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 …

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 …

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 …

Episode 19: Cosplayers of Color

It’s pretty well accepted in contemporary geek culture that “representation matters.” At least, it’s accepted by everyone except for the evil corners of the internet that we don’t really care about. And thankfully, because of this, recent years in geek culture have seen the addition of many diverse characters that have become cosplay favorites at …