The alcoholic, embittered, writer-manqué English professor who neglects his family and seduces his students is a figure of creative sterility, and he is creatively sterile because he loves only himself. Hence his vanity, pomposity, and selfishness; his self-pity, passivity, and resentment. Hence his ambition and failure. And thence his lechery, for sleeping with his students is a sign not of virility but of impotence: he can only hit the easy targets; he feeds on his students’ vitality; he can’t succeed in growing up.
Deresiewecz considers a number of movies and novels about academics that he claims support his thesis. Strangely, however, he ignores what is by far the most popular modern movie series with an academic as the central character, one who teaches at the ultra-scholarly University of Chicago, no less. I refer, of course, to the Indiana Jones series, which has a new installment in the works. Now THAT'S a stereotype that might yet improve the image of our profession.
UPDATE: Some commenters claim that Indiana Jones didn't really teach at the University of Chicago. However, I appeal to the authority of this very scholarly article on the portrayal of the U of C in the movies, as proof that he did.