Writing and literature podcasts
Transcendent work or burnout?

Transcendent work or burnout?

October 14, 2021

(15 mins) Comments on Lewis Nathaniel's "Grind culture" article. Nathaniel says "Grind or Hustle culture is a culture of raw achievement where longer and longer hours are not just the norm, they are the metric for success." I agree and consider the implications of what he says about "performative workaholism" and "transcendence." I also consider how his ideas are related to the phenomenon of burnout and the Confucian approach to work. Detailed notes available through the ENG106 course portal.

Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy

Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy

October 13, 2021

Today in this lecture for East and West Learning Connections, I will talk about who Boethius was and why his book The Consolation of Philosophy was important in European literature. In this book Lady Philosophy attempts to console Boethius by teaching him that philosophy is more useful than the ephemeral pleasures of poetry or song. If Boethius can grasp that the universe is perfectly ordered and that all things happen for a reason (due to the divine order of things) then he will no longer be unhappy. As part of her instruction, meanwhile, Lady Philosophy uses literary imagery to convey the richness of our troubled minds and our struggles in the world.

East and West Learning Connections lectures and meetings are a great way for newcomers to Canada to learn about Canadian culture and practice their English.

[34 mins]

Dante‘s Paradiso

Dante‘s Paradiso

October 8, 2021

In this lecture for East and West Learning Connections, I talk about who Dante Alighieri was, and I discuss his 14th century poem Paradiso.  Dante’s Paradiso has some beautiful images - of fish swimming in pools, of sunlight reflecting off the snow, and of light being filtered through coloured glass. All of these beautiful images are metaphors, and it’s the power of these metaphors that has made Dante stand the test of time. (1 hour)

Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetorics - a brief introduction

Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetorics - a brief introduction

August 27, 2021

In this lecture for EAWLC.org I discuss Aristotle’s Poetics and Rhetoric. Some themes in this lecture are the use of poetry to define what it means to be human, whether or not rhetoric/persuasion is "good" for us, why Aristotle finds it important to talk about dialectic (dialogue) in order to define rhetoric, whether or not poetry is really "mimetic" (imitative of life), and how useful this idea of poetry-as-mimesis can be to us today. I mention ethos, pathos and logos, and how Aristotle attempts to separate his method of rhetoric from Plato's anti-rhetoric stance. At several points I mention Sophocles and Oedipus Rex as examples for Aristotle's theory of tragedy. Poetry is interpreted very broadly (as being the source of all sorts of modern artforms, including pop songs, movies, novels, and essays). The lecture was given in July 2021. A transcript is available from EAWLC.org. 

Lost families: Toxic masculinity and other topics in Ancient Greek tragedy

Lost families: Toxic masculinity and other topics in Ancient Greek tragedy

July 7, 2021

In this lecture for the East and West Learning Connections lecture series, I discuss the plays Oedipus Rex and Antigone by Sophocles. These plays date to about 2400 years ago. I cover topics such as tragedy in medieval and Renaissance England, how Greek tragedy shaped our understanding of theatre today, and the importance of kings, family, speech, and idealism in Sophocles's plays. This lecture was given on June 9th, 2021. A transcript is available from EAWLC. 

Alex + Ada - science fiction concepts

Alex + Ada - science fiction concepts

June 23, 2021

Alex + Ada - Chad R. and Emma G. talk about the graphic novel by Jonathan Luna [1 hour].

“It’s a white industry” - and how does that make you feel?

“It’s a white industry” - and how does that make you feel?

June 23, 2021

What kind of emotions or feelings does a reader feel when we consider the article "It's a white industry" by Chris Rock. . . [25 mins] Notes on BlackBoard. Discussion between Sasha M and Emma G.

Chris Rock, “It’s a white industry” - references to movies like Zoolander and Beverly Hills Cop II

Chris Rock, “It’s a white industry” - references to movies like Zoolander and Beverly Hills Cop II

June 23, 2021

Chris Rock's essay "Its a white industry" (2014) - I discuss some of the movie references Rock makes. Transcript available on BlackBoard.

A petting zoo of nightmares - The Oatmeal and visual argument

A petting zoo of nightmares - The Oatmeal and visual argument

June 22, 2021

Sasha and I discuss this comic - You're not going to believe what I'm about to tell you - by The Oatmeal. We cover topics including controversial ideas, resistance to new ideas, pathos, visual argument, and comics as a form of communication. Transcript available through BlackBoard.

“Sex, lies and conversation” - an analysis - Discussion about the Deborah Tannen article

“Sex, lies and conversation” - an analysis - Discussion about the Deborah Tannen article

May 30, 2021

Sasha Mozzafari and Emma Gorst discuss the Deborah Tannen article, "Sex, lies and conversation." This article was published in the Washington Post in 1990. [45 minutes] Transcript available through BlackBoard and Screencastomatic.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App