Monthly Archives: February 2012

Primates & Pop Culture: Volume I

I’m on a mission, readers!

No, not finishing my dissertation (although I’m still working diligently on that).

No, not being a super-awesome mom to my 5-month old daughter (although I’m doing that too).

This mission is something else.  A new idea for an experiment in pedagogic creativity, and I need your help to flesh it out.

In short, I want to create a class that uses primates in pop culture — real or fictional — as a jumping-off point for teaching students about the realities of primate evolution, behavior, cognition, etc.  I want to shine a light on characters like Curious George and King Kong to lay to rest common misconceptions that people have about chimps, gorillas, and other species in our taxonomic Order.

Note to self: be careful using phrases such as "jumping off point" and "lay to rest"

So who are your favorite pop culture primates?  Please add to my short list to help me build the framework for the class.  Novels, short stories, non-fiction books, TV shows, and movies (documentary or fiction) are all welcome sources.

Curious George
King Kong
The Planet of the Apes series
Project Nim
Koko’s Kitten
Ape House
Orangutan Island & Lemur Kingdom