David Harding

“The Wire” was known during its five seasons on HBO for deftly interweaving complex urban issues, like drug trade, education, and city government. So perhaps it’s not that surprising that ISR researcher David Harding used the acclaimed TV show as the foundation for a graduate-level course on urban public policy he’s teaching this semester. Harding’s course was featured in the February 24 Detroit Free PressAccording to the article, Harding created the seminar, Urban Public Policy Through the Lens of HBO’s “The Wire,” after students asked him to develop a class putting the show’s story lines in the context of real life. “At first it sounded a little gimmicky, but once the students articulated their motivations for the course and demonstrated their enthusiasm and commitment to making it happen, I saw the value in it,” Harding said. “The main thing that makes this course different from other courses is our emphasis on understanding the connections between areas of policy that are not usually studied together.”