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Episode 56: Linguistic Discrimination, with The Vocal Fries

We have the great pleasure to be joined by Megan & Carrie from the Vocal Fries podcast to talk about linguistic discrimination: what is it, why is it bad, what is its history, and how can we combat it? Show Notes The Vocal Fries Podcast Our Patreon page iTunes link Stitcher link Google Play Music link This podcast episode on YouTube This podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License The Endless Knot RSS Subscribe Sign up with your...


Episode 55: Our Pet Topic (part two, with cats)

In part two of our miniseries on pets, we cover cats, monkeys, birds, and more. Find out the surprising origins of the word for parrot, what medieval people named their cats, and what bird was symbolic of the Virgin Mary. Show Notes @AllEndlessKnot on Twitter Medieval Pets by Kathleen Walker-Meikle "Greek and Roman Household Pets", Francis D. Lazenby Animals for Show and Pleasure in Ancient Rome, George Dennison Companion Animals and Us: Exploring the Relationships Between People and...


Episode 54: Our Pet Topic (part one)

The Lady and the Unicorn, Desire (Musée de Cluny Federico II Gonzaga by Titian What makes an animal a pet? Who kept pets in the ancient and medieval worlds? What kinds of animals were they? And why are all the words for pets in English of (mostly) unknown origin?! We start a mini two-part series with a general discussion of ancient and medieval pets, and then some great stories about some Very Good Dogs. Show Notes @AllEndlessKnot on Twitter Medieval Pets by Kathleen...


Episode 53: Tiki or Not Tiki?

We head back to the Endless Knot Cocktail Bar to talk about the history of the Mai Tai, the Tiki craze, Polynesian mythology, cultural appropriation, and World's Fairs. And then we turn to Rome's relationship to Greece, and discuss whether Horace wrote the Exotica music of the ancient world! Show Notes Mai Tai Video @AllEndlessKnot on Twitter Mai Tai Recipe Hei-tiki Polynesian Lexicon Project Online Wallace-Hadrill, A. “To Be Roman, Go Greek Thoughts on Hellenization at Rome.”...


Episode 52: Race & Racism in Ancient & Medieval Studies, Part Two: Responses

Author Don Hitchcock In part two of our discussion about racism, we talk about ways to respond to the problems in the field, in teaching, scholarship, and more. Thank you to Katherine Blouin, Damian Fleming, Usama Ali Gad, Rebecca Futo Kennedy, Asa Mittman, Dimitri Nakassis, Helen Young, and Donna Zuckerberg for their generous contributions of time and thoughtful discussion of these difficult subjects. Please join in the conversation with your thoughts and ideas about how to move the...


Episode 51: Race & Racism in Ancient & Medieval Studies, Part One: the Problem

The Beowulf Manuscript; Marvels of the East; Beowulf; Judith (Cotton MC Vitellius) What are the problems surrounding race and racism in the fields of Classics and Medieval Studies today? Where did these fields come from, and how does that affect the way we think about the past, and how we construct the present? For this episode (and the next) we interviewed eight scholars and put it together into an exploration of these unfortunately timely topics. Thank you to Katherine Blouin, Damian...


Episode 50: Translating the Odyssey, with Emily Wilson

We interview Emily Wilson, whose new translation of the Odyssey for Norton was published in November to great acclaim and critical praise. She tells us about some of her choices in the areas of metre, vocabulary, register, and more, and we discuss the very concept of 'choice' in translation, the notion of a 'faithful' translation, the complicated question of heroic women, and 70's blaxpoitation films! Show Notes The Odyssey, translated by Emily Wilson Our Patreon page iTunes...


Episode 49: Stocking Stuffers & Christmas Treats

This year's holiday podcast looks back at last year's Christmas video, Stocking, and we talk about the Christmas treats our families enjoy, their history, and their etymology. All you could ever want to know about plum pudding and tourtiere, along with the story of St Nick himself. (PS: since the recording, I've seen indications that the 'mincepie ban' by the Puritans may be a myth, but Christmas celebrations in general definitely were banned, and mincepies and plum puddings were strongly...


Episode 48: Talking Teaching with Mythtake!

Alison & Darrin from MythTake Podcast dropped by Sudbury -- and sat down with us for a chat about teaching myth, literature, and more. Make sure you check out their podcast for great discussions about myth and Greek literature. Show Notes Mythtake Podcast Bakkhai at Stratford Introduction to Mythology from Oxford UP Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton Our Patreon page iTunes link Stitcher link Google Play Music link This podcast episode on YouTube The Endless Knot RSS ...


Episode 47: Why Bob Dylan Matters, with Richard Thomas

We talk to Prof. Richard Thomas about his new book about Bob Dylan and the Classics, discussing Latin poetry, intertextuality in music and literature, Dylan's similarities to Catullus and use of Virgil and Ovid, and the unexpected connections between Classical scholarship and research into folk music archives. Show Notes Why Bob Dylan Matters Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 at Newtonville Books in Boston, MA Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 at the University of Tulsa, in Tulsa, OK Our Patreon...


