Episodes

Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope with Ayanna Dozier

Janet Jackson's The Velvet Rope with Ayanna Dozier

2 weeks ago

A Black female artist fighting to control her career, her body, and her life, Janet Jackson was a 20th century icon. As a part of our minicast on politics, Ayanna Dozier – author, filmmaker, and performance artist – shares her experience writing about The Velvet Rope for our 33 1/3 series, while tackling Black women’s sexuality and bodily autonomy, technophilia, online structures of oppression, and much more. This episode is for anyone wondering about Janet Jackson’s life and legacy and the influence she still has on artists today.

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Slavery in the Age of Memory with Ana Lucia Araujo

Slavery in the Age of Memory with Ana Lucia Araujo

3 weeks ago

Slavery is a horrifying yet fundamental part of history that still shapes modern racism and culture. As a part of our minicast on politics, author and historian Ana Lucia Araujo draws on archival research, interviews, slave narratives, and other resources to explain how slavery is discussed and taught in modern society and the role that memory plays in how we understand race. This episode addresses issues such as the collective and public memory of enslaved people, the willful forgetting of past trauma, and modern attempts at reparations. It also addresses current movements such as the Black Lives Matter protests, the dismantling of pro-slavery monuments and symbols, and the construction of memorials around the world. For anyone looking to discuss collective memory and learn how we can create systemic change to heal from the past.

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The Art of Political Storytelling with Philip Seargeant

The Art of Political Storytelling with Philip Seargeant

1 month ago

In order for any politician to be successful, they need to tell a good story—one they can weave into their platform and policies, and one that grabs the voter’s attention. As a part of our minicast on politics, author Philip Seargeant discusses how narratives are used by conservatives and progressives, activist movements and conspiracy theorists, to create a political identity. Covering everything from the US presidential election to domestic terrorism to the climate strikes and Black Lives Matter protests, this episode is for anyone wondering how our leaders, our media, and the people around us are manipulating facts in the era of social media.​

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How to Lose the Information War with Nina Jankowicz

How to Lose the Information War with Nina Jankowicz

1 month ago

The spread of false information, whether purposeful or unintentional,  poses one of the biggest threats to democracy today. As a part of our minicast on politics, author and analyst Nina Jankowicz draws from her experience working in Russia, Ukraine, and Washington DC to answer questions on combating Russian interference, regulating tech and media companies, fighting foreign and domestic terrorism, and confronting disinformation in the digital age. This episode is for anyone wondering how we can protect our democratic process while still maintaining our basic rights and freedoms.

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D'Angelo's Voodoo with Faith Pennick

D'Angelo's Voodoo with Faith Pennick

4 months ago

D’Angelo is an artist with endless emotion and honesty, one who seems to literally put the soul in soul music. In this episode, author Faith Pennick discusses why so many are entranced by his work and how his songs inspired her to write D”Angelo’s Voodoo. We go beyond his music, analyzing his career, the strong messages of mental health in his lyrics, his experience as a Black musician, the release of his “Untitled” music video, and more. For R&B fans looking to explore the meaning behind D’Angelo’s music and discover what has everyone so captivated.

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The Raincoats' The Raincoats with Jenn Pelly

The Raincoats' The Raincoats with Jenn Pelly

5 months ago

Born out of 1970s Britain, The Raincoats were a band formed from the ashes of experimental punk and rebellion. In this episode, author and journalist Jenn Pelly transports you back to a world of indie record stores, feminist ideals, DIY music, and a fight against capitalism as she discusses four independent, talented women, their work as artists, and their impact as a group. Explore their history, songs, opinions, and culture with someone who traveled to London to speak with The Raincoats themselves.

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Othello with Ayanna Thompson

Othello with Ayanna Thompson

6 months ago

Ayanna Thompson is a scholar, activist, and self-proclaimed Othello whisperer. She is the co-author of Teaching Shakespeare with Purpose, the author of Passing Strange and Performing Race and Torture on the Early Modern Stage, and the editor of Weyward Macbeth, Colorblind Shakespeare, and the Arden Third Series’ Othello. In this episode, Ayanna Thompson outlines the complexities of Othello, the history of racism in theater, and the strides the industry still needs to make to reach equality. For any theater buff, aspiring performer, literature professor, or Shakespeare fan, this is a conversation you’ll want to join.

