e202. To Kill a Mockingbird… and a Maus — Censorship & Book Banning

Every once in a while the world of weekly pop culture and the world of literary academia collide so totally that the world notices even outside of our show. Last week was one of those weeks. A school board in Tennessee voted to remove Maus, the critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning Holocaust memoir graphic novel,…

e192. How to Win Christmas & Influence People

Christmas traditions are huge part of popular culture. In fact, they’re such a huge part of popular culture that — despite the so-called war on Christmas — they pretty much infuse the western winter holidays regardless of your religion or beliefs. It’s the “holiday” season. But, no matter how secular we try to make things,…

e191. Pop Culture Casserole

As we transition from the fall holidays through the winter ones we’ve noticed that there was a bunch of pop culture things have just fallen through the cracks. Like, really a WHOLE lot of them. And what do you do when you have a bunch of odds and ends left over from Thanksgiving that don’t…

CFC: Cards, Baking, Music, Shelf Elves & Other Holiday Traditions

From Katya: Sometimes I think being a scholar of culture boils down to constantly recognizing that, actually, it absolutely is that deep. Pretty much all the time. We were talking about seasonal cultural practices that we found interesting. Mav brought up sending Christmas cards as a tradition that made him feel like he was celebrating…

e186. Wayne, Hannah, Mav & Jehnie’s Infinite Mixtape

Have you ever made a mixtape? We’re sort of willing to guess that if you’re listening to our show, at some point or another you have. But… did you actually do it on “a tape” or was it a mix CD? Was it a playlist in the cloud? Does this matter? Are all of these…

e178. Pop History vs. Public History

How do we learn history? The easy answer is to say we learn it from history books, but is that true? How many of us ever read a history book after 10th grade? It’s more likely that we get the majority of our history either from museums or from historic entertainment… things like Hamilton… or,…

CFC: Pop vs. Public History — Why Do We Love Nonfiction?

From Monica: I want to talk about Seabiscuit.  Being an archetypal precocious horse girl, at age 9 Laura Hillenbrand’s Seabiscuit (1999) was the first nonfiction book I remember reading. It was the first time I was conscious of the popular weight attributed to the New York Times bestseller list, and for once my childhood interests…

Call For Comments: Serialization Technology

From Katya: It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a game scholar, comics scholar, and Victorianist walk into a bar, they must instantly bond over their shared study of serialization. Except… we never recorded it. It’s rather astounding that we haven’t already; serialization cuts across all of our fields from comics to games and…

Call for Comments: American Girl

From Hannah: As a kid growing up in the nineties, I loved American Girl, especially its historical characters and books. I still remember excitedly reading the adventures of Kit Kittredge and Kirsten Larson and Josefina Montoya … and really any character introduced between the company’s inception and about 2000. So when I discovered that American Girl is re-releasing…

e151. Yet More Bridgerton! and other good things

A few weeks ago when we did our Bridgerton recap show we found ourselves with way more to talk about than we could possibly fit in a single episode. That happens a lot, really. And as we often do, we said back then that we’d have to do another episode and discuss more Bridgerton. Well,…