show episodes
 
Very Bad Wizards is a podcast featuring a philosopher (Tamler Sommers) and a psychologist (David Pizarro), who share a love for ethics, pop culture, and cognitive science, and who have a marked inability to distinguish sacred from profane. Each podcast includes discussions of moral philosophy, recent work on moral psychology and neuroscience, and the overlap between the two.
 
Made You Think is a podcast by Nat Eliason and Neil Soni where the hosts and their guests examine ideas that, as the name suggests, make you think. Episodes will explore books, essays, podcasts, and anything else that warrants further discussion, teaches something useful, or at the very least, exercises our brain muscles.
 
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show series
 
It's another much-anticipated, often-requested Mike Palindrome Solo Episode! In this special installment of The History of Literature Podcast, Jacke turns the keys over to Mike Palindrome, President of the Literature Supporters Club, for a deep look at David Foster Wallace's magnum opus, Infinite Jest. Enjoy!Help support the show at patreon.com/lit…
 
George Orwell (1903-1950) was one of the twentieth century's great literary figures. An English novelist, who also excelled at essays and journalism, he fought all his life against injustice, snobbery, hypocrisy, deception (including self-deception), and lazy prose. In this episode, Mike Palindrome, president of the Literature Supporters Club, join…
 
“My old definition was "freedom to." Freedom to do anything I want. Freedom to do whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like. Now, the freedom I'm looking for is internal freedom. It's “freedom from." Freedom from reaction. Freedom from feeling angry. Freedom from being sad. Freedom from being forced to do things. I'm looking for "freedom from," in…
 
As cinemas continue to struggle, we look back at our favourite memories of seeing Star Wars in theatres. This episode, we talk about: What's next for movie theatres Could Star Wars have become a phenomenon in a world without cinemas? Our favourite big screen Star Wars memories The time Harrison Ford made Rohan cry The Nic Cage movie Baz saw nine ti…
 
In 1965, the critic Joseph Wood Krutch studied the available evidence and came to a surprising conclusion. "Edgar Allan Poe," he wrote, "invented the detective story in order that he might not go mad." Arthur Conan Doyle, a man who knew a thing or two about detective stories, was quick to credit his boyhood hero with inspiring Sherlock Holmes and a…
 
David and Tamler check out some recent work in metaphysics and applied ethics. Does playing a Nina Simone song sideways show that Einstein was wrong about spacetime? Does a Dali painting nailed to the wall backwards have intrinsic value (see figure 1)? Is childhood bad for children? Do you have to be a child before you're an adult? Are we kidding? …
 
Professor Richard Bradford, author of the new biography The Man Who Wasn't There: A Life of Ernest Hemingway, joins Jacke to talk about Hemingway's uneasy relationship with the truth.RICHARD BRADFORD is Research Professor in English at Ulster University and Visiting Professor at the University of Avignon. He has published over 25 acclaimed books, i…
 
He was "the king of poets," said Rimbaud, "a true God." T. S. Eliot called him a deformed Dante and said, “I am an English poet of American origin who learnt his art under the aegis of Baudelaire and the Baudelairian lineage of poets.” In this episode, Jacke takes a look at Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), his masterwork Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers o…
 
Authors Stephanie Kent and Logan Smalley join Jacke to talk about their new book for book lovers, The Call Me Ishmael Phone Book: An Interactive Guide to Life-Changing Books. If you love books, and talking about books, and people who love books, and people who love talking about books...well, you get the idea. Listen to this episode, and then go ch…
 
From a fundamental biophysical perspective, both prehistoric human evolution and the course of history can be seen as the quest for controlling greater stores and flows of more concentrated and more versatile forms of energy and converting them, in more affordable ways at lower costs and with higher efficiencies, into heat, light, and motion. Energ…
 
Evie Lee, a Vice President of the Literature Supporters Club, joins Jacke for a look at Poe's classic doppelgänger story, "William Wilson" (1839).Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at…
 
David and Tamler explore Thomas Szasz’s provocative and still relevant 1961 book “The Myth of Mental Illness,” the topic selected by our beloved Patreon supporters. When we think of mental disorders as “diseases,” are we making a category mistake? Are we turning ordinary “problems in living” into pathologies that must be treated (with pills or psyc…
 
In 1843, Edgar Allan Poe, desperate for money and terrified that his wife was about to die, "became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." Fueled by alcohol and despair, he fell into "fits of absolute unconsciousness"--and yet managed to write some of his greatest masterpieces, including "The Black Cat," which has been shocking readers fo…
 
