Episode 27: La Mort de l’Auteur

In 1967, literary critic and semiotician Roland Barthes wrote an essay called “La mort de l’auteur” that is in many ways foundational for the field of literary studies. It describes the way that literary interpretation works — both why and how. Since we do a lot of that on this show, figured it would be …

Episode 26: The Secret Lives of Puppets

Last week David Reddish, a former writer for Sesame Street, announced that he’d always thought of Bert and Ernie as gay… and the internet exploded. Some people were happy… some people were sad… and some people just asked “why does anyone care?!?!?” Well, that’s what this show is for. Wayne and Mav are joined by Josie …

Call For Comments: The Death of the Author and the Birth of the Critic

From Mav: In the last couple weeks, we’ve done a couple shows that have dealt with interpreting the non obvious sexual subtext in children’s media (Disney Princesses and Sesame Street Muppets). Obviously, we don’t think that those things are front and center. That’s why we said subtext. But that leads us to an obvious question: …

Episode 25: Sex and the Disney Princess

Just about any parent in American who has a five year old girl knows about the Disney Princesses. Between Frozen, Tangled, Moana, and the others, the “House of Mouse” has stumbled upon  a multi-billion dollar industry from films and toy sales alone, and far more when adding in other merchandising sales. However, there may be …

Call for Comments: On the Secret Sex Lives of Puppets

From Mav: Clearly, the first thing that most of us think whenever we encounter a couple of children’s puppets is “hmm… which of these puppets are fucking each other?” It’s the obvious question, right? I mean, I didn’t think anyone care all that much about that… but the last couple of days have shown me …

Episode 24: Genre in General

At best, “genre fiction” often seems to be taken as synonymous with “popular” or “exciting”. At worse, it is often used a pejorative meaning “low brow” or “garbage”. But what is genre anyway? And why is the word used that way? Wayne and Mav are joined by a returning Hannah to sift through a discussion on …

Call For Comments: Sex and the Disney Princess

From Mav: There’s an article that appears in the textbook I use when teaching Freshman Composition 101 that I find quite fascinating. It’s called “Little girls or little women? The Disney princess effect” and was written by a woman named Stephanie Hanes in 2011 and is reprinted from the Christian Science Monitor. I use it to …

Episode 23: Comic Studies-301: Course Syllabus

When everyone knows that you are a comics geek, it turns out people ask you quite often “so what should I be reading?” When your job is literally “be a comics geek” or moreover “teach other people to be a comics geek” then you get this question pretty much constantly. Since Wayne and Mav are …