In the summer of 2020, PC English Professor Dr. Matt Teorey was awarded a research stipend via an Exceptional Faculty Grant from the Peninsula College Foundation to incorporate new material into his IS-105: Pop Culture course. On April 15, at 12:30 pm, he will present this material with “Zen and the Art of Chickenman,” as part of Peninsula College’s Studium Generale series.
No stranger to research and publication, his study entitled “Zen and the Art of Chickenman” was published in Journal of American Culture in August. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jacc.13180
His specific area of research was the 1970s radio program “Chickenman” and its connections to the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Teorey will be using the connections between these works to help students consider issues in our current culture and engage in deeper philosophical analysis in his Pop Culture class.
He was first introduced to the “Chickenman” podcast by Math Professor Dr. Andrea Motyka, who knew he was a fan of old radio shows. She gave him a CD with episodes of the program, encouraging him to consider writing an essay about it.
“I enjoyed the show’s satire of superheroes,” Teorey said. “I have always enjoyed the voice acting in radio shows, and this aspect hooked me and kept me listening.”
A long-time fan of older radio shows from the 1940s and 1950s, Teorey lists “The Shadow,” “Yours Truly Johnny Dollar,” “Nightbeat,” and “Fibber McGee and Molly,” among his favorites.
Though the connections to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance were not immediately apparent, he was intrigued that Zen author Pirsig used Chickenman in his novel, the only specific reference he makes to popular culture in the book.
“Once I started doing research and thinking about writing an essay, I considered using it in the Popular Culture class,” Teorey said. “In the class, I have a unit on superheroes and a unit on radio/TV shows, and a unit on podcasts, so I could see how these ideas would fit into the class.”
Matt Teorey has worked at Peninsula College since 2005. For more on his published works, visit https://pencol.edu/faculty-staff/matt-teorey.
Join the Zoom meeting at https://pencol-edu.zoom.us/j/89616075652
Meeting ID: 896 1607 5652
The event is free and open to the public.