Trier, James

Associate Professor

T: 919.843.4627
F: 919.843.2614
212A Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“The signature of the situationist movement, the sign of its presence and contestation in contemporary cultural reality ... is first of all the use of detournement."

- Guy Debord


James Trier earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and joined the faculty of the School of Education in 2001. Trier is interested in designing critical methods to engage pre-service teachers in theoretical explorations of various important educational issues by considering ─ simultaneously, in juxtaposition ─ academic and popular culture texts.

In the Culture, Curriculum, and Change (CCC) area, he teaches a course titled “Cultural Studies and Education,” and in the Master of Arts in Education program, he is the English Education professor and teaches English theory and methods courses.

For a three year period, he contributed media literacy articles to the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Some of these articles are “‘Cool’ Engagements with YouTube,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and “Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle.” His published refereed articles include “Representations of Education in HBO’s The Wire, Season Four” (Teacher Education Quarterly); Half Nelson and Dialectics” (Journal of Thought); “Inquiring into ‘Techniques of Power’ with Pre-service Teachers through the ‘School Film’ The Paper Chase” (Teaching and Teacher Education); “Exploring the Concept of ‘Habitus’ with Pre-service Teachers through the Use of Popular School Films” (Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education); “Detournement as Pedagogical Praxis” (Journal of Thought); and “‘Sordid Fantasies’: Reading Popular ‘Inner-City’ School Films as Racialized Texts with Pre-service Teachers” (Race, Ethnicity and Education).

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 2001 - University of Wisconsin-Madison, Curriculum and Instruction

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education - Cultural Studies and Literacies

Research Interests

  • Cultural Studies and Education
  • Popular Culture Representations of Education
  • Critical Literacy
  • Critical Media Literacy

Teaching Areas

  • English Education
  • Culture, Curriculum and Change


  • EDUC 904: Exploring Representations of Education in Popular Culture
  • EDUC 974: Critical Social Theory Explored through Media Honors & Awards

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association
  • National Council of Teachers of English

Selected Publications

Trier, J. (Ed.) (2014). Detournement as Pedagogical Praxis. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Trier, J. (2014). The Dialectical Progression: From The First Year and Waiting for Superman to TEACH. In D. Liston and I. Renga (Eds.). Teaching, Learning, and Schooling in Film: Reel Education. New York: Routledge.

Trier, J. (2013). Challenging Waiting for Superman through Detournement. Journal of Popular Film and Television, 41(2), 68-77.

Trier, J. (2010). Representations of Education in HBO’s The Wire, Season 4. Teacher Education Quarterly, 37(2), 179-200.

Trier, J. (2010). Half Nelson and Dialectics. Journal of Thought. 45(3/4), 21-42.

Trier, J. (2007). The 400 Blows as Cinematic Literacy Narrative. Teacher Education Quarterly, 34(3), 35-51.

Trier, J. (2005). “Sordid Fantasies”: Reading Popular Culture “Inner-City” School Films as Racialized Texts with Pre-service Teachers. Race, Ethnicity and Education, 8(2), 171-189.

Trier, J. (2003). Inquiring into “Techniques of Power” with Preservice Teachers through the “School Film” The Paper Chase. Teaching and Teacher Education, 19(5), 543-557.

Trier, J. (2001). The Cinematic Representation of the Personal and Professional Lives of Teachers. Teacher Education Quarterly, 28(3), 127-142.

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