Hot Takes #1: Less Sound, More Furious

Because our longer eps are taking more time to research and edit, we’ll periodically release these mini-episodes to cover smaller news stories that we want to talk about.

In this episode, Andy talks the Times OpEd and compares it to our favorite creepy narrator, and Elizabeth breaks down a troubling Gettysburg Address analogy.


Some non-academic stuff we're digging

We've gotten a lot of feedback from people about the end of our episodes when we recommend creations we're enjoying--usually TV or music, but sometimes podcasts. We thought it would be fun to compile a brief highlight reel of some of these items, in between shows.


Andy loves Weezer and Jeff Rosenstock.

Elizabeth loves Superchunk, Janelle Monae, Alvvays, and Snail Mail. Lots of Snail Mail these days.

Remember that musicians benefit a lot when you buy their music on Bandcamp!


TV Shows

Andy loves Love (Netflix), Westworld (HBO), and Atlanta (FX). But who doesn't love Atlanta?

Elizabeth enjoyed the Garry Shandling documentary (HBO) and Ugly Delicious (Netflix).


Elizabeth digs Larry Wilmore's Black on the Air.

Andy recommends Faculty of Horror.


Elizabeth doesn't get to see films anymore because she's old.

Andy is into Marvel films and Hereditary. He does not recommend A Quiet Place, so we're not linking to it. So there.

What have we missed? Do you have music, TV, podcasts, or movies that you think we or our listeners would particularly like? Let us know in the comments!

Episode 10, "ICE, ICE, Baby"

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Connecting immigration and slavery

We talk about the travesty of ICE detention centers.

Elizabeth connects the sanctuary city issue with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, digging in deep on the Anthony Burns incident--a flashpoint in the abolitionist struggle.

Andy talks immigrant narratives, Zeitoun, and the demand for "literary" stories of assimilation.

Special thanks to listeners Lisa Hinrichsen and Rachael Price for recommending this topic. 

Episode 9, "The Zombie White Working-Class: Representations of Class & Labor"

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Looking at American work

A big episode in which we talk to Erik Loomis, labor historian and film buff, thinking about how photos and films affect our understanding of class, from early photography to Roseanne. We also dismantle capitalism! 

Andy talks WPA photos, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Paula Deen, and Talladega Nights. 

Elizabeth talks Jacob Riis, panic fiction, the rise of the novel, Charles Chesnutt, and even Office Space!

And we all talk garbage on JD Vance!

Episode 8, "Knee 'Em in the Groin"

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Male Art in the Age of # MeToo

Jumping off from the news of Bill Cosby's conviction, Andy and Elizabeth talk about if we can still appreciate the art of scumbags, jerks, and criminals. 

Elizabeth brings up Melville's wife beating, and Andy rails against the failure of the humanities and also works through some of his relationship issues with Woody Allen.

We also learn about Margaret Mitchell's erotica. Who knew? (FYI: this does NOT make her a scumbag.)

Essays we talked about in this episode:

Richard Brody, "Watching Myself Watch Woody Allen Films," The New Yorker

Claire Dederer, "What Do We Do With the Art of Monstrous Men?" The Paris Review

Elizabeth Renker, "Herman Melville, Wife-Beating, and the Written Page," American Literature (subscription required)

Episode 7, "Self-Righteous Indignation and Free Speech on Campus"

John McGowan, Professor of English and Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina, joins Andy and Elizabeth to discuss the issue of free speech on campus.

This ep was prompted by an upcoming visit on the University of Alabama's campus where Andy teaches. We think through what can be done when hostile speakers come to a campus community.

Elizabeth talks a bit of antebellum and 20c history in terms of free speech, yelling fire, and clear and present dangers.

And then we talk comics and Garry Shandling, of course.

Episode 6, "The Disease of Honor"

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Dixie's Memorials

Note: we recorded this episode together in person, and Elizabeth's mic picked up a lot echo. We think it's a great episode, so we wanted to share the content with you. But the sound quality doesn't meet our typical standards. It'll be back to normal next time!

In this episode we focus on Confederate memorials.

Elizabeth talks southern white women and the beginnings of the Lost Cause myth, and Andy tackles the exclusionary rhetoric of Confederate memorials. We end by discussing Silent Sam, the controversial Confederate memorial that remains on the UNC Chapel Hill campus, still facing north.

Zombie Roy Moore shows up, Elizabeth talks about her March sadness, and Andy gives you some Netflix rec's.

The Sound and the Furious, Ep 2: A perverted, demonic Republican was rejected!!!!

Unbelievably, Doug Jones won! But how did we get Roy Moore??? Elizabeth talks the history of sexual consent, bringing in Harriet Jacobs and how "consent" is racialized. Andy reminds us of marital rape in Gone with the Wind and "white southern exceptionalism" in To Kill a Mockingbird. And, of course, the crisis of the humanities.

The Sound and the Furious, Episode 1: Trump, the Dirty South, and the Humanities

Two professors use humor, curse words, and hopefully some insight to connect current events with American literature and history.

In this ep, we look back one year into Trump's presidency. Andy sees Agrarians Everywhere! Elizabeth admits that her antebellum knowledge finally feels relevant. We also talk Confederate memorials, dying authors, and, of course, the crisis in the humanities.