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Fashion Forecasting with Lorynn Divita

Fashion Forecasting with Lorynn Divita

6 months ago

An important skill for any designer is the ability to create the future of fashion, or at least be able to predict it. Learn how to do just that with author Lorynn Divita as she shares her secrets to anticipating emerging trends in the fashion industry. Covering a wide range of topics including fashion theory, cultural appropriation, economic status and affordability, style tribes, and more, this episode is perfect for any aspiring fashionista or trend-setting trainee.

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An Ethical Guidebook to the Zombie Apocalypse with Bryan Hall

An Ethical Guidebook to the Zombie Apocalypse with Bryan Hall

6 months ago

Everyone knows that in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, what is considered normal or rational human behavior goes out the window. How would you react? Author Bryan Hall has some ideas. In this interview, we discuss philosophical theory in the fictional context of an ungoverned, zombie-infested world and in the very real context of COVID-19. An interesting exploration of ethics and society, this episode is for anyone looking to study moral philosophy in a new light.

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Tom Petty's Southern Accents with Michael Washburn

Tom Petty's Southern Accents with Michael Washburn

7 months ago

Having grown up in northern Florida, Tom Petty had a distinctly narrow view of America—something that is apparent in his album, Southern Accents. In this interview, author Michael Washburn analyzes these songs and Petty himself, commenting on the prevailing racial prejudices that still exist in the south today. Covering everything from 80’s rock ‘n’ roll to white nationalism, this episode discusses a music legend while also revealing some of the vital southern culture that he was misconstruing.

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The Lion and the Nightingale with Kaya Genc

The Lion and the Nightingale with Kaya Genc

7 months ago

Turkey is home to a vast creative community and a complex political climate—something that author and journalist Kaya Genc is extremely familiar with. During this episode, we explore the tense dynamic that exists between the Turkish government and the people who live there, touching on the country’s rich history and the many interviews Kaya has had with marginalized citizens whose voices often go unheard. If you’re interested in learning more about foreign politics or following the story behind Kaya’s literary journalism, take a listen.​

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China's Forgotten People with Nick Holdstock

China's Forgotten People with Nick Holdstock

7 months ago

Xinjiang, China is home to the largest known concentration camp network in the modern world. Author and journalist Nick Holdstock discusses his work investigating the mass imprisonment of Muslims by Chinese officials and the tight government control that makes gathering information and providing aid to the Uyghur people so difficult. This episode covers the history and politics surrounding this human rights crisis.

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Sustainability and Social Change in Fashion

Sustainability and Social Change in Fashion

7 months ago

The fashion industry is currently responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions. In this episode, Dr. Leslie Davis Burns explains how we can change that, breaking down key concepts and ideas covered in her own classroom. Discover what different organizations and retailers are doing to be more sustainable and learn how you can help to reduce the negative impact the fashion industry has on our environment.

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Bonus Episode: Coronavirus and the Anthropocene

Bonus Episode: Coronavirus and the Anthropocene

7 months ago

In the midst of this international pandemic, there are many new and important discussions taking place. During this special follow-up episode, author Chris Schaberg is back to talk about the impact of coronavirus on the environment around us—including the rapid decrease in air travel, employment, economic stability, and overall human interaction. A quick listen for anyone looking to consider how these extreme conditions are changing the climate conversation.

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Searching for the Anthropocene with Christopher Schaberg

Searching for the Anthropocene with Christopher Schaberg

8 months ago

Debated, denied, unheard of, encompassing: the Anthropocene is a vexed topic, and requires interdisciplinary imagination. Christopher Schaberg invites listeners on an atmospheric, impressionistic adventure with the environmental humanities. This episode is not about defining or settling the Anthropocene, but rather about articulating what it’s like to live in the Anthropocene, to live with a sense of its nagging presence, even as the stakes grow higher with each passing year.

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Becoming Beauvoir with Kate Kirkpatrick

Becoming Beauvoir with Kate Kirkpatrick

8 months ago

Simone de Beauvoir was an existentialist philosopher who laid the foundation for the modern feminist movement. We sat down to talk to author Kate Kirkpatrick about everything Beauvoir, from her childhood, to her personal relationships, to her commitment to social justice movements such as the decolonization of Algeria. This episode is for anyone interested in discussing Beauvoir’s social ideals and discovering how they remain relevant today.

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