OUR COMMUNITY: Darren Blakeborough – Easy Rider

He's a tattooed, hair metal guitarist, pseudo abstract artist, wrestling fanatic, proud hog driver. And university professor.

Darren Blakeborough is likely one of the coolest profs the University of the Fraser Valley has had.

He’s a tattooed, hair metal guitarist, pseudo abstract artist, wrestling fanatic, proud hog driver. And university professor.

Not exactly the patched elbow, tweed jacket picture most would associate with academia, but Darren Blakeborough is likely one of the coolest profs the University of the Fraser Valley has had.

“I assume I don’t fit that [stereotypical] mould,” he admits. “But as my goal is to get students to question all those things that they take for granted or believe are common sense, let’s start with me. My first goal is to get them to think, and then to start thinking differently.

“Maybe I can kick start that before I have even said a word.”

Blakeborough is a professor in the social, cultural and media studies department at UFV.

On a cool spring afternoon, with the muffled sounds of heavy metal seeping up from his office in the “dungeon”, and a recorded 1982 wrestling bout between Ric Flair and Corey Von Erich paused on the TV, Blakeborough tells of his unconventional steps to profhood.

How he grew up in Prince George, and spent every weekend of his early years at his grandparents, most often watching wrestling matches with his grandfather. How, at 12 years old, when he was introduced to AC/DC by an older cousin, he instantly fell in love. How he started buying albums with his paper route money and grew his hair long and gravitated towards heavier and harder music.

Actions his mom chalked up as a phase, but something he knew would not fade.

“[Music] has so much power and feeling,” said Blakeborough, who, for 20 years, has been strumming guitar with Glam Chowder, currently an ’80s cover band.

Blakeborough owned a video store for 12 years, tried his hand at acting, worked summers for an asphalt company.

It wasn’t until he was 30 years old, with a wife and two kids, and “not a penny left” that he decided to go back to school.

Originally he had planned on a marketing and advertising career, but when he discovered the brilliance of research papers, he knew he was to be a lifelong learner.

“That’s when the lightbulb went off,” he said. “I could write academic papers on heavy metal, The Simpsons, wrestling, I was hooked. I wanted to learn more. I was only scratching the surface.”

Blakeborough has an associate of arts degree in broadcast arts from Columbia Academy of Radio, Television, and the Recording Arts, and an A.A. in media and communication studies from UFV. He also has a bachelor of arts in sociology and anthropology from UFV; a masters of arts in communication and cultural studies from the University of Calgary; and is a PhD candidate for communication and cultural studies from the University of Calgary.

For three years he’s been a professor and researcher at UFV, specializing in media studies and social gerontology, specifically media representation of age – a subject he was drawn to in an effort to make his grandfather, who passed away in his first year of college, proud.

Becoming a university professor was a way to extend his love of learning to the masses.

“I felt there was this incredible new world that was opening up and being presented to me by my professors,” he said. “I wanted to share that gift.

“The gift of understanding.”

Just Posted

Violent sex offender found not guilty of breach for smoking marijuana

Once designated a dangerous offender, Kevin Miller reportedly back at Chilliwack halfway house

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Driver of vehicle down 90-foot embankment rescued on Highway 5 near Hope

Rope rescue conducted on mutual-aid call with Chilliwack SAR, Hope SAR and Agassiz fire department

Emergency first responders to hold training exercise at Sardis secondary Saturday

Chilliwack RCMP alert public the school grounds will be cordoned off in the morning Feb. 24

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

Condition of the Coquihalla concerning for tourists

“They don’t make a show called Highway to Hell for nothing…”

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

ALR review may not be open-minded

Past agriculture minister Norm Letnick skeptical of NDP approach

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Most Read