and academic dean, has had an essay published in the latest volume of the Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, “The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy.” Her article, “Keeping It (Hyper) Real: Anchoring in the Age of Fake News,” is in the volume’s first section entitled “Headlines: Faux News is Good News.”
Each volume in the Blackwell series—84 in total–seeks to “get philosophy out of the ivory tower by publishing books about smart popular culture for serious fans.” The books use themes, characters, and ideas from a variety of sources: popular TV shows and comic books, movies, music, video games, and more. Previous books have dealt with “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones,” “Superman,” “Final Fantasy,” and the band Metallica.
This “Daily Show” volume expands and updates a 2007 version that examines the “philosophical significance of the quintessential ‘fake’ news show of the 21st century” and its spin-off, “The Colbert Report.” The essayists, or as the book calls them, “Senior Philosophical Correspondents,” tackle tough and surprisingly funny questions about politics, religion, and power. Bean’s essay uses the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard’s concepts of “simulacra and simulation” to examine the effect of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” on the television audience’s view of reality. Baudrillard’s postmodern concepts deal largely with the relationship among images, society, and reality. Bean said she has “been interested in and intrigued by the series since the early 2000’s and has wanted to contribute” to the books on “The Sopranos,” “Dexter,” and “Sex and the City.”
Bean’s appointment as LSC’s provost and dean of academic affairs began July 1. She has spent 25 years in higher education, 19 of them at Marshall University. She has published on the works of Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett, and Jean François Lyotard. Her book “Post-Backlash Feminism: Women and the Media since Reagan/Bush” was published in 2007. It assesses anti-feminist media coverage, particularly following the Reagan administration and the Clinton-Lewinski affair.