Dangerous Minds: The Woman Professor on Television

  • Leigh H. Edwards


“My mom’s insane. Certifiable,” complains Jack McCallister on Jack and Bobby (2004–2005). “She’s the most popular professor on campus and the weirdest mom on the earth.” In his view, a mother who is also a feminist professor is the height of embarrassment, and on this prime-time drama, his mother mortifies him on a daily basis. Grace McCallister, played by Christine Lahti, is a history professor at a small college in the Midwest—Plains State University in the fictional Hart, Missouri. Described as an “eccentric single mother,” she is raising two teenage sons, one of whom we are told eventually becomes the President of the United States. It is her intellectual acumen that earns her accolades and academic success at work, but that continually lands her in trouble at home. She becomes the too-cerebral, too-principled, nerdy mom her sons think broke up their family because she is too difficult to handle. Feminist theory works splendidly in the college classroom, but its precepts can get your adolescent son beaten up in school. Grace is an exemplar of the academic woman trying to balance her professional and personal life.


Popular Culture Traditional Gender Role Academic Woman Female Professor Woman Professor 
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Copyright information

© Sherrie A. Inness 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leigh H. Edwards

There are no affiliations available

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