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United States

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English


Episodes

Ep. 27: Interview with Jennifer Wright

11/26/2018
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Brian sits down with St. John's College alum Jennifer Wright, who is a writer and the author of several books including It Ended Badly: Thirteen of the Worst Breakups in History. They talk about Ms. Wright's informed and fun take on history, as well as her career path from SJC to professional writer.

Duration:00:43:09

Ep. 26: Edgar Allan Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher"

11/19/2018
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What is the relationship between the natural world and the human world? In this belated Halloween episode, Lise, Jeff, and Brian discuss Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Fall of the House of Usher."

Duration:01:24:12

Ep. 25: Aristotle's Politics, part 3

10/28/2018
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What is slavery? What does slavery have to do with the household or the state? Brian, Lise, and Jeff dig deeper into the Politics in Part 3 of their discussion of this series.

Duration:01:34:21

Ep. 24: Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants"

10/21/2018
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How do human beings confront a crisis? Anne Kniggendorf and Matt Young join Brian for a conversation about Ernest Hemingway's short story "Hills Like White Elephants." In case you missed it: Tune in to Brian's interviews with Anne and Matt in previous episodes.

Duration:01:03:20

Ep. 23: Aristotle Politics Bk. I, part 2

10/9/2018
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“Man is by nature a political animal.” Lise, Jeff, and Brian continue their conversation about Book I of Aristotle’s Politics, in which that famous line appears. They address Aristotle’s discussion of how a city comes to be, and his assertion that humans reach their full potential by living in a city.

Duration:01:11:41

Ep. 22: Interview with Matt Young

8/21/2018
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Brian interviews Matt Young, Marine Corps veteran, English professor, and author of Eat the Apple, an memoir that has been described as "The Iliad of the Iraq war." They begin by discussing maintaining your humanity (or not) while serving in and returning from war. They go on to talk about the relationship between civilian and military citizens and how literature and writing can help veterans to manage anger and build empathy after military service. Contains explicit language.

Duration:00:59:54

Ep. 21: Aristotle's Politics Bk. I, part 1

8/5/2018
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Jeff, Lise, and Brian roll up their sleeves and dig in to Aristotle's Politics. How are this and other "Great Books" relevant to how we live our lives? What is good political rule? What does it mean to be "just" within a political system? What problems can politics solve? What problems can it not solve? The team tackles those questions and much more in this episode.

Duration:01:33:44

Ep. 20: Interview With Doug Lensing

7/1/2018
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Douglas Lensing joins the show to talk about his path from the Navy to St. John's College and his paper "Passion and Mind: Homer's Formula for Victory in the Iliad." Doug joined the Navy on a Naval Special Warfare contract, but after failing to complete BUD/S went to Defense Language Institute, learned Farsi and worked at Fort Gordon, Georgia as a linguist. Doug will be starting his Ph.D. at Baylor University in Political Science in the fall of 2018.

Duration:01:09:56

Ep.19: Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

5/28/2018
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Is human life "nada" - nothing? In their discussion of Hemingway's (very) short story, Brian, Lise, and Jeff examine the contrast between youth and old age and the states of being hurried versus unhurried. How are those distinctions related to the question of whether there is a difference between those who need a clean, well-lighted place and those who do not?

Duration:00:55:39

Ep. 18: Racine's Phedre

4/2/2018
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Can you simultaneously hate and love the same thing? What is the relationship between virtue and love? Lise, Jeff, and Brian tackle those questions and more in this episode on Jean Racine's play Phedre. Also, as promised, you can find Jeff's Frankenstein lecture here and the book with Lise's essay here. Enjoy!

Duration:01:24:19

Ep. 17: Freud's On Transience

3/20/2018
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Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Freud’s On Transience, in which Freud ruminates on the transitory nature life and beautiful things in life. The piece prompts a conversation about a variety of topics Freud raises, from death to libido to war.

Duration:01:22:35

Ep. 16: Interview with Anne Kniggendorf

3/14/2018
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Brian interviews St. John's College alum and U.S. Navy veteran Anne Kniggendorf. They have an engaging discussion about the relationship between liberal arts and the military. Check out Anne's website (https://annekniggendorf.com/) and Anne's article, mentioned in the pod (https://electricliterature.com/gracie-allen-and-john-denver-in-boot-camp-c45ee066e561).

Duration:00:46:35

Ep. 15: Shelley's Frankenstein

1/29/2018
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“I beheld the wretch – the miserable monster whom I had created.” Why did Victor Frankenstein create his monster? What role did beauty, love, science, and education play in his endeavor? Join Lise, Brian, and Jeff in a discussion of this classic, widely known novel. As a follow up, listen to Jeff's lecture on the book here (http://digitalarchives.sjc.edu/items/show/3733)

Duration:01:31:37

Ep. 14: Chekhov's "Rothschild's Violin"

12/17/2017
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How should human life be valued? Is death something to suffer, or something that provides relief? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss these questions and more in examining Anton Chekhov's short story "Rothschild's Violin" or "Rothschild's Fiddle."

Duration:01:14:57

Ep. 13: Plato's Phaedo

10/28/2017
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Should we fear death? Jeff, Lise, and Brian discuss Plato's Phaedo, in which Socrates is joined by his friends to discuss that and other questions while awaiting the time for Socrates' execution later the same day.

Duration:01:10:25

Ep. 12: Sophocles' Philoktetes

9/27/2017
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What role do lying and deception play in achieving strategic objectives? Jeff, Lise and Brian discuss that and other questions as raised by Sophocles in Philoktetes, in which a soldier (Philoktetes) is recovered from an island where he was left after being wounded. His significance arises from his possession is the famed bow of Heracles, which the characters Odysseus and Neoptolemus believe is necessary to win the Trojan war.

Duration:01:13:21

Ep. 11: Rousseau's "First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences"

8/7/2017
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Jeff, Lise, and Brian are joined by the distinguished Dylan Casey and Wes Alwan for this crossover episode with the Partially Examined Life. They discuss the First Discourse on the Arts and Sciences, in which Rousseau argues that the arts and sciences tend to lead to "moral corruption". What is "moral corruption"? What does it mean for a human being to be "whole"? How can a society be structured to allow individual humans to achieve wholeness? What role do the arts and sciences play in that...

Duration:00:47:56

Ep. 10: Anton Chekhov's "The Student"

7/5/2017
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In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss “The Student,” a (very) short story by Anton Chekhov. The central character is Ivan, a student, or disciple, whose depression is transformed into elation during the course of his conversation with a peasant mother and daughter about the suffering of Peter as he realizes his betrayal of Jesus.

Duration:01:04:13

Ep. 9: Joseph Conrad's "Typhoon"

7/5/2017
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Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss another work by Joseph Conrad, a rip-roaring, seafaring tale! In his novella Typhoon, Conrad tells the story of Captain McWhirr, his crew, and his ship’s brawling passengers as they sail through a typhoon. The work raises questions about leadership in the face of human conflict and natural disasters.

Duration:01:07:29

Ep. 8: Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Sharer"

7/5/2017
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In this episode, Lise, Jeff and Brian discuss Joseph Conrad’s short story “The Secret Sharer,” which features a psychological drama between an young, unnamed captain who is uncertain of his ability to lead his ship and a mysterious man named Leggatt who swims up to the side of the ship, naked and adrift.

Duration:01:11:23