Cruise the halls of a typical grouping of faculty offices in any law school, and several cartoons are sure to adorn the walls and doors. Some are funny in a mild-mannered way, while others can be quite political. Are cartoon postings yet another perk of being tenured, or do untenured faculty and staff feel just as comfortable displaying these images? Do they make us more “human” to students, or does their presence provide a small sense of comfort that academic seriousness has not made us lose our youthful edge? Personally, I do not have any funnies or political commentary taped on my door, but I do have a book of museum cartoons from The New Yorker in my office. Some of my colleagues occasionally use a cartoon in their classes. If you have cartoons nearby, what are they depicting and how are they used? Does anyone mention them?
Well, I have had cartoons on my notice board for as long as I have been teaching, and I post ones I like on this site. More to the point, I use them on my courses’ WebCT/Blackboard sites and in class, to provide an accessible way in to heavy material or as an alternative to my (dry and sadly misunderstood) humour.