There has been many a critique of the Tumblr slash TikTok Dark Academia community floating around across different platforms. I’ve read such critiques on mainly Twitter and Tumblr, probably most accessible due to their word-centric interface.
Now the topic of Dark Academia as an aesthetic community has resurfaced so to speak upon the release of a NY Times article about young adults filling the void of online schooling through sharing online material all surrounding Dark Academia.
I was surprised that such a publication would pick up a topic like curated online teen aesthetics but also unsurprised that the article didn’t go in depth of the inner workings of the community itself and barely touched the surface by simply describing and discussing the visual aesthetic. Which I guess is something Dark Academia enthusiasts and fervent defenders are relieved about?
Now there are many great critiques already available regarding the number of questionable aspects of Dark Academia such as the glorification of the western canon in academia, the dismissal of the reality of actual modern-day students currently attending these institutions (many of which are unfortunately children of rich assholes who themselves become rich assholes), but I’m going to touch on one particular fascination of the Dark Academia community that I can both sympathize with but also makes my eye twitch: Maurice, the 1987 Merchant Ivory film.