Episode 15, Green Book and the Interracial Buddy Film

We explain why you too should be mad that Green Book won Best Picture. The film carries on a long--and ugly--history of viewing racism through white eyes, asserting that all that's needed to end it is biracial friendship. Actually just one biracial friendship. Plus the movie's not very good.

Elizabeth compares this to the myth of white heroics in the Underground Railroad, while Andy breaks down other films, including 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained, and Driving Miss Daisy.

Resources/articles/and cool stuff mentioned in this ep include:

John Blake’s provocative essay, “I will not be your ‘black best friend’ today.” (CNN)

Kathryn Schulz’s essay on the Underground Railroad (New Yorker)

Elizabeth recommends the Netflix/Channel 4 show Derry Girls.

Andy recommends Hayes Carll’s new album What It Is.

Episode 13, Environmental Racism

Finally, a full-scale episode again!

We talk to Teressa Benz and Cedric Taylor about the Flint water crisis. Professors Benz and Taylor both draw on their scholarship to inform their social justice work in different ways. 

Then, Andy discusses recent hurricanes in the global South and the ways that environmental racism affected Americans' political and cultural responses. Elizabeth talks about environmental injustice in relation to historic African American sites.

And then we talk Weezer and tiki bars.

Please check out Cedric Taylor's film Nor Any Drop to Drink.

Ding! Dong! Silent Sam is Dead

Andy and Elizabeth discuss the news surrounding the complete removal of Silent Sam. Why should anyone outside of UNC care? What does this tell us about monuments to the Confederacy? Who should we thank?

Andy also interviews Hilary Green at the University of Alabama, who has created pop up museums and enhanced walking tours to elucidate the relationship between slavery and America's colleges.

Plus, TV rec's!

Hot Takes #2: Best Albums of 2018

While editing some heavier episodes, we recorded this "hot takes" of our favorite albums of 2018.

We only delve into records we haven't talked about on the podcast before. This includes bonding over Lucy Dacus, making up with Jeff Tweedy (at least for Andy), crushing on Soccer Mommy, breaking down Robyn's "beats," and extolling the many virtues of The Glands.


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.