Robin Lithgow spent her life immersed in the performing arts, including a childhood in the theater and decades spent as an educator and arts administrator. But it wasn't until she read a little-known work by Erasmus that she fully realized the importance that performance had on Shakespeare and his generation--which mirrored the experiences she had …
 
The Mandalorian is back to save 2020, and we’re here for it. This episode, we dive into the trailer for The Mandalorian Season 2 and make our predictions about what we’ll see on the show this time around! Force Material is a podcast exploring the secrets and source material of Star Wars with hosts Rohan Williams and Baz McAlister. Listen and subscr…
 
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695) was born in Mexico or, as it was known then, New Spain. She was a poet, a philosopher, a dramatist, a scholar, a poet, and a nun, known in her time as the "Tenth Muse" and to later generations as the "Mexican Phoenix," as her powerful body of work rose from the ashes of religious condemnation. Today, she is wid…
 
The psychologist Yoel Inbar has always tried to imbue his work with a sort of interiority, and now he joins us for a deep dive into Charlie Kaufman’s baffling and distressing new film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.” Why does Jessie Buckley’s name and career keep changing? What’s going on with the dog? Why are the parents unstuck in time? Don’t wor…
 
Fan favorite Margot Livesey returns to the History of Literature to discuss her new novel, The Boy in the Field, and to help Jacke choose the greatest writers in Scotland's history. MARGOT LIVESEY is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Flight of Gemma Hardy, The House on Fortune Street, Banishing Verona, Eva Moves the Furniture,…
 
Jacke makes up for a mistake with a special bonus episode on Edgar Allan Poe's bizarre short story "Hop-Frog; Or, the Eight Chained Orang-Outangs" (1849). Help support the show at patreon.com/literature or historyofliterature.com/shop. (We appreciate it!) Find out more at historyofliterature.com, jackewilson.com, or by following Jacke and Mike on T…
 
In Episode 56, we have the great pleasure of talking to Jessica Anthony about her exceptional new book, Enter the Aardvark, as well as our classic favorite, The Convalescent, which you've no doubt heard us mention over the years. Jess unpacks for us her views on the imaginate power of fiction, 19th century British taxidermy, and some of the most ex…
 
The "Forgotten Women of Literature" series continues with a look at Aemilia Bassano Lanyer (1569-1545), the first Englishwoman to publish a volume of poetry, the protofeminist Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum, which tells the story of Christ's crucifixion from a woman's perspective. In addition to her many accomplishments and incredible life story, Lanyer …
 
The History of Literature Podcast presents "Copperopolis," written and performed by Tommy Orange, and produced by Storybound, a radio theater podcast. PLUS Jacke Lonelyhearts takes a look at the personal ads in The New York Review of Books. Tommy Orange is faculty at the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA program. He is an enrolled member of the…
 
Scale by Geoffrey West focuses on the the principles and patterns connecting the ways that cities, organisms, and companies grow. West, a theoretical physicist, studied the way in which sizes of mammals related to their life expectancy, and further connected these laws to the growth and longevity of cities and the world of business. Nat and Neil un…
 
Cai Yan (Wenji) (c. 178 - c. 250?) was the daughter of Cai Yong, one of the most famous scholars of the Han Dynasty. After being widowed at a young age, Cai Wenji was abducted by a nomadic tribe, where she was forced to marry a chieftain and bear his children. The tragedy of her life story, and the songs of lament that have been attributed to her, …
 
She’s beautiful, smart, funny, and head over heels in love with you. There’s only one problem – she’s from a possible world, not the actual one. What we thought would be a funny opening segment idea turns into a semi-serious discussion of Neil Sinhababu’s 2008 article “Possible Girls.” Plus David and Tamler share some thoughts on teaching in normal…
 
Jacke and special guest Charles Halton take a look at the poetry of Enheduanna (2286-2252 BC), a high priestess in ancient Mesopotamia who is the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded. Charles Halton (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) is the co-author of Women's Writing of Ancient Mesopotamia: An Anthology of the Earliest Female Authors. He i…
 
Made You Think is BACK! In this episode of the podcast, Nat and Neil catch up after a year and a half hiatus. Their plan was to catch up on what’s been going on, but that didn’t happen as they ended up talking a lot about COVID, the economy, politics, some books they’d read, and a whole lot more. We cover a wide range of topics, including: The rise…
 
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