Professor’s Room: James Aubrey
An occasional series that explores the inner sanctums of academia – because clever people have interesting spaces.
July 17, 2019
In 1989, James Aubrey, Ph.D., “retired” from teaching. That was the same year he left the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to teach an 18th-century British satire course at then-Metropolitan State College. In those 30 years, a lot has changed. A college became a university, Aubrey became a professor (and a fixture) in the Metropolitan State University of Denver English Department, and his office grew into a colorful cultural space that reflects his many personal and academic interests.
Aubrey, an avid world traveler, brings a global perspective to his instruction. He re-creates his travels in the classroom by sharing photos, texts and artifacts (many of which are pulled from his office) to help spark a discussion. His space serves as a gallery for his vast media collection and posters so big they might as well be wallpaper (not pictured). The next time you visit the fourth floor of the King Center, stop by to take it all in.
My extensive DVD collection is related to my course teachings in Film Noir and vampire films. My favorites are David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and the Irish feminist vampire film Byzantium.
I bought the rubbing of William Shakespeare’s grave inscription in Stratford-Upon-Avon for 50 pence in 1968. I previously lived in England when I was working as chief of intelligence at an Air Force base, and I’ve taught two study-abroad courses there.
Every morning, before I open my email, I read the print version of the New York Times for its reporting and photography of international news. I’m the faculty advisor for the student International Club, so I like to keep up with world events.
In 2001, I saw “Monsoon Wedding” and realized I had never even thought about Indian films before. I saw another film called “Lagaan.” Then I was hooked. I went to India on a spring-break trip with Colorado State University and then was granted a Fulbright visiting-professor fellowship to return and teach critical theory in English.
I acquired the fertility statue, Akwa Ba, in Senegal several years ago while attending a seminar on Islam in West Africa. I like to assign the Senegalese novel “So Long a Letter” in my world literature class.
The brass plaque shows the first page of an article I wrote advocating for the integration of male and female cadets at the Air Force Academy. When I was still an instructor there, a sign hung over the entrance to the Academy that read, “Bring me men!” The sign has since been removed.
My professional training in literature began in the late 1960s when I first read “The Magus” by John Fowles. His writing became the subject of three of my published books.
If your faculty colleagues surround themselves with outrageous objects, alluring artwork or noteworthy knickknacks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Professor’s Room” to see them featured (or to nominate yourself).
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