Episode 36: Looking for the Legend in Guy Ritchie's King Arthur

We discuss how the recent Guy Ritchie movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword fits into the history of adaptations of the Arthur legend. What kind of Arthur does it present, how does it interact with the Arthurian tradition, and what themes does it explore? And who has the Show Notes Anglo-Saxon Invasion video "What is the Earliest English Word?" video King Arthur Cocktail King Arthur 2017 Excalibur King Arthur 2004 History of English podcast episode on the...


Episode 35: Season to Taste

Caesar cocktails with pickled asparagus garnish We're getting saucy with a discussion about the etymology and history of condiments -- from Roman garum to Worcestershire sauce, through Escoffier and seasonings, to the global implications of ketchup. Show Notes Sources for this episode: Jurafsky, Dan. The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu Bober, Phyllis Pray. Art, Culture, & Cuisine: Ancient & Medieval Gastronomy. U of Chicago P, 1999. Curtis, Robert I. “In Defense of Garum”....


Episode 34: The Gimlet & the Diseases of Colonialism

We discuss the origins of the Gimlet cocktail, the stories about its name, and its connection to the treatment of scurvy; then we talk about some of the other diseases tied to the early era of European expansion and colonialism, including the classical history of malaria in Greece and Rome. Also featuring conversation about gin, the pronunciation of quinine, and a cameo appearance by Alexander the Great! Show Notes "Gimlet" video "Gimlet" blog post Gin, Glorious Gin: How Mother's Ruin...


Episode 33: Purple, Pink, & Brown

Show Notes We finish up our colour series (for now!) with a discussion of Purple, Pink, & Brown. From Phoenician shellfish, Virgil's Aeneas,& Propertius's Cynthia, to flowers, beavers, & bears, this episode covers a lot of ground. Let us know what fun colour facts we've missed, and what colourful topics you might like us to cover in the future! Note: one area of discussion we rather left out is the place of purple in Byzantium/the Eastern Empire... maybe we’ll pick that up in the next...


Episode 32: Ariadne's Clue

We've joined forces with the MythTake podcast for a pair of episodes about the myth of Theseus, the Minotaur, and Ariadne. In our episode we talk about the story of Theseus & Ariadne, and the development of the word 'Clue' from Chaucer's version of the tale, as well as Catullus and Ovid's depictions of Ariadne's abandonment, and the connections to fingerprints, detective fiction, and Agatha Christie's life. Meanwhile, Alison & Darrin in their episode talk about two poems by Bacchylides, and...


Episode 31: #CreateICG

It's #CreateICG Week! A bunch of internet creators are putting out videos, podcasts, blogs, & more, all on the theme of CREATE – with all sorts of different approaches and interpretations. The event is centred around the Internet Creators Guild, a non-profit organization with a mission to support, represent, and connect creators whose primary platform is online. If you’d like to find out more about them, you can go to – and to find more amazing creations by ICG...


Episode 30: Baba Brinkman & Peer-Reviewed Rap

We have the immense pleasure of interviewing Baba Brinkman, a Canadian rap artist & award-winning playwright best known for his “Rap Guide” series of plays and albums, with which he has toured the world; these cover topics like evolution, religion, medicine, and most recently climate change. He’s also pioneered the genre of ‘lit-hop’ with his adaptations of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Gilgamesh, Beowulf & more. Our conversation ranges through tree-planting; the connections between Homer,...


Episode 29: Evolution, with Ray Belli

How do words change their meanings? What are the mechanisms behind semantic change? And how do technological advances -- like the development of e-books -- affect language? We discuss these topics and more with Ray Belli, host of the Words for Granted podcast. Show Notes Evolution video Evolution playlist Words for Granted Podcast Our Patreon page iTunes link Stitcher link Google Play Music link This podcast episode on YouTube The Endless Knot RSS Subscribe Sign up with your...


Episode 28: Coach, or The History (& Future?) of Education

We trace the history of 'coach' back to its Hungarian roots, and explore its connections to the development of higher education in Europe. Then we run through a capsule history of the goals (stated and unstated!) of education from classical Athens to today, and discuss how the new world of online learning, including YouTube and podcasts, fits into the ideals and best practices of the future of education. Please let us know about all the things we over-simplified, left out, or got wrong in...


Episode 27: Yellow & Orange

We return to our series on colour words with a discussion of Yellow and Orange in Greek, Latin, & English. The Roman and medieval associations of the colours take us from a wedding hymn by Catullus to Mary Magdalene & pawnbrokers -- and finally to modern connections to cowboys and Cheetos. iTunes link Stitcher link Google Play Music link This podcast episode on YouTube Our Patreon page Show Notes Words for Granted Podcast Gagliardo Cocktail Golden Dream Cocktail Gastropod Ice cream...


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