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Article published the Thursday 12 January 2012 - Latest update : Thursday 12 January 2012

French university offers course on cult, US TV series, The Wire

Scene from US TV series 'The Wire'


Nanterre University in the northwest of Paris is following in the footsteps of America’s prestigious Harvard University by offering students the chance to study the cult, US television series “The Wire” said to be President Barack Obama’s favourite TV series.

Known in France as ‘Sur ecoute’, 'The Wire' is based in the north-eastern port city of Baltimore and set among the city’s police, politicians and drug traffickers.

The course will examine the portrayal of race, class and stereotypes in the series which offers a critical look at urban living in the US.

‘The Wire’ was first broadcast in the US in 2002 and ran for five seasons. In 2010, it was the basis for a course at Harvard university on ‘urban inequalities’.

In a example of life reflecting art, some of the events in the series have been replicated in France.

In series three of ‘The Wire’, a high-ranking police officer decides, without the knowledge of his superiors, to legalise the sale of drugs in an area of Baltimore in an effort to stop turf wars between rival drug gangs in the city.

Stephane Gatignon, the mayor of Sevran, followed this example by decriminalizing drugs in the city in the north east of Paris to stop clashes between drug traffickers.

The course at Nanterre University is not the first hommage paid by France to the US series. A groups of researchers have just written new book on the series entitled, The Wire.



tags: Barack Obama - Drugs - France - Gangs - Television - United